During the COVID-19 pandemic, schools around the world experience extraordinary times and as education moves online, those who have historically faced marginalisation find themselves facing new challenges to access education. The situation is disproportionately affecting those within marginalised communities in India and across the globe. In education, these disadvantages are amplified for learners with disabilities belonging to low socio-economic backgrounds. Lessons to be learned from schools that are incorporating the principles of inclusion and social justice while approaching these challenges are highlighted.
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.
The Persons with Specific Needs (PSN) sub working group is a collective of over 20 organisations including UN agencies, NGOs, Disabled Peoples Organizations (DPOs), and Government (Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development and Office of the Prime Minister) which regularly meets within the Uganda refugee coordination model to discuss issues relevant to refugees with specific needs, with a particular focus on persons with disabilities and older persons.
April 2020 the PSN SWG members started to collect evidence from a range of sources on the specific impact of the COVID-19 crisis and containment measures on PSNs within refugee communities in Uganda.
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.
This tip sheet provides an overview of the factors that may put persons with disabilities at heightened risk in the COVID-19 pandemic and response in humanitarian settings; and proposes actions to address these risks within the COVID WASH response.
This tip sheet provides an overview of the factors that may put persons with disabilities at heightened risk in the COVID-19 pandemic and response in humanitarian settings; and recommends actions to address these risks within your COVID health response. This note draws on actionable and evidenced recommendations from the IASC Guidelines on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action, health chapter applying these to the COVID-19 pandemic, the WHO guidance for Disability inclusion in COVID-19 response, SODEN Statement on how COVID-19 is affecting persons with disabilities in Somalia and the practical field experience of HI and collaborating partners in Somalia.
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
It is of extreme importance from a protection, human-rights and public health perspectives, that people affected by humanitarian crises are included in all COVID-19 outbreak readiness and response strategies, plan and operations. There is a strong public health rationale to extend all measures to everyone, regardless of status and ensuring inclusiveness. This Interim Guidance addresses specific needs and considerations required in humanitarian situations, including camps and camp-like settings and the surrounding host communities, in scaling-up readiness and response operations for the COVID-19 outbreak through effective multi-sectoral partnership
Evidence is emerging that persons with disabilities are being disproportionately affected by the Coronavirus pandemic and emergency measures being taken by governments worldwide. As governments rush to respond to the virus, it is more critical than ever to guarantee that measures taken are fully inclusive of persons with disabilities and prevent human rights violations from taking place.
With the endorsements of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health, Mr Dainius Pūras, and the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Ms Catalina Devandas Aguilar, a coalition of six disability rights organisations is today launching a major international monitoring initiative entitled “COVID-19 Disability Rights Monitor” to conduct rapid independent monitoring of state measures concerning persons with disabilities. The first element of this global initiative is the launch of two surveys requesting official information from governments and requesting the testimonies of persons with disabilities and their representative organisations. The surveys aim to collect information about what states are doing to protect core rights of persons with disabilities including the rights to life, access to health and essential services.
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
Amid the global spread of COVID-19, OCHA has released 29 humanitarian icons specific to the pandemic to help communicate the facts and actions needed to prevent and respond to the virus and provide care for the most vulnerable people around the world.
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
The UK Equality and Human Rights Commission launched an inquiry to understand the experiences of disabled defendants and accused people in the criminal justice system. They looked at:
- whether their needs are properly identified
- the types of adjustments being made to accomodate their needs, and
- whether they can fully participate in court processes and understand the charges they face.
Based on their findings, recommendations are made to UK Governments.
The use of video hearings was rapidly expanded in response to the coronavirus pandemic. In April 2020, interim findings from this inquiry were released to help mitigate the risks that this technology poses to disabled people in the criminal justice system.
Best practices for providing sign language access in different contexts are provided
Information about corona virus (COVID) - what it is, how it is transmitted and the UK government policies.
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.
Recommendations for inclusion of marginalised and vulnerable groups in risk communications and community engangement are made. Groups considered are: children; people with disabilities; women and girls; pregnant women; persons living with HIV; gender based violence survivors; refugees and migrants; elderly; people in existing humanitarian emergencies; people with pre-existing medical conditions; sexual and gender minorities; ethnic minorities.
Humanitarian organizations and donors have committed to change the way humanitarian action is carried out and create a “Participation Revolution.” In this webinar issues addressed included:
- inclusion of the people and communities affected by humanitarian crises in practice;
- how organizations are ensuring that the voices of the most vulnerable groups considering gender, age, ethnicity, language, and special needs are heard and acted upon;
- how program activities and budgets are designed to support the changes that affected people demand
In this webinar, organized on 26 March 2020 by PHAP and the Steering Committee for Humanitarian Response, we took stock of the progress to date on workstream six of the Grand Bargain and heard success stories from the field that can help agencies achieve a sustained change in how they design and deliver their programs.
A full transcript is available. Webinar registrants were asked to provide what they thought, in their context, was the most important factor enabling participation in practice and what they thought was the most important factor preventing participation in practice. Answers are provided in an Annex.
Source e-bulletin on Disability and Inclusion