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Accessibility in the Post-COVID world

  • IASbaba
  • June 30, 2020
  • 0
UPSC Articles
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SOCIETY/ GOVERNANCE

Topic: General Studies 1,2:

  • Social empowerment
  • Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes 

Accessibility in the Post-COVID world

Context: There were stories of disabled persons facing acute difficulties during the lockdown. As the world continues to re-imagine a new normal for its physical and social spaces, there is a window of opportunity to improve accessibility. 

Impact of the crisis on persons with disabilities

  • Problems of financial stability
  • Difficulty to access to essential items
  • Inadequate accommodation
  • Social isolation
  • Lack of availability of healthcare 
  • Lack access to critical care takers and domestic help, who play crucial roles in caring for person with disability
  • Triple burden on working women: Along with household chores and work from home women also faced added responsibilities due to absence of caregivers
  • Decreased access to basic services and rights: Persons with disabilities were already struggling for equitable access to education, healthcare, transportation, and economic opportunities which was exacerbated during this pandemic

How were the above challenges tackled during lockdown period?

  • Families & Organisations joined forces with caregivers to collaborate on common challenges to develop innovative solutions for persons with disabilities.
  • For Ex: Parent or families delivered interventions and therapies for their disabled member, with telephone support from therapists or other support workers. 

Filling the gaps 

  • Accessibility should be considered in COVID-19 recovery plans to catalyse the vision of an inclusive world
  • Governments and Civil Society must engage people to promote education and awareness on including persons with disabilities.
  • Implementing accessibility laws and regulations 
  • Improving physical accessibility and universal design
  • Reducing stigma
  • Developing the tools for individuals and communities to engage meaningfully with persons with disabilities.
  • Including and involving persons with disabilities in decision and policymaking, for COVID-19 recovery and beyond.

Conclusion

Using this crisis to implement universal accessibility should be central to the vision of the post-COVID era.

Connecting the dots:

  • Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan
  • Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

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