Experiences of People with Disabilities During Covid-19 in South Africa: The Exacerbation of Disadvantage
Hart, Tim G.B.
Davids, Yul Derek
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The impact of COVID-19 is falling unevenly across the South African population; research quickly revealed how the worst impacts fell along geographic, racial, and gendered lines. A recent study by the Institute for Development Studies (UK), the Human Sciences Research Council, and the National Council of and for Persons with Disabilities on the impacts of COVID-19 on the well-being of South African residents with disabilities indicated that they were also disproportionately affected. Overall, the study showed that the government’s response did not adequately provide for this large but significantly marginalised minority group or acknowledge its diversity of needs. Many persons with disabilities are disadvantaged in virtually all spheres of life. The inadequate response is concerning, albeit not surprising, because in pre-COVID-19 times people with disabilities constantly struggled against societal barriers – structural and social. Since COVID-19 arrived, there has been little acknowledgement of their diverse needs and how to address these inclusively.