The onset of the sudden and global pandemic, COVID-19, has forced all of us to change our ways of living and interacting with the outside world. Additionally, a lot of restrictions on movement mandated by governments have also been issued in the past few months. In the context of India, a nationwide lockdown was in place from midmarch till the end of May. These lock-downs have had serious consequences for various segments of the population across the country, especially, those on the margins, who are vulnerable and/or in a minority. One such segment has been the disabled population. This paper, with the help of narratives, addresses the challenges faced by the deaf population during the COVID crisis and the ways in which they have negotiated these. There has been a big void in the dissemination of information to the deaf, owing to the fact that the majority of information from official sources has not been translated into sign language. More so, in times when information is the key to maintaining proper health care, this is a big lacuna. Additionally, the paper will also talk about the role of technology as well as of deaf groups in the lives of deaf people, and how it has proved to be very helpful to not just spread proper awareness about the pandemic, but also in trying to build up a movement in trying to recognise Indian Sign Language as the 23rd Official Language of India.
This is an update on disability news around the world relating to the COVID-19 crisis, from late April to the end of September 2020. It's a snapshot of news, statistics, policy, and experiences of persons with disabilities around the world. Links are prvided to the original resources.
Topics covered include:
- What has happended so far: Data on COVID-19 and mortality; Care homes and institutional settings; Impact on persons with disabilities; Gathering data and the gaps; Experiences of Persons with Disabilities
- Disability in response; International response: Collections of resources; Country and Regional Approaches; Resources by disability
- Inclusion in protection and interim measures; Masks / face coverings; Physical distancing and isolation; Lockdown and confinement; Institutions and long-term care facilities; Coming out of lockdown; Social protection and services
- Health, treatment and recovery
- Across society and sectors: Care; Culture and sport; Digital accessibility and inclusion; Education and young people; Elections and politics; Humanitarian and Refugees; International cooperation; Justice; Mental Health; Transportation and travel; Violence; Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH); Work and skills
- Rebuilding / what happens next; New perspectives and recovery; Social protection; Work and employment
The importance of ensuring persons with disabilities are not excluded as part of COVID-19 responses is explored.
Lessons learnt from the 2014-2017 Ebola outbreak in Liberia are discussed highlighting access to information, access to healthcare and the social impact. Research in Liberia combined surveys and interviews with people from households with a disabled person as well as those without, and included responses from 560 persons living in areas that had ‘many’ or ‘few’ cases of Ebola.
Amid the global spread of COVID-19, OCHA has released 29 humanitarian icons specific to the pandemic to help communicate the facts and actions needed to prevent and respond to the virus and provide care for the most vulnerable people around the world.
Best practices for providing sign language access in different contexts are provided
Links to general resources, GLAD members resources and other joint statements and agreements relating to COVID-19 are provided.
Links to various resources with additional information on disability-inclusive responses to COVID-19. Statements, disability resources and information and resources for Civil Society are provided
This case study highlights refugees with disabilities’ access to mobile services and the benefits and challenges associated with using these services in three different humanitarian contexts. The analysis is based on a representative survey of refugees in three contexts: Bidi Bidi refugee settlement (Uganda), Kiziba refugee camp (Rwanda) and with urban refugees in Jordan. It also includes qualitative data drawn from two focus groups conducted with refugees with disabilities in Bidi Bidi and Kiziba. The survey used the Washington Group Questions (WGQs) to assess prevalence of disability amongst the refugee population
Handicap International (HI) commissioned a study on on explosive hazard victim reporting and data management processes in Iraq. The overall objectives of the study were to:
- Understand what explosive hazard victim reporting and data management processes exist in Iraq;
- Identify who is collecting such information, for which reasons and how it is being shared, and how it is being officially used;
- Identify whether international victim data collection good practices and reporting standards are being followed up, and make concrete recommendations to help meet the standards;
- Understand the successes, shortfalls, and challenges in data collection and information sharing;
- Identify the needs of the data collection community in terms of ensuring sufficient victim reporting and data collection;
- Identify if and how the data on victims is being collected and used by government authorities and the international fora.
Desk research was carried out and data collection took place in March 2019 in Erbil, Baghdad and Ninewa governorates in Iraq. In total, the qualitative researcher spent 3 days in Erbil, 4 days in Baghdad, and 6 days in Ninewa governorate to conduct interviews through a snowball approach. In total, 22 interviews were conducted with a variety of stakeholders, including humanitarian mine action actors, government officials, hospital directors, police and community leaders. This report provides an overview of the main findings.
The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) launched the India Business Disability Network (IBDN) at the National Conference on ‘Mainstreaming Inclusivity & Accessibility – Enabling Industry’ in Delhi on 21 January 2019.
The IBDN is a National Business and Disability Network that promotes and facilitates an inclusive, accessible and a barrier-free workplace within the corporate sector, and set up in joint partnership with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Employers’ Federation of India (EFI). IBDN is a one stop solution to share learnings and best practices, create context-based solutions, facilitate partnerships, facilitate inclusion, and create & dissemination knowledge
The main objective of this study was to assess the knowledge, attitude and stigma of leprosy amongst the community members living in Dhanusha and Parsa districts of Southern Central Nepal. A total of 423 individuals were interviewed using a structured questionnaire in Dhanusha and Parsa districts. Data was analyzed using both descriptive (frequency, percentage, median) and statistical inferences.
Purpose: Despite the importance of the evaluation process in lower limb prosthetic rehabilitation, prostheses are rarely evaluated properly in the Arab world. This is partly due to the absence of any suitable Arabic evaluative tool. The aim of this study is to translate TAPES-R (a standardised evaluative questionnaire) into Arabic and to investigate its psychometric properties on lower limb amputees. Such a tool would ultimately be of benefit for clinical follow-up and research purposes.
Method: International standards were followed for the forward- and back-translation of the TAPES-R questionnaire. A sample of 111 Arabic-speaking volunteers with lower limb amputation completed the translated version of the questionnaire. The responses were then statistically analysed using factor analysis and Cronbach’s α to assess the content and construct validity, and internal consistency (reliability) respectively.
Results: Factor analysis showed that the questionnaire’s items (included in the analysis) can be divided into three distinct dimensions as was originally suggested. The distribution of the items within the three dimensions is comparable with the original questionnaire. All three parts of TAPES-R showed high reliability; where Cronbach’s α were .892, .894, and .873 respectively.
Conclusion: This study found that the Arabic version of TAPES-R represents a valid and reliable tool.
Limitations: The questionnaire is designed to be emailed or posted, but the majority of the amputee population in Jordan did not have these services, so direct contact with each participant was necessary.
Disability, CBR and Inclusive Development, Vol 30, No 1 (2019)
Purpose: This paper aimed to provide an overview of the evaluation of the GRID Network (Groups for Rehabilitation and Inclusive Development) and the impact it had on its members.
Method: Information was collected through a compilation of the resources developed during the project, and a summative evaluation process was employed at the end of the project. The paper is a short report on the summative evaluation.
Results: GRID Network members reported that the network was effective and beneficial. They developed new information and knowledge that was relevant to their local contexts; shared knowledge from local, national, and international sources; and, increased their skill in using social media for professional purposes. Recommendations include continuing with this kind of community of practice, with greater opportunities for more engagement and training; inclusion of more partner organisations; large group workshops and conferences; increased attention to advocacy for policy change; and, for more research to be carried out locally.
Conclusion and Implications: This project demonstrated that it is possible to develop and maintain a community of practice in a low-resource context on a minimal budget, even during times of political crisis. Further programme development, evaluation, and research are warranted to ascertain how this model can be scaled up to include a broader group of rehabilitation and other practitioners involved in disability inclusive development.
Disability, CBR & Inclusive Development, [S.l.], v. 30, n. 2, p. 84-94, (2019)
Pacific Disability Forum (PDF) is committed to advancing the rights of people with disabilities living in Pacific Island Countries (PICs). Developing an evidence base to understand more about deaf children and adults’ experiences and priorities will better assist communities, DPOs, organisations and governments to plan inclusive communities, policy and programs.
The development of the design was deliberately planned to be highly collaborative and the team met with 161 people who shared their views. This provided opportunities for deaf people and DPOs to contribute to the design, along with representatives from government, non-government and regional organisations. This collaboration occurred in three countries in the Pacific, namely Solomon Islands, Samoa and Fiji. Within Fiji, the design team met with deaf and DPO representatives of other PIC’s along with regional multi-lateral organisations such as UNICEF and the Pacific Island Forum Secretariat (PIFS). Consultations also occurred remotely with supporting organisations and development workers that are focused on disability inclusion in the Pacific. The design undertook a desk review to learn what is known about deaf children and adults in the Pacific region. Participatory methods ensured the process was highly respectful of the views of deaf people. DPOs, other organisations and governments will be asked to identify to what extent deaf children, adults and their families are participating in services, programs and establishments, and to identify potential supports required to increase deaf people’s participation. A capacity building element has been carefully built into the design. The report is divided into three parts. Part A rationalizes the design, with background information and a brief desk review to collect evidence from and about deaf children and adults in the Pacific. Part B describes the design development process and reports findings. Part C details the design for the situation analysis.
The Washington Group Questions on Disability are rapidly emerging as the preferred data collection methodology by the global community for national data collection efforts on disability. However, more and more development and humanitarian actors are now using the methodology in their own data collection efforts. This is beyond the original purpose of the questions, which was to generate usable data for governments. Leonard Cheshire and Humanity & Inclusion, two international charities focussed on disability and inclusion, have worked together to share learnings of recent research studies. These studies aim to understand how the Washington Group Questions (WGQ) have been used by development and humanitarian actors and the impact of using the methodology. This summary report outlines the key findings, analysis and conclusions about the application of the Washington Group Questions in a range of contexts. The report concludes with a number of recommendations for different stakeholders.
This pamphlet sets out a response to ten of the most frequently heard myths and misconceptions about inclusive education
Background: Persons with disabilities have often been overlooked in the context of HIV and AIDS risk prevention and service provision. This paper explores access to and use of HIV information and services among persons with disabilities.
Methods: We conducted a multi-country qualitative research study at urban and rural sites in Uganda, Zambia, and Ghana: three countries selected to exemplify different stages of the HIV response to persons with disabilities. We conducted key informant interviews with government officials and service providers, and focus group discussions with persons with disabilities and caregivers. Research methods were designed to promote active, meaningful participation from persons with disabilities, under the guidance of local stakeholder advisors.
Results: Persons with disabilities emphatically challenged the common assumption that persons with disabilities are not sexually active, pointing out that this assumption denies their rights and – by denying their circumstances – leaves them vulnerable to abuse. Among persons with disabilities, knowledge about HIV was limited and attitudes towards HIV services were frequently based upon misinformation and stigmatising cultural beliefs; associated with illiteracy especially in rural areas, and rendering people with intellectual and developmental disability especially vulnerable. Multiple overlapping layers of stigma towards persons with disabilities (including internalised self-stigma and stigma associated with gender and abuse) have compounded each other to contribute to social isolation and impediments to accessing HIV information and services. Participants suggested approaches to HIV education outreach that emphasise the importance of sharing responsibility, promoting peer leadership, and increasing the active, visible participation of persons with disabilities in intervention activities, in order to make sure that accurate information reflecting the vulnerabilities of persons with disabilities is accessible to people of all levels of education. Fundamental change to improve the skills and attitudes of healthcare providers and raise their sensitivity towards persons with disabilities (including recognising multiple layers of stigma) will be critical to the ability of HIV service organisations to implement programs that are accessible to and inclusive of persons with disabilities.
Discussion: We suggest practical steps towards improving HIV service accessibility and utilisation for persons with disabilities, particularly emphasising the power of community responsibility and support; including acknowledging compounded stigma, addressing attitudinal barriers, promoting participatory responses, building political will and generating high-quality evidence to drive the continuing response.
Conclusions: HIV service providers and rehabilitation professionals alike must recognise the two-way relationship between HIV and disability, and their multiple overlapping vulnerabilities and stigmas. Persons with disabilities demand recognition through practical steps to improve HIV service accessibility and utilisation in a manner that recognises their vulnerability and facilitates retention in care and adherence to treatment. In order to promote lasting change, interventions must look beyond the service delivery context and take into account the living circumstances of individuals and communities affected by HIV and disability.
The purpose of this toolkit is to share a selection of tools and recommendations pertaining to the accessibility of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). Based on international standards and a scan of available technologies, these tools and recommendations are intended to contribute to the social and economic inclusion of persons with disabilities by ensuring that information is equitably accessible.
The goals of this toolkit are:
- To outline the key international frameworks around digital accessibility and why it is critical for inclusion of persons with disabilities.
- To link people with tools, practice examples, free online training, and other resources so that their practice is digitally accessible.
- To ensure that digital accessibility is an inherent aspect of daily practice.
- To align the practices of those working with and for CBM.
This toolkit is intended to be used as a guide and practice resource by people working with and for CBM so that we produce accessible digital content and communications, and place accessibility at the centre of our ICT procurement processes. We hope that the toolkit will be a resource for the wider community of persons with disabilities, Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs), and nongovernmental organisations (NGOs).
Purpose: To explore ideas of the target population about a community-based intervention to stimulate physical activity in hard-to-reach physically disabled people.
Materials and methods: Semi-structured interviews were performed with 21 physically disabled people, and analyzed using thematic analyses. Findings were interpreted using the integrated Physical Activity for People with a Disability and Intervention Mapping model.
Results: The intervention should aim to stimulate intrinsic motivation and raise awareness for the health effects of physical activity. It should provide diverse activities, increase visibility of these activities, and improve image of physical activity for physically disabled people. Participants suggested to provide individual coaching sessions, increase marketing, present role models, and assign buddies. Potential users should be approached personally through intermediate organizations, or via social media and word of mouth promotion. Participants suggested that users, government, sponsors, and health insurers should finance the intervention. Self-responsibility for being physically active was strongly emphasized by participants.
Conclusions: An intervention to stimulate physical activity in hard-to-reach physically disabled people should be individualized, include personal support, and should include marketing to improve image of physical activity of physically disabled people. The intervention that fulfills these requirements should be developed and tested for effects in future research.
This paper explores the views of 10 participants on how the Kuwaiti media represents disabled people. Participants expressed their views through focus groups and interviews. The findings show that, generally, disabled people in Kuwait are shown in a negative light in the media. The media depicts disabled people as ‘pitiable’, ‘violent’, ‘sinister’, ‘tragic’, and as a ‘tool of ridicule’. The findings, however, witness some positive examples of media representation regarding how some TV shows portray deaf people in a positive light. On the other hand, the study suggests that learning disabled people are the most negatively depicted group in Kuwaiti society. There are also indications of implicit endorsement or internalisation by the participants of views of disabled people as ‘extraordinary’ despite the presence of their impairments. The study concludes that it is more important that the media shows the everyday lives of disabled people before showing their abilities and achievements.
Disability and the Global South, 2018, Vol.5, No. 1
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