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A disability inclusive response to COVID-19 - four lessons learned about including people with disabilities in humanitarian aid

MORRIS, Lisa
ELLIOTT, Chris
PIERI, Susan
September 2021

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Inclusive Futures played a crucial role in supporting some of the most marginalised people with disabilities in Bangladesh, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, and Tanzania during the COVID-19 pandemic. This paper summarises what we learned and it can be used to include people with disabilities in future programming, particularly in contexts at risk of crisis.

Lives turned upside down in COVID-19 times: exploring disabled people's experiences in 5 low-and-middle income countries using narrative interviews

WICKENDEN, Mary
SHAW, Jackie
THOMPSON, Stephen
ROHWERDER, Brigitte
2021

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This article explores COVID-19 related experiences of disabled people in Bangladesh, Kenya, Nigeria, Nepal and Uganda. Narrative interviews generated storied responses, focussing on respondents' priorities, which enabled us to hear what was most significant for them and their families. 143 interviews were conducted online or by phone by 7 local researchers (3 disabled), with appropriate inclusive support. Nearly everyone was interviewed twice to capture the progression of impacts over time. The data was analysed thematically through a virtual participatory approach. An overarching 'subjective' theme of feelings experienced by the participants was labelled 'destabilisation, disorientation and uncertainty'. We also identified 'concrete' or material impacts. People experienced various dilemmas such as choosing between securing food and keeping safe, and tensions between receiving support and feeling increased vulnerability or dependence, with interplay between the emotions of fear, loss and hope. We found both the concept of liminality and grief models productive in understanding the progression of participants' experiences. Disabled people reported the same feelings, difficulties and impacts as others, reported in other literature, but often their pre-existing disadvantages have been exacerbated by the pandemic, including poverty, gender and impairment related stresses and discrimination, inaccessible services or relief, and exclusion from government initiatives.

Inclusive client responsiveness: Focus on people with disabilities and older people

INTERNATIONAL RESCUE COMMITTEE (IRC)
July 2021

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Humanitarian actors recognize the lack of standard practice on the inclusion of older people and people with disabilities in humanitarian response as a current and critical gap in the sector. In recent years, the humanitarian sector has begun to more intentionally address these challenges. In response, the IRC has developed this Inclusive Client Responsiveness Guidance, which aims to address gaps in the IRC’s Client Responsive Programming specifically to strengthen inclusion of people with disabilities and older people. The Guidance consists of three sections to support staff in strengthening inclusion of people with disabilities and older people using the IRC’s Client Responsiveness approach:

Key concepts for designing inclusive feedback mechanisms such as accessibility and reasonable accommodation, to ensure that barriers are addressed, and feedback mechanisms are designed to be accessible to all.

Selection and design of inclusive feedback mechanisms that foster diversity and inclusion.

Monitoring access to feedback mechanisms of people with disabilities and older people through appropriate data collection and analysis.

The guidance also includes a set of resources for practical implementation, which are referenced throughout the document

A Swedish cultural adaptation of the participation questionnaire Functional Scale of the Disability Evaluation System – Child version

AXELSSON, Anna Karin
ULLENHAG, Anna
ÖDMAN, Pia
2021

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Purpose: The aim was to culturally validate a questionnaire about children’s/youth’s participation to be used in a Swedish context.


Methods: FUNDES-Child, based on the well-established CASP, was chosen. Questions about engagement and hindering factors were added to the existing questions about frequency and independence in 20 activity areas. Using a qualitative, explorative design, 16 interviews with children/youths/caregivers were made to explore opinions about the questionnaire. Follow-up interviews confirmed the result of the revised questionnaire. Qualitative content analysis was performed.

 

Results: The interviews provided support for the questionnaire’s relevance by being a tool to assess important aspects of participation, to gain insights into one’s own/the child’s participation, and to promote ideas about what causes the degree of participation. To achieve comprehensiveness, no activity area was found to be missing nor superfluous. However, some examples were needed to be modified where “parades” are unusual in Sweden and therefore removed, while “singing in choir” was added. In search for comprehensibility, opinions about the layout of the first version were raised and a varying degree of understanding of wording and concepts were found and thus taken into account. 

 

Conclusions: The questionnaire can be used for establishing meaningful goals and to potentially increase children’s participation.

A global agenda for inclusive recovery: Ensuring people with intellectual disabilities and families are Included in a post-COVID world

INCLUSION INTERNATIONAL
May 2021

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This report documents the experiences of people with intellectual disabilities and their families during COVID-19 and proposes a global agenda for inclusive COVID recovery developed by Inclusion International’s membership. The global agenda is a set of imperatives for policy and programming to ensure that “building back better” creates a more inclusive world.

Leave no girl with disabilities behind: Ensuring efforts to advance gender equality in education are disability-inclusive.

DIAMOND, Gloria
CASTRES, Pauline
April 2021

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This advocacy brief from the UN Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI) and Leonard Cheshire draws attention to the main barriers to education for girls with disabilities, in the context of major opportunities for advocacy and tangible change in 2021.  The recommendations outlined are targeted at world leaders, governments, ministries, UN agencies and NGOs. They offer a framework for rights-based action and principles towards gender-responsive and inclusive education, to ensure that no girls with disabilities are left behind. 

Combatting the costs of exclusion for children with disabilities and their families

MONT, Daniel
UNICEF
March 2021

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Compared with other children, children with disabilities are less likely to receive an education, less likely to be employed as adults, more likely to be victims of violence, less likely to start their own families and participate in community events, and more likely to live in poverty. 

The exclusion of children with disabilities affects not only them, but imposes costs on the whole community. If these children lack the opportunity to be productive, society loses out on what they could have produced.  The barriers faced by people with disabilities can also create more responsibilities for their family members, which can limit their opportunities to work or get an education.

Moreover, the impact of exclusion extends beyond the economic cost. If people with disabilities are absent from public discourse, the community cannot benefit from their ideas. If they are excluded from political participation, the government cannot truly represent the interests of all citizens. 

A growing body of research suggests that the costs of exclusion are high. Fortunately, evidence also demonstrates that there are effective ways to ameliorate these costs. A strong case can be made for the social and economic benefits of inclusion. This paper is an effort to begin making that case.

 

Exploring participation in family and recreational activities among children with cerebral palsy during early childhood: how does it relate to motor function and parental empowerment?

KALLESON, Runa
JAHNSEN, Reidun
ØSTENSJØ, Sigrid
2021

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Purpose: To explore participation in real-life activities during early childhood, compare children’s partici- pation based on motor function and investigate relationships between participation and parental empowerment.


Methods: Data derived from the Cerebral Palsy Follow-up Program (CPOP) in Norway and the research registry Habilitation Trajectories, Interventions, and Services for Young Children with CP (CPHAB). Fifty-six children (12–56 months, GMFCS levels I–IV, MACS levels I–V) and their families were included. Frequency and enjoyment of participation were assessed by the Child Engagement in Daily Life Questionnaire and parental empowerment in family and service situations by the Family Empowerment Scale at least twice during the preschool years. Differences between groups based on motor function were explored by the Kruskal–Wallis tests. A linear mixed model was conducted to explore relationships between child partici- pation and parental empowerment.

 

Results: Similarities and differences in participation between children at different motor function levels varied between the activities explored. Fluctuations in frequency and stable enjoyment scores over time were most common. A statistically significant relationship was revealed between child participation and parental empowerment in family situations, but not in service situations.

 

Conclusions: Child participation appears as context-dependent and complexly influenced by both motor function and parental empowerment. This supports a focus on transactional processes when exploring and promoting child participation.

Prevalence, types, and combinations of multiple problems among recipients of work disability benefits

BRONGERS, Kor A
HOEKSTRA, Tialda
ROELOFS, Pepijn D D M
BROUWER, Sandra
2021

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Purpose: For persons on disability benefits who are facing multiple problems, active labour market poli- cies seem less successful. Besides health problems, these people perceive personal, social, and environ- mental problems. Since very little is known about these “non-medical” problems our aim was to explore the prevalence of clients experiencing multiple problems, the types and number of perceived problems, combinations of perceived problems, and associated characteristics in a group of work disability benefit recipients.

 

Methods: We performed a cross-sectional study, using self-reported data on perceived problems and socio-demographics, and register data from the Dutch Social Security Institute on diagnosed diseases and employment status. A convenient group of labour experts recruited eligible clients on work disability benefit.

 

Results: Of the 207 persons on work disability benefit, 87% perceived having multiple problems. Most reported problems were related to physical (76%) or mental (76%) health. Health problems most fre- quently occurred together with a mismatch in education, financial problems, or care for family members. Clients with lower education experienced significantly more problems than clients with an intermediate or high educational level.

 

Conclusions: Clients with multiple problems face severe and intertwined problems in different domains of life, and need tailored multi-actor work disability management.

Persons with disabilities and their representative organisations in Iraq

March 2021

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Iraq has one of the largest populations of persons with disabilities in the world. Despite this, there has been little consultation among persons with disabilities and their representative groups by government and humanitarian and development agencies. Persons with disabilities and their representative organisations in Iraq: Barriers, challenges and priorities aims to improve the understanding of the barriers experienced by persons with disabilities, including the key challenges and priorities of their rep­resentative organizations, in order to inform humanitarian and development programming. The report is based on interviews conducted with 81 representatives of 53 Organiza­tions of persons with disabilities across 18 governorates in Iraq.

Persons with disabilities and their representative organisations in Iraq

INTERNATIONAL ORGANISATION FOR MIGRATION (IOM) IRAQ
March 2021

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Iraq has one of the largest populations of persons with disabilities in the world. Despite this, there has been little consultation among persons with disabilities and their representative groups by government and humanitarian and development agencies. Persons with disabilities and their representative organisations in Iraq: Barriers, challenges and priorities aims to improve the understanding of the barriers experienced by persons with disabilities, including the key challenges and priorities of their rep­resentative organizations, in order to inform humanitarian and development programming. The report is based on interviews conducted with 81 representatives of 53 Organiza­tions of persons with disabilities across 18 governorates in Iraq.

Do personal assistance activities promote participation in society for persons with disabilities in Sweden? A five-year longitudinal study

VON GRANITZ, Heléne
SONNANDER, Karin
REINE, Ieva
WINBLAD, Ulrika
2021

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Purpose: To explore whether the personal assistance (PA) activities provided by the Swedish Act concern- ing Support and Service for Persons with Certain Functional Impairment in 2010 and 2015 promote par- ticipation in society according to Article 19 of the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).

 

Methods: Register data and data from two questionnaires were used (N1⁄42565). Descriptive statistics and chi-square (McNemar’s test) were used to describe the basic features of the data. Mixed binominal logistic regression was used to examine correlation between gender and hours of PA between 2010 and 2015.

 

Results: Despite an increase in the number of PA hours, more care activities and a reduction of most PA activities representing an active life were found. The result was especially evident for women, older peo- ple, and for a particular person category.


Conclusions: The results offer evidence of a shift to a medical model and indicate a risk of social exclu- sion due to fewer activities representing an active life. An increase on average of 16h of PA over the period studied does not guarantee access to an active life and may indicate a marginal utility. The noted decline of PA for participation in society enhances the importance of monitoring content aspects to fulfil Article 19 of the UNCRPD.

The effective engagement toolkit

LEONARD CHESHIRE
March 2021

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The engagement toolkit is a practical resource guide for anyone committed to ensuring the voice of disabled people is front and centre of their work.

Starting with influencing approaches on policy, campaigning and public affairs engagement, the toolkit provides:

• Step by step guidance on entry points for developing productive and mutually beneficial relationships with the disability community.
• Quick guides on key disability movement context, approaches and best practice
• A breakdown of key elements of the Influencing Cycle.
• Examples of where good practice has worked well.
• Links to in-depth information for further learning.

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.

Participation and engagement in family activities among girls and young women with Rett syndrome living at home with their parents – a cross-sectional study

KRUSE GYLDHOF, Ditte
STAHLHUT, Michelle
EJLERSEN WAEHRENS, Eva
February 2021

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Purpose: To describe the extent of participation and engagement in family activities and explore variables potentially impacting on these factors in family activities among girls and young women with Rett syndrome (RTT) under the age of 21.

 

Materials and methods: The Child Participation in Family Activities (Child-PFA) questionnaire was sent to parents in the target group (n = 42). Additionally, age, number of siblings at home, ambulation level, clinical severity and level of hand function were recorded to explore possible impact. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, Fishers exact test and cross-tables.

 

Results: 23 families participated. Highest degrees of participation and engagement were seen in social and stationary family activities. Indoor activities were frequent and showed high levels of participation and engagement, Outdoor activities were infrequent and showed low levels of participation despite a high degree of engagement. Routine activities were frequent but showed moderate to low participation and engagement. A negative association was found between participation in watching a movie and number of siblings living at home, and positive associations between engagement and age in three family activities.

 

Conclusion: Therapists working with this target group may benefit from focusing on engagement in routine activities and modification of family activities.

Comprehensive support for pupils at risk of school failure in inclusive education: theory and school practice in the Czech Republic

SLOWÍK, Josef
GAŽÁKOVÁ, Eva
HOLEČEK, Václav
ZACHOVÁ, Markéta
2021

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The paper presents possibilities of comprehensive use of support tools for pupils at risk of school failure in the Czech primary schools practice in order to support the implementation of inclusive education. The research data obtained during the project implemented in the Pilsen region in period of 2016–2019 brought the results of assessment of new support tools that are not yet systemically introduced in the Czech educational system and commonly available for all schools, although these instruments seem to be very effective or even necessary for quality inclusive education. The most important new tools include the position of inclusion coordinator in schools, strengthening the counselling services available directly in schools, as well as new strategies for promotion of cooperation between the schools, families, and social services – including some specific techniques, such as parenting workshops on child support in education, case conferences with child’s participation or seminars for parents and teachers on collaboration with social services. However, the exploitation of the results of this research and assessment will depend largely on political decisions at both local and governmental levels.

Social classroom climate and personalised instruction as predictors of students’ social participation

ZURBRIGGEN, Carmen L A
HOFMANN, Verena
LEHOFER, Mike
SCHWAB, Susanne
2021

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Previous research has repeatedly confirmed that students with special educational needs (SEN) are generally less accepted by their peers. Although inclusive teaching strategies and classroom characteristics are frequently hypothesised to improve students’ social participation, empirical evidence is scarce. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to investigate classroom characteristics and teaching practices that can help foster social participation, in general, and reduce the effect of lower social participation among students with SEN, in particular. The sample includes 518 students in 31 Grade 4 and 7 classes from Austria, of whom 99 are students with SEN. The results show that students with SEN receive fewer peer nominations and perceive their social participation to be lower compared to their peers without SEN. However, the association between SEN and self-perceived social participation is moderated by the social classroom climate, i.e. the difference becomes smaller when the social classroom climate is more positive. Furthermore, the higher the personalised instruction was rated by a student, the higher was his or her social status. The results suggest that interventions should focus not only on the improvement of individual students (with SEN) but also on changing the whole classroom environment.

Global Disability Summit - Civil Society Consultations 2020

INTERNATIONAL DISABILITY ALLIANCE (IDA)
February 2021

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In December 2020, IDA coordinated with local and regional partners 4 (four) GDS consultations involving persons with disabilities in Africa, Latin America and Asia. These were the beginning of a series of more than 20 workshops that IDA is planning with partner organizations in different parts of the world, to assess progress made against national commitments adopted in 2018, discuss thematic priorities, and plan events, discussions and training for the run-up to the main GDS event in Oslo.

In total, consultations have been carried in 15 countries with more than 100 participants, reaching 5 (five) underrepresented groups: persons with intellectual & psychosocial disabilities, indigenous persons with disabilities, youth, and women

What are the most effective strategies for strengthening health systems for disability inclusive development? - Evidence brief

MACTAGGART, Islay
February 2021

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Health system strengthening refers to initiatives that improve one or more functions of health systems, leading to better health. There is a large body of evidence on what works to strengthen health systems in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), much of which is aligned to the World Health Organization (WHO) health system building blocks (service delivery; health workforce; information; medical products, vaccines and technologies; financing; and leadership/governance). Despite the fact that some people with disabilities have additional health needs, and many face additional barriers to accessing healthcare, inclusion of people with disabilities is largely missing from this evidence base. Separately, a smaller evidence base exists on increasing the effectiveness of specific health-related services targeting people with disabilities, such as health-related Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR), rehabilitation services more broadly, and mental health services. This second evidence base is less closely aligned to the building blocks. Reviewing these outputs in parallel goes some way towards identifying effective strategies for strengthening health systems for disability inclusive development.

Social media and disability advocacy organizations: caught between hopes and realities

GELFGREN, Stefan
INELAND, Jens
COCQ, Coppélie
2021

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This article examines the role of advocacy organizations and their use of social media within the field of disability in Sweden. How do the organizations negotiate digital media, and what are the (intentional or unintentional) consequences related to the use of social media? With focus on the representatives of advocacy organizations, we study how they reflect and act in order to balance various motives, and what challenges and ambiguities that arise. On one hand, there is a perceived need to be online and communicate with members and the surrounding society. On the other hand, digital communication induces a divide between those who have the resources to take part in such communication, and those who do not – in terms of digital competence, economy, age, cognitive abilities, technical equipment and digital connection. The heterogeneity of resources and target groups inevitably challenges both the ideals of inclusion and intentions of advocacy organizations.

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