Pandemic Portraits – An intersectional analysis of the experiences of people with disabilities and caregivers during COVID-19 in Bangladesh and Liberia
COVID-19 significantly affected people with disabilities, with many facing additional barriers in access to services and increased risks of poor health and social outcomes. Focusing on the impact of COVID-19 in the Global South, this study took place in Bangladesh and Liberia, where 14% and 16% of the population are thought to live with disabilities. However, there is minimal research on the needs and experiences of this population group and how these are shaped by intersecting axes of inequity. Furthermore, disabled people are often excluded from being actively involved in research. To address these evidence gaps, we used the creative participatory method of photovoice remotely to document experiences of COVID-19 through the lens of people with physical and psychosocial disabilities and their caregivers as co-researchers. The findings present themes relating to inaccessibility, social connection, hopes and fears. The nexus between disability and poverty was exacerbated for many in both settings, while psychosocial impacts of COVID-19 included increased stigmatisation and isolation. However, themes of faith, support and adaptability were also highlighted in stories of community care, nature and healing. Photovoice, through imagery and storytelling, was a powerful tool in prioritising the voices of disabled people, adding to an evidence base to inform inclusive pandemic responses.
Chowdhury S, Urme SA, Nyehn BA Jr., Mark HR Sr., Hassan MT, Rashid SF, Harris NB, Dean L. Pandemic Portraits—An Intersectional Analysis of the Experiences of People with Disabilities and Caregivers during COVID-19 in Bangladesh and Liberia. Social Sciences. 2022; 11(9):378. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11090378