series event

Disabled people and the COVID-19 pandemic: lessons for policy

Disability Inclusion Stock Photography by Disability:IN featuring a woman and two men sitting together chatting to one another.
Photo credit: Disability:IN.

The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted the lives of disabled people, deepening and widening existing inequalities. Disabled people have faced triple jeopardy of higher risk from death, reduced accessibility to health and social care services, and the additional impact of social barriers.   

This session brings together academics and disabled people’s organisations to share learning from research conducted with and by disabled people about the pandemic and its consequences. 

The focus of this event will not be on describing what went wrong, but on learning the lessons for the future. After initial presentations from the 6 participants, the second half of the event will be a participative discussion of policy recommendations. 


Professor Nicholas Watson, University of Glasgow 

Nicholas Watson is Chair of Disability Studies at the University of Glasgow. With the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), he and colleagues have completed qualitative research on the experiences of 70 disabled people and 30 DPOs across England and Scotland during the pandemic. The preprint article is now available. 

Professor Tom Shakespeare, LSHTM

Tom Shakespeare is co-Director of the International Centre for Evidence in Disability at LSHTM. With Nicholas Watson and colleagues, he has completed qualitative research with disabled people across England and Scotland during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kirsten Maclean, Inclusion Scotland 

Kirsten Maclean is a People-led Policy Officer at Inclusion Scotland. 

Inclusion Scotland is a Disabled People’s Organisation led by disabled people aimed at achieving positive changes to policy and practice. They have published a COVID-19 Evidence Survey on the experiences of disabled people

Tressa Burke, Glasgow Disability Alliance  

Tressa is Chief Executive at Glasgow Disability Alliance. 

Run by and for disabled people, Glasgow Disability Alliance has 5000+ members across Greater Glasgow. They have produced a briefing report on the impact of COVID-19 for disabled people.  

Svetlana Kotova, Inclusion London 

Svetlana Kotova is Director of Campaigns and Justice at Inclusion London.

Inclusion London support Deaf and Disabled People’s Organisations in London and campaign for equality for Deaf and disabled people. They have launched a report highlighting the effects of discrimination and inequality on disabled people during the pandemic

Rick Burgess, Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People  

Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People (GMCDP) is a Disabled People’s Organisation run by disabled people and committed to advocating improvements in disabled people’s lives. They have produced a survey to find out how disabled people in Greater Manchester were managing with the pandemic

Recording links


Follow recording links. Free and open to all. No registration required.


LSHTM International Centre for Evidence in Disability