Accessibility issues of persons with disabilities due to COVID-19 pandemic in Nagpur region

Avinash Gawande, Abhijit V. Raut, Sanjay Pusam, Trupti Prabhune


Background: Since the first case of COVID-19 in late January 2020, India has become one of the hardest hit countries by COVID-19 in world. According to 2011 census, the number of PwDs in India is roughly 2.2% of total population which is approximately 26.8 million. They are more vulnerable to COVID-19 infection due to their disability and lack of accessibility to protect them.

Methods: A cross sectional, mixed-methods approach, using a purposive sampling technique, a quantitative survey were adopted for the study.

Results: The study showed that 99% of the participants have access to regular updated knowledge of COVID-19. 74% participants faced scarcity of protective measures, 35% faced scarcity of ration supply, 48% PwDs faced major issues to access screening, testing and treatment facilities in suspected COVID-19 cases. 43% PwDs faced scarcity of access to assistive services and devices. 40% faced issues to get their regular medicines and necessary items like catheters. 86% of the participant faced financial crises due to loss of employment and businesses. Around 16% amongst them faced severe crises which was not possible to manage.

Conclusions: Facing COVID-19 situation is extremely stressful for PwDs. This study was conducted for short period of 4 months so it gives a snapshot of impact of COVID-19 on accessibility issues of PwDs.


Disability, Accessibility, COVID-19 pandemic

Full Text:



Indian Council of Medical Research. Fact sheet: Disability data in India at a glance: key for future policy planning, 2019. Available at: Accessed on 10 February 2021.

WHO. Fact sheet: Disability considerations during the COVID-19 outbreak, 2020. Available at: Accessed on 11 February 2021.

United Nations Human Rights. Fact sheet: COVID-19 and the rights of persons with disabilities: guidance, 2020. Available at: https://www.ohchr. org/Documents/Issues/Disability/COVID-19_and_The_Rights_of_Persons_with_Disabilities.pdf. Accessed on 11 February 2021.

Lebrasseur A, Fortin-Bédard N, Lettre J, Bussières E, Best K, Boucher N, et al. Impact of COVID-19 on people with physical disabilities: A rapid review. Disabil Health J. 2021;14(1):101014.

International Labour Organization. Fact sheet: COVID-19 and the world of work: ensuring the inclusion of persons with disabilities at all stages of the response, 2020. Available at: https://www.ilo. org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---ed_emp/---ifp_skills/documents/publication/wcms_746909.pdf. Accessed on 12 February 2021.

Locked down and left behind. Fact sheet: A Report on the status of persons with disabilities in India during the COVID – 19 crises, 2020. Available at: Accessed on 11 February 2021.

Singh AK, Agrawal B, Sharma A, Sharma P. COVID-19: assessment of knowledge and awareness in indian society. J Public Aff. 2020;27:2354.

Sinha, D. Hunger and food security in the times of COVID-19. J Soc Econ Dev. 2021.

Youth ki Awaz. Fact sheet: Restricted Access To Care In Lockdown Puts People With Disabilities At Risk, 2020. Available at: Accessed on 12 February 2021.

Emerson E, Stancliffe R, Hatton C, Llewellyn G, King T, Totsika V, et al. The impact of disability on employment and financial security following the outbreak of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic in the UK. J Public Health (Oxf). 2021:270.

Fast company. Fact sheet: People with disabilities have been disproportionately affected by the economic impact of COVID-19, 2021. Available at: Accessed on 12 February 2021.

The Times of India. Fact sheet: Excluding the excluded: India’s response to the education of children with disabilities during Covid-19, 2020. Available at: blogs/voices/excluding-the-excluded-indias-response-to-the-education-of-children-with-disabilities-during-covid-19/. Accessed on 13 February 2021.

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Fact sheet: COVID-19 India, 2020. Available at: Accessed on 13 February 2021.