Background The global Covid-19 pandemic disrupted services for children with disabilities and their families, leading families, clinicians, and researchers working in the field of childhood disability, to rapidly re-evaluate and adapt interventions. To understand the impact of Covid-19 on children and families across the globe, and assist clinicians around the world in adapting and adjusting to new ways of delivering services which would continue to meet families’ need in local contexts, the Global Professional Education Committee of the International Alliance of Academies of Childhood Disability (IAACD) established a Covid-19 Task force. The task force comprised three subgroups, one of which was responsible for collecting and disseminating relevant service innovation and information via webinars. The subgroup represented 7 academies and 14 countries.
To understand the impact of COVID-19 on service delivery from clinicians’, researchers’, and families’ perspectives
To provide a mechanism for rapid sharing of useful multi-disciplinary knowledge and practice across the globe
To understand how shared learning could be adapted to local contexts
To build a global network of professionals supporting children with disability able to rapidly share knowledge and practice
Methods Recognising that there was no experience or established best practice in a pandemic, the group decided the appropriate mechanism for sharing and collating knowledge and experience was the development of a Listening and Sharing platform, rather than merely disseminating knowledge via webinars. The group produced guidelines on how member countries/academies could organise online Listening and Sharing sessions for their regions. These were shared on the IAACD website. Several online Listening and Sharing sessions took place around the world culminating in a 24-hour global Listening and Sharing session on World CP day 2020. Sessions from this 24-hour event were recorded and posted on the IAACD website with open access to facilitate further sharing and to create a freely available resource.
The work of the Listening and Sharing subgroup culminated in
The creation of a freely available online resource
2204 people registered for Listening and Sharing sessions
19 sessions held in 6 languages
18 disciplines attended
ResultsFeedback forms were sent after the 24h event and responses analysed (n=21). Responses covered 5 continents and 12 countries (limited by only being available in English and sent out some time after the event).
Conclusions Listening and Sharing sessions provided a useful format to rapidly share issues, ideas, and good practice across disciplines and around the globe. This format proved easy for all to engage with and may be useful as a future tool for rapid communication and sharing of knowledge, experience, and skills. Listening and Sharing sessions may be particularly useful where acquisition and transfer of knowledge is time critical. The Global Task Force was very active during the first phase of the pandemic but not during the second wave which may be an indication of people being better prepared.
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