How did Covid-19 affect persons with disability?

The Covid-19 pandemic is having an impact on the mental health of persons with disability. This emerged from a University study which is expected to be published in the coming days and which proposes a consultation with persons with disability on the Covid mitigation measures to avoid discrimination and disadvantage due to the pandemic measures being adopted.

The Commissioner for the Rights of Persons with Disability, Oliver Scicluna, said that the partial lockdown continued to increase the challenges that persons with disability are currently facing.

“Persons with disability who lack intellectual abilities, those on the spectre of autism, those with lack of mental health…these were in a partial lockdown at the time. Because of their home restrictions, they breached their routine, their socialization with others decreased and had a psychological impact on the family”.

Mr Scicluna added that the impact was also felt in the education of persons with disability. “As schools closed in March and reopened in October…there we saw many persons with disability, those who did not have adequate assistance”.

The 30 recommendations proposed by the study include the psychological support for persons with disability and their relatives and also consultation with persons with disability on new preventive measures.

“As regards to public health, I think that an expert should be appointed in the disability sector to ascertain that decisions will be taken correctly on the rights of persons with disability. This action is not yet in place because measures would have been more in line and we would not have to single out many issues”.

The study, compiled by the Faculty for the Wellbeing of Society in collaboration with the Commission for the Rights of Persons with Disability, called for more awareness on persons with disability so that the needs of this minority are considered when important decisions are taken in society.