This micro briefing presents a range of evidence relating to the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on disabled people.
This is the first in a series of COVID-19 micro briefings developed by the Glasgow Centre for Population Health and Policy Scotland and written in collaboration with expert partner agencies.
- Disabled people are more likely to become seriously ill or die from COVID-19.
- A variety of mechanisms explain the disproportionate impact of the pandemic among disabled populations – including; elevated clinical risk; the worsening of existing poverty and inequalities; barriers in accessing vital services including COVID-19 testing; and the disruption of vital health, social care and other support services.
- The unintended impacts of lockdown disease containment policy are more acutely felt by disabled people who have higher rates of existing common mental disorders, are more likely to be socially isolated and to be digitally excluded.
- Mainstreaming the sustained involvement of disabled people in designing pandemic recovery policy, practice and research at the local and national levels will support the effectiveness of public service responses and the potential to ‘build back fairer’.
The micro briefing presents a review of the evidence, and the implications for policy, practice and further research.
It highlights the urgency of ensuring that the voices of disabled people are clearly heard within all aspects of inequalities-focussed policy, practice and research responses to the pandemic.
About the authors
This micro briefing has been written with the Glasgow Disability Alliance (GDA) – a disabled people led organisation with over 5,000 members across Greater Glasgow. GDA provides a range of support services for disabled people including fully accessible learning, coaching, and events designed to connect disabled people with each other, with opportunities and with decision makers.