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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.

Meeting basic needs for women and girls with disabilities during COVID-19

WOMEN ENABLED INTERNATIONAL
UN WOMEN
July 2020

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In March and April 2020, Women Enabled International (WEI) conducted an online qualitative survey of issues impacting women, girls, non-binary, trans, and gender non-conforming (TGNC) persons with disabilities, which received 100 responses from around the world. These individuals identified that COVID-19 had had a significant impact on their ability to meet basic needs, achieve an adequate standard of living, and live independently, including because of issues related to employment and income, access to support services and assistive devices, access to public transportation, and access to assistance from friends, family, and the public. This policy brief will discuss some of the findings from this survey to illustrate how the pandemic worsens existing realities of marginalised communities and will provide recommendation to stakeholders, in particular UN agencies and UN Country Teams and their partners, on how to mitigate adverse effects of pre-existing inequalities faced by women, girls and TGNC persons with disabilities, including on how to engage with networks and organizations as active agents in the process of ‘building back.’

Exploring Critical Issues in the Ethical Involvement of Children with Disabilities in Evidence Generation and Use

THOMPSON, Stephen
CANNON, Mariah
WICKENDEN, Mary
2020

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This research brief details the main ethical challenges and corresponding mitigation strategies identified in the literature with regard to the ethical involvement of children with disabilities in evidence generation activities. Evidence generation activities are defined as per the UNICEF Procedure for Ethical Standards in Research, Evaluation, Data Collection and Analysis (2015), as research, evaluation, data collection and analysis. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (art. 12) states that children have the right to form and express views freely in all matters affecting them and that the views of the child must be given due weight in accordance with her/his age and maturity.

 

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (art. 7) states that children with disabilities must enjoy human rights and freedoms on an equal basis with other children, and that they have a right to express their views freely and should be provided with assistance where necessary to realize that right. The two conventions in general, and these two articles specifically, frame this research brief, which aims to encourage practitioners to explicitly consider ethical ways to involve children with disabilities in evidence generation.

 

The findings detailed in this summary brief are based on a rapid review of 57 relevant papers identified through an online search using a systematic approach and consultation with experts. There was a paucity of evidence focusing specifically on the ethical challenges of involving children with disabilities in evidence generation activities. The evidence that did exist in this area was found to focus disproportionately on high-income countries, with low- and middle-income countries markedly under-represented.

What do we know about how to support mental health and wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic from past infectious disease epidemics?

QURESH, Onaiza
SCHERER, Nathaniel
July 2020

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The question and the problem:

Symptoms of mental ill-health are common during widespread outbreak of an infectious disease, with high rates of depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) reported during recent epidemics, such as the recent Ebola crises and SARS-CoV-1. Elevated symptoms of mental ill-health are not limited to patients only, and are seen in healthcare workers, family members and indeed more widely across the general population. Early evidence coming from the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates high rates of mental ill-health and mental health service provision is needed. This evidence brief summarises evidence on mental health support during COVID-19 and other recent pandemics, informing policy and practice during this crisis.

Guidance Note 5: Return to School

McGEOWN, Julia
BOISSEAU, Sandra
BOHAN-JACQUOT, Sandrine
July 2020

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This guidance is part of a series to provide support during the Covid-19 crisis. The guidance notes include #1 Inclusive Digital learning, #2 Teacher resources, #3 Home support, #4 TV and Radio Learning, and #5 Return to School.

 

10 tips are provided for returning to school during and after the Covid-19 pandemic. Tips are given to cope with school re-opening, manage learning continuity with existing constraints and build better education systems.

 

'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.

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 persons with disabilities  (men, women, boys and girls) 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 hostcommunities.

 

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.  

 

Displaced persons with disabilities face additional challenges to protect themselves and their families and barriers to access services, in camps that were not built for COVID-19

Inclusion and education: All means all. Global Education Monitoring (GEM) report 2020

GLOBAL EDUCATION MONITORING REPORT TEAM
June 2020

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The 2020 GEM Report assesses progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) on education and its ten targets, as well as other related education targets in the SDG agenda. The Report also addresses inclusion in education, drawing attention to all those excluded from education, because of background or ability. The Report is motivated by the explicit reference to inclusion in the 2015 Incheon Declaration, and the call to ensure an inclusive and equitable quality education in the formulation of SDG 4, the global goal for education. It reminds us that, no matter what argument may be built to the contrary, we have a moral imperative to ensure every child has a right to an appropriate education of high quality.

The Report also explores the challenges holding us back from achieving this vision and demonstrates concrete policy examples from countries managing to tackle them with success. These include differing understandings of the word inclusion, lack of teacher support, absence of data on those excluded from education, inappropriate infrastructure, persistence of parallel systems and special schools, lack of political will and community support, untargeted finance, uncoordinated governance, multiple but inconsistent laws, and policies that are not being followed through.

Inclusion of persons with disabilities in the humanitarian COVID-19 response. Webinar

June 2020

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First webinar of the project "Phase 2 - Leave no one behind!: Mainstreaming Disability in Humanitarian Action". The project is funded by the German Federal Foreign Office and led by Handicap International e.V. (HI). It is implemented together with the Christoffel Blindenmission e.V. (CBM) and the Institute for International Law of Peace and Armed Conflict (IFHV) of the Ruhr-University Bochum. The project aims at mainstreaming disability in humanitarian coordination mechanisms, strengthening the capacities of German humanitarian actors and their local partners, and improving data collection on the inclusion of persons with disabilities.

Guidance note #2 Inclusive Governance and the “aftermath” of the Covid-19 pandemic

Bull
Goupil-Barbier
Holmes
June 2020

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While the first guidance note by the inclusive governance unit focuses primarily on the moment of the outbreak and emergency responses, this note anticipates to examine conditions of governance after the outbreak and how HI interventions could look like to further mitigate or event prevent negative effects of the outbreak. It is already clear that the long-term socio-economic impacts will affect persons with disabilities disproportionately, so proactivity is necessary as from now. It aims to enable global reflection while respecting that situations differ according to the national context of an HI country of intervention

Policy Brief: COVID-19 and People on the Move

UNITED NATIONS
June 2020

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COVID-19 leaves few lives and places untouched. But its impact is harshest for those groups who were already in vulnerable situations before the crisis. This is particularly true for many people on the move, such as migrants in irregular situations, migrant workers with precarious livelihoods, or working in the informal economy, victims of trafficking in persons as well as people fleeing their homes because of persecution, war, violence, human rights violations or disaster, whether within their own countries — internally displaced persons (IDPs) — or across international borders — refugees and asylum-seekers.

 

The disproportionate impact of the COVID19 pandemic on people on the move presents itself as three interlocking crises, exacerbating existing vulnerabilities: a health crisis; a socio-economic crisis and a protection crisis.

 

This Policy Brief offers four basic tenets to guide collective response:

  • Exclusion is costly in the long-run whereas inclusion pays off for everyone
  • The response to COVID-19 and protecting the human rights of people on the move are not mutually exclusive
  • No-one is safe until everyone is safe
  • People on the move are part of the solution

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.

 

Inclusion of persons with disabilities in Covid-19 response and recovery: seven steps to implementing the IASC Guidelines

PALMER, Tom
June 2020

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A brief overview of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Guidelines on inclusion of persons with disabilities in humanitarian action is given. Key points of the Humanitarian Policy Group (HPG) roundtable meeting (Mar 2020) are summarised, along with their implications for practice during the Covid-19 response. These are: accessible formats; learning and evidence; tools; training; coordination and partnerships; strategies for organisational change and accountability.

Profiles Enhancing Education Reviews (PEER)

GLOBAL EDUCATION MONITORING REPORT TEAM
June 2020

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The PEER on-line tool has been designed to support the monitoring of national education laws and policies. It provides systematic, comprehensive information on laws and policies for every country in the world and is meant to support policy dialogue and peer learning.

The first set of country profiles cover inclusion and education, the theme of the 2020 GEM Report

Guidance Note 4, TV and Radio Learning

McGEOWN, Julia
BOISSEAU, Sandra
BOHAN-JACQUOT, Sandrine
June 2020

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This guidance is part of a series to provide support during the Covid-19 crisis. The guidance notes include #1- Inclusive Digital learning #2 - Teacher resources and #3 Home support. #4 TV and Radio Learning #5Return to school.

 

A pictorial based summary of the top 10 tips is provided followed by explanation of the resources and more information about top tips, with hyperlinks of relevant resources.

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.

Global humanitarian response plan COVID-19. United Nations Coordinated appeal April – December 2020

United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
May 2020

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The COVID-19 Global HRP is a joint effort by members of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC), including UN, other international organizations and NGOs with a humanitarian mandate, to analyse and respond to the direct public health and indirect immediate humanitarian consequences of the pandemic, particularly on people in countries already facing other crises. It aggregates relevant COVID-19 appeals and inputs from WFP, WHO, IOM, UNDP, UNFPA, UN-Habitat, UNHCR, UNICEF and NGOs, and it complements other plans developed by the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

Ear and hearing survey handbook

WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION (WHO)
May 2020

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This survey handbook provides guidance for planning and implementing hearing loss surveys, including information on possible data collection tools. The survey handbook aims to enable countries – particularly low- and middle-income countries – to gather data by planning and implementing population-based epidemiological surveys.

The main uses of data collected by such surveys are:

  • to provide an accurate picture of hearing loss prevalence in a given area, which could be a country or an area within the country (e.g. district or state);
  • to provide an overview of the most common probable causes of deafness and hearing loss in the study area;
  • assess global and regional prevalence and trends

 

Using this survey handbook for data collection will help to ensure comparability of data collected through studies conducted in different countries and by different investigators. This will facilitate the estimation of global prevalence and the examination of hearing loss trends over time.

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