“Everything is Totally Uncertain Right Now”: People with Disabilities’ Experiences of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Bangladesh

SHAW, Jackie
AKTER, Fatema
ROHWERDER, Brigitte
WICKENDEN, Mary
THOMPSON, Stephen
June 2021

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The COVID-19 pandemic is deepening pre-existing inequalities. Emerging research suggests that people with disabilities across the world have experienced various rights violations and been disproportionality affected by the health, economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the responses to it. The aim of this research was to explore how people with disabilities, who often are excluded from research, have experienced the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. In order to better understand how it has affected jobseekers with disabilities, in-depth qualitative research was conducted as part of the Inclusion Works programme in Bangladesh.

Taking a Disability-Inclusive Approach to Pandemic Responses

WICKENDEN, Mary
THOMPSON, Stephen
ROHWERDER, Brigitte
SHAW, Jackie
2021

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The Covid-19 pandemic has affected communities globally, yet the impact has not been equal. People with disabilities were already often living with severe disadvantage and marginalisation and, as predicted by many disability-focused agencies, Covid-19 has exacerbated these inequalities. Emerging evidence from Inclusive Futures, a UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO)-funded programme, highlights the catastrophic emotional and material impacts on people with disabilities in Nepal and Bangladesh. To respond to and plan for future crises, decision makers should consult inclusively with both organisations of people with disabilities (OPDs) and people with disabilities themselves.
 

‘Because of COVID, Everything is a Mess’ How Have People with Disabilities Experienced the Pandemic in Nepal and Bangladesh?

ROHWERDER, Brigitte
THOMPSON, Stephen
SHAW, Jackie
WICKENDEN, Mary
KAYASTHA, Shubha
SIGDEL, Anita
AKTER, Fatema
BOSRI, Rabia
March 2021

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COVID-19 is deepening pre-existing inequalities. Emerging research suggests that people with disabilities across the world have experienced various rights violations and been disproportionality affected by the health, economic and social impacts of the pandemic and responses to it. The aim of this research was to better understand how people with disabilities who are often excluded from research have experienced the evolving COVID-19 pandemic in Bangladesh and Nepal. In order to better understand how it has affected some of the most marginalised groups of people with disabilities, this study used in-depth qualitative research to focus on people with intellectual, psychosocial, deafblindness and other multiple impairments.

 

আমরা বাংলাদেশে (20 জন লোক) এবং নেপালে (15 জন লোক) বসবাসরত 35টি ডিজেবলড লোকদেরকে কোভিড-19 প্রাদুর্ভাব চলাকালীন সময়ে তাদের জীবন সম্পর্কে জিজ্ঞাসা করেছি। তাদের মধ্যে বধিরতা, নেত্রহীনতা, বৌদ্ধিক ডিজেবিলিটি এবং মানসিক ডিজেবিলিটি’র মতন বিভিন্ন ধরণের ডিজেবিলিটি রয়েছে। তাদেরকে জিজ্ঞাসা করার প্রধান কারণ হল যে প্রায়শই তাদেরকে তাদের জীবন সম্পর্কে কিছুই জিজ্ঞাসা করা হয় না। আমরা ডিজেবলড বাচ্চাদের বাবা-মাদেরকেও তাদের অভিজ্ঞতা সম্পর্কে জিজ্ঞাসা করেছি।

 

हामीले बङ्गलादेश (20 जना मानिस) र नेपाल (15 जना मानिस) मा अपाङ्गता भएका 35 जना व्यक्तिलाई कोभिड-19 को प्रकोपको समयमा आफ्नो जीवन बारे हामीलाई बताउन अनुरोध गर्‍यौं। उहाँहरूलाई वणदृष्टिविहीन, बौद्धिक अपाङ्गता र मनोसामाजिक अपाङ्गता जस्ता विभिन्न अपाङ्गता थिए। उहाँहरूलाई प्रायः आफ्नो जीवन बारे नसोधिने भएकोले हामी उहाँहरूलाई सोध्न चाहन्थ्यौं। हामीले अपाङ्गता भएका बालबालिकाका आमाबुवाहरूलाई पनि सोध्यौं।