Applying the CRPD to People With Intellectual and Developmental Disability With Behaviors of Concern During COVID-19.

Peer-reviewed article
(2021 Mar) J Policy Pract Intellect Disabil


Nankervis K, Chan J


People with intellectual and developmental disability (IDD) are a vulnerable population in all aspects of access and participation, abuse and neglect, and being subject to the use of restrictive practices. Accordingly, they are a group whose human rights can be impacted where equal access to supports, services, and accessible information is compromised. The current COVID-19 pandemic is a global humanitarian emergency that has had a devastating impact across the world, for all people. Growing concern has been raised about the impact of the COVID-19 virus on the health of people with disabilities and there has been subsequent development of strategies and protocols to promote equal access to information, health supports, and services. People with IDD have high levels of underlying comorbidity that increases their risk of contracting COVID-19 and measures to protect them from infection are critically important. However, those measures may trigger behaviors of concern and increase the risk of being subjected to restrictive practices. While some attention has been paid to the health impacts of COVID-19 on people with disabilities, there has been less paid to the impact on the human rights of people with IDD who present with behaviors of concern. The aim of this paper is to provide a hypothetical exploration of the impacts of pandemic prevention measures on people with IDD and behaviors of concern in the context of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). In the absence of available guidance for working with people with IDD with behaviors of concern during COVID-19, we suggest behavior support response plans that aim to ensure that people with IDD with behaviors of concern are supported properly in a time of significant disruption for them, thereby safeguarding their human rights.