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Rights of persons with disabilities : note / by the Secretary-General

DEVANDAS-AGUILAR, Catalina
English
November 2020

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The Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities, Catalina Devandas-Aguilar, examines the importance of international cooperation to support the implementation of the rights of persons with disabilities and provides guidance to States on how to ensure that international cooperation is inclusive of and accessible to persons with disabilities.

 

In preparing the report, the Special Rapporteur analysed 40 responses to a questionnaire sent to Member States, national human rights institutions and civil society organizations, including organizations of persons with disabilities.  She also commissioned a study to assess the extent to which international cooperation was inclusive of and accessible to persons with disabilities, which included surveys and interviews with 26 bilateral and multilateral agencies and 10 private donors

Ensuring the right to quality inclusive education for persons with disabilities: From commitment to action

UNESCO
English
November 2020

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The international symposium "Ensuring the right to quality inclusive education for persons with disabilities: From commitment to action", co-organized by UNESCO, the Leonard Cheshire, and the Ministry of Education of Portugal brought together a wide range of stakeholders across the globe to discuss progress, successes achieved and challenges to ensure full participation and access to quality learning opportunities for all learners.

The symposium aims were to:

  • review persisting, as well as new challenges, due to the COVID-19 pandemic that are hindering the fulfilment of the right to inclusive education for learners with disabilities.
  • facilitate the exchange of experiences on factors influencing successful inclusive policies and practices for learners with disabilities and strengthen dialogue and cooperation amongst stakeholders at policy and practice levels.
  • explore how the inclusion of learners with disabilities in inclusive settings can be more effectively addressed by governments with regards to the commitments of Article 24 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), the CRPD General Comment 4 on article 24, and Sustainable Development 4 SDG 4, to ‘ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

The programme included:

Opening session - Accelerating efforts towards inclusive education for learners with disabilities. (Video recording: English - French - Spanish)

Session 1 - From legislation to inclusive practices: Re-designing policy frameworks, funding and monitoring arrangements across sectors for inclusive education for learners with disabilities. (Video recording: English - French - Spanish)

Session 2 - Revisiting the teaching and learning process to ensure access and participation of learners with disabilities.

Session 3 - Moving towards inclusive and safe learning environments, including by addressing violence and bullying against learners with disabilities.
 

Closing session - Rebuilding a Stronger Global Disability Inclusive Education System post COVID-19. (Video recording: English - French - Spanish)

Action on COVID-19 Evidence on the Response of Disabled People’s Organisations during Pandemic

ADD International
English
October 2020

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In June 2020, ADD International conducted structured interviews with leaders from ten Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) which are participating in the Inclusion Works programme in three districts in Bangladesh to understand impact of and response to Covid-19 among DPOs.

 

Evidence from these interviews suggest that the economic impact of Covid-19 on persons with disabilities has been acute, and DPOs are taking critical action. DPOs are engaging with power holders to make relief, livelihood support and information accessible to persons with disabilities. DPOs are in touch with their members, but they face barriers in doing their work during this time, and more could be done to reach the most excluded.

Disability rights during the pandemic. A global report on findings of the COVID-19 Disability Rights Monitor

BRENNAN, Ciara Siobhan
English
October 2020

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This report presents the findings from a rapid global survey of persons with disabilities and other stakeholders which took place between April and August 2020. The organisations behind the study seek to “catalyse urgent action in the weeks and months to come,” as transmission rates of COVID-19 continue to rise in many countries and persons with disabilities are again subjected to restrictions which have already had severe consequences.

The report analyses over 2,100 responses to the survey from 134 countries around the world. The vast majority of responses were from individuals with disabilities and their family members. Within the questionnaire responses respondents provided more than 3,000 written testimonies documenting the experiences of persons with disabilities and their family members during the pandemic. The qualitative and quantitative data provide in-depth, comprehensive insights into the experiences of persons with disabilities and the consequences of government actions or inactions on the rights of persons with disabilities.

The report is organised around four themes which emerged during the process of analysing responses received to the survey. These themes are:

1. Inadequate measures to protect persons with disabilities in institutions

2. Significant and fatal breakdown of community supports

3. Disproportionate impact on underrepresented groups of persons with disabilities

4. Denial of access to healthcare

 

A webinar was held to mark the launch of the report

The temporalities of supported decision-making by people with cognitive disability

WIESEL, Ilan
SMITH, Elizabeth
BIGBY, Christine
THEN, Shih-Ning
DOUGLAS, Jacinta
CARNEY, Terry
English
2020

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In many societies, people with cognitive disability have been pre- sumed to lack reasoned decision-making capacity. Consequently, substituted decision-making laws and practices have traditionally authorised some people such as parents, guardians or medical professionals, to make decisions on their behalf. Several countries are now moving towards an alternative supported decision-making paradigm whereby people with different cognitive abilities are supported to make decisions that reflect as much as possible their ‘will, preferences and rights’. In this paper we examine how geo- graphical thinking about temporalities might illuminate some of the legal, ethical and practical complexities of supported decision- making. The paper draws on qualitative data from interviews with people with intellectual disabilities or acquired brain injury, and those who support them in making decisions. We examine how temporal scales and boundaries shape the determination of decision-making capacity; how decision-makers’ ‘will and preferences’ are interpreted by supporters; and how the labour of support for decision-making is organised. We argue that further geographical engagement with supported decision-making can help significantly advance this important disability rights agenda.

A glimpse into smartphone screen reader use among blind teenagers in rural Nepal

SANKHI, Prakash
SANDNES, Frode Eika
English
2020

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Purpose

Access to appropriate assistive technology is a challenge worldwide and especially in low GDP-per-capita countries. Nepal is one example of a country with several coinciding challenges: some claim having a high rate of blindness in the general population, a low-GDP-per capita and some studies claim it has a low literacy rate, especially in rural areas. Without appropriate assistive technology, some disabled youth may not get full access to education.

 

Methods

To gain insight into assistive technology use in rural Nepal, five blind teenagers in a mixed secondary school with disabled and non-disabled students in rural Nepal were interviewed about their daily smartphone use.

 

Results

The results show that all the participants used screen readers on donated smartphones. None of the participants had received formal training in using smartphone screen readers and therefore lacked knowledge about basic and essential operational aspects of the devices as well as misguided expectations about the technology.

 

Conclusions

One implication of the findings is that smartphone accessibility features training material needs to be made easily available to schools and all disabled youth worldwide, as smartphones are increasingly becoming available in low-income remote regions with low literacy rates. The built-in accessibility features of smartphones promise disabled youth a non-stigmatizing platform for social participation and access to the information society.

Barriers experienced by people with disabilities participating in income-generating activities. A case of a sheltered workshop in Bloemfontein, South Africa

TINTA, Nokuthula
STEYN, Hester
VERMAAS, Jana
English
2020

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Background: People with disabilities often participate in income-generating activities (IGAs) in sheltered workshop in South Africa. However, they face many barriers that limit their ability to participate effectively in economic activities hosted by the workshops.

 

Objectives: To illustrate the barriers that limit the participation of people with disabilities in IGAs in a sheltered workshop.

 

Method: A qualitative exploratory single case study was conducted in a sheltered workshop. Eighteen participants, age 22 to 52 years with various disabilities were purposively sampled. Observations and semi-structured interview guides were used to generate data. Verbatim transcription was used after which content analysis was applied to identify ideas and concepts relating to barriers experienced by people with disabilities participating in IGAs.

 

Results: Some of the barriers participants experienced included institutional barriers (ability to use working tools, inability to concentrate for long periods, lack of funds, language barriers, lack of motivation, activities that are not stimulating and lack of artistry skills) and attitudinal barriers (exclusion from decision making) These barriers had an adverse influence on their performance in IGAs.

 

Conclusion: The study found eight different barriers that existed in a sheltered workshop which limited the participation of the people with disabilities that attended the workshop. This information can be used to develop strategies to address each barrier and promote increased participation of the individual thereby improving their quality of life.

 

 

African Journal of Disability, Vol 9, 2020 

Disability, stigma & the role of innovation - Disability innovation live

AUSTIN, Vicki
CAREW, Matthew
MIRZOYANTS, Anastasia
BARBARESCHI, Giulia
English
August 2020

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This webinar focussed on the role of stigma in preventing disability inclusion, and what enables it to be overcome, focused on innovative and creative methods

The speakers talked about:

  • Culture, Paralympic legacy & how innovation can change mindsets
  • Stigma research incorporating the perspectives of persons with disabilities & disability inclusive research processes
  • Kenyan youth & the perception of people with disabilities
  • Assistive technology, identity & the role of innovation

Human-centred design in humanitarian settings: Methodologies for inclusivity

HAMILTON, Zoe
CASSWELL, Jenny
ALONSO, Aline
English
July 2020

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This report documents the human-centred design process used in a project conducted in 2020 in Nairobi, Kenya. It includes research tools that can be used in other contexts, as well as the adaptations that were made to research tools to ensure they were inclusive. These tools are followed by the main lessons learned, and recommendations for others who want to implement a similar process.

The goal of this project was to better understand how people living with disabilities in humanitarian contexts use mobile technology, the barriers they face in accessing mobile services, and the opportunities that mobile might present to increase access to basic services in their daily lives. The target population for this project was urban refugees living with visual or hearing impairments in Nairobi, Kenya. 

The human-centred design tools used included: Location Mapping, User Journeys, Communication Mapping, Future Me and Daily Diaries. 

Dimensions of invisibility: insights into the daily realities of persons with disabilities living in rural communities in India

GUPTA, Shivani
DE WITTE, Luc P
MEERSHOEK, Agnes
English
2020

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Persons with disabilities in rural India do not have the opportunity to lead a self-determined life and be included in their community as required by the convention on the rights of persons with disabilities. To investigate their experience of living everyday life and the amount of agency they are able to exercise, in-depth interviews were undertaken. The Capability Approach (CA) was used to ana- lyse the situation that was seen in terms of outcome of the interplay between internal and external factors resulting in loss of agency. The results show that the dependency they experience due to lack of adequate support to undertake activities and being completely dependent on the family places them in a vicious circle of ‘self-worthlessness’. Reducing the dependency disabled people face and chang- ing perceptions of the community towards disability may break this circle.

Understanding paid support relationships: possibilities for mutual recognition between young people with disability and their support workers

ROBINSON, Sally
GRAHAM, Anne
FISHER, Karen R
NEALE, Kate
DAVY, Laura
JOHNSON, Kelley
HALL, Ed
English
2020

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The quality of paid relationships is key for effective support, yet little is known about how people receiving and providing sup- port understand and experience the relationship. This paper reports on recent research that explored the role of relationships with paid support workers in strengthening the rights and well- being of young people with cognitive disability in Australia. The research used photo-rich participatory methods with 42 pairs of young people and their support workers and drew on Honneth’s recognition theory to specifically explore experiences of being valued, respected and cared about in their work together. The findings point to the importance of these con- nected aspects of recognition in paid support relationships, highlighting both the presence and absence of these, as well as experiences of misrecognition. The implications of recognition for strengthening support need close consideration in an inter- national context characterised by personalisation of support, resource constraints and inquiries into poor practice.

The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Amid COVID-19

UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS
Ministry of Social Development
Independent Commission for Human Rights
English
June 2020

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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

Implementing the IASC Guidelines on inclusion of persons with disabilities in humanitarian action

BARBELET, Veronique
PALMER, Tom
English
June 2020

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In March 2020, a group of UK-based international NGOs, coordinated by Islamic Relief Worldwide in conjunction with HPG (Humanitarian Policy Group at ODI), hosted a roundtable discussion to identify strategies for using the IASC Guidelines to mainstream disability inclusion within humanitarian interventions. This roundtable learning note summarises the key points of discussion.

 

The objectives of the roundtable included:

  • To identify strategies for using the IASC Guidelines, alongside other resources, to mainstream disability inclusion within the key components of all humanitarian interventions.
  • To share challenges, opportunities and effective approaches for mainstream humanitarian actors to systematically build their internal capacities on inclusion of people with disabilities
  • To discuss opportunities for further collaboration to promote innovation and learning

Inclusion Works Uganda Situational Analysis

ROHWERDER, Brigitte
English
June 2020

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This situational analysis (SITAN) addresses the question: “what is the current situation in relation to formal sector employment for persons with disabilities in Uganda?”. It has been prepared for the Inclusion Works programme (which works on disability inclusive formal employment in Bangladesh, Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda), to better understand the current context and available evidence in Uganda, and will be helpful for anyone interested in disability inclusion, especially in relation to employment, in Uganda. It focuses on persons with disabilities, employers, policy, the disability movement, and partnerships. This SITAN has been briefly updated from the June 2019 SITAN.

 

The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the UK government or members of the Inclusion Works consortium.

Inclusion Works Kenya Situational Analysis

ROHWERDER, Brigitte
English
June 2020

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This situational analysis (SITAN) addresses the question: “what is the current situation in relation to formal sector employment for persons with disabilities in Kenya?”. It has been prepared for the Inclusion Works programme (which works on disability inclusive formal employment in Bangladesh, Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda), to better understand the current context and available evidence in Kenya, and will be helpful for anyone interested in disability inclusion, especially in relation to employment, in Kenya. It focuses on persons with disabilities, employers, policy, the disability movement, and partnerships. This SITAN has been briefly updated from the June 2019 SITAN.

 

The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the UK government or members of the Inclusion Works consortium.

Inclusion Works Bangladesh Situational Analysis

THOMPSON, Stephen
English
June 2020

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This situational analysis (SITAN) addresses the question: “what is the current situation in relation to formal sector employment for persons with disabilities in Bangladesh?”. It has been prepared for the Inclusion Works programme (which works on disability inclusive formal employment in Bangladesh, Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda), to better understand the current context and available evidence in Bangladesh, and will be helpful for anyone interested in disability inclusion, especially in relation to employment. It focuses on persons with disabilities, employers, policy, the disability movement, and partnerships. This situational analysis (SITAN) synthesises the most recent existing literature and evidence (drawing on government and non-government sources available online) about Bangladesh generally and on factors relating to persons with disabilities involvement in formal employment.

 

The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the UK government or members of the Inclusion Works consortium.

Inclusion Works Nigeria Situational Analysis

THOMPSON, Stephen
English
June 2020

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This situational analysis (SITAN) addresses the question: “what is the current situation in relation to formal sector employment for persons with disabilities in Nigeria?”. It has been prepared for the Inclusion Works programme (which works on disability inclusive formal employment in Bangladesh, Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda), to better understand the current context and available evidence in Nigeria, and will be helpful for anyone interested in disability inclusion, especially in relation to employment. It focuses on persons with disabilities, employers, policy, the disability movement, and partnerships.

 

The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the UK government or members of the Inclusion Works consortium.

Disability Inclusive Development - Bangladesh Situational Analysis

THOMPSON, Stephen
English
June 2020

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This situational analysis (SITAN) addresses the question: “what is the current situation for persons with disabilities in Bangladesh?”. It has been prepared for the Disability Inclusive Development programme (which works on access to education, jobs, healthcare, and reduced stigma and discrimination for persons with disabilities in Bangladesh, Jordan, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, and Tanzania), to better understand the current context, including COVID-19, and available evidence in Bangladesh. It will be helpful for anyone interested in disability inclusion in Bangladesh, especially in relation to stigma, employment, education, health, and humanitarian issues.

HLPF 2020: "Will the SDGs still be relevant after the pandemic for persons with disabilities?

INTERNATIONAL DISABILITY ALLIANCE (IDA)
English
June 2020

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In the framework of the 2020 High-level Political Forum, the event provided a platform for governments championing disability-inclusive sustainable development. Governments were able to share the measures that they have and will carry out to ensure that the “leave no one behind” and “reach the furthest behind first” will still be achievable despite all the challenges caused by the pandemic. The event also featured diverse testimonies from persons with disabilities, in particular underrepresented groups, sharing their experiences and requests with world leaders in order to rebuild a more disability-inclusive future

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