On 5th of October 2021, the EUD attended a webinar event during the United Nations World Data Forum entitled ‘Innovative responses to data collection about and by persons with disabilities in the time of COVID-19’. The event was organised by the Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities (SGPwD), the International Disability Alliance (IDA), the World Blind Union, and CBM Global Disability Inclusion. The webinar aimed to promote the disaggregation of data collection for persons with disabilities through community-based processes.
Jose Viera, CEO at the World Blind Union, presented the Data Disability Toolkit created by the SGPwD, the IDA and the CBM Global Disability Inclusion. Launched in 2020, the toolkit is designed to provide people with a better understanding of data on disability through case studies and practical experiences.
Laisa Vereti, Director of Operations at the Pacific Disability Forum, stated that we must produce statistical data in order to mobilise the funding for policy and programme intervention and the implementation of the UNCRPD. The data can help with ensuring participation, pushing for the removal of barriers, and advocating for the inclusion of persons with disabilities. Mrs Vereti described the data collection process called the ‘Washington Group Short Set of Questions’ which was used to engage with disabled people in the Pacific Islands. These questions were included in the census that every Pacific Island government has held since 2015. She concluded on the importance of collaboration and partnerships with organisations and government at the national and international levels to ensure full data collection.
A participant raised the issue of persons with deafblindness in India facing challenges in being included in the national census, citing language and communication barriers which have led to a lack of data. Facundo Chávez Pinellas, Human Rights & Disability Adviser at United Nations Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights, underlined the importance of ensuring that the dissemination of information and access to data complies with Article 31 of the UNCRPD, which states that the information must be in accessible formats for all people.
The event highlighted the importance of disaggregated data when making national policies. The EUD believes it is critical to advocate for better quality data collection as one of the best ways to increase accessibility for deaf people. The result of the event is that the office of the High Commissioner will be drafting their first report on the human-rights-based approach to data, looking at the UNCRPD.