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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.

COVID-19 and State Responses in Pakistan’s Policy towards Persons with Disabilities

ORAKZAI, Saira Bano
2021

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The outbreak of COVID-19 has initiated debate in the world about the response mechanism towards different communities in society. Pandemics have a long history in human societies, changing not only human behavior but also world politics. The Russian flu of 1889, the Spanish flu of 1918, the polio pandemic of 1949, H2N2 virus, 1956, HIV/AIDS 1981, Swine flu 2001, SARS 2002 among others have caused millions of deaths in contemporary recorded history. This paper examines Pakistan’s response mechanisms for persons with disabilities through an analysis of relevant policy documents, UN guidelines and content analysis of key speeches by the Prime Minister Imran Khan, interviews and initiatives taken by the government. The paper concludes that in the absence of any definitive policy for persons with disabilities during COVID19, there has been a general ignorance and apathy towards the way persons with disabilities were given care or in dealing with them during the lockdown situation. As the COVID-19 second wave started in different parts of the world, it is time for the government to take substantive measures to ease problems faced by persons with disabilities. 

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

DEVANDAS-AGUILAR, Catalina
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

Promoting Inclusive Education in Mongolia

SHELZIG, Karin
NEWMAN, Kirsty
November 2020

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This paper explores inclusive education for children with disabilities in Mongolia in line with the global commitment captured in SDG 4, based on data from a 2019 survey of more than 5,000 households in Ulaanbaatar, and 4 provinces.

 

ADB EAST ASIA WORKING PAPER SERIES No.28

Living in Chains - Shackling of people with psychosocial disabilities worldwide

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH
October 2020

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In order to show the scale and scope of shackling of people with real or perceived psychosocial disabilities worldwide, Human Rights Watch conducted a study of mental health legislation, relevant policies, and practices across 60 countries around the world.

This report includes research and testimonies collected by 16 Human Rights Watch researchers in their own countries. We worked closely with partner organizations to visit private homes and institutions in Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Ghana, Indonesia, Kenya, Liberia, Mexico, Mozambique, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Palestine, Russia, the selfdeclared independent state of Somaliland, South Sudan, and Yemen. Human Rights Watch researchers interviewed more than 350 people with psychosocial disabilities, including those who were shackled at the time of research or had been shackled at least once in their lives, and more than 430 family members, caregivers or staff working in institutions, psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses and other mental health professionals, faith healers, lawyers, government officials, representatives of local nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), including organizations of persons with disabilities, and disability rights advocates. The testimonies were collected between August 2018 and September 2020 through in-person and phone interviews.

Desk research and consultation with international disability experts was also undertaken

Disability inclusion in the United Nations system - Report of the Secretary General

SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS
October 2020

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When launching the Strategy in June 2019, the Secretary-General stated that the United Nations would lead by example and raise its standards and performance on disability inclusion across all pillars of its work, from Headquarters to the field. The present report outlines the first steps on the path to achieving transformative and lasting change for persons with disabilities across the United Nations system

 

The report is organized into seven sections. Following the introduction, an overview of the advances made in the United Nations on disability inclusion, including the adoption of the Strategy, is provided in section II; the first year of implementation of the Strategy at the entity and country levels is reported on in section III; coronavirus disease (COVID-19) response and recovery efforts are the focus of section IV; the overarching actions for implementation of the Strategy are considered in section V; challenges and opportunities are highlighted in section VI; and the conclusion and recommendations for consideration by the General Assembly are contained in section VII. The report provides an analysis of information from 57 United Nations entities1 that reported under the Strategy ’s entity accountability framework and seven United Nations country teams that completed the accountability scorecard on disability inclusion as part of a targeted roll-out.

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. 

The impact of COVID-19 on disabled people in Northern Ireland

FITZSIMONS, Sean
O'NEILL, Emma
CRAWFORD, Alison
September 2020

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Key findings and recommendations are reported from an online survey published in April 2020 to gather the experiences of disabled people, their families and carers during the COVID-19 outbreak in Northern Ireland. The survey went live on April 1st 2020 and closed on April 30th 2020.  Over 400 survey responses were received, including over 1300 written statements. 

Key findings are reported in the areas of: social care; physical health; mental health and emotional wellbeing; carers; accessing food and medicine; accessing information; employment and training; social security benefits and community support

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

Disability inclusion in the Western Balkans and Eastern Partnership countries. Disability Inclusion Helpdesk Report No: 51.

CORBY, Nick
CLUGSTON, Naomi
September 2020

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This briefing note provides guidance on how to incorporate disability inclusion within economic and governance reform projects. It is intended to inform the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office’s (FCDO) Good Governance Fund (GGF). This Note provides basic, introductory guidance on disability inclusion to FCDO advisers and managers engaging with economic and governance reform and sets out opportunities for the FCDO’s programmes and policy dialogue to deliver positive impacts for people with disabilities. The Note addresses three key questions: 2 1. What is the broad status of the rights of people with disabilities in GGF countries and are there any significant differences between the countries? 2. What are the recommended entry points for incorporating disability inclusion within economic and governance reform projects within the five GGF thematic areas? 3. How should the GGF incorporate disability inclusion into the next business case?

 

An annex provides short notes on several factors for each country. The factors are: the legal framework; disability prevalence; economic inclusion; social inclusion; institutionialisation; access to justice; receptions and representation in the media.

Product Narratives: the challenges of supply and demand-side barriers for priority AT

HOLLOWAY, Cathy
OLDFREY, Ben
END FINEBURG, Alison
SEGHERS, Frederic
SOENDERGAARD, Dennis
September 2020

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This Disability Innovation Live session, looked at the Assistive Technology (AT) Product Narratives (PNs). The Product Narratives were developed by the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) under the FCDO funded AT2030 programme, led by GDI Hub, in support of the ATscale Strategy.

These PNs set out what we know about the state of the global market for each AT product, and identify global recommendations for how to address some of the barriers to access currently experienced in low and middle-income countries. In this session, we hear from the experts about what the PNs are, how they will inform global policy, and how we hope they will help us reach more people with life-changing AT

COVID-19, Amplifying Voices: Our Lives, Our Say: Learning from COVID-19 through the experiences of blind and partially sighted persons across the world

ZAYED, Yana
et al
August 2020

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The World Blind Union (WBU) conducted a study to examine the extent to which COVID-19 pandemic has exposed some deep structural inequalities in society. Data gathered from the study is evidencing that persons with disabilities, older persons, and persons from lower socioeconomic status backgrounds are among those hardest hit by the pandemic. While this report puts a spotlight on the voices of blind and partially sighted persons, many of the experiences shared strongly resonate with numerous other studies that are also highlighting how marginalised groups have been affected by this crisis. Through this report, WBU hopes to raise awareness on the specifics of what those challenges have meant in reality for its constituents, as well as shed light on what have been effective resilience strategies for them. The study was made possible with the support of CBM Global

To understand the situation of our constituents, the World Blind Union (WBU) conducted a global survey in collaboration with key stakeholders. In April 2020, the WBU launched an open online survey for seven weeks in Spanish, French and English, seeking information from blind and partially sighted persons on how COVID-19 was impacting their day to day life. 853 people participated in the survey. The respondents expressed in their own words how their lives had been and continue to be impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. This report is a compilation of those voices. It depicts the ways in which COVID-19 response measures taken by state and non-state actors have created additional barriers and challenges for blind and partially sighted people. It also includes powerful testimonies on how people have shown resilience in the face of adversity.

 

 

Segregated education as a challenge to inclusive processes: a total population study of Swedish teachers’ views on education for pupils with intellectual disability

GÖRANSSON, Kerstin
BENGTSSON, Karin
HANSSON, Susanne
KLANG, Nina
LINDQVIST, Gunilla
NILHOLM, Claes
2020

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Many pupils with disabilities receive schooling in segregated contexts, such as special classes or special schools. Furthermore, the percentage of pupils educated in segregated settings has increased in many European countries. Studies suggest that there is high commitment to the general ideology of inclusive education among teachers in ‘regular’ education in many countries. This survey study investigates the views of teachers in segregated types of school about education. A questionnaire was sent out, in 2016, to all Swedish teachers (N = 2871, response rate 57.7%) working full time in special classes for pupils with intellectual disability (ID). On a general level results show that there is a strong commitment to preserving a segregated school setting for pupils with ID, a limited desire to cooperate with colleagues from ‘regular schools’ and a view that schooling and teaching are not quite compatible with the idea of inclusive education. The results highlight the importance of investigating processes of resistance within segregated schools to the development of inclusive schools and education systems. We argue that, while research and debate about inclusive education are important, both are insufficient without analyses of existing types of segregated schooling.

How do legal and policy frameworks support employment of people with disabilities in Uganda? Findings from a qualitative policy analysis study

GRIFFITHS, Andrew
BECHANGE, Stevens
LORYMAN, Hannah
IGA, Chris
SCHMIDT, Eleanor
August 2020

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This policy analysis reviewed the current legislation and policies on the economic empowerment of people with disabilities in Uganda and explored the views of national stakeholders on the implementation of these policies in practice. The analysis was conducted through a document review and in‐depth stakeholder interviews. The study found that anti‐discrimination policies can only do so much for disability inclusive recruitment. Questions about policy implementation, stakeholder ownership, trust and efficiencies within the system and sufficient accountability mechanisms need addressing, if the existing framework is to be effective and positively impact the lives of people with disabilities in Uganda.
 

https://doi.org/10.1002/jid.3508


Journal of International Development J. Int. Dev. 32, 1360–1378 (2020J

What do we know about how to support mental health and wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic from past infectious disease epidemics?

QURESH, Onaiza
SCHERER, Nathaniel
July 2020

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The question and the problem:

Symptoms of mental ill-health are common during widespread outbreak of an infectious disease, with high rates of depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) reported during recent epidemics, such as the recent Ebola crises and SARS-CoV-1. Elevated symptoms of mental ill-health are not limited to patients only, and are seen in healthcare workers, family members and indeed more widely across the general population. Early evidence coming from the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates high rates of mental ill-health and mental health service provision is needed. This evidence brief summarises evidence on mental health support during COVID-19 and other recent pandemics, informing policy and practice during this crisis.

Neglected and forgotten: women with disabilities during Covid crisis in India

GOYAL, Nidhi
RAGHAVAN, Srinidhi
KOTHARI, Ketan
July 2020

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This report is a collaborative initiative of Rising Flame and Sightsavers to respond to the urgent needs of women with disabilities in India during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The aim of this research was to capture and amplify voices and narratives of women with disabilities  and to make strong recommendations to ensure inclusion of women with disabilities in social, legal, policy and systemic responses.

Online and telephonic research consultations were carried out in May 2020,  within the barriers faced or accommodations needed by participants, including access to internet, the need for sign language interpretation and the establishment of a safe space. A total of 82 women with disabilities and 12 experts across 19 states and nine self-identified disability groups participated in the research.

Broadly, the study is divided into access, food and essentials, social protection, health, hygiene and sanitation, education, employment and livelihood, domestic violence and emotional well-being. The study explores the ongoing barriers experienced by women across disabilities and makes recommendations to build back a better and more inclusive world.

Inclusion and education: All means all. Global Education Monitoring (GEM) report 2020

GLOBAL EDUCATION MONITORING REPORT TEAM
June 2020

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The 2020 GEM Report assesses progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) on education and its ten targets, as well as other related education targets in the SDG agenda. The Report also addresses inclusion in education, drawing attention to all those excluded from education, because of background or ability. The Report is motivated by the explicit reference to inclusion in the 2015 Incheon Declaration, and the call to ensure an inclusive and equitable quality education in the formulation of SDG 4, the global goal for education. It reminds us that, no matter what argument may be built to the contrary, we have a moral imperative to ensure every child has a right to an appropriate education of high quality.

The Report also explores the challenges holding us back from achieving this vision and demonstrates concrete policy examples from countries managing to tackle them with success. These include differing understandings of the word inclusion, lack of teacher support, absence of data on those excluded from education, inappropriate infrastructure, persistence of parallel systems and special schools, lack of political will and community support, untargeted finance, uncoordinated governance, multiple but inconsistent laws, and policies that are not being followed through.

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