About the “We Can Do” Blog
What is this blog about?
This blog is for anyone who wants to end poverty and oppression for poor disabled people in developing countries.
I plan to cover a wide range of topics.
Often I may simply point to a resource or web site that might be of interest to you.
Other times, I might invite a “guest blogger” to write an essay about something related to disability and poverty in developing countries. (Or disability and education … or health … or microfinance … or water and sanitation … or civil and human rights … or … the list goes on, as long as it relates to people with disabilities in developing countries).
Or I might interview someone who has interesting information, knowledge, or experiences to share about disabilities and poverty or human rights in developing countries.
Or sometimes I might simply express an opinion of my own.
One of my hopes for this blog is that it might become a way to bring together people from around the world from a wide range of backgrounds and interests. In other words:
This blog is for: People with and without disabilities. People in developing countries and in industrialized countries. People who grew up poor (or who are poor now), and people who grew up with all the food, water, clothing, education, health care, and other basic services that they needed.
This includes culturally Deaf, signing people who may not identify as “disabled” at all. As well as deaf or hard of hearing people who do.
This blog is for: People who might know a great deal about international development, but who are still learning about disabilities. I hope this blog can become a resource to you in figuring out how to more actively include people with disabilities (and Deaf/deaf people, “disabled” or not) in your mainstream program activities.
This blog is ALSO for: People who know a great deal about disabilities and disability rights, but who maybe don’t know much about this strange field called “international development” and wonder why they should.
(For now, let me just say two quick things: 1. No, it is NOT just “something to do with economics”! It includes that, yes. But that’s only one dimension of the development field. 2. If you care about disability rights in developing countries, then understanding a little about “international development” and development organizations could still be helpful to your work even if you think you will never do “international development” yourself.)
This blog is for: People who know about disabilities, but who maybe are not yet familiar with the “social model” or the human rights perspective of disability.
I think this is an important concept that anyone working with, or on behalf of, disabled people should be familiar with. And, ideally, live by. I plan to talk a bit about this topic from time to time. But this philosophy will permeate the whole blog even when I don’t refer to it directly.
This blog is for: People who are still new both to disabilities and to development or to developing countries.
This blog is for: People who are already experts in disability and development but who want to learn about best practices being done at other organizations or in other countries. Or who hope to learn about the occasional unfamiliar resource.
This blog is for: Professionals who work in the field of development, particularly professionals in disability and development.
This blog is for: Advocates and activists who volunteer their free time in a non-government organization (NGO) run by (or on behalf of) people with disabilities in developing countries.
This blog is for: Volunteers working with disabled people in developing countries. For example: Peace Corps, VSO, etc.
This blog is for: People who are not yet actively involved in improving the lives of people with disabilities in developing countries, but who would like to be.
This blog is for: People who want to learn from the perspectives of people who come from a different professional or personal background from yours.
To learn more about the “We Can Do” blog, I encourage you to also read the page entitled “Why We Can Do.” This page partly explains why I chose the title “We Can Do” but, more importantly, it explains more about the purpose and driving philosophy behind We Can Do. But first, an extra note:
I am not a knowledge bank! Please understand that I am not directly involved with the overwhelming majority of the great many conferences, job posts, reports, publications, resources, toolkits, and other materials that I write about at We Can Do. Consequently, I am usually not in a position to answer detailed questions about the resources I link to. People who wish to learn more about any of the information I post about at We Can Do should generally examine the page for any and all relevant web links and investigate this information on their own.
In addition to the more obvious URLs (web addresses), I usually also link to important web pages from relevant key words all throughout the web page. For example, if I’m writing about a conference, then usually the title of the conference will take you to the main conference web page; or the word “register” might take you to the registration page for that conference; and so forth. If there are no web links, then look for email addresses, which will generally go to the people best qualified to answer whatever questions you might have about that event, opportunity, or resource.
Learning From You
I look forward to learning from your own perspectives and ideas in the comments area of this blog site, or in the essays you submit as a guest blogger. I hope you will find this blog to be helpful to you in turn.
If you do need to contact me for some reason, then you can do that at ashettle [at] patriot.net.
Learn how to receive an email alert when new material is posted at We Can Do.