- May 27, 2022

 UN (Blue), Disability Movement (Purple, building on the Wethe15 Campaign colours), NGO/broader Humanitarian Civil society actors (Red), and the principles of Coordination, Integration, Inclusion and Diversity of identities and backgrounds of members. On the right hand side: The acronym "drg" in small letters (less aggressive and more stylish than capital letters) refers to the most commonly used name of the group (Disability Reference Group) with the full official name of the group underneath it: Reference Group on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action.

Monthly Newsletter | Issue 21 - May 2022

A child is sitting on the lap of a man using a wheelchair, both are smiling

Reference Group on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action

Dear DRG members,

Welcome to the 21st edition of the DRG Newsletter !

In this edition we are pleased to share with you a number of new resources, initiatives and events, including the annual Conference of States Parties (CoSP) to the CRPD, which this year has many events related to humanitarian action. As efforts continue to build to promote the rights of persons with disabilities affected by humanitarian emergencies, the Disability Reference Group brings together organizations of persons with disabilities (OPD, NGOs and UN entities to share information, learn from each other and collaborate to even further advance these efforts.

This month we are pleased to confirm that, after an open process of calling for nominations for co-chairs of the DRG, the International Disability Alliance, CBM-Global and UNICEF have been confirmed as continuing co-chairs of the group. We look forward to working together with all our members to continue to build on our collaboration and see real change in the lives of persons with disabilities affected by the many humanitarian crises we are seeing in the world today.

Elham Youssefian (International Disability Alliance), Christian Modino Hok (CBM Global) and Kirstin Lange (UNICEF)

© CBM Global

Two Years on: a Reflection on Achievements & Forthcoming Plans of the Disability Reference Group (HNPW Event)

Organized by the DRG on May 3rd as part of Humanitarian Networks and Partnerships Week (HNPW), this event gave an update on the group’s work over the past 2 years and of the way forward. This included an overview of collaboration between OPDs, NGOs and UN entities to produce learning materials; to map disability inclusion in existing mechanisms for technical support to countries; and to strengthen engagement of OPDs in humanitarian action. Plans for the group going forward and opportunities to engage was also highlighted. 

The recording will soon be available on the HNPW virtual exhibition area, which will also contain the recordings of the 13 other HNPW sessions that discussed disability inclusion as well as inclusion more broadly.
>> Link to the HNPW Virtual Exhibition Area


Fact Sheet on Accessible Documents for Persons with Vision Impairments and Persons with Low Vision in Iraq - IOM

As IOM Iraq continues to strengthen its approach to improving access and inclusion of persons with disabilities across its programming, it was important to address a critical barrier experienced by persons with vision impairments and persons with low vision to accessing information in written documents. This fact sheet was developed following a small rapid consultation with persons with vision impairments and persons with low vision in Iraq in 2021. It aims to inform IOM Iraq and implementing partners on country-specific information on screen reading software use in Iraq, Braille use in Iraq, creating digitally accessible documents for people who use screen readers in Iraq, and accessible communication. 
>> Link to the Fact Sheet


Paper on Inclusive Communications in Mozambique - WFP

A short paper on "Inclusive Accountability to Affected Populations: Mainstreaming Accessible Communication for Vulnerability-Based Targeting in Mozambique" was produced in Northern Mozambique by World Food Programme (WFP) and Trinity College Dublin. The College is using these findings to inform WFP's response in Moldova and Syria where Complaints and Feedback Mechanism (CFM) data shows that the lack of information provided on food assistance is a huge barrier and source of confusion and frustration for people with disabilities and older persons.

>> Link to the Short Paper


Needs Snapshot Survey on Ukrainians In & Out of Ukraine - Save the Children

Save the Children is currently collecting data on the situation in Ukraine as well as amongst the refugees who have left Ukraine. They are seeking help to share the survey among networks and organizations that are active either in Ukraine or in countries where Ukrainians have moved to or directly to people in Ukraine or on the move.  Save the Children is happy to share the information from the survey upon analysis. Please email disabilityinfo [at] if you share the survey and want to hear back on results so they are aware. 

The Survey is available in Ukrainian, Russian and English and can be filled in online – through a QR code/link – or can be administered to you or partner staff as a face-to-face survey using a smart phone, tablet or other mobile device. Data can be collected for adults and children – but no younger than 15 years old. For any questions, please reach out to inaki.borda [at]
>> Link to the Survey


Households with Disability in Afghanistan: Multi-sectoral Needs Assessments Report - Save The Children

This brief provides critical up-to-date data on the humanitarian situation affecting households with disability in Afghanistan across the sectors of: health; nutrition; water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH); food security and livelihood; children’s education, protection, and mental health and psychosocial support. This extensive data provides invaluable evidence to inform both humanitarian responses and development programming.
>> Link to the Report


Brief Report by CBM Global Showcasing Experience from Working with OPDs in Response to COVID-19 in South Asia

On the occasion of the Humanitarian Networks and Partnerships Week, CBM Global released a new brief report entitled “Engaging with organisations of persons with disabilities in humanitarian response: Reflection from CBM Global’s Covid-19 response in Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Nepal” which showcases CBM-Global experience and learning from engaging and working with OPDs in the early response to the COVID 19 pandemic in Bangladesh, Nepal, and Indonesia in 2020-2021.
>> Link to the Brief Report


Technical Brief on Inclusive Cash Assistance in Ukraine - EDF/CBM Global

This technical brief jointly developed by EDF and CBM Global Disability Inclusion, is intended to provide general guidance for humanitarian agencies operating in Ukraine on how to implement Disability Inclusive Cash and Voucher Assistance (CVA). It aims to ensure that disability is mainstreamed within the CVA intervention and in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), International Humanitarian Law and the Humanitarian Principles. It has been produced in the framework of the EDF Ukraine program funded by CBM.
>> Link to the Technical Brief


Global Report on Assistive Technology Providing Evidence & Recommendations to Improve Lives of Millions of People

Global Report on Assistive Technology launched: the report presents evidence for the first time on the global need for and access to assistive products and provides a series of recommendations to expand availability and access, raise awareness of the need, and implement inclusion policies to improve the lives of millions of people including in humanitarian contexts. CBM Global contributed to the development of the GReAT through the global consultations and also through the rapid Assistive Technology Assessment (rATA) conducted in the Rohingya camps in Bangladesh in 2021. Data from the rATA was used to feed into the report and was the only such assessment to be conducted in a humanitarian context.

>> Link to the Report "Almost one billion children and adults with disabilities and older persons in need of assistive technology denied access, according to new report ("
>> Link to the Report "Bangladesh Rapid Assistive Technology Assessment (rATA), May 2021 - Bangladesh | ReliefWeb"


Event: Mental Health & Psychosocial Support in the MENA Region: How Can You Engage?

30 May, 14:00-16:30h EST, 13:00-15:30 CEST

The European Commission’s Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (DG ECHO), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands (BZ) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) warmly invite donors and practitioners to a virtual workshop on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS):

The aim of the event is to inspire donors and stakeholders to enable and create high-quality interventions that matter. The focus will be on facilitating the exchange of knowledge and experiences on MHPSS in the region and the discussion of good practices. It will serve as an introduction to the basics of MHPSS, highlighting the specific situation in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Yemen.

The event will take place via Interactio, with simultaneous interpretation in English, Arabic and Kurdish.
>> Link to Register


15th Session of the Conference of States Parties to the CRPD

UN Headquarters, New York, 14-16 June 2022

The 15th session of the Conference of States Parties to the CRPD (COSP15) is scheduled to take place at the United Nations Headquarters, New York, from 14 to 16  June 2022, during which an election of nine members of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with disabilities will be conducted.

The COSP15 will be held this year in in-person format, with its opening meetings in the General Assembly Hall and meetings on 15th and 16th of June will be in Conference Room 4. All meetings will be streamed LIVE on UN Web TV at:

Register for the Conference by Tuesday, May 31. Your conference focal point is the person responsible for approving your registration if it is still pending. If you cannot reach your conference focal point, please email %C2%A0enable [at] and copy socialngo [at] (subject: COSP15)  for support. This is particularly important for those attending in person. UN Ground Passes will only be issued to people with approved registration. You must show a digital copy of the indico confirmation email to receive a UN Grounds Pass for the conference.

>> Link to Register
>> Link to the Tentative Program
>> Link to COSP Main Page


COSP Civil Society Forum

Register for the Virtual Civil Society ForumThe Civil Society Coordination Mechanism will host a Virtual Civil Society Forum on Monday 13 June 2022 from 9:30AM to 12:30PM New York time. A full agenda is coming soon.
>> Link to Register

COSP Side Events

JUNE 13th

  • 8:30am - 9:45am
    Participation of persons with disabilities in disaster risk reduction: working together to implement CRPD Article 11 and the Sendai Framework
    > (Permanent Mission of Finland to the UN)

  • 9:00am - 10:15am
    Who Eats Last? The impact of Food Insecurity on People with Disabilities in the Horn of Africa 
    > (United Nations World Food Programme)
    > Link to the Concept Note

JUNE 14th

  • 8:15am - 9:30am
    More than Four Months in War: Latest Update on Ukrainians with Disabilities
    > (Permanent Mission of Ukraine to the United Nations) (Trusteeship Council Chamber)

  • 8:30am - 9:45am
    Monitoring and evaluation of article 11 of the UNCRPD: Practical applications for the continuum of humanitarian emergencies
    > (Rehabilitation International (RI))

JUNE 15th

  • 8:30am - 9:45am
    Protecting the Rights of Children with Disabilities in Armed Conflict
    > (Human Rights Watch)

  • 10:00am - 11:15am
    Climate and crisis: Disability-inclusive resilience in cities
    > (Global Disability Innovation Hub)

  • 1:15pm - 2:30pm
    Disability in epidemics and crises: technology adoption and economic empowerment
    > (Organization League of Arab States, ESCWA, UNFPA)/Conference Room B

JUNE 16th

  • 10:00am - 11:15am
    Ukraine, Rescue and Support of People with Disabilities During Emergencies
    > (Access Israel)

  • 10:00am - 11:15am
    “All our achievements have come to nothing.” Overcoming the impact of war on people with intellectual disabilities and their families in Ukraine
    > (Inclusion International)

JUNE 17th

  • 8:30am - 9:45am
    Disability and Disaster Resilience: Ensuring Equality and Inclusion
    > (National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP))

  • 10:00am - 11:15am
    Innovative Practices In Disability-Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction (DiDRR)
    > (CBM Christoffel-Blindenmission Christian Blind Mission e.V.)

  • 10:00am - 11:15am
    Leading Emergency Response During the Russian War in Ukraine: People with Disabilities for People With Disabilities
    > (Fight For Right) (TBC)

  • 10:00am - 11:15am
    Lesson learned from Ukraine: Implementing the right to live in the community for children and adults in institutions during a time of war and emergency
    > (Mental Disability Rights International)

  • 10:00am - 11:15am
    Shifting the Charity Paradigm - Global Disability-Led Organizations Accelerating Humanitarian Action and Emergency Resources Directly to Local Disability Led Organizations
    > (World Institute on Disability, Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies and ONG Inclusiva)

  • 10:00am - 11:15am
    Ukraine, Rescue and Support of People with Disabilities During Emergencies
    > (Access Israel)

  • 11:30am - 12:45pm
    Including Perspectives of Mental Well-being and Psychosocial Disabilities in Disaster Risk Reduction and Humanitarian Action
    > (UNITAR, The University of Tokyo KOMEX)

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