People with disabilities and COVID-19 in the Americas: past, present and future (Webinar 1)

People with disabilities and COVID-19 in the Americas: past, present and future (Webinar 1)
People with disabilities and COVID-19 in the Americas: past, present and future

Join us in the webinar "People with disabilities and COVID-19 in the Americas: past, present and future", hosted by the Mental Health Unit at the Department of  Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health  on Tuesay, 1 November, from 10:00 a.m. to 12.00 p.m. (EDT). This virtual session, the first of a series of two -the second will take place on 7 December- will explore the the challenges, barriers and lessons learned, current situation and looking to the future for people with disabilities.

How to participate





The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the Region of the Americas. All populations have been impacted, but those with disabilities have been among the most highly affected groups. People with disabilities, who account for around 15% of any population, often face additional barriers to accessing health services including promotion, prevention and treatment. This impacts on people with disabilities ability to achieve their highest attainable standard of health – a right that is specified in article 25 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

In 2021 all Member states passed a WHO resolution aimed at improving health equity for people with disabilities. A global report on health equity and disability is expected to be launched by the WHO in December 2022.


  • To reflect on lessons learned in supporting the health needs of people with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • To consider ongoing needs in relation to COVID-19 including vaccination and ongoing public health measures.
  • To explore how health systems can build forward better to be more inclusive for people with disabilities




  • 10:00 -10:15 Welcome and opening remarks

    • Mrs. Jessie Schutt-Anne, Chief, Equity, Gender and Cultural Diversity.

    • Mr. Juan Ángel de Gouveia, presidente de RIADIS

  • 10:15-11:00 Panel discussion: reflections on the response to COVID-19 for people with disabilities in the Americas

    • Ms Ana Lucía Arellano, ex president, RIADIS.

    • Mr. Kasper Bergmann, Vice-President World Federation of the Deaf.

    • Dr. Gonzalo Laraburre, Special Olympics Latin America.

  • 11:00-11:40 Current situation, ongoing challenges and new initiatives

    • Dr. Oscar Mujica, Epidemiologist, IMST PAHO, Advisor, Social Epidemiology, PAHO.

    • Ms. Danae Rodríguez, The Missing Billion.

    • Mr. Mario Mora and Ms. Julia Barreiro, PAHO Project consultants – PAHO project on vaccines and access.

  • 11:40-11:55 Building forward better

    • Antony Duttine, regional advisor on Disabilities and Rehabilitation, PAHO.

  • 11:55-12:00 Closing remarks

    • Dr. Renato Oliveira e Souza, Unit Chief Mental Health, PAHO.


More information:


Time correspondence


  •   6:00 am.– Los Ángeles
  •   8:00 am. – Belmopan, Calgary, Guatemala City, Mexico City, Managua, San José (CR), San Salvador, Tegucigalpa
  •   9:00 pm. – Bogotá, Panama City, Kingston, Lima, Quito
  • 10:00 am. – Bridgetown, Caracas, Castries, Georgetown, Havana, La Paz, Nassau, Port of Spain, Port-au-Prince, Santo Domingo, San Juan, Washington DC
  • 11:00 am – Asunción, Buenos Aires, Brasilia, Santiago, Montevideo, Paramaribo
  •  3:00 pm. – Geneva, Madrid

For other cities, check the time in the following link