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A Global Agenda for Inclusive Recovery: Ensuring People with Intellectual Disabilities and Families are Included in a Post-COVID World

Inclusion International
June 2021

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This report documents the experience of exclusion of people with intellectual disabilities and their families during the COVID-19 pandemic. These experiences reveal pre-existing structural inequalities that affected the lives of people with intellectual disabilities and their families before COVID-19, during the pandemic, and beyond, and this report raises up the voices of those most excluded in a time of global crisis and demands an inclusive COVID-19 recovery.

 

This report includes the experiences of people with intellectual disabilities and families across eight different issue areas. Across these themes, we examined how and why people with intellectual disabilities were left out and excluded in pandemic responses, what pre-existing conditions and inequalities contributed to their vulnerability and exclusion, and how future policy structures could begin to address both this immediate and systemic exclusion.

 

Together, these experiences and policy solutions form our global agenda for inclusive COVID-19 recovery, an action plan to ensure that government efforts to ‘build back better’ are inclusive of people with intellectual disabilities and their families.

Insisting on inclusion: Institutionalisation and barriers to education for children with disabilities in Kyrgyzstan

MILLS, Laura
December 2020

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Since 2012, the Kyrgyz government has pledged to close 17 residential institutions for children, including three for children with disabilities. But 3,000 children with disabilities remain in institutions.

This report is based on in-person visits to six institutions for children with disabilities and 111 interviews with children with disabilities, their parents, institution staff, and experts in four regions of Kyrgyzstan. It describes abuses in state care as well as barriers to education that often lead to a child’s segregation in a residential institution or special school, or their isolation at home.

 

 

Independent Living Survey

EUROPEAN NETWORK ON INDEPENDENT LIVING (ENIL)
December 2020

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The summary report of the first results of ENIL’s Independent Living Survey. The aim of the online survey was to collect general information about access to Independent Living of disabled people across Europe, and detailed information about Personal Assistance schemes or systems.

Disability inclusion in the Western Balkans and Eastern Partnership countries. Disability Inclusion Helpdesk Report No: 51.

CORBY, Nick
CLUGSTON, Naomi
September 2020

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This briefing note provides guidance on how to incorporate disability inclusion within economic and governance reform projects. It is intended to inform the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office’s (FCDO) Good Governance Fund (GGF). This Note provides basic, introductory guidance on disability inclusion to FCDO advisers and managers engaging with economic and governance reform and sets out opportunities for the FCDO’s programmes and policy dialogue to deliver positive impacts for people with disabilities. The Note addresses three key questions: 2 1. What is the broad status of the rights of people with disabilities in GGF countries and are there any significant differences between the countries? 2. What are the recommended entry points for incorporating disability inclusion within economic and governance reform projects within the five GGF thematic areas? 3. How should the GGF incorporate disability inclusion into the next business case?

 

An annex provides short notes on several factors for each country. The factors are: the legal framework; disability prevalence; economic inclusion; social inclusion; institutionialisation; access to justice; receptions and representation in the media.

Disability Royal Commission: WWDA’s Response to Group Homes Issues Paper

SANDS, Therese
July 2020

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In 2020 the Disability Royal Commission released an issues paper on group homes. The issues paper asked 10 questions based on some of the key issues and barriers experienced by people with disability living in Group Homes.

This is Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA) response to the issues paper which highlights key recommendations to improve the lives and experiences of people with disability living in group homes. The recommendations stem from the following key areas:

  • Living independently and being in the community
  • Intersectionality
  • Ableism, segregation and violence
  • Exposing and responding to violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation

Critique of deinstitutionalisation in postsocialist Central and Eastern Europe

MLADENOV, Teodor
PETRI, Gabor
2019

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In this paper, we explore critically deinstitutionalisation reform, focusing specifically on the postsocialist region of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). We argue that deinstitutionalisation in postsocialist CEE has generated re-institutionalising outcomes, including renovation of existing institutions and/or creation of new, smaller settings that have nevertheless reproduced key features of institutional life. To explain these trends, we first consider the historical background of the reform, highlighting the legacy of state socialism and the effects of postsocialist neoliberalisation. We then discuss the impact of ‘external’ drivers of deinstitutionalisation in CEE, particularly the European Union and its funding, as well as human rights discourses incorporated in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The analysis is supported by looking at the current situation in Hungary and Bulgaria through recent reports by local civil society organisations. In conclusion, we propose some definitional tactics for redirecting existing resources towards genuine community-based services.

Deinstitutionalization for children with disabilities - Technical guidance for UNICEF's engagement in national reform

JONES, Helen
2019

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This technical guidance was commissioned by the UNICEF Eastern Europe and Central Asia Regional Office to enable UNICEF Country Offices to advocate and support particular programmes and projects related to the deinstitutionalization of children with disabilities through:

  • Promoting better decision-making among policy makers and child welfare professionals in the region regarding deinstitutionalization of children with disabilities;
  • Supporting governments to understand the need for such work and to plan, monitor, evaluate and sustain the reforms, as well as linking these reforms to broader disability- inclusive changes across sectors and making a contribution to social justice;
  • Increasing political will, passion and vision for the development of a child care system to address the range of needs of children, stimulating preventive work to reduce overall numbers placed away from home, and promoting family-based alternatives for the majority of children in the care system

Twenty-five years of Community Living: Changes in Support Staff Perceptions

Wark, Stuart
Bleechmore, Kathleen
2015

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Purpose: The attitudes of support staff towards people with intellectual disability can greatly impact upon an individual’s quality of life and level of social inclusion. However, there are few studies that examine how perceptions and beliefs have changed within one organisation over the past few decades; a period during which there have been major social and government policy changes including deinstitutionalisation, inclusive education and the introduction of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. In conjunction with a 25th anniversary review of a community-living project in rural Australia, the current research replicated a study from 1987 that examined attitudes of staff with respect to people with intellectual disability, and thematically compared the findings of the two questionnaires.

 

Method: In 1987, a purpose-designed questionnaire was developed and completed by 15 direct care staff. This 10-item tool asked for basic demographic information and for the participants’ perceptions of people with intellectual disability and their own work roles in the disability sector. This tool was replicated in 2013 and was again completed by 15 direct care staff from the same organisation.

 

Results: The thematic analysis indicated a number of differences between the 1987 and 2013 cohorts in regard to their attitudes. The wide acceptance of the rights of people with intellectual disability was one key change. There was an age separation found within the 2013 cohort, with older participants (> 50 years of age) more likely to display similar attitudes to the 1987 group than the younger participants (<30 years old). Dealing with the problem of ageing-related issues, something that was not obvious 25 years ago, was now considered of major importance. There was evidence that disability support was increasingly recognised as a valid career choice, with a substantial difference in motivation found between the two age groups. Across both cohorts, direct exposure to the realities of the job was seen to be the best training for new employees.

 

Conclusions: The past 25 years have seen positive developments in both social acceptance and expectations for people with disabilities. Individuals are now viewed in a realistic but more positive light. As an exemplar of this change, concerns about individuals entering a consenting sexual relationship have changed dramatically, and what was once an issue of major concern is now no longer raised. While the training provided to staff has changed significantly over the past 25 years, on-the-job exposure to people with intellectual disability, combined with support from peers, is still perceived as vital for developing a quality support network.

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