In partnership with a large coalition of disability coalitions, NGOs, and advocacy groups, the Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network (AWN) is proud to update our community on a recent multinational qualitative research endeavor conducted between May 1 – June 5, 2020. The collaborative project, conducted by the Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities for Sustainable Development (a member of the International Disability Alliance), obtained empirical data in multiple languages/formats (including International Sign and text from AAC users) from 106 individuals ages 23 – 80 years of age with disabilities from 54 countries.
Data was collated and analyzed according to predetermined regions: (SubSaharan) Africa (13 countries total), Asia/Pacific Oceania region (16 countries total), Europe and North America (9 countries total), Middle East/North Africa (8 countries total), and Latin America (12 countries total). A broad range of disabilities were represented, including autism and other neurodevelopmental disabilities. Although none of the participants openly identified a gender other than “male” and “female” in this study, the amount and percentage of participants from each of the stated genders was nearly equal.
Research was conducted virtually for accessibility reasons as well as to minimize potential COVID-19 exposure. Participants were queried about life with a disability during the pandemic, Seven themes were explored: 1) living situation, 2) safety concerns, 3) home life/housing conditions, 4) health care, 5) social protection, 6) employment, and 7) COVID-19 disability data/knowledge. The most significant barriers reported were lack of timely information and resource access; ineffective social, employment, and accessibility measures; and overall exclusion and disconnect.
To read the report in its entirety, here.