How do we ensure that children with disabilities are not bullied in school?
Students with disabilities are bullied more often than their typically developing peers. Students in schools for children with disabilities may be victimized more often than students with disabilities in inclusive settings. Being bullied, which can take forms which are physical, verbal, indirect (relational, emotional, or social), and/or sexual, is associated with negative academic, social, and psychological outcomes for the victim. This evidence brief summarises what we know about how to prevent bullying of children with disabilities.
- Inclusive education settings need universal interventions.
- Schools for children with disabilities can include targeted prevention interventions to reduce perpetration and victimisation.
- Educators need capacity development in order to help prevent and respond to bullying.
- Interventions need to be multicomponent and address the systemic roots of victimisation.
How can we promote the inclusion of people with disabilities in programme design?
People with disabilities make up approximately 15% of the world’s population. Many people with disabilities live in low- and middle- income countries (LMIC), are more likely to experience social exclusion, and socio-economic challenges like poverty, poor healthcare, and social welfare. Yet, people with disabilities are still routinely neglected from the planning and design of international development interventions that seek to improve the lives of people in challenging socio-economic environments. The adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) Article 32 promotes the rights of people with disabilities to be included in all development policies and programmes. In order to fully encapsulate the principles of ‘Nothing About Us without Us’ within development efforts, a strong knowledge base from programmes worldwide is needed to identify effective ways to promote the meaningful inclusion of people with disabilities in the design and delivery of programmes.
- Encourage participation by building in improved systems for disability access
- Seek engagement with a wider and more representative range of people with disabilities
- Strengthen mechanisms to better evaluate disability-inclusion in programme design
- Develop and make accessible opportunities for people with disabilities to gain leadership, research and programmatic skills
- Create, adopt and maintain a collaborative ethos for programming that genuinely adopts the principle of equal partnership
How do we support women and girls with disabilities to overcome stigma against them?
Stigma refers to the labelling of an individual or group of people in a way that ultimately denies them full social acceptance and equality of opportunity, and is often the root cause of discrimination and exclusion experienced by people with disabilities. The negative implications of stigma are far-reaching and profound, including limiting opportunities for accessing health care, education or livelihoods; affecting quality of life and wellbeing, and increasing the risk of violence and abuse. Stigma is intersectional, meaning that women and girls with disabilities often experience several layers of discrimination, on account of both their disability and their gender. Reducing stigma experienced by women and girls with disabilities is therefore critical to supporting their full inclusion in society on an equal basis as others.
- Engage directly with women and girls with disabilities and civil society
- Prioritise interventions that empower women and girls with disabilities
- Develop partnerships with research organisations to document what works
- Take ownership for the removal of structural stigma that excludes women and girls with disabilities
What works to improve healthcare professionals’ competency on disability?
People with disabilities are at a higher risk of developing poorer health outcomes, due to their primary underlying health conditions or impairments, and unmet health needs due to access and attitudinal barriers to health services and quality care. Evidence suggests that when seeking healthcare or accessing healthcare services, people with disabilities are more likely to find the health care professional’s skills and confidence to be inadequate to meet their health needs. Moreover, healthcare professionals’ unfamiliarity with disability may lead to negative attitudes and stigma towards people with disabilities. Consequently, contributing to delayed diagnosis and treatment, lower quality of care and ultimately poorer health outcomes. As specified in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), people with disabilities have the rights to the same high quality of care as all, therefore, it is imperative to improve healthcare professionals’ competency, confidence, and attitudes in treating patient with disabilities.
- Identify potential barriers and enablers to healthcare professionals’ knowledge updating and skill training
- Ensure continuous knowledge and skill updating on the issue of disability, especially for those working in primary healthcare centres.
- Implement immersive learning for healthcare professionals with people with disabilities, caregivers, and representing organisations.
- Introduction to concepts of disability should be part of the health professional training curricula.
- Future research should focus on the long-term outcome of knowledge and skills intervention.
How is the sexual health of men and women with physical disabilities in low- and middle- income countries promoted?
Sexual health is a person’s right to freely express their sexuality as a sexual being, to engage in consensual intimate sexual experiences, to obtain information regarding sexual issues, as well as access adequate sexual healthcare. This right has not been attained for all – particularly for physically disabled people; especially those living in low- and middle- income countries (LMICs). Physically disabled people face barriers to living full and healthy sexual lives because their sexuality is treated as a taboo subject; furthermore, they are often desexualised: perceived to be unattractive, asexual, or lacking sexual ability. This brief explores what sexual health resources and services physically disabled people in LMICs can access; and provides evidence-based recommendations to encourage the full, healthy sexual lives of physically disabled people.
- Negative attitudes towards the sexuality of physically disabled people need to be addressed.
- Educate physically disabled people on sexuality issues and rights.
- Include physically disabled people in development of sexual health services and policies.
- Train health workers to provide relevant and inclusive sexual healthcare and information to physically disabled people
- Sexual healthcare buildings and services to be accessible for all.
Practical lessons from four projects on disability-inclusive development programming
- Peer-reviewed article
Conducting Research with Individuals Who Have Intellectual Disabilities: Ethical and Practical Implications for Qualitative Research
- Peer-reviewed article
Lessons learned from participatory research to enhance client participation in long-term care research: a multiple case study
- Peer-reviewed article