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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.
 

Invisible to the Law: COVID-19 and the legal consciousness of persons with disabilities in Bangladesh

MIZAN, Arpeeta Shams
2021

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Despite disability rights being recognized through formal legislation in Bangladesh, the rights of persons with disabilities are still not effectively ensured. State interventions during the pandemic have not sufficiently accommodated the rights of Persons with Disabilities. Pre-existing social prejudices have added to their plight. Due to social prejudice and myriad access to justice challenges, persons with disabilities in Bangladesh face negative attitudes when it comes to exercising their legal rights. The article uses primary data obtained through qualitative interviews and secondary sources to illustrate how the Covid19 pandemic has reinforced structural discriminations and increased the vulnerability of persons with disabilities

Life Becomes Harder: Intersectional Feminist Lens to Dis/abled Experience of Women in Afghanistan during Covid 19 Pandemic and Post Covid Development Context

SHAJAHAN, Sharin
2021

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More than 40 years of war, ethnic conflict, violence and poverty have made Afghanistan a country where at least one in five live with a serious physical, sensory, intellectual, or psychosocial disability. Women with disabilities in Afghanistan are considered to be ‘doubly stigmatized’ due to gender inequality and disability stigmatization, and are often hidden from the social and political aspects of life. Although in the post-Taliban era, development interventions backed by international aid have been designed to include women with disabilities, their intersectionalities cutting across class, ethnicity, region, different types of impairments and other positionalities have not been explored to address different needs, barriers and inequalities across various regions. In this context, the Covid 19 crisis has made the lives of Afghan women with disabilities harder due to gender discrimination, stigma and shame, unemployment, lack of mobility, lack of awareness, and insufficient institutional support and infrastructure coupled with widespread feelings of insecurity resulting from conflict and terrorist attacks. Based on both primary and secondary data, this paper will shed a feminist intersectional insight into the plight of women with dis/abled experience during the Covid 19 pandemic in the complex political and social terrain of Afghanistan. The paper will also explore visions for designing interventions aimed at integrating women with disabilities in post Covid development plans.

Sexuality as part of rehabilitation? A qualitative study on the perceptions of rehabilitation nurses on discussing patient sexuality during clinical rehabilitation

PASCUAL, April
WIGHMAN, Amber
LITTOOIJ, Elsbeth C
JANSSEN, Thomas W
February 2021

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Introduction: Spinal cord injury may seriously affect sexual health and sexuality, which can lead to lower self-esteem, social isolation, lower quality of life, and an increased risk of depression. Nurses play an extensive role in providing patient education. However, a gap between the patients’ need for information and the lack of information provided by nurses still exists. Therefore, knowledge about barriers and facilitators regarding discussing patient sexuality is necessary.

 

Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 25 nurses working in Spinal Cord Injury rehabilitation in one clinic in the Netherlands. The following themes were discussed during the interviews: (1) attitude, (2) social factors, (3) affect, (4) habits and (5) facilitating conditions.

 

Results: Addressing patient sexuality was difficult due to the nurses’ attitude and their environment. Sexuality was considered important but respondents were reserved to discuss the topic due to taboo, lack of knowledge, and common preconceptions. Participants expressed the need for education, a clear job description, time and privacy.

 

Conclusion: Nurses consider discussing patient sexuality as important but are hindered due to multiple factors. Organizational efforts targeted at knowledge expansion are needed to break the taboo and remove preconceptions. Nurses should provide opportunities to discuss the subject to intercept sexuality-related problems.

Perspectives on access and usage of assistive technology by people with intellectual disabilities in the Western Cape province of South Africa: Where to from here?

BOOT, Fleur H
KAHONDE, Callista
DINSMORE, John
MACLACHLAN, Malcolm
2021

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Background: Whilst assistive technology (AT) can play an important role to improve quality of life, health inequity regarding access to appropriate AT for people with intellectual disabilities (ID) is still very much present especially in low resource countries.

 

Objectives: This study focused on exploring factors that influence access to and continued use of AT by people with ID in the Western Cape province of South Africa and to suggest potential implications of these findings and actions required to promote access to AT.

 

Method: A qualitative approach was used to explore the experiences of people with ID and providers of AT. Face-to-face interviews with 20 adults with mild to profound ID, and 17 providers of AT were conducted and the data were analysed thematically.

 

Results: People with ID within the study setting faced many challenges when trying to access AT and for those who managed to acquire AT, its continued usage was influenced by both personal characteristics of the user and environmental factors. Important factors that influence AT access and use for people with ID found in this study were (1) attitudes from the community, (2) knowledge and awareness to identify AT need and (3) AT training and instructions to support the user and care network.

 

Conclusion: With the perspectives of both the providers and users of AT, this study identified priority factors, which could be addressed to improve AT access and use for people with ID in the Western Cape province.

The invisible minority: why do textbook authors avoid people with disabilities in their books?

JENSEN, Magne Skibsted
HERREBRØDEN, Marte
ANDREASSEN, Ulf Rune
2021

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Representation of disability in school textbooks may influence pupils’ knowledge and perceptions of people with disabilities. The aim of this study was to investigate representation of people with disabilities in school textbooks. The study employed a mixed-methods approach. Quantitative frequency analysis was used to investigate the extent of representation of disabilities in texts and pictures in 78 Norwegian textbooks for Grades 5–10. Regarding texts, the results showed that people with disabilities were represented in less than half of these textbooks (49%). Concerning pictures, people with disabilities were even less represented, appearing in only 29% of the textbooks. These quantitative findings were supplemented by a qualitative survey of textbook authors, who were asked to explain the marked absence of disability references in their own books and in school textbooks in general. The two most frequent explanations were that textbook authors had either overlooked people with disabilities, or that the Norwegian National Curriculum (Kunnskapsdepartementet 2006. Lærerplanverket for Kunnskapsløftet (LK06) [The Norwegian National Curriculum]. https://www.udir.no/lk20/overordnet-del/) did not explicitly mention this minority. We discuss these explanations as expressions of conscious considerations rather than unconscious omissions.

Age and disability inclusion needs assessment [Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh] - Preliminary findings

REACH
February 2021

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General objective - To support key actors working in Cox’s Bazar, including coordination bodies and technical agencies and actors, to consider the nuanced and specific needs, access to services and assistance, and involvement of persons with disabilities (PwD) across all age groups, and older persons living in Rohingya camps, within the response programming.

 

Specific objectives -

To understand the prevalence of different kinds of disability, across different ages, gender and location.

To increase the understanding of the situation of PwD, of different ages, in relation to their access to multi-sectoral services and participation in the community.

To understand specific considerations of older persons and PwD related to disaster preparedness and risk reduction.

 

Assessment components:

1. Household survey: Quantitative household survey covering all 34 camps, and collecting data on all individuals aged 2 and above in each sampled household

2. Focus group discussions (FGDs): The household survey was complemented by 20 FGDs conducted with the affected populations between 12 January and 8 February 2021:

Disability & inclusion survey, Malakal Protection of Civilians site

International Organization for Migration’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (IOM DTM)
February 2021

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The International Organization for Migration’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (IOM DTM), Protection and Mental Health and Psycho-Social Support teams joined efforts with Humanity & Inclusion (HI) to undertake an assessment of the level of access to services and the barriers faced by persons with disabilities within Malakal Protection of Civilian site (PoC site). The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) contributed to the qualitative component of the study as the main Protection and Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) actors operating within the PoC site. The study, based on data collected between March 2020 and June 2020, aims to improve the knowledge base available to the humanitarian community about access to services by persons with disabilities living in the site. It provides a quantitative estimate of the prevalence of disabilities among the IDP population and an assessment of the barriers faced by persons with disability in accessing humanitarian services across sectors. It also seeks to empower persons with disabilities living within the PoC site, giving them the opportunity to express their concerns and preferences with regards to possible solutions and targeted interventions. It is hoped that the resulting data will help camp management and other service providers operating within Malakal PoC site, including IOM, UNHCR and DRC, to better account for the concerns and needs of persons with disability in humanitarian programming and service delivery. This study builds onto and expands previous studies in Naivasha IDP Camp (formerly Wau PoC AA Site) and Bentiu PoC Site.

The definition of disability and disability related data collection and analyses - Applying the IASC Guidelines in the northwest Syria humanitarian response

UNHCR INCLUSION TECHNICAL WORKING GROUP, SYRIA PROTECTION CLUSTER (TURKEY)
February 2021

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Action by humanitarian partners to strengthen inclusion of persons with disabilities in the humanitarian response in an evidencebased manner remains highly needed – this note aims to support that effort by providing background and explanation on the definition of disability as well as on how to interpret and use data related to disability.

 

The note also provides elaboration on the Syria Protection Cluster (Turkey) recommended disability-related data collection methodology for humanitarian organizations and entities in northwest Syria. Thereby the note aims to stimulate and assist the broader humanitarian community in northwest Syria in adopting the Washington Group Short Set of Questions on Functioning, especially in relation to disability focused data collection and in understanding and utilizing assessment findings, specifically prevalence-rates of disability in northwest Syria.

 

For more elaborated description of the situation of persons with disability in northwest Syria and practical suggestions for humanitarians on enhancing inclusion of persons with disabilities in programming, this note is to be read in conjunction with the ITWG “Self-reported barriers to activities of daily living of persons with disabilities living in IDP sites in northwest Syria” brief report and recommendations.

 

Silver linings. Mental health & wellbeing in the COVID era. Global Protection Update Feb 2021

GLOBAL PROTECTION CLUSTER
February 2021

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The Global Protection Cluster is committed to ensuring that Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) response is right across all humanitarian sectors. In this update (December 2020 - February 2021), emerging protection trends are identified and key country news is reported. The "IN FOCUS section" is about "Tackling Trauma and Prioritizing Mental Wellbeing to Deliver Protection Outcomes". The situation in Palestine, South Sudan and Ukraine is highlighted.

A report on the social protection response to COVID-19 for persons with disabilities, South Asian Region

BALASUBRAMANIAN, Meenakshi
INTERNATIONAL DISABILITY ALLIANCE (IDA)
CENTRE FOR INCLUSIVE POLICY (CIP)
February 2021

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The purpose of this report is to provide an overview of the social protection response and recovery initiatives by countries in the South Asian Region towards people with disabilities from the perspective of DPOs. The region is characterised by a high population with majority of states falling under low and middle-income status, high levels of economic informality, low social protection coverage, intersectional marginalisation due to gender, ethnicity and caste, and a high concentration of migrant population. The COVID-19 crisis has magnified vulnerabilities in the region and furthered the marginalisation of persons with disabilities
 

Impact of Covid-19 on people with disabilities in Albania

LAHE, Alma
SHEHU, Arlinda
January 2021

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This report aims to assess the level of access that People with Disabilities have to services and institutions during the pandemic period, as well as to analyze their economic and financial needs to cope with the consequences of the crisis caused by COVID-19.

The survey was conducted in the form of a quantitative field survey. 360 individuals participated in the survey: 199, or 55.3%, of the participants were people with disabilities (PWDs) while the remaining 161 persons, or 44.7%, were guardians or parents of a person with disabilities. The survey was conducted in all 6 districts of the country. The questionnaire was designed to gather information on the perceptions, attitudes, behaviors and experiences of people with disabilities during the COVID-19 period.

Education, girl, disability: an equation to solve. Ensuring the right to education for girls with disabilities in the Sahel

HUMANITY & INCLUSION (HI)
January 2021

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Most girls with disabilities do not have the opportunity to access education and to thrive in school. They are exposed to multiple  discrimination owing to their identity as girls and as children with disabilities. Comprehensive measures are needed to ensure their right to inclusive and quality education.

The factsheet builds on the findings of a research conducted by Humanity & Inclusion in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger and conveys messages and recommendations aiming to inspire action and thus improve educational opportunities for girls with disabilities.

Key recommendations so that girls with disabilities are not left behind are made to governments, donors and civil society organisations

Global estimates of the need for rehabilitation based on the Global Burden of Disease study 2019: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2019

CIEZA, Alarcos
CAUSEY, Kate
KAMENOV, Kaloyan
HANSON, Sarah Wulf
CHATTERJI, Somnath
VOS, Theo
December 2020

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Rehabilitation has often been seen as a disability-specific service needed by only few of the population. Despite its individual and societal benefits, rehabilitation has not been prioritised in countries and is under-resourced. Global, regional, and country data for the number of people who would benefit from rehabilitation at least once during the course of their disabling illness or injury is presented

To estimate the need for rehabilitation, data from the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2019 were used to calculate the prevalence and years of life lived with disability (YLDs) of 25 diseases, impairments, or bespoke aggregations of sequelae that were selected as amenable to rehabilitation. All analyses were done at the country level and then aggregated to seven regions: World Bank high-income countries and the six WHO regions (ie, Africa, the Americas, Southeast Asia, Europe, Eastern Mediterranean, and Western Pacific). 

 

VOLUME 396, ISSUE 10267, P2006-2017, DECEMBER 19, 2020
https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)32340-0

Trends in prevalence of blindness and distance and near vision impairment over 30 years: an analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study

GBD 2019 Blindness and Vision Impairment Collaborators
December 2020

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To contribute to the WHO initiative, VISION 2020: The Right to Sight, an assessment of global vision impairment in 2020 and temporal change is needed. This paper aims to extensively update estimates of global vision loss burden, presenting estimates for 2020, temporal change over three decades between 1990–2020, and forecasts for 2050.

A systematic review and meta-analysis of population-based surveys of eye disease from January, 1980, to October, 2018 was carried out. Only studies with samples representative of the population and with clearly defined visual acuity testing protocols were included. Hierarchical models were fitted to estimate 2020 prevalence (with 95% uncertainty intervals [UIs]) of mild vision impairment (presenting visual acuity ≥6/18 and <6/12), moderate and severe vision impairment (<6/18 to 3/60), and blindness (<3/60 or less than 10° visual field around central fixation); and vision impairment from uncorrected presbyopia (presenting near vision <N6 or <N8 at 40 cm where best-corrected distance visual acuity is ≥6/12). We forecast estimates of vision loss up to 2050.

 

https://doi.org/10.1016/ S2214-109X(20)30425-3

Children with disabilities. Ensuring their inclusion in COVID-19 response strategies and evidence generation

UNITED NATIONS CHILDREN'S FUND (UNICEF)
December 2020

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Even before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, children with disabilities were among the most disadvantaged, facing increased exposure to abuse and discrimination and reduced access to services in many parts of the world. Understanding these pre-existing vulnerabilities can help anticipate how the COVID-19 pandemic could sharpen existing inequities and can shed light on where targeted efforts may be required.

The publication below draws on pre-COVID data to highlight how children with disabilities face greater risks in the midst of this pandemic. It documents what has happened to services for children and adults with disabilities across the world and includes examples of what has been done to address disruptions in services. It also discusses the challenges in generating disability-inclusive data during the pandemic.

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.

An overview of assistive technology products and services provided in Malawi

SMITH, Emma M
EBUENYI, Ikenna D
KAFUMBA, Juba
JAMALI-PHIRI, Monica
MACLACHLAN, Malcolm
MUNTHALI, Alister
2020

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Background

Assistive technology is the products and services used by individuals with functional limitations to enable participation in society and realisation of rights afforded by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The Assistive Product List is a comprehensive list of products identified as essential for access through universal health coverage. Key stakeholders, including organisations of persons with disabilities, civil service organisations, academic organisations and government ministries are collaborating to integrate assistive technology into policy and develop a priority assistive products list for Malawi.

 

Objective

To understand the organisational characteristics of, and assistive products provided by, key stakeholders working in AT in Malawi.

 

Study Design

Online survey of representatives from key stakeholder organisations.

 

Methods

We surveyed representatives of key stakeholder organisations to gather information regarding assistive technology product and service provision in Malawi. Responses were analysed using counts for closed-ended questions, and conventional content analysis for open-ended questions.

 

Results

A total of 36 of the 50 APL products were provided by eight organisations. Related services were provided for 36 of the 50 APL products by twelve organisations. Five organisations reported providing both products and services. Products and services are largely funded by donation and provided free to those who require them.

 

Conclusion

A range of organisations in Malawi play a role in assistive product delivery and related services. Coordinated AP delivery and service provision is required at a national level which is sustainable and inclusive, and is based on identified needs of the Malawian population.

International Day of Persons with Disabilities: How disability affects labour market outcomes

INTERNATIONAL LABOUR ORGANISATION (ILO)
STOEVSKA, Valentina
December 2020

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Labour force statistics for people with and without disabilities are presented graphically including: 

  • Unemployment rate by disability status
  • Employment-to-population ratio by disability status
  • Share of employed in paid employment by disability status
  • Share of employed with less than primary education by disability status
  • Employment-to-population ratio by disability status (men and women)

 

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