Leonard Cheshire addressing economic impact of COVID-19 on persons with disabilities

14 Apr 2020

Leonard Cheshire is rapidly responding to the unprecedented challenges caused by COVID-19 and working to reduce the economic impact on persons with disabilities. The disability charity is drawing on its expertise in employment, social protection, technology and influencing to support persons with disabilities in the UK and globally.

Some of the immediate steps include:

  • collecting data related to persons with disabilities to understand the impact of COVID-19 on jobs and economic wellbeing;
  • providing guidance to government ministries and key local stakeholders on accessible and inclusive messaging for workers with disabilities;
  • promoting online and digital tools for upskilling and remote working, and alternative working approaches for persons with disabilities having to self-isolate at home.

In the UK, Leonard Cheshire is reaching out to corporate partners who are part of its UK employment programmes such as Change 100 to offer advice and support to ensure key workers with disabilities have the right information and personal protective equipment.

The organisation is also working with the UK government on the social protection mechanisms available for persons with disabilities who have lost their jobs due to the outbreak.

Internationally, Leonard Cheshire is working with its partners on the Innovation to Inclusion (i2i) programme – including Disabled Persons’ Organisations in Bangladesh and Kenya – to collect data from workers with disabilities and employers. This analysis will inform the design of online solutions, address gaps on accessible information and advocate for employment and social protection interventions so they are inclusive of the needs of persons with disabilities.

In India, Leonard Cheshire is working to develop an information campaign on COVID-19 that is accessible, inclusive and publicised to all persons with disabilities. The organisation is also looking to expand its digital and technology services to provide persons with disabilities and employers the guidance, advice and support they need on employment and COVID-19 to safeguard jobs and income security.

Leonard Cheshire will continue to update GBDN partners on its initiatives to address challenges faced by persons with disabilities during and after the pandemic.