Updates from College of Health Sciences


Building Disability Inclusion in the Era of the Pandemic


The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated all forms of inequalities and frailties within society, specifically for people with disabilities. It is estimated that there are one billion people with disabilities worldwide, and they are considered among the most excluded groups in our communities.

People with disabilities are among the most affected in this current crisis, with less access to healthcare services, education, employment, and community involvement. This situation has highlighted the importance of disability inclusion.

Disability inclusion is a pivotal part of maintaining human rights, sustainable development, and peace, as emphasized in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Realizing the rights of persons with disabilities is vital for healthy investment in a shared future where no one is left behind.

On the occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, which falls on 3 December each year, let us join together to raise awareness about and support for people with disabilities. Achieving disability inclusion is a priority for the United Nations, especially in this critical period. Therefore, collaboration with organizations representing people with disabilities is essential to building agile societies that are capable of responding to complex and critical situations similar to the one that we are in today.

This year, UNESCO will mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities with a week-long program from 25 November to 3 December 2020 under the theme, ‘Building back better: towards an inclusive, accessible and sustainable post-COVID-19 world by, for and with persons with disabilities.’



Nisreen Alwan, PhD
College of Health Sciences
Abu Dhabi University

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