So much has changed dramatically in all of our daily lives and the entire world lately. At DSI, we are pivoting some of our plans and are diligently working to stay up to date on the current situation because
we are very concerned about the current situation for some of those who are most vulnerable in our world right now, and especially about people with disabilities living in low- and middle-income countries.
Here are a few of the reasons that people with disabilities in developing countries are especially vulnerable during the current COVID-19 crisis:
They often already lack access to basic services and support (including adequate nutrition, basic health care, and access to employment)
Difficult triage decisions about who is most worthy of attention and care is exacerbated by misunderstandings about disabilities and discrimination that permeates many communities
Some people with disabilities need to rely on others for daily assistance, a problem both in social distancing for prevention and also if their caregivers become sick
Strain on families and communities make it more likely they may be abandoned, orphaned, or institutionalized
In response, we are joining forces with others in this unique sector to share available information, bring awareness to these issues, attempting to prevent this vulnerable group from further exclusion, discrimination, and extreme poverty during the pandemic and also in the recovery efforts to come. We also just launched this COVID disability resources webpage and are continuously updating and responding to it. People within our network (including partners and organizations that are part of our Global Disability Directory) are thanking us and sharing it. We will keep this up as long as it helps!
3 things YOU can do to help:
Advocate anywhere you can that COVID responses are inclusive, taking into account people with disabilities and other vulnerable populations. This is important everywhere right now.
Share about DSI's work with others you know. We need as many hands and hearts as possible on this mission with us and we know people can't care and support if they don't know, right? So follow, share, forward, talk to others, advocate with us... Let's amplify the reasons DSI exists and these important voices and stories.
Protect Rights of People with Disabilities During COVID-19 (Human Rights Watch)
10 things you should know about COVID-19 and Persons with Disabilities (Save the Children)
COVID-19 Outbreak and Persons with Disabilities (UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs Disability)