Hope you and yours are well.
This edition practices distancing from the pandemic to catch-up on international news on disability since my last non-coronavirus update in February.
For fans of COVID-19 news I do include a small update here and some events that are upcoming. You can also go back to the April newsletter and see the key resources there. Keep your masks on for an update with pandemic news next month.
Disability Debrief is made by me, Peter Torres Fremlin, a freelance consultant. This edition is produced with support from Center for Inclusive Policy.
This update covers news from the world-as-it-was in late February 2020 right up to the world as it is now. As well as continuing disability work on issues outside of the pandemic, there are updates from disability and Black Lives Matters movement in the US and elsewhere.
Here's the menu:
- One piece of COVID-19 news
Recap since February
- Crip Camp (discussion, reviews and where next)
- Webinars, podcasts, etc
- Other events or meetings
- Accessibility (and digital accessibility)
- Ageing and older persons
- Artificial Intelligence
- Assistive Technology
- Black Lives Matter (and news before this year and international cooperation)
- Climate Change
- Community-based Services
- Culture and Language
- Data and Statistics
- Education, childhood and training
- Elections and politics
- Employment and Business (lots in this one!)
- Empowerment and challenging stigma
- Gender and women with disabilities
- Health and medicine
- History and Memorial
- International Cooperation
- Legislation and Policy
- Mental Health
- Migrants and Refugees
- Poverty and Social Protection
- Sexual and Reproductive health and rights
- Transport and travel
- Violence or abuse
- Water and Sanitation
- New books and other resources
- Study and research
- Upcoming Events
I'm thrilled to welcome what is now over 500 subscribers to the newsletter. When I started in January my target for subscribers was… 100.
It's wonderful that the community of people interested in international disability news is so much bigger than I'd thought. We’re part of worldwide change in how persons with disabilities participate in social life, and are all juggling the volume of things happening.
Thanks to all of you for being here and the way readers have shared the newsletter with a wider audience. In particular a special welcome to those of you that don't work on disability full-time - it's brave to sign-up to get so much information when it's not your main topic.
Please do say hello! It's great to know who's reading, and definitely keeps me going.
I'm also very happy to welcome a supporter of the newsletter, Center for Inclusive Policy (CIP) - their support helps me to continue these updates in the face of such intense information flow in the COVID-19 crisis.
"CIP decided to support Peter's work on the newsletter as it very much echoes with our mandate of making resources widely available to stakeholders involved in the promotion, design and implementation of inclusive policies"
— Alex Cote, Center for Inclusive Policy Co-President
It's an honour to be supported by CIP given their important contributions to the way we work on disability policy. Recent CIP guidance includes making social protection responses to COVID-19 inclusive of persons with disabilities and a manual for organisations of persons with disabilities on advocacy for inclusive government budgeting.
One piece of COVID-19 news
I urge governments to place people with disabilities at the centre of COVID-19 response and recovery efforts and to consult and engage people with disabilities.
— António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General
At the start of May, the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, shared a policy brief on a Disability-Inclusive Response to COVID-19. On a personal note, I was happy to see some of my work contribute to the brief via a background paper I had prepared in my work with the International Labour Organisation.
The brief sets out four overarching recommendations applicable to all: mainstreaming of disability in response, accessibility, meaningful participation and consultation, and accountability mechanisms. It describes the foundations for a disability-inclusive response and recovery as well as sectoral guidance and recommendations for building back better.
A strong message from the Secretary-General is an important tool for us to use in our work on advocacy and mainstreaming, and it points towards how that can benefit everyone.
Disability inclusion will result in a COVID19 response and recovery that better serves everyone, more fully suppressing the virus, as well as building back better. It will provide for more agile systems capable of responding to complex situations, reaching the furthest behind first.
Recap since February
If you have Netflix and haven't seen it yet, go and watch Crip Camp immediately. It shows our movement, our lives and the history of people who fought to get us where we are.
Reviews and discussion
- Why Netflix's Crip Camp is a landmark for disability representation on screen (Entertainment Weekly)
- 'It blew my mind': the incredible story of Netflix's feelgood Crip Camp (The Guardian)
- How the directors of Netflix and the Obamas' 'Crip Camp' documented a 'disability revolution' (The Hill)
- Crip Camp Is A Needed Reminder of Who The F*ck Disabled People Are (Crutches and Spice)
- Conversations: “Our stories yesterday and today” (in Spanish). Reactions from Latinamerica. (Hosted IIDA and META)
Reflections from Crip Camp makers and protagonists
- The Activist Star of ‘Crip Camp’ Looks Back at a Life on the Barricades (New York Times)
- News segment with Crip Camp Producers to Explain Inspiration Behind Film (2m segment, with transcript, Amanpour&Co. on PBS)
The wonderful Judy Heumann is one of the stars of the film, and has been sharing those experiences as well as those in her recent memoir.
- Appearance on the Daily Show with Trevor Noah: “we’re not leaving, call the police”.
- Featured by Time as 100 Women of the year, 1977.
- Interview on Brown Political review.
- Interview on Disability Download (25m Audio with transcript).
- Interview on the Great Battlefield podcast (I don't see a transcript)
- Crip Camp the Official Virtual Experience.
- 7 Documentaries to Watch After Crip Camp (Disability Visibility Project)
- Collection of documentaries, films, TV, and series about people with disabilities and disability issues “that could be used in higher education courses” (Media and Disability Resources)
Webinars, podcasts, etc
From the BBC :
- “Signing to save lives in the Australian Bushfires” (52 minutes, transcript available, World Service Outlook, March).
- Being blind 'was an opportunity for me', an interview with Yetnebersh Nigussie (1 minute, don't see transcript)
- Eleonore Laloux is looking to prove it as France’s first political candidate with Down’s Syndrome (2m video, March)
Bridging the Gap Project
- Webinar on making public procurement inclusive. See also brief summary.
- Webinar on the unsteady path, a report on participation of Organisations of Persons with Disabilities in the implementation of the CRPD and SDGs. (featured below under legislation and policy)
British Academy talk by Tom Shakespeare on how disabled people achieve good lives in three African countries: Kenya, Uganda and Zambia. (Youtube, 13m)
CEDIL Programme March lecture on “trials and tribulations of collecting evidence on effectiveness in disability inclusive development” by Hannah Kuper. (I don't see subtitles)
Disabled Refugees Welcome webinar on Disabled Refugees and Liberty in Europe.
European Economic and Social Committee brief podcast on “the long and winding road to accessibility” discussing employment. (13 minutes, transcript available, February)
Global Disability Innovation Hub in the UK gave a virtual open day for their Master's Programme in Disability, Design & Innovation.
Human Potential at Work show with Debra Ruh Conversation About Racism, Accessibility, And The Value Of Human Life.
Innovation to Inclusion (i2i) project webinar on labour market data for persons with disabilities. (English with captions and international sign language)
International Labour Organisation webinar on “filling the skills gap” for persons with disabilities in the public sector.
NOWPDP April webinar on Pakistan's Prison System From A Disability Perspective (in mixture of English and Urdu, with sign-language, no subtitles)
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Finland webinar on Women and Girls with Disabilities: Intersectional Approach for Eliminating Violence and Discrimination.
Organización IberoAmericana de Seguridad Social webinar on a gender perspective in employment of persons with disabilities (in Spanish). Provides an important reminder to improve gender-sensitivity of programmes promoting employment of persons with disabilities.
PHAP, ICVA and IASC gave a webinar on new guidelines for persons with disabilities in humanitarian response.
Sowt podcast on “where is inclusion for persons with disabilities in the labour market” (in Arabic, I don't see transcript)
Startup Grind podcast interview leaders can change lives: Starting your disability inclusion journey with Caroline Casey. (55m, I don't see transcript)
TEDxGateway How Can We End Stigma And Abuse Against People With Disabilities by Shantha Rau Barriga.
Traipsin’ Global on Wheels does podcasts with people working on disability around the world. Recent interviews include:
- Christina Ryan, an Australian disability advocate;
- Miles O’Brien, a science correspondent;
- Maggie Hassan, US Senator;
- Catalina Devandas, UN Special Rapporteur;
- Judy Woodruff, a news correspondent;
- Jennifer Smyth-Merry, director of the Center for Disability Research and Policy in Sydney;
- Alastair McEwan, Commissioner for the Disability Royal Commission in Australia.
- Erik Solheim, Executive Director of UN Environment Program.
UNMAS virtual side event on Persons with Disabilities in Armed Conflict: Inclusive Protection Perspectives.
World Blind Union (WBU) in collaboration with several partners: webinar on Smart Cities for All: Leveraging Technology and Data for More Inclusive Cities Worldwide.
Other events or meetings
The International Labour Organisation shared the conference report from last year's meeting on Making the Future of Work Inclusive of Persons with Disabilities.
In February, European Disability Forum met with the European Commission to advance disability inclusion in international development.
In February, the European Economic and Social Committee met to discuss the European Union agenda for disability rights in the next ten years.
In March, International Disability Alliance participated at the interactive debate of the Human Rights Council 43rd Session.
UCL Bartlett Developing and Planning Unit February event on Politics of Making Disability Visible in Community-led Urban Research (Write-up on AT2030)
The United Nations World Autism Awareness Day on “Transition to Adulthood”, 20th March.
In May, the Global Accessibility Awareness Day:
- Global Accessibility Awareness Day website.
- From Atos a blog on how accessible technology can help in our rapidly changing world.
- From Microsoft a blog on why disability inclusion is everybody's business, on seeing AI now available in Italian, and a series of events.
- Accessible Rules Podcast episode.
- Blog from UK Civil Service on how workplace adjustments changed my life.
In June, the United Nations World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.
In June, International Albinism Awareness Day. Human Rights Watch with a story from Mozambique.
COVID-19 related (sorry): Accessibility Campaign from IDA and IDDC.
Across Africa, work on adapting eBooks for accessibility across open publishing platforms. (Education Links)
On Airbnb an online marketplace for accommodation:
- A study shows how Airbnb hosts discriminate against guests with disabilities. (The Conversation)
- Airbnb introduces virtual experiences for persons with disabilities (G3 ICT)
Rochester Institute of Technology's National Technical Institute for the Deaf was awarded a prize from All Children Reading. They “will create 200 leveled sign-language books in six sign languages (Filipino, Indonesian, Somali, Papua New Guinea, Fiji and Samoan), for a total of 1,200 books.”
In Australia, Australian Broadcasters Prepare to Enhance Audio Description Services (G3 ICT)
In Kenya, a study on How People with Visual Impairment use Mobile Phones in Kibera (Proceedings of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems)
- private sector spaces including banks and malls were given guidance on accessibility (The Economic Times).
- Discussion of accessible homes: beyond public spaces is a human right (Access Ability)
- Discussion of physical and digital accessibility at the supreme court (Live Law)
From Uzbekistan a short-video on accessibility challenges in Tashkent.
Advice and guidance on Digital accessibility
Introduction to web accessibility, a free four-week course from W3C, the standards-setters.
Toolkit on accessible virtual events from Respect Ability.
Digital Accessibility Resources compiled by the New York City Mayor's Office for Persons with Disabilities.
Useful resources on virtual meetings and accessibility of video conferencing apps on the Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities's Accessibility page.
How to Make Your Virtual Meetings and Events Accessible to the Disability Community (Rooted in Rights)
Building apps for everyone: discover why inclusivity and accessibility truly matter. Advice from BBC developers. (Medium)
A Web Accessibility Checklist from a freelance accessibility consultant. (WebsiteSetup) This points to a common mistake of a link which just says “click here” or “read more”. If you skim this in a screen-reader, the link text doesn't make sense out of context. Use descriptive text for the link, as I try to do in this newsletter.
How to make your social media photos accessible for people who are blind (Into Inclusion)
If Your Accessibility Solution Can be Turned On and Off, You've Still Got an Accessibility Problem (Bureau of Internet Accessibility)
Attempts to collect resources on accessibility in different languages on github. Currently with several in French and one in Spanish. “Most of the resources on accessibility are English. This is a real problem for adoption”
Initiatives in disability accessibility
- Introduces Accessible Places on Google Maps (Youtube) which allows for finding wheelchair-accessible places (Google)
- working with Canadian Down Syndrome Society to collect voice samples from people with down syndrome to teach its Google Assistant. (C|Net)
Stories from inside Microsoft's journey to design a more accessible world, a profile on Chief Accessibility Officer, Jenny Lay-Flurrie.
Oculus Quest hand-tracking Making It Possible to Learn Basic Sign Language in Virtual Reality (Road to VR)
Work on digital interactive maps for persons with visual impairments. (Medical Press)
Behind the scenes on work by accessibility consultants to build a more inclusive video game industry (Washington Post)
Paper on accessibility in 360-degree video players (preprint on arXiv)
The Last of Us Part 2 gives players with disabilities a better gaming experience (C|Net)
From the UK
- A survey on barriers to progress on digital accessibility. (Inviqa) Also see a summary of key findings. (Big Hack)
- Review of accessibility statements that public sector bodies are required to provide. (All Able)
Ageing and older persons
An action plan for the the Decade of Healthy Ageing 2020-2030. (WHO)
UN Human Rights Council appoints new Independent Expert on the Rights of Older Persons (AGE Platform Europe)
From Europe, the EDF position on artificial intelligence that does not discriminate.
AT2030 did an analysis of hearing aids in low- and middle-income countries identifying barriers and market opportunities.
WHO brief for design of policy and programmes on access to assistive technology. “The need for assistive technology is rising rapidly. With global ageing and the rise in noncommunicable diseases, it is estimated that two billion people will need assistive technology by 2050.”
A discussion of disability innovation's common pitfalls and tips for success (Forbes).
Proposing a “biopsychosocialtech” model to understand assistive technology. (Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology Volume 15, 2020)
In India, an assistive technology experience and resource centre for people with visual impairments (Newz Hook).
In Kenya, Innovate Now Accelerator Programme Seeks Mobile Solutions to Assist Persons with Disabilities (Global Disability Innovation Hub)
From South Asia, discussions on how mobile network operators can reach persons with disabilities (GSMA)
From the UK, an updated guide on assistive technology at the workplace (Business Disability Forum)
Black Lives Matter
- See this round-up of #BlackLivesMatters media and black activists (Disability Visibility Project.
- Black Lives Matter and Disability collection of resources from Black, Disabled and Proud: College Students with Disabilities.
On social media, see twitter discussion under #BlackDisabledLivesMatter, to a lesser extent, #DisabledBlackLivesMatter and other hashtags mentioned in the round-up above. #DisabilitySolidarity has been used for some years. Some are also using #DisabledPeopleForBlackLives.
People with disabilities have been joining protests. For example, this accessible protest in Milwaukee (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 7 June). Plenty more examples on social media hashtags above.
For protesting from home, see 26 ways to be in the struggle, beyond the streets (Disability Visibility Project) and a collection of resources on Beyond the Streets. The 26 ways to be in the struggle piece also available in a screen-reader accessible format.
Independent United Nations experts condemn modern-day racial terror lynchings in US and call for systemic reform and justice.
In Europe, excerpt on race, migratory status and disability from EDF European Human Rights Report (March).
In Israel, police officers shoot an unarmed disabled Palestinian man. Further details. (Haaretz) More from BBC with Prime Minister apology. Also from Forbes, relating to US context.
With a UK-focus,
- You Think Police Brutality Is Just A US Issue? Think Again - personal essay from someone whose brother with schizophrenia who died “after being restrained by police” in 2008. (Elle, 2020)
- Podcast Episode on Disability And…Race with Alexandrina Hemsley and Deborah Williams (Disability Arts Online)
- 8 influential black women with disabilities to follow (Disability Horizons)
- 8 influential black men with disabilities to follow (Disability Horizons)
More updates from the USA:
- Sandra Bland, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray: the toll of police violence on disabled Americans (The Guardian)
- How do you sign ‘Black Lives Matter’ in ASL? For black deaf Angelenos, it’s complicated (Los Angeles Times)
- Women Enabled International Demands Justice statement that includes links to further resources. “Disability and gender justice do not exist separate from racial justice.”
- Disability Justice Solidarity in Fighting White Supremacy and State Violence statement from Autistic Women and Nonbinary Network.
Before this year
#BlackDisabledLivesMatter - Why we need to talk about both race and disability when addressing police brutality. (The Nation, 2016)
We Can’t Breathe: The Deaf & Disabled Margin of Police Brutality Project (2016). A video and training toolkit produced with National Council on Independent Living.
Disability Solidarity: Completing the “Vision for Black Lives” showing the links between our causes. (Harriet Tubman Collective, 2016)
Don't shoot, I'm disabled, article describing cases of police violence against persons with disabilities in the USA (BBC, 2018)
Outside of disability issues specifically, but useful to highlight as many of us work in this sector.
We need a radical rethinking to tackle our own problem of institutionalised racism. It is precisely because we are advocates of human rights that we should expect far more from ourselves than others, seeking reform with a great deal of urgency. We have the tools, expertise and guiding principles that many other industries do not, and if we can acknowledge our blind spots, the opportunity for a great deal of positive change is at hand.
Doing good and being racist, reflections on racism in the UN (The New Humanitarian):
Humanitarians are also overcommitted to the idea of our inherent goodness. And that’s understandable. Working at a non-profit or organisation devoted to “doing good”, the job itself is a virtue signal. We do good, therefore we believe we are good. Most of us instinctively consider racism to be a bad thing only done by bad people. We therefore reason that if racism is bad, and we are good, we can never be racist. What’s problematic about this mindset is that it leaves no room to explore any of our implicit racial biases. By denying their very existence, we create work cultures that bury racism rather than confront it.
Related to these ideas is a book not about international cooperation specifically: Robin DiAngelo's White Fragility. I find “white fragility” particularly useful to think through reactions of white progressives to race, also captured in the paragraph above. I am one of them, as are many colleagues in my sector. For a short intro see DiAngelo's interview on Amanpour and Company and for more depth I found this presentation on Seattle Channel well worth the time.
UN OHCHR study on the promotion and protection of the rights of persons with disabilities in the context of climate change:
Taking into account the requirements of persons with disabilities is critical for
effective climate action and to prevent climate change from exacerbating inequalities. A disability-inclusive approach will empower persons with disabilities as agents of change, prevent discrimination against them and make climate action more effective.
Climate Change: This Century's Defining Issue (link to pdf) a CBM working paper detailing measures for inclusion of persons with disabilities in Climate Change Plans: Personal, Programmes, Policy and Political. Features great quotes from persons with disabilities.
In Europe a report on the Transition from Institutional Care to Community-Based Services in 27 EU Member States from the European Expert Group on the transition from institutional to community-based care. The report asks if it's “One step forward, two steps back?” and shows almost 1.5 million people living in institutions, a number which does not seem to have substantially changed in the past 10 years.
In Poland, further development of institutions for persons with disabilities (in Polish, Polskie Radio Lublin).
Culture and Language
The UN Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues report on education, language and the human rights of minorities emphasises the status of users of sign language as members of a linguistic minority and calls for sign language as a medium of instruction at all educational levels.
An introduction to disability culture online (Forbes, mostly UK and USA).
In social media, Twitter expanded its hateful conduct policy to include “language that dehumanizes” on the basis of disability. (Disability Scoop)
On Netflix, Hannah Gadsby's new comedy special Douglas shares her autism. Interview with Hannah Gadsby on autism, accommodations and performing live. (Disability Visibility Project)
In Afghanistan, the wheelchair basketball captain looks forward to the Paralympics. (February, Reuters).
From the UK:
- A Dead Good Life is a movie about growing old with learning disabilities by Lawnmowers Independent Theatre Company. (A Restless Art)
- Why are disabled people still being shut out of TV? (Independent)
- I lot my legs but I'm still dancing - photo-essay on a personal journey. “Being a proud part of a disabled community has brought people into my life who are passionate, creative and determined. They have made me understand the world in a more radical way than I would have ever thought possible.” (BBC)
- Desert Islands Discs interview with Sinead Burke, disability rights activist and teacher. (I don't see transcript or subtitles)
In the USA,
- discussion of how America “developed two sign languages — one white, one black” (Washington Post) responding to the Signing Black in America documentary.
- Paper exploring communication barriers for deaf populations who use American Sign Language in hearing-centric social work settings. (Colombia Social work Review)
- What international exchange can teach us about identity nice reflections from persons with disabilities (Miusa)
- For the Disability Community, Authentic Representation Makes a World of Difference (Rooted in Rights)
Data and Statistics
United Nations joint report on disability statistics: current and planned activities by the UN on disability statistics; activities by the World Bank; and summary of the Washington Group's work. (UN Secretary-General and Washington Group)
Some notes on disability data coming out of the UN Women and UN Statistics conference “Counted and Visible” (Elizabeth Lockwood, Linkedin)
In Malawi, a field test of the Rapid Assessment of Hearing Loss survey protocol (International Journal of Audiology)
Education, childhood and training
Assessment as a Service Not a Place (link to pdf): report on transitioning from identifying disabled children in assessment centers to using school-based identification systems. In low and middle-income countries. (RTI International)
Mapping of Tools for Disaggregation by Disability Status supported by USAID. (Education Links)
From the World Bank, story on One-Year Anniversary of the Inclusive Education Initiative.
A paper on Ensuring All Students are Learning (link to pdf) coming out of discussions on inclusive education. (DAI)
In Europe, inclusive education paves the way to understand human rights (Inclusion Europe)
In New Zealand, a survey showing students with disabilities face discrimination and bullying. (IHC)
From Malawi, article on developing a sustainable staff training programme for Facilitating the Participation of Children with Disabilities in Early Childhood Development Centres. (MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(5))
- discussion on universal design for learning: Are disability labels needed before teachers can support children to learn? (Inclusive Development Partners)
- Insights from an initiative to include deaf youth that didn't know sign-language into vocational training. They used a dual approach of a crash-course in sign-language and supported communication between trainers and trainees. (LFTW)
In Sierra Leone, Disability, Poverty, and Schooling in Post-civil War field survey from 2009 on access to education and equity in learning. (The European Journal of Development Research)
From Tanzania and the UK, blog from Paul Ntulila on how access to education changed the trajectory of my entire life (Global Disability Innovation Hub)
In the USA, a doctoral thesis on Social Media and Parents Raising Children with Profound Multiple Disabilities (Amy Ann Terra, University of the Pacific)
Elections and politics
In the USA,
- discussion of how others should learn from Elizabeth Warren's use of technology to create policy inclusively (Gizmodo). Also from USA Today.
- Civic Engagement and Persons with Disabilities (link to pdf): a way-forward through cross-movement building, report from Brandeis and Ford Foundation.
- Blind Floridians demand state heed their plight in voting-rights case (Florida Bulldog)
Employment and Business
- Building a Disability Confident Workplace, a toolkit from Standard Chartered Bank.
- Global Business and Disability Network Annual Report 2019. (in English, Spanish or French)
- Inclusion Doesn’t Have To Be Costly: 5 Easy Changes To Make In Your Workplace (Forbes)
- Brands and disability inclusion: the opportunities of disability inclusion. (Caroline Casey, the Marketing Society)
- Do your diversity and inclusion efforts include persons with disabilities? (Caroline Casey, Harvard Business Review).
- To build truly inclusive economies, disability needs to be part of the conversation (Caroline Casey, Thomson Reuters Foundation)
- Accessibility: the disruption imperative (Caroline Casey, One Hundred)
Key issues on promoting employment of persons with disabilities: a summary of the International Labour Organisation's pragmatic guidance around disability and the world of work. I wrote most of this one and it took years to summarise in what we hope is a useful way.
Accelerating Disability Inclusive Formal Employment, a study on the “vital ingredients” to achieve this in Bangladesh, Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda. Discussion of policy, supply-side and demand-side interventions in each country. (Institute of Development Studies)
From Brazil, a study on the quota law for employment of persons with disabilities in Osasco, São Paulo. (in Portuguese, PDF file, Sindicatos dos Metalúrgicos Osasco e Região).
From Europe, Employment for All (link to pdf) highlights 6 best practices on employment strategies for persons with disabilities (EASPD).
In Finland, thousands of trained workers with intellectual disabilities struggle to find work. (Yle)
In France, celebrating Hello Handicap an online job fair for persons with disabilities.
From India, Delhi high-court holds that a person with bipolar affective disorder cannot be rejected from Judicial Service on that basis. (Bar and Bench)
From Jordan, Why Is It So Hard For Jordanians With Disabilities To Get Work? (Al Bawaba)
In Kenya, using data to argue for employment of persons with disabilities (Daily Nation)
From Nigeria, celebrating the value of employees with disabilities (Sightsavers, blog with video)
From Norway, Telenor's “Open Mind” project training persons with disabilities (in Norwegian, Khrono)
In Pakistan, the government abolished the two percent quota of persons with disabilities in companies (Tribune). Further discussion of this by a Senate panel. (Dawn)
In the Philippines, launch of the Philippine Business and Disability Network.
In Switzerland, the Swiss Business and Disability Network launched its website.
From Turkey, a study on disability and labour force participation among men. “We observe that probability of being out of labour force is greater for disabled individuals at every age and low educated individuals experience more disabilities.” (Global Business and Economics Review (GBER), Vol. 22, No. 3, 2020)
In the UK,
- Disability employment gap: what employers want to see from Government (DiversityQ)
- Million Pound Disability Payout, a documentary on how the Department for Work and Pensions — which among other other things, is meant to enable employment of persons with disabilities — has more cases of disability discrimination against it than any other UK employer. (BBC, see also Disability Rights UK response)
- Deaf Works Everywhere, a campaign to get more deaf young people into work. (National Deaf Children's Society)
- A report that shows two out of three deaf young people would hide their deafness on a job application. (National Deaf Children's Society)
- Purple Space, a networking hub for employees with disabilities, has made available its book Secrets and Big News, a detailed resource on engaging employees with disabilities in the workplace, from Kate Nash Associates.
- Launch of Podium, a new jobs platform for disabled people (Activity Alliance)
- Sightsavers, an organization working on disability inclusion worldwide, celebrates its disability inclusion achievements (Sightsavers) and has itself achieved “Disability Confident Employer” status (Blog on Linkedin)
- The civil service celebrated deaf awareness week (Civil Service) Also among its disability networks. (Civil Service Local)
From Uruguay, message from the agency on disability for labour day (In Spanish, 2m youtube)
In the USA,
- obstacles persons with disabilities face to find employment and an unemployment rate of 7.3% in 2019, twice that of persons without disabilities. (CNBC)
- Job Gains for Americans With Disabilities Have Fallen Dramatically (Yahoo)
- Why businesses can still get away with paying pennies to employees with disabilities (Vox)
- Disability discrimination claims were more frequent than race discrimination claims in 2019. (WTOP News)
- Guidance for employers on a framework for piloting promotion of more neurodiverse workforces. (Disability:IN)
- The True Story Of Returning To Work With A Disability (Forbes)
Empowerment and challenging stigma
A systematic review of evidence on reducing stigma for children with disabilities in low- and middle-income countries. “This review highlights the lack of quality evidence on effective stigma‐reduction strategies for children with disabilities.” (Tropical Medicine & International Health Volume 25, Issue 5)
Review of evidence on disability stigma and interventions to challenge it. Countries featured: Bangladesh, Jordan, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria and Tanzania (Institute of Development Studies)
Guides on Stigma and Mental Wellbeing by International Federation of Anti-Leprosy Associations (ILEP) and the Neglected Tropical Disease NGO Network (NNN).
Online an “autism challenge” on Tik Tok has been challenged for stigma it reproduces. (Content note: some links to the offensive videos, LatestLy)
In Bangladesh, an “Empower Us” training for self-advocacy held by Inclusion International in March.
From Colombia, a lovely awareness video Up Syndrome by Down Syndrome Corporation of Colombia (in Spanish with English subtitles, Ads of the World). More at Sindrome de Up, website in Spanish or English.
From Egypt, a story of a woman with disability who “discovered and learned” her new way of life. (Accessless)
In Spain, training for leaders with intellectual disabilities (in Spanish, Plena Inclusión)
From the UK, blog on why Autism Acceptance matters to all of us (GDI Hub). “I am terrified. I am autistic, a woman, of an ethnic minority, I am also an engineer, I work in a department of computer science, I am a researcher and as if that was not difficult enough, I am now writing this blog post.”
From the USA, a note on the "secret sauce” in international exchange, Changing Perceptions to Empower Persons With and Without Disabilities (US Department of State). “It is this: When you get people with and without disabilities interacting together, perceptions about disabilities are forever changed.”
Gender and women with disabilities
See also the section below on violence and abuse.
Celebrating women or international women's day:
- CBM on a “a courageous woman overcomes all hurdles”.
- EDF Women's Voice newsletter March 2020.
- Sightsavers calls for more women on the UN disability committee
- Ten women to follow on accessibility and inclusion (Antonio Santos on Medium)
- “However your workplace celebrates International Women’s Day, be sure to include women with disability!” (Mirage, Australia)
Guides on gender equality
- CBM launched the Disability and Gender Analysis Toolkit to help “walk the talk” on disability and gender equality. “It provides practical tools for stronger disability and gender analysis to inform our planning, practice and systems.”
- LFTW shared “Walking the Talk”, lessons learned and good practices in gender equality.
From Brazil, a feminist guide for women with disabilities (link to pdf, in Portuguese): guaranteeing rights and exercising citizenship. Facebook post on launch (in Portuguese, Coletivo Feminista Helen Keller) Also on Estadão.
From Burkina Faso, voices of women with disabilities. (Video, French with English and French subtitles, Bridging the Gap Project)
From Cambodia, Rise Up! Cambodian Women with Disabilities Challenge Discrimination. “I got feelings, got a name. Do you think you can listen for a while?” (in Khmer and English subtitles, Epic Arts). More about these disabled divas. (What's on Phnom Penh)
From Canada, Girls Without Barriers is an “intersectional feminist analysis of girls and young women with disabilities”. (DisAbled Women’s Network of Canada)
- a call for the EU to include women with disabilities in all policies regarding gender equality, “from the bedroom to the boardroom” (EDF)
- Statement on discrimination faced by LGBTI+ persons with disabilities. (EDF)
From Uganda, women with disabilities shouldn't go uncelebrated. (Soft Power)
Health and medicine
The UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities gave a warning about how developments in medicine “may revive eugenic ideas” if safeguards are not ensured.
Guidance from Sightsavers on ensuring health facilities are accessible for all.
Global commitments to disability inclusion in health professions: how medical schools and others around the world are including persons with disabilities (The Lancet, March)
An online course on Integrated Healthcare for Children with Developmental Disabilities. 4 hours study over 3 weeks, with free access. Developed by London School of Tropical Hygiene and Medicine, International Centre for Evidence in Disability, and FIOCRUZ. (Future Learn)
People with disabilities often left behind by HIV responses, statistics from five African countries show that persons with disabilities, and more so women with disabilities, have higher HIV prevalence than persons without disabilities (UN AIDS).
Study on prevalence of Visual Impairment and Coverage of Cataract Surgical Services and how they relate to sex, disability and economic status, in sites in India, Pakistan and Tanzania. (Ophthalmic Epidemiology)
Accelerating rehab through virtual reality gaming (Global Disability Innovation Hub)
In South Africa,
- a paper called Left behind on persons with disabilities in HIV prevalence research and national strategic plans in east and Southern Africa. (Disability and Rehabilitation)
- a paper exploring a framework for disability-related rehabilitation services for children living with HIV. (Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care)
In the UK, a report on Energy Impairment and Disability Inclusion connecting experiences of people with chronic illnesses into advocacy movement. (Center for Welfare Reform)
History and memorial
Remembering Beethoven, “a genius with a disability” (Inter Press Service)
Remembering how during the second world war persons with disabilities were killed during the Holocaust. (Times of Israel)
In the Netherlands and the UK, a thesis on the late twentieth century links and gaps between disability and LGBT+ movements (link to pdf, thesis by Nina Littel, Leiden University)
From India remembering Javed Abidi: “Javed Bhai’s thinking was way ahead of his time” (Newz Hook)
In the UK,
- article on blind trade unionists marching for “justice not charity” in 1920. (Labour List)
- Tribute to Manjeet Kaur, a disabled woman who had sought asylum in the UK. (DPAC)
From the USA,
- Obituary of Mel Baggs, influential blogger on disability and autism (Washington Post) and also in New York Times.
- Obituary of Stacey Milbern (New York Times) and online memorial (curated by Alice Wong)
- How a student with his 800-pound iron lung pioneered disability rights, a profile on Ed Roberts (Washington Post)
- Disability history told through an exhibition of artefacts (Washington Post) Profile of the Smithsonian online exhibition EveryBody.
- Exploring the history of vision aids: nineteenth-century spectacles and eyeglasses (Science Museum Group Journal)
A more inclusive humanitarian system
Call on the UN to Strengthen Humanitarian Aid for People with Disabilities (Human Rights Watch)
Summary of a study on making cash transfers inclusive (of persons with disabilities) in humanitarian responses. (Dev Policy Blog)
Reflections how to ensure systemic-change in humanitarian action to include persons with disabilities. (Islamic Relief Worldwide)
Article on why we need more decision makers with disabilities in humanitarian action. (ALNAP)
Legal frameworks guiding inclusive humanitarian action and guidance for CRPD reporting (link to pdf). Guidance for civil society and persons with disabilities, by CBM, Humanity & Inclusion, and the International Disability Alliance.
Other initiatives and news
Video presentations of the early rehabilitation in conflicts and disasters handbook from Humanity and Inclusion.
Further data and stories on persons with disabilities living in conflict, shared by Humanity and Inclusion.
In Bangladesh, an inclusive rapid needs assessment of Cyclone Amphan (link to pdf) in May (Centre for Disability and Development and partners)
- Fleeing violence in Syria: 8 years as a refugee in a wheelchair (Humanity and Inclusion)
- Being a child with a disability in a refugee family (Humanity and Inclusion)
- Update from Humanity and Inclusion on impact of their work one year after Cyclone Idai.
- Update from UNICEF on support to children with disabilities in emergency situations (in Portuguese).
An important compilation from the High-level Political Forum 2019. This forum is how countries report on their progress towards the 2030 agenda. (Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities)
- Analysis of reports from 47 countries found almost 2,000 references to disability.
- Thematic treatment of goals on education, employment, reducing inequalities, climate change, and peaceful and inclusive societies.
From United Nations land:
- Government and non-government submissions to a report on disability-inclusive international cooperation for an upcoming thematic study for the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
- Interview with Ola Abu Al Ghaib manager of the the UN Partnership For the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, from her birth to international work on disability. (in Spanish, El País)
From CBM and partners, detailed guide on Research for All: Making Research Inclusive of People With Disabilities (RDI Network)
From Europe, European cooperation shares its experiences to strengthen disability-inclusive public policies in Latin America report from a webinar hosted by Grupo Social Once.
European Disability Forum evaluation of implementation and its workplan for the coming years.
In Laos, Light for the World worked with Plan International to support them do become more inclusive of persons with disabilites. (Light for the World)
From the USA, reflections from Katherine Guernsey, USAID’s Disability Rights Coordinator on Advancing the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Around the World.
Legislation and Policy
A guidance note on disability inclusive public procurement practices (Link to pdf, Bridging the Gap).
Guidance on inclusive budget advocacy, targeted at organisations of persons with disabilities. (Center for Inclusive Policy)
An online course on the Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities from a Survivor of Psychiatry Perspective. (Taught by Tina Minkowitz)
A pilot study, “unsteady path” (link to pdf), on participation of Organisations of Persons with Disabilities in the implementation of the CRPD and SDGs. (Bridging the Gap). Discussion of participation in various countries is followed by recommendations to international actors including that of modelling by example. Countries covered are Burkina Faso, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Paraguay and Sudan. See also webinar session sharing the report.
In Bangladesh, disability organisations have been advocating for inclusion in the national budget. (The Financial Express)
In Brazil, how long do we have to wait for rights of persons with disabilities? (In Portuguese, Estadão).
In the Congo, legislation on disability rights. (Human Rights Watch)
- Bob Ransom from ECDD talks about disability mainstreaming programming. (Facebook video, with subtitles).
- Melaku Tekle, director of ECDD, describes his journey and ECDD's work. (Bridging the Gap)
- Report on supported-decision making for persons with disabilities (ENNHRI and Mental Health Europe)
- a joint letter calling for inclusion of persons with disabilities in the next EU Action Plan on Human rights and Democracy. (EDF, IDA and IDDC).
- A call for more on disability-inclusion in the new EU-Africa strategy proposal. (EDF)
- A call for EU countries to nominate candidates to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (EDF).
In Hungary, the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities report on an inquiry carried out under the Optional Protocol. “Grave and systematic violations” of the convention are found in terms of guardianship and institutionalization, structural discrimination and the rights of children with disabilities. See also summary from European Network on Independent Living pointing out some of these violations are in areas that use European Union funding.
In Serbia, Rados Keravica pathway to disability research and policy work. (European Network on Independent Living)
In Uruguay, a news report on the law of promotion of employment of persons with disabilities in the private sector (in Spanish, Informe Capital)
A book review of The medical model in mental health – an explanation and evaluation by Ahmed Samei Huda. (Australasian Psychiatry Journal)
A paper reviewing the relationship between mental health conditions and hearing loss in low‐ and middle‐income countries. “Poorer mental health […] was more common among people with hearing loss compared to those without in 10 studies.” (Tropical Medicine & International HealthVolume 25, Issue 6)
From India, a Mental Health Starter Kit for civil society organizations (Mariwala Health Initiative)
Migrants and refugees
A toolkit on inclusion of refugees and migrants with disabilities from the European Disability Forum.
From Australia, a blog on the shifting borders experienced by people who are refugees with disabilities (University of Melbourne).
Poverty and Social Protection
How Poor Are People With Disabilities? Evidence Based on the Global Multidimensional Poverty Index (Journal of Disability Policy Studies):
“The results reveal that in five of the 11 countries people living in households with disabled members face higher levels of multidimensional poverty compared with people without disabilities. In addition, we found that differences between the levels of poverty were larger in middle-income countries than in low-income countries, revealing the existence of a development disability gap.”
Rural Poverty and Disability in LMICs. Literature review and study from panel data in Ethiopia and India. (Population Centre Working Papers)
- Ruling that national disability insurance scheme can be used for specialised sex worker services. (The Guardian)
- New Zealanders with disabilities are denied disability support (SBS News).
In Canada, the uncertain financial future for persons with disabilities (The Conversation)
In Europe, EDF report on Poverty and Social Exclusion of Persons with Disabilities (link to pdf). Also available as easy-to-read (link to word document). Press-release gives summary of recommendations. (EDF)
In India, assessment of disability and extreme poverty showing lower employment and higher poverty. (The Hindu)
In the Maldives, a comparison of difference in poverty between people with and without disabilities. (Sustainability 2020)
In the USA,
- a study of rising income inequality through a disability lens, 1981-2018. (Social Indicators Research)
- The government is still telling disabled people whom they can marry and this woman has had enough of it. (Monterey County Weekly)
Sexual and reproductive health and rights
In Uganda, bridging the gap between persons with disabilities and sexual reproductive health and rights needs (Make 12.4% Work)
- communication materials on sexual and reproductive health (in Spanish) from a UN project for rights for equality and no discrimination of persons with disabilities. Also with videos on youtube.
- Book from the UN for teachers on sexuality, disability and adolescence. (in Spanish, La Diaria)
An animated history of the paralympics (in Arabic, BBC).
From India, meet Nisha Gupta, whose wheelchair exploits made her an inspiration to thousands (The Bridge).
Transport and travel
In Europe, demand from disabled people to Make Train Travel Work for Persons with Disabilities (EDF)
In the USA, a piece on accessibility and navigating transport as a deaf person (Business Insider).
Violence or abuse
See above for Black Lives Matters.
A piece of “involuntary psychiatric interventions” discussing the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture's report on “psychological torture”. (Mad in America)
In Afghanistan, women with disabilities face systemic abuse a report, with press release and accompanying video, from Human Rights Watch.
In Australia, the Australian Disability and Violence Data Compendium (University of Melbourne)
In Cambodia, “Safe Futures” is an ADD learning paper on reducing violence against women and girls.
- Childhood lost: in-depth report on abuse in Nova-Scotia schools for deaf children, mostly between 1950s and 1980s. (CBC News).
- Persons with disabilities react to news of abuse by the founder of L’Arche an organisation that runs group homes and support services for persons with intellectual disabilities (Crux).
In Europe, a report on ending forced sterilisation of women and girls with disabilities (EDF and CERMI Women's Foundation.)
From India, reflections on how Women With Disabilities Understand, Express And Interpret Consent (Feminism India).
In the United Kingdom, a campaign by police in Scotland encouraging reporting of disability hate crime. (The Scotsman)
In Zimbabwe, how can a deaf woman register a complaint about violence? (In Spanish, El País)
Water and Sanitation
In Indonesia, CBM Australia's work to improve WASH Access.
From Vanuatu, the Water, Women and Disability study “to measure how common disability is, and understand access to, and experience of WASH, menstrual hygiene management and incontinence amongst persons with and without disabilities with a gender lens”. (LSHTM, see also pdf of full report)
The Disability Evidence Portal was launched in March. It is a “knowledge exchange platform” for people working on disability worldwide. Currently it has resources across a number of themes. See also introduction on CEDIL.
From Brazil, the “Living With Disabilities” project, “an anthropological contribution to public policies”.
Between Fitness and Death: Disability and Slavery in the Caribbean, by Stefanie Hunt-Kennedy was published in March.
From the UK:
- The War on Disabled People: Capitalism, Welfare and the Making of a Human Catastrophe, by Ellen Clifford. Review of book from Disability News Service.
- Made Possible: Stories of success by people with learning disabilities - in their own words, edited by Saba Salman. My learning disability is a bit of me, but it doesn’t define me, (Intro piece in the Guardian)
From the USA:
- Disability Visibility, first-person stories from the twenty-first century, edited by Alice Wong.
CBM survey with IDA and Pacific Disability Forum on People with Disabilities and Disasters. For persons with disabilities. Available in English, Indonesian, Bengali, Hindi, Punjabi, Tagalog, French and Chinese.
In Haiti and Uganda, Disability Rights’ Fund Opens Letter of Interest Process for Disabled Person’ Organisations. Deadline 1 July.
Nine members will be elected to the Committee of Rights of Persons with Disabilities in December 2020. Nominations until 1 October.
Zero Project Call for Nominations 2021. Next year's Zero Project — one of the largest international disability events each year — will focus on Employment and Information and Communication Technology. The ICT theme can be beyond employment. Definitely worth your time submitting projects or policies in these areas. Deadline 5th July.
Diversability Global Nominations for Inaugural D-30 Disability Impact List. Closing 22nd June.
TCI Asia Pacific COVID-19 Response Co-ordinator, 6-months. Deadline 20 June.
International Disability Alliance opportunities:
- Full-time Knowledge Management Lead (link to docx) to be based preferably in Lyon/France or Geneva/Switzerland. Deadline: 26 June.
- Full-time Programme Coordination Officer (link to docx) to be based preferably in Lyon/France or Geneva/Switzerland. Deadline: 26 June.
UNDP Disability Inclusion Specialist Consultancy, 12 months. Remote and then New York. Deadline: 21 June.
- International Consultant for Developing a Structured Establishment Questionnaire. Deadline 24 June.
- National Consultant (Egypt) for Developing a Structured Establishment Questionnaire. Deadline 24 June.
- National Consultant (Jordan) for Developing a Structured Establishment Questionnaire. Deadline 24 June.
- National Consultant (Lebanon) for Developing a Structured Establishment Questionnaire. Deadline 24 June.
UNDP-UNV Talent programme for Young Professionals with Disabilities. Opportunities for citizens of those countries. Deadlines are 5 July.
- Communications Assistant, Burkina Faso.
- Communications and Partnerships Assistant, Kenya.
- Inclusive Child Rights Programming Officer, Mozambique.
- Program and Inclusion Analyst, Nigeria.
- Community and educational inclusion programming Specialist, North Macedonia.
- Communication Specialist / Content Creator, Republic of Moldova.
- Disability Inclusion and M&E Assistant, Rwanda.
- Gender Based Violence Legal Specialist, Zambia.
Study and research
At Maynooth University, Ireland, doctoral scholarship opportunity in monitoring of Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) participation in development programmes and policies. Closing 21 June.
Disability Studies Quarterly request for proposals for special issue on Disability and COVID-19. Deadline for proposals, 1 August.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health call for papers for special issue "Assistive Technology and Support Services for People with Disabilities in Low Resource Settings".
This is a very partial list sorry!
- Crip Camp: The Official Virtual Experience. Every Sunday 2pm PST.
- Continued briefings from IDA on COVID-19 through facebook lives.
- Stories of Activism: Generations of Change from Imagine Better in New Zealand, “sharing stories and wisdom from disabled leaders across generations”
- SDG-Education 2030 Webinar Series for Latin America and the Caribbean: Leaving no one behind in times of the COVID-19 pandemic. By UNESCO, in collaboration with the Regional Education Group for Latin America and the Caribbean. 11am GMT-4.
- Understanding Web Accessibility, from inABLE. 18h Nairobi.
Launch of the 2020 Global Education Monitoring Report on Inclusion and Education. 23 June.
Thanks again to all of you for engagement with the newsletter. I much appreciate those who share comments and those sharing links. Please carry on sharing links so I can make sure these updates have the key news.
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.
Until next time! Take care and best wishes,