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Disability and global health: Special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

KUPER, Hannah
POLAK, Sarah
Eds
2019

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Papers included in this special issue are:

 

Women and young persons with disabilities: Guidelines for providing rights-based and gender-responsive services to address gender-based violence and sexual and reproductive health and rights

HOLOBOFF RADFORD, Anastasia
et al
November 2018

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This publications aims to provide practical and concrete guidelines for making Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) services more inclusive of and accessible to women and young persons with disabilities and for targeting interventions to meet their disability-specific needs.
 
Critical services for all victims and survivors of GBV include health services (e.g. first-line support, sexual assault examination and care, mental health assessment and care), justice and policing services (e.g. assessment and investigation, perpetrator accountability and reparations, safety and protection, justice sector coordination), social services (e.g. crisis counselling; help lines; legal and rights information, advice, and representation; psychosocial support and counselling), and coordination at both the national and local level.

 

Fundamental SRHR services for women and young persons—with and without disabilities— include comprehensive sexuality education; information, goods, and services for the full range of modern contraceptive methods, including emergency contraception; maternal/newborn healthcare (including antenatal care, skilled attendance at delivery, emergency obstetric care, post-partum care, and newborn care); prevention, diagnosis, and treatment for sexual and reproductive health issues (e.g. sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, syphilis, and HPV, cancers of the reproductive system and breast cancer, and infertility); safe and accessible abortion, where it is not against the law; and post-abortion care to treat complications from unsafe abortion.

 

While the primary audience of these Guidelines is GBV and SRHR service providers and support staff, these Guidelines are also intended as a valuable resource for all stakeholders—including those in government, international organizations, and non-governmental organizations—involved in designing, developing, implementing, or advocating for GBV or SRHR services for women and young persons with disabilities. 

Young persons with disabilities: Global study on ending gender-based violence, and realising sexual and reproductive health and rights

McCLOSKEY, Megan
MEYERS, Stephen
July 2018

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This study provides an analysis on the situation of young persons with disabilities concerning discrimination and gender-based violence, including the impact on their sexual and reproductive health and rights. It also provides an assessment of legal, policy and programming developments and specific good practices in service delivery as well as best-standard prevention and protection measures. Finally, policy and programming recommendations are provided to assist in greater promotion of the rights of young persons with disabilities, with a particular emphasis on preventing and responding to gender-based violence, and realizing sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Advancing the access of deafblind women and girls to sexual and reproductive health

VISUAL HEARING IMPAIRMENT MEMBERSHIP ASSOCIATION (VIHEMA)
2017

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Activities to promote the access of deafblind women and girls to sexual and reproductive health are reported via brief descriptions of what happened, what changed and what worked. Activites included: training the deafblind women in their rights;training relatives of deafblind women, giving advice on general care, as well as highlighting the importance of supporting their sexual and reproductive health choices and promoting family planning; tackling the issue of the forced sterilization; awareness raising via newspapers and radio and improving livelihoods.

 

 

Sexual Abuse of Persons with Disabilities - Research

ALEY, Rob
et al
November 2016

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Abstract
The aim of the research was to investigate the social, cultural and institutional factors which contribute to the high incidence of sexual abuse of persons with disabilities in East Africa and to identify interventions which could change detrimental attitudes, beliefs and practices which perpetuate this high incidence. The research is framed within the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability (UNCRPD), particularly articles 12, 13 and 16.

The study used a qualitative participatory action research approach and worked with local partner organisations and Ugandan and Kenyan field level researchers to collect data. Survivors of sexual abuse were not interviewed but instead the research investigated the understandings, beliefs and practices of a range of service providers and key responders who are involved in the prevention of and response to sexual abuse against persons with disabilities in their communities. Groups consulted included police, teachers, health-care workers, government administrators, faith and community organisations and traditional leaders, as well as persons with disabilities and their parents. Participatory workshops were run with a reference group of people with disabilities (with a range of impairments and experiences) and relevant specialists at the initial stage and during the participatory analysis process. After initial orientation and training the field researchers undertook a total of 52 individual interviews and 9 focus group discussions with a range of stakeholders.

The overall findings show that social attitudes and understanding of disability and sexuality in general are strong influencing factors on the risks that persons with disability face in relation to sexual abuse. Participants reported a range of harmful attitudes and beliefs about disability and about the needs and rights of persons with disabilities. It is very common for cases of abuse to go unreported and to be dealt with at the family or community level, rather than being viewed as a serious criminal matter which should be taken to the formal authorities. Many barriers exist, especially at community level which mean abuse does not get reported. Lack of awareness and knowledge, stigma and exclusion and poverty were key drivers of continuing abuse and survivors of abuse seldom get proper support. Guidelines, training and clear procedures for good practice in the various professions were generally weak or absent. Key recommendations were generated for both community level interventions and in relation to policy and training at regional and national levels. The practical implementation of some recommendations was undertaken.

Contextual factors around the sexual abuse of people with disability in East Africa

WADDELL, Mary Ann
May 2015

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This literature review on the issue of sexual violence against people in East Africa aims to identify applied research. It contains a synthesis of the knowledge contained in the best selected research, reading notes and an annotated bibliography. The synthesis provides an objective summary of the of the state of the knowledge concerning the sexual abuse of people with disabilities in East Africa

 

Note: report is available in both word and pdf formats from links above

Abuse and denial of sexual and reproductive rights of women with psychosocial disabilities in Mexico

RODRIGUEZ, Priscila
et al
February 2015

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This report presents the situation faced by women with psycho-social conditions in Mexico based on the results of a year-long study. This research included the application of a questionnaire to fifty-one women with psychosocial disabilities who were either members of the Colectivo Chuhcan or received outpatient services at four different health clinics and psychiatric institutions in Mexico City. The main finding of this report is that the Mexican government has failed to implement policies that ensure that women with psychosocial disabilities have safe access to sexual and reproductive health services, on an equal basis with others. It is recommended this research be extended to the rest of the country to gain a clearer picture on the situation of the sexual and reproductive rights of women with disabilities at a national level

African disability rights yearbook

NGWENA, Charles
et al
2015

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This volume of the African Disability Rights Yearbook is divided into three sections presenting articles, country reports and commentaries on regional developments, and has added a new feature in the form of a book review section. The first section (A) of the journal presents a number of articles on issues affecting people with disabilities in Africa, ranging from sexual and reproductive rights to socio-economic issues. Section B presents a number of country reports on Eritrea, Lesotho, Morocco, Sierra Leone, Swaziland, Tunisia. Section C presents two articles focussing on regional development; one on disability rights and emergency legislation, and another on the right to political participation for people with disabilities in Africa. Finally the journal presents a review of A.S. Kanter’s 2014 book "The development of disability rights under international law: From charity to human rights"

Volume 3

The sexual and reproductive rights of women and girls with disabilities

FROHMADER, Carolyn
ORTOLEVA, Stephanie
July 2013

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"This Briefing Paper examines the sexual and reproductive rights of women and girls with disabilities in the context of the future development agenda Beyond 2014 and Post 2015"
Issues Paper
ICPD Human Rights Conference on Sexual and Reproductive Health The Hague, Netherlands
7-11 July 2013

Social relationships, sexuality and reproductive rights & persons with disabilities : international workshop report

DEEPAK, Sunil
et al
March 2013

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"This report presents an analysis and an overview of main issues in relation to social relationships, sexuality and reproductive rights that emerged from the different presentations and discussions during the workshop. Most of the discussions and presentations focused on difficulties, barriers and challenges. There were a few positive examples of activities that answer those challenges and overcome those barriers. There were also some ideas of what can be or should be done in this area" “"Going beyond the taboo areas in CBR" workshop, part 1
Agra, India
29 November 2012

A deeper silence : the unheard experiences of women with disabilities : sexual and reproductive health and violence against women in Kiribati, Solomon Islands and Tonga

SPRATT, Joanna
March 2013

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"This report contains information gained in situation analyses exploring the SRH needs of women with disabilities in three Pacific Island countries: Kiribati, Solomon Islands and Tonga. This work was carried out over a four-month period spread out between October 2010 and September 2011. UNFPA undertook these situation analyses to gain greater understanding of the opportunities and needs experiencedby women with disabilities in relation to their ability to realize their sexual and reproductive rights"

Forgotten sisters : a report on violence against women with disabilities|An overview of its nature, scope, causes and consequences

ORTOLEVA, Stephanie
LEWIS, Hope
August 2012

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This report focuses upon prevalence and pervasiveness of violence against women and girls with disabilities. It "reviews available information on the forms, causes and consequences of violence against women when both gender and disability collide to exacerbate that violence; examines the impact of the multiple and intersecting dimensions of women’s lives and; their impact on violence against women with disabilities. The Report outlines the international and regional legal framework, highlighting relevant provisions and interpretations. Finally, the Report examines the extent to which States have met their due diligence obligations (setting forth a few country-specific case studies) highlights some best practices, discusses significant gaps in the research and makes recommendations for future action"
Paper series no 104-2012

Zimbabwe sexual and reproductive health sign language dictionary

THE HIV AND AIDS MANAGEMENT AND SUPPORT ORGANIZATION (THAMASO-ZIMBABWE)
DISABILITY AND HIV AND AIDS TRUST(DHAT)
2012

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"The Dictionary includes an illustrated guide to signing and signing for individual letters, along with illustrations and descriptions for common words and for those new HIV/SRHR signs that have been developed, making it an invaluable reference for both those with hearing impairments and those without hearing challenges. The dictionary is suitable for use in educational institutions (schools, colleges and universities) as well as in health institutions such as hospitals, clinics and VCT centres. Counsellors and all staff working directly and indirectly in the HIV and SRHR sectors will find the dictionary most useful"

Reproductive health justice for women with disabilities

ALVARES, Lisa
et al
April 2011

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"This paper highlights the added discrimination that women with disabilities often face in the context of their disparate access to health care, especially in the areas of reproductive health services and sexual health education, and offers recommendations for a twenty-first century response to the vast health care gaps that impact this population"
Barbara Faye Waxman Fiduccia Papers on Women and Girls with Disabilities

Sexuality education for individuals with autism spectrum disorders : critical issues and decision making guidelines

TRAVERS, Jason
TINCANI, Matt
June 2010

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"This paper presents one position in support of sexuality education for children and adolescents with ASD (autism spectrum disorders). The nature of human sexuality is discussed to provide a context for the rights of individuals with ASD to learn about their sexuality. Further justification for providing sexuality education in terms of the unique characteristics of this population is offered in conjunction with potential consequences of failing to provide sexuality education. Lastly, information regarding a decision-making process for sexuality education curriculum is presented, including the responsibilities of families and professionals providing sexuality education"
Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities, 45(2)

PleasureABLE : sexual device manual for persons with disabilities

NAPHTALI, Kate
MACHATTIE, Edith
2009

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"This manual was created as a practical resource for persons with disabilities and health care clinicians who work with these clients. It includes research, clinical expertise, and product information to aid with dialogue surrounding sexual and reproductive issues and disabilities. The information presented here is not prescriptive, and the specific products not recommended per se, but are meant to provide examples and illustrations of some of the potential options that can be introduced into the sexual practices of the individual or be used as an adjunct in the discussions of sexuality and disability by the health care clinician. The devices included are a sampling of what is available (in Canada) in 2009"

Talking about sex and relationships : the views of young people with learning disabilities

CHANGE
2009

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"This report talks about the Sex and Relationships project. This was a 3-year project that took place at CHANGE, a leading national organisation led by disabled people that is based in Leeds, in England, that fights for the rights of people with learning disabilities...The project found out about the views and experiences of young people with learning disabilities about sex and relationships"

Sexuality in subjects with intellectual disability : an educational intervention proposal for parents and counsellors in developing countries

KATZ, Gregorio
LAZCANO PONCE, Eduardo
2008

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This article provides information to assist in the development of sexuality in individuals with intellectual disability and to foster their social integration. The article highlights priorities to consider when developing educational interventions for promoting sexual health. This resource is useful to people interested in sexuality in individuals with intellectual disability
Salud pública de México, vol 50, suppl.2

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