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A disability inclusive response to COVID-19 - four lessons learned about including people with disabilities in humanitarian aid

MORRIS, Lisa
ELLIOTT, Chris
PIERI, Susan
September 2021

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Inclusive Futures played a crucial role in supporting some of the most marginalised people with disabilities in Bangladesh, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, and Tanzania during the COVID-19 pandemic. This paper summarises what we learned and it can be used to include people with disabilities in future programming, particularly in contexts at risk of crisis.

The Globalization of the Diabetes Epidemic

BONNEAU, Claire
2021

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As globalization continues to bring everyone and everything closer together, not all of the trade-offs are necessarily positive. As we export our unique cultures and experiences around the globe, we also increase the spread of chronic health problems.

For much of the 20th century, a person’s likelihood of developing a chronic health disease like type II diabetes depended on the wealth of the country they lived in equally as much as their own biology and genetic factors. In wealthy, developed countries, people are much more likely to survive to old age and eventually pass away from diseases of affluence — chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes that primarily impact the ageing population. In contrast, people living in developing nations are much more likely to experience malnourishment, violence, and communicable diseases that have a major impact on their overall health and quality of life.

This distinction has proven to be true across many developed countries, including globalization giants like the United States. Even in the more economically disadvantaged areas of America, hardly anyone dies as a result of communicable diseases like tuberculosis, a disease that is still a serious problem in lesser developed nations. Alternatively, in low to middle-income countries, these types of health concerns are still a going concern. Alongside the increased risk of encountering a communicable disease, people living in these areas are also at a higher risk for developing diseases of affluence such as type II diabetes. In this way, people living in developing nations are more likely to experience cancer while also battling cholera infections, and someone living with diabetes is also more likely to be struggling with chronic malnourishment. This lack of distinction between diseases of affluence and communicable diseases puts people living in developing nations at a disadvantage.

In this new global landscape of health and disease, the impact of diabetes is truly overwhelming. Since 1980, the number of people living with diabetes has almost doubled from 152 million to between 285-347 million (1). As a result of this dramatic increase, health spending and global costs have also had to increase to meet the growing demand for care. In 2019, it is estimated that diabetes caused over 760 billion USD in health expenditures, making up about 10% of all global spending on adults (2).

As the prevalence of diabetes continues to grow around the world, we need to shift our attention to finding global solutions to this invisible epidemic. Understanding the connection between obesity, globalization, and diabetes is a great starting point in order to tackle this ever-growing global health problem.

Disability Inclusion Helpdesk, July 2021 Evidence digest: disability-inclusive education in focus

SDDirect
July 2021

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Disability Inclusion Helpdesk evidence digest highlights the latest evidence, guidance, and programme learning on inclusive education. Within it you’ll also find the latest evidence, guidance and policy news on a range of other disability inclusion topics including stigma, discrimination, and violence; poverty, social protection, and employment; inclusive health systems; and disability inclusion in humanitarian settings.

UNHCR Facilitator’s Guide - Strengthening Protection of Persons

UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS (UNHCR)
July 2021

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This guide is designed to support UNHCR staff, partners and other stakeholders at field level to:

  • Recognize the protection concerns and capacities of refugees with disabilities and other persons with disabilities protected and assisted by UNHCR;
  • Apply the principles reflected in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and UNHCR Guidance on Working with Persons with Disabilities to a range of programs and sectors;
  • Design immediate and long-term strategies to mitigate protection risks and promote the inclusion of persons with disabilities in UNHCR programming.

 

The four modules include:

  • Introductory module - Organizing an accessible and inclusive workshop (Module 1);
  • Promoting a rights-based approach to disability (Module 2);
  • Raising awareness about the impact of forced displacement on persons with disabilities (Module 3);
  • Learning key strategies to foster inclusion of persons with disabilities in forced displacement (Module 4). 

COSP14: One Pandemic, Different Realities.

July 2021

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Evidence on the Experience of the Diversity of Persons with Disabilities, their Representative organisations and Civil Society Organisations in dealing with the COVID-19 Pandemic and preparing to Build Back Inclusively. The International Disability and Development Consortium, the International Disability Alliance, Inclusive Futures, Social Development Direct, UK AID and the UNPRPD's side event as part of the 14th session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (COSP14).

 

This event aimed at providing guidelines to local, national and international stakeholders to support their recovery and build sustainable resilience to future shocks, based on the findings from three complementary research projects. With the UNPRPD support, IDA and IDDC gathered data respectively on the experience of persons with disabilities since the first wave and on the COVID-19 consequences on projects and programmes run by CSOs in the Global South. The Disability Inclusion Helpdesk, a FCDO funded facility, IDA and Sightsavers investigated the pandemic impact on OPDs

“The Situation has Exposed Persons with Disabilities to Double Edged Pain”: People with Disabilities’ Experiences of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Uganda

WICKENDEN, Mary
ROHWERDER, Brigitte
SHAW, Jackie
THOMPSON, Stephen
WAKOKO, Eric
June 2021

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This qualitative study was undertaken as part of the work of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) funded Inclusion Works programme which aims to improve inclusive employment for people with disabilities in four countries: Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria, Bangladesh. When the COVID-19 pandemic emerged early in 2020 the work of this consortium programme was adapted to focus on pandemic relief and research activities, while some other planned work was not possible.

“This Time of Corona Has Been Hard”: People with Disabilities’ Experiences of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Kenya

ROHWERDER, Brigitte
NJUNGI, Josephine
WICKENDEN, Mary
THOMPSON, Stephen
SHAW, Jackie
June 2021

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The COVID-19 pandemic is deepening pre-existing inequalities. Emerging research suggests that people with disabilities across the world have experienced various rights violations and been disproportionality affected by the health, economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the responses to it. The aim of this research was to explore how people with disabilities, who often are excluded from research, have experienced the evolving COVID-19 pandemic in Kenya. To better understand how it has affected jobseekers with disabilities, in-depth qualitative research was conducted in Kenya as part of the Inclusion Works programme.

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.

“This pandemic brought a lot of sadness”: people with disabilities’ experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria

THOMPSON, Stephen
CHUBA-UZO, Shadrach
ROHWERDER, Brigitte
SHAW, Jackie
WICKENDEN, Mary
June 2021

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This qualitative study was undertaken as part of the work of the FCDO funded Inclusion Works programme which aims to improve inclusive employment for people with disabilities in four countries: Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria, Bangladesh. When the COVID-19 pandemic emerged early in 2020 the work of this consortium programme was adapted to focus on pandemic relief and research activities, while other planned worked was not possible.
The Institute of Development Studies (IDS) led a piece of qualitative research to explore the experiences and perceptions of the pandemic and related lockdowns in each country, using a narrative interview approach, which asks people to tell their stories, following up with some further questions once they have identified their priorities to talk about. 10 people with disabilities who were involved in Inclusion Works in each country were purposively selected to take part, each being invited to have two interviews with an interval of one or two months in between, in order to capture changes in their situation over time. The 10 interviewees had a range of impairments, were gender balanced and were various ages, as well as having differing living and working situations.

“Everything is Totally Uncertain Right Now”: People with Disabilities’ Experiences of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Bangladesh

SHAW, Jackie
AKTER, Fatema
ROHWERDER, Brigitte
WICKENDEN, Mary
THOMPSON, Stephen
June 2021

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The COVID-19 pandemic is deepening pre-existing inequalities. Emerging research suggests that people with disabilities across the world have experienced various rights violations and been disproportionality affected by the health, economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the responses to it. The aim of this research was to explore how people with disabilities, who often are excluded from research, have experienced the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. In order to better understand how it has affected jobseekers with disabilities, in-depth qualitative research was conducted as part of the Inclusion Works programme in Bangladesh.

COVID-19, gender, and disability checklist: Preventing and addressing gender-based violence against women, girls, and gender non-conforming persons with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic

UN WOMEN
WOMEN ENABLED INTERNATIONAL
June 2021

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This checklist is intended to guide a wide range of States, gender-based violence (GBV) support service providers, and other stakeholders, as well as United Nations Country Teams, providing guidance on pandemic response and recovery efforts on how to prevent and respond to GBV against women, girls, and gender non-conforming persons with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic and other emergencies.

It is also a tool to guide recovery efforts from the COVID-19 pandemic and to ensure that rights at the intersection of gender and disability are respected, protected, and fulfilled as part of that recovery.

Empowering Kenyan women and girls with disabilities in managing menstrual health

UNITED NATIONS POPULATION FUND (UNFPA)
June 2021

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The partnership of UNFPA with This-Ability Trust, an organization that advances disability rights and inclusion by working with groups, to improve access to sexual and reproductive health information and services for women and girls with disabilities is reported. The partnership, which has reached 12,000 people in eight counties, also educates both recipients and caregivers on menstrual health management when distributing dignity kits with washable sanitary pads. The report highlights Mombasa-based Ms. Wanjiru who runs a group for persons with disabilities that includes a programme on sexuality for young women, whose families and caregivers are often uncomfortable discussing menstrual hygiene

Intersessional Meetings 20-24 June 2021. Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction

June 2021

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This year’s Intersessional Meetings are particularly important given efforts to build upon the established baseline for the implementation of the Oslo Action Plan (OAP).

 

The sessions included:

Preliminary Observations of the Convention's Committees

Thematic Session – Mandate of the President

Thematic Session - Victim Assistance: Establishing or Strengthening a Centralised Database

Thematic Session: Integrating Gender and the Diverse Needs of Affected Communities in Operational Planning and Prioritization

Informal Presentation of Requests for Extensions to be considered by the Nineteenth Meeting of the States Partie

Thematic Session: Completion and Sustainable National Capacities

Thematic Session: Mobilising Resources Towards a Mine-Free World

Thematic Session: Strengthening Compliance Measures

Persons with disabilities in the context of armed conflict - Submission to the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH
June 2021

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Human Rights Watch provided input to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities for his thematic report to the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly regarding the rights of persons with disabilities in armed conflict.

This submission was based on Human Rights Watch’s research in Afghanistan, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Israel/Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, South Sudan, and Syria. 

 

Six issues were focussed on in particular:

  • At higher risk during fighting
  • Availability of assistive devices
  • Access to basic services
  • Education for children with disabilities
  • Abuse and stigma
  • Mental health impact

The Experiences of Carers of Adults With Intellectual Disabilities During the First COVID-19 Lockdown Period

PATEL, Varsha
PEREZ-OLIVAS, Gisela
KROESE, Biza Stenfert
ROGERS, Gemma
ROSE, John
MURPHY, Glynis
COOPER, Vivien
LANGDON, Peter E
HILES, Steve
CLIFFORD, Clair
WILLNER, Paul
2021

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Background: The recent COVID-19 pandemic led to widespread international restrictions, severely impacting on health and social care services. For many individuals with an intellectual disability (ID) this meant reduced access to services and support for them and their carers.


Aim: The aim of this study was to gain insight into the ways parents of adults with ID coped during the rst 2020 lockdown period.


Methods: Eight parents of adults with ID were interviewed. The recordings of these interviews were subjected to a thematic analysis.


Results: Four main themes were identied: powerless and unappreciated; coping under lockdown; support; and the impact of lockdown on well-being.


Conclusions: The parents of adults with ID who made up our sample reported that they received little support from services and experienced a sense of powerlessness. Nevertheless, they were open to accepting support from family and friends and showed remarkable resilience. These Findings are discussed in the light of the Willner et al. (2020) survey results on parental mental health and coping, and suggestions for future service provision during pandemic conditions are proposed.

Joint submission on promoting and protecting the human rights of women and girls in conflict and post-conflict situations

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH
HUMANITY & INCLUSION
INTERNATIONAL DISABILITY ALLIANCE
WOMEN ENABLED INTERNATIONAL
WOMEN'S REFUGEE COMMISSION
April 2021

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Joint submission on promoting and protecting the human rights of women and girls in conflict and post-conflict situations on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of Security Council resolution 1325 by Humanity & Inclusion, Human Rights Watch, International Disability Alliance, Women Enabled International and the Women’s Refugee Commission.

This submission sets out information and recommendations on promoting and protecting the human rights of women and girls with disabilities in conflict and post-conflict situations. Women and girls with disabilities are disproportionately impacted by armed conflicts, yet remain underreported and excluded from peace and security processes. Women and girls with disabilities account for nearly one-fifth of all women and girls worldwide and face multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination based on their gender, as well as their disability. Sustainable peace, recovery and inclusive humanitarian action requires the full, equal and meaningful participation of diverse women, including women and girls with disabilities. The Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights, in its report, should request member states, the Human Rights Council and its mechanisms, as well as other stakeholders to ensure that monitoring and reporting on the experiences of women and girls in conflicts includes the specific experiences of women and girls with disabilities, and ensure their meaningful participation in conflict prevention, response, peacekeeping and peacebuilding.

Accessibility audit costing

BROWN, Simon
SCOTT-PARKER, Susan
2021

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This excel sheet provides organisations a structured method to disaplay recommended activities for ensuring accessibility.

Taking a Disability-Inclusive Approach to Pandemic Responses

WICKENDEN, Mary
THOMPSON, Stephen
ROHWERDER, Brigitte
SHAW, Jackie
2021

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The Covid-19 pandemic has affected communities globally, yet the impact has not been equal. People with disabilities were already often living with severe disadvantage and marginalisation and, as predicted by many disability-focused agencies, Covid-19 has exacerbated these inequalities. Emerging evidence from Inclusive Futures, a UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO)-funded programme, highlights the catastrophic emotional and material impacts on people with disabilities in Nepal and Bangladesh. To respond to and plan for future crises, decision makers should consult inclusively with both organisations of people with disabilities (OPDs) and people with disabilities themselves.
 

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