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COVID-19 in South Asia: State practices, responses and the experiences of persons with disability within the region

MEHROTRA, Nilika
SOLDATIC, Karen
2021

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An introduction into South Asia looking at the pandemic who people are struggling with in 2020. The DGS has aimed to first identify and acknowledge the diversity of disability experiences in the Global South and, second, make these experiences readily available and accessible to disabled people and their communities in the regions where the contributors themselves are from. In fact, in undertaking this special issue as editors, we would like to recognize the incredible persistence of our contributors to continue to work with us throughout the development of the papers, alongside acknowledging the many original contributors who were also unable to accept our invitation to participate because of the covid19 pandemic impacts upon every aspect of their lives.

When differences are made into likenesses: the normative documentation and assessment culture of the preschool

KARLSUDD, Peter
2021

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This article is based on studies carried out within the Young children’s learning research education programme. This undertaking involved five graduate students, all recruited from the Swedish preschool system. The licentiate thesis makes up the final product of their education programme, and the focus of each candidate’s licentiate thesis was preschool-level documentation. Using the results of all five theses, a re-analysis was conducted with the concept of normality as the common starting point. The purpose was to investigate whether documentation and assessment can change the view of normality in preschools, and furthermore, what consequences there may be for preschool activity. ‘The narrow preschool and the wide preschool’ is the model used to support the analysis, which is a model used in previous studies to review and discuss educational choices and conditions in the school system. Results of the present investigation show that the documents and assessments performed in preschool have a strong focus on the individual child and a traditional, school-oriented learning is highly valued. The documentation and assessment practices that take place now in our preschools, therefore, most likely influence the preschool view of normality and restrict the acceptance of differences.

Making themselves heard: deaf people in India during the global COVID-19 pandemic

GULYANI, Ritika
2021

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The onset of the sudden and global pandemic, COVID-19, has forced all of us to change our ways of living and interacting with the outside world. Additionally, a lot of restrictions on movement mandated by governments have also been issued in the past few months. In the context of India, a nationwide lockdown was in place from midmarch till the end of May. These lock-downs have had serious consequences for various segments of the population across the country, especially, those on the margins, who are vulnerable and/or in a minority. One such segment has been the disabled population. This paper, with the help of narratives, addresses the challenges faced by the deaf population during the COVID crisis and the ways in which they have negotiated these. There has been a big void in the dissemination of information to the deaf, owing to the fact that the majority of information from official sources has not been translated into sign language. More so, in times when information is the key to maintaining proper health care, this is a big lacuna. Additionally, the paper will also talk about the role of technology as well as of deaf groups in the lives of deaf people, and how it has proved to be very helpful to not just spread proper awareness about the pandemic, but also in trying to build up a movement in trying to recognise Indian Sign Language as the 23rd Official Language of India. 

COVID 19 in Nepal: The Impact on Indigenous Peoples and Persons with Disabilities

GURUNG, Pratima
2021

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The COVID 19 pandemic crisis is unfolding against the backdrop of several important milestones for equality and the human rights of various marginalized groups including women and girls, indigenous peoples and persons with disabilities in all their diversities and intersections in Nepal. The COVID-19 pandemic has entrenched systemic gaps, underlying structural inequalities and pervasive discrimination, more visible with inadequate healthcare, access to information, employment and livelihoods, and social protection system mainly for marginalized groups. This study aims to understand the challenges and impacts of the COVID 19 on marginalized groups including persons with disabilities in Nepal. Based on qualitative research with primary and secondary information, the paper emphasizes the experiences and realities of marginalized groups during the lockdown and pandemic situations. Some of the existing challenges faced by marginalized groups include access to information and health measures related to COVID 19, access to livelihoods and employment, increasing rates of suicide, violence against women from marginalized groups, women with disabilities, and others. The study will integrate these components and deal with intersections with concrete recommendations. 

Patients’ and communication partners’ experiences of communicative changes in Parkinson’s disease

JOHANSSON, Inga-Lena
SAMUELSSON, Christina
MULLER, Nicole
February 2021

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Purpose: The aim of the present study was to investigate the experiences of people with Parkinson’s disease and their close communication partners regarding disease-related communicative changes and participation in everyday conversations.

 

Materials and methods: Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with six dyads consisting of a person with Parkinson’s disease and a close communication partner. The interview material was analysed through thematic analysis.

 

Results: The main theme was the experiences of barriers and facilitators for participation in conversations. Subthemes were experiences related to changes in voice and articulation, language and cognition, body language and facial expressions, fatigue, self-image, communicative initiative, and familiarity with conversation partner. The results show individual variation. A change observed in almost all dyads was the person with Parkinson’s disease participating less in conversations.

 

Conclusions: Assessment and interventions should be based on a broad perspective on communication, and individuals’ priorities should be foregrounded in intervention planning. Both the person with Parkinson’s disease and communication partners need to make adjustments for communication to work. Therefore, close communication partners should be included in assessment and intervention of communication in Parkinson’s disease from an early stage.

Bullying among primary school-aged students: which factors could strengthen their tendency towards resilience?

GANOTZ, Tanja
SCHWAB, Susanne
LEHOFER, Mike
2021

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Resilience is the capacity to cope successfully with various threats. This paper aims to adapt the Resilience-Scale of Schumacher et al. (2004. Die Resilienzskala – ein Fragebogen zur Erfassung der psychischen Widerstandsfähigkeit als Personmerkmal. [The Resilience Scale – A Questionnaire to Measure Mental Resilience as a Personal Characteristic]. Zentrum für Klinische Psychologie, Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie) to measure the tendency of being resilient even before a threat occurs. Since primary school students are exposed to various threats at school, 535 4th grade students of Austrian primary schools were surveyed for the study. The reliability of the short-scale was found to be acceptable (Cronbach’s α = .66), and the tendency towards resilience can be explained by the students’ perception of their social inclusion in class (F (1,252) = 15.11, p<.05) and the relationship with their mothers (F (2, 251) = 10, 02, p<.05). The stability of the students’ tendency of being resilient was only moderate. A similar correlation between resilience and school-wellbeing for victims and non-victims of bullying can be reported. Future studies should focus more on primary school students’ resilience and related protective factors.

Disability & inclusion survey, Malakal Protection of Civilians site

International Organization for Migration’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (IOM DTM)
February 2021

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The International Organization for Migration’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (IOM DTM), Protection and Mental Health and Psycho-Social Support teams joined efforts with Humanity & Inclusion (HI) to undertake an assessment of the level of access to services and the barriers faced by persons with disabilities within Malakal Protection of Civilian site (PoC site). The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) contributed to the qualitative component of the study as the main Protection and Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) actors operating within the PoC site. The study, based on data collected between March 2020 and June 2020, aims to improve the knowledge base available to the humanitarian community about access to services by persons with disabilities living in the site. It provides a quantitative estimate of the prevalence of disabilities among the IDP population and an assessment of the barriers faced by persons with disability in accessing humanitarian services across sectors. It also seeks to empower persons with disabilities living within the PoC site, giving them the opportunity to express their concerns and preferences with regards to possible solutions and targeted interventions. It is hoped that the resulting data will help camp management and other service providers operating within Malakal PoC site, including IOM, UNHCR and DRC, to better account for the concerns and needs of persons with disability in humanitarian programming and service delivery. This study builds onto and expands previous studies in Naivasha IDP Camp (formerly Wau PoC AA Site) and Bentiu PoC Site.

Validation of the international classification of functioning, disability and health (ICF) core sets from 2001 to 2019 – a scoping review

KARLSSON, Elin
GUSTAFSSON, Johanna
February 2021

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Objective: To investigate and summarize the literature on the validation of International classification of functioning, disability and health (ICF) core sets from 2001 to 2019 and explore what research methods have been used when validating ICF core sets.

 

Methods: The current study is a scoping review using a structured literature search.

 

Results: In total, 66 scientific articles were included, of which 23 ICF core sets were validated. Most validation studies were conducted in Europe using a quantitative methodology and were validated from the perspective of patients. Analysis methods differed considerably between the studies, and most ICF core sets were validated only once for a single target population or from a single perspective. The comprehensive core sets were validated more often than the brief core sets, and core sets for stroke and low back pain were validated most often.

 

Conclusion: The results of the current study show that only 66% of the existing ICF core sets are validated. Many of the validation studies are conducted in a European context and from a single perspective. More validation studies of ICF core sets from the perspective of both patients and professionals are needed.

Breaking down barriers to travel. Championing disability inclusive and accessible travel

AYLING-SMITH, Verity
December 2020

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Inclusivity is a key element to exceptional travel experiences – enabling individuals all over the world to experience diverse countries, cultures and opportunities. Yet often, disability inclusion is not at the forefront of travel products and services.

This report will support travel providers to understand why disability inclusion matters to the industry whilst celebrating and learning from providers already striving to be more inclusive through their innovative practices

 

To gather stories and examples of best practice from within the travel industry, we developed a “Call for Case Studies” survey which was distributed to both Leonard Cheshire and Expedia Group’s networks. From these submissions, we selected examples which highlighted innovative practice and represented our key themes of the report

The mobile disability gap report 2020

ARANDA-JAN, Clara
December 2020

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As we move towards a more digital society, it is critical that digital technologies are inclusive of everyone, including persons with disabilities. However, research conducted by the GSMA Assistive Tech programme suggests that a disability gap exists in mobile access and use.

Driving greater inclusion of persons with disabilities requires data and evidence to inform actions from multiple stakeholders. This report looks to understand the digital divide experienced by persons with disabilities, identify existing barriers to digital inclusion and define strategies and actions to close the mobile disability.

This report uses data from the GSMA Intelligence Consumer Survey 2019 to explore the digital inclusion of persons with disabilities in eight LMICs: Bangladesh, Brazil, India, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan and Uganda. This report looks at key stages and milestones in the journey to mobile internet use that can pose barriers to regular and diverse mobile use

The essential checklist for disability-confident recruiters

BROWN, Simon
SCOTT-PARKER, Susan
2020

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This document translates disability-confident principles into a practical checklist for HR and recruitment specialists. The checklist works to best-practice principles. Much of this guidance goes beyond compliance with any disability discrimination legislation.

Inclusion Counts: Disability Data Tracker. A data collection and advocacy guideline for Organisations of Persons with Disabilities (Spotlight on work and employment)

ADAMS, Lisa
October 2020

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This guideline is intended to be a tool for Organisations of Persons with Disabilities (OPDs) and their allies on how to advocate for the rights of persons with disabilities within the global development framework known as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The guideline is intended to be used as an advocacy tool for OPDs to engage with government, development agencies and other civil society actors on the implementation of the SDGs in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The thematic focus of this guideline is work and employment. The guideline will explore how the right to work and employment of persons with disabilities can be applied to the SDGs. In particular, this guideline will look at how the rights enshrined in CRPD Article 27 (Work and employment) can be addressed within SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth). 

How can innovative partnerships make data stronger and more inclusive?

WELLS, Claudia
SABITI, Bernard
CARANZA TRESOLDI, Javier
October 2020

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Development Initiatives (DI) Director of Data Use Claudia Wells, Senior Strategic Partnerships & Engagement Manager Bernard Sabiti and Founder and Director of the GeoCensos Foundation Javier Carranza Tresoldi explore the power of partnerships to improve data. Looking at the benefits, challenges and nuances of collaboration between all kinds of actors, they share case studies of what works and practical advice to build strong partnerships. 

Disability Debrief: an international update on persons with disabilities in the COVID-19 crisis

TORRES FREMLIN, Peter
September 2020

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This is an update on disability news around the world relating to the COVID-19 crisis, from late April to the end of September 2020. It's a snapshot of news, statistics, policy, and experiences of persons with disabilities around the world. Links are prvided to the original resources.

 

Topics covered include:

  • What has happended so far: Data on COVID-19 and mortality; Care homes and institutional settings; Impact on persons with disabilities; Gathering data and the gaps; Experiences of Persons with Disabilities
  • Disability in response; International response: Collections of resources; Country and Regional Approaches; Resources by disability
  • Inclusion in protection and interim measures; Masks / face coverings; Physical distancing and isolation; Lockdown and confinement; Institutions and long-term care facilities; Coming out of lockdown; Social protection and services
  • Health, treatment and recovery
  • Across society and sectors: Care; Culture and sport; Digital accessibility and inclusion; Education and young people; Elections and politics; Humanitarian and Refugees; International cooperation; Justice; Mental Health; Transportation and travel; Violence; Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH); Work and skills
  • Rebuilding / what happens next; New perspectives and recovery; Social protection; Work and employment

 

Inclusion of persons with disabilities in social protection for COVID-19 recovery and beyond

COTE, Alex
BALASUBRAMANIAN, Meenakshi
WANGARE, Fatma
HUDA. Karishma
DOS SANTOS, Joaozito
O'BRIEN, Felicity
September 2020

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The COVID-19 crisis has magnified the barriers and inequalities faced by persons with disabilities. Consultation with organisations representing persons with disabilities across regions highlighted the limitation of social protection systems in LMICs to provide adequate support due to lack of social protection schemes, low coverage, and inadequacy of existing schemes. There is little in the way of publicly funded community support services and in some contexts an overreliance on residential institutions, whose users have been disproportionally represented among COVID-19 fatalities. 

In the midst of the crisis, countries have been struggling with inaccessible information (e.g sign language), the lack of universal schemes, and national disability registry for broad outreach and fast relief.

The webinar aimed at providing a global overview of the social protection response for persons with disabilities and their families as well as the different key social protection issues to consider for an inclusive COVID-19 recover

Recommendations for studies on dynamic arm support devices in people with neuromuscular disorders: a scoping review with expert-based discussion

ESSERS, J M N
MURGIA, A
PETERS, A A
JANSSEN, M M H P
MEIJER, K
2020

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Purpose

Neuromuscular disorders are characterised by muscle weakness that limits upper extremity mobility, but can be alleviated with dynamic arm support devices. Current research highlights the importance and difficulties of evidence-based recommendations for device development. We aim to provide research recommendations primarily concerning upper extremity body functions, and secondarily activity and participation, environmental and personal factors.

 

Methods

Evidence was synthesised from literature, ongoing studies, and expert opinions and tabulated within a framework based on a combination of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) model and contextual constructs.

 

Results

Current literature mostly investigated the motor capacity of muscle function, joint mobility, and upper body functionality, and a few studies also addressed the impact on activity and participation. In addition, experts considered knowledge on device utilisation in the daily environment and characterising the beneficiaries better as important. Knowledge gaps showed that ICF model components and contextual constructs should be better integrated and more actively included in future research.

 

Conclusions

It is recommended to, first, integrate multiple ICF model components and contextual constructs within one study design. Second, include the influence of environmental and personal factors when developing and deploying a device. Third, include short-term and long-term measurements to monitor adaptations over time. Finally, include user satisfaction as guidance to evaluate the device effectiveness.

Breaking down the barriers for people with disabilities through innovation in Africa

GSMA
September 2020

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During this interactive session, hosted by GSMA’s Assistive Tech team, we shared insights on the mobile disability gap, including findings from our gender and disability research, and lessons learnt from the innovation landscape. We also heard from several leading assistive tech innovators supporting the digital inclusion of people with disabilities, both visible or unseen across emerging markets

Covid-19 tip sheets & book of flip charts

ENABLEMENT
August 2020

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In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, Enablement developed tip sheets on four main topics for Light for the World:


- Eating and drinking
- Epilepsy, Nodding Syndrome and medication
- Active lifestyle
- Communication


These are meant to support those working with and/or caring for children and adults with disabilities. The tip sheets include visuals and some supporting text.

The book of flip charts carries the same content as the tip sheets, with visuals on one side for the caregivers of people with disabilities to see, and slightly more elaborate text on the other page for the fieldworker.

Radical Accessibility: Research and Recommendations. A deep dive into how accessible charities are during Covid-19 and beyond

REASON DIGITAL
July 2020

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Insights are shared into the world of digital accessibility in the charity sector: the attitudes and behaviours of beneficiaries, the accessibility needs of those accessing charity websites, the impact of coronavirus and, what should be done by charities. The authors build on knowledge gained from 12 years in the digital charity sector, their annual research into digital charity trends, a new (2020), bespoke and nationally representative survey of the general public, and insights from some of the industry’s leading minds in making charities accessible. A list of evidenced and sector-specific recommendations is provided.

 

The research and report were part of a virtual event, Radical Accessibility, hosted by Reason Digital, Microsoft UK and Charity Digital on July 9th 2020

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