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Children with disabilities. Ensuring their inclusion in COVID-19 response strategies and evidence generation

UNITED NATIONS CHILDREN'S FUND (UNICEF)
December 2020

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Even before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, children with disabilities were among the most disadvantaged, facing increased exposure to abuse and discrimination and reduced access to services in many parts of the world. Understanding these pre-existing vulnerabilities can help anticipate how the COVID-19 pandemic could sharpen existing inequities and can shed light on where targeted efforts may be required.

The publication below draws on pre-COVID data to highlight how children with disabilities face greater risks in the midst of this pandemic. It documents what has happened to services for children and adults with disabilities across the world and includes examples of what has been done to address disruptions in services. It also discusses the challenges in generating disability-inclusive data during the pandemic.

Addressing disability-related costs through social protection systems

COTE, Alexandre
CARRARO, Ludovico
SIJAPATI BASSNET, Bimbika
NASIIR, Mercoledi
SRISOM, Sawang
WAKANIYASI, Josh
O'BRIEN, Felicity
October 2020

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Understanding disability-related costs is critical to building social protection systems that truly support inclusion, participation, and sustainable escape from poverty of persons with disabilities across the life cycle. It challenges some usual approaches with regards to targeting, mutually exclusive benefits, and focus on incapacity to work rather than support to inclusion. 

Supporting the dissemination of a background paper, the webinar presented the diversity of disability-related costs and the role of different methods used to assess them. It also presented some practices of accounting for disability costs in the design of mainstream social protection schemes as well as how low and middle-income countries can progressively build the combination of cash transfers, concessions, and services needed to address them.

 

Speakers topics were:

Understanding disability-related costs for better social protection systems.

Accounting for disablity related costs in design of mainstream family assistance schemes, the case of Moldova and Mongolia.

Supporting a survey to estimate the good and services required for basic participation in Indonesia.

How social protection systems can progressively address disability-related costs: the case of Thailand. 

Not either or Disability allowance and economic empowerment in Fiji.

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

ADD International
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.

The impact of Covid-19 on people with disabilities – emerging findings

ROHWERDER, Brigitte
THOMPSON, Stephen
WICKENDEN, Mary
WAKOKO, Eric
AKTER, Fatema
NJUNGI, Josephine
CHUBA-UZO, Shadrach
September 2020

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Emerging evidence suggests that people with disabilities are amongst the groups most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in all aspects of their lives. In order to provide more systematic evidence, narrative interviews were conducted with a diverse group of 40 jobseekers with disabilities in Bangladesh, Kenya, Nigeria, and Uganda who are involved with the Inclusion Works programme. The first round of interviews were conducted in July and August 2020. Initial key findings are given.

 

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

Understanding disability extra costs

CENTRE FOR INCLUSIVE POLICY
September 2020

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Extra costs incurred by people with disabilitites are illustrated through case studies of children, adults and older people with disabilities. 

Government funding to support disability inclusion in Kenya

Development Initiatives
September 2020

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This report presents research that was undertaken as part of Development Initiatives’ work on data to support disability inclusion. It provides analysis of government budget allocations to disability inclusion programmes in Kenya over the period of financial year 2016/17 (FY2016/17) to financial year 2020/21 (FY2020/21). The analysis focuses on disability-relevant ministries, departments and agencies at the national level, including those led by the State Department for Social Protection, the Office of the President, the State Department for Early Learning and Basic Education, and the State Department for Vocational and Technical Training. Due to limitations in the available data, the analysis looks primarily at the education and social protection sectors.

 

This report has been funded with UK aid from the UK government, and was developed with the support of the Inclusive Futures consortium. The opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the UK government or other members of the Inclusive Futures consortium.

Pivoting to inclusion : Leveraging lessons from the COVID-19 crisis for learners with disabilities

McCLAIN-NHALPO,Charlotte Vuyiswa
KULBIR SINGH,Ruchi
MARTIN,Anna Hill
et al
August 2020

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As governments respond to the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the global community must ensure that persons with disabilities are included. This will require disability inclusion to be considered in all interconnected sectors; education, health, social protection, and inclusion from the planning stage all the way through to delivery and recovery efforts that are inclusive of all and are sufficiently differentiated to meet the specific needs of children with disabilities. The issues paper focuses on the following objectives: (1) addressing education, social needs, barriers, and issues for learners with disabilities at a global, regional, and country-level during the COVID-19 crisis; and (2) recommending practices for education and social inclusion, and reasonable accommodations utilizing the twin track approach and principles of universal design for learning.

Covid-19 Double Jeopardy for Persons with Disability

ADD International
August 2020

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SUMMARY

This report presents the findings from telephone interviews with 91 representatives from 15 Disabled People’s Organisation (DPO) partners in Bangladesh, to ask about the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on persons with disabilities in Bangladesh.

The report finds that, in the Covid-19 pandemic, some persons with disabilities experience double jeopardy—not only are persons with disabilities disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, but they are also disproportionately excluded from protection and survival support.

Persons with disabilities report being disproportionately excluded from Covid-19 support. 63% of respondents report not receiving the same protection and survival support as others. Two-thirds of those who described their personal experiences reported supply shortage or diversion of essential food and medical supplies as reasons for why they had been excluded.

Relief that has been provided has not met need. Many respondents (84%) report that survival support does not meet their basic needs. Support received has mostly been food instead of cash. Some (17%) report difficulty in following Covid-19 advice, mostly because they cannot afford protection materials.

Persons with multiple disabilities are being left further behind. Respondents with multiple functional difficulties experience more exclusion than respondents with one functional difficulty. This finding of disproportionate exclusion is statistically significant and consistent with qualitative responses, which show that most of those that did report challenges in following received advice were persons with multiple functional difficulties. This strongly suggests that persons with multiple functional difficulties experience more barriers. Persons with multiple functional difficulties who were excluded tended to report difficulties in communicating, remembering, self-care and walking.

The economic impact of the pandemic is acute for persons with disabilities. On average, respondents report losing 65% of their income since the Covid-19 crisis began, which in absolute terms, after adjusting for purchase power parity, is the equivalent of moving from £167 to £58 in monthly earnings.

Some respondents report that they are skipping meals and going hungry. Anecdotal reports reveal that families are reverting to one main meal every two days, or two main meals every three days. Many are borrowing and relying on family support to meet their daily needs to survive, and some of those who already depended on family support have had that support reduced or withdrawn. On balance, future plans reflect a sense of precarity due to uncertainty, ranging from feelings of hope with specific plans to powerlessness with no plans.

Government can do more. Many respondents said government should prioritise persons with disabilities and provide more relief. Many voiced concerns about how relief was being distributed or stolen, and that it is not reaching those most in need. The majority of respondents said that NGOs and wealthy people should play a role in support efforts.

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.

“Better to Make Yourself Invisible” Family violence against people with disabilities in Mexico

RIOS-ESPINOSA, Carlos
June 2020

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People with disabilities in Mexico can face severe abuse and neglect by their families with little protection or support from the government. This report documents how the lack of policies to support independent living can increase the risk of family violence and abuse for people with disabilities. It also documents the barriers people with disabilities face in accessing protection from abuse and justice on an equal basis with others, and documents serious concerns regarding implementation of procedural accommodations to ensure that people with disabilities can participate fully and equally in the justice system.

 

Based on research in 2018 and 2019, this report documents violence committed by family members against people with disabilities in four Mexican states: Oaxaca, Jalisco, Nuevo León, and Mexico City.  Interviews were carried out with 24 women and 14 men with disabilities. 

 

Making Inclusion the New Normal: Inclusive Workplace Practices as COVID19 Response. Friends and partners from Project Inclusion, Virtualahan, and Leonard Cheshire Disability Philippines Foundation (LCDPF).

HUMANITY & INCLUSION (HI)
June 2020

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Exploring what the new normal will be when it comes to working, the risk in the response to the current crisis is that persons with disabilities will be left behind. How do we ensure that no one gets left behind in the “new normal” of working?

This session Making Inclusion the New Normal: Inclusive Workplace Practices as a Covid-19 Response as we discuss how we find new ways of working where no one gets left behind. #MakingInclusionTheNewNormal

How can social protection responses to COVID-19 be made disability inclusive?

BANKS, Lena Morgon
HUNT, Xanthe
June 2020

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Question & problem

The COVID-19 pandemic and strategies essential for its containment are resulting in severe strains on economies, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). These impacts will be felt most by groups already in or at risk of poverty, including the estimated 1 billion people with disabilities globally. Interventions to address the short- and long-term economic effects of the pandemic are urgently needed. Some countries have begun implementing or announced plans for interventions addressing the economic impacts of COVID-19, such as food assistance, emergency cash transfers, unemployment assistance or expansions to existing social protection programmes. As these programmes are developed, it is important to consider the extent to which their design and delivery is inclusive of people with disabilities. Failure to adequately include people with disabilities in this process will lead to widening inequalities.

Disability inclusion, COVID-19 and adaptations to the DFID Ghana LEAP 2 programme 43

WAPLING, Lorraine
MEANEY-DAVIS, Jessie
June 2020

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This short paper provides an overview of disability inclusion considerations for adaptations to Ghana’s Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) 2 social protection programme during the COVID-19 pandemic. It includes considerations for changing the payment mechanism from cash payments to mobile money as well as the necessary communications and monitoring of beneficiary feedback and safeguarding during the pandemic. The attached annex provides detailed considerations of the benefits, risks and mitigations for specific programme adaptations.

Disability Inclusive Development - Kenya Situational Analysis

ROHWERDER, Brigitte
June 2020

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This situational analysis (SITAN) addresses the question: “what is the current situation for persons with disabilities in Kenya?”. 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 Kenya. It will be helpful for anyone interested in disability inclusion in Kenya, especially in relation to stigma, employment, education, health, and humanitarian issues. This SITAN has been briefly updated from the April 2019 SITAN.

Disability Inclusive Development - Nepal Situational Analysis

ROHWERDER, Brigitte
June 2020

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This situational analysis (SITAN) addresses the question: “what is the current situation for persons with disabilities in Nepal?”. 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 Nepal. It will be helpful for anyone interested in disability inclusion in Nepal, especially in relation to stigma, employment, education, health, and humanitarian issues. This SITAN has been briefly updated from the April 2019 SITAN.

Disability Inclusive Development - Tanzania Situational Analysis

ROHWERDER, Brigitte
June 2020

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This situational analysis (SITAN) addresses the question: “what is the current situation for persons with disabilities in Tanzania?”. 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 Tanzania. It will be helpful for anyone interested in disability inclusion in Tanzania, especially in relation to stigma, employment, education, health, and humanitarian issues. This SITAN has been briefly updated from the April 2019 SITAN.

Disability Inclusive Development - Jordan Situational Analysis

THOMPSON, Stephen
June 2020

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This situational analysis (SITAN) addresses the question: “what is the current situation for persons with disabilities in Jordan?”. 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 Jordan. It will be helpful for anyone interested in disability inclusion in Jordan, especially in relation to stigma, employment, education, health, and humanitarian issues.

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