This guidance has been produced for UNICEF’s East Asia and the Pacific Regional Office and UNICEF Australia. This document is intended for frontline workers, including UNICEF partners, health personnel, social workers, teachers, help line staff and community volunteers engaged in the COVID-19 response. It is recommended that this document is read in conjunction with the Minimum Care Package, CBM’s Disability Inclusion in COVID-19 Preparedness and Response guidance note, UNICEF’s EAPR Child Protection Emergency Preparedness and Response to COVID-19 and the global Technical Note: Protection of Children during the Coronavirus Pandemic
In March and April 2020, Women Enabled International (WEI) conducted an online qualitative survey of issues impacting women, girls, non-binary, trans, and gender non-conforming (TGNC) persons with disabilities, which received 100 responses from around the world. These individuals identified that COVID-19 had had a significant impact on their ability to meet basic needs, achieve an adequate standard of living, and live independently, including because of issues related to employment and income, access to support services and assistive devices, access to public transportation, and access to assistance from friends, family, and the public. This policy brief will discuss some of the findings from this survey to illustrate how the pandemic worsens existing realities of marginalised communities and will provide recommendation to stakeholders, in particular UN agencies and UN Country Teams and their partners, on how to mitigate adverse effects of pre-existing inequalities faced by women, girls and TGNC persons with disabilities, including on how to engage with networks and organizations as active agents in the process of ‘building back.’
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 COVID-19 pandemic has deeply impacted leprosy control and prevention and the lives of persons affected by the disease.
Seven consultative calls were carried out with persons affected individuals and organizations from April – May 2020, speaking with over 100 individuals from more than 25 organizations from 22 different countries. The first six calls were conducted based on geographical region, including: Latin America, Africa, Asia, and the Pacific. The final call was for women affected by leprosy.
The following issues were raised on a consistent basis, across geographies, as major concerns for persons affected during the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Access to health care
- Access to fundamental goods
- Access to government support
- Access to stable livelihoods
- Access to information about COVID-19
- Intersecting vulnerabilities
This collection and review of evidence aims to illustrate how the COVID-19 crisis triggers disproportionate risks and barriers for men, women, boys and girls with disabilities living in humanitarian settings. It highlights recommendations for humanitarian actors, to enhance inclusive action, aligned with existing guidance and learnings on disability inclusion. It is based on evidence, including testimonies, collected by HI programs in 19 countries of intervention. Special efforts were made to reflect the voices of persons with different types of disabilities, genders and ages, residing in different geographical areas and living circumstances, including refugee and internally displaced persons’ settlements and host communities.
Evidence has been collected through primary data collection among HI teams and partners, working in countries impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in April/May 2020. Data was extracted from assessments conducted by HI and partners in Bangladesh, Egypt, Haïti, Indonesia, Philippines, Jordan, Lebanon, Somaliland and Togo. Testimonies from affected communities, staff and partners were collected in Kenya, Myanmar, Pakistan, Palestine, Philippines, Somaliland, South Sudan, Rwanda, Thailand, Uganda and Yemen.
A brief overview of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Guidelines on inclusion of persons with disabilities in humanitarian action is given. Key points of the Humanitarian Policy Group (HPG) roundtable meeting (Mar 2020) are summarised, along with their implications for practice during the Covid-19 response. These are: accessible formats; learning and evidence; tools; training; coordination and partnerships; strategies for organisational change and accountability.
Practical guidance is provided for development partners to develop disability inclusive responses to the COVID-19 pandemic during the emergency phase of the COVID19 pandemic. In the immediate- and long-term response to the pandemic, it is vital that all development partners take steps to strengthen health systems that are disability-inclusive.
Topics include: intersectionality; assessing gaps and needs; engaging people with disabilities and DPO's; accessible and inclusive communications; healthcare and essential services; livelihoods and social protection; education; independent living and housing; and evidence generation.
This webinar outlines digital accessibility and where to start. It is based on a benchmark report carried out in the Netherlands. It discusses the rational of how easy it for someone with an access needs to use a particular online product.
Further, looks at the requirements of WCAG 2.1 at level AA. And discusses what does digital accessibility actually mean and how do you know which guidelines you should meet.
Alastair Campbell the Director of Accessibility at Nomensa who was jointly responsible for writing the International Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) guidelines.
The importance of ensuring persons with disabilities are not excluded as part of COVID-19 responses is explored.
Lessons learnt from the 2014-2017 Ebola outbreak in Liberia are discussed highlighting access to information, access to healthcare and the social impact. Research in Liberia combined surveys and interviews with people from households with a disabled person as well as those without, and included responses from 560 persons living in areas that had ‘many’ or ‘few’ cases of Ebola.
There is currently very limited data and evidence on the impacts of COVID-19 on people with disabilities and pre-existing health conditions, with no disability-disaggregated data on mortality rates available in the public sphere. However, reports from the media, disability advocates and disabled peoples’ organisations (DPOs) point to several emerging impacts, including primary and secondary impacts including on health, education, food security and livelihoods. Most of the available data is from high income countries (HICs) though reports from low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are likely to emerge. Evidence was gathered by a rapid desk based review. Gaps are identified.
The section concerned with lessons drawn from similar epidemics draws heavily on lessons learned from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014-2016, and touches on lessons from the Zika outbreak in 2015-2016 and the SARS pandemic in the early 2000s.10 It also touches briefly on SARS, MERS and H1N1 (swine flu).
Primary and secondary impacts of COVID-19 on people with disabilities are reviewed.
People with disabilities are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 not only because it can exacerbate underlying medical conditions, but because of attitudinal, environmental and institutional barriers to their participation in and benefit from the pandemic response. For example, inaccessible public health messaging and healthcare facilities, and stigma and discrimination.
Humanity & Inclusion inclusive governance approach fits in with the governments (national, regional and local) context, governments are in charge of the response to the crisis. In these types of contexts, humanitarian actors do not have the leadership and mandate to make decisions. Governments are creating policies in response to Covid-19 and must include persons with disabilities as equal citizens within their response frameworks.
Key messages :
- DO NO HARM: Protect yourself and your family, staff, partners and of course the beneficiaries.
- Work closely with other stakeholders and ensure coordination in the response is happening at all levels
- Follow HI’s guidelines and the guidance from the national and local authorities regarding COVID 19 at all times.
English pages 1-7 and français ci-dessous pages 7-13.
On 22 April, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), PHAP, and the Global Protection Cluster (GPC) organized the first of a series of webinars on access and humanitarian protection. The event provided an overview of the key terms, concepts, interlinkages, and dilemmas of protection and access in armed conflict, disaster, and health emergencies. What are the main protection concerns particular to hard-to-reach areas? What challenges do protection actors face in terms of access? Are maintaining access and protection priorities at cross purposes or can they help reinforce each other? This introduction was followed by a discussion with protection experts, exploring the ways in which existing lessons from protection programming in hard-to-reach areas can be applied to protection operations in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The webinar recording and it's transcript are available
Accessibility and technology experts reviewed the impact of emerging technologies related to artificial Intelligence, virtual assistants, augmented reality, robotics, smart environments, etc. on the lives of persons with disabilities
People with deafblindness are concerned about having a barrier to access information about the COVID-19 pandemic. Geir Jensen, a man with deafblindness and the President of the World Federation of the Deafblind (WFDB) living in Norway, shares the challenges that he faces. Despite Norway having inclusive policies and high-quality support services for deafblind persons, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused many challenges for them
This is one story as part of the Voices of People with Disabilities during COVID19 Outbreak series
This document brings together the technical advice of the disability team at the Gender, Equality and Diversity branch (GED) in the ILO. The information in this document is pragmatic guidance, rather than statement of institutional position. ILO positions can be found in the statements and standards that are linked to throughout
Everyday barriers that Afghan women and girls with disabilities face are described. Decades of conflict have decimated government institutions and development efforts have failed to reach many communities most in need. Obtaining access to health care, education, and employment, along with other basic rights, is particularly difficult for Afghan women and girls with disabilities, who face both gender discrimination and stigma and barriers associated with their disability.
This report is based primarily on research by Human Rights Watch researchers from April 2018 through January 2020 in Kabul, Mazar-e Sharif, and Herat, Afghanistan. 23 interviews with women with disabilities and 3 interviews with family members of women and girls with disabilities were conducted. 14 healthcare and education professionals were interviewed, including representatives from the United Nations and international and local nongovernmental organizations providing services to persons with disabilities in Afghanistan
In order to explore the experiences of persons with physical disabilities accessing and using rehabilitation services in Sierra Leone, interviews with 38 individuals with differing physical disabilities were carried out in three locations across Sierra Leone (Freetown, Bo and Makeni).
The analysis resulted in six themes: The initial and ongoing need for rehabilitation throughout life; Challenges with the cost of rehabilitation and transportation to reach rehabilitation services; Varied experiences with rehabilitation staff; Coming to terms with disability and facing stigma; The struggles without and opportunities with rehabilitation services; Limited knowledge and availability of rehabilitation services.
Addressing barriers to affordability, access, and availability of rehabilitation and addressing knowledge gaps, attitudinal barriers and stigma towards rehabilitation and persons with disability are discussed.
Disability and Rehabilitation, April 2020
Recommendations to ensure persons with disabilities living in cities are not disproportionately harmed during the COVID-19 crisis are given. It is suggested that the COVID-19 pandemic be viewed as an opportunity for significant urban health reforms.
J Urban Health (2020) 97:336–341
Extra efforts required by governments to protect the rights of people with disabilities in the COVID-19 pandemic are highlighted particularly in areas of information, institutions, self isolation, education and refugee camps.
Schools perform many functions outside of education. They provide a safe haven, a social arena, and, for families with children with special needs, they offer vital one-to-one support. Online learning, by comparison, is simply not up to the task. So what about their right to an education?
Source e-bulletin on Disability and Inclusion