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Children with disabilities and COVID-19

UNICEF
July 2020

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This guidance has been produced for UNICEF’s East Asia and the Pacific Regional Office and UNICEF Australia. This document is intended for frontline workers, including UNICEF partners, health personnel, social workers, teachers, help line staff and community volunteers engaged in the COVID-19 response. It is recommended that this document is read in conjunction with the Minimum Care Package, CBM’s Disability Inclusion in COVID-19 Preparedness and Response guidance note, UNICEF’s EAPR Child Protection Emergency Preparedness and Response to COVID-19 and the global Technical Note: Protection of Children during the Coronavirus Pandemic

'What works' to ensure persons with disabilities have access to sexual and reproductive health services

Itad
June 2020

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A growing body of evidence shows that people with disabilities have historically been denied their sexual and reproductive health rights, despite having the same sexual and reproductive health needs as people without disabilities, and continue to face many barriers to accessing these lifesaving services.

This evidence gap map, developed as part of the UK Department for International Development’s Women’s Integrated Sexual Reproductive Health (WISH) programme, collates evidence on ‘what works’ to enable access to sexual reproductive health services for persons with disabilities in low and middle-income countries.

Ensuring an inclusive return to school for children with disabilities

CBM Australia
June 2020

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This guidance has been produced by CBM Australia for UNICEF’s East Asia and the Pacific Regional Office and UNICEF Australia. The document is intended for UNICEF staff, education policy makers and planners in the East Asia and Pacific Region. Its purpose is to provide guidance on critical considerations and actions that should be undertaken to ensure an inclusive return to school for children with disabilities, as children return to school after the temporary closure of schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Disability at a Glance 2019: Investing in accessibility in Asia and the Pacific — Strategic approaches to achieving disability-inclusive sustainable development

TATA, Srinivas
et al
December 2019

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This report lays out foundational concepts and terminologies related to disability and accessibility, and outlines the tools and approaches for successful investment in accessibility. Furthermore, it identifies drivers and added values of investment, and analyses the status of disability-inclusive development and accessibility investment across Asia and the Pacific. Finally, it provides recommendations to governments across key areas of focus to ensure that societies are built to be sustainable and inclusive.

Case studies from Australia, the Republic of Korea and India are presented.

Decolonizing schools: Women organizing, disability advocacy, and land in Sāmoa

ANESI, Julianne
2019

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In the 1970s and 1980s, Sāmoan women organizers established Aoga Fiamalamalama and Loto Taumafai, two educational institutions, in the independent state of Sāmoa. This article examines these schools’ support of students labelled as ma’i (sick), specifically those with intellectual and physical disabilities. Through oral histories and archival research, I show the vital role performed by the women organizers in changing the educational system by drawing attention to the exclusion of disabled students. I focus on the collective labor of Sāmoan women and their influence in decolonizing schools. In this regard, the women organizers used Sāmoan concepts of fa’a Sāmoa (culture), fanua (land), and tautua (service) as ways to redefine the commitment of the education system. This is a story about daring to reimagine indigenous disabled bodies and their futures through knowledge systems, theory, and literature.

 

Disability & the Global South (DGS), 2019, Vol. 6 No. 1

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its implications for the health and wellbeing of indigenous peoples with disabilities: A comparison across Australia, Mexico and New Zealand

RIVAS VELARDE, Minerva C
O'BRIEN, Patricia
PARMENTER, Trevor R
2018

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This paper explores how the expressed health needs of Indigenous peoples with disabilities resonate with the mandate of Article 25 ‘Health’ of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The perceptions of indigenous peoples with disabilities are investigated, regarding their access to, and expectations of, health care. Their views are compared to those of health workers, senior bureaucrats and United Nations delegates. An exploratory case study approach was taken to compare three jurisdictions: Australia, Mexico and New Zealand. The data collection techniques used involved semi-structured interviews, focus groups and field notes. The findings suggest that the health needs of indigenous peoples with disabilities are largely underserved and misunderstood by health departments. Specialised and preventive health care for those with disabilities was found to be particularly problematic. Poverty, discrimination and disenfranchisement emerged as being the possible major determinants of the ill health experienced by indigenous peoples with disabilities. The findings and conclusions outlined in this paper advocate the need to build capacity and rights literacy for indigenous peoples with disabilities, particularly with respect to the CRPD, in order to enhance its impact on the health of indigenous people. A legitimate redistribution of resources and decision-making in response to the expressed health needs of indigenous peoples with disabilities is needed if the vision of the CPRD is to be realised in relation to Article 25. 

 

Disability and the Global South, 2018, Vol.5, No. 2

Challenges in global Indigenous–Disability comparative research, or, why nation-state political histories matter

SOLDATIC, Karen
MELBOE, Line
KERMIT, Patrick
SOMERS, Kelly
2018

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Globally, Indigenous people, also known as First Peoples, have the poorest health outcomes of all population groups, resulting in significantly higher rates of chronic disease, ill-health, and disability. Recent research strongly suggests that Australian First Peoples and the Sami peoples of the Nordic region are positioned at opposite ends of the disability–health spectrum. Australia’s First Peoples, now experience the highest rates of disability in the nation’s recorded history, despite the significant government investment over recent decades in national Indigenous policy. Yet, Nordic Indigenous populations appear to have similar health outcomes and living conditions as the rest of the population in the region. In this paper, we compare some of the global assumptions of the two leading countries of the United Nations Human Development Index– Norway (ranked first) and Australia (ranked second)– and examine the ways in which such rankings act to hide the disparities of life trajectories and outcomes for Indigenous persons living with disability compared to the rest of the population in each country. The findings of the comparative analysis illustrate core areas for consideration when undertaking in-depth comparative research with First Nation’s peoples. This includes issues surrounding the differentiated political significance of national population data systems for local Indigenous peoples in their struggles for recognition, and the nuanced processes of population data categorisation that are developed as a result of First Nation’s localised struggles for recognition, respect and rights under processes of European colonisation.

 

Disability and the Global South, 2018, Vol.5, No. 2

An intersection in population control: welfare reform and indigenous people with a partial capacity to work in the Australian northern territory

St GUILLAUME, Louise
THILL, Cate
2018

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In Australia, in the last decade, there have been significant policy changes to income support payments for people with a disability and Indigenous people. These policy reforms intersect in the experience of Indigenous people with a partial capacity to work in the Northern Territory who are subject to compulsory income management if classified as long-term welfare payment recipients. This intersection is overlooked in existing research and government policy. In this article, we apply intersectionality and Southern disability theory as frameworks to analyse how Indigenous people with a partial capacity to work (PCW) in the Northern Territory are governed under compulsory income management. Whilst the program is theoretically race and ability neutral, in practice it targets specific categories of people because it fails to address the structural and cultural barriers experienced by Indigenous people with a disability and reinscribes disabling and colonising technologies of population control.

 

Disability and the Global South, 2018, Vol.5, No. 2

Inclusion of marginalised Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with neurocognitive disability in the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

TOWNSEND, Clare
McINTYRE, Michelle
LAKHANI, Ali
WRIGHT, Courtney
WHITE, Paul
BISHARA, Jason
CULLEN, Jennifer
2018

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Given the ambiguity surrounding the extent and experience of neurocognitive disability (NCD) among marginalised Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia, evidence regarding the level and nature of NCD is crucial to ensure equitable access and inclusion into the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). This paper reports the results of the implementation of The Guddi Protocol (a culturally informed and appropriate screening protocol for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples) at two locations in Queensland. Results indicated high levels of NCD, and additional qualitative data revealed a number of factors associated with the complex disablement of study participants, namely: i) intergenerational trauma; ii) a social context of disadvantage, marginalisation and exclusion; and iii) the nonidentification of disability. The results are linked to implications for NDIS inclusion for this population, and recommendations are made. Unless the extent and nature of complex disability and the issues surrounding culturally safe policy, and service design and engagement are addressed with and by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, including those who experience complex disablement, marginalised people will continue to be effectively excluded from the NDIS.

 

Disability and the Global South, 2018, Vol.5, No. 2

Entering the SDG era: What do Fijians prioritise as indicators of disability-inclusive education?

SPRUNT, Beth
DEPPELER, Joanne
RAVULO, Kitione
TINAIVUNIVALU, Savaira
SHARMA, Umesh
2017

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Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 is to ‘Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all’ and the targets and indicators for SDG 4 emphasise the importance of measuring outcomes for children with disabilities (United Nations, 2015b). This paper reports on findings from qualitative research investigating Fijian stakeholders’ priorities for measuring success of efforts within a contextually and culturally meaningful process of disabilityinclusive education; that is, achievement of SDG 4 for children with disabilities. The priorities are presented in light of the specific challenges in Fiji to fulfilling this goal. The research presented in this paper is one part of a much larger mixed method study funded by the Australian aid program that aimed to develop and test indicators for the education of children with disabilities in the Pacific (Sharma et al., 2016). Fijian researchers with lived experience of disability undertook key informant interviews and focus group discussions with 28 participants. The findings include the need for or role of: an implementation plan and resourcing to ensure the national inclusive education policy is activated; improved awareness and attitudes; competent, confident and compassionate teachers; disability-specific services and assistive technology; accessible buildings and transport; and the important role of special schools. Inclusive education reform requires that Fiji incorporates and builds on existing strengths in special and inclusive education to ensure that systems and people are prepared and resourced for inclusion. The paper concludes that targets within SDG 4 are compatible with priorities within Fiji, however additional indicators are required to measure locally-prioritized changes related to barriers which need to be addressed if Fiji is to make progress towards the higher-order targets of SDG 4.

 

Disability & the Global South (DGS), 2017, Vol. 4 No. 1

Disability, CBR and inclusive development (DCID), 2017, Vol. 28 No. 1

2017

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Titles of research articles in this issue of the journal are:

  • Community Action Research in Disability (CARD): An inclusive research programme in Uganda
  • The Impact of Community-Based Rehabilitation in a Post-Conflict Environment of Sri Lanka
  • Communication Disability in Fiji: Community Cultural Beliefs and Attitudes
  • The Search for Successful Inclusion
  • Effect of Music Intervention on the Behaviour Disorders of Children with Intellectual Disability using Strategies from Applied Behaviour Analysis
  • The Effects of Severe Burns on Levels of Activity

Brief reports

  • Towards Accessible Built Environments in Universities in Ghana: An Approach to Inclusiveness Assessment
  • Physiotherapy Students’ Awareness of Community Health in India

The wellbeing of children with developmental delay in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Laos, Nepal, Pakistan and Vietnam: An analysis of data from UNICEF’s Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys

EMERSON, Eric
SAVAGE, Amber
LLEWELLYN, Gwynnyth
December 2016

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This report, produced by the University of Sydney’s Centre for Disability Research and Policy (CDRP),
uses data collected in rounds four and five of UNICEF’s Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys programme (MICS) to describe the wellbeing of young children with and without developmental delay in six Asian countries. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) were used as a framework for identifying indicators of child wellbeing.

The report, authored by CDRP Disability and Inequity Stream Leader Professor Eric Emerson with Dr Amber Savage of the Family and Disability Studies Initiative, University of Alberta, Canada and CDRP Director Professor Gwynnyth Llewellyn, found that children with Developmental Delay in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Laos, Nepal, Pakistan and Vietnam are more likely than their peers to:
• Be living in poverty (SDG1). In five out the six countries children with developmental delay were more likely to be living in poverty than their peers
• Experience hunger (SDG2). In all six countries children with developmental delay were more likely to have experienced persistent severe hunger than their peers
• Suffer poor health (SDG3). On three indicators (poor peer relationships, diarrhoea and fever) children with developmental delay were more likely to have poor health than their peers. On three indicators (obesity, aggression and acute respiratory infections) there was no systematic difference between children with and without developmental delay.
• Experience barriers to quality education (SDG4). On all four indicators (attendance at early childhood education centre, family support for learning, access to learning materials in the home, maternal level of education) children with developmental delay were more disadvantaged than their peers.
• Experience barriers to clean water and sanitation (SDG6). On two indicators (improved sanitation, place to wash hands) children with developmental delay were more disadvantaged than their peers. On one indicator (improved drinking water) there was no systematic difference between children with and without developmental delay.

The authors noted that “Since the development of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) in 1998, increased attention has been paid to monitoring the well-being of children. The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and UNCRC both contain explicit provisions regarding the rights of children with disabilities. These impose obligations on governments to act to ensure that children with disabilities enjoy the same rights and opportunities as other children. In order to promote the visibility of children with disabilities, enable better policy, and monitor progress, disaggregation of data related to children’s well-being on the basis of disability is needed."

Together towards an inclusive world (series of videos to celebrate CRPD's 10th anniversary)

Australian Disability and Development Consortium
December 2016

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ADDC and ten of its members have produced a series of short videos featuring persons with disability who are, or were, engaged in a disability-inclusive development (DID) project or initiative (in Australia or overseas). In these videos they share their personal stories and how disability inclusive development projects changed their lives, benefitted their communities and contributed to a more inclusive society.

The video series was officially launched during a parliamentary event in Canberra on 30 November 2016 in the presence of some of the persons featuring in the videos and of senior politicians from different Australian political parties.

The event was opened by an address by Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, Minister for International Development and the Pacific. In her speech, she confirmed both the Australian government’s and her personal strong commitment to ensuring that all Australian development programs are disability-inclusive and to championing DID internationally. You will find a transcript of the Minister’s speech here attached.​

Disadvantage and disability: Experiences of people from refugee backgrounds with disability living in Australia

KING, Julie
EDWARDS, Niki
CORREA-VELEZ, Ignacio
HAIR, Sara
FORDYCE, Maureen
2016

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This study of people of refugee backgrounds explored how disability is culturally constructed in the family context, including barriers and enablers to social inclusion and service uptake in Brisbane, Australia. Key themes included the lived experiences of people with disability in their country of origin; experiences of the functioning of government and non-government services; family; barriers in communication and language; transport as a barrier to access; the community of people from their country within Australia; and service gaps and needs. Participants had experienced stigma in their country of origin, and for some this continued within their community of origin. Language and lack of engagement by government and non-government services contributed to service gaps and access barriers. Family remained important. People from refugee backgrounds living in Australia experience significant and compounding barriers to service access, and have unmet needs. They have a limited voice in the current policy context, and lack knowledge and support to facilitate interactions with the current system. Further research would assist in development of a more detailed understanding of these issues.

 

Disability & the Global South (DGS), 2016, Vol. 3 No. 1

Enabling education review, issue 4

ENABLING EDUCATION NETWORK
December 2015

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This newsletter contains a variety of articles about inclusive education in several countries around the world. The topics focus mostly on funding, managing and sustaining inclusive education; engaging and empowering beneficiaries in finding solutions; facilitating parental and child involvement and early childhood education

Enabling Education Review, issue 4

Post school transition : the experiences of students with disability

CHILDREN WITH DISABILITY AUSTRALIA (CDA)
December 2015

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The transition from school is an important period. All young people should be supported throughout this time to access options which allow them to meaningfully participate and contribute to our society as adults. Many young people with disability however have extremely poor post school transition experiences.

This report is based on the direct experience of young people with disability. The paper highlights key issues from current research, legislation and consultations with key stakeholders. It explores present and past school transition practices, barriers faced by students with disability and presents recommendations for improving outcomes and options for post school transition of students with disability

Voices of Pacific children with disability : films

BURGESS, Kasimir
June 2015

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A collection of videos by Kasimir Burgess on the experiences of children with disability in Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu. In these videos, the lived experiences of disabled children are featured providing useful insights into their hopes and aspirations as a useful research tool

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