Nothing without us: Towards inclusive, equitable policy strategies for youth with disabilities and their families post-COVID19

Zwicker, Jennifer D | $149,950

Alberta The University of Calgary 2021 CIHR Operating Grant

Persons with disabilities and their caregivers are an at-risk population in the COVID‑19 pandemic who’s mental health has been disproportionately impacted by the policy measures adopted in response. Given the increased risk for this vulnerable population during the pandemic and existing higher rates of mental health concerns, policy and services that are not designed to meet the needs of people with disabilities and their families can add to or create mental health concerns. Addressing these risks in the spirit of « Nothing Without Us » and the Accessible Canada Act, and in recognition of Canada’s domestic and international human rights obligations is critical. Unfortunately, there is inadequate data collection and insufficient policy planning and response for people with disabilities. The goal of this project is to identify policy responses established during the COVID‑19 outbreak in Canada and internationally that promote resilience and address mental health challenges and needs of youth with disabilities and their families. To achieve this we will: 1) Identify and analyze COVID‑19 policy priorities for recovery for a disability inclusive approach and promote health/resilience in youth and families in provincial/territorial and federal jurisdictions and alignment with United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) and the WHO’s recovery recommendations; 2) Prioritize equitable COVID‑19 policy priorities for recovery with youth and families based on identified needs and experiences with COVID‑19 provincial/territorial policies of youth with disabilities and their families in every Canadian province and territory; 3) Co-design and mobilize COVID‑19 policy priorities for recovery recommendations that are inclusive, equitable, and evidence-informed with stakeholders to meet health needs, mitigate harms, and promote well-being for youth with disabilities and their families for systems-level policy impacts across Canada

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