How can we promote the effective implementation of Legal Capacity as outlined in Article 12 of the UN CRPD in LMICs?
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is valued as one of the most revolutionary human rights legal instruments. The CRPD follows decades of work by the United Nations to change attitudes and approaches towards persons with disabilities, from viewing persons with disabilities as “objects” towards viewing persons with disabilities as “subjects” with rights. The development of the CRPD involved close consultation and active participation of persons with disabilities and their allies, which resulted in an advanced and innovative human rights treaty. Article 12 in the CRPD focussed on legal capacity and challenged the very idea of what it means to be a person: to have rights and to be able to exercise those rights. However, doctrine remains uncertain about the real consequences of the implementation of Article 12 in the CRPD. Most of these discussions have been conducted by Global North scholars on their practices and policies. Policies and practices from the Global South are rarely included in these discussions. However, countries in the Global South have started Reforms (radical legislative changes) on the matter: comprehensive reforms (on several aspects of life) or specific reforms (on certain issues, like mental health). It is necessary to take into account their experiences and discussions in order to implement correctly Article 12 CRPD, having in mind their socio-economic context and the realities of their legal systems.
- Livelihood & Social Protection
- Promote law reforms that recognize and regulate the legal capacity of persons with disabilities, in accordance with the “standards” of the CRPD
- Train public officers in the use of CRPD “standards” or guidelines
- Provide alternative support approaches that engage with social services and community mental health services
- Monitor and report on the experiences of support and implementation promoted by state funded initiatives and civil society funded initiatives, irrespective of their size and scope
- Monitor and report on the implementation of the reforms
- Raise awareness about the importance of legal capacity with different key actors for the Reform
How does assistive technology benefit people with disabilities on their path to and in employment?
Assistive technologies encompass a wide spectrum of devices and services that act as an interface between the person and environment. The use of assistive technologies in the workplace has been identified as a beneficial strategy to enable people with disabilities to obtain and maintain employment. However, the current information has been defined in general terms and how to choose one accommodation over another is not very well understood in the literature. The specific technologies and accessible solutions that have successfully been used in the workplace by people with disabilities are also not well documented. It is important to know what assistive technologies are being used in the workplace, what benefits and challenges it poses and for whom to understand what can be done to assist people with disabilities to obtain and maintain employment.
- Livelihood & Social Protection
- Provide alternative basic and inexpensive computer interfaces
- Increase and provide comprehensive training in the use of assistive technology from a younger age
- Along with the provision of assistive technology, provide associated services to prevent its abandonment
- Ensure that people with disabilities have access to the same assistive technology in the home as they would in the workplace during remote working as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
- Provide training for the colleagues of assistive technology users to ensure awareness and a supportive work environment
How can we effectively scale up disability-inclusive programs in low- and middle-income countries?
Disability inclusion entails integrating individuals with disabilities into day-to-day activities and promoting equal opportunities to those without disabilities. To this end, several disability inclusive programs have been implemented with the aim of giving people with and without disabilities equal opportunities to participate in all facets of life to the best of their abilities and aspirations. This brief summarises current evidence about how to effectively scale up disability-inclusive programs.
- Create a supportive environment for people with disabilities that is tailored to their needs and encourages participation.
- Engage people with disability in decision-making and reach out to the most marginalised disability groups.
- Monitor and evaluate disability inclusive interventions as they are scaled up.
- Ensure adequate human resources and funding for all planned activities.
- Develop and enforce policies that promote the inclusion of all impairment types in all sectors
What programmes are needed to improve self-esteem among young people with disabilities?
Due to negative societal attitudes and ableist norms, young people with disabilities may be at risk of low self-esteem. Low self-esteem, aside from being unpleasant to experience, is associated with social isolation, low mood, and poor educational outcomes. Building positive self-esteem is critical for young people to reach their full developmental potential, and so identifying interventions that work to improve self-esteem among young people with disabilities is important. However, information on programmes that work to improve self-esteem, especially in low-and-middle income counties (LMICs), is lacking. There is a need for programming to improve self-esteem and build confidence which takes into account disability as well as personal and environmental factors of young people.
- Develop self-esteem interventions which accommodate people with a range of impairments and take into account the personal and environmental contexts of young people with disabilities in LMICs.
- Implement evidence-based self-esteem interventions in LMICs that are flexible, promote active participation, and provide opportunities for recreation and enjoyment for young people with disabilities
- Engage in rigorous research to test the effectiveness of self-esteem interventions, with a focus on understanding effects on people with different types of impairment.
- Explore innovative ways to include caregivers and teachers in programming, and expand reach, including through inclusive digital platforms.
How can we improve portrayals of people with disabilities in the media?
Images and stories in the media have the potential to influence society’s attitudes, norms and behaviours towards people with disabilities. Even events such as parasports and the Paralympics provide an opportunity to challenge society’s expected norms and perceptions regarding the capabilities of people with disabilities. Although there has been some improvement in the media portrayal of people with disabilities, these portrayals remain scarce and entrenched in stereotypes, social stigma and misrepresentations. People with disabilities receive far less coverage in all types of media and when they do receive coverage, it often reinforces negative stereotypes or doesn’t show the diversity of people with disabilities. This evidence brief aims to look at the core challenges faced with regards to media portrayals of people with disabilities focusing on coverage, representation, diversity in both sport and entertainment media.
- Increase disability representation within the media industry
- Increase training and education for media professionals on disability coverage and representation
- Avoid homogeneity and the “hierarchy of disability” in media portrayals and coverage.
- Educate and inform commentators and the public on parasports and increase positive coverage
To ‘promote, protect and ensure’: overcoming obstacles to identifying disability in forced migration
- Peer-reviewed article
Persons With Communication Disabilities in Natural Disasters, War, and/or Conflict
- Peer-reviewed article
DFID Disability Inclusion Helpdesk. The likely impacts and risks of COVID-19 for people with disabilities in humanitarian contexts, and mitigation measures (2020)
DFID Disability Inclusion Helpdesk. The impacts of COVID-19 on people with disabilities: a rapid review (2020)