CBM Australia & Nossal Institute for Global Health (2020)
Experiences of people with disabilities in COVID-19: A summary of current evidence
People with disabilities face higher levels of poverty and barriers to accessing services and are likely to also be disproportionately affected by COVID-19. This report presents a synthesis of the emerging evidence of the health, economic and social impact of COVID-19 on people with disabilities in low and middle-income countries in Asia and the Pacific. Notably, much of this impact arises from barriers that people with disabilities face in accessing government support. Implications for future analysis of disability in public health responses are noted.
United Nations (May 2020)
Policy Brief: A Disability-Inclusive Response to COVID-19
This Policy Brief highlights that people with disabilities are among the hardest hit by COVID-19, with the share of C19 related deaths in care homes (where older people with disabilities are overrepresented) ranges from 19 per cent to 72 per cent. The brief outlines key actions and recommendations to make the response and recovery inclusive of persons with disabilities. While the brief contains specific recommendations focusing on key sectors, it identifies four overarching areas of action that are applicable for all: (1) Ensure mainstreaming of disability in all COVID-19 response and recovery, together with targeted actions; (2) Ensure accessibility of information, facilities, services and programs in the COVID-19 response and recovery; (3) Ensure meaningful consultation with and active participation of persons with disabilities and their representative organisations in all stages of the COVID-19 response and recovery; and (4) Establish accountability mechanisms.
Jessie Meaney-Davis, Harri Lee and Nick Corby (April, 2020)
The impacts of COVID-19 on people with disabilities: a rapid review
A rapid review of how COVID-19 might impact on people with disabilities and pre-existing health conditions. This document draws on emerging global evidence from the current outbreak and on other similar epidemics and covers both primary and secondary impacts. Recommendations for a disability-inclusive COVID-19 response is included.
Disability Inclusive Social Protection Response to COVID-19 Crisis
Social protection at any point in time is critical for persons with disabilities. The COVID-19 crisis demonstrates the importance for comprehensive and inclusive social-protection systems. This brief presents guidance on how to ensure social protection systems response to COVID-19 support and are inclusive persons with disabilities.
CBM (April 2020)
Disability inclusion in COVID-19 preparedness and response
This guidance note provides advice for organisations planning and undertaking preparedness and response for COVID-19, to ensure that people with disabilities are considered in all aspects of outbreak mitigation and response. Key recommendations include: involve people with disabilities and their representative organisations in the planning and implementation of COVID-19 responses; provide rapid training for health workers on disability inclusion; specify that people with disabilities in need of health services cannot be deprioritized on the ground of their disability or discriminated against even though medical resources are scarce during the COVID-19 outbreak; work with the disability movement, including DPOs and disability service providers, to provide communication to people with disabilities and their families; ensure people with disabilities must have access to interpretation and support services even while they are in isolation or quarantine.
Pacific Disability Forum, 2020
Human rights based approach guideline on disability inclusion in COVID-19 response
To guarantee that no one is left behind, discriminated against or excluded from the COVID-19 response, a human rights based approach must be adopted. Using the General Principles (Article 3) of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, PDF outline measures that key stakeholders can take to uphold human rights in COVID-19 response efforts.
World Health Organisation (2020)
Disability considerations during the COVID-19 outbreak
WHO and public health authorities around the world are taking action to contain the COVID-19 outbreak. Certain populations, such as those with disability, may be impacted more significantly by COVID-19. This impact can be mitigated when key stakeholders take actions and protective measures. This publication from WHO highlights the actions that stakeholders can take to reduce the barriers experienced by people with disability during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Joint Statement (April 2020)
COVID-19 and persons with psychosocial disabilities
This Joint Statement, from persons with psychosocial disabilities from regional and international organisations across the world, raises concerns about the vulnerability of persons with psychosocial disabilities to COVID-19 infection and deaths. Key issues include barriers in accessing health information, including lack of information in plain language, and reluctance to access the health system due to experiences of discrimination, dismissiveness and traumatisation in that system. The statement calls on national and local governments to implement measures including reducing the number of people in psychiatric units and institutions, providing sanitary measures to avoid infections in institutional settings, ensuring non-discrimination and equal access to testing, healthcare and information, supporting vulnerable groups including homeless people and people at risk of abuse and violence, and consulting with people with psychosocial disabilities and their representative organisations.
COVID-19 response: Considerations for Children and Adults with Disabilities
This UNICEF guidance document highlights that in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, people with disabilities may have increased risk for exposure to the virus, and they may have underlying health conditions that increase their risk of serious complications from COVID-19. UNICEF provides suggestions of what to do to make the response inclusive, including reaching out to local organisations of people with disabilities and engaging with them at every stage of the response. When disseminating messaging on prevention of COVID-19 remember that many children with disabilities are out of school, and that people with disabilities may have lower levels of access to social media. UNICEF also calls for disaggregation of monitoring data by disability, using the Washington Group Short Set of Disability Questions and the Washington Group-UNICEF Children Functioning Module.
World Federation of the Deaf and the World Association of Sign Language Interpreters (March 2020)
WFD-WASLI Joint Statement on access to health services and interpreter occupational health during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) containment efforts
During the COVID-19 outbreak, the World Federation of the Deaf and the World Association of Sign Language Interpreters released this joint statement reminding governments of their commitments under the CRPD to ensure full access to information and accessibility of all services. The statement notes that it is imperative that all public health announcements made by government officials are also done in the national sign language(s) of that country. Televised (whether live or prerecorded) announcements related to the outbreak should be interpreted in real time into the national sign language(s) with sign language interpreters being on screen and clearly visible the entire time of the broadcast. The statement also notes that sign language interpreters who work in emergency and health settings should be given the same health and safety protections as other health care workers dealing with COVID-19.
International Disability Alliance (March 2020)
Toward a Disability-Inclusive COVID19 Response: 10 recommendations from the International Disability Alliance
In the light of the COVID-19 pandemic and its disproportionate impact on persons with disabilities, the International Disability Alliance has compiled some practical solutions and recommendations, including: information must be provided in a diversity of accessible formats; additional protective measures must be taken for people with certain types of impairment; rapid awareness raising and training of personnel involved in the response is essential; no disability-based institutionalisation and abandonment is acceptable; during quarantine, support services, personal assistance, physical and communication accessibility must be ensured; and persons with disabilities in need of health services due to COVID19 cannot be de-prioritised on the ground of their disability.
Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Ms Catalina Devandas Aguilar (2020)
COVID-19: Who is protecting the people with disabilities?
This press release from the Special Rapporteur highlights that despite people with disabilities being a group that is at high-risk during the COVID-19 pandemic, little has been done to provide the guidance and support needed to protect them. To face the pandemic, the Special Rapporteur called on States to: consult with organizations of people with disabilities in all stages of the COVID-19 response, make public health information available in accessible formats, and establish clear protocols for public health emergencies to ensure that, when medical resources are scarce, access to healthcare does not discriminate against people with disabilities.