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The impact of Covid-19 on people with disabilities – emerging findings

ROHWERDER, Brigitte
THOMPSON, Stephen
WICKENDEN, Mary
WAKOKO, Eric
AKTER, Fatema
NJUNGI, Josephine
CHUBA-UZO, Shadrach
September 2020

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Emerging evidence suggests that people with disabilities are amongst the groups most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in all aspects of their lives. In order to provide more systematic evidence, narrative interviews were conducted with a diverse group of 40 jobseekers with disabilities in Bangladesh, Kenya, Nigeria, and Uganda who are involved with the Inclusion Works programme. The first round of interviews were conducted in July and August 2020. Initial key findings are given.

 

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.

Impact of lived experiences of people with disabilities in the built environment in South Africa

McKINNEY, Victor
AMOSUN, Seyi L.
August 2020

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Background: In spite of legislations and policies to ensure an inclusive society in South Africa for the accommodation of people with disabilities, there are reports that they still struggle to move freely within society.

 

Objectives: As part of a larger qualitative exploratory study on the preparation of undergraduate civil engineering students in a local university to contribute to the development of an inclusive society, this article seeks to understand the impact of the lived experiences of people with disabilities in their interaction with the built environment.

 

Method: Four persons with disabilities, considered to be knowledgeable about South African legislations relating to disability, were purposely selected to each share one specific experience whilst interacting with the built environment. The transcribed texts of the interviews were analysed by using the phenomenological–hermeneutic method.

 

Results: The participants exhibited strong desires to participate in society. However, the sense of loss of control and independence as they encountered challenges in the built environment changed the euphoria to disempowerment, rejection, anger and despondency. In spite of their experiences, participants expressed a commitment towards overcoming the challenges encountered in the broader interest of people with disabilities.

 

Conclusion: A deeper understanding of the impact of the experiences of people with disabilities when they participate within the built environment in South Africa revealed a broad spectrum of negative emotions, which may impact the quality of life and well-being of the participants.

 

 

African Journal of Disability, Vol 9, 2020

Preparedness of civil society in Botswana to advance disability inclusion in programmes addressing gender-based and other forms of violence against women and girls with disabilities

HANASS-HANCOCK, Jill
MTHETHWA, Nomfundo
MOLEFHE, Malebogo
KEAKABETSE, Tshiamo
2020

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Background: In low-income and middle-income countries women and girls with disabilities are more likely to experience violence than those without disabilities. Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and disabled people’s organisations (DPOs) can help to address this. However, in countries like Botswana we know little about the preparedness of NGOs and DPOs to increase inclusion in and access to programmes addressing violence.

 

Objectives: To explore the capacity and preparedness of NGOs and DPOs to ensure that women and girls with disabilities can participate in and access programmes addressing violence.

 

Methods: A qualitative study was undertaken using interviews with 17 NGOs and DPOs in Botswana to understand the organisations’ level of and ability to deliver programmes addressing violence against women and girls.

 

Results: Both NGOs and DPOs lack elements of universal design and reasonable accommodation, and thus are inaccessible to some people with disabilities. Some programmes address violence against women but lack skills and resources to accommodate people with disabilities. In contrast, DPOs work with people with disabilities, but lack focus on violence against women with disabilities. Participants identified opportunities to fill these gaps, including adaptation of policies and structural changes, training, approaches to mainstream disability across programmes, development of disability-specific interventions and improved networking.

 

Conclusions: Botswana’s NGOs and DPOs are well positioned to address violence against women and girls with disabilities, but need to increase their accessibility, staff knowledge and skills and disability inclusion. Training, resource allocation and participation of women with disabilities in NGOs and DPOs is needed to drive this change.

 

 

African Journal of Disability, Vol 9, 2020

Microsoft launches initiative to help 25 million people worldwide acquire the digital skills needed in a COVID-19 economy

SMITH, Brad
June 2020

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Around the world, 2020 has emerged as one of the most challenging years in many of our lifetimes. In six months, the world has endured multiple challenges, including a pandemic that has spurred a global economic crisis. As societies reopen, it’s apparent that the economy in July will not be what it was in January. Increasingly, one of the key steps needed to foster a safe and successful economic recovery is expanded access to the digital skills needed to fill new jobs. And one of the keys to a genuinely inclusive recovery are programs to provide easier access to digital skills for people hardest hit by job losses, including those with lower incomes, women, and underrepresented minorities.

To help address this need, today Microsoft is launching a global skills initiative aimed at bringing more digital skills to 25 million people worldwide by the end of the year. This initiative will bring together every part of our company, combining existing and new resources from LinkedIn, GitHub, and Microsoft. It will be grounded in three areas of activity:

(1) The use of data to identify in-demand jobs and the skills needed to fill them;

(2) Free access to learning paths and content to help people develop the skills these positions require;

(3) Low-cost certifications and free job-seeking tools to help people who develop these skills pursue new jobs.

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.

Disability Inclusive Development - Nigeria 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 Nigeria?”. 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 Nigeria. It will be helpful for anyone interested in disability inclusion in Nigeria, 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.

 

Guidance Note 4, TV and Radio Learning

McGEOWN, Julia
BOISSEAU, Sandra
BOHAN-JACQUOT, Sandrine
June 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. #4 TV and Radio Learning #5Return to school.

 

A pictorial based summary of the top 10 tips is provided followed by explanation of the resources and more information about top tips, with hyperlinks of relevant resources.

What is digital accessibility and why is it so important?

Nomensa
May 2020

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This webinar outlines digital accessibility and where to start. It is based on a benchmark report carried out in the Netherlands. It discusses the rational of how easy it for someone with an access needs to use a particular online product. 

Further, looks at the requirements of WCAG 2.1 at level AA. And discusses what does digital accessibility actually mean and how do you know which guidelines you should meet.

 

Alastair Campbell the Director of Accessibility at Nomensa who was jointly responsible for writing the International Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) guidelines.

Death sentence to civilians: The long-term impact of explosive weapons in populated areas in Yemen

BOTTOMLEY, Alison
SALAVERT, Lise
et al
May 2020

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In five years of war, Yemen has experienced every manner of explosive weapons—aerial bombs and missiles, artillery, mortars, and improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and much more. The explosions destroy bridges, ports, roads, hospitals, water systems, and generate long lasting civilian harm. When explosive weapons strike roads and bridges, they greatly increase the time it takes to re-supply cities. Such damage cuts deeply into food and water access, and has negative effects on population health.

The report highlights six case studies, showing the extent and impact of such bombings. One case study looks at the long-term impact on specific populations including: internally displaced persons; persons with disabilities; women and children.

Key issues on promoting employment of persons with disabilities

FREMLIN, Peter Torres
et al
April 2020

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This document brings together the technical advice of the disability team at the Gender, Equality and Diversity branch (GED) in the ILO. The information in this document is pragmatic guidance, rather than statement of institutional position. ILO positions can be found in the statements and standards that are linked to throughout

“Disability Is Not Weakness” Discrimination and barriers facing women and girls with disabilities in Afghanistan

GOSSMAN, Patricia
April 2020

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Everyday barriers that Afghan women and girls with disabilities face are described.  Decades of conflict have decimated government institutions and development efforts have failed to reach many communities most in need. Obtaining access to health care, education, and employment, along with other basic rights, is particularly difficult for Afghan women and girls with disabilities, who face both gender discrimination and stigma and barriers associated with their disability.

 

This report is based primarily on research by Human Rights Watch researchers from April 2018 through January 2020 in Kabul, Mazar-e Sharif, and Herat, Afghanistan. 23 interviews with women with disabilities and 3 interviews with family members of women and girls with disabilities were conducted. 14 healthcare and education professionals were interviewed, including representatives from the United Nations and international and local nongovernmental organizations providing services to persons with disabilities in Afghanistan

Leave No-One Behind, Including children with disabilities, throughout the COVID 19 pandemic

HUMANITY & INCLUSION (HI)
April 2020

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The unprecedented impact of the COVID -19 pandemic across the world is well documented, including its negative effect on education systems, learners, and communities. But marginalized groups, such as children with disabilities are particularly vulnerable if there are prolonged school closures, and when schools reopen.

Children with disabilities face increased risks, as they are likely to be more affected by reduced access to prevention and support measures. School closures also lead to disruptions in daily routines which can be particularly difficult for many children with developmental disabilities and cause significant pressure on their families and caregivers, who require additional support.

Women's Integrated Sexual Health (WISH) Programme for Results: independent verification, evidence, and learning

Monteath-van Dok, Adrienne
Lagaay, Mary
April 2020

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As part of the Department for International Development’s (DFID’s) Women’s Integrated Sexual Reproductive Health (WISH) programme, an evidence gap map (EGM) has been developed to map interventions on ‘what works’ to enable access to sexual reproductive health (SRH) services for persons with disabilities in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). EGMs are a user-friendly presentation of the available, relevant evidence for a particular sector, which is systematically gathered and mapped onto a framework, visually highlighting the gaps or concentration of evidence. This EGM aims to support WISH programming by consolidating evidence and identifying tools/approaches which could be brought into the programme. In addition, it aims to identify where evidence is weak and how the WISH programme can contribute to evidence generation.

This report provides a written accompaniment to the Evidence Gap Map (EGM) to explain the methodology, findings on the availability of evidence, and key recommendations. When scoping for this EGM, it was recognised early on that some of the best practices and interventions on ‘what works’ to support persons with disabilities access SRH services in LMICs are not always empirically tested. Therefore, a decision was made to develop an EGM which includes both peer-reviewed and grey literature. This approach diverges from the norm, as EGMs typically only include peer-reviewed literature.

Does the criminal justice system treat disabled people fairly? Inclusive justice: a system designed for all

EQUALITY AND HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
April 2020

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The UK Equality and Human Rights Commission launched an inquiry to understand the experiences of disabled defendants and accused people in the criminal justice system. They looked at:

  • whether their needs are properly identified
  • the types of adjustments being made to accomodate their needs, and
  • whether they can fully participate in court processes and understand the charges they face.

Based on their findings, recommendations are made to UK Governments.

 

The use of video hearings was rapidly expanded in response to the coronavirus pandemic. In April 2020, interim findings from this inquiry were released to help mitigate the risks that this technology poses to disabled people in the criminal justice system.

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