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Lives turned upside down in COVID-19 times: exploring disabled people's experiences in 5 low-and-middle income countries using narrative interviews

WICKENDEN, Mary
SHAW, Jackie
THOMPSON, Stephen
ROHWERDER, Brigitte
2021

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This article explores COVID-19 related experiences of disabled people in Bangladesh, Kenya, Nigeria, Nepal and Uganda. Narrative interviews generated storied responses, focussing on respondents' priorities, which enabled us to hear what was most significant for them and their families. 143 interviews were conducted online or by phone by 7 local researchers (3 disabled), with appropriate inclusive support. Nearly everyone was interviewed twice to capture the progression of impacts over time. The data was analysed thematically through a virtual participatory approach. An overarching 'subjective' theme of feelings experienced by the participants was labelled 'destabilisation, disorientation and uncertainty'. We also identified 'concrete' or material impacts. People experienced various dilemmas such as choosing between securing food and keeping safe, and tensions between receiving support and feeling increased vulnerability or dependence, with interplay between the emotions of fear, loss and hope. We found both the concept of liminality and grief models productive in understanding the progression of participants' experiences. Disabled people reported the same feelings, difficulties and impacts as others, reported in other literature, but often their pre-existing disadvantages have been exacerbated by the pandemic, including poverty, gender and impairment related stresses and discrimination, inaccessible services or relief, and exclusion from government initiatives.

Consequences of Exclusion: A Situation Report on Organisations of People with Disabilities and COVID-19 in Bangladesh, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe

September 2021

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The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated inequalities and barriers to social inclusion for people with disabilities. These experiences of social exclusion have been feltto an even greater extent by women with disabilities and under-represented groups of people with disabilities, leading to a range of effects on the operations and priorities of OPDs. To address a critical gap in the evidence base, the Disability Inclusion Helpdesk carried out a rapid assessment of the role of OPDs during the pandemic, and how the pandemic has affected OPDs’ operations and priorities.

Reclaiming SRHR of women and girls with disabilities

DAS, Shreshtha
August 2021

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The manual Reclaiming SRHR of Women and Girls with Disabilities was developed as part of ARROW’s initiative, ‘Defending SRHR of Women and Girls with Disabilities’ with inputs and insights incorporated from regional experts from multiple disciplines whose contributions enriched the content of the manual. The manual aims to equip women and girls with disabilities with necessary SRHR information and knowledge to make informed choices free from coercion, violence, discrimination, and abuse. The Manual, therefore, contains detailed Modules on gender, sexuality, disability, rights, and their interlinkages in the context of addressing sexual and gender-based violence against women and girls with disabilities. Through this, it seeks to provide accessible information and knowledge on SRHR to women and girls with disabilities in various contexts, including in the face of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

 

A Training of Trainers (ToT) manual on disability rights, gender and SRHR.
 

Disability Inclusion Helpdesk, July 2021 Evidence digest: disability-inclusive education in focus

SDDirect
July 2021

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Disability Inclusion Helpdesk evidence digest highlights the latest evidence, guidance, and programme learning on inclusive education. Within it you’ll also find the latest evidence, guidance and policy news on a range of other disability inclusion topics including stigma, discrimination, and violence; poverty, social protection, and employment; inclusive health systems; and disability inclusion in humanitarian settings.

Disability and Indigeneity: intersectionality of identity from the experience of Indigenous people at a global level

GILROY, John
UTTJEK, Margaretha
LOVERN, Lavonna
WARD, John
2021

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The authors of this paper have protested, fought, written extensively and represent the broader theoretical foundations of Indigenous and disability research by focusing on their standpoint perspectives informed by their ancestral spirits and knowledge. Based on our knowledge, cultures, and advocacy skills, this paper collectively explores and compares the intersections of Indigeneity and disability as an embodied identity in four countries: USA, Canada, Sweden, and Australia. This is accomplished by beginning with a brief synopsis of colonization to provide context and then examine the consequences of Western assimilation practices, including academic support of the Western status quo. The paper will then turn to the impact of both colonization and academic constructs on Indigenous epistemologies and ideas of self in disability dialogues. Finally, the paper will focus on Indigenous concepts of difference to not only advance Western disability discussions, but also as a way for Western dialogue to overcome its predilection to hierarchical binaries.

COVID-19, gender, and disability checklist: Preventing and addressing gender-based violence against women, girls, and gender non-conforming persons with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic

UN WOMEN
WOMEN ENABLED INTERNATIONAL
June 2021

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This checklist is intended to guide a wide range of States, gender-based violence (GBV) support service providers, and other stakeholders, as well as United Nations Country Teams, providing guidance on pandemic response and recovery efforts on how to prevent and respond to GBV against women, girls, and gender non-conforming persons with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic and other emergencies.

It is also a tool to guide recovery efforts from the COVID-19 pandemic and to ensure that rights at the intersection of gender and disability are respected, protected, and fulfilled as part of that recovery.

Bungoma county disability-inclusive budget tracking

DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES
June 2021

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This briefing presents research that was undertaken as part of Development Initiatives’ work on data to support disability inclusion. It is part of a series of publications that track disability inclusion in county budgets in Kenya. This briefing looks at the inclusivity of Bungoma county budgets towards persons with disabilities between the financial years (FY) 2016–17 and 2020–21. It begins with an overview of the disability prevalence rate in the county, then looks at county investments towards disability inclusion. It concludes by outlining the critical financial gaps in the disability sector and provides actionable recommendations for both the county government and disabled persons organisations (DPOs).

Busia county disability-inclusive budget tracking

DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES
June 2021

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This briefing tracks the inclusivity of Busia county budgets from financial years (FY) 2016–17 to 2020–21 towards persons with disabilities. It begins with an overview of disability prevalence in the county, and then looks at county investments in disability inclusion. It concludes by looking at the critical financial gaps in the disability sector and providing actionable recommendations to be taken up by both the county government and disabled persons organisations (DPOs).

Kakamega county disability-inclusive budget tracking

DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES
June 2021

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This briefing tracks the inclusivity of Kakamega county budgets towards persons with disabilities from financial year (FY) 2016–17 to 2020–21. It begins with an overview of disability prevalence in the county, and then looks at county investments on disability inclusion. It concludes by looking at the critical financial gaps in the disability sector and providing actionable recommendations to be taken up by both the county government and persons with disabilities.

Trans Nzoia county disability-inclusive budget tracking

DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES
June 2021

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This is part of a series of briefings that track the disability inclusivity of county budgets. In this briefing, we present the inclusivity of Trans Nzoia County budgets towards persons with disabilities between financial years (FY) 2016–17 and 2020–21. It should be noted that this briefing has utilised data from only three FYs, as opposed to five as planned, due to the unavailability of budget data. The three FYs with available budget data are FY2017–18, FY2018–19 and FY2020–21. For the two FYs without budget data, we have used projections from the previous years.

Vihiga county disability-inclusive budget tracking

DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES
June 2021

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This briefing tracks the inclusivity of Vihiga county budgets from financial years (FY) 2016–17 to 2020–21 towards persons with disabilities. It begins with an overview of disability prevalence in the county, then looks at county investments in disability inclusion. It concludes by looking at the critical financial gaps in the disability sector and providing actionable recommendations to be taken up by both the county government and disabled persons organisations (DPOs).

Social protection measures for persons with disabilities and their families in response to the COVID-19 crisis: An updated overview of trends June 2021

UNPRPD
INTERNATIONAL LABOUR ORGANISATION (ILO)
June 2021

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An overview of social protection measures announced in response to COVID-19 that have made specific reference to persons with disabilities. Rather than seeking to provide an exhaustive survey of measures, it identifies the main characteristics and trends for social protection responses that specifically sought to support persons with disabilities during the crisis. This brief focuses on specific crisis response measures adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic, acknowledging that persons with disabilities also benefited from access to health care and income support provided through pre-existing social protection schemes and programmes. The document provides an update to an initial analysis in May 2020 (UNPRPD, 2020).

 

This overview draws on a database of social protection measures specifically relating to disability, which is provided as an Annex to this paper. 

How do we support women and girls with disabilities to overcome stigma against them? - Evidence brief

MACTAGGART, Islay
FELIX, Lambert
May 2021

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Stigma refers to the labelling of an individual or group of people in a way that ultimately denies them full social acceptance and equality of opportunity, and is often the root cause of discrimination and exclusion experienced by people with disabilities. The negative implications of stigma are far-reaching and profound, including limiting opportunities for accessing health care, education or livelihoods; affecting quality of life  and wellbeing, and increasing the risk of violence and abuse. Stigma is intersectional, meaning that women and girls with disabilities often experience several layers of discrimination, on account of both their disability and their gender. Reducing stigma experienced by women and girls with disabilities is therefore critical to supporting their full inclusion in society on an equal basis as others.

 

Evidence was reviewed and recomendations are provided.

Disability-related stigma and discrimination in sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia: a systematic literature review

VIRUNDRAKUMAR, Bhavisha
STEPHEN, Kathy
JOLLEY, Emma
SCHMIDT, Elena
May 2021

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This systematic literature review was undertaken to understand the extent, quality and findings of published and unpublished literature on interventions designed to tackle disability-related stigma and discrimination in sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia.

The primary focus of this review was to identify studies that describe the effectiveness of interventions to tackle disability-related stigma and discrimination. The secondary set of objectives focused on understanding the individual, interpersonal, organisational, community and public policy factors that are associated with stigma and discrimination.

Towards zero leprosy. Global leprosy (‎Hansen’s Disease)‎ strategy 2021–2030

WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION (WHO), REGIONAL OFFICE FOR SOUTH-EAST ASIA
April 2021

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The Global Leprosy Strategy 2021–2030 “Towards zero leprosy” was developed through a broad consultative process with all major stakeholders during 2019 and 2020. Valuable inputs were provided by national leprosy programme managers, technical agencies, public health and leprosy experts, funding agencies and persons or members of communities directly affected by leprosy.

The Strategy aims to contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. It is structured along four pillars:

(‎i)‎ implement integrated, country-owned zero leprosy road maps in all endemic countries;
(‎ii)‎ scale up leprosy prevention alongside integrated active case detection;
(‎iii)‎ manage leprosy and its complications and prevent new disability; and
(‎iv)‎ combat stigma and ensure human rights are respected. Interruption of transmission and elimination of disease are at the core of the Strategy

Musculoskeletal impairment among Syrian refugees living in Sultanbeyli, Turkey: prevalence, cause, diagnosis and need for related services and assistive products

BOGGS, Dorothy
ATIJOSAN-AYODELE, Oluwarantim
YONSO, Hisem
et al
April 2021

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Epidemiological data on musculoskeletal impairment (MSI) and related service and assistive product (AP) needs for displaced populations are lacking. This study aimed to estimate the prevalence, aetiology, and specific MSI diagnosis and the need for related services and APs among Syrian refugees living in Sultanbeyli, a district in Istanbul, Turkey.

A population-based survey used probability proportionate to size and compact segment sampling to select 80 clusters (‘street’) of 50 individuals (aged 2+), for total sample size of approximately 4000 participants. An updated version of the Rapid Assessment of MSI tool (RAM) was used to screen all participants using six questions. Any participant who screened positive underwent a standardised examination by a physiotherapist to assess the presence, aetiology, severity and specific diagnosis of MSI and an assessment of need for related services and APs.

 

Conflict and Health volume 15, Article number: 29 (2021)

https://doi.org/10.1186/s13031-021-00362-9

How to talk to kids about disability inclusion

NANYENYA, Godfrey
April 2021

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Godfrey Nanyenya's work as a disability and inclusion specialist, involves community outreaches in the slum communities of Kampala engaging families raising children with disabilities in physiotherapy and inclusive home schooling. He encourages parents to talk to their children about disability as a normal topic. He suggests ways to approach the subject including: 

  • normalise disability
  • be mindful of language
  • keep it value neutral
  • don't shame them for their questions
  • say I don't know
  • point out similarities
  • make it a continuous conversation

Leave no girl with disabilities behind: Ensuring efforts to advance gender equality in education are disability-inclusive.

DIAMOND, Gloria
CASTRES, Pauline
April 2021

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This advocacy brief from the UN Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI) and Leonard Cheshire draws attention to the main barriers to education for girls with disabilities, in the context of major opportunities for advocacy and tangible change in 2021.  The recommendations outlined are targeted at world leaders, governments, ministries, UN agencies and NGOs. They offer a framework for rights-based action and principles towards gender-responsive and inclusive education, to ensure that no girls with disabilities are left behind. 

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