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The social issue of disability at the time of the coronavirus: a new tool the ‘Italian SIPPS Guide on disability protection’

Authors: D'Antonio Carmine,Lelli Romeo

Submission Date: 2021-12-01
Review Date: 2021-12-13
Pubblication Date: 2021-12-27


Before going into the social issues affecting disability, we feel it is our duty to recall the important and valuable contribution made by those who[1] over the years have fought, with courage and determination, to try to overcome the prejudices and barriers that have always conditioned the world of the disabled. Over time, there has been greater visibility and attention to the various problems, which have come under the magnifying glass of the mass media and public opinion in a positive way.

The world is in a phase of profound renewal, due to the unexpected Covid-19 pandemic, which is bringing about drastic changes in our behavior and lifestyle. After the various lockdowns, there has been a renewed desire to grow together and to stand in solidarity with one another, with the aim of overcoming this terrible period and meeting the challenge of restarting, to achieve a rebirth, a new conception of life, a different vision of the world.

In this historical phase, intermediate organizations, starting with the Trade union, have the responsibility and the duty to put human being and his/her needs at the center of everything. Increasingly pronounced sociality can become the key to not remaining isolated or risk ending up under the manipulation and persuasion of influencers. The year 2021 continued to be a critical year with the continuation of the health emergency. The lenses of sustainability and sociality are confirmed to be the levers needed by policymakers to adopt winning strategies.  Every major country has unique vulnerabilities, risk profiles and exposures that need to be governed with unconventional solutions. There is no shortage of alternatives being considered around the world, but it is crucial to understand the importance of preserving and growing public/corporate value through prudent risk management.

A common consciousness matures in times of need, where it is necessary to be there, to become aware and to perceive the human presence with a great sense of closeness. As individuals we often do not have a solution to a profound problem, we need to share and negotiate a solution but everything is difficult and complicated. We can be saved by being present, by listening and showing our interest, by getting involved, by committing ourselves to do what we can to help find new solutions. In a world that no longer exists, the solution to problems lies in doing, in committing ourselves with tenacity and competence. Having the will to grow together in justice, makes the battles won before fighting them.

Today we are called upon to preside over important moments when issues such as difficulties, solidarity, the value of the human person, the spirit of unity, etc. are discussed.

People, for example, trust a doctor if he or she has competence and authority, ability, problem-solving skills, if he or she can read the situations that arise, if he or she has the ability to listen and observe. Only then do people listen to him and trust him fully.

The pediatrician is a fundamentally important figure for children and parents, and an absolute reference in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and management of problems that may arise over the years.

The characterization of a pediatrician consists in the ability to identify the best path to protect their patients.

The coronavirus tragedy has conveyed to us the urgent need to move from the “I” to the “we”.

Communication becomes the absolute means of transmitting the values and ideas that guide the actions of historic organizations and can become the glue with other organizations and forging new relationships. In today’s world, it is essential to be able to communicate effectively in order to reach people’s hearts.

As we live with the Covid-19 epidemic, the ways in which people interact will undergo radical metamorphoses. Agile forms of work have revolutionized everyday working life by overturning established rules and creating the risk of being much more isolated. There will be fewer relationships and friendships and a lot of effort will have to be put into building new ones in the best possible way. We will not go back on what we have learned in this early third decade of the millennium. We will have to come to terms with it.

Precisely because of the enormous uncertainty about what will happen, we see a strong need to put ourselves at the helm of our future.

“The future is wide open, and it depends on us, on all of us. It depends on what you and I and many other men do and will do, today, tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. And what we do and will do depends in turn on our thoughts and desires, our hopes and fears. It depends on how we see the world and how we assess the possibilities of the future that are open to us. (Karl Popper)

This is how the “Intersociety practical guide on safeguarding for disabilities” was born. It is the result of the intuition of two scientific societies, the Italian Society of Preventive and Social Paediatrics, the Italian Society of Paediatrics and IL SENSO DELLA VITA Onlus, as well as the collaboration of professionals who have given concrete form to thoughts, intended to give voice, so that there will always be a beacon to  assist in transforming uncertainty from a threat into a manageable companion for living tomorrow in one’s own family. The Guide contains what families and their doctors should know and is intended to “Train to Inform”.

The Guide is free of charge at links Guida pratica per la tutela delle disabilità – SIPPS

and is aimed at all those who participate, with enthusiasm and optimism, to see in disability a different human path and to draw a line of help that is dedicated to all those who are in or around the world of disability. Disability should no longer be considered as a condition of isolation but should be managed as a normal life path. “Including 360′ is the motto of those who see the need to ask the right questions and get simple answers that can be applied to everyday life for themselves and their loved ones.

A greater diffusion of the culture on disability protection, which is dealt with in many chapters of the Guide, such as Health Care, Civil Disability, The role of the Patronage and of the Third Sector, School, The right to work of disabled people, Taxation, Insurance and Legal Protection, as well as The After Us, appears to be the essential tool to strengthen the resilience of Italian families.

The “Insurance Protection” chapter of the Guide provides a contribution to the debate about what innovative tools are needed in the age of coronavirus to govern the challenge of disability-related needs of the entire family involved. Caring for people with disabilities can involve multiple needs, both during and after the parents’ lifetime.

It follows, therefore, that public policies aimed at facilitating risk management appear necessary, also with regard to adequate insurance coverages for all long-term risks arising from disability.

It is desirable that insurers participate, in a concrete and proactive manner, in investments, services, technologies and infrastructures in order to support the disabled and their families, as well as to develop new ways to achieve a true mutuality of risks.

New horizons are opening up with the adoption of the PNRR, which constitutes a unique opportunity also to address the issue of disabilities and make consistent decisions within the new Italian development model. Overcoming the current shortcomings within a predefined timeframe presupposes that greater attention be paid to the person, to simplification and controllability, to digitalisation/innovation, to the timeliness and effectiveness of measures, to social sustainability, and to ensuring access to public rewards as widely as possible throughout the territory. The opportunity is to give a structural, concrete, pragmatic and systemic response to the shared strategic needs of the world close to disabilities, subsequently providing for their validation and the adoption of a balanced and effective mix of rules, interventions and tools, which are consistent with the effects they produce and provide for easily controllable commitments. In the process, social and economic sustainability, from being a strategic objective, can be a development lever with increased potential through green investments. Obviously, there needs to be a stronger commitment to monitoring criteria, controllable commitments[2] without administrative burdens, underpinning the rules to ensure social sustainability. Interventions aimed at modernizing eco-systems in support of disability require ongoing training processes to ensure that operators are accompanied in the transition process by adequate support aimed at strengthening their skills and professionalism.

The role of the Local Health Authorities, which are present throughout Italy, is fundamental in providing an initial response to families facing disability problems. Targeted training of health personnel and the establishment of a one-stop public guidance center are a necessary condition to be close to disability problems. The definition of a national strategy could identify and classify the specific needs of the most vulnerable geographical areas, carry out validation and consider intervention tools.

The Guide’s initiative can become an important means of activating a profound cultural change in order to disseminate an all-round inclusive message. The call for institutions to take responsibility for forms of public-private cooperation would soon lead to the spread of strengthened eco-systems of economic and social sustainability in this delicate area.

We would like to conclude by expressing our sincere thanks to all those who will disseminate the contents of the Guide, helping and supporting those in need and their families, in order to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities, with the aim of encouraging their integration into society and greater social inclusion.


  1. Alberto Brambilla, Le scomode verità su tasse, pensioni, sanità e lavoro, Solferino, 2020.
  2. Coviello Antonio, D’Antonio Carmine, Di Trapani Giovanni, The mission of the insurance sector in welfare policies – in Rivista elettronica di diritto, economia, management Anno IX, n. 3/2019 Publisher: ClioEdu – Lecce ISSN: 2039-4926
  3. Carmine D’Antonio and Romeo Lelli, L’emozione, la fiducia, il lavoro e il welfare al tempo di Covid-19 in Tempo finanziario, 03/Febbraio/2021, at link
  4. Coviello Antonio, D’Antonio Carmine – Risk Management Sanitario: governo dei rischi e coperture assicurative nel welfare italiano, in Journal of advanced health care Print Publisher: Ordine TSRM PSTRP NA-AV-BN-CE – Napoli. ISSN: 2612-1344   and  https// 
  5. Forum Ania Consumatori – CENSIS, Gli scenari del welfare. From precautionary cash to protection. Franco Angeli 2019.
  6. IntesaSanPaolo RBM Salute, IX Rapporto sulla sanità pubblica, privata e intermediata, Annualità 2019 e 2020. ISBN: 978-88-944209-9-9
  7. Il settore assicurativo asset strategico della ripresa. Il ruolo di IVASS, catalizzatore del rilancio. Intervista al Segretario Generale Stefano De Polis a margine della presentazione della Relazione Annuale IVASS 2020, – NOTIZIESNFIA, luglio 2020,
  8. Carmine D’Antonio and Romeo Lelli, IVASS. Prime misure nel mercato assicurativo per l’emergenza da Covid-19, in Notiziario SNFIA. April 2020, at link
  9. Speech of Daniele Franco, President of IVASS, at ANIA’s General Meeting, 19 October 2020,
  10. Speech by the Secretary General Stefano De Polis at the XXVI Conference RIB-Assigeco “Covid-19: danger overcome or looming threat? Medium-term sustainability for the financial industry (banks, insurers, reinsurers)”, 22 October 2020,
  11. Carmine D’Antonio, Which relaunch for the welfare in Italy post Covid-19? in Journal of Advanced Health Care at link Which relaunch for the welfare in Italy post Covid-19? | Journal of Advanced Health Care ( , DOI:
  12. Carmine D’Antonio and Romeo Lelli, Considerazioni economico-sociali e sul lavoro nel post Covid-19, in Tempo finanziario, 26/April/2021, at link
  13. Carmine D’Antonio, L’Assicurazione come mezzo per la resilienza finanziaria delle famiglie con disabilità, in Notizie SNFIA Anno XXVI N. 99 3°Trimestre 2021, at link


  • [1]We remember for all Minister Antonio Guidi.
  • [2]It is a crucial element in declining proposals, fundamental both because it is an element of simplification for the productive world and for the public administration, useful to avoid financial corrections by the European Commission, due to the difficulty or impossibility of satisfying the conditions of controllability imposed in order not to damage the community budget. Therefore, in the new choices it will be necessary to consider that if something cannot be controlled, it cannot be implemented either.