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Pivoting to inclusion : Leveraging lessons from the COVID-19 crisis for learners with disabilities

McCLAIN-NHALPO,Charlotte Vuyiswa
KULBIR SINGH,Ruchi
MARTIN,Anna Hill
et al
August 2020

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As governments respond to the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the global community must ensure that persons with disabilities are included. This will require disability inclusion to be considered in all interconnected sectors; education, health, social protection, and inclusion from the planning stage all the way through to delivery and recovery efforts that are inclusive of all and are sufficiently differentiated to meet the specific needs of children with disabilities. The issues paper focuses on the following objectives: (1) addressing education, social needs, barriers, and issues for learners with disabilities at a global, regional, and country-level during the COVID-19 crisis; and (2) recommending practices for education and social inclusion, and reasonable accommodations utilizing the twin track approach and principles of universal design for learning.

Meeting basic needs for women and girls with disabilities during COVID-19

WOMEN ENABLED INTERNATIONAL
UN WOMEN
July 2020

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In March and April 2020, Women Enabled International (WEI) conducted an online qualitative survey of issues impacting women, girls, non-binary, trans, and gender non-conforming (TGNC) persons with disabilities, which received 100 responses from around the world. These individuals identified that COVID-19 had had a significant impact on their ability to meet basic needs, achieve an adequate standard of living, and live independently, including because of issues related to employment and income, access to support services and assistive devices, access to public transportation, and access to assistance from friends, family, and the public. This policy brief will discuss some of the findings from this survey to illustrate how the pandemic worsens existing realities of marginalised communities and will provide recommendation to stakeholders, in particular UN agencies and UN Country Teams and their partners, on how to mitigate adverse effects of pre-existing inequalities faced by women, girls and TGNC persons with disabilities, including on how to engage with networks and organizations as active agents in the process of ‘building back.’

“Aid out of reach”: untold stories from people with disabilities

Light for the world
July 2020

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Humanitarian organisations can learn a lot from what happened during the Cyclone Idai aid response. The cyclone and its impact made global headlines. The NGO community reacted fast. More than 400 organisations and 1,000 aid workers were rapidly deployed to the affected areas of Mozambique. But what happened next remains untold.

Their stories, which form the basis of our recommendations, can help key actors improve their responses to other crises, including COVID-19.

“Better to Make Yourself Invisible” Family violence against people with disabilities in Mexico

RIOS-ESPINOSA, Carlos
June 2020

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People with disabilities in Mexico can face severe abuse and neglect by their families with little protection or support from the government. This report documents how the lack of policies to support independent living can increase the risk of family violence and abuse for people with disabilities. It also documents the barriers people with disabilities face in accessing protection from abuse and justice on an equal basis with others, and documents serious concerns regarding implementation of procedural accommodations to ensure that people with disabilities can participate fully and equally in the justice system.

 

Based on research in 2018 and 2019, this report documents violence committed by family members against people with disabilities in four Mexican states: Oaxaca, Jalisco, Nuevo León, and Mexico City.  Interviews were carried out with 24 women and 14 men with disabilities. 

 

Disability Inclusive Development - Jordan Situational Analysis

THOMPSON, Stephen
June 2020

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This situational analysis (SITAN) addresses the question: “what is the current situation for persons with disabilities in Jordan?”. It has been prepared for the Disability Inclusive Development programme (which works on access to education, jobs, healthcare, and reduced stigma and discrimination for persons with disabilities in Bangladesh, Jordan, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, and Tanzania), to better understand the current context, including COVID-19, and available evidence in Jordan. It will be helpful for anyone interested in disability inclusion in Jordan, especially in relation to stigma, employment, education, health, and humanitarian issues.

COVID-19 in humanitarian contexts: no excuses to leave persons with disabilities behind! Evidence from HI's operations in humanitarian settings

HUMANITY & INCLUSION (HI)
June 2020

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This collection and review of evidence aims to illustrate how the COVID-19 crisis triggers disproportionate risks and barriers for men, women, boys and girls with disabilities living in humanitarian settings. It highlights recommendations for humanitarian actors, to enhance inclusive action, aligned with existing guidance and learnings on disability inclusion. It is based on evidence, including testimonies, collected by HI programs in 19 countries of intervention. Special efforts were made to reflect the voices of persons with different types of disabilities, genders and ages, residing in different geographical areas and living circumstances, including refugee and internally displaced persons’ settlements and host communities.

 

Evidence has been collected through primary data collection among HI teams and partners, working in countries impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in April/May 2020. Data was extracted from assessments conducted by HI and partners in Bangladesh, Egypt, Haïti, Indonesia, Philippines, Jordan, Lebanon, Somaliland and Togo. Testimonies from affected communities, staff and partners were collected in Kenya, Myanmar, Pakistan, Palestine, Philippines, Somaliland, South Sudan, Rwanda, Thailand, Uganda and Yemen.

 

Pre-Primary and Primary Inclusive Education for Tanzania (PPPIET) – Foundation Phase : Report on Participatory Research to Inform Design of New Inclusive Education Model in Tanzania

JUDGE, Emma
June 2020

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The Disability Inclusive Development (DID) consortium, a UK Department for International Development (DFID) funded initiative, is working together on the Pre-Primary and Primary Inclusive Education in Tanzania (PPPIET) programme whose ultimate goal is to foster quality sustainable inclusive education for all children with disabilities at scale across Tanzania in mainstream pre-primary and primary government schools. To achieve this, it aims to support collective, coordinated systems change by establishing an agreed common model of basic inclusive pre-primary and primary education in mainstream government schools, and galvanising significant progress in spreading its systematic implementation for all children with disabilities across Tanzania. 

 

This task requires the cooperation of government, civil society and Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) to achieve real change.  No single organisation or government department can achieve inclusive education on its own. Pooling the skills and resources and exchanging learnings to achieve quality inclusive education of children can help all involved. Working together will build collective commitment and action, not just amongst DID consortium members but also across government, donors, education actors and the private sector. 

 

Part of this process was to conduct a participatory field research to gather evidence on the current provision of support services needed for inclusive education and identify gaps that need to be filled in the future. The exercise also served to identify key challenges that need addressing to facilitate the removal of legal, policy, systemic, physical, communication and language, social, financial and attitudinal barriers. The findings from the research were intended to identify the priority components that need addressing in the design of an inclusive education design model and the drivers of accountability, i.e. the agencies/stakeholders responsible for implementing the required system changes.

 

Summary of key findings

The Government of Tanzania has continually demonstrated its support and commitment to inclusive education evidenced by the many comprehensive policies for inclusive education, including the National Inclusive Education Strategy (NSIE) 2018 – 2021.  Through these policies, it is actively working to improve the educational environment but the journey is long and requires significant system changes for the policies to be effectively implemented, which needs collaboration, cooperation, planning, and strategic resourcing across multiple ministries, NGOs, DPOs, and the private sector. 

 

To achieve inclusive education, a rights-based approach to education needs to be adopted, focusing on identifying and removing the barriers to access and quality learning for every child, including appropriate infrastructure changes in schools, changing attitudes, and providing additional support to girls and boys with disabilities through learning support assistants.  There also needs to be a fundamental shift towards child-centred pedagogy in teacher training and curriculum development to meet the needs of all learners, including having a mandatory module on inclusive education in all teacher training curricula.  Over time, this will help develop teachers’ confidence and positive attitudes towards teaching children with disabilities and achieve impact at scale.  Strengthening the capacities of all teachers, improving classroom management, increasing awareness about inclusive education for all stakeholders, and improving access to screening and early identification, health, rehabilitation services, and affordable assistive devices are all contributing factors to achieving inclusive education in Tanzania.

 

Systems change to improve learning and support for children with disabilities takes time and requires a significant investment of resources and budget allocation by government and service providers.  However, inclusive education can be cost-effective compared with the cost of segregation and special schools, particularly where ministries work together to ensure a more ‘strategic allocation of existing funds, promoting universal design and co-operation agreements among multiple ministries’.   Developing partnerships with the private sector to improve the physical infrastructure of schools and access to affordable assistive devices can also help reduce the cost of inclusion.

 

Inclusive education is a cross-cutting issue that requires the commitment and accountability of multiple stakeholders across government ministries to ensure its effective implementation.  This includes the MOEST, MOHCDGEC, MOFP, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and the President's Office, Regional Administration and Local Government (PORALG). 

 

It is anticipated that to achieve successful implementation and scaling up of the model design for inclusive education, there will need to be a systematic and phased approach to implementing the recommendations in this report over the short, medium and long term.  It is acknowledged that this process will take considerable time to implement and can only be successfully achieved over a period of years with the support and increased understanding of all stakeholders.  There is no quick-fix solution to inclusive education.  It requires changing long-established systems and adjusting services, including health and education, training, and attitudes.  There is also no financial short cut. 

 

However, while some recommendations require significant investment, others can be achieved in the current context without significant monetary investment.  For example, changing the curriculum for all teacher training to ensure inclusive education is included as a standard module will help transform the approach of teachers and the inclusion of children with disabilities in learning.  Raising awareness of inclusive education for all stakeholders, including policy-makers and implementers will also help increase understanding of the long-term system changes required and reduce stigma and discrimination.  Inclusive education can only be achieved in an inclusive society and it needs collective effort from the government, parents, community, and all stakeholders for effective implementation.

Article 11 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD): legal frameworks guiding inclusive humanitarian action and guidance for CRPD reporting

GUZZI, Eleonora
May 2020

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The document aims to provide persons with disabilities, their representative organisations (OPDs) and other civil society organisations with practical support to analyse and report on the implementation of the rights of persons with disabilities in situations of risk and humanitarian emergencies (Article 11 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities – CRPD). It also provides a horizon scanning of legal frameworks applying at international level, and other relevant reporting mechanisms.

 

There are three parts:

  1. An analysis of the legal frameworks guiding inclusive humanitarian action,
  2. A guide on the CRPD State reporting cycle for OPDs and civil society organizations
  3. A monitoring and analysis matrix on Article 11 of the CRPD

COVID19: Supporting Families

May 2020

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How COVID affect families with disabilities around the world, with talkers from, Canadian Association with Community Living, Inclusion Africa, Inclusion International, and Sociedad Peruana de Síndrome Down.

DRD Webinar on Legal Clinics as a tool to promote disability rights

Disability Rights Defenders
May 2020

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Disability Rights Defenders (a project of the Independent Living Institute, Sweden) and the European Network on Independent Living held a webinar focused on legal clinics - a tool to promote disability rights.

About the webinar: Can legal clinics focussed on human rights and disability rights be a tool to promote disability rights and support a social change in society? How do legal clinics work and cooperate with clients, universities and civil society organisations? In our webinar we want to spread knowledge and information on legal clinics and share experience from Europe, the US and Latin America.

 

Disability progression among leprosy patients released from treatment: a survival analysis

dos Santos, Aleksandra Rosento
et al
May 2020

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Leprosy can be cured, but physical disability (PD) as a result of the infection can progress in the post-release from treatment phase. This study evaluated the likelihood of, and factors associated with, the progression of the PD grade post-release from treatment among leprosy patients treated in Cáceres-MT, Brazil in the period 2000 to 2017.

A retrospective cohort study and survival analysis were performed in the hyperendemic municipality of Cáceres in the state of Mato Grosso. The study population consisted of newly diagnosed leprosy patients released from treatment between January 1, 2000 and December 31, 2017.

 

Infect Dis Poverty 9, 53 (2020)

https://doi.org/10.1186/s40249-020-00669-4

Disability Inclusion Helpdesk Report No: 38 : Disability and Child Marriage

MEANEY-DAVIS, Jessie
LEE, Harri
ANDRAE, Karen
May 2020

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Summaries on the findings from the following queries:

Is there evidence that suggests children with disabilities are more/less vulnerable to child marriage than children without disabilities? If yes, what are the driving factors for this?

What are some of the evidence-based interventions we could think about to ensure that children with disabilities affected by child marriage are not left behind? How can we better mainstream disability inclusion in the programme? 

Inclusive Governance sector guiding note on COVID-19

April 2020

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Humanity & Inclusion inclusive governance approach fits in with the governments (national, regional and local) context, governments are in charge of the response to the crisis. In these types of contexts, humanitarian actors do not have the leadership and mandate to make decisions. Governments are creating policies in response to Covid-19 and must include persons with disabilities as equal citizens within their response frameworks. 

Key messages :

  • DO NO HARM: Protect yourself and your family, staff, partners and of course the beneficiaries.
  • Work closely with other stakeholders and ensure coordination in the response is happening at all levels
  • Follow HI’s guidelines and the guidance from the national and local authorities regarding COVID 19 at all times. 

English pages 1-7 and français ci-dessous pages 7-13.

Guidance note 3: Home support

McGEOWN, Julia
BOISSEAU, Sandra
BOHAN-JACQUOT, Sandrine
April 2020

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This guidance is part of a series to provide support during the Covid-19 crisis. The guidance notes include: #1- Inclusive Digital learning; #2 - Teacher resources; and #3 Home support

 

To help parents interact constructively with their children during this time of self-isolation, and to improve both wellbeing and learning outcomes for girls and boys affected by the COVID 19 crisis, a wide range of resources have been developed.

 

10 top tips are provided for Home Support for parents of children with disabilities with links to various resources.

 

 

The unsteady path - Towards meaningful participation of Organisations of Persons with Disabilities in the implementation of the CRPD and SDGs. A pilot study by Bridging the Gap

COTE, Alexandre
April 2020

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This study, commissioned by the Bridge the Gap project, seeks to provide an overview of the situation in project’s partner countries (Burkina Faso, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Paraguay and Sudan) and to formulate recommendations to international cooperation actors on their possible contribution to strengthen meaningful participation of persons with disabilities in the implementation of the CRPD and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The study focused mostly on the interaction between governments and DPOs as intermediary bodies representing the diversity of persons with disabilities with the aims of ensuring their meaningful participation at national level.

 

The study combined a review of the literature and interviews with representatives of governments, OPDs, service providers, mainstream civil society organisations and development agencies across the 5 countries carried out between August and November 2019 to provide a multi stakeholders perspective on the participation of OPDs in CRPD. It also developed an analytical tool to collectively understand different forms of interaction and participation that could be further developed and used for further studies

COVID-19 and the rights of persons with disabilities: Guidance

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
April 2020

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This guidance aims to:

  • bring awareness of the pandemic’s impact on persons with disabilities and their rights;
  • draw attention to some promising practices already being undertaken around the world;
  • identify key actions for States and other stakeholders;
  • provide resources for further learning about ensuring rights based COVID-19 responses inclusive of persons with disabilities.

Topics are:

1. What is the impact of COVID-19 on the right to health of persons with disabilities

2. What is the impact of COVID-19 on persons with disabilities who are living in institutions

3. What is the impact of COVID-19 on the rights of persons with disabilities to live in the community

4. What is the impact of COVID-19 on work income and livelihood of persons with disabilities

5. What is the impact of COVID-19 on the right to education of persons with disabilities

6. What is the impact of COVID-19 on the right of persons with disabilities to protections from violence

7. What is the impact of COVID-19 on specific population groups in which persons with disabilities are overrepresented

Stop Coronavirus: Keep clean

MENCAP
April 2020

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Why we need to keep our hands and things we touch clean in order to stop the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic and how to go about it.

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