Transcript of Vera Kubenz's PowerPoint presentation on COVID-19 and disability in the Global South
Hello, I am Vera Kubenz. I am a Researcher at the University of Birmingham and I work on the GCRF “Disability Under Siege” project investigating the impact of COVID-19 on disabled people, particularly in the Global South.
Our literature review has found that disabled people face a number of additional barriers as a result of the ongoing pandemic.
In healthcare, many disabled people are concerned that they will be discriminated against if they need treatment for COVID-19, either as a result of national policies or of individual prejudice, and many cannot access public health information as it is not in accessible formats or languages.
In education, disabled children often cannot access remote learning, as many learning platforms are not accessible or many simply do not have access to the internet or technologies required. There is a risk that many disabled children will stay permanently out of school after the pandemic.
In the economy, disabled people are more likely to work in informal or insecure employment, and many have lost some or all of their income. Many are more worried about starving than about contracting COVID-19. There are not enough social protection or aid measures from governments and where there are, they don’t always get to people.
In the community, many disabled people are in incarcerated in residential institutions, refugee camps, or prisons, where there is a much higher risk of uncontrollable spread. Disabled people living the community find it hard to access personal care or rehabilitation services, and many reports indicate a big increase in stigma, violence, and abuse against disabled people as a result of the pandemic.
The “Disability Under Siege” project will publish our full literature review report in January on the disabilityundersiege.org website. This will inform an analytical framework which we are developing for the United Nations Partnership for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Follow us on Twitter @disabilitysiege for more updates on our work.