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“The Situation has Exposed Persons with Disabilities to Double Edged Pain”: People with Disabilities’ Experiences of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Uganda

WICKENDEN, Mary
ROHWERDER, Brigitte
SHAW, Jackie
THOMPSON, Stephen
WAKOKO, Eric
June 2021

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This qualitative study was undertaken as part of the work of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) funded Inclusion Works programme which aims to improve inclusive employment for people with disabilities in four countries: Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria, Bangladesh. When the COVID-19 pandemic emerged early in 2020 the work of this consortium programme was adapted to focus on pandemic relief and research activities, while some other planned work was not possible.

“This Time of Corona Has Been Hard”: People with Disabilities’ Experiences of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Kenya

ROHWERDER, Brigitte
NJUNGI, Josephine
WICKENDEN, Mary
THOMPSON, Stephen
SHAW, Jackie
June 2021

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The COVID-19 pandemic is deepening pre-existing inequalities. Emerging research suggests that people with disabilities across the world have experienced various rights violations and been disproportionality affected by the health, economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the responses to it. The aim of this research was to explore how people with disabilities, who often are excluded from research, have experienced the evolving COVID-19 pandemic in Kenya. To better understand how it has affected jobseekers with disabilities, in-depth qualitative research was conducted in Kenya as part of the Inclusion Works programme.

“This pandemic brought a lot of sadness”: people with disabilities’ experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria

THOMPSON, Stephen
CHUBA-UZO, Shadrach
ROHWERDER, Brigitte
SHAW, Jackie
WICKENDEN, Mary
June 2021

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This qualitative study was undertaken as part of the work of the FCDO funded Inclusion Works programme which aims to improve inclusive employment for people with disabilities in four countries: Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria, Bangladesh. When the COVID-19 pandemic emerged early in 2020 the work of this consortium programme was adapted to focus on pandemic relief and research activities, while other planned worked was not possible.
The Institute of Development Studies (IDS) led a piece of qualitative research to explore the experiences and perceptions of the pandemic and related lockdowns in each country, using a narrative interview approach, which asks people to tell their stories, following up with some further questions once they have identified their priorities to talk about. 10 people with disabilities who were involved in Inclusion Works in each country were purposively selected to take part, each being invited to have two interviews with an interval of one or two months in between, in order to capture changes in their situation over time. The 10 interviewees had a range of impairments, were gender balanced and were various ages, as well as having differing living and working situations.

“Everything is Totally Uncertain Right Now”: People with Disabilities’ Experiences of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Bangladesh

SHAW, Jackie
AKTER, Fatema
ROHWERDER, Brigitte
WICKENDEN, Mary
THOMPSON, Stephen
June 2021

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The COVID-19 pandemic is deepening pre-existing inequalities. Emerging research suggests that people with disabilities across the world have experienced various rights violations and been disproportionality affected by the health, economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the responses to it. The aim of this research was to explore how people with disabilities, who often are excluded from research, have experienced the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. In order to better understand how it has affected jobseekers with disabilities, in-depth qualitative research was conducted as part of the Inclusion Works programme in Bangladesh.

Persons with disabilities in the context of armed conflict - Submission to the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH
June 2021

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Human Rights Watch provided input to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities for his thematic report to the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly regarding the rights of persons with disabilities in armed conflict.

This submission was based on Human Rights Watch’s research in Afghanistan, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Israel/Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, South Sudan, and Syria. 

 

Six issues were focussed on in particular:

  • At higher risk during fighting
  • Availability of assistive devices
  • Access to basic services
  • Education for children with disabilities
  • Abuse and stigma
  • Mental health impact

EDF-IDA workshop on Using the UN Optional Protocols to defend the rights of women and girls with disabilities

SUAREZ, Natalia
PELAEZ NARVAEZ, Ana
May 2021

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Several international human rights treaties exist to protect their rights, such as the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the UN Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). These Conventions are complemented by agreements called Optional Protocols. They establish individual complaints mechanism for individuals or groups of individuals who have seen their rights violated in their country.

This online workshop organised on the 10th of May, 2021 jointly by the International Disability Alliance and the European Disability Forum informed participants on the role and functioning of the Optional Protocols, as tools to defend the rights of women and girls with disabilities. Speakers included representatives and legal experts from the Officer of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the International Disability Alliance, the International Women’s Right Actions Watch Asia Pacific and Validity Foundation. The workshop was introduced and moderated by Ana Pelaez Narvaez, Vice President of the European Disability Forum and member of the CEDAW Committee.

A National Survey of the Social and Emotional Differences Reported by Adults with Disability in Ireland Compared to the General Population

McCONKEY, Roy
2021

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The disadvantages experienced by adult persons with disabilities are well documented. However, limited evidence is available on the extent of differences in comparison with the non- disabled population. In this study, selected indicators of social status and mental wellbeing derived from past research, were used with national samples of adult persons in Ireland with a disability (n = 440) and without a disability (n = 880) recruited through household quota sampling. In addition, comparisons were drawn with equivalent data derived from a contemporaneous national census. Although many of the differences were statistically significant, the effect sizes were mostly medium to low. Moreover, when the inter-relationships among the various indicators was taken into account using Discriminant Analysis, persons with disabilities were less likely to be employed; they reported lower levels of social engagement and had poorer emotional wellbeing. They were also older, more likely to be single and have no children. The study illustrates the potential of using comparative data to monitor the impact of national actions taken to reduce the inequalities experienced by persons with disability as well as highlighting the arenas into which professional supports need to be focused.

Invisible to the Law: COVID-19 and the legal consciousness of persons with disabilities in Bangladesh

MIZAN, Arpeeta Shams
2021

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Despite disability rights being recognized through formal legislation in Bangladesh, the rights of persons with disabilities are still not effectively ensured. State interventions during the pandemic have not sufficiently accommodated the rights of Persons with Disabilities. Pre-existing social prejudices have added to their plight. Due to social prejudice and myriad access to justice challenges, persons with disabilities in Bangladesh face negative attitudes when it comes to exercising their legal rights. The article uses primary data obtained through qualitative interviews and secondary sources to illustrate how the Covid19 pandemic has reinforced structural discriminations and increased the vulnerability of persons with disabilities

Disabled children and work: An overview of a neglected topic with a specific focus on Ghana

WICKENDEN, Mary
February 2021

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This paper provides an overview of issues related to disabled children and work.

This is a very unexplored topic and the literature is scant, so the paper first provides an overview of some key relevant background information on: disability globally and in Ghana, disability and employment, disabled children and relevant human rights approaches – the UNCRC and UNCRPD. Next examples of research on disabled children and work are presented and lastly some suggested hypotheses and possible research questions are proposed

 

ACHA Working Paper 7
DOI: 10.19088/ACHA.2021.002

Disability Inclusion and Global Development: A Preliminary Analysis of the United Nations Partnership on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities programme within the context of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Sustainable

WESCOTT, H N
MACLACHLAN, M
MANNAN, H
2021

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Purpose: This paper provides a preliminary snapshot of the proposed priorities approved by the United Nations programme designated to support the progressive realisation of the CRPD, the United Nations Partnership on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNPRPD) outlined by specific Convention Articles and, more broadly, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

 

Method:A content analysis of project proposal summaries approved for funding by the UNPRPD was conducted against the CRPD and SDGs. A matrix of data was produced to draw links between proposed objectives and established international frameworks guiding global development.

 

Results:This analysis provides two sets of information. First, a look at the distribution of rights identified in the initial project proposals and accepted by the UNPRPD, establishing a baseline of priorities and outstanding need. Second, it identifies issues that need to be addressed to ensure the advancement of all rights outlined in the CRPD and equitable achievement of the SDGs.

 

Conclusion and Implications:Disability inclusion is necessary to achieve the SDGs in an equitable manner by 2030, as well as implement the CRPD. The UNPRPD supports a diverse range of projects spanning many of the Convention Articles and global goals; however, full participation and scope of disability inclusion requires programming in all areas of both instruments, and this has not yet been fully integrated in the UNPRPD funded project proposals.

 

Limitations: This study was limited to the available UNPRPD project proposal summaries that were successful, and did not include all the proposals submitted for consideration. The proposals accepted for funding give insights into the disability inclusive development priorities chosen for project implementation by UN agencies.

Do both ‘get it right’? Inclusion of newly arrived migrant students in Swedish primary schools

TAJIC, Denis
BUNAR, Nihad
2020

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The aim of this article is to advance knowledge on how Swedish primary schools organise education and what strategies they deploy to ensure inclusion and attainment of newly arrived migrant students. The article is based on semi-structured interviews with 30 teachers and school administrators, and one-year of fieldwork undertaken in two multicultural urban primary schools in the Stockholm region. One of the schools initially places students in separate classes, while the other one places them directly into mainstream classes. Both are evoking inclusion and attainment as a reason for using their respective models. As such, do both ‘get it right’? Using inclusion as the theoretical and conceptual framework this article addresses the broader question: How is the meaning of inclusion constructed in the processes of its practical implementation in these two schools? The results show the ambitious tale of inclusion in both schools was, in the process of the construction of its meaning and implementation, reduced to some of its aspects. Teachers and school administrators are allowed to include or leave out of their model whatever they deem necessary, obsolete, expensive or unrealistic and still fitting under the umbrella of inclusion. Sometimes it works, sometimes it does not, and both schools ‘get it right’ and ‘wrong’ in some aspects.

Legal remedies through litigation for the rights of disabled people

DISABILITY RIGHTS DEFENDERS
EUROPEAN NETWORK ON INDEPENDENT LIVING
ARTICLE 19 AS A TOOL
November 2020

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Even though most countries have ratified the CRPD, the rights of disabled people get violated daily all over the world. In almost every country there are national laws and international agreements which should assure the same rights for disabled people. The main problem is that the laws are widely unenforced, that is why remedies are needed. There is a need for deeper discussions on tools for strategic litigation, including effectiveness of legal and injunctive remedies, different forms of compensation for violations of human rights and procedural strategies for impact, as important tools to fight against violations of disability rights. Thereby, every law system and country has different ways and possibilities to redress violations. In this webinar we want to look at the need for better remedies, access to justice and strategic litigation. We learn from the experience of international experts with strategic litigation and remedies and discuss what kind of changes we would like to see in the remedies available or what kind of new remedies are needed. How can we establish an exchange of international experience and cooperation between organizations in the work towards better remedies?

 

The following speakers shared their expertise:

Paul Lappalainen, Swedish/US lawyer, European Equality Law Network: Access to justice / Access to remedies
Mari Siilsalu, lawyer at Article 19 as a tool, Independent Living Institute: Survey on legal remedies
Ann Campbell, Co Executive Director at Validity Foundation: Looking beyond compensation: innovative remedies for women with disabilities
Stellan Gärde, Swedish lawyer and author: A human right - The right to legal aid
Timothy Hodgson, legal advisor at ICJ, lecturer at University of Pretoria: Economic and social rights litigation

 

The webinar was moderated by Ola Linder, Swedish lawyer and project leader of Article 19 as a tool. 

Bridge CRPD-SDGs global training on Article 11

FLEURY, Tchaurea
UJAH, Sulayman AbdulMumuni
October 2020

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The IDA-IDDC Bridge CRPD-SDGs Global Training on Article 11 was the first-ever global training initiative on Article 11 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) to bring together Disabled Persons’ Organisations (DPOs) and humanitarian representatives. An outline of the eight day event is given and lessons learnt are reported.

Message to Covid-19 Disability Rights Monitor

TESORIERO, Paula
October 2020

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A message by the chair of the Disability Working Group at GANHRI (Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions), on the occasion of the launch of the COVID-19 Disability Rights Monitor Global 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
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.

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.

A rapid assessment of the status of children with disabilities in Somalia

WAITHIRA MGUBUA, Jane
September 2020

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The main objective of this assessment was to explore the barriers faced by children with disabilities in the cities of Mogadishu, Galkaio, Baidoa and Kismaio in Somalia and assess how different stakeholders have sought to address these barriers. The findings of the Assessment are intended to serve as a limited baseline data to inform future programming in the area, both by the government and its local and international partners.

The Assessment used a mixed-methods approach, combining qualitative and quantitative research methods. The Assessment team interviewed 20 key informants, held four focus group discussions (FGDs) with 48 support persons and another four FGDs with 48 children with disabilities. The quantitative survey covered 100 support persons.

The social and human rights models of disability: towards a complementarity thesis

LAWSON, Anna
BECKETT, Angharad E
2020

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This article aims to reorient thinking about the relationship between the long-standing social model of disability and the rapidly emerging human rights model. In particular, it contests the influential view that the latter develops and improves upon the former (the improvement thesis) and argues instead that the two models are complementary (the complementarity thesis). The article begins with a discursive analysis of relevant documents to investigate how each of the two models has been used in the crafting and monitoring of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This highlights the increasing importance of the human rights model in this policy context. It also provides examples of the operation of the two models which inform the remainder of the discussion. We then critique the comparisons between the models which underpin the improvement thesis; and, drawing on Foucault’s technologies of power and Beckett and Campbell’s ‘oppositional device’ methodology, deepen and develop this comparative analysis. The result, we argue, is that the two models have different subjects and different functions. In the human rights context, their roles are complementary and supportive.

The outcomes of individualized housing for people with disability and complex needs: a scoping review

OLIVER, Stacey
Gosden-Kaye, Emily Z
WINKLER, Dianne
DOUGLAS, Jacinta M
2020

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PURPOSE: Worldwide, disability systems are moving away from congregated living towards individualized models of housing. Individualized housing aims to provide choice regarding living arrangements and the option to live in houses in the community, just like people without disability. The purpose of this scoping review was to determine what is currently known about outcomes associated with individualized housing for adults with disability and complex needs.

 

METHODS: Five databases were systematically searched to find studies that reported on outcomes associated with individualized housing for adults (aged 18–65 years) with disability and complex needs.

 

RESULTS: Individualized housing was positively associated with human rights (i.e., self-determination, choice and autonomy) outcomes. Individualized housing also demonstrated favourable outcomes in regards to domestic tasks, social relationships, challenging behaviour and mood. However, outcomes regarding adaptive behaviour, self-care, scheduled activities and safety showed no difference, or less favourable results, when compared to group homes.

 

CONCLUSIONS: The literature indicates that individualized housing has favourable outcomes for people with disability, particularly for human rights. Quality formal and informal supports were identified as important for positive outcomes in individualized housing. Future research should use clear and consistent terminology and longitudinal research methods to investigate individualized housing outcomes for people with disability.

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