covid19, world disability day, 2020

World Disability Day 2020

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covid19, world disability day, 2020

New Delhi: 

The world marks today December 3, as the International Day of Persons With Disabilities, observed by the United Nations to acknowledge the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. The UN also marked this year’s theme as “Building Back Better: toward a disability-inclusive, accessible and sustainable post-COVID-19 World”.

“The global crisis of COVID-19 is deepening pre-existing inequalities, exposing the extent of exclusion and highlighting that work on disability inclusion is imperative,” says a statement from the UN on World Disability Day 2020. “People with disabilities—one billion people— are one of the most excluded groups in our society and are among the hardest hit in this crisis in terms of fatalities.” The UN announced that December 3 would be observed as World Disability rights day in 1992.

According to Census 2011, a total of 21 million Indians are affected by some of the other types of disability. The worst-hit out of these are students who are facing different forms of disability, hindering their physical, emotional, mental, and financial growth.

The Census reports that only 57% of differently-abled males between the age of five and 19 years attend school, while the proportion of differently-abled females enrolled in educational institutions is even poorer. Despite existing laws on accessibility -- India is also a signatory to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) adopted by the UN in 2006 -- many differently-abled students are compelled to go without the necessary resources, including accessible schools.

Schooling During COVID-19

The switch to digital learning forced by the COVID-19 pandemic has not helped. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) Global Education Monitoring Report 2020 pointed out that “many resources are not accessible for blind or deaf students even if the technology exists”. The report further explains: “Children with mild learning difficulties, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, may struggle with independent work in front of a computer. Apart from technology and learning, the loss of daily school routine adds a layer of difficulty for learners who are sensitive to change, such as those with autism spectrum disorders.”

The UN statement adds: “Even under normal circumstances, persons with disabilities are less likely to access health care, education, employment and to participate in the community. An integrated approach is required to ensure that persons with disabilities are not left behind.”

Source: NDTV

covid19, world disability day, 2020

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