Report on inequalities, participation and human rights during COVID-19

Date: 4th September 2020
Category: Children with disabilities

6. Disability, health and welfare.jpg

The report considers the impact of COVID-19 on the existing inequalities experienced by disabled people, namely: poverty and food insecurity, isolation and exclusion, health inequalities and social care. Recommendations to Scottish Government are included to ensure the human rights of disabled people are protected.

Between 20th March and 31st July 2020, Glasgow Disability Alliance members contributed more than 4000 hours to share their views, experiences and concerns. This enabled the report to give the following insights: 

  • Lockdown resulted in most medical and support services cutting or withdrawing support, leaving disabled people with no support to wash, eat or take medications. Many were forced to rely on family, friends and neighbours for this care.
  • Pre-COVID, disabled people were already three times as likely to be living in poverty and during March to July 2020, 57% of disabled people were worried about money.
  • Disabled people were three times as likely to be living in poverty and facing food insecurity. Throughout the pandemic 47% were worried about access to food.
  • Disabled people already face barriers to information and are four times more digitally excluded, throughout this period 60% experienced digital exclusion.
  • Disabled people were twice as likely to face isolation, this was due to difficulty taking part in things locally due to lack of access, support, information, or negative attitudes. During this period, 90% were worried about their mental and physical health.

Some of the key recommendations the report makes for Scottish Government include:

  • Embedding the lived experience of disabled people in all planning for recovery and renewal.
  • Investing in inclusive community learning and development.
  • Tackle rising hate crime.
  • Investing in holistic support for disabled people to tackle barriers.
  • Incorporating the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities into domestic law.

Read the full report here.

Read the summary report here.

An audio version of the summary briefing is also available here.