COVID-19 as social disability: the opportunity of social empathy for empowerment

Catherine Holloway, Malcolm MacLachlan, Emma M. Smith, Ikenna D. Ebuenyi, Rune Jenson, Lucía D'Arino
July 23, 2020
Academic Research Publications

A commentary from authors on COVID-19 as social disability.


  • COVID-19 has conferred new experiential knowledge on society and a rare opportunity to better understand the social model of disability and to improve the lives of persons with disabilities.

  • The COVID-19 experience may offer contextual knowledge of the prepandemic lives of persons with disabilities and foster greater social awareness, responsibility and opportunities for change towards a more inclusive society.

  • Information, family and social relationships, health protection and healthcare, education, transport and employment should be accessible for all groups of the population. The means must be developed and deployed to ensure equity – the deployment of resources so that people with different types of needs have the same opportunities for living good lives in inclusive communities.

  • We have learnt from COVID-19 that inclusive healthcare and universal access should be the new normal, that its provision as a social good is both unifying and empowering for society as a whole.

Read the commentary in full following the publisher link to BMJ Global Health