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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.
 

COVID-19 from the margins: Gendered-Disability experiences in Sri Lanka

KANDASAMY, Niro
PERERA, Binendri
SOLDATIC, Karen
2021

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Recent research in the global South has highlighted that persons with disabilities are a vulnerable category of persons during the COVID19 outbreak. This paper provides some preliminary insights into Sri Lankan government responses to the outbreak, which, as we will be highlighting, take an ableist approach that further neglect the interests of persons with disabilities while entrenching disability dependencies on informal structures of familial and household support and in turn, increasing their marginality and economic insecurity. The COVID-19 outbreak hit Sri Lanka during a period of political turmoil – national Parliament had been dissolved on 3 March 2020 with elections initially called for 25 April 2020, six months prior to the official end of the Government’s elected term. Drawing upon rapid interview narratives, we present the lived experiences of two women with disabilities and the unique challenges they are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic. As we write this paper in September 2020, we acknowledge that the longer-term impacts of COVID-19 will not become immediately visible, particularly for disabled people from ethno-religious minority groups, including those residing within the former conflict zones.

COVID 19 in Nepal: The Impact on Indigenous Peoples and Persons with Disabilities

GURUNG, Pratima
2021

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The COVID 19 pandemic crisis is unfolding against the backdrop of several important milestones for equality and the human rights of various marginalized groups including women and girls, indigenous peoples and persons with disabilities in all their diversities and intersections in Nepal. The COVID-19 pandemic has entrenched systemic gaps, underlying structural inequalities and pervasive discrimination, more visible with inadequate healthcare, access to information, employment and livelihoods, and social protection system mainly for marginalized groups. This study aims to understand the challenges and impacts of the COVID 19 on marginalized groups including persons with disabilities in Nepal. Based on qualitative research with primary and secondary information, the paper emphasizes the experiences and realities of marginalized groups during the lockdown and pandemic situations. Some of the existing challenges faced by marginalized groups include access to information and health measures related to COVID 19, access to livelihoods and employment, increasing rates of suicide, violence against women from marginalized groups, women with disabilities, and others. The study will integrate these components and deal with intersections with concrete recommendations. 

Patients’ and communication partners’ experiences of communicative changes in Parkinson’s disease

JOHANSSON, Inga-Lena
SAMUELSSON, Christina
MULLER, Nicole
February 2021

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Purpose: The aim of the present study was to investigate the experiences of people with Parkinson’s disease and their close communication partners regarding disease-related communicative changes and participation in everyday conversations.

 

Materials and methods: Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with six dyads consisting of a person with Parkinson’s disease and a close communication partner. The interview material was analysed through thematic analysis.

 

Results: The main theme was the experiences of barriers and facilitators for participation in conversations. Subthemes were experiences related to changes in voice and articulation, language and cognition, body language and facial expressions, fatigue, self-image, communicative initiative, and familiarity with conversation partner. The results show individual variation. A change observed in almost all dyads was the person with Parkinson’s disease participating less in conversations.

 

Conclusions: Assessment and interventions should be based on a broad perspective on communication, and individuals’ priorities should be foregrounded in intervention planning. Both the person with Parkinson’s disease and communication partners need to make adjustments for communication to work. Therefore, close communication partners should be included in assessment and intervention of communication in Parkinson’s disease from an early stage.

Social media and disability advocacy organizations: caught between hopes and realities

GELFGREN, Stefan
INELAND, Jens
COCQ, Coppélie
2021

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This article examines the role of advocacy organizations and their use of social media within the field of disability in Sweden. How do the organizations negotiate digital media, and what are the (intentional or unintentional) consequences related to the use of social media? With focus on the representatives of advocacy organizations, we study how they reflect and act in order to balance various motives, and what challenges and ambiguities that arise. On one hand, there is a perceived need to be online and communicate with members and the surrounding society. On the other hand, digital communication induces a divide between those who have the resources to take part in such communication, and those who do not – in terms of digital competence, economy, age, cognitive abilities, technical equipment and digital connection. The heterogeneity of resources and target groups inevitably challenges both the ideals of inclusion and intentions of advocacy organizations.

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.

 

 

Disclosure of Disease among Women affected by Leprosy: A Qualitative Study

Ramasamy, Senthilkumar
Govindharaj, Pitchaimani
Kumar, Archana
Panneerselvam, Suganya
2020

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Purpose: Although leprosy is completely curable with multidrug therapy, it is unfortunate that the stigma attached to leprosy persists even today. Fear of social exclusion prevents disclosure of the disease to the family and community. This study aimed to evaluate the extent of disclosure of disease among women affected by leprosy in a tertiary referral hospital in Chhattisgarh State, India.

 

Method: A qualitative study was conducted with 57 women affected by leprosy who reported at a tertiary referral hospital in Champa, Chhattisgarh State. The respondents were 18 years of age or older, and had completed multidrug therapy for leprosy. They were asked whether the disclosure of disease had affected their interactions with family, neighbours and community members.

 

Results: Of the 57 women, 48 (84%) had disclosed their disease to their family, 17 (30%) to their neighbours and 13 (23%) to the community members. Thirty women (53%) reported that they experienced problems after revealing the ailment to their family, friends and neighbours. The qualitative analysis found that negative behaviour towards people affected by leprosy still persists in the community. Consequently, women affected by leprosy try to hide their disease due to fear of negative community reactions.

 

Conclusion: This study emphasises the need to spread awareness about the disease and its transmission, by educating the people affected by leprosy, their families and the community. This should be a continuous process in order to reduce or remove the stigma and discrimination against women affected by leprosy, in particular.

Activity Limitation of People Affected by Leprosy in an Endemic District in West Bengal, India

Govindharaj, Pitchaimani
Srinivasan, Sampathkumar
Darlong, Joydeepa
2020

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Purpose: This study aimed to assess the level of activity limitation, and the factors associated with it, among people affected by leprosy who were reporting at a leprosy referral centre of Purulia, in West Bengal state, India.

 

Method: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 358 individuals affected by leprosy. Persons recruited for this study were above 18 years of age, married, and had been diagnosed with leprosy for at least 1 year at the time of the interview. A semi-structured questionnaire was used to gather information about the respondents’ socio-economic and disease status. The Screening of Activity Limitation and Safety Awareness (SALSA) Scale was used to measure activity limitation.

 

Results: Of the 358 respondents, 59% were male, 60% were between 18 and 45 years of age, and 42% were illiterate. About 144 or 40% of the respondents had Grade 2 disability and 60% had disease duration of more than 3 years. There were 229 individuals (64%) who had no limitation in activities, 103 (29%) had mild limitation and 26 (7%) had moderate to severe limitation in activities. There is a significant association between gender, age, occupation, physical disability and disease duration with activity limitation.

 

Conclusion: It appears that limitations in activities among persons affected by leprosy are associated with being a woman, ahousewife, an aged person, and with longer disease duration. The physical disability was intrinsically associated with limitation in activities.

Effectiveness of Community-Based Rehabilitation on the lives of Parents of Children with Cerebral Palsy: A Mixed Method Study in Karnataka, India

Bokalial, Doly
Hossain, Forhad Md
Kumar, Senthil N S
Bajracharya, Shristi
2020

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Purpose: The study aimed to identify the effects of the CBR programme on parents of children with Cerebral Palsy, living in Karnataka State, India. It also tried to find the challenges and improvements needed to make the CBR programme more effective.

 

Method: A cross-sectional, descriptive study design was used to collect a sample of 100 parents of children with Cerebral Palsy, with GMFCS levels IV and V. The sample was drawn from various communities in Bangalore, Davanagere and Bijapur, where the services of The Association of People with Disability are available. Face-to-face interviews were conducted with the study subjects. Data was analysed by SPSS using descriptive and inferential statistics.

 

Results: It was observed that the CBR programme had a positive effect on parents’ health, knowledge, social lives and empowerment. A binary logistic regression was done to find the relationship between health, knowledge, social lives and assistive devices use. A strong association was found between all the areas (p=.001) except GMFCS and assistive devices use (p=.004) at 95% CI. The odds ratios between them were greater than 1 and showed the strong positive effect of the CBR programme on parents.

 

Conclusion: The CBR programme not only has a positive effect on children with Cerebral Palsy, but also plays an important role in parents’ lives. It contributes in a positive way to parents’ overall activity.

Disability, Sociodemographics, and Discrimination: A Descriptive Analysis of Household Survey Data from Bangladesh

Ekman, Björn
Borg, Johan
Khan, AHM Noman
Bari, Nazmul
Tanbir, Moin
Emmelin, Maria
2020

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Purpose: Disability affects upwards of one billion people worldwide, the majority of whom live in low- and middle-income countries. Based on survey data from Bangladesh, the aim of the study is to contribute to an improved understanding of the experiences of people with disabilities in terms of discrimination, health, and sociodemographic indicators.

 

Method: A descriptive analysis of data is presented, from a survey implemented in 2016 on a sample of adult persons with disabilities from 18 districts in Bangladesh (n=1,900). The summary statistics of main indicators and correlation analysis of key variables are given.

 

Results: Women comprised around 40% of the sample. The mean age was 36 years (minimum 18 years and maximum 55 years). Women had lower socioeconomic status than men (p<0, 01), were less likely to be well-educated or employed, had worse self-assessed health (p<0, 05), and were less likely to be able to read and write. Men were more likely to have a physical disability than women (p<0, 01). Both women and men reported unmet needs in terms of access to assistive products and not receiving a benefit. Around 40 % of the sample reported having experienced discrimination, with no significant differences between women and men.

 

Conclusion and Implications: Many women and men with disability experience some forms of discrimination, including in matters pertaining to healthcare, education, and employment. Such experiences may have a negative impact on their life chances. However, women and men with a disability differ in several important respects, both in terms of socioeconomic status and types of disability. Such differences need to be considered for effective and equitable policy development.

Women’s experiences of living with albinism in Taiwan and perspectives on reproductive decision making: A qualitative study

HUANG, Mei-Zen
CHEN, Li-Li
HUNG, Shu-Ling
PUTHUSSERY, Shuby
2020

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People with Albinism tend to face multiple adverse physical, psychological and social consequences. Very little is known about experiences of women with Albinism and their deliberations whilst making reproductive decisions. This study aimed to explore lived experiences of women with Albinism and to understand their perspectives on reproductive decision making. Qualitative in-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with ten women with Albinism in Taiwan. Five key themes emerged from the accounts which were centred around the sense of discrimination that they felt whilst growing up, their strive for normality, making difficult choices in their reproductive decisions, desire to protect children from harm and reflections of parenting struggles from own experiences and the experiences of their parents. We call for global and national policy makers and practitioners to introduce explicit measures to challenge the myths, stereotypes and prejudices associated with Albinism including specific interventions towards supporting women in pregnancy decision making.

Excluded from the Excluded: People with Intellectual Disabilities in (and out of) Official Development Assistance

Inclusion International
2020

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This report from Inclusion International analyzes data available through the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC)’s Creditor Reporting System (CRS), which reveals that mainstream development projects fail to include people with intellectual disabilities, and in many cases use project methodologies that promote segregation and other human rights violations.

 

Analysis of ODA data from 2014 to 2018 found that 99.98% of ODA funding did not include people with intellectual disabilities, that 36% of the ODA projects that did include people with intellectual disabilities were not CRPD-compliant, and that only 2% of aid relevant to people with intellectual disabilities and their families was delivered through OPDs.

 

This report urges action from donors to ensure that the commitment to disability-inclusive development under Article 32 of the CRPD is also fulfilled for people with intellectual disabilities, and sets out recommendations for funders to ensure CRPD-compliance and inclusion in the projects they support.

Funding ≠ Inclusion: Segregation and CRPD Non-Compliance in Official Development Assistance

Inclusion International
November 2020

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This two-page summary resource compiles key data on the CRPD-compliance of Official Development Assistance (ODA)-funded programmes. This analysis was originally published in Inclusion International's 2020 report, Excluded from the Excluded, which revealed that 36% of projects that included people with intellectual disabilities in 2018 used methodologies that promoted segregation.

 

This summary resource profiles key data on the CRPD compliance of ODA-funded programme methodologies by thematic area - including livelihoods, education, emergency response, and service provision programmes. The summary resource also shares key recommendations for organizations implementing programmes to ensure CRPD-compliance.

No one left behind? Exclusion of People with Intellectual Disabilities in Official Development Assistance

Inclusion International
November 2020

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This one-page factsheet presents key data from Inclusion International's 2020 report "Excluded from the Excluded," which revealed that people with intellectual disabilities are excluded from 99.98% of Official Development Assistance (ODA)-funded programmes. The factsheet also shares key recommendations for funders to ensure that no one is left behind by ODA funding.

Menstrual Hygiene Management: Challenges and Coping Strategies for Adolescents with Disabilities in the Kumasi Metro of Ghana

Enoch, Acheampong
Nadutey, Alberta
Afful, Barbara Fosua
Anokye, Reindolf
2020

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Purpose: Effective menstrual hygiene management is vital to the health, well- being, dignity, empowerment, mobility and productivity of girls and women. This study was conducted to ascertain menstrual hygiene management challenges and coping strategies of adolescents with disabilities in the Kumasi Metro of Ghana.

 

Method: An exploratory study design with qualitative approach was employed to select 18 participants. Data was collected through in-depth interviews and focus group discussions, and then transcribed and categorised into specific themes.

 

Results: Females with visual impairment had difficulty in maintaining good menstrual hygiene because of problems in detecting menstrual blood, inability to fix sanitary pads appropriately and wash underwear properly, and anxiety and stress from not knowing whether their period has started. The problems of those with physical impairment were related to inaccessible washrooms, long hours of being seated on the part of wheelchair-users, and difficulty in fixing sanitary pads for those with upper limb impairment. For those with hearing impairment, the main challenge was the communication barrier between them and their significant others whenever they needed help.

 

Conclusion: There are common challenges faced by all girls across the globe with regard to menstrual hygiene management. Adolescent females with disability however face additional challenges with regard to MHM. Those with physical disability encounter accessibility challenges, while the main challenge for the deaf and those with speech problems is communication. The visually impaired live in anxiety due to fear of staining their clothes.

Life Accomplishment, Social Functioning and Participation of South-Eastern Nigerians with Lower Limb Amputation

Akosile, Olusanjo Christopher
Okonkwo, Arinze Christian
Maruf, Adesina Fatai
Okoye, Chiebuka Emmanuel
2020

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Purpose: For a better understanding of the possible impact of impairments and disabilities on the life of individuals with lower limb amputation,it is important to explore the levels of Life Accomplishment (LA), Social Functioning and Participation (SFP) among them.The present study, set in South-Eastern Nigeria, aimed to study these levels and the influence of selected clinical and demographic variables on these constructs.

 

Method: This cross-sectional survey involved 60 individuals with lower limb amputation (46 unilateral, 14 bilateral) recruited from all the five South-Eastern Nigerian States. The Social Functioning Questionnaire (SFQ), Participation Scale and Life Habit Questionnaire were used for measuring levels of social functioning, social participation and life accomplishment, respectively. Data was analysed using descriptive statistics of frequency count, percentages, mean and standard deviation. Mann-Whitney U and Kruskal-Wallis tests were used to test the hypotheses. Alpha level was set at 0.05.

 

Results: Most of the participants (51.7%-58.3%) had low levels of social functioning across SFQ domains. Most of them (61.7%) had severe participation restrictions, and they all had reduced life accomplishments. Participants with bilateral amputation had poorer levels of social functioning (P<0.0001), participation restriction (P<0.0001), and life habits accomplishment (P<0.0001) than their counterparts with unilateral amputation. Individuals with below-knee amputation had significantly better levels of social functioning (P<0.0001) and participation (P<0.0001) than those with above-knee amputation. Participants with prosthetic mobility aids had significantly better levels of social functioning (P<0.0001) and participation (P<0.0001) than those with no prosthetic mobility aids. There was no significant difference in the levels of social functioning and participation between male and female participants, but female participants had statistically significant (P<0.0001) higher scores in nine out of twelve life habit domains than their male counterparts.

 

Conclusion and Implications: Low social functioning, severe participation restrictions, and reduced life accomplishments were prevalent among individuals with lower limb amputation, particularly amongthose with bilateral and above- knee amputations. There is a need to routinely evaluate the studied constructs among individuals with lower limb amputation. The provision of prosthetic aids may help to improve their levels of life accomplishment, social functioning and participation.

Inclusion and exclusion in humanitarian action The state of play.

BARBELET, Veronique
WAKE, Caitlin
November 2020

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This paper provides the foundation for a multi-year study on inclusion and exclusion in humanitarian action being carried out by the Humanitarian Policy Group (HPG) at ODI. It seeks to make sense of the concept of inclusion in humanitarian action, explore how it relates to humanitarian principles and other core concepts and outlines some of the key issues and challenges preventing more inclusive humanitarian action. Drawing on existing practice and evidence from a review of academic and grey literature, the study argues that vulnerability is a critical, but challenging, lens to inform the prioritisation of humanitarian assistance and protection, and that it has failed to lead to more inclusive humanitarian action. 

Living in Chains - Shackling of people with psychosocial disabilities worldwide

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH
October 2020

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In order to show the scale and scope of shackling of people with real or perceived psychosocial disabilities worldwide, Human Rights Watch conducted a study of mental health legislation, relevant policies, and practices across 60 countries around the world.

This report includes research and testimonies collected by 16 Human Rights Watch researchers in their own countries. We worked closely with partner organizations to visit private homes and institutions in Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Ghana, Indonesia, Kenya, Liberia, Mexico, Mozambique, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Palestine, Russia, the selfdeclared independent state of Somaliland, South Sudan, and Yemen. Human Rights Watch researchers interviewed more than 350 people with psychosocial disabilities, including those who were shackled at the time of research or had been shackled at least once in their lives, and more than 430 family members, caregivers or staff working in institutions, psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses and other mental health professionals, faith healers, lawyers, government officials, representatives of local nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), including organizations of persons with disabilities, and disability rights advocates. The testimonies were collected between August 2018 and September 2020 through in-person and phone interviews.

Desk research and consultation with international disability experts was also undertaken

"Autism is me": an investigation of how autistic individuals make sense of autism and stigma

BOTHA, Monique
DIBB, Bridget
FROST, David M
2020

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There are many different perspectives for understanding autism. These perspectives may each convey different levels of stigma for autistic individuals. This qualitative study aimed to understand how autistic individuals make sense of their own autism and experience the stigma attached to autism. The study used critical grounded theory tools. Participants (N1⁄420) discussed autism as central to their identity, and integral to who they are. While participants thought of autism as value neutral, they expressed how society confers negative meanings onto autism, and thus, them. The findings also indicate that different understand- ings of autism confer different levels of stigma. Participants expressed constant exposure to stigma and managed this stigma in different ways. Such methods included reframing to more positive understandings of autism, the reclamation of language, and using concealment and disclosure stra- tegically. The implications of these findings are discussed further in the article.

Employment of young people with mental health conditions: making it work

SUBRAMANIAM, Mythily
ZHANG, Yunjue
SHAHWAN, Shazana
VAINGANKAR, Janhavi Aijt
SATGHARE, Patrika
LIN TEH, Wen
ROYSTONN, Kumarasan
MING JANRIUS GOH, Chong
MANIAM, Yogeswary
LIANG TAN, Zhuan
TAY, Benjamin
VERMA, Swapna
ANN CHONG, Siow
2020

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Purpose: The current study was undertaken to understand and describe the meaning of work as well as the barriers and facilitators perceived by young people with mental health conditions for gaining and maintaining employment.


Materials and Methods: Employing a purposive and maximum variation sampling, 30 young people were recruited and interviewed. The respondents were Singapore residents with a mean age of 26.8 years (SD 1⁄4 4.5, range 20–34years); the majority were males (56.7%), of Chinese ethnicity (63.3%), and employed (73.3%), at the time of the interview. Verbatim transcripts were analysed using inductive the- matic analysis.

 

Results: Three global themes emerged from the analyses of the narratives, which included (i) the mean- ing of employment, (ii) barriers to employment comprising individual, interpersonal and systemic difficul- ties and challenges participants faced while seeking and sustaining employment and (iii) facilitators of employment that consisted of individual and interpersonal factors that had helped the young persons to gain and maintain employment.

 

Conclusions: Stigma and discrimination emerged as one of the most frequently mentioned employment barriers. These barriers are not insurmountable and can be overcome both through legislation as well as through the training and support of young people with mental health conditions.

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