Recording Now Available−Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in the COVID-19 Response

Missed the webinar on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in the COVID-19 Response that happened on 17 September? You can now access the recordings of the event. 

On 17 September, during a webinar organized jointly by the International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA), PHAP and the Reference Group on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action, we discussed how the IASC Guidelines on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action can be implemented in the COVID-19 response. We started with a presentation of the recent note produced by the Reference Group and endorsed by the IASC on this topic, followed by a discussion of challenges in the current response and ways to overcome them.

The webinar shared practical examples of how response to COVID-19 in humanitarian contexts has been made more inclusive of persons with disabilities, drawing on learning from the past 6+ months to present concrete actions that humanitarian actors can take, in partnership with local organizations of persons with disabilities.

During the session, the participants had the opportunity to hear from Dalal Al-Taji, Head of Continuing Education Department at the Palestine Red Crescent Society, who shared her experience with COVID-19 as a woman with a disability living in a humanitarian setting. She also highlighted the positives of the inclusive COVID-19 response happening Gaza such as advisory and interactive WhatsApp groups for parents on activities children can do while under home quarantine. Kirstin Lange, Programme Specialist (Disability Inclusive Humanitarian Action) at UNICEF, provided an overview of the development of the Reference Group on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action and the guidelines while highlighting the IASC Key Messages on Applying IASC Guidelines on Disability in the COVID-19 Response

Henry Swaka, Disability Inclusion Assistant and Agnes Olulese, Protection Officer, both from IOM in South Sudan, shared examples of their collaboration with organizations of persons with disabilities during the response to the pandemic and the critical role initial assessments played in determining the needs of persons with disabilities during the pandemic.

The discussion moved on to examples in the Latin American context with the Director for the Southern Cone region of RIADIS, Gabriel Soto, and Rosario Galarza, Human Rights Officer at RIADIS who highlighted how their organization conducts assessments on the situation of refugees, displaced persons, and migrants with disabilities in Latin American countries during the pandemic.

Sharaf Al Faqawi, Education Project Manager in Palestine with Humanity & Inclusion, offered further insight into the situation within the Gaza context, in regard to education, remote learning, returning back to school during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the measures being undertaken to be inclusive of children with disabilities. 

The founder and chairman of SEHATI Sukoharjo, Edy Supriyanto, and Agnes Patongloan, Project Manager at ASB Indonesia and the Philippines, spoke on the partnership between the two organizations, which focused on how to best to disseminate information on COVID-19 to persons with disabilities while ensuring accessibility and availability of support. Christiana Asante-Nkansah, Communications Specialist at Plan International Ghana, provided another example of inclusive information and communication during the pandemic response. She briefed participants on the organisation’s hands-on approach of bringing communication to the doorstep of children with disabilities by translating protocols into braille, handing out smaller and portable braille handbooks, and recruiting children ambassadors to reach others. 

Also during the event, we ran two brief exercises on how to ensure that COVID-19 response in humanitarian settings is inclusive. You can find the final results of these exercises on the event page.

If you missed this event, you can now access video recordings and audio podcasts versions of the session on the event page.

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