Spaces of Exclusion and Neglect: The Impact of COVID-19 on People With Disabilities in Bangladesh, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, and Uganda
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This research investigates how COVID-19 has affected experiences of people with disabilities in low- and middle-income contexts. A qualitative approach was used to collect data as the pandemic progressed from 75 participants in Nigeria, Bangladesh, Nepal, Kenya, and Uganda. The research aimed to be inclusive of people with disabilities by asking the participants directly about their perspectives with a narrative interview method being employed to gain each person’s unique insights. A participatory thematic analysis of the data, followed by a spatial analysis process, produced rich and highly individualized accounts of the spatiocultural experiences relating to how people with disabilities had occupied both private and public space during the pandemic. Differing factors, such as the dominant culture, gender, a person’s impairments, and the social environment, are shown to shape people’s experiences. Across cultures, COVID-19 is shown to have presented new challenges for people with disabilities while preexisting disadvantages have been exacerbated.