Inclusive crisis responses: learning from COVID-19

Our publications outline the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and how people with disabilities can be better supported.

Two reports - one called A disability inclusive approach to COVID-19. The other is called How have people with disabilities experienced the pandemic in Bangladesh? And sits open to the first page.

On top of the barriers they face every day, many people with disabilities experienced additional inequalities because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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 below you will find three reports that share our findings. If you’re a development or humanitarian professional, these will help to inform your work to include people with disabilities in the future.

Our Learnings

A pile of three reports. The top one is entitled: A disability-inclusive response to COVID-19 - four lessons learned about including people with disabilities in humanitarian aid. The image shows a mother holding a child, both wearing facemasks. The cover includes an Inclusive Futures and UK aid logo.

Four lessons on inclusive humanitarian aid

Inclusive Futures played a crucial role in supporting some of the most marginalised people with disabilities in Bangladesh, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, and Tanzania during the COVID-19 pandemic. This paper summarises what we learned and it can be used to include people with disabilities in future programming, particularly in contexts at risk of crisis.
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Read the easy read version

A pile of three reports. The top one is entitled: Consequences of Exclusion - a situation report on organisations of people with disabilities and COVID-19 in Bangladesh, Nigeria and Zimbabwe. A photo shows six people sat around a table having a discussion. Eight logos feature: Inclusive Futures, the International Disability Alliance, Social Development Direct, UK aid, UNPRPD, UN Women, Disability Rights Fund, and the National Disabled Women's Association of Nepal

How OPDs filled gaps in responses

Research led by Inclusive Futures' Disability Inclusion Helpdesk found that the pandemic had a profoundly negative impact on organisations that represent people with disabilities (OPDs). This effect was felt when members needed them most, with dramatically reduced funding hitting alongside increased demand. The research also highlights some positive practices and new opportunities for OPDs.
Read the report

A pile of three reports. The top one is entitled: Because of COVID, everything is a mess - how have people with disabilities experienced the pandemic in Nepal and Bangladesh? It features the contents for the report and the logos of UK aid, Inclusive Futures and the Institute of Development Studies.

How COVID-19 impacted the most marginalised

Inclusive Futures partner the Institute of Development Studies carried out participatory research looking at the impact of COVID-19 on jobseekers with disabilities in Bangladesh, Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda, and on marginalised people with disabilities, including women, people with deafblindness and people with intellectual disabilities, in Bangladesh and Nepal.
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"I am completely shocked" - why development must change

Read In Depth opinion
Two women and a baby wear face masks in a house in Bangladesh.

What is the impact of exclusion?

Two women and a baby wear face masks in a house in Bangladesh.

"Many agencies have come to my area with relief food, but I have had access to none. This exclusion from interventions to me is just a sign that people like me are still discriminated against." Man with albinism, Uganda

“They do not care about us. They have forgotten us.” Woman with a physical disability, Kenya

“People with disabilities are treated as a burden. They have lost support from society. As an OPD we are concerned about how they will be supported." OPD representative in Bangladesh

"I could hardly access any interventions." Man with a visual impairment, Uganda

"You know, before COVID people [with disabilities] were struggling and now with COVID, this is worse... Those I have tried to talk to see this as the end of their lives." Man with a physical disability, Kenya

Make your programmes inclusive

Download our report

Who we are

We’re specialists and global leaders in disability and development from 16 international organisations.

We’re funded by UK aid and work with the public and private sectors, people with disabilities and the organisations representing them to ensure there are equal opportunities for everyone and a global future that’s disability inclusive.

Our COVID-19 response reached 60,000 people with and without disabilities to provide immediate relief packages and longer-term support.

Learn more about Inclusive Futures’ COVID-19 response.

Watch: Bridging COVID-19 Response and Recovery.
Expert representatives from OPDs, researchers and development professionals share learnings from Inclusive Futures' COVID-19 response programme.