In April DSi were consulted during the drafting of a letter from the International Disability Alliance (IDA) and International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC) to the United Nations and the World Health Organisation calling for the UN and its agencies to make their daily briefings and any supporting documents on COVID-19 fully accessible to persons with disabilities.

We are delighted to learn that IDA and IDDC have received a response from the United Nations Secretary General making the following points:

  • The United Nations COVID-19 Response and Recovery Multi-Partner Trust Fund has been established to directly support certain groups including persons with disabilities. It is envisaged that persons with disabilities will be systematically included through the various pillars of the Framework;

"Under-Secretary-General Menéndez and her team are coordinating with the Trust Fund to ensure that persons with disabilities are meaningfully addressed in the response"

  • This month, UN entities will be reporting on their implementation of the United Nations Disability Inclusion Strategy, including on indicators regarding accessibility and communications. The Secretary-General has requested entities to provide information in their reports on disability-inclusive actions undertaken and planned related to the COVID-19 response and recovery;

"I have also requested entities to provide information in their reports on disability-inclusive actions undertaken and planned related to the COVID-19 response and recovery."

  • The UN will produce in accessible e-Pub the eight COVID-19 policy briefs which the Secretary-General has launched;
  • The policy brief on COVID-19 and persons with disabilities is available in accessible ePub and easy-to-read formats, and a video of the Executive Summary has been produced in International Sign;
  • WHO press briefings are now live captioned, and the transcripts are being produced in an accessible format as of 1 May.

"A more inclusive and accessible United Nations will only be achieved with the full participation and inclusion of persons with disabilities and their representative organizations."

Coronavirus response