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A Global Agenda for Inclusive Recovery: Ensuring People with Intellectual Disabilities and Families are Included in a Post-COVID World

Inclusion International
June 2021

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This report documents the experience of exclusion of people with intellectual disabilities and their families during the COVID-19 pandemic. These experiences reveal pre-existing structural inequalities that affected the lives of people with intellectual disabilities and their families before COVID-19, during the pandemic, and beyond, and this report raises up the voices of those most excluded in a time of global crisis and demands an inclusive COVID-19 recovery.

 

This report includes the experiences of people with intellectual disabilities and families across eight different issue areas. Across these themes, we examined how and why people with intellectual disabilities were left out and excluded in pandemic responses, what pre-existing conditions and inequalities contributed to their vulnerability and exclusion, and how future policy structures could begin to address both this immediate and systemic exclusion.

 

Together, these experiences and policy solutions form our global agenda for inclusive COVID-19 recovery, an action plan to ensure that government efforts to ‘build back better’ are inclusive of people with intellectual disabilities and their families.

Disability-inclusive child safeguarding guidelines

WATTERS, Lauren
ORSANDER, Martina
May 2021

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Able Child Africa and Save the Children partnered to create the first international Disability-inclusive child safeguarding guidelines. These guidelines provide advice on how to plan for disability-inclusive child safeguarding, with practical solutions for organisations and practitioners working across development and humanitarian sectors on how to include children with disabilities in each step of the process.

For ease of reading, mini-read versions of the guidelines have also been developed. Part 1 outlines practical guidance for organisations. Part 2 outlines practical guidance for practitioners. For a full glossary and resource list, please refer to the full guidelines.

What progress has been made to operationalise the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (UNCRPD) framework to promote inclusive employment? - Evidence Brief

LAMBERT, Felix
May 2021

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Employment contributes to well-being and dignity. Additionally, it can break the vicious cycle of poverty and the resulting negative mental health. However, nearly two-thirds of persons with disabilities aged 15 years and over are unemployed in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The ratio of persons with disabilities in employment compared to the general population in employment is almost half. Furthermore, among people with disabilities who are employed, two-thirds continue to experience workplace barriers. Inequality and discrimination in employment deprive persons with disabilities of their rights. Goal 8 in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development explicitly calls for “promoting sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.” The United Nations’ ‘Disability and Development’ report highlights the international frameworks relevant to optimize opportunities for persons with disabilities to participate in employment, to achieve Goal 8.  This brief will provide an overview of the available literature on LMICs’ efforts to promote inclusive employment underpinned by the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (UNCRPD) framework.

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.

First Philippine workplace inclusion forum

PFIP - Philippine Financial and Inter-Industry Pride
J P Morgan Chase and Co
Baker McKenzie
April 2021

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Breakout Sessions were:

Technology for Inclusion

Business Continuity, Resiliency and Inclusivity

Hiring for Diversity and Inclusion

The Language of Inclusion

Combatting the costs of exclusion for children with disabilities and their families

MONT, Daniel
UNICEF
March 2021

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Compared with other children, children with disabilities are less likely to receive an education, less likely to be employed as adults, more likely to be victims of violence, less likely to start their own families and participate in community events, and more likely to live in poverty. 

The exclusion of children with disabilities affects not only them, but imposes costs on the whole community. If these children lack the opportunity to be productive, society loses out on what they could have produced.  The barriers faced by people with disabilities can also create more responsibilities for their family members, which can limit their opportunities to work or get an education.

Moreover, the impact of exclusion extends beyond the economic cost. If people with disabilities are absent from public discourse, the community cannot benefit from their ideas. If they are excluded from political participation, the government cannot truly represent the interests of all citizens. 

A growing body of research suggests that the costs of exclusion are high. Fortunately, evidence also demonstrates that there are effective ways to ameliorate these costs. A strong case can be made for the social and economic benefits of inclusion. This paper is an effort to begin making that case.

 

Persons with disabilities and their representative organisations in Iraq

March 2021

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Iraq has one of the largest populations of persons with disabilities in the world. Despite this, there has been little consultation among persons with disabilities and their representative groups by government and humanitarian and development agencies. Persons with disabilities and their representative organisations in Iraq: Barriers, challenges and priorities aims to improve the understanding of the barriers experienced by persons with disabilities, including the key challenges and priorities of their rep­resentative organizations, in order to inform humanitarian and development programming. The report is based on interviews conducted with 81 representatives of 53 Organiza­tions of persons with disabilities across 18 governorates in Iraq.

Persons with disabilities and their representative organisations in Iraq

INTERNATIONAL ORGANISATION FOR MIGRATION (IOM) IRAQ
March 2021

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Iraq has one of the largest populations of persons with disabilities in the world. Despite this, there has been little consultation among persons with disabilities and their representative groups by government and humanitarian and development agencies. Persons with disabilities and their representative organisations in Iraq: Barriers, challenges and priorities aims to improve the understanding of the barriers experienced by persons with disabilities, including the key challenges and priorities of their rep­resentative organizations, in order to inform humanitarian and development programming. The report is based on interviews conducted with 81 representatives of 53 Organiza­tions of persons with disabilities across 18 governorates in Iraq.

Psychosocial Consequences of COVID-19 on Persons with Visual Impairments

NAYAR, Mahima
JUVVA, Srilatha
LAKSHMAN, Chitra
2021

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The ongoing pandemic situation has disrupted lives globally. These disruptions are embodied in gender, social location, ethnicity and in the body. Public health facilities, accessibility of urban infrastructure, support services for persons with disability, educational accessibility in cities prior to the pandemic have influenced the manner in which disabled people are able to adapt to the current situation. This paper presents the experiences of young people living with visual impairments who reside in an urban low-income community in India. It explores the unique challenges such as the further reduction in accessibility to health and educational facilities that they are facing and the manner in which their carefully structured everyday lives have changed. The narratives also describe the manner in which they are coping with the public health disaster in addition to preparing for the new ‘norms’ that people living with visual impairments are required to navigate as an outcome of the pandemic. The paper gives voice to their needs and requirements in this situation, and in turn, aims to inform policy responses through first person accounts. 

COVID-19 and State Responses in Pakistan’s Policy towards Persons with Disabilities

ORAKZAI, Saira Bano
2021

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The outbreak of COVID-19 has initiated debate in the world about the response mechanism towards different communities in society. Pandemics have a long history in human societies, changing not only human behavior but also world politics. The Russian flu of 1889, the Spanish flu of 1918, the polio pandemic of 1949, H2N2 virus, 1956, HIV/AIDS 1981, Swine flu 2001, SARS 2002 among others have caused millions of deaths in contemporary recorded history. This paper examines Pakistan’s response mechanisms for persons with disabilities through an analysis of relevant policy documents, UN guidelines and content analysis of key speeches by the Prime Minister Imran Khan, interviews and initiatives taken by the government. The paper concludes that in the absence of any definitive policy for persons with disabilities during COVID19, there has been a general ignorance and apathy towards the way persons with disabilities were given care or in dealing with them during the lockdown situation. As the COVID-19 second wave started in different parts of the world, it is time for the government to take substantive measures to ease problems faced by persons with disabilities. 

Comprehensive support for pupils at risk of school failure in inclusive education: theory and school practice in the Czech Republic

SLOWÍK, Josef
GAŽÁKOVÁ, Eva
HOLEČEK, Václav
ZACHOVÁ, Markéta
2021

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The paper presents possibilities of comprehensive use of support tools for pupils at risk of school failure in the Czech primary schools practice in order to support the implementation of inclusive education. The research data obtained during the project implemented in the Pilsen region in period of 2016–2019 brought the results of assessment of new support tools that are not yet systemically introduced in the Czech educational system and commonly available for all schools, although these instruments seem to be very effective or even necessary for quality inclusive education. The most important new tools include the position of inclusion coordinator in schools, strengthening the counselling services available directly in schools, as well as new strategies for promotion of cooperation between the schools, families, and social services – including some specific techniques, such as parenting workshops on child support in education, case conferences with child’s participation or seminars for parents and teachers on collaboration with social services. However, the exploitation of the results of this research and assessment will depend largely on political decisions at both local and governmental levels.

Views and Experiences of People with Intellectual Disabilities to Improve Access to Assistive Technology: Perspectives from India

BOOT, F H
GHOSH, R
DINSMORE, J G
MACLACHLAN, M
2021

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Purpose: People with intellectual disabilities are deeply affected by health inequity, which is also reflected in their access to and use of assistive technology (AT). Including the perspectives of adults with intellectual disabilities and their caregivers, together with the views of local health professionals, suppliers of AT and policy-makers, this paper aims to provide an overview of factors influencing access to AT and its use by people with intellectual disabilities in Bangalore, a southern region of India.

 

Method: Face-to-face interviews were conducted with 15 adults with intellectual disabilities (ranging from mild to profound) and their caregivers, and with 16 providers of AT. This helped to gain insight into the current use, needs, knowledge, awareness, access, customisation, funding, follow-up, social inclusion, stigma and policies around AT and intellectual disability.

 

Results: Access to AT was facilitated by community fieldworkers and services to reach out and identify people with intellectual disabilities. Important barriers were stigma, and lack of knowledge and awareness among parents. Factorsrelated to continued use were the substantial dependence on the care system to use AT, and the importance of AT training and instructions for the user and the care system.

 

Conclusion and Implications: The barriers and facilitators related to AT for people with intellectual disabilities differ from other populations in need. The findings of this study can be used to inform and adjust country policies and frameworks whose aim is to improve access to AT and enhance the participation of people with intellectual disabilities within their communities.

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.

Academic Outcomes and Coping Mechanisms of Children using Cochlear Implants in Mainstream Schools in Kerala, India

GEORGE, A
JOY, J M
SREEKUMAR, S
2021

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Purpose: The aim of the present study was to understand the academic outcomes of children using cochlear implants in mainstream schools in Kerala, India and to explore the compensatory strategies used by them to overcome the difficultiesfaced in classrooms.

 

Method: Thirty-one children using cochlear implants who were attending first and second grades in mainstream schools, and their parents and teachers participated in the study. Teachers were asked to rate a questionnaire, “Teachers’ Perceptions of Academic Outcomes”, which consisted of five sections – oral comprehension, oral expression, reading, writing and mathematics. The performance of the children using cochlear implants was compared with the performance of typically hearing children in the class. The grades obtained in the previous examination were also used for the comparison. Information was collected regarding difficulties faced by the children inside the classroom and their strategies to overcome the challenges.

 

Results: The class teachers rated the performance of 71 % of these children as ‘above average’. Though the academic outcomes were found to be good on the questionnaire and classroom tests, most of the children with cochlear implantsfaced various difficulties and had used different compensatory strategies to give their optimum performance in the classroom.

 

Conclusion: The study emphasizes the importance of having mid- and long-term follow-ups with children using cochlear implants, even after mainstreaming. It is necessary to orient and train teachers about the needs of these children and to implement support strategies in mainstream schools.

Disability inclusion annual report 2020

UNITED NATIONS RELIEF AND WORKS AGENCY (UNRWA)
December 2020

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The number of Palestine refugees registered by UNRWA recently grew to 5.7 million (from 5.5 million in 2019) in all its five field of operations in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Gaza and the West Bank. Among them are Palestine refugees with disabilities, who have long-term impairments, which in interactions with attitudinal, institutional, and environmental barriers prevent their full and effective participation on an equal basis with others in society. Persons with disabilities constitute an estimated 15 per cent of the global population1, and may constitute a higher percentage in humanitarian contexts, such as Syria, the West Bank and Gaza, in particular, which are UNRWA fields of operations.

 

The main actions undertaken in 2020 discussed in the report are:

  • targeted and disability-specific services for persons with disabilities
  • disability inclusion through programmes
  • inter-agency coordination
  • international protection advocacy

People with Physical Disabilities playing Light Volleyball: A Qualitative Study in Hong Kong

Leung, Ka Man
Chu, William
Wong, Ming-Yu
2020

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Purpose: This study aimed at understanding the perceptions of people with physical disabilities regarding playing Light Volleyball (LVB), identifying the possible constraints and risks they might face while playing, and providing their suggestions for fine-tuning the Light Volleyball intervention programmes.

 

Method: Four focus group interviews were conducted with 17 participants who joined the Light Volleyball trial programme. The participants were 11 males and 6 females, with an average age of 53.5 years (SD=11.83 years). People with poliomyelitis (n = 15), spinal cord injury (n = 1), hearing impairment (n = 1) were included.

 

Results: Participants indicated improved reactivity and coordination, cooperation in team, happiness, and novelty in general as positive outcomes while playing Light Volleyball. They preferred to play in the seated position (i.e., sitting light volleyball - SLVB), and with simpler rules. They believed that their ability to play Light Volleyball was subject to their body constraints.

 

Conclusion: Sitting Light Volleyball can be one of the new physical activity options for future sport promotion among people with physical disabilities in the community. The effectiveness of playing Sitting Light Volleyball in enhancing health among people with physical disabilities needs to be studied in future.

2020 Harkin International Disability Employment Summit. Realising the value of inclusion

THE HARKIN INSTITUTE
December 2020

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The 2020 Harkin Summit will explore the value of disability inclusion, particularly for businesses and employers. The challenges and opportunities before us today are clear. We must immediately build back the jobs that were lost or put at risk during the COVID-19 pandemic. As we look to the future, we must permanently fix the system so that disability inclusion moves from an aspirational goal to one that is an accepted and valued component of the business strategy.

This year, The Harkin Institute is proud to partner in offering this Summit with Caroline Casey and her organization, The Valuable 500, a business-to-business initiative catalyzing the influence of large private sector corporations in national and international markets.

Mixed-Methods Programme Evaluation of Disability Equality Training (DET) in Mongolia

Higashida, Masateru
Gereltuya, Ganbayar
Altanzul, Gantaikhuu
2020

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Purpose: An evaluation of a disability equality training (DET) programme, based on the social model of disability, was conducted to explore the changes in the participants’ attitudes and behaviours in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

 

Methods: This study is composed of two parts. First, the participants’ attitude changes during DET sessions were examined through a descriptive quantitative and qualitative analysis of questionnaires and related documents. Second, thebehavioural changes at the organisational and individual levels, the impact on society, and related factors were explored by quantitative and qualitative analysis of good practice cases: 39 participants were selected through purposive sampling and semi-structured interviews were conducted.

 

Results: It was found that most participants adopted the social model perspective within these sessions. A qualitative content analysis of the good practice cases also found that the majority of participants attempted to change their social environments after the sessions. Thematic analysis identified promotional factors, such as within-organisation dynamics and compatibility and barriers at the individual and organisational levels, which were associated with participants’ behaviours after DET sessions.

 

Conclusion: The implications of these findings are discussed in connection with the strategic implementation of DET to promote disability-inclusive development. Future studies should examine the effectiveness of a strategy by considering the factors identified in this study and by using a reliable sample in various settings where DET sessions are conducted.

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