This document make specific recommendations on support and protection to be provided to persons with disabilities during the COVID-19 response, and to ensure that appropriate measures are in place to maintain their active participation as well as to avoid discrimination at all levels against them
The aim of this study was to explore the experiences of older people with disabilities across a range of humanitarian settings, considering:
- whether older people with disabilities have additional needs and challenges accessing humanitarian assistance and protection
- what factors facilitate or limit access by older people with disabilities to humanitarian assistance and protection
- to what extent is humanitarian response inclusive of older people with disabilities
A systematic literature review of published studies was conducted. Key online humanitarian guidelines were explored to review how far they explicitly address older people with disabilities. Data from six population-based disability surveys comparing the living situation of older people with and without disabilities were analysed. These included databases from two crises-affected populations in Haiti (post-earthquake) and Palestine. Data from four non-humanitarian settings was also reviewed to explore more broadly the situation for older people with disabilities – India, Guatemala, Cameroon and Nepal. Interviews were held with older people with disabilities, members of their families and local key informants in two conflict-affected populations in Ndutu and Mtendeli refugee camps in Western Tanzania, and Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Eastern Ukraine to find out about their experiences. Staff of five international agencies working in humanitarian response were also interviewed.
Findings highlight particular issues facing older people with disabilities in humanitarian crises: more risk escaping from danger; barriers to accessing social protection and work; barriers to accessing health and rehabilitation services; barriers to accessing food and other essentials; unsuitable housing and poor living conditions; insecurity and discrimination; threats to dignity and independence; social isolation and loneliness; risks to mental health; and missing from humanitarian response.
A table brings together the findings from the different components of the research to show the needs, risks, barriers and enablers for older people with disabilities identified in the research. Recommendations are provided to humanitarian donors, policy makers and practitioners
This report synthesises current evidence on the policy responses which can help bring down the common barriers faced by disabled children in gaining a quality education, across seven inter-dependent strategies – from the family, local communities and national government, through to the international community.
The strategies are: create appropriate legislative frameworks, and set out ambitious national plans for inclusion; provide the capacity, resources and leadership to implement ambitious national plans on inclusion; improve data on disability and education, and build accountability for action; make schools and classrooms accessible and relevant for all; ensure there are enough appropriately trained teachers for all; challenge attitudes which reinforce and sustain discrimination; create an enabling environment to support inclusive education, including through cross-sectoral policies and strategies that reduce exclusion.
Actions to be taken by national governments to achieve these strategies are presented.
Case studies in India, Italy, Ethopia, Bolivia, Bangladesh, Mozambique, Gambia, Burkino Faso and Palestine are provided.
Source e-bulletin on Disability and Inclusion