Catching up with International News, September 2021
Welcome back to disability news from around the world. I got a bit busy with my own disability living to share these updates, so this picks up from where the May edition left off.
Intro: I'm Peter, and I make Disability Debrief to keep up with how the world is changing for persons with disabilities. You can see previous issues online or search the archive of disability news since 2020. This edition is produced with support from Center for Inclusive Policy.
I love when people get in touch - reply, leave a comment, or find me on twitter @desibility. And do share this newsletter with friends (or enemies) who need disability news in their lives.
As ever there is too much going on and we have too many links. Here are some highlights and see below for news organized by topic. This edition is definitely a catch-up edition though: I still have plenty of other links in the pipeline for next time, so stay tuned.
Made me think… Eddie Ndopu's article on the language of accessibility reminds us that we shouldn't just “boil down accessibility to logistics”, “accessibility should be a catalytic force for something more”:
“For all of its symbolic value as an institutional gesture of accommodation, the ramp does not make a space accessible. It facilitates entry into a building for people who use mobility devices to get around. What makes a space accessible is the empathy, connection, freedom and possibility it engenders for people of all abilities and identities to come together.”
On what COVID-19 did… As ever, plenty on our virus, and it's great to see more qualitative work coming out about its impact across the world. See for example studies from IDS in Bangladesh, Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda or also from CBM Global on Bangladesh, Bolivia and Nigeria.
Number crunching: bringing together the data from over 40 countries that comes from the national-level surveys or censuses that show the situation of persons with disabilities. (Disability Data Initiative). The report confirms that persons with disabilities aren't as well off whether you look at education, health, work and standard of living.
Door-stopping. UNICEF's guidelines to improve inclusiveness and effectiveness in global education are over 400 pages long, but 70 of those are a chapter on inclusive education for children with disabilities. Good to see guidance on how to approach systems-level change in education.
Toxic. If you haven't followed, Britney Spears has had her personal life and finances controlled by her father for over ten years under the US system of “conservatorship”. The good news, just out, is that her father has been removed from this, but as yet she is still not yet free of the system of control. The full statement she made to the court is heartbreaking and she spoke so fast you see her testimony interrupted by the judge asking her to slow down. Sadly this “mirrors the reality for millions of people with disabilities”.
Forgive me, but sometimes I read things that don't mention “disability"…
- I found this question asked about girls' education important for our work: What We Learn about Girls’ Education from Interventions That Do Not Focus on Girls? (May, World Bank Economic Review) The paper finds that general interventions, not targeted specifically at girls, achieve benefits for girls. It would be interesting to see whether the same effect held, or not, for children with disabilities.
- Interesting reflections in How to get your organization's anti-racism work unstuck that highlights reasons that diversity and equality initiatives can go wrong (May, Devex)
Just try to make me go to rehab
I'm moved by the kind response of readers and friends to my rehab journey update. The healing vibes you sent have been very helpful with the mental side of this process, which is definitely a vital part of getting through this.
Things are going in the right direction. I'm more independent at home and hopefully in later October I’ll be able to put full weight on the injured leg and crack on with further regaining the mobility I lost.
Shout-out to all of you who shared hospital stories and advocacy-in-hospital moments, good to know the audience has a few physios or recovering physios, and to those of you on the receiving end of physio I give you a word which somehow I had not spent my life not knowing: “physio terrorist”.
Also, I enjoyed my friend Sohel's reaction to having to speak up to get the right care: “disabled people will have to do advocacy even if we die,” he said, “to get into heaven.”
The topics covered below are:
- Accessibility and Design
- Assistive Technology
- Black Lives Matter and racial justice
- Climate Change
- Civil Society and community
- Conference of State Parties (COSP)
- Culture, Entertainment and Media
- Data and Research
- Digital Accessibility and Technology
- Disaster Risk Reduction and crisis response
- Education and childhood
- Employment, business and work
- Financial Inclusion
- History and Memorial
- Humanitarian, Migrants and Refugees
- Institutions and Deinstitutionalisation
- International Cooperation
- Justice systems and Legal Capacity
- Lived Experience and Opinion
- Mental Health
- Mobility and Transport
- Policy and rights
- Politics and Elections
- Relationships, Sex and Reproductive Rights
- Sign Languages
- Social Protection and costs of disability
- Sport and Paralympics
- Violence and Harassment
- Women and girls with disabilities
And in closing acknowledgements and farewell.
Disclaimer: We need to be careful about things we see online, even from brilliant newsletters. I organize things to show where they come from, which hopefully helps you to navigate and evaluate the information.
News by area
Accessibility and Design
It's Time to Rethink the Language of Accessibility. And to Imagine a More Equal World (May, Eddie Ndopu in Time).
New Book 'Bespoke Bodies: The Design & Craft of Prosthetics' Explores the Impact of Accessible Design (May, Interior Design)
Why getting more people with disabilities developing technology is good for everyone (June, The Conversation)
- "Leaving No One Behind" While Celebrating National AccessAbility Week 2021 (June, Government of Canada)
In Europe, EU needs to make accessibility standards affordable (May, EDF)
Also in Europe, the European Accessibility Summit in June:
- Accessibility and inclusion in the workforce: An interview with Katrin Langensiepen, Member of the European Parliament (June, Microsoft) See also on the parliament magazine.
In the United Kingdom, The Twilight Zone of accessible housing provision (June, Inside Housing)
From Microsoft, online course (2.5 hours) on Accessibility fundamentals.
Celebrating Global Accessibility Awareness Day
- Global Accessibility Awareness Day: Nipoon Foundation Chairman on Making the world more inclusive (Open Access Government)
- Meet amazon employees building accessible experiences (May, Amazon)
- Amazon's Alexa calls attention to Global Accessibility Awareness Day all month long (CNet)
In gaming: 10 most accessible games to play on GAAD 2021 (Inverse)
Some articles from the Special Journal Issue on Assistive Technology and Support Services for People with Disabilities in Low Resource Settings (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health):
- In India, A Narrative Review of the Government Wheelchair Provision System in India "the established government-aided wheelchair provision system is inadequate in terms of coverage, design, production, supply, and wheelchair services." (May)
- In Sierra Leone, “Give Us the Chance to Be Part of You, We Want Our Voices to Be Heard”: Assistive Technology as a Mediator of Participation.
The Global Disability Innovation Hub has a new Disability Innovation Strategy 2021-2024 (link to pdf)
This is old but I enjoyed it: a great illustration of how how to draw manual wheelchairs properly detailed comic with image description in text (Calvin!!! On Wheels, 2019) Also applies to stock photography of disabled people which is so often with hospital wheelchairs.
In Africa, The unique case of Africans with learning disabilities and assistive technology (June, Techpoint Africa)
Black Lives Matter and racial justice
In the United States:
- Ableism & Racism: Roots of The Same Tree (Pushkin)
- George Floyd: one year on, MRG stands with all minority victims of police violence and their families (May, Minority Rights Group)
Disability Inclusive Climate Justice great video on how climate and disability inclusion intersect. (June, EDF) See also a shorter version. More at EDF's site on Disability and Climate Action.
An issue paper and guide to promoting disability-inclusive climate change (June, GLAD Network), including measures to make COP 26 inclusive.
See also an issue brief on Rights-Based Climate Action: Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities (link to pdf, June, LFTW)
Also ahead of the Conference of Parties 26:
- Economic empowerment of excluded groups in the COP26 Energy campaign on key issues for women and people with disabilities in the clean energy transition (link to pdf, April, UKAID)
- The COP26 presidency "has publicly committed to supporting the UNFCCC secretariat to create a disability caucus." (June, Jason Boberg on twitter)
Civil Society and community
Report on Weathering the Storm: resourcing girls and young activists through a pandemic, including through creation of Global Resilience Fund which "unlocks the inclusion of disability rights" (link to pdf, May, Purposeful)
Billion strong is a non-profit organization aiming to bring the voices of persons with disabilities together.
How Funders Can Make Disability Visible "Disability is a relatively untapped area of investment for philanthropy, but one that offers promise of change and multiple avenues for donor impact." from experience at the Ford Foundation (June, SSIR)
In Europe, see the European Disability Forum Annual Report 2020 (May).
Conference of State Parties (COSP)
In June there was the 14th session of the Conference of States Parties to the CRPD where governments review how they are implementing the Convention on the Rights of Person with Disabilities.
See the background documents that informed the discussions:
- Protecting the rights of persons with disabilities in armed conflict and humanitarian emergencies.
- Living independently, being included in the community.
- Right to education: challenges with inclusive education and accessibility during the coronavirus disease pandemic.
See the side events schedule, those with IDA participation, and further:
- Moving the Needle on Gender and Disability from gender aware to gender transformative (DRF)
- Our activities during the Conference of State Parties to the UNCRPD (EDF)
See the Civil Society Forum events.
Some COSP poetry: Excluded among the Excluded by Bernice Adekeye Oyeleke. See more on the poem (LFTW) and for more about Bernice, catch up with an interview I did with her in March.
A collective #CripCOVID19Syllabus to bring together "first-person accounts ... crip experiences, activism, and thinking on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic." (Google Doc, run by a Princeton scholar)
The Minority and Indigenous Trends 2021 report on COVID-19, highlights the response for indigenous people with disabilities in Australia (June, Minority Rights)
A Glimpse of our Covid World "Stories of resilience from young deafblind people during a global pandemic" (The Deafblind International Youth Network)
In Bangladesh, Bolivia and Nigeria, Experiences of Persons with Disabilities in the COVID-19 Pandemic based on interviews with people with disabilities (June, CBM and Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities)
In Bangladesh, “Everything is Totally Uncertain Right Now”: People with Disabilities’ Experiences of the COVID-19 Pandemic (June, IDS) "I do not know when everything will be normal again… It gives a lot of mental pressure. Sometimes I felt that the inner pain traumatized me inside."
In Kenya, “This Time of Corona Has Been Hard”: People with Disabilities’ Experiences of the COVID-19 Pandemic (May, IDS) “Life has shifted. No money. It has been a struggle.”
In Nigeria, “This Pandemic Brought a Lot of Sadness”: People with Disabilities’ Experiences of the COVID-19 Pandemic (June, IDS) “Hunger is a greater killer than COVID-19.”
In Uganda, “The Situation has Exposed Persons with Disabilities to Double Edged Pain” People with Disabilities’ Experiences of the COVID-19 Pandemic (May, IDS)
In the United Kindgom, Study improves understanding of higher rate of COVID-19 death among disabled people (June, LSHTM)
In the United States,
- The Relationships Between COVID-19 Anxiety, Ageism, and Ableism "COVID-19 anxiety is significantly associated with ageism, and with ableism, as well as age and gender" (May, Psychological Reports)
- New obstacles and widening gaps: A qualitative study of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on U.S. adults with disabilities (March, Disability and Health Journal)
In the United Kingdom, Long Covid should be treated as disability, says TUC "Employees need protection in the workplace, with half experiencing some form of discrimination or disadvantage " (June, Guardian)
In the United States, if you forgive the ableist framing, A Tsunami of Disability Is Coming as a Result of ‘Long COVID’ (July, Scientific American)
Life after lockdown
In the United Kingdom, Remote working has been life-changing for disabled people, don’t take it away now (June, Guardian)
In the United States,
- Disabled People’s Feelings About The Pandemic Are More Complicated Than Ever (May, Forbes)
- High school is hard enough for disabled students. Don’t take away our Zoom classes. (Input)
- If Restaurants Can Build a Sidewalk Shed, They Can Accommodate Disabled Diners (June, Eater)
Policies and Response
The IDDC has documented the experiences of how international organizations working on disability responded to COVID-19 in a report: Adjust and Respond (link to pdf, June) It shows the extent of the pivot our sector made: “the majority of programmes tailored towards people with disabilities have been adapted, and have focused on direct responses to the COVID-19 pandemic”.
LCD research Crisis talks on the voice of youth with disabilities in the COVID-19 pandemic, featuring cases from India, Indonesia, Kenya, South Sudan and Zambia (link to pdf, June)
Discussing CBM Global experience of the pandemic: What COVID-19 can teach us on disability inclusive programming (Medicus Mundi Switzerland)
- Barriers and enablers in developing a COVID-19 policy response for people with disability - what can we learn? (June, Power to Persuade)
- Managing COVID-19 Outbreaks in Disability Residential Settings Lessons from Victoria's Second Wave (CRE-DH)
In Brazil, Persons with disabilities in the COVID-19 pandemic: what does ableism have to do with that? (in Portuguese, May, Contrapoder)
In India, India urgently needs a nationwide Disability Inclusive Disaster Management System (May, Economic Times).
In the United Kingdom, Third of UK hospital Covid patients had ‘do not resuscitate’ order in first wave (June, Guardian)
A recovery that works for everyone (June, SDG Blog)
A Global Agenda for Inclusive Recovery Ensuring People with Intellectual Disabilities and Families are Included in a Post-COVID World (May, Inclusion International)
See a Twitter thread of COVID-related disability archives and projects (June, Aimi Hamraie)
Covid Disability Archive launching to document the Disabled experience of the Pandemic.
Many people with disabilities lack access to COVID-19 vaccines (June, Devex)
- Govt’s vaccination policy leaves Persons with Disabilities behind. "In India, there was no priority vaccination scheme for us." (June, The Print)
- Women with Disabilities in India: Access to COVID-19 Vaccination (June, Women Enabled International)
Culture, Entertainment and Media
You Gotta Be performed by disabled artists from around the world. (June, True Colors)
Crip Camp, won a Peabody Award for Documentary (Variety).
Profile of Judy Heumann, considered the mother of disability rights — and she’s a ‘badass’ (May, Washington Post) See also her new children's book, Rolling Warrior (Penguin Random House)
My good friend Davey Jose in conversation with Bobby Seagull on his art, education at a special school and possible futures. (Trinity College Cambridge)
- A model who looks like me Communicating and consuming representations of disability (May, Journal of Consumer Culture):
“While consumers respond favorably to these images, demanding disability be more regularly and prominently featured, they are often responding to images that are sanitized and naïvely conceived. Nonetheless, we show how consumer feedback interacts with the production process, which in turn can challenge market logics, providing opportunities for increased representation.”
On television, TV portrayals of disability in ‘Unforgotten’, ‘Emmerdale’ and ‘Line of Duty’ (June, Disability Arts Online)
Data and Research
Disability Data Report 'report that provides an analysis of disability questions in national censuses and household surveys as well as indicators disaggregated by disability status for 41 countries.' (Disability Data Initiative):
This report finds significant inequalities associated with functional difficulties in terms of education, health, work and standard of living (e.g. electricity). A disability gap, i.e. a disadvantage for persons with functional difficulties compared to persons with no functional difficulty, is consistently found across countries and disaggregation method in terms of educational attainment, literacy, food insecurity, exposure to shocks, asset ownership, health expenditures and multidimensional poverty. This gap persists even though adults with functional difficulties are more likely to receive social protection.
Compilation of tools and resources for data disaggregation a background document to the UN Statistical Commission (link to pdf)
Conducting disability-inclusive remote research during the pandemic (June, IDS)
Practical Guidelines for Co-research with people with disabilities "Reflections and lessons learned in participatory research on Inclusive WASH in humanitarian responses" in Indonesia (ASB, Elrha, et al)
Discussion of World Report on Disability: 10 years on (June, LSHTM)
Why is data important for deaf people? (CBM Global)
Review of “Crip Temporalities” issue of South Atlantic Quarterly "highlights the urgent need to rethink time through a disability studies lens." (Word Gathering)
In the Arab Region, the Arab Gender Gap Report 2020 includes a chapter with statistics on persons with disabilities in education and work (UNESCWA)
In Canada, a government portal on Accessibility statistics.
In Mexico, People with Disabilities in Mexico Should Be Counted "Data Collection Reform Needs Meaningful Consultations" (July, HRW)
In Sub-Saharan Africa, “Visible” yet “invisible”: Counting albinism and kyphosis tools "designed predominantly by the Global North" ... "do not afford Sub-Saharan African countries the platform to measure disability based on local knowledge (July, Intersectional Neurodiversity and Disability Reading Groups)
Digital Accessibility and Technology
AI for disability inclusion "Enabling change with advanced technology" (Accenture):
“We see that Artificial Intelligence (AI)—when developed and used responsibly and ethically—has the potential to facilitate the entire employment journey for persons with disabilities. It can help organizations identify candidates (and vice versa). It can enable engagement at work. And it can drive a culture of confidence in this underutilized segment of the workforce while supporting advancement within organizations.”
Tech Companies Are Training AI to Read Your Lips "Now, an early form of lip-reading AI is being deployed in hospitals, power plants, public transportation, and more." (June, Vice)
The Potential of an Artificial Intelligence for Disability Advocacy: The WikiDisability Project (May, Stud Health Technol Inform)
And if you're looking for an antidote to the optimistic pieces on AI, see a discussion that doesn't mention disability but is very relevant to us. Experts Doubt Ethical AI Design Will Be Broadly Adopted as the Norm Within the Next Decade: they worry "the evolution of artificial intelligence by 2030 will continue to be primarily focused on optimizing profits and social control." (June, Pew Research Center)
Disability, assessment and able bodies in games and science fiction: Researcher Diane Carr on her D4D project Playful Bodies, Technology and Community (June, Disability Arts Online)
Meet the Disabled Streamers Who Are Transforming the Industry (May, Wired)
Guardian and Google made Auditorial, a storytelling website to "showcase the possibilities of accessible stories for blind and low-vision audiences" (May, Guardian).
In the United States, Many federal websites don't meet accessibility requirements "30% of the homepages didn't meet standards for accessibility." (June, FCW)
The Developer’s Guide to Web Accessibility Auditing and Tooling (June, GitConnected)
Trolls Can’t Stop This Black and Disabled Activist From Taking Over TikTok "Imani Barbarin is ready for uncomfortable but necessary conversations. " (June, Vice)
Clubhouse and its clones have an accessibility problem (June, The Verge)
Software and technology
- Apple previews powerful software updates designed for people with disabilities (May, Apple)
- UK opens investigation "into whether Apple discriminates against severely disabled customers through its iPhone Upgrade Program conditions." (May, 9 to 5 Mac)
Microsoft: What’s coming in Windows 11 Accessibility (July)
In South Korea, blind activists fight for digital equality (June, Rest of World)
Disaster Risk Reduction and crisis response
Inclusion in Crisis Response, Recovery and Resilience rapid review "of what has worked to include people in humanitarian assistance who experience heightened vulnerability during crises" (May, IDS)
Our crisis response must include people with disabilities (June, UNDP)
Education and childhood
New guidelines to improve inclusiveness and effectiveness in global education includes a chapter with detailed guidelines on inclusive education for children with disabilities, covering system capacity, participation, supply- and demand-side issues (June, UNICEF)
Open letter to G7 leaders "Children with disabilities have the right to education " (June, Sightsavers). See also:
- No Girl With Disabilities should be denied the Right to Education (June, GPE)
- A message from students in Sierra Leone (short video, May, Sightsavers)
- IDA-IDDC statement following G7 ‘Declaration on girls’ education "sets out recommendations for strong commitments that governments and international development actors should make" (IDDC)
Position Statement on Educational Rights for Deaf Learners During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond (World Federation of the Deaf)
Every Girl’s Right, report on Leonard Cheshire’s holistic approach to ensuring every girl receives a quality education (link to pdf, May)
From the UK, US and Canada, a new book: Lived Experiences of Ableism in Academia Strategies for Inclusion in Higher Education (May, Policy Press)
In Bangladesh, COVID 19, technology-based education and disability: emerging practices in inclusive digital learning for students with disabilities - report on success of accessible reading materials. (UNESCO)
In Europe, Agreement on the New Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps (May, EDF)
In India, Unpacking the varied roles of mothers of children with developmental disabilities in South India (April, Disability & Society)
In Lesotho, Togo and Vietnam: Advancing Inclusive Education: Making children with disabilities visible (June, GPE)
In Morocco, Inclusion Revolution Breakthrough Led by Special Olympics Morocco (Special Olympics)
In Nepal, Reflections on the gendered impact of COVID-19 on education of children with disabilities in Nepal (June, UNGEI)
In Nigeria, SMILE: designing a participatory project to promote inclusive education in Nigeria (May, World Education Blog)
In South Africa, Disability Support & Accessibility in Mainstream Schools (May, Nicola Deghaye) Evidence from multivariate analysis of the School Monitoring Survey 2017, and a followup qualitative study.
In Uganda, Time to walk the talk on inclusive education (June, Daily Monitor)
In the United States,
- Some US children getting hit at school despite bans "Students of color and those with disabilities are disproportionately subjected to corporal punishment" (May, Guardian)
Employment, business and work
The Center for Inclusive Policy's recently discussed What strategies work for ensuring persons with disabilities get access to livelihood or employment opportunities? curated by Tom Shakespeare (July)
New Research Into The FTSE 100 Shows We’ve Made Progress In Disability Inclusion In Business - But There’s A Long Way To Go (June, Forbes)
Where to start on global business disability (June, BDF)
Make It Safe for Employees to Disclose Their Disabilities (June, Harvard Business Review)
Digital success in less than three minutes videos with different responses to "How does assistive technology make your workplace more inclusive?" (BDF)
Neuro-diversity and the workplace - positive or negative? (June, ILO Future of Work Podcast) The content looks better than the title.
The Empowerment of Women with Disabilities in the Tech Industry (June, GIGX)
In India, Even with an MA pass, a young disabled man can't find work and hawks on the train (in Bengali, May, ichorepaka)
In Nigeria, promoting economic independence and leadership for women and girls with disabilities (June, CBM)
In the Philippines, Employment for Persons with Disabilities (June, Ruh Global Impact)
In Romania, Special Olympics Athlete Breaks Employment Barriers in Romania! (Special Olympics)
In the United Kingdom, Disability Inclusion at Work: What's next on the Agenda? (June, Fair Play Talks)
In the United States,
- Nasdaq wants to improve board diversity. Why doesn’t that include people with disabilities? (June, Fortune)
In Uruguay, Montevideo increases quotas in its programme for labour opportunities for persons with disabilities and other groups (in Spanish, May, Intendencia Montevideo)
In South Africa, Youth Unemployment Impacts Young People With Disabilities Too (June, iAfrica)
In Pakistan, Bank of Pakistan and NOWPDP sign an MoU (June, Business Recorder)
The 74th World Health Assembly made a landmark resolution on disability: The highest attainable standard of health for persons with disabilities (link to pdf, May, WHO). The resolution urges governments to “to take measures to ensure comprehensive, accessible and affordable access to health systems and care for all persons with disabilities”, including by “consulting with and actively involving persons with disabilities and their representative organizations”.
Also from the World Health Assembly:
- Accessibility and inclusion cannot be an afterthought Statement from IDA/IDDC campaign for disability inclusion in the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic (link to pdf)
- ReLAB-HS response to WHA resolution with further context (May)
- WHA Resolution reaffirms persons with disabilities’ right to health (May, Humanity & Inclusion)
Editorial on Disability—a neglected issue in public health (June, The Lancet Public Health) “Building back fairer after the pandemic offers an opportunity to rethink and end the neglect of people with disabilities in public health”.
The Right to Disability-Inclusive Health issue brief (May, LFTW)
In the United States,
- Disability-competence training influences health care providers’ conceptualizations of disability: An evaluation study (May, Disability and Health Journal) “This study demonstrates that health care provider training can positively affect providers’ knowledge, outlook, and approach to caring for people with disabilities.”
History and Memorial
In the United Kingdom, Testing Invalid Car 1946 short video of a car with accessibility features (British Pathé)
In the United States, The Brain Injury That Helped End Slavery "A vicious blow to the head may have been the catalyst that turned Harriet Tubman into an Abolitionist hero." (Folks)
Humanitarian, Migrants and Refugees
- Handbook on integration of Resettled Refugees includes a detailed section on persons with disabilities.
- Age, Gender and Diversity Accountability Report 2020 includes actions taken for persons with disabilities (July)
In Bangladesh, Age and Disability Inclusion Needs Assessment Rohingya Refugee Response (May 2021) (ReliefWeb) Persons with disabilities were more likely than those without to face barriers accessing services, and this was particularly faced by older women with disabilities.
In Burkina Faso, A humanitarian partnership in times of COVID (LFTW)
Institutions and Deinstitutionalisation
Crystallising the Case for Deinstitutionalisation: COVID-19 and the Experiences of Persons with Disabilities (link to pdf, May, LSE) See also easy read: Why people should move out of institutions (link to pdf):
Across the world, there are millions of people living in congregate settings that deny them their human rights and fundamental freedoms. Persons with disabilities, children whose families are unable to support them, and many older persons with needs for care are accommodated in settings that are unacceptably restrictive, offer poor quality of care, and lead to very poor quality of life.
About Moldova, Commissioner publishes observations on the human rights of persons with psychosocial disabilities (June, Council of Europe)
On this newsletter, an interview Misti Ashrafun Nahar, we got into detail about the relationships between orgranizations led by persons with disabilities and the wider disability sector and international partners.
Organizations of persons with disabilities can respond to IDA's survey on Global Survey on OPDs Participation in Policies and Programmes "to learn about the way they are participating in policies and programmes developed by governments and international partners".
The Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities made a submission to the High-Level Political Forum (link to pdf) on the SDG goals. See more on IDA's page on the HLPF.
CBM Global on How We’ve Worked Together Over the Years with Pacific Disability Forum (June)
Sightsavers journey towards inclusion in the workplace "our journey towards becoming an employer of choice for people with disabilities."
From ADD, ADD statement on UK foreign aid cuts.
Key sheet on Women’s Economic Empowerment and Disability Inclusion in Future Cities programmes (link to pdf, UKAID) I helped a bit with this one :)
The Abolition Disability and Justice Collective follows other disability organizations in a Statement of Solidarity with Palestine: "Disability justice cannot exist under settler colonialism, military occupation, imprisonment, and apartheid." (May)
Equality, Nondiscrimination, and Sustainable Development of Persons with Disabilities (May, Reduced Inequalities)
From Disability Rights Fund, 2020 Annual Report.
- Analysis on European Disability Rights Strategy External Action: Gives recommendations to make a more impactful strategy on promoting rights of disabled people globally. (July, IDDC and EDF)
- Success! "Persons with disabilities are included in the EU's new external action budget 2021-2027" (July, EDF)
In Nigeria, Disability Inclusion in Economic Development Programmes (May, SDD)
In Switzerland, Inclusive Swiss International Cooperation (CBM)
In Uganda, HIV and Disability in Uganda. "MADIPHA is the first organisation of its kind in Uganda, dedicated to supporting people with disability and HIV." (ADD)
Justice systems and Legal Capacity
A new book: Legal Capacity & Gender by Anna Arstein-Kerslake: Realising the Human Right to Legal Personhood and Agency of Women, Disabled Women, and Gender Minorities (Springer)
In Argentina, Colombia, and Peru, Supported Decision Making in South America: Analysis of Three Countries’ Experiences (May, Assistive Technology and Support Services for People with Disabilities in Low Resource Settings)
In Spain, Law approved to reform civil legislation to support persons with disabilities in exercise of legal capacity (in Spanish, May, Congress)
In the United States, Disability, intersectionality, and criminalization From awareness and inclusion to justice and action (June, Pivot Legal)
Also in the United States, Britney Spears speaks out against 'abusive' conservatorship in court (June, BBC). The news just in is that Britney Spears’ father suspended from conservatorship in victory for singer (September, Guardian)
- Britney Spears’ Full Statement Against Conservatorship a heart-breaking read, punctuated by the judge asking her to speak more slowly so it can be transcribed (June, Forbes)
- Britney Spears’ Conservatorship Is a Disability Rights Issue (June, Vice)
- Britney Spears’s Conservatorship Mirrors Reality for Millions with Disabilities "Guardianship System Subjects Many to a Range of Abuses " (June, HRW)
Lived Experience and Opinion
8 memoirs by blind authors (June, Electric Lit).
In Arab Countries, Disability and Time to Promote Identity Awareness (May, Ruh Global Impact)
In Canada, Disability Filibuster and What Accessibility Is and Is Not. (May, mssinenomineblog)
- Disability Rights Defender in Gaza Addresses UN (June, HRW)
- Life in Gaza With Down Syndrome "Ibrahim Hammad, 12, has never been allowed to leave the 140-square-mile territory. " (June, The Nation)
- Great pictures of disabled people in ‘Disability is possibility’ a photographer travelling around the country documenting lives of persons with disabilities (June, Guardian)
- How I Quit Ranting and Became a Part of Mainstream Society Rustom Irani at TEDxStXaviersMumbai (June) I enjoyed this discussion of shifting relation to disability and the balance between dialogue and complaint.
In Rwanda, Disability and resilience: why the storyteller matters. (June, University World News)
In the United States,
- 'The Depictions Of Motherhood I Saw Around Me Seemed At Odds With What I Knew Of Disability' (June, Grazia):
“I’ve found almost every real life mother I know – disabled or not – lives in an ever-changing web of limitation. Of course! Even more surprising to me, I’ve found a lifetime of disability to be the perfect training ground for motherhood – the limitations of paralysis and an inaccessible world have given me sturdy muscles in flexibility, adaptability, and imagination – the very stuff of mothering.”
- Clutter, clarity, and chronic illness: 'Could I find joy in the food items and appliances I’d collected due to disability and necessity?' (June, The Counter)
- People With Disabilities Have A Complicated Relationship With “Positivity” (June, Forbes)
- Fighting Ableism Is About Much More Than Attitudes And Awareness: "the ways disabled people as a community are persistently harmed and hindered, even when they aren’t being personally insulted" (June, Forbes)
- We Need To Rethink The Penalties And Rewards Of Identifying As “Disabled” (May, Forbes)
- How To Find Your Disability Community 'There seems to be a wide gap between how we talk about “The Disability Community,” and the number of disabled people who actually feel like a part of it. ' (May, Forbes)
WHO Guidance on community mental health services: Promoting person-centred and rights-based approaches (June)
CBM launches Community Mental Health Good Practice Guides sharing lessons learned from "global work on mental health for over 20 years" (CBM)
In Europe, UN Rights experts call on Council of Europe to stop legislation for coercive mental health measures (May, OHCHR)
Mobility and Transport
In China, Ride-hailing for the blind: Didi promises accessible travel (April, SupChina)
In Europe, Towards Independent and Spontaneous Rail Travel for All (June, EDF)
In South Africa, Wheelchair Users Struggle to Use Sewage Covered, Pothole-Ridden Roads in Dunoon (June, AllAfrica)
In South Korea, New Smart Tech Helps Visually Impaired South Koreans Increase Mobility (June, VoA)
In the United States, Interview: Tammy Duckworth Insists Every U.S. Transit Station Must Be Accessible (May, Street Blog USA)
Policy and rights
The Center for Inclusive Policy has been covering important topics in its questions of the month series. See for example, on community supports in low- and middle-income countries: they "cannot be developed apart from families and communities."
The HRMI Rights Tracker survey of human rights experts in 39 countries identifies those countries where people with disabilities were at extra risk.
Accountability for the Rights of People with Psychosocial Disabilities: An Assessment of Country Reports for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (link to pdf, June, Health And Human Rights Journal) “There are particular gaps in understanding and reporting around reasonable accommodation and accessibility for persons with psychosocial disabilities.”
In Brazil, Persons with disabilities and the Bolsonaro government the future always collects (In Portuguese, June, Forum) “It's not by chance that the first lady is close to the theme, to disguise it as an object of charity and volunteering, replacing the idea of rights”. (My translation).
In Canada, Disability, Death & the Fight for Justice Disability Justice in Canada amidst a time of pandemic (June, Disability Visibility Project)
In China, Interaction between disability support policies and Chinese cultural values online seminar (Youtube, May, UNSW)
In Ethiopia, Ethiopian Human Rights Commission announces a commissioner on for Disability Rights (announcement in image on twitter, June, EHRC)
- EU Disability Strategy: Time to translate words into action (June, EESC) “Among the most serious objections raised [about the strategy] was the absence of specific reference to, and action for, women and girls with disabilities.”
- Commissioner publishes observations on the human rights of persons with psychosocial disabilities (June, Council of Europe)
In Ireland, UN CRPD Committee member criticises Ireland for failings on disabilities legislation (May, Irish Examiner)
In Nigeria, Lagos asks local councils to set up disability desks (May, Guardian.Ng)
In Sri Lanka, see Manique Gunaratne's youtube channel for videos covering a number of rights issues.
In the United States,
- Fact Sheet on Biden-Harris Administration Efforts to Support Full Participation and Equality for People with Disabilities (link to pdf, May, White House)
- Smart Ass Cripple: Why the ADA was Naive (June, The Progressive)
Politics and Elections
In Europe, Sad and unfair - the European Court of Human Rights’ decisions on right to vote (May, Inclusion Europe)
In Israel, Shirley Pinto, the first-ever deaf MK, is sworn into Knesset using sign language (June, Times of Israel)
In Spain, The European Court of Human Rights supports removal of the right to vote of people with intellectual disabilities in Spain (May, EDF)
In the United States,
- GOP Voting Restrictions Will Make It Harder For People With Disabilities To Cast Ballots (April, Huffington Post)
10 influential disabled LGBTQ+ activists to follow this Pride Month (June, Disability Horizons)
Some people celebrated Disability Pride Month in July. See for example: 5 Questions to think about this Disability Pride Month (Forbes)
Relationships, Sex and Reproductive Rights
From Bangladesh, Gateway to SRHR "An Integrated Accessible Informational Platform on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) for Persons with Disabilities in Bangladesh" (Share-Net International and YPSA)
In Kenya, Empowering Kenyan women and girls with disabilities in managing menstrual health (June, UNFPA)
8 Disability Podcasts That Are Well Worth A Listen (June, Forbes)
From Europe, Disability Voice 4 the EDF newsletter (May)
In Turkey, Sign language awareness flourishes in Turkey despite challenges (June, Daily Sabah)
Social Protection and costs of disability
In Australia, National Disability Insurance Scheme funding (Parliament of Australia)
In Nigeria, PWDs not benefitting enough from social protection programmes in four Nigerian states "about 90 per cent of PWDs across the four states have little or no knowledge of social protection programmes," (May, Premium Times)
In the United Kingdom: Guardian view on social care and disability: a cruel policy vacuum (June, Guardian)
In the United States,
- Food Insecurity In The Disability Community Disparities In SNAP Access (May, Health Affairs)
- Recognizing and Addressing Housing Insecurity for Disabled Renters (May, Center for American Progress)
Sport and Paralympics
I didn't catch up on the Paralympics coverage yet, but do see the WeThe15 campaign, "sport’s biggest ever human rights movement to end discrimination”.
Pegasus Dream Tour is the official mobile-based game of the Paralympics. (June, Pocket Gamer) “A mobile RPG themed around the Paralympic Games, and it’s the first video game ever to carry the official Paralympics license” (May, The Verge)
Qatar aims to deliver "outstanding" FIFA World Cup experience for people with disabilities (May, Gulf Times)
Violence and Harassment
"Nobody knows what happens in these four walls": the sad reality of persons with disabilities that face domestic violence (in Spanish, May, El Diario)
What if... women with disabilities were free from domestic violence? (June, UN SDG)
In Australia, Primary prevention of violence against women with disability Evidence synthesis (link to pdf, February, Respect Victoria)
In Brazil, "I am not my disability" targets of fetish, women speak about harassment (In Portuguese, May, Metrópoles)
In Chile, Invisible Violences against women and girls with disabilities: factors that lead to continued practiced of forced sterilizations (in Spanish, August, Revista de Estudios Sociales)
In Europe, Position paper on Violence against women and girls with disabilities in the European Union (May, EDF)
In India, Landmark Ruling for Survivors of Sexual Abuse with Disabilities (June, HRW) “The judgment notes that the rape survivor identified the perpetrator by his voice, which was familiar to her, and stresses that such testimony should be given equal legal weight as a visual identification”
Women and girls with disabilities
A new research project Engendering Disability-Inclusive Development 'will bring together academics, agencies and governments in Canada, Haiti, South Africa and Vietnam' (May, University of Guelph) See more about the partnership (link to pdf).
From the Generation Equality Forum:
- The costs of exclusion: Economic justice for women and girls with disabilities report from the Mexico chapter discussion in March (June, IDA)
- Feminists with disabilities cannot take the floor at the Generation Equality Forum (June, EDF)
The source for news here is all of you sharing disability news, especially those sharing on twitter. Thanks to everyone for spreading the word about what's going on, and to people who send me links directly.
These newsletters are produced by me, Peter Torres Fremlin. Any opinions or mistakes are mine. Many thanks for Center for Inclusive Policy's support to this edition.
Take care and until next time,
p.s. for a fresh take on a familiar subject, see Lolo Spencer's video on Why I Don't Like "Differently-Abled", where she leans into disability pride as a "cool and dope way of living". And while you're there, why not follow her on instagram already?