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May 2021

Dear friends,

This month, like many of you, we are dealing with cuts to our FCDO-funded projects. It is harder to protest when so many countries in the Global South are having their vital projects and supports reduced or taken away. To quote Baroness Sugg “… there is never a good time to cut aid for live saving water & sanitation, but the middle of the worst pandemic for 100 years must be one of the worst.” Research and evidence generation remain critical at this time, as they help to target, develop and test development interventions to allow them to have the greatest impact. The FCDO and ODA cuts will greatly reduce the UK’s role in global research, not least at LSHTM which has been at the fore-front of so many activities to control COVID-19. Nevertheless, we remain grateful to the continued support of FCDO, and its ongoing commitment to disability.

We are continuing to progress our research, despite the difficult times. Our second round of data collection in the UK is complete to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the lives of disabled people, and our first paper is in press. We are supporting analyses of the risk of COVID-19 mortality among disabled people broadly, and people learning disability specifically, in the UK. In case you missed it, we gave a seminar last week summarising the key findings – watch it here. We are also investigating the impact of COVID-19 in the lives of disabled people in Zambia, Uganda, Ghana, India, Bangladesh, and among Syrian refugees. In Zimbabwe, our in-depth study was launched last week, which will gather data to help plan how to build back better health systems after COVID-19.

In other news, our MOOC (free online course) on Global Disability Research and Evidence starts this week! Still time to sign up and join – here. We are also working to diversify our funding partners. We are grateful, for instance, to the Chowens for their support of our Public Health Planning for Hearing Impairment Courses, as well as to all our ongoing supporters.

Read on, to learn about our papers, seminars and other news.

With best wishes,

Hannah and Tom

International Centre for Evidence in Disability, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Follow us on Twitter - @ICED_LSHTM.

PENDA logo 500

PENDA is a major ICED project, funded by FCDO, aiming to increase evidence to support disability inclusive development. We will focus on developing people, knowledge and tools.

Some updates on PENDA this month...



  • Fieldwork is poised to start by our partner icddr-b on the inclusion of people with disabilities in the Hygiene and Behaviour Change Consortium response to COVID-19, funded by FCDO and Unilever.


  • Check out the new evidence briefs on the Disability Evidence Portal! New ones on overcoming barriers to accessing rehabilitation and the benefits of inclusive education for children without disabilities.


New publications this month from our group...

Dorothy Boggs published two papers that will contribute towards her PhD. First, the results of a survey of musculoskeletal impairment among Syrian refugees living in Turkey, published in Conflict and Health. One in nine people screened had a musculoskeletal impairment, despite the young age of the sample, and there was a high unmet need for services and assistive products. In the second paper, published in Global Health Action, she argues for the need for “ Shifting the focus to functioning: essential for achieving Sustainable Development Goal 3, inclusive Universal Health Coverage and supporting COVID-19 survivors”. Separately, Dorothy also co-authored a range of papers this month from her previous role in a birth cohort – well done Dorothy!
Hannah Kuper and Tom Shakespeare published a commentary to a paper in Lancet Public Health, considering “Are older people with disabilities neglected in the COVID-19 pandemic?" and a letter in the BMJ arguing that “Low numbers of disabled doctors mean potential loss of insightful care for everyone”. Two disabled doctors responded with thoughtful comments to our letter and I would encourage you to read those also. Hannah Kuper also co-authored a National Accessibility Audit of Primary Health Care Facilities in Brazil, the first of its kind, to consider whether people with disabilities are being denied their right to health (IJERPH). 

Other publications:

Upcoming Seminars and Events by LSHTM

You can find all our previous seminars (including the audio recordings and slides) here.

Did you miss the seminar by Tom Shakespeare and Hannah Kuper on “Disabled people in the UK and the impact of COVID-19”? Still time to watch it here.
Tuesday 18th May, 13:00-14:00. Film showing and panel discussion of "Restoring Dignity; a journey with Noma survivors".
Thursday 27th May, 13:00-14:15. Ending a vicious cycle: how can girls have better periods? Jane Wilbur, ICED. The talk will focus on menstrual hygiene for people living with disabilities in Nepal.
Tuesday 15th June, time TBD. Celebrating the tenth anniversary of the World Report on Disability, with talks by

Other things of interest

Special issues seeking papers

New COVID-19 and disability resources

New paper and infographic. from LSE analysing how and why external organisations invest in mental health in low- and middle-income countries, highlighting challenges and opportunities, and offering policy recommendations. There is a separate policy tool which provides a snapshot of why and how external organisations can invest in mental health in low- and middle-income countries.

Have you seen this?

Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution was nominated for an Oscar this year. It’s an amazing documentary about how a camp for disabled young people in USA in the 1970s inspired a revolution in disability rights. Here is the trailer…. And you can watch the full film here.

    Read previous newsletters










    COVID-19 Global Study

    Qualitative Research Material

    Below are useful training materials that have been developed as part of the ICED qualitative study into the impacts of COVID-19 on people with disabilities globally. This research is funded by UK AID through the Covid Collective.  

    Qualitative Researchers Handbook - Covid 19 and Disability

    Banks, L.M. & Hameed, S. (2021) “Qualitative Researchers’ Handbook: COVID-19 & disability – a multi-country study.” International Centre for Evidence in Disability, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine: London, UK.

    Qualitative Interviewer Training - Disability Covid-19

    Banks, L.M. & Hameed, S. (2021) “Exploring the experiences of people with disabilities during COVID-19.” International Centre for Evidence in Disability, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine: London, UK

    MOOC May 2021

    MOOC: Global Disability: Research and Evidence

    MOOC 2021 pics
    Photo credit: © CBM


    The second run of our MOOC: Global Disability: Research and Evidence will be launching on 3rd May 2021. In this course, we explored how to conduct and interpret findings from global disability research. This is a free online course which takes about 3-4 hours per week to complete for 3 weeks. Please see more here


    COVID-19 Support and Guidance

    The  situation with COVID-19 is rapidly changing. We have gathered a list of resources about COVID-19 to share with caregivers, children & young people and education, health and social care practitioners to navigate the dynamic situation of the COVID-19 response, and the many impacts that it will have. We hope that they are helpful and we will continue to add new resources as they become available. 

    • Information on how parent groups have been run post ‘lock-down’ in Rwanda can be found here and we provide guidelines on what to consider to run groups safely in the context of COVID-19 here.
    • A range of free digital COVID-19 educational resources for children: download Axel Scheffler’s book here and a copy of Lydia Monk’s book can be downloaded here (Information about how these resources were created is found here).
    • Share your story and contribute to voices of people with disabilities during the COVID-19 outbreak here: voices.
    • LSHTM’s free online course for anyone who is interested to learn about what we know about COVID-19, and how we should respond to the outbreak: free online course.
    • A course that introduces COVID-19, created for teenagers and young adults, is at: free online course for 14-16 year olds.
    • Presentation from the International Centre for Evidence in Disability: making the response disability-inclusive
    • Paper on what we can learn from a disability inclusive response

    Working with parent groups – a training resource for facilitators and caregivers

    These manuals (Getting to Know Cerebral Palsy, Juntos and ABAANA EIP) aim to increase knowledge and skills in caring for a child with developmental disabilities. Research highlighted the significant needs of the caregivers, and how they can gain a huge amount of support from meeting with each other in an understanding environment.

    It promotes a participatory learning approach with an emphasis on working with groups and the empowerment of parents and caregivers.

     Download the manual (in various languages)

    “Before, my family and people in my community used to say ‘this child’s suffering is a result of parent’s sin’. After taking the training I have explained what causes cerebral palsy to others. Now, no-one says anything like this.” 
    Parent, Sirajganj, Bangladesh

    Animated videos

    Animated videos on child development and developmental disability

    Download and use these animated videos from ICED on child developmental and developmental disability, with versions in English, Portuguese and Spanish. The first of these videos provides information on child development across different domains and considers how this process can be disrupted for some children. The second explores the challenges and barriers in the lives of people with a developmental disability, and how support strategies can help an individual better participate in their community. 

    Please use these videos in your own teaching, support groups or in any other forum, appropriately acknowledging the International Centre for Evidence in Disability at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

    The videos are available in English, Portuguese (Brazil) and Spanish.

    View the English videos below:

    View the English videos with subtitles here:

    View the Portuguese (Brazil) videos with subtitles here:

    View the Spanish videos with subtitles here:


    Supporting Families Affected by the Zika virus

    Global community

    Children with developmental disabilities and their families

    Join a global community to share ideas, access the latest research, find solutions, meet new people and collaborate on innovative and exciting projects.


    Community Ear and Hearing Health Journal

    This annual publication promotes good ear and hearing health in low and middle-income countries.

    It's a forum for exchanging ideas, experience and information that facilitate continuing education for all levels of health worker. It is delivered to almost 4,000 healthcare providers worldwide. Some issues have been translated into French and Spanish.

    Read previous issues
    Press and resources

    Press articles and further reading

    Read articles on ICED activity in the international press and on Use disability resources from across the web.

    Read press articles on our work columns

    Further reading

    Partner groups at LSHTM

    Global disability groups

    Further reading

    • Handicap International SOURCE Resource depository: Large depository of materials related to disability and inclusive development, curated by HI.
    • Disability and the Global South: Open Access journal on critical disability thinking and perspectives from the Global South
    • UNICEF Disability Homepage: Collated United Nations reports, documents and videos related to disability (among both adults and children)
    • World Report on Disability: Developed by the WHO and World Bank. Source is an international online resource centre run by Handicap International. It is designed to strengthen the management, use and impact of information on disability and inclusion. 
    • WHO MiNDbank: an online platform which brings together a range of country and international resources, covering mental health, substance abuse, disability, general health, human rights and development. 

    Blogs and opinion pieces

    Short films about disabilities


    Global Health and Disability

    All files and contents in this folder are © LSHTM unless otherwise stated. You are welcome to reuse, adapt and share these files for non-commercial teaching and learning purposes without asking for permission. You must acknowledge the International Centre for Evidence in Disability, LSHTM as the original creator and provide a link to our website We would also very much appreciate hearing how you are using the content, please let us know at

    Download the full course
    Download content from each week


    Week 1: Disability and its importance to the global development agenda

    ZIP (522MB)|ZIP (no videos) (9MB)

    Week 2: Health, wellbeing and disability

    ZIP (807MB)|ZIP (no videos) (19MB)

    Week 3: Access to health care and rehabilitation services

    ZIP (904MB)|ZIP (no videos) (154MB)

    Download individual resources

    Video: Welcome to the course

    Week 1: Disability and its importance to the global development agenda

    Video: Welcome to week 1

    Video & teaching slides: Why does disability matter globally?

    Video:  Why does disability matter – Personal perspectives

    Article: Why does disability matter – individual case studies

    Article: Why does disability matter to International Development? Part 1

    Article: Nothing about us without us

    Video: What does disability mean – personal perspectives

    Video: Attitudes to disability

    Video: What does disability mean – a framework

    Article: Measuring disability: Why would you want to and how do you do it?

    Video: What is the relationship between impairments and disability?

    Video: what are the common impairments related to disability?

    Article: Why does impairment matter?

    Video: Summary of week 1

    Week 2: Health, wellbeing and disability

    Video: Welcome to week 2