COVID-19

A round logo of a virus

People with disabilities have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

On top of the barriers they face every day, many people with disabilities experienced additional inequalities because of the pandemic.

We adapted the work of Inclusive Futures to reach 60,000 people with and without disabilities to provide immediate relief packages and longer-term support. We also reached 14 million people through the media with accessible information and to tackle stigma and discrimination.

Our evidence and learnings will be used to encourage and enable the development and humanitarian sectors to be more inclusive of people with disabilities in the future.

How our work responded to COVID-19

Women working together on a piece of paper.

Global

We supported the UK government with research through our Disability Inclusion Helpdesk and disability experts, advocating globally for a disability inclusive response and conducting research about what works in disability inclusive crisis responses.

Three people in Bangladesh use hand sanitiser.

Bangladesh

We addressed the immediate and urgent needs of more than 3,000 households with people with disabilities and supported Organisations for People with Disabilities to advocate to government for disability-inclusive responses.

Two men wearing face masks have a discussion outside a shop.

Kenya

We supported entrepreneurs with small grants to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on their income, and provided training on best practice and innovation to adapt their business to continue trading through the pandemic.

Three women sit talking in Nepal. They are wearing facemasks and one is holding a bottle of sanitiser and an information leaflet.

Nepal

Our response to COVID-19 was wide-ranging, from providing subsistence allowances, food relief, nutrient packages, hygiene kits and sanitary products, to advocating for an inclusive response and post-crisis recovery.

An accessibility audit is carried out.

Nigeria

COVID-19 stigma and discrimination was tackled through the media reaching 14m people, and rapid audits of COVID-19 testing centres, isolation and treatment units made them accessible for people with disabilities.

A group of 12 people sit around two tables in a room in Tanzania, having a meeting. One man stands at the front with a flip chart.

Tanzania

A COVID-19 coordination group which brought together key representatives and coordinates a disability-inclusive response to the pandemic ensured that people with disabilities were not left behind.

Through our work, we’ve been able to fill vital gaps in evidence about the impact of the pandemic on the most marginalised people with disabilities.

Our publications also reveal how representative organisations of people with disabilities (OPDs) addressed shortfalls in provision and provided urgent support.

Our COVID-19 response programme proves that disability inclusion is possible and we have shared our findings to help inform disability inclusion in development and humanitarian programmes.

Inclusive crisis responses: learning from COVID-19

Read our reports