- March 16, 2021

>>Please find the recording of the webinar on this Facebook link.

>>Please read the Spanish version of this blog here. 

On February 23, 2021, The International Disability Alliance (IDA), The Latin American Network of Non-Governmental Organizations of People with Disabilities (RIADIS) and CBM Latin America presented the webinar  "COVID-19 and persons with disabilities in Latin America " with the participation of Ana Lucía Arellano, president of IDA and RIADIS chair.

Screenshot from the webinar. The screenshot shows IDA Chair with her son, Ana Lucia D'Arino, a professional women, from the WFDB and Sign Language Interpreter.

Photo 1: Screenshot of the webinar, we can see José Miguel Arteaga, a young man with Down Syndrome, talking to the camera. Her mom, Ana Lucia Arellano is next to him. We can also see Lucía D’Arino from IDA and WFDB in another window, and the IS interpreter.

The webinar was moderated by Rosario Galarza (on behalf of IDA and RIADIS).

Olmedo Zambrano (representing CBM) highlighted the collaborative framework in which CBM is working together with RIADIS and other organizations to guarantee the inclusion of persons with disabilities in COVID-19 responses.

Ana Lucia Arellano (on behalf of IDA and RIADIS) introduced IDA and RIADIS initiatives in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the campaign for accessible information and the Campaign Against the Discrimination of Persons with Disabilities in Access to Health During the Pandemic. Ana Lucía emphasized IDA's recommendations for a disability-inclusive response to COVID-19.

Camila Petzoldt (on behalf of IDA) presented the IDA COVID-19 Survey for persons with disabilities, which is available in several languages including Spanish and Portuguese. Camila highlighted the importance of collecting information on persons with disabilities to request their inclusion in COVID-19 related programs and policies. The form was developed in the accessible survey platform iData, implemented by IDA.

Medical Dr Andrés Arteaga presented information on COVID-19 and vaccines, helping participants to dispel myths about vaccination from a public health approach. Andrés urged persons with disabilities to give their informed consent for vaccination, and governments to guarantee the development of inclusive vaccination campaigns.

Lucía D'Arino (on behalf of IDA and the World Federation of Deafblind People ( WFDB)) presented the campaign and call to action of IDA and the International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC) for an inclusive vaccination of persons with disabilities. Lucía emphasized IDA and IDDC's call to the UN and Governments to prioritize people with disabilities in their vaccination policies.

Download the Call to Action and find more information about the campaign here

Lucía invited participants to share their experiences through the IDA platform “Voices of people with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic”.

In different rounds of comments, some of the testimonies presented were:

"In Colombia, only persons over 80 years of age with diseases are prioritized, clinics, Medical Staff. He never heard the President talk about the population with disabilities", said Ingrid Falla from Colombia. 

“There is a whole discussion about whether the condition of disability is in itself a factor of vulnerability and, therefore, of prioritization in the vaccination process against COVID 19. It would seem that priority should be given not to people with disabilities as a whole, but to those comorbidities", said Rafael Pabón (Person with disability from Colombia). 

“In Peru, we are divided by groups, we want people with Down syndrome to be prioritized in the first groups. This request is based on a study of Trisonomy 21 Research that indicates that the risk of people with Down Syndrome older than 40 years are equivalent to an older adult who is considered priority vaccination group", said Bryan Gordon (Person with Down Syndrome from Peru).

“In Mexico, the vaccination scheme was misused and people close to the circles of power were vaccinated, leaving vulnerable groups behind. There is no vaccination scheme that includes people with disabilities", said Gabriela Martinez from México. 

"In Uruguay, the first vaccines are arriving, a vaccination plan was announced that begins with the police, military, education and in the next stage health personnel, but people with disabilities have not been mentioned at all", said Adriana Paciel from Uruguay. 

“These days that I have already been vaccinated, I felt very good with my body and very happy because I am already vaccinated. I felt very comfortable. It is important to vaccinate the elderly and other vulnerable people, but also people with disabilities. It is important that we are not afraid",  Jose Miguel Arteaga (Person with Down Syndrome from Perú). 

"People with Down Syndrome usually get respiratory diseases. Studies show that people with Down Syndrome over 40 have the same risks as older adults. We want that in Peru we are included in the same group as the elderly", Bryan Gordon (Person with Down Syndrome from Peru).

>> Learn more about IDA CCOVID-19 Vaccination Campaign here

See more by

Category: COVID-19