Social protection and community support system for inclusion of persons with disabilities


Sign language and captioning provided.

Across the life cycle, all persons have different support requirements to get to school, to work, to carry housework, childcare, etc. Community support services and systems are essential for many persons with disabilities to carry out daily life activities and participate equally in their communities, with choice, dignity, and autonomy. With school closure, dramatic situation in care institutions, disruption of family support, the COVID 19 highlighted the great gap in terms of community support services for children and adults with disabilities and their families in most countries. 

Around the world, at the very least 150 million persons with significant disabilities do not receive the publicly funded supports that they require for basic participation in their communities. This leads to  greater poverty, isolation, risk of violence, abuse, and institutionalisation. The number of people in need of support will dramatically increase with ageing of population. In High Income Countries, investment in community supports are often inadequate and there is also a persistent overreliance on care provision in segregated settings in contravention of the CRPD. In Low-and Middle-Income Countries, formal community supports are under-developed or simply non-existent. The gender inequality implications of the disability support gap are significant as most of the unpaid support is provided by women and girls, with significant impacts on their education, health, income, and life opportunities.

Social protection has a key role to play in supporting reforms and development of community care and support systems either through gate keeping, financing and/or delivering roles. The webinar provided participants with:

  • An overview of how social protection can support development of community support services and systems for persons with disabilities across the life cycle.
  • Lessons learned from reforms for care and support for children with disabilities in Europe and Central Asia
  • Development of personal assistance service for persons with disabilities in Thailand
  • The trends associated with the increasing demand for long term care and support of ageing population
  • The disability and gender consideration in relation to the care economy


  • Alexandre Cote, Disability and Social Protection Policy Specialist, UNICEF
  • Aaron Greenberg, Regional Advisor Child Protection Europe and Central Asia, UNICEF
  • Sawang Srisom, Programme Manager for 'Transportation for All'(T4A), Thailand
  • Meredith Wyse, Senior Social Development Specialist, Asia Development Bank (ADB)
  • Tom Shakespeare, Professor of Disability Research, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Moderator: Felicity O Brien, Social Protection Section, DFAT


This is the fifth webinar of the Disability Inclusive Social Protection Series. The series is organised by Australia DFAT in partnership with the ILO-UNICEF inclusive social protection initiative supported by the UNPRPD COVID-19 joint program.