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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.

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.

COVID-19 and Disability; Exploring a new innovation landscape

HOLLOWAY, Catherine
OLDFREY, Ben
CHIIRA, Bernard
KETT, Maria
July 2020

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This webinar explored the impact of, and learnings from COVID-19 on Disability Innovation. We heard from those shifting their work in response to the pandemic. We also looked at how learnings from Assistive Technology (AT) are being applied to this unprecedented global environment.

Finally, there was an overview of how knowledge was captured during Ebola can support the response to this latest threat

Implementing music therapy through telehealth: considerations for military populations

VAUDREUIL, Rebecca
LANGSTON, Diane G
MAGEE, Wendy L
BETTS, Donna
KASS, Sara
LEVY, Charles
2020

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Purpose

Telehealth provides psychotherapeutic interventions and psychoeducation for remote populations with limited access to in-person behavioural health and/or rehabilitation treatment. The United States Department of Défense and the Veterans Health Administration use telehealth to deliver primary care, medication management, and services including physical, occupational, and speech-language therapies for service members, veterans, and eligible dependents. While creative arts therapies are included in telehealth programming, the existing evidence base focuses on art therapy and dance/movement therapy, with a paucity of information on music therapy.

 

Methods

Discussion of didactic and applied music experiences, clinical, ethical, and technological considerations, and research pertaining to music therapy telehealth addresses this gap through presentation of three case examples. These programmes highlight music therapy telehealth with military-connected populations on a continuum of clinical and community engagement: 1) collaboration between Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA and the Acoke Rural Development Initiative in Lira, Uganda; 2) the Semper Sound Cyber Health programme in San Diego, CA; and 3) the integration of music therapy telehealth into Creative Forces®, an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts.

 

Results

These examples illustrate that participants were found to positively respond to music therapy and community music engagement through telehealth, and reported decrease in pain, anxiety, and depression; they endorsed that telehealth was not a deterrent to continued music engagement, requested continued music therapy telehealth sessions, and recommended it to their peers.

 

Conclusions

Knowledge gaps and evolving models of creative arts therapies telehealth for military-connected populations are elucidated, with emphasis on clinical and ethical considerations.

Learning Needs Assessment Report: Skills for impact - Rohingya Humanitarian crisis response, Bangladesh Local Humanitarian Aid Workers

AHSANUL ISLAM, Suman
et al
June 2020

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The Rohingya humanitarian crisis response in Cox’s Bazar (CXB) is a fairly new and complex experience for the humanitarian aid workers in Bangladesh. Aid workers are responsible for responding effectively in a very demanding context and acquire certain skills and competencies to adapt to the extreme workload. Since the current response in CXB began in 2017, local humanitarian aid workers (LHAWs) have gathered tremendous amount of learnings and experiences.

 

The objective of this LNA is to outline the knowledge, skills, capacity gaps and learning needs of LHAWs working in CXB. 

 

This LNA focuses on understanding LHAWs’ skills, knowledge and behaviour - both operational & technical. It analyses individuals' ability to contribute and implement response plans and respond effectively to the humanitarian crisis. Analysis focuses on understanding LHAWs’ capacity in addressing the needs of specific beneficiary groups such as children, women & girls, people with disability (PwD), elderly and people with chronic health issues. Quantitative and qualitative data was collected in November 2019.

 

Access and humanitarian protection: Lessons from restricted operational contexts and their application to the COVID-19 operational environment

April 2020

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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

These rights are mine: disability rights among refugees and the host community in Tanzania

MURIITHI, Kevin
MANGE, Sansom
DICKSON, Edson
February 2020

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The International Rescue Committee has been working in Tanzania with persons with disabilities in Nyarugusu refugee camp and the surrounding host community in Kasulu district since 2015. The IRC’s These Rights are Mine (TRM) project – a 30-month project funded by the European Commissions Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) – uses a rights-based approach to ensure that persons with disabilities are able to claim their rights and that government authorities and civil society organizations acting on their behalf are able to deliver on these rights. This survey aims to establish baseline information about disability rights in the IRC’s area of operations, assessing the needs of persons with disabilities as well as barriers faced by them in everyday life

Evidence and gap map of studies assessing the effectiveness of interventions for people with disabilities in low‐and middle‐income countries

SARAN, Ashrita
WHITE, Howard
KUPER, Hannah
January 2020

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The aim of this Evidence Gap Map (EGM) is to identify, map and describe existing evidence of effectiveness studies and highlight gaps in evidence base for people with disabilities in LMICs. The map helps identify priority evidence gaps for systematic reviews and impact evaluations. The EGM included impact evaluation and systematic reviews assessing the effect of interventions for people with disabilities and their families/carers. These interventions were categorized across the five components of community‐based rehabilitation matrix; health, education, livelihood, social and empowerment. Included studies were published from 2000 onwards until January 2018. The map includes 166 studies, of which 59 are systematic reviews and 107 impact evaluation

 

Campbell Systematic Reviews, vol.16, no.1, Mar 2020

DOI: 10.1002/cl2.1070

Public Health Information Services (PHIS) Toolkit

World Health Organization
2020

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This Toolkit complements to the Global Public Health Information Services (PHIS) Standards of the Global Health Cluster. The Toolkit assembles guidance, templates and best-practice examples for each core, additional and context-specific public health information service, as outlined in the PHIS standards.

The Toolkit also includes additional general tools and resources to support information management functions in activated Health Clusters.

Understanding the mobile disability gap Insights on mobile phone access and usage by persons with disabilities in Kenya and Bangladesh

ARANDA-JAN, Clara
BOUTARD, Alizee
December 2019

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This research aims to bridge the knowledge gap and to understand the potential of mobile phones as assistive technologies (ATs) for persons with disabilities in Kenya and Bangladesh. This report presents, for the first time, an evaluation of the gap and barriers to mobile phone ownership experienced by persons with disabilities, as well as the usage patterns of four main mobile-enabled services (voice, SMS, mobile internet and mobile money) and the role of mobile phones to enable access to basic services, such as education, healthcare, transportation, employment and financial services. Finally, the report explores the characteristics of access and usability of mobile products and services along the customer journey.

Bridging the mobile disability gap in refugee settings

DOWNER, Matthew
September 2019

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This case study highlights refugees with disabilities’ access to mobile services and the benefits and challenges associated with using these services in three different humanitarian contexts. The analysis is based on a representative survey of refugees in three contexts: Bidi Bidi refugee settlement (Uganda), Kiziba refugee camp (Rwanda) and with urban refugees in Jordan. It also includes qualitative data drawn from two focus groups conducted with refugees with disabilities in Bidi Bidi and Kiziba. The survey used the Washington Group Questions (WGQs) to assess prevalence of disability amongst the refugee population

The experiences of parents of children living with disabilities at Lehlaba Protective Workshop in Sekhukhune district of Limpopo province

TIGERE, Brian
MAKHUBELE, Jabulani C.
September 2019

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Background: Parents of children with disabilities have faced difficulties in looking after their children, be it socially, economically and financially. Parents in rural areas are mainly left with a huge burden, as there is a lack of services and support from both the state and non-governmental organisations. Parents in Sekhukhune district, a rural area in Limpopo province of South Africa, face challenges in raising their disabled children related to lack of resources and lack of services at their disposal.

 

Objectives: This study focuses on the experiences and life circumstances faced by parents of children living with different types of disabilities at Lehlaba Protective Workshop in Sekhukhune district of Limpopo province, South Africa.

 

Method: The study consisted of 14 participants who are parents of children living with disabilities. An interview guide with a set of questions was utilised to gather data. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data and themes that emerged were grouped together.

 

Results: Themes that emerged from the data showed that most of the participants had varying understandings on the causes of disabilities to their children. The participants also were of the view that a ‘cure’ for disability was available medically, spiritually or through traditional African medicine. The study also brought the notion of absent fathers, as most men do not want to be associated with children who are disabled. Stigmatisation of the parents was also a theme that the study revealed. The parents are subjected to name labelling as they are viewed to be practising witchcraft or to be paying for their sins they committed.

 

Conclusion: Parents of children with disabilities are in their own battle in raising their children. There is a lack of support structures available for parents of children living with disabilities. There is a lack of legislation available for protecting and promoting the rights of children with disabilities. The researchers concluded that raising a child with a disability is expensive, time-consuming and straining.

 

 

African Journal of Disability, Vol 8, 2019

South African stakeholders’ knowledge of community-based rehabilitation

RULE, Sarah
ROBERTS, Anton
McLAREN, Pamela
PHILPOTT, Susan
September 2019

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Background: Community-based rehabilitation (CBR) is a complex concept and strategy that has been implemented in diverse ways globally and in South Africa. Internationally, some stakeholders have described CBR as confusing, and this may influence implementation. A southern African study reports that there is insufficient evidence of the understanding of CBR in the region to influence training, policy and practice.

 

Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate South African stakeholders’ knowledge of CBR.

 

Method: This article reports on an electronic survey that was part of a larger mixed methods study. Based on the sample of 86 respondents, descriptive statistics were used to analyse the quantitative data and thematic analysis for the qualitative data.

 

Results: The majority of respondents had had exposure to CBR, but almost a quarter had no knowledge of the CBR guidelines and matrix. The results revealed varying knowledge concerning the key concepts of CBR, its beneficiaries and its funders. Respondents identified persons with disabilities as having a central role in the implementation of CBR. Problems with the visibility of CBR programmes were noted, as well as misunderstandings by many therapists.

 

Conclusion: The implementation of CBR, and its goal of ensuring the rights of persons with disabilities, is negatively affected by the confusion attached to the understanding of what CBR is. The misunderstandings about, and lack of visibility of, CBR in South Africa may hinder its growing implementation in the country in line with new government policies.

 

 

African Journal of Disability, Vol 8, 2019

Guidelines. Inclusion of persons with disabilities in humanitarian action

IASC TASK TEAM ON INCLUSION OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES IN HUMANITARIAN ACTION
July 2019

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The guidelines set out essential actions that humanitarian actors must take in order to effectively identify and respond to the needs and rights of persons with disabilities who are most at risk of being left behind in humanitarian settings. The recommended actions in each chapter place persons with disabilities at the centre of humanitarian action, both as actors and as members of affected populations. They are specific to persons with disabilities and to the context of humanitarian action and build on existing and more general standards and guidelines. These are the first humanitarian guidelines to be developed with and by persons with disabilities and their representative organizations in association with traditional humanitarian stakeholders. Based on the outcomes of a comprehensive global and regional multi-stakeholder consultation process, they are designed to promote the implementation of quality humanitarian programmes in all contexts and across all regions, and to establish and increase both the inclusion of persons with disabilities and their meaningful participation in all decisions that concern them. 

 

Chapters include:

  • What to do - key approaches to programming
  • Data and information management
  • Partnerships and empowerment of organisation of people with disabilities
  • Cross cutting considerations
  • Accountability to affected people and protection from sexual exploitation and abuse
  • Humanitarian response options
  • Stakeholder roles and responsibilities
  • What sectors need to do
  • Camp coordination and camp management
  • Education
  • Food security and nutrition
  • Livelihoods
  • Health
  • Protection
  • Shelter and settlements
  • Water, sanitation and hygiene

Supporting the enactment of inclusive pedagogy in a primary school

BRENNAN, Aoife
KING, Fiona
TRAVERS, Joe
2019

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While inclusion has generally been accepted as orthodoxy, a knowledge – practice gap remains which indicates a need to focus on inclusive pedagogy. This paper explores how teachers in the Republic of Ireland primary school were supported to develop inclusive pedagogy to meet the needs of learners with special educational needs (SEN). It is underpinned by a conceptual framework which combines an inclusive pedagogical approach and key principles of effective professional development (PD) arising from the literature, which informed the development of a professional learning community (PLC) for inclusive practice in a primary school. The impact of the PD on teachers’ professional practice was explored using an evidence-based evaluation framework. Analysis of interview and observation data evidenced that engagement with inclusive pedagogy in a PLC, underpinned by critical dialogue and public sharing of work, positively impacted teacher attitudes, beliefs, efficacy and inclusive practice. This research offers a model of support for enacting inclusive pedagogy.

ClinFIT: ISPRM's Universal Functioning Information Tool based on the WHO's ICF

FRONTERA, Walter
et al
May 2019

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A short editorial reviews the development of ClinFit (“Clinical Functioning Information Tool”).  The expectation is that ClinFIT can be tailored to the needs of (1) rehabilitation service types along the continuum of care, (2) different patient populations across age groups and health conditions, and (3) low-, middle-, and high‑income countries

 

J Int Soc Phys Rehabil Med 2019;2:19-21

DOI: 10.4103/jisprm.jisprm_36_19

Undergraduate physiotherapy students’ basic wheelchair provision knowledge: a pilot study in two universities in Colombia

TORO-HERNÁNDEZ, María Luisa
MONDRAGÓN-BARRERA, Mónica Alejandra
TORRES-NARVÁEZ, Martha Rocío
VELASCO-FORERO, Sandra Esperanza
GOLDBERG, Mary
2019

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Purpose: 

Access to an appropriate wheelchair is a human right. Only between 5–15% of people who need a wheelchair have access to one. One of the key barriers to access is the lack of appropriately trained rehabilitation professionals. The objective of this study was to evaluate basic manual wheelchair provision knowledge in final-year physiotherapy undergraduate students in two programs in Colombia.

 

Materials and methods: 

Students took the International Society of Wheelchair Professionals Wheelchair Service Provision – Basic Test which was administered online and in Spanish. The minimum score to pass the test is 70%; it assesses seven domains: Assessment; Prescription; Products; Fitting; User training; Follow-up, maintenance, and repairs; and Process.

 

Results and conclusions

One-hundred sixteen students took the test and no one passed the test. The highest median domain scores were in Assessment and Process while the lowest were in Fitting and Products. The limitations of this study include that this sample does not represent all physiotherapy programmes or students in Colombia, there may be potential errors in the Spanish translation of the outcome measure, and students encountered Internet connectivity issues during the test that may have impacted their scores. Immediate interventions are required to improve teaching and students’ learning outcomes related to basic manual wheelchair provision in these two programs. This study may serve as a foundation for future regional or national studies that assess the situation of wheelchair provision training in rehabilitation programs that will inform improvement actions. This manuscript is also available in Spanish as Supplemental Material.

Study on explosive hazard victim reporting and data management processes in Iraq

NIJHOLT, Sarah
April 2019

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Handicap International (HI) commissioned a study on on explosive hazard victim reporting and data management processes in Iraq. The overall objectives of the study were to:

  • Understand what explosive hazard victim reporting and data management processes exist in Iraq;
  • Identify who is collecting such information, for which reasons and how it is being shared, and how it is being officially used;
  • Identify whether international victim data collection good practices and reporting standards are being followed up, and make concrete recommendations to help meet the standards;
  • Understand the successes, shortfalls, and challenges in data collection and information sharing;
  • Identify the needs of the data collection community in terms of ensuring sufficient victim reporting and data collection;
  • Identify if and how the data on victims is being collected and used by government authorities and the international fora.

 

Desk research was carried out and data collection took place in March 2019 in Erbil, Baghdad and Ninewa governorates in Iraq. In total, the qualitative researcher spent 3 days in Erbil, 4 days in Baghdad, and 6 days in Ninewa governorate to conduct interviews through a snowball approach. In total, 22 interviews were conducted with a variety of stakeholders, including humanitarian mine action actors, government officials, hospital directors, police and community leaders. This report provides an overview of the main findings.

Guidance on strengthening disability inclusion in Humanitarian Response Plans

PERRY, Stephen
LANGE, Kirstin
MITRA, Gopal
WOOD, Gavin
April 2019

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This guidance provides support to seven UN entities on how to strengthen inclusion of disability in Humanitarian Response Plans (HRPs) as part of the UK Department for International Development (DFID) Humanitarian Investment Program. The aim of this work is to make humanitarian programming more responsive to the needs of people with disabilities affected by crisis. Humanitarian Response Plans are the product of a strategic planning process that is informed by humanitarian needs assessment activities. Therefore, this guidance focuses primarily on the steps in the humanitarian program cycle (HPC) leading to the HRP, including the process of developing the Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO). This guidance has been aligned to the 2019 revision of this process

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