Commission on COVID-19, Disablism and Systemic Racism – Key Facts and Information
Why are we doing this work?
Over the course of the pandemic, we have seen how the worst impacts of COVID-19 have fallen on disabled people and even more so on Black, Asian, and minoritised ethnic groups*.
- People who reported that they were limited a lot by their disability were over three times more likely to die from COVID-19 than non-disabled people.
- 46% of disabled people reported that COVID-19 had made their mental health worse, compared to 29% of non-disabled people.
- People with a learning disability from an Asian/Asian British background were three times more likely to die from COVID-19 than a white British person with a learning disability.
We want to explore the extent to which these shocking statistics and negative outcomes arise from systemic neglect of social care over many years, worsened by confused policy approaches, conflicting guidance, and poor implementation through the course of the pandemic.
- The first wave of personal protective equipment delivery to care services did not provide for disabled people because the response was focused on large institutional services, compared with the smaller community-based, at home and supported living services they favour.
- Blanket ‘Do Not Attempt Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation’ orders were placed on disabled people.
- Disability services were left behind in the initial roll out of testing.
- People with a learning disability, including those with significant complex needs, were a sixth order priority for vaccinations.
What are the objectives of this work?
- Gather evidence and respond to the harms that COVID-19 has caused disabled people.
- Scrutinise the policies and responses to the pandemic and the impact these had on outcomes for disabled people, including ways in which systemic racism may have further worsened outcomes for Disabled people from Black, Asian, and minoritised ethnic groups.
- Highlight injustice and build solutions and support for transformative and sustainable change in health and social care, which uphold the principles of justice and human rights.
- Crucially we want this work to have forward momentum, whilst learning from the past but most importantly focusing on co-produced solutions and future progress.
How will we achieve this?
- Undertaking robust analysis that brings together a wide range of experiences of the pandemic, including launching a Call for Views and Experiences.
- Appointing a Board of Commissioners, led by disabled people, to oversee and steer this programme.
- Drawing on official sources and undertake primary and secondary research alongside a sector-led call for evidence.
- Inviting organisations to host their own conversation(s) to inform our work.
- Drawing on experience from across all UK nations and internationally, especially in relation to our commitment to being solutions focused.
- Forging a collaborative and creative approach that enables the individual and collective contributions of individuals, groups, and charities to be greater than the sum of their parts.
- Embedding the findings into our ongoing influencing activities.
- Publishing briefings, media statements, and influencing our parliamentary, policy and wider networks to ensure that our learning is widely shared.