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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.

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.
 

“The Situation has Exposed Persons with Disabilities to Double Edged Pain”: People with Disabilities’ Experiences of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Uganda

WICKENDEN, Mary
ROHWERDER, Brigitte
SHAW, Jackie
THOMPSON, Stephen
WAKOKO, Eric
June 2021

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This qualitative study was undertaken as part of the work of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) funded Inclusion Works programme which aims to improve inclusive employment for people with disabilities in four countries: Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria, Bangladesh. When the COVID-19 pandemic emerged early in 2020 the work of this consortium programme was adapted to focus on pandemic relief and research activities, while some other planned work was not possible.

“This Time of Corona Has Been Hard”: People with Disabilities’ Experiences of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Kenya

ROHWERDER, Brigitte
NJUNGI, Josephine
WICKENDEN, Mary
THOMPSON, Stephen
SHAW, Jackie
June 2021

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The COVID-19 pandemic is deepening pre-existing inequalities. Emerging research suggests that people with disabilities across the world have experienced various rights violations and been disproportionality affected by the health, economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the responses to it. The aim of this research was to explore how people with disabilities, who often are excluded from research, have experienced the evolving COVID-19 pandemic in Kenya. To better understand how it has affected jobseekers with disabilities, in-depth qualitative research was conducted in Kenya as part of the Inclusion Works programme.

“This pandemic brought a lot of sadness”: people with disabilities’ experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria

THOMPSON, Stephen
CHUBA-UZO, Shadrach
ROHWERDER, Brigitte
SHAW, Jackie
WICKENDEN, Mary
June 2021

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This qualitative study was undertaken as part of the work of the FCDO funded Inclusion Works programme which aims to improve inclusive employment for people with disabilities in four countries: Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria, Bangladesh. When the COVID-19 pandemic emerged early in 2020 the work of this consortium programme was adapted to focus on pandemic relief and research activities, while other planned worked was not possible.
The Institute of Development Studies (IDS) led a piece of qualitative research to explore the experiences and perceptions of the pandemic and related lockdowns in each country, using a narrative interview approach, which asks people to tell their stories, following up with some further questions once they have identified their priorities to talk about. 10 people with disabilities who were involved in Inclusion Works in each country were purposively selected to take part, each being invited to have two interviews with an interval of one or two months in between, in order to capture changes in their situation over time. The 10 interviewees had a range of impairments, were gender balanced and were various ages, as well as having differing living and working situations.

“Everything is Totally Uncertain Right Now”: People with Disabilities’ Experiences of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Bangladesh

SHAW, Jackie
AKTER, Fatema
ROHWERDER, Brigitte
WICKENDEN, Mary
THOMPSON, Stephen
June 2021

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The COVID-19 pandemic is deepening pre-existing inequalities. Emerging research suggests that people with disabilities across the world have experienced various rights violations and been disproportionality affected by the health, economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the responses to it. The aim of this research was to explore how people with disabilities, who often are excluded from research, have experienced the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. In order to better understand how it has affected jobseekers with disabilities, in-depth qualitative research was conducted as part of the Inclusion Works programme in Bangladesh.

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.

Persons with disabilities in the context of armed conflict - Submission to the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH
June 2021

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Human Rights Watch provided input to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities for his thematic report to the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly regarding the rights of persons with disabilities in armed conflict.

This submission was based on Human Rights Watch’s research in Afghanistan, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Israel/Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, South Sudan, and Syria. 

 

Six issues were focussed on in particular:

  • At higher risk during fighting
  • Availability of assistive devices
  • Access to basic services
  • Education for children with disabilities
  • Abuse and stigma
  • Mental health impact

EDF-IDA workshop on Using the UN Optional Protocols to defend the rights of women and girls with disabilities

SUAREZ, Natalia
PELAEZ NARVAEZ, Ana
May 2021

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Several international human rights treaties exist to protect their rights, such as the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the UN Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). These Conventions are complemented by agreements called Optional Protocols. They establish individual complaints mechanism for individuals or groups of individuals who have seen their rights violated in their country.

This online workshop organised on the 10th of May, 2021 jointly by the International Disability Alliance and the European Disability Forum informed participants on the role and functioning of the Optional Protocols, as tools to defend the rights of women and girls with disabilities. Speakers included representatives and legal experts from the Officer of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the International Disability Alliance, the International Women’s Right Actions Watch Asia Pacific and Validity Foundation. The workshop was introduced and moderated by Ana Pelaez Narvaez, Vice President of the European Disability Forum and member of the CEDAW Committee.

Joint submission on promoting and protecting the human rights of women and girls in conflict and post-conflict situations

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH
HUMANITY & INCLUSION
INTERNATIONAL DISABILITY ALLIANCE
WOMEN ENABLED INTERNATIONAL
WOMEN'S REFUGEE COMMISSION
April 2021

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Joint submission on promoting and protecting the human rights of women and girls in conflict and post-conflict situations on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of Security Council resolution 1325 by Humanity & Inclusion, Human Rights Watch, International Disability Alliance, Women Enabled International and the Women’s Refugee Commission.

This submission sets out information and recommendations on promoting and protecting the human rights of women and girls with disabilities in conflict and post-conflict situations. Women and girls with disabilities are disproportionately impacted by armed conflicts, yet remain underreported and excluded from peace and security processes. Women and girls with disabilities account for nearly one-fifth of all women and girls worldwide and face multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination based on their gender, as well as their disability. Sustainable peace, recovery and inclusive humanitarian action requires the full, equal and meaningful participation of diverse women, including women and girls with disabilities. The Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights, in its report, should request member states, the Human Rights Council and its mechanisms, as well as other stakeholders to ensure that monitoring and reporting on the experiences of women and girls in conflicts includes the specific experiences of women and girls with disabilities, and ensure their meaningful participation in conflict prevention, response, peacekeeping and peacebuilding.

Malawian mothers’ experiences of raising children living with albinism: A qualitative descriptive study

LIKUMBO, Naomi
DE VILLIERS, Tania
KYRIACOS, Una
2021

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Background: Albinism in humans is characterised by a reduced amount of pigment (melanin) present in the skin, hair follicles and the eye; approximately 7000–10 000 Malawians of all ages are affected. Children with these features face extreme forms of human rights abuses, even death.

 

Objectives: This study aims to describe Malawian mothers’ experiences, perceptions and understanding of raising children with albinism (CWA).

 

Methods: The study was conducted in 2018 using a qualitative descriptive design, with purposive sampling and voluntary participation. Mothers, 18 years and older, who had given birth to a CWA and who attended the dermatology clinic of a local public hospital participated. An interview guide used during standardised, open-ended interviews was translated from English to Chichewa using forward and backward translation. Interviews were conducted in Chichewa, audio recorded, transcribed and forward and back translated from English to Chichewa. Thematic data analysis was employed.

 

Results: The mean age of participants (N = 10) was 33 years; two had albinism. Emerging themes confirmed the existence of myths and stereotypes regarding albinism but from the mothers’ perspectives. Mothers reported: (1) some experiences of emotional pain, initially, but also love and acceptance of their children, despite adverse reactions of others; (2) their experiences of stigmatisation of their children and themselves, and of intended harm to their children, and (3) their own lack of knowledge and understanding of albinism.

 

Conclusion: In our limited study, mothers’ self-reported experiences of raising CWA in Malawi highlight the need for educational programmes on albinism at national level, particularly for families with a CWA, health professionals and educators.

A National Survey of the Social and Emotional Differences Reported by Adults with Disability in Ireland Compared to the General Population

McCONKEY, Roy
2021

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The disadvantages experienced by adult persons with disabilities are well documented. However, limited evidence is available on the extent of differences in comparison with the non- disabled population. In this study, selected indicators of social status and mental wellbeing derived from past research, were used with national samples of adult persons in Ireland with a disability (n = 440) and without a disability (n = 880) recruited through household quota sampling. In addition, comparisons were drawn with equivalent data derived from a contemporaneous national census. Although many of the differences were statistically significant, the effect sizes were mostly medium to low. Moreover, when the inter-relationships among the various indicators was taken into account using Discriminant Analysis, persons with disabilities were less likely to be employed; they reported lower levels of social engagement and had poorer emotional wellbeing. They were also older, more likely to be single and have no children. The study illustrates the potential of using comparative data to monitor the impact of national actions taken to reduce the inequalities experienced by persons with disability as well as highlighting the arenas into which professional supports need to be focused.

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

Disabled children and work: An overview of a neglected topic with a specific focus on Ghana

WICKENDEN, Mary
February 2021

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This paper provides an overview of issues related to disabled children and work.

This is a very unexplored topic and the literature is scant, so the paper first provides an overview of some key relevant background information on: disability globally and in Ghana, disability and employment, disabled children and relevant human rights approaches – the UNCRC and UNCRPD. Next examples of research on disabled children and work are presented and lastly some suggested hypotheses and possible research questions are proposed

 

ACHA Working Paper 7
DOI: 10.19088/ACHA.2021.002

Reducing albinism related stigma in Tanzania: an exploration of the impact of radio drama and radio interview

DE GROOT, T M M
VELDMAN, M
JACQUET, W
PETERS, R M H
VANWING, T
MEURS, P
2021

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Reducing stigma is key to improving the wellbeing of people with albinism in Tanzania. This study aimed to obtain more insight into the effects of two radio interventions with regard to albinism-related stigma: a radio drama and a radio interview. Assessment of the radio interventions was based on two attitude measurement instruments (The Albinism Explanatory Model Interview Catalogue Community Stigma Scale and the Albinism Social Distance Scale), an entertainment scale, and two informal (group) interviews. In total, 111 community members participated in the assessment prior to the radio drama, and 65 after. In the case of the radio interview, 123 community members participated in the assessment prior to the radio show, and 77 after. Following the radio drama, a significant reduction was found in terms of community stigma, and a reduction in social distance was found after both interventions. The entertainment score for both interventions was high, but significantly higher for the radio drama. The respondents indicated that they had gained more understanding of albinism as a result of the interventions, and were positive about this type of education. The current study shows that a radio show in which the listener interacts with someone with albinism can contribute to a reduction in stigma, and demonstrates that different types of radio intervention can have different outcomes.

Disability Inclusion and Global Development: A Preliminary Analysis of the United Nations Partnership on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities programme within the context of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Sustainable

WESCOTT, H N
MACLACHLAN, M
MANNAN, H
2021

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Purpose: This paper provides a preliminary snapshot of the proposed priorities approved by the United Nations programme designated to support the progressive realisation of the CRPD, the United Nations Partnership on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNPRPD) outlined by specific Convention Articles and, more broadly, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

 

Method:A content analysis of project proposal summaries approved for funding by the UNPRPD was conducted against the CRPD and SDGs. A matrix of data was produced to draw links between proposed objectives and established international frameworks guiding global development.

 

Results:This analysis provides two sets of information. First, a look at the distribution of rights identified in the initial project proposals and accepted by the UNPRPD, establishing a baseline of priorities and outstanding need. Second, it identifies issues that need to be addressed to ensure the advancement of all rights outlined in the CRPD and equitable achievement of the SDGs.

 

Conclusion and Implications:Disability inclusion is necessary to achieve the SDGs in an equitable manner by 2030, as well as implement the CRPD. The UNPRPD supports a diverse range of projects spanning many of the Convention Articles and global goals; however, full participation and scope of disability inclusion requires programming in all areas of both instruments, and this has not yet been fully integrated in the UNPRPD funded project proposals.

 

Limitations: This study was limited to the available UNPRPD project proposal summaries that were successful, and did not include all the proposals submitted for consideration. The proposals accepted for funding give insights into the disability inclusive development priorities chosen for project implementation by UN agencies.

International Summit on Legal Professionals with Disabilities

INDIAN LAW SOCIETY
OXFORD HUMAN RIGHTS HUB
HARVARD LAW SCHOOL PROJECT ON DISABILITY
CENTRE FOR DISABILITY STUDIES, UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS
December 2020

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3-day Summit with three panel discussions by disabled legal professionals to foster a well-considered dialogue on how we can break down the structural and attitudinal barriers that prevent disabled legal professionals from leading lives of equal productivity and dignity as their able-bodied counterparts.

The themes for the days were: Day 1 - Academicians; Day 2 - Lawyers; Day 3 - Judges 

Disability employment law briefing - Bangladesh

BROWN, Simon
SCOTT-PARKER, Susan
2020

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This document provides information on the current legal requirements regarding people with disabilities in the workplace. It touches upon areas such as reasonable accommodations and discrimination laws as well as other key legislation.

Disability employment law briefing - Kenya

BROWN, Simon
SCOTT-PARKER, Susan
2020

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This document provides information on the current legal requirements regarding people with disabilities in the workplace. It touches upon areas such as reasonable accommodations and discrimination laws as well as other key legislation.

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