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A Global Agenda for Inclusive Recovery: Ensuring People with Intellectual Disabilities and Families are Included in a Post-COVID World

Inclusion International
June 2021

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This report documents the experience of exclusion of people with intellectual disabilities and their families during the COVID-19 pandemic. These experiences reveal pre-existing structural inequalities that affected the lives of people with intellectual disabilities and their families before COVID-19, during the pandemic, and beyond, and this report raises up the voices of those most excluded in a time of global crisis and demands an inclusive COVID-19 recovery.

 

This report includes the experiences of people with intellectual disabilities and families across eight different issue areas. Across these themes, we examined how and why people with intellectual disabilities were left out and excluded in pandemic responses, what pre-existing conditions and inequalities contributed to their vulnerability and exclusion, and how future policy structures could begin to address both this immediate and systemic exclusion.

 

Together, these experiences and policy solutions form our global agenda for inclusive COVID-19 recovery, an action plan to ensure that government efforts to ‘build back better’ are inclusive of people with intellectual disabilities and their families.

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.

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

Barriers to Utilisation of Dental Services among Children with Disabilities in a Coordinated Healthcare Programme in Mangalore, South India: A Mixed Methods Study

SURESH, L R
RAI, K
HEGDE, A M
DSOUZA, C V
2021

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Purpose: Unmet oral health needs affect the quality of life of individuals, especially if they are already at a disadvantage like children with special health care needs. Strategies to mitigate these disparities in India’s diverse healthcare settings have hitherto been largely ineffective. This study was aimed to assess the utilisation and barriers to the use of dental health services among children with special health care needs, against the background of a coordinated healthcare programme implemented in Nitte (Deemed to be University), Mangalore, India.

 

Method: The study was conducted over a 6-month period, from September 2018 to February 2019. A mixed-methods design was concurrently employed for data collection. Utilisation of dental services was assessed quantitatively, and the barriers to dental services utilisation were assessed qualitatively through caregiver interviews, with a sequential data integration strategy.

 

Results: The quantitative data revealed gross underutilisation of dental resources by children (only 16% availed some form of dental treatment), and the prevalence of avoidance behaviour (63% showed reluctance and did not turn up for appointments). Restorative needs formed the highest unmet dental component among the children (67% required secondary dental care). In-depth interviews with the children’s caregivers revealed that the presence of cognitive barriers could have a direct effect on the time and quality of dental care delivered to their children.

 

Conclusion: Cognitive barriers among caregivers appear to have a profound impact on the underutilisation of dental services in their children with special healthcare needs. These barriers may be addressed within the integrated healthcare programme and the dental curricula through provisions for continued individual and community dental education, and motivational efforts that simultaneously target the caregivers and their children with special healthcare needs.

The impact of COVID-19 measures on children with disabilities and their families in Uganda

MBAZZI, Femke Bannink
NALUGYA, Ruth
KAWESA, Elizabeth
NIMUSIIMA, Claire
KING, Rachel
VAN HOVE, Geert
SEELEY, Janet
2021

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To understand the impact of the COVID-19 public health response on families of children with disabilities in Central Uganda we conducted phone interviews with parents and children during the first 5 months of the outbreak (March - July 2020). Most parents and children were well informed about COVID-19 and were keen to adhere to government prevention measures. The majority said lock-down measures had a negative effect on their mental and physical health, social life, finances, education and food security. Access to medical services and medication for chronic illness had been limited or absent due to restrictions in travel, some facilities restricting access, and limited financial resources. The majority of parents reported loss of work which resulted in difficulties in finding enough food and paying rent. Parents worried about children missing education and friends. We suggest greater attention to children with disabilities and their families when implementing mitigating and long-term responses.

Integrated Emotion-Oriented Care for Older People With ID: Defining and Understanding Intervention Components of a Person-Centered Approach

THALEN, Marloes
VAN OORSOUW, Wietske M W J
VOLKERS, Karin M
TAMINIAU, Elsbeth F
EMBREGTS, Petri J C M
2021

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An increase in descriptive evidence regarding person-centered approaches for older people with intellectual disability (ID) is important, due to increased life expectancy and the present lack of sufficiently underpinned interventions. This is especially true of interventions designed to increase well-being and quality of life. A specific Dutch example is the Integrated Emotion-Oriented Care approach. Despite its status as a good practice, its effectiveness has not yet been proved, nor has descriptive evidence been made available. The primary aims of this qualitative study are to identify the intervention components, to provide demonstrative illustrations and to gain an in-depth understanding of the use of these components in the day-to-day support of older people with ID. A content analysis of five key documents was carried out. Five semi-structured interviews were then conducted with early adopters, followed by a concept mapping study with daily users. The final stage in the data collection process was a series of five focus-group interviews with experts and experienced support staff. The five intervention components of Integrated Emotion-Oriented Care for older people with ID have been systematically identified and described in detail in five narrative summaries drawn up in collaboration with early adopters, experts and experienced support staff. This study provides valuable insights that offer descriptive evidence for Integrated Emotion-Oriented Care in the care for older people with ID. Both implications and possible opportunities for future research are discussed.

Preliminary experiences in acute occupational therapy for in-patients with coronavirus-19 (COVID-19): leveraging assistive technology in three case studies of male veterans

RICH, Tonya
HICKS, Brandon
DAHL, Abigail
SULLIVAN, Elle
BARRETT, Benjamin
BEDORE, Beau
2020

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Purpose:

Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) was first identified in December 2019 with millions of cases reported globally in the succeeding months. Initial hospitalisation strives to minimise multisystem organ failure and of those that survive, individuals can present with profound rehabilitation needs. The purpose of this case series is to describe occupational therapy (OT) and special technology considerations for three male Veteran patients hospitalised with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. 

 

Methods: 

This is a descriptive case series using a retrospective electronic health record review at a Veterans Administration hospital. The case series includes three male Veterans with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 (ages 69–78) who were referred to OT. The cases were selected to demonstrate the novel use of technology and strategies to reduce the risk of transmission. In two of three of our cases, we describe acute rehabilitation with a focus on activity tolerance, participation in occupations, and discharge planning. In all cases, we measured vital signs and activity tolerance as primary outcomes. 

 

Results and conclusions: 

The findings suggest that outcome measures focussing on activity tolerance to maintain stable vital signs during the recovery phase is central to the progression of activities. We observed in our cases that the Person-Environment-Occupation-Performance (PEOP) model can guide practice and complement the medical model in management of these patients. We utilised technology to engage family members in the rehabilitation care and minimise exposure risks.

Independent Living Survey

EUROPEAN NETWORK ON INDEPENDENT LIVING (ENIL)
December 2020

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The summary report of the first results of ENIL’s Independent Living Survey. The aim of the online survey was to collect general information about access to Independent Living of disabled people across Europe, and detailed information about Personal Assistance schemes or systems.

Effects of Biofeedback and Task-Oriented Intervention on Balance Confidence and its Relationship with Social Participation among Stroke Survivors

Pachiappan, Elumalai
2020

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Purpose: The study aimed to compare the effects of balance training on balance confidence and its relationship with social participation among clients with stroke.

 

Method: A pre- and post- experimental group design was used. Stroke survivors who met the inclusion criteria were consecutively assigned to two groups (task- oriented and biofeedback). Participants in the task-oriented group received task- oriented activities for 20 minutes and the biofeedback group received intervention in correckta (equipment used for balance training) for 20 minutes, along with conventional occupational therapy - 5 sessions per week, for 12 weeks. Balance Confidence Scale was used for measuring balance confidence, and Frenchay Activities Index (FAI) was used to measure social participation. Statistical calculations were performed with SPSS version 16.0 package. Statistical tests were carried out with the level of significance set at p≤ 0.05.

 

Results: The findings suggest that both the biofeedback and task-oriented groups showed significant improvement in balance confidence and there was no statistically significant difference between the groups. There was a moderate to good relationship between balance confidence and social participation.

 

Conclusions and Implications: There is evidence that many stroke survivors have low balance confidence. Therapists should assess the balance confidence of their clients and encourage them to participate in these beneficial interventions.

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.

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

Does the purpose matter? A comparison of everyday information and communication technologies between eHealth use and general use as perceived by older adults with cognitive impairment

JAKOBSSON, Elin
NYGÅRD, Louise
KOTTORP, Anders
OLSSON, Cecilia Bråkenhielm
MALINOWSKY, Camilla
2020

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Background and objective

Everyday information and communication technologies (EICTs) are increasingly being used in our society, for both general and health-related purposes. This study aims to compare how older adults with cognitive impairment perceive relevance and level of EICT challenge between eHealth use and general use.

 

Methods

This cross-sectional study includes 32 participants (65–85 years of age) with cognitive impairment of different origins (due to e.g., stroke or dementia). The Short Everyday Technology Use Questionnaire+ (S-ETUQ+) was used, providing information about the relevance of EICTs and measuring the EICT level of challenge. Data were analysed with descriptive statistics, standardized z-tests and Fisher’s exact tests. The significance level was set to p < .05.

 

Results

The result shows that the perceived amount of relevant EICTs for eHealth use was lower in all 16 EICTs compared to those of general use. About the perceived level of challenge, a significant difference was detected in one of the seven included EICTs between eHealth use and general use.

 

Conclusions

In this sample, all EICTs were perceived as having lower relevance for eHealth use compared to general use, suggesting that the purpose of using an EICT affects the perceived relevance of it. Also, once an EICT is perceived as relevant and used for eHealth purposes, there seem to be little to no differences in perceived challenge compared to the same EICT used for general purposes.

The impact of special education resources and the general and the special education teacher’s competence on pupil mathematical achievement gain in inclusive classrooms

OPITZ, Elisabeth Moser
SCHNEPEL, Susanne
KRÄHENMANN, Helena
JANDL, Sarah
FELDER, Franziska
DESSEMONTET, Rachel Sermier
2020

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Research in inclusive settings is complicated by the nested relationships between the general education teacher (GET), the special education teacher (SET) and pupils. In this study, the impact of SET resource and selected variables of teacher competence (professional mathematical knowledge SET, attitude towards inclusion GET, classroom management GET) on the mathematical achievement gain of typically developing pupils (TYP) and pupils with intellectual disability (ID) was examined. Mathematical achievement was tested at the beginning of the school year (t1) and the end (t2) in 34 inclusive classrooms (sample ID: n = 42; sample TYP n = 525). IQ and gender – and the average mathematical achievement at class level in the sample TYP – were included as control variables. For pupils with ID, hierarchical regression modelling revealed that the mathematical knowledge at t1 explained most of the variance in mathematical achievement gain. For the group TYP, the results of a multi-level analysis showed that mathematical knowledge at t1, IQ and the average mathematical achievement at class level all had a positive effect on mathematical achievement gain. The more hours a SET was present in the classroom, the more the mathematical achievement of the group TYP increased. The other teacher competence variables had no apparent impact.

Development of self-help groups for caregivers of children with disabilities in Kilifi, Kenya: Process evaluation

GONA, Joseph K.
NEWTON, Charles
HARTLEY, Sally
BUNNING, Karen
July 2020

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Background: Caring for a child with disabilities in a resource-poor setting brings many challenges to the caregiver. We examined the development of self-help groups for caregivers in a rural part of Kenya.

 

Objectives: To conduct a process evaluation on the development of self-help groups during a 10-month set-up period, focusing on implementation and mechanisms associated with their functional status.

 

Methods: Using a realist evaluation design, we set up 20 self-help groups for 254 caregivers. An evaluation was conducted to investigate implementation and mechanisms of impact. Implementation focused on caregiver registration, community group support and monitoring visit compliance. Data were collected from group registers, records of meetings and field notes. Mechanisms of impact employed a framework of strengths–weaknesses–opportunities–threats to review the groups at the end of the 10-month set-up period.

 

Results: Recruitment resulted in registration of 254 participants to 18 groups – two groups disbanded early. Post-evaluation included 11 active and 7 inactive groups. Compliance with the monitoring visits was consistent across the active groups. All groups engaged in ‘merry-go-round’ activities. The active groups were characterised by strong leadership and at least one successful income generation project; the inactive had inconsistent leadership and had dishonest behaviour both within the group and/or externally in the community. Mediators associated with functional status included the following: available literacy and numeracy skills, regular meetings with consistent attendance by the members, viable income generating projects, geographical proximity of membership and strong leadership for managing threats.

 

Conclusion: Self-help groups have the potential to progress in resource-poor settings. However, critical to group progression are literacy and numeracy skills amongst the members, their geographical proximity, regular meetings of the group, viable income generating projects and strong leadership.

 

 

African Journal of Disability, Vol 9, 2020

Dimensions of invisibility: insights into the daily realities of persons with disabilities living in rural communities in India

GUPTA, Shivani
DE WITTE, Luc P
MEERSHOEK, Agnes
2020

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Persons with disabilities in rural India do not have the opportunity to lead a self-determined life and be included in their community as required by the convention on the rights of persons with disabilities. To investigate their experience of living everyday life and the amount of agency they are able to exercise, in-depth interviews were undertaken. The Capability Approach (CA) was used to ana- lyse the situation that was seen in terms of outcome of the interplay between internal and external factors resulting in loss of agency. The results show that the dependency they experience due to lack of adequate support to undertake activities and being completely dependent on the family places them in a vicious circle of ‘self-worthlessness’. Reducing the dependency disabled people face and chang- ing perceptions of the community towards disability may break this circle.

Practicing in a person-centred environment – self-help groups in psycho-social rehabilitation

LANDSTAND, Bodil J
HEDLUNDl, Marianne
KENDALL, Elizabeth
2020

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Aim: The increasing prevalence of chronic conditions and impairments in the population is putting new demands on health and rehabilitation services. Research on self-help groups suggest that participation in these groups might have a positive impact on people who are struggling with chronic illnesses or disabil- ities. In this study, we explore person-centred support in which participants in self-help groups are under- going rehabilitation to develop their knowledge, skills and confidence necessary to handle life’s challenges.

 

Method: The design is exploratory, analysing data from informant interviews and focus groups (a total of 32 participants) using a Grounded Theory inspired approach to analyse. The participants were rehabilita- tion clients aged between 20 and 60 years; eight were men and twenty-six were women.

 

Results: Three main categories emerged as being important self-help processes that were likely to pro- mote positive rehabilitation outcomes: (1) Learning and practicing safely, (2) A refuge from expectations, (3) Internal processes that accentuate the positives.

 

Conclusion: Peer support delivered through the structured self-help environment can facilitate the devel- opment of new self-awareness, promote acceptance and adjustment, facilitate the establishment of new skills and enable transfer of learning to new environments, including the workplace.

“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. 

 

COVID-19 in humanitarian contexts: no excuses to leave persons with disabilities behind! Evidence from HI's operations in humanitarian settings

HUMANITY & INCLUSION (HI)
June 2020

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This collection and review of evidence aims to illustrate how the COVID-19 crisis triggers disproportionate risks and barriers for men, women, boys and girls with disabilities living in humanitarian settings. It highlights recommendations for humanitarian actors, to enhance inclusive action, aligned with existing guidance and learnings on disability inclusion. It is based on evidence, including testimonies, collected by HI programs in 19 countries of intervention. Special efforts were made to reflect the voices of persons with different types of disabilities, genders and ages, residing in different geographical areas and living circumstances, including refugee and internally displaced persons’ settlements and host communities.

 

Evidence has been collected through primary data collection among HI teams and partners, working in countries impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in April/May 2020. Data was extracted from assessments conducted by HI and partners in Bangladesh, Egypt, Haïti, Indonesia, Philippines, Jordan, Lebanon, Somaliland and Togo. Testimonies from affected communities, staff and partners were collected in Kenya, Myanmar, Pakistan, Palestine, Philippines, Somaliland, South Sudan, Rwanda, Thailand, Uganda and Yemen.

 

Considering the disability related extra costs in social protection

MONT, Daniel
COTE, Alexandre
et al
June 2020

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This paper tackles several critical elements required for social protection systems and programs to adequately consider disability related extra costs. In the first part, it will explain the diversity of disability related costs. The second part will present current methods to assess and measure disability related costs and the issues they raise. The last part will present how social protection systems can take into account and tackle those different disability related costs.

 

This background paper is a part of a series produced in the frame of a project led by ILO and UNICEF in close collaboration with the International Disability Alliance (IDA) and supported by the UN Partnership on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It has been co-financed by Leonard Cheshire in the frame of the DFID funded I2I project. The UNPRPD project aims at developing practical guidance for countries, development agencies and DPOs for reforms towards inclusive social protection systems fostering empowerment of persons with disabilities across the life cycle. The papers summarize key issues and present policy recommendations and proposal to build inclusive social protection systems supporting empowerment and participation of persons with disabilities across the life cycle

Life altering effects on children when a family member has an acquired brain injury; a qualitative exploration of child and family perceptions

DAWES, Kate
CARLINO, Ashley
VAN DER BERG, Maayken
KILLINGTON, Maggie
May 2020

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Objective: To investigate the impact of familial acquired brain injury on children and adult family members, including their views of the support provided, gaps and recommendations for future interventions.

 

Research design: Qualitative exploratory study using a phenomenological approach.

 

Method: Twenty-six participants were recruited from 12 families across the South AustralianBrain Injury Rehabilitation Service (SABIRS) and external community brain injury agencies in Adelaide, South Australia. Sixteen children aged 5–18 participated through ten semi-structured interviews. Ten adults attended six interviews. Following transcription and member checking, thematic analyses occurred with pooled data from all interviews undergoing open, axial and selective coding.

 

Main results: Analyses revealed four main themes: (1) help parents help their children, (2) improve family functioning by giving children meaningful roles, (3) staff: don’t leave children “in the dark,” and (4) support for children is not one size fits all.

 

Conclusions: Children and adults reported significant gaps in support offered by acute and brain injury services after familial acquired brain injury. Children and adults need to receive intervention in addition to the patient. To fill identified gaps, participants recommended more input by clinical staff including the use of technology; specifically, the development of age-appropriate applications, educational videos and interactive games.

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