In region Resources and in group Resources

All Under One Roof

1.0 Introduction
2.0 Mainstreaming disability inclusion in the shelter and settlements programme cycle
3.0 Design Recommendations and material support
4.0 Considerations based on mode of delivery and forms of tenure
Annex 1 Guiding Frameworks
Annex 2 Terms and definitions
Annex 3 Acronyms and abbreviations
Case study library

Annex 2 Terms and definitions

Accessibility is one of the eight principles that enable the rights affirmed in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to be interpreted. It affirms the right of persons with disabilities to enjoy “access, on an equal basis with others, to the physical environment, to transportation, to information and communications, including information and communications technologies and systems, and to other facilities and services open or provided to the public, both in urban and in rural areas”15. Accessibility is a precondition of inclusion: without it, persons with disabilities cannot be included16. 

Barriers are factors in a person's environment that, through their absence or presence, limit functioning or participation and create disability. Within these guidance materials, factors have been categorised as attitudinal barriers, environmental barriers and institutional barriers17. Examples of barriers are negative attitudes, stigma or bias (attitudinal), inaccessible distribution points, information using only one medium of communication (environmental) lack of disability data in assessments or discrimination in policies or recruitment (institutional). 

Disability inclusion “is achieved when persons with disabilities meaningfully participate in all their diversity, when their rights are promoted and when disability related concerns are addressed in compliance with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities”18. Inclusion involves a rights-based approach to humanitarian programming, aiming to ensure persons with disabilities have equal access to basic services and a voice in the development and implementation of those services. At the same time, it requires that mainstream organisation make dedicated efforts to address and remove barriers. 

Informed consent occurs when “a person willingly agrees to do something or allow something (for example relocation, the communication of personal information) based on full disclosure of the risks, benefits, alternatives and consequences of refusal. Persons with disabilities, particularly those with intellectual and psychosocial impairments, are very often denied the right to express their consent”. 

Organisations of Persons with Disabilities (OPDs) are organisations run and controlled by persons with disabilities, often working to increase awareness and access to services and public life. Not all persons with disabilities are members of OPDs, but the organisations can play an important role in identifying and addressing needs in an emergency. 

Persons with disabilities include those who have “long-term sensory, physical, psychosocial, intellectual or other impairments that, in interaction with various barriers, prevent them from participating in, or having access to, humanitarian programmes, services or protection".19 It is important to recognise that persons with disabilities are a diverse group with different impairments and diverse identities (as women, indigenous persons, children, etc.). Due to the intersectionality of these factors, persons with disabilities may face multiple forms of discrimination. 

Protection is concerned with ensuring the safety, dignity and rights of people affected by disaster or armed conflict are upheld without discrimination. There are four Protection principles that apply and should remain central to all humanitarian action and actors. 1 enhance the safety, dignity and rights of people and avoid exposing them to harm; 2 Ensure people’s access to assistance according to need and without discrimination; 3 Assist people to recover from the physical and psychological effects of threatened of actual violence, coercion or deliberate deprivation; 4 Help people claim their rights. Protection Mainstreaming is the process of incorporating protection principles and promoting meaningful access, safety and dignity in humanitarian activities. 

Reasonable accommodation is defined by the CRPD as necessary and appropriate modification and adjustments not imposing a disproportionate or undue burden, where needed in a particular case, to ensure to persons with disabilities the enjoyment or exercise on an equal basis with others of all human rights and fundamental freedoms20. 

Shelter refers to habitable covered household living space, including the items that are required to support daily activities. Shelter is a key component of emergency response and plays a large role in providing protection, safety and dignity to affected populations. ‘Sheltering’ should be seen a process, not just a product.  

Settlement refers to “the wider locations where people and community live”21. A settlements lens is important to consider the inherent connections between a shelter and not only where it is located, but also the access to services, facilities, along with community and livelihood activities that enable a safe and dignified life. Within these guidelines, settlements recommendations apply to various settlement scenarios, including planned, unplanned or urban settlements. 

Universal design is an approach that advocates that “the design of products, environments, programmes and services [should] be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialised design”22. The principles of universal design facilitate accessibility, including for persons with disabilities. Although this guide promotes accessibility based on universal design principles, the focus is on barrier free design.    

Vulnerability refers to the condition determined by physical, social, economic and environmental factors that impact the ability of an individual, a community or systems to cope with, resist and recover from the impacts of hazards and crisis. It is not a “fixed or static criteon attached to specific categories of people”23. “Persons with disabilities are not inherently vulnerable. Rather, vulnerability is imposed on them, including by barriers and lack of support. Rights-based language usually uses vulnerability with a qualifier. For example, ‘girls with disabilities are more vulnerable to sexual violence when they are separated from family members and caregivers’ or ‘boys with disabilities are more vulnerable to bullying than boys without disabilities”24 

Assistive technology, devices and mobility aids are external products (devices, equipment, instruments, software), specially produced or generally available, that maintain or improve an individual’s functioning and independence, participation, or overall well-being. Examples of assistive devices and technologies include wheelchairs, prostheses, hearing aids, visual aids or ICT equipment and software.