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NEWS: Violence Against Disabled Denounced by Albanian Disability Rights Foundation (English and në gjuhën shqipe)

Posted on 29 May 2009. Filed under: Blind, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Human Rights, News, Violence | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

në gjuhën shqipe

Tirana, May 22nd, 2009
PRESS RELEASE

Albanian Disability Rights Foundation denounces the violence towards people with disability

Albanian Disability Rights Foundation (ADRF), through this declaration expresses the indignation on the violence exercised on May 21st, 2009 during the peaceful protest organized by blind people in front of the Government Building.

ADRF, expresses its concern for the violence of integrity and dignity of blind people, an action that was done in presence of staff of authorities responsible to guarantee the order and security of the Albanian citizens. Such acts, confirm once again the multiple discrimination and human rights violation faced by people with disability especially women with disability in Albania.

ADRF strongly denounces the act of violence and demand from the Albanian Government to take all measures to punish the person conducting this act and requires compensation to the person to whom violence was exercised.

ADRF makes an appeal to the Albanian Government to undertake in the future concrete measures that aim to eliminate discriminatory situations, to guarantee observance of human rights to all categories of people with disability on equal bases to all Albanian citizens.

ADRF
www.adrf.org.al
Tel: (04) 2269426
Rr: “Bogdani” (ish-A.Z.Çajupi) Pall. 15 Kt i 3, Tirane, Albania

Tiranë më 22.05.2009
DEKLARATE PËR SHTYP

FSHDPAK dënon dhunën e ushtruar ndaj Personave me aftësi të kufizuara në shikim

Fondacioni Shqiptar për të Drejtat e Personave me Aftësi të Kufizuara (FSHDPAK), me anë të kësaj deklarate shpreh indinjatën e thellë për dhunën e ushtruar në datë 21.05.2009, gjatë protestës së organizuar nga personat me aftësi të kufizuar në shikim, përpara selisë së Këshillit të Ministrave.

FSHDPAK, shpreh shqetësimin për cënimin e integritetit dhe dinjitetit të kategorisë të personave me aftësi të kufizuar në shikim, ndodhur për më tepër në prani të organeve të mbrojtjes së rendit dhe sigurisë të shtetasve Shqiptarë. Akte të tilla konfirmojnë edhe njëhërë diskriminimin e shumfishtë dhe shkeljen e të drejtave themelore të njeriut ndaj personave me aftësi të kufizuara dhe në mënyrë të veçantë ndaj grave me aftësi të kufizuara.

FSHDPAK, dënon me forcë aktin e dhunshëm dhe kërkon nga Qeveria Shqiptare marrjen e të gjitha masave për dënimin e dhunuesit dhe dëmshpërblimin e personit ndaj të cilit u ushtrua dhunë.

FSHDPAK, gjithashtu, kërkon të tërheqë vëmendjen e qeverisë Shqiptare për ndërrmarjen në të ardhmen të masave konkrete me synim eleminimin e situatave të tilla diskriminuese, garantimin dhe respektimin e të të drejtave themelore të njeriut për të gjitha kategoritë e personave me aftësi të kufizuar, si pjesë e rëndësishme në shoqërinë Shqiptare.

FSHDPAK
www.adrf.org.al
Tel: (04) 2269426
Rr: “Bogdani” (ish-A.Z.Çajupi) Pall. 15 Kt i 3, Tirane, Shqiperi



We Can Do received this press release via the Asia Pacific Disability email discussion group.

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Tirana, May 22nd, 2009

PRESS RELEASE

Albanian Disability Rights Foundation denounces the violence towards people with disability

Albanian Disability Rights Foundation (ADRF), through this declaration expresses the indignation on the violence exercised on May 21st, 2009 during the peaceful protest organized by blind people in front of the Government Building.

ADRF, expresses its concern for the violence of integrity and dignity of blind people, an action that was done in presence of staff of authorities responsible to guarantee the order and security of the Albanian citizens. Such acts, confirm once again the multiple discrimination and human rights violation faced by people with disability especially women with disability in Albania.

ADRF strongly denounces the act of violence and demand from the Albanian Government to take all measures to punish the person conducting this act and requires compensation to the person to whom violence was exercised.

ADRF makes an appeal to the Albanian Government to undertake in the future concrete measures that aim to eliminate discriminatory situations, to guarantee observance of human rights to all categories of people with disability on equal bases to all Albanian citizens.

ADRF

http://www.adrf.org.al
Tel: (04) 2269426
Rr: “Bogdani” (ish-A.Z.Çajupi) Pall. 15 Kt i 3, Tirane, Albania

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JOB POST: QuickBooks Training for Sub Grantees, Kenya, Handicap International, Dec 15-19, 2008

Posted on 5 December 2008. Filed under: Announcements, autism, Blind, Call for Nominations or Applications, Cross-Disability, Deaf, Health, HIV/AIDS, Jobs & Internships, Opportunities, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

This short-term consultancy position requires someone to provide a five-day training workshop in the use of QuickBooks from December 15 to 19, 2008. Profiles and proposals must be submitted by December 10, 2008.

TERMS OF REFERENCE: QUICKBOOKS TRAINING FOR THE SUB GRANTEES

BACKGROUND

HANDICAP INTERNATIONAL (HI) is an international NGO engaged in the field of disability and development. A strong emphasis, however, is placed on empowering people with disabilities through their integration into mainstream development activities and the provision of appropriate health and rehabilitation services to ensure equal opportunities for all.

Currently, HI is working with 6 partner organizations in the USAID/AED funded projects in the field of Disability and HIV & AIDS. The group represents a cross section of disabilities including the deaf, blind and low vision, physically and intellectually disabled.

The main thematic areas of the project activities include;
• Policy and advocacy
• Behavior change communication
• Appropriate IEC materials for the PWD
• Stigma reduction

One focus of the project is to provide technical support, build the capacities of the partner organization and provide funding to enable them implement HIV& AIDS activities.

JUSTIFICATION

Good financial management practice helps an organization to attain effective and efficient use of resources and be more accountable to donors and other stakeholders. Hence, HI would wish to commission training in QuickBooks for her partners as a requisite to ensuring quality and accurate financial record keeping and reporting on usage of donor funding. HI further wishes to install QuickBooks accounting packages for all the partner organizations that are not yet compliant to the package and final set up a cut-off period for compliance by all the organization.

BACKGROUND OF PARTNER ORGANIZATIONS

We have detailed as underneath a brief profile of each of the organizations that we are currently collaborating with as a basis of your understanding the scope of each partner. However, it may be worth noting that the proposed training may also include other partners we are yet to bring on board.

DDSHG (DANDORA DEAF SELF HELP GROUP)

Dandora is an organisation of deaf people that was formed over 10 years ago; Structural formation was very minimal in the initial years. Thus, Handicap international organized governance training which has since increased cohesiveness among the group membership. This is expressed through an increase of paid membership, while several board members who were also employees of the organization resigned as employees to pave for a clear segregation of interests. The organization is situated in Dandora area of Nairobi province.

On overall, the organization has sound and consistent financial management and reporting systems. In the period under review the organization was funded to a tune of Ksh. 1,996,453.00 (one million nine hundred ninety six thousand four hundred fifty three only)

BLINK (Blind and Low Vision Network)

Blink’s beneficiaries are primarily blind and/or persons with very low vision. A key issue for this organisation is that their beneficiaries are in different geographical locations. However, they have focal persons in each district that they meet weekly to discuss the needs of the communities. The board members are also representatives of different Community Based Organizations. They function as resource persons and may have their expenses reimbursed and allowances for services provided.

The organisation refers to itself as a Community Based Organization network that helps the individual Community Based Organisations provide support and care to their communities through awareness creation activities on HIV/AIDS. The discussions in the communities are generally broader than the HIV/AIDS, so the meetings are used as an opportunity to discuss other issues.

Blink has received training in project design and management including M&E frameworks, resource mobilisation, programme reporting, financial management, and managing special needs projects (e.g. reproductive health, HIV/AIDS counselling for disabled people, VCT testing). The counsellors are now better equipped to inform visually impaired people about their test results. Their reporting has also improved.

As regards the governance function, both board members and staff members now understand their roles and what is expected of them thanks to the capacity building initiatives by HI. The board members are also informed about the organisation’s activities by the Director on a regular basis.

The backbone of the spending in the organization is mainly logistical, thus the need for well tailored internal checks and balances mechanism that ensures prudence in the commitment of expenditure. In the current grant period the organisation was obligated to spend Ksh.2,728,962.00(two million seven hundred twenty eight thousand nine hundred sixty two only).

KEDAN (Kenya Disabled Action Network)

KEDAN is a youth organisation which is only 4 years old and covers several types of disability, contrary to most of the other disabled people’s organisations that target a particular category of disability (blind, deaf, physically impaired, and albinos – for capacity reasons they are currently unable to include mentally handicapped. The organisation started out with mobilisation, awareness creation and experience sharing and has only actively implemented programme activities since 2005. . They have developed an action plan for the next couple of years which they intend to implement, despite their limited resources, with the help of their motivated supporters.

As regards the needs of the organisation, KEDAN’s staff feels that they need to strengthen their competencies in the area of resource mobilisation, in particular proposal writing. They also need help to manage their existing resources better. Finally, they wish to develop their staff competencies in areas such as leadership and management, IT, and income generating activities.

In the current grant period the group is obligated to spend Ksh. 2,388,811.00 (two million three hundred eighty eight thousand eight hundred and eleven only).

NFSS (Nairobi Family Support Services)

NFSS was started in 1982 by Actionaid and registered as a local NGO in 1996. The Programme Coordinator has been the leader ever since. The organisation receives funding from HI France and from the AED-programme and is also supported by Sense International and the Liliane Foundation.

The mission of the organisation is to raise awareness on HIV-AIDS and disability through their work with community groups and attempt to change the stigma of disabled people in the community and their low-self esteem. The peer educators meet twice a month to exchange experiences.

NFSS has strong networking capacity. The organisation partners with different institutions, especially through referrals: the Liliane foundation (support for disabled people’s surgery), specialised schools (educational assessment), the Ministry of Health, government hospitals, networks of therapists. This gives the organisation high credibility in the communities.

NFSS would like to support “merry-go-rounds” (revolving credit systems), but as most of their beneficiaries are not working, it is difficult to collect the funds.

Until 2005, Action Aid funded a microfinance programme for the parents of disabled children. These loans were considered by some as grants. After having received several loans, and hence being allowed to loan greater sums, gradually, some of the beneficiaries disappeared with their funds. Only about 50% of these parents are able to continue repaying their microloans.

NFSS has an internal control manual but it has not enhanced its usage. There is therefore need to educate the staff on the importance of these procedures and its implementation. In the current grant period the organization is obligated to spend Ksh. 2,211,847.00 (two million two and eleven thousand eight hundred forty seven only).

DIGROT (Disabled Group of Trans Nzoia)

DIGROT was started in 1990 as a self help group of 50 members on the concept of a merry go round. Since 1998, the group has operated a bank account with Kenya Commercial Bank, Kitale Branch. The group started a micro finance lending system; Members were given loans of ksh.500 to Ksh 2,000 at an interest rate of 10% p.a.

In 2000, they received a grant from District Social Development Officer (Poverty Eradication Programme) which they used to loan their members. 14 members were successfully loaned through this programme and 7 defaulted to repay back. DIGROT was trained by HI in 2004 on micro-credit management.

In the year 2001-2003 they approached HI on HIV/AIDS awareness and in 2004 they wrote a proposal to HI on HIV and AIDS and Disability which was funded in May 2006.

DIGROT has representatives from different locations in Trans Nzoia district and was registered as a Community based Organization (CBO) in 2007. DIGROT is a network of DPOs (Disabled Persons Organizations) in Trans Nzoia district and usually conducts quarterly meetings with representatives from these DPOs.

It currently has 224 registered members and each member pays 524 shillings registration fee with a renewal fee of 200 shillings annually. Not all members are fully registered and the money is kept in a savings account.

The organization lacked well defined operational systems and procedures but has been subjected to vigorous capacity building initiatives, the organizations has also just finalized a recruitment exercise where competent and qualified staff have been brought on board.

In the current partnership agreement the organization is obligated to spend Ksh. 1,131,139.00 (one million one thirty one thousand one hundred thirty nine only)

UDPK (United Disabled Persons of Kenya)

United Disabled Persons of Kenya (UDPK) is an umbrella network of persons with disability in Kenya and was established in 1989 with a membership of the following organizations – Kenya Union of the Blind (KUB), Kenya National Association of the Deaf (KNAD) and Kenya Society of the Physically Handicapped (KSPH), Kenya Society for the Mentally Handicapped (KSMH). Kenya Autism Society joined later to champion issues of parents of mentally challenged Albinos and autism.

Currently UDPK has about 200 member organizations. UDPK was formed so that disabled persons could be united and speak with one voice, advocacy and lobbying remains the core objective.

Membership is both by organizations of and for disabled person. UDPK has five full time staff and 13 Field Officers working in different regions and is headquartered in Westlands, along Waiyaki Way. The mission of UDPK is to unite all persons, groups of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) to advocate for disability issues on a united front. The vision for the organization is a barrier free society where Persons with Disabilities (PWDS) enjoy access to services in all spheres of life.

In the current grant agreement the organization is mandated to spend Ksh.2, 542,345.00 (two million five forty two thousand three hundred forty five only).

GENERAL OBJECTIVE

The general objective of this consultancy is to conduct an application based QuickBooks Training for management and finance staff of Handicap International partners so as to reflect through proper recording keeping and accurate financial reporting an accountable and effective use of donor funds as outlined in the individual budgets of the funded organizations and based on properly defined internal control systems, proper administrative and logistical management.

SPECIFIC OBJECTIVE
• To design and develop a training programme that will equip the trainees with relevant skills and knowledge in Quickbooks

PROPOSED METHODOLOGY

HI proposes to hold a five day residential application based training for management and financial staff from each of the partnering organizations.

HI also proposes that the consulting firm shall at all times seek clarifications and/or guidelines from HI on all issues that are not clear and/or appear ambiguous in their opinion. For the purposes of this Training, the contact person for HI is Mr. Erick Karani, the Project Finance Officer.

TASKS OF THE CONSULTANT

1. Development of a training curriculum that shall conform to the afore-mentioned specific and general objectives and/or all other related aspects of QuickBooks financial package.

2. Carry out an evaluation of the training and produce a training report.

EXPECTED RESULTS

At the end of the training, the trainees will be able to:-
• Explain the essence and challenges of QuickBooks.
• Understand the usage and benefits of QuickBooks in financial management.
• Establish the relationship between QuickBooks reports and external reporting.
• Outline the QuickBooks main menu.
• Set up Accounts in the Quickbooks software
• Key in data and prepare accounting documents.
• Record General Journals.
• Prepare Bank Reconciliations.
• Develop Internal and Donor Reporting formats.
• Prepare monthly/annually reports.
• Correct Errors.

TIME FRAME

The training is expected to commence on 15th and end on 19th December, 2008 close of business.

QUALIFICATIONS

The consultant should have :-
• Relevant educational back ground and experience in teaching QuickBooks in a reputable institution.
• Relevant experience in working as a consultant/ lecturer is added advantage.
• Excellent analytical, writing and communication/facilitation skills.

APPLICATION PROCESS

All interested applicants must submit their profiles and proposals on or before 10th December, 2008 5.00 pm by email to the Project Finance Officer at: ekarani@handicap-international.or.ke

The email subject line should be marked: “QuickBooks training for the Sub grantees”



I received this announcement via the Global Partnership for Disability and Development (GPDD) mailing list. All inquiries and applications should please be directed to Handicap International as instructed above, NOT to We Can Do.

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JOB POST: Institional Capacity Builder with Specialty in Visual Impairment; Sucre, Bolivia

Posted on 4 December 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Blind, Capacity Building and Leadership, Jobs & Internships, Latin America & Caribbean, Opportunities | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Institutional Capacity Builder with Speciality in Visual Impairment
Instituto Boliviano de la Ceguera, Chuquisaca (IBC Ch), Sucre, Bolivia

Instituto Boliviano de la Ceguera, Chuquisaca (IBC Ch), is one of four organisations supported by Irish Aid through a project promoting the social inclusion of disabled people into local and national development processes in Bolivia. Your role at IBC Ch will be to provide guidance in aspects of institutional strengthening, including developing more effective tools for planning, implementing and evaluating activities; awareness raising; training workshops on specific themes (eg Braille, computers, leadership, basic accounting); developing a virtual library; strengthening coordination and networking with other institutions; and liaising with the other three partners of the Irish Aid project. You should be educated to postgraduate level with qualifications related to disability and devleopment, with a minimum of three years’ work experience incorporating work with blind/visually impaired individuals, project management (design, implementation, M & E), facilitation and training, and, ideally, conflict resolution. You should have solid spoken/written Spanish skills and a willingness to learn Quechua, together with proven adaptability/flexibility, and a demonstrable understanding of/commitment to the situation of disabled people in Bolivia. (REF: BOL/52)
Slideshare presentation: http://isbolivia.org/blog/?page_id=5

Conditions of Service: minimum 2-year contract, living allowance (4500Bs/month – approx $600), accommodation, return travel, medical and personal insurance, outfit (£500) and resettlement (£2100) grants.

How to apply: application form and job description available from www.internationalservice.org.uk or applications@internationalservice.org.uk.

If you would like to receive the application form and/or job description in a different format (CD/tape/Braille/large print), or would like to discuss anything further, please contact Stella Hobbs, Recruitment Coordinator, at shobbs@internationalservice.org.uk

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NEWS: Tanzanians with Albinism Regularly Murdered

Posted on 2 November 2008. Filed under: Blind, News, Sub-Saharan Africa Region, Violence | Tags: , , , , , , |

In some countries, it is believed that people with albinism have magical powers. This can sometimes lead to the murder of people with albinism so that their body parts can be sold to witch doctors for use in their potions.

Albinism is a condition that causes lack of pigmentation (coloration) in the hair, skin, and eyes; most people with albinism have some degree of vision impairment, and many are legally blind.

Read more about a series of murders committed against people with albinism in Tanzania–and what is being done to stop them–at http://www.underthesamesun.com/home.php

People may sign a petition protesting these murders at http://tinyurl.com/4wk5za



I learned about this story, and the petition, via the Disabled Peoples’ International email newsletter.

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NEWS: Jamaica HIV & AIDS Program Includes Disabled People

Posted on 2 October 2008. Filed under: Blind, Cross-Disability, Deaf, Health, HIV/AIDS, Inclusion, Latin America & Caribbean | Tags: , , , , |

The United Nations AIDS (UNAIDS) program in Jamaica has been taking action to ensure that people with disabilities are not left behind in HIV/AIDS education efforts. Initiatives include providing materials in Braille for blind people and incorporating sign language into television public service announcements for deaf people. Read more detail about the project at:

http://www.unaids.org/en/KnowledgeCentre/Resources/FeatureStories/archive/2008/20080905_disability_hiv_jamaica.asp

Learn more about HIV/AIDS in relation to people with disabilities, and some of the resources available to help, by clicking on HIV/AIDS in the pull-down menu under “Topics/Categories” in the right-hand navigation bar.



I learned about this project via a recent issue of the Disabled Peoples International electronic newsletter.

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Deafblind International Conferences in September 2009 and in 2011

Posted on 30 September 2008. Filed under: Blind, Deaf, Events and Conferences, South Asian Region | Tags: , , , , , |

The organization Deaf Blind International is currently in the planning stages for two conferences within the next few years.

The first of these will be The Deafblind International 7th European Conference 2009. The theme of this conference will be “Tides, waves and currents in research and action”, and it will be held September 22 to 27, 2009 in Senigallia, Italy. More detail will be made available at www.dbiconference2009.it

The second of these will be the 15th Deafblind InteWorld Conference to be held in Delhi, India in 2011. Details are not yet available. But people interested in attending can keep watching http://www.deafblindinternational.org/standard/conferences.html for forthcoming details. An announcement will be posted there after it becomes available.



Thank you to Ricard Lopez for alerting me to these two conferences.

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Three JOB POSTS with Hellen Keller International

Posted on 16 September 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Blind, Health, Jobs & Internships, Opportunities, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , |

Three Positions with Helen Keller International
Three separate job positions are described below, all with the organization Helen Keller International; two are in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; the third is in New York City, USA. Please apply directly with Helen Keller International, NOT We Can Do.

Tanzania Senior Nutrition Coordinator/Africa Regional VAS M/E Advisor
Country Director, Tanzania
Director, Human Resources, New York City

Tanzania Senior Nutrition Coordinator/Africa Regional VAS M/E Advisor
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Helen Keller International (HKI) is a non-governmental organization whose mission is to save the sight and lives of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged by combating the causes and consequences of blindness and malnutrition. We do this by establishing programs based on evidence and research in vision, health and nutrition. HKI invites applications for
the position of Tanzania Senior Nutrition Coordinator/Africa Regional Vitamin A Supplementation (VAS) Monitoring and Evaluation (M/E) Advisor, based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Scope of Position: Tanzania Senior Nutrition Coordinator
responsibilities include: Ensure effective project planning, management and implementation by the HKI Tanzania Nutrition Team to achieve the objectives agreed to
in grants and contracts for HKI Tanzania’s nutrition and child survival projects. Provide technical expertise to the HKI Tanzania program and collaborating partners in nutrition, behavior change communication (BCC), training, facilitation and curriculum development. Serve as lead liaison with government officials, international and non-governmental organizations, technical advisory groups and other in nutrition and child survival.

Lead the development of all materials/tools for BCC, training, budgeting/planning and for any other requirements. Design and oversee training and capacity development workshops for nutrition and child survival within HKI and at the district, regional and national level. Develop concept papers, proposals and donor reports and document HKI’s experiences in nutrition and child survival.

Africa Regional VAS M/E Advisor responsibilities include: Provide technical support and leadership to Africa country offices implementing VAS programs in collaboration with the regional and deputy regional directors and Headquarters program staff. Ensure all aspects of VAS program planning, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation are in line with grant requirements. Particular focus will be on monitoring and evaluation to inform country programs’ moving to goal of universal coverage. Ensure that the quality, impact, scale and cost-effectiveness of HKI’s VAS programs meet standards. Take lead on consolidating country reporting into regional reports to donors and for internal audiences. Represent HKI at relevant
regional and international meetings. Maintain and further the Agency’s international role in VAS by assisting country offices to document and publish/present relevant programmatic findings and lessons learned.

REQUIREMENTS: Doctoral degree in the field of nutrition or public health
and at least 7 years related experience, including strong quantitative analytic skills, ideally including development and management of nutrition programs, especially those related to micronutrients. Strong technical knowledge of nutrition programs in the developing world, particularly sub-Saharan Africa including demonstrated ability to track and disseminate new developments in the field. Outstanding analytic skills. Two years of work experience in the areas of training, curriculum and BCC materials development. Outstanding oral and written communication skills in English; Kiswahili an advantage.

Proven ability to lead, conceptualize, develop, plan and manage programs.

Proven ability to supervise, impart knowledge, facilitate and train.

Computer literate in use of statistical software, spreadsheets and word-processing. Experience in publishing papers and writing for scientific journals. Ability to undertake regional and local travel (approximately 25-40%). Terms of Employment: Two-year contract renewable upon mutual agreement.

How to Apply: Interested candidates should submit: (1) cover letter; (2) current curriculum vitae in English; (3) a short writing sample (2-3 pages) in English, to Ms. Dora Panagides (Deputy Regional Director, East Central and Southern Africa) dpanagides@hki.org, with a copy to Human Resources
at hkihr@hki.org. Please note “TzNutr” in the subject line. Closing Date: Open until filled. Information about HKI is available at www.hki.org.

*******************************

Country Director
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Helen Keller International (HKI) is an international non-governmental organization. Its’ mission is to save the sight and lives of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged by combating the causes and consequences of blindness and malnutrition. We do this by establishing programs based on
evidence and research in vision, health and nutrition. HKI is seeking a Country Director in Tanzania to represent the Agency and be responsible for all HKI/Tanzania programs. Tanzania is a flagship program for HKI in Africa.

Our current programs focus on nutrition and blindness prevention. In the area of nutrition, HKI works in partnership with the Tanzania Food and Nutrition Council and the National Development Partners Group on Nutrition to strengthen the national vitamin A supplementation program and is a key partner in other micronutrient interventions such as advocating for the use of zinc in the treatment of diarrhea. This effort is supported through A2Z: The USAID Micronutrient and Child Blindness Project. In the area of blindness prevention, HKI works with primary schools in 15 districts to prevent trachoma through school health education, and currently works in 5
districts to reduce the backlog of trichiasis cases. In collaboration with the National Eye Care Program and the Kilimanjaro Centre for Community Ophthalmology, HKI is also implementing vision 2020 programs in the Singida region.

Scope of the Position: The Country Director (CD) is responsible for overseeing the implementation of HKI/Tanzania programs and management of project personnel to achieve the objectives agreed to in grants and contracts. The CD is responsible for generating funding from
international and bilateral agencies, corporations, and individuals to continue and
expand project activities in Tanzania. He/she is responsible for implementing strategic plans to further the overall mission and specific programs of HKI that meet the evolving needs and conditions in Tanzania. The CD is responsible for overall program design and proposal development; program implementation; reporting; and grant management, fiscal planning, and
human resource planning. The CD represents HKI in formal and informal meetings with Tanzanian government officials, international donor agencies, and national technical advisory groups pertinent to HKI project activities.

This position is based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The CD reports to the Deputy Regional Director for East, Central and Southern Africa and closely collaborates with the HKI Africa Regional Office and Headquarters operations and program staff.

REQUIREMENTS: Minimum of a Masters Degree in public health, nutrition, development, management or related field, with strong preference given to doctoral level degree. Five (5) years demonstrated experience in program development, implementation and evaluation, including strong background in nutrition programs. Demonstrated capacity to mobilize program funding including donor cultivation and grants writing. Demonstrated ability to manage staff and other administrative and financial activities in developing country programs. Experience in managing USAID projects and familiarity with USAID policies and regulations. Experience in data analysis and interpretation is highly desirable. Excellent oral and written English language skills, including the ability to quickly synthesize complex technical and programmatic issues into concise communications. Demonstrated ability to undertake high-level representation and advocacy

To Apply: The initial contract is for two (2) years with possibility of renewal depending on funding. Interested candidates should submit: (1) cover letter; (2) current curriculum vitae in English; (3) a short writing sample (2-3 pages) in English, to Ms. Dora Panagides (Deputy Regional Director, East Central and Southern Africa) dpanagides@hki.org, with a copy to
Human Resources at hkihr@hki.org. Please note CD TANZANIA in the header. All correspondence should include physical and e-mail addresses as well as contact telephone number(s). E-mail applications are preferred.

Information about HKI is available at www.hki.org.

*******************************

Director, Human Resources
New York City

Helen Keller International (HKI) is a 92-year old international non-governmental organization whose mission is to save the sight and lives of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged by combating the causes and consequences of blindness and malnutrition. We do this by establishing programs based on evidence and research in vision, health and nutrition. Helen Keller International has approximately 550 staff located in offices in 19 countries and 7 states and the District of Columbia in the United States, with headquarters in New York City. HKI has created an exciting new position – Director, Human Resources – at its Headquarters office. In
collaboration with the Vice President, Human Resources, the Director will integrate Human Resources with HKI’s strategic plan and operational goals. The Director will oversee the daily operations of the program and be responsible for reviewing, maintaining and enhancing systems including implementing and overseeing policies and programs covering employment and performance management, compensation, benefits, training, employee relations, and legal
compliance. For a more detailed position description, please refer to the HKI website. Key challenges include the: Implementation of a new global HRIS system. Revision and updating of human resources policies, procedures and systems. Comprehensive global compensation and benefits analysis and subsequent program design and implementation

REQUIREMENTS: The Director will have a Bachelors Degree with 5-10 years of
broad generalist international nonprofit experience in a multi-location environment. A PHR/SPHR certification or a Masters Degree is highly desirable. Additionally, exceptional managerial skills, the ability to lead by example, and a demonstrated ability to think strategically, tactically
and creatively is a must. Competence in Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS) and strong computing skills are required.

To apply: Qualified candidates should send a cover letter including current salary and salary requirements and resume to hkihr@hki.org noting “Director,
HR” in the subject heading. Only qualified candidates will be contacted.

Information about HKI is available at www.hki.org.



These job announcements were recently circulated on the Global Partnership for Disability and Development email discussion list.

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JOB FAIR, EnAble India, for persons with disabilities for unskilled or manual positions, Oct 5, 2008, Bangalore, India

Posted on 8 September 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Blind, Cross-Disability, Deaf, Events and Conferences, Jobs & Internships, Mobility Impariments, Opportunities, South Asian Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Subject: Job fair for persons with disabilities specially for unskilled / manual positions
EnAble India

October 5, 2008
 
Work Addr: #12, KHB Colony, Koramangala 8th Block,Bangalore 95
Telephone: 080 – 42823636, 2571 4842,
Mobile:        9845313919
Email:         enableindia@yahoo.co.in,
shanti@enable-india.org                                                         
Website:     www.enable-india.org   

To whomever it may concern
Dear Sir / Madam,
 
Greetings from EnAble India!
 
As you may be aware, Enable India is a non-profit organization working for the economic independence of persons with disabilities across India. Our major thrust is pre-employment training, rehabilitation, supplementary education, enabling other organizations, placement
services, etc.
 
EnAble India in collaboration with Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) is organizing job fair for persons with disabilities specially for unskilled / manual positions that are available in companies such as ITC, Building Control Solutions, Integra Apparels, etc.
 
Please look at the details below regarding positions available and types of disabilities suitable and support us to source right disabled candidates. The candidates qualification could be 10 standard or below 10 standard.

All the jobs are feasible for hearing impaired, low vision and mild physically disabled candidates. Require around 60 hearing impaired, 60 low vision and around 60 of persons with physical disability. You could source female candidates from out station also because one or two
companies are providing hostel facilities.
 
Details of the companies requirements
 
Company Name
No of Positions
Location
Disability Types
Types of Positions
Building Control Solutions
30
Bangalore International Airport
Whitefeild
MG Road
Bannergatta Road
Hearing Impaired
Physically Disabled
Low Vision
Parking Attendent/ care takers
Trolley Pushers
Porters

Integra Garments
 
119
HSR Layout
Hearing Impaired
Physically Disabled
Low Vision
(80% jobs are for hearing impaired – girls preferred for machine
operator  fresher positions )
 
Tailors – machine operators,  Helpers – Layers, Relayers, Feeding
helpers, fusing, data entry , Ironing, Kaja button  operators
 
ITC Agarbathi
10
Mysore Road, Chamraj pet
Hearing Impaired
Physically Disabled
Low Vision
Agarbathi packing
ITC Hotel
10
Palace Guttahalli
Hearing impaired / Low vision
House keeping
 
EnAble India staff members are willing to assist your organization to source / call / inform candidates.
 
The candidates can visit us on any of the convenient dates mentioned below for registration and training. (Please look at next page for the detailed schedule)
It is mandatory for candidates to register and attend training to take part in the job fair. The first preference would be given to the trained and good attitude candidates.
 
Kindly source candidates as per the requirements and join hands to provide economic independence for persons with disabilities.
 
We also request you to display this information in your organization notice board to spread the word faster.
Looking forward to hear from you at the earliest.
 
Thank you
 
Warm Regards
 
Job Fair Coordination Team
 
Cell: 9972018873
 

EnAble India –CII Job Fair for unskilled / manual jobs Schedule
 
September – October 2008
 
JOB FAIR ON 5TH OCT
  
JOB Fair on 5th October
REGISTRATION SCHEDULE
 
REGISTRATION SCHEDULE
TIMINGS: 10:00 AM TO 4:00 PM
First Registration
Sep 15, Sep 16
Second Registration
Sep 22, Sep 23
Third Registration
Sep 29, Sep 30

TRAINING SCHEDULE
 
TRAINING SCHEDULE
START DATE
END DATE
# OF DAYS
Disability
First Training
Sep 17
Sep 19
3 days (Sep 17, 18 & 19)
Hearing impaired/low vision/mild physically disabled
Second Training
Sep 24
Sep 26
3 days (Sep 24, 25 & 26)
Third Training
Oct 1
Oct 4
3 days (Oct 1, 3 & 4)

IMPORTANT NOTE
v     Candidates can choose their convenient days of registration and
training (only one day of registration and 3 days of training)
v     Preferably out station candidates can come on the last
registration and training since job fair date is closer
v     Registration for candidates is mandatory
v     Attending and completing training after registration is mandatory
v     Unregistered candidates are not encouraged for the training and
job fair
 
Venue: Livelihood Resource Centre, Leonard Cheshire Homes , Kodi halli,
Old Airport Road, Opposite to Manipal Hospital, Bangalore
 
For further details contact EnAble India on – 9972018873 / 42823636
Email: enableindia@yahoo.co.in,
shanti@enable-india.org
Website: www.enable-india.org



We Can Do received this notice from Mahesh Chandrasekah..

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World Federation of the DeafBlind 9th Helen Keller World Conference, Kampala, Uganda, Oct 22-27, 2009

Posted on 25 August 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Blind, Call for Papers, Deaf, Events and Conferences, Human Rights, Multiple Disabilities, Opportunities, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Note that this includes a call for abstracts for proposed presentations and workshops, the deadline for which is February 1, 2009.

FIRST ANNOUNCEMENT

World Federation of the DeafBlind, WFDB 9th Helen Keller World Conference and WFDB 3rd General Assembly

Imperial Royale Hotel, Kampala, Uganda, October 22 – 27, 2009.

Hosting organisation: The National Association of DeafBlind people Uganda, NADBU

Dates and programme:

Arrival Thursday October 22 ,2009 with a welcome reception in the evening

Friday, October 23: HKWC conference plenary sessions

Saturday, October 24: HKWC a day full of workshops 16 different topics

Sunday October 25: HKWC plenary morning session collecting results from workshops and in the afternoon a cultural event/ excursion

October 26 and 27 General Assembly of WFDB until late afternoon

Venue: Imperial Royale hotel in Kampala Uganda, a totally new five star hotel with excellent facilities for our conference.

The hotel has 270 rooms and the Imperial Group has two other hotels nearby from where they will provide free transport to the Conference hotel.

Hotel prices

A single room at Imperial Royale will cost 120 USD per night and a double room 177 USD including breakfast, taxes and free wireless internet access.

www.imperialhotels.co.ug/improyale_overview.htm

Grand Imperial hotel Single room 109 USD double/ twin room 144 USD including breakfast and taxes

www.imperialhotels.co.ug/grand_imperial_overview.htm

Hotel Equatoria single room 86 USD double / twin room 132 USD including breakfast and taxes

www.imperialhotels.co.ug/equatoria_overview.htm

Conference fee
The conference fee will be 200 euros per person for deafblind participants, 200 euros per person for interpreters/ assistants and 250 Euros per person for all others which will include welcome reception, conference material, 5 days lunches, 5 days coffee/ tea breaks, mineral water during the conference, but not excursions, conference dinner or any other dinner ,airport transfer and transport to conference, visa, vaccination and other personal expenses.

Day guests 50 USD including lunch, coffee/tea breaks and water

Sponsored participants

WFDB will sponsor a limited number of participants from developing countries.

Maximum one deafblind participant with interpreter/ assistant per country.

If you need sponsorship, please advice WFDB as soon as possible indicating travel cost from your country to Kampala, Uganda.

Conference theme:

CRPD, changing the lives of persons with deafblindness

The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, CRPD is a human rights instrument. How can we use this instrument to ensure that the rights of persons with deafblindness are respected and enforced.

Plenary sessions and workshops will cover the following themes:

What is CRPD and what does it mean for persons with deafblindness?

How can organisations work towards ratification of CRPD in their country ?

When a country has ratified CRPD, what changes will happen?

How can deafblind organisations and individuals use CRPD and its provisions, covering the specific areas:

A. Recognition of deafblindness as a unique disability

B. Recognition of the needs of persons with deafblindness

C. Recognition of modes and means of communication including sign languages

D. Recognition as a Person before the law, legal capacity, dignity and integrity of the person

E. The right to job and livelihood, income generation

F. Support systems, how can we use CRPD to get services of interpreters, personal assistants and other support persons

G. Access to information and communication technology, including hearing aids, vision aids and communication devices

H. Peer support, forming support groups, self help groups and own organisations of persons with deafblindness

I. Women with deafblindness, their special situation and needs

J. International cooperation , North- south partnerships, south – south partnerships,

K. Rehabilitation. Community based rehabilitation and other models of rehabilitation

L. How can persons with deafblindness be included in the educational system? What does inclusive education mean for persons with deafblindness?

M. Access to health care. Prevention and treatment of HIV-Aids.

N. Partnerships with other DPOs , NGOs, government,local government, private enterprise, service providers, other partners.

O. Raising Awareness of the needs and skills of persons with deafblindness

P. Participation of persons with deafblindness in cultural life.

Call for abstracts:

Abstracts of plenary presentations or workshops covering one of these areas, can be sent to the WFDB office before February 1, 2009 see address below.

WFDB contact address:

Lex Grandia, Snehvidevej 13, DK 9400 Noerresundby , Denmark
phone: +45 98 19 20 99
fax: +45 98 19 20 57
e-mail: lex.grandia@mail.dk
wfdb@wfdb.org
website: www.wfdb.org



Lex Grandia recently circulated this notice on the IDA_CRPD_Forum email discussion group. If interested in this conference, then please contact Lex Grandia directly at the contact information provided above, NOT We Can Do. Thank you.

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Volunteer Opportunities in International Disability Field

Posted on 21 August 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Blind, Cross-Disability, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Jobs & Internships, Middle East and North Africa, Opportunities, Volunteer Opportunities | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Please note that a wide range of short- and long-term volunteer opportunities are listed below. Some offer a limited salary; some do not, but cover expenses related to volunteering. Posts range from 4 to 18 months. People seeking volunteer opportunities should read carefully to understand the qualifications for each individual position, the relevant deadline, and how to apply. All inquiries and applications should please be directed to the organization sponsoring the opportunity, NOT to We Can Do.

Project Officer, Solomon Islands; Assistant Coordinator, Solomon Islands
Handicap International Positions: Background on Handicap International
Project Manager in Rehabilitation, in Herat, Afghanistan
Disaster Risk Reduction Project Manager, Uzbekistan
Disability Expert–Trainer, Uzbekistan
Physiotherapist Supervisor in Amman, Jordan
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Project Officer (Services for Visually Impaired and Blind Unit) – Ministry of Health and Medical Services – Solomon Islands
An incredible opportunity to develop programs to improve services for people who are blind and visually impaired and promote an inclusive society.

Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) department of the Ministry of Health and Medical Services in Honiara promotes independence, rehabilitation, equalisation of opportunities and inclusion for all people with disabilities.

The Services for Visually Impaired and Blind unit seeks a Project Officer to assess the services being provided by CBR and develop new programs that will improve services for people who are blind and visually impaired.

To be considered for this 18 month assignment starting in January 2009 you will have:

· Qualifications in Social Welfare and/or Education
· Extensive experience in a similar field
· Strong program development skills
· Good management experience

Experience delivering programs and services to people who are vision impaired is highly desirable.

The Ministry Of Health and Medical Services is also seeking a suitably experienced Assistant Coordinator to work with the National Coordinator and to provide technical support to the rurally based Rehabilitation Aides. This will involve the introduction of a reporting system and various training functions that need to be refreshed or created.

The successful applicant will be able to demonstrate significant work experience in this sector along with management and training experience.

You will be supported by Australian Volunteers International with airfares, accommodation, briefing and orientation, health and travel insurance, living allowance and ongoing support throughout the assignment.

For full assignment descriptions or to apply for these positions, please visit www.australianvolunteers.com/work
or contact Erika Drury on +61 3 9279 1729 or e-mail edrury@australianvolunteers.com

Applications close 31st August 2008

Source:  Erika Drury, Recruitment Consultant, Australian Volunteers International

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Handicap International Positions:
Handicap International is an international organisation specialised in the field of disability.  Non-governmental, non-religious, non-political and non-profit making, it works alongside people with disabilities, whatever the context, offering them assistance and supporting them in their efforts to become self-reliant. Since its creation, the organisation has set up programmes in approximately 60 countries and intervened in many emergency situations. It has a network of eight national associations (Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland, United Kingdom, USA) which provide human and financial resources, manages projects and raises awareness of Handicap International’s actions and campaigns.

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Project Manager in Rehabilitation, Heart, Afghanistan, 6 months to 1 year
Job context :

Being present in Afghanistan since 1996 with a comprehensive approach to respond to the needs of persons with disability and to participate in the reconstruction of the Afghan Health System, Handicap International holds an important geographic position in Afghanistan, implementing inclusion as well as physical rehabilitation projects in the provinces of Kabul, Herat and Kandahar and
 
Job description  :

At regional level, the expatriate would work mainly in Herat to improve the technical abilities of the physiotherapists in the Herat Regional Hospital and in the outreach program run by HI. The 7 physiotherapists working for health public system have received technical, financial and management support since 2003.  HI currently employes 5 physiotherapists plus one as technical assistant.  In regards to technical skills, the main problem is the gap of skills within the team. Clinical reasoning, assessment-reassessment skills and the range of treatment options have to be generally improved.

The project manager would provide consultation on management aspects for the new physiotherapy Centre recently build together with the burn unit in the hospital which is in the process of being handed over to the head of the physiotherapy centre.

S/he would also consult on technical and management aspects the outreach physiotherapy service. HI has also committed to supporting the government’s plan to mainstream disability services within healthcare through Basic Package of Health Services and as such is working with
several NGOs to provide training, screening or direct physiotherapy in certain districts around Herat province.

Beside, the project manager will have to participate to the development of the handover strategies for both rehabilitation projects.

Post constraints :

Security: Afghanistan remains in a post-conflict situation. Kabul and Herat cities are currently stable but there are security constraints especially for women. Outside of Herat city, security is relatively stable compared to the rest of Afghanistan. Travel to Kandahar is especially subject to review of the security situation because it is less stable.

Housing : the person usually shares a house with the other expatriates from HI

Isolation : reliable Internet access and satellite TV

Profile sought :

3 years practical experience in a variety of areas of physiotherapy; experience in teaching and training of physiotherapists, preferably in a developing country

Comprehensive understanding of capacity building issues

Ability to plan own work and manage conflicting priorities;

Good communication (spoken and written) skills, including the ability to draft/edit a variety of written reports and to articulate ideas in a clear, concise style; Good computer skills (Excel …)  

Extremely flexible

Languages : English essential, French an advantage

 Remuneration : Volunteer or salaried status based on experience

Volunteer : 750 or 850€ + allowance, accommodation, medical coverage and insurance

Salaried : 2000 € to 2300 € monthly gross salary + benefits 

Length of Mission : 6 months to 1 year

Start date : 1/09/08 (September 1, 2008)

Closing date for applications: ASAP

For more information, refer to website : www.handicap-international.org

Please send cover letter and resume preferably by e-mail, with as object the ref. :  HS/READHRTAFG

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A Disaster Risk Reduction Project Manager, Uzbekistan, 15 months
Job context :

The project establishment is based on mainstreaming disability issues in Disaster Risk Reduction planning. Disabled People Organizations (DPOs) are the first key partners to mainstream disability issues to DIPECHO partners further to training and working group organized with HI..

DIPECHO partners are the partners that throught their DRR project will mainstream Disability issues within the community further to training and sensitization provided by the DPOs and material published.

The Location for the implementation of the activities are in Tachkent and in Fergana Valley

Duties :

The Project Manager will have to set up and manage the project called : Mainstreaning of Disability issues into Disaster Risk Reduction Planning funding by ECHO.(DIPECHO).

Under the supmpervidion of the Uzbekistan Coordinator, the Project Manager will be supported and will line manage a Disability expert for a period of 6 months.

He/She will line managed a Project Assistant Translator

The PM is responsible for :

PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION

1/ setting up of a DPOs working group with the support of the Disability Expert

2/ The coordination of the training cycle

3/ In link with the Disability Expert, overall coordination  of a survey on ‘Disability confidence’ among DIPECHO DRR trainers for the purpose to measure the ” impact” of the trainings in DRR plan.implementation

4/ monitoring into the community of disability issues in the DRR plan set up

5/ the setting up by DIPECHO partners in 2 institution for children with disabilities of a comprehensive disaster preparedness plan

6/ ensure efficient and fruitfull collaboration with all project partners, in strong link with the Country coordinator.

FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

1/ Ensure the respect of the commitments of expenditure as defined by
the Head Office

2/Responsible of the budget for the activities ( Budget follow up, cash
forecast,)

TEAM MANAGEMENT

Management of a Project Assistant Translator and of a Disability Expert
(6 months contract)

REPORTING

1/ Prepare  montly report on project implementation (activities,
indicators, partners elationships,..)

2/ Prepare narrative ECHO report ( intermediary and final)

Profile sought :

Diploma in Occupational Therapy or economic, social or management degree.

Essential competencies :

Strong Project Management skills

Diplomatie, public relation

Experience in working in partnership and to develop network

Knowledge of Disaster Risk reduction and of Disability

Desirable competencies or competencies to be acquired :

Monitoring and evaluation

Budget management

Previous experience in central Asia

Previous experience with HI

Languages : English and Russian

Conditions : Volunteer or salaried status, according to experience
Volunteer status : 750 or 850 euros per month according to experience+
benefits

Salaried status : 2100 to 2400 euros per month according to experience
+ benefits

Length of mission : 15 month

Start date :  01 October 2008

Closing date for application : 15th September 2008

Please send CV and covering letter asap to : Ref. PMDRRUzbek

Handicap International
14, avenue Berthelot
69361 LYON CEDEX 07
Or by email:  recrut11@handicap-international.org

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Disability Expert – Trainer, Uzbekistan, 6 months

Job context :

The project establishment is based on mainstreaming disability issues
in Disaster Risk Reduction planning. Disabled People Organizations
(DPOs) are the first key partners to mainstream disability issues to
DIPECHO partners further to training and working group organized with
HI..

DIPECHO partners are the partners that throught their DRR project will mainstream Disability issues within the community further to training and sensitization provided by the DPOs and material published.

The Location for the implementation of the activities are in Tachkent and in Fergana Valley

Duties :

The stake of this post is to provide the technical expertise and
trainings on disability issues to DPOs and DIPECHO partners in order
that the communities are sensitized and include disability issues in
their Disaster Risk Reduction plan.

The Disability Expert will have to support the DPOs to mainstream
Disability issues into Disaster Risk Reduction plan from DIPECHO
partners

Objectives :

1/ Provide expertise and facilitate within the DPOs working group to

2/ Organize a training for 30 trainers of trainers ( members of DPOs)
on inclusive DRR:

3/ Mentor the Trainers of Trainers  and provide guidance in their first
trainings implementation to DIPECHO partners trainers.

4/Design the framework of a survey to carry out on ‘Disability
confidence’ among DIPECHO DRR trainers for the purpose to measure the ”
impact” of the trainings in DRR plan.implementation:.(Survey carried
out with trained and not trained trainers on Disability issues)

5/ Provide support to the DRR Project Manager whenn needed, notably on
monitoring and evaluation issues.

6/ Other tasks could be added according to the needs of the project and
the program.

Profile sought :

Occupational therapist or physiotherapist, or social degree

Essential competencies :

Strong training skills

Knowledge of Disaster Risk reduction

Wide understanding of Disability issue

Desirable competencies or competencies to be acquired :

Autonomy

Previous experience with HI

Experience in working with partner

Languages : English and Russian

Conditions : Volunteer or salaried status, according to experience

Volunteer status : 750 or 850 euros per month according to experience+
benefits

Salaried status : 1900 to 2200 euros per month according to experience + benefits

Length of mission : 15 month

Start date : 01 November 2008

Closing date for application : 15th September 2008

 Please send CV and covering letter asap to : Ref. DETDRRUzbek

Handicap International
14, avenue Berthelot
69361 LYON CEDEX 07
Or by email:  recrut11@handicap-international.org

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Physiotherapist Supervisor, Amman, Jordan, 4 months

Job context :

A surgery programme has been opened by MSF in August 2006 in Amman, targeting Iraqi war victims in need of reconstructive surgery. In order to strengthen physiotherapy as a crucial aspect of care, HI was requested to set up a proper physiotherapy section.

A physiotherapist advisor has been working since November 2007, acting as a supervisor for the physiotherapy team, made of 3 Jordanian physiotherapists. Some lacks in the skills and the general rehabilitation approach have been identified and now need to be addressed.

The physiotherapist supervisor will act both as a supervisor for the 3 physiotherapists and as an on-the-job trainer.

Duties :

Under the responsibility of the Head of Mission, the physiotherapist
supervisor will be in charge of :

–          providing technical training to  physiotherapy staff

–          improving the referral system for patients

–          reinforcing collaboration with surgeons

–          optimizing data collection

Particularities of the post :

Short-term mission.

Profile sought :

Recognized qualification in Physiotherapy essential ; additional
background in Education, Public Health or other relevant fields
desirable.

An experience in a developing country would be an advantage.

 Essential recruitment criteria :

–          Experience as physiotherapist (at least 3 years)

–          Experience in orthopaedic complex cases management

–          Experience in physiotherapy teaching and on-the-job training

–          networking and communication skills (spoken and written)

Desirable competencies or competencies to be acquired :

–          Experience in a developing country is an advantage;

–          Computer skills (Pack Office, Internet etc…)

Languages :

Excellent written and spoken English, Arabic is a plus

Conditions :

Volunteer or salaried status, according to experience

Volunteer status : 750 or 850€ + allowance, accommodation, medical
coverage and insurance

Salaried status : 1800 to 2200€ monthly gross salary + benefits

Length of mission : 4 months

Start date : September 2008

Closing date for applications : 31st August 2008

Please send CV and covering letter asap to : Ref. NC/READJord

Handicap International
14, avenue Berthelot
69361 LYON CEDEX 07
Or by email:  recrut07@handicap-international.org

 Source:  Marly Revuelta, Assistante GRH Programme, Handicap International

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Thank you to Ghulam Nabi Nizamani for circulating these listings via email.

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REPORT: Personal Mobility, Accessibility for Disabled People in South East Europe

Posted on 20 August 2008. Filed under: Blind, Cognitive Impairments, Cross-Disability, Deaf, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Housing, Human Rights, Inclusion, Mobility Impariments, Reports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Countries that have chosen to ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) are now required to protect the right of people with disabilities to personal mobility; and to an accessible environment. But disabled people in the South-Eastern countries of Europe, such as Kosovo, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Albania, Croatia, and Hungary, are often denied the right simply to move from one place to another on the same basis as other people in their society. They lack mobility aids such as prosthestic devices, wheelchairs, and crutches; public buildings, and even their own homes, are not accessible to them; and neither is public transportation.

People who wish to learn more about the conditions that limit the mobility of people with disabilities in South East Europe–and what can be done to improve their situation–can consult a report entitled “Free movement of people with disabilities in south east Europe: an inaccessible right?” (PDF format, 1 Mb) This report addresses the mobility and accessibility needs of people with mobility impairments; people who are blind or have vision impairments; people with intellectual disabilities; and deaf people. The 124-page report was published by Handicap International in 2006.

The first part of the report discusses the current situation, and barriers, faced by people with various disabilities in South East Europe. The second part describes good practices that have successfully made the environment more accessible for people with disabilities throughout the region. The third part discusses the importance of awareness raising; the laws and policies needed to improve the situation; the need for training in universal design; and the importance of including people with disabilities in planning all new construction. The report closes with a series of recommendations.

The full report can be downloaded for free in
http://www.disabilitymonitor-see.org/documents/dmi2_eng/dmrII_webeng.pdf

People interested in creating accessible environments, and in the principles of universal design, may also be interested in learning about a free, on-line book on Universal Design and Visitability.



We Can Do learned about this report by exploring the newest resources to be posted at the AskSource.info database on disability issues; health issues; and development.

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JOB POST: Director, Perkins International Program, in Watertown, Massachusetts, USA

Posted on 11 May 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Blind, Children, Deaf, Education, Jobs & Internships, Multiple Disabilities, Opportunities | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Perkins School for the Blind
Job Description

Job Title: Director
Program: Perkins International Program
Supervisor: President
Location: Watertown Campus and Frequent Traveling

The following statements describe the principal duties to be performed. It is not intended to be a complete description of all the requirements of the position.

GENERAL SUMMARY

Provides leadership, collegial supervision and oversight of programs and services for children who are deafblind or blind with multiple disabilities and their families. Coordinate the national and the international work of the Hilton/Perkins Program and other international initiatives. Serve as a member of the Perkins senior management team.

The mission of Perkins International is to improve the quality of life for children who are blind, deafblind or blind with multiple disabilities throughout the world. We collaborate with hundreds of local partners to provide direct services to children and their families, create innovative education programs, expand local and regional expertise, augment leadership skills in teachers and professionals, and promote Braille literacy. We also advocate for policies and programs that impact the lives of children with visual and other disabilities at local, national and international levels. (www.perkins.org)

DUTIES TO BE PERFORMED

  • Regularly visit international program partners to support regional staff in meeting program goals and objectives.
  • Work with government and non-government organizations to develop programs and services, to improve and expand the quantity and quality of services for children who are deafblind or blind with multiple disabilities.
  • Recruit, supervise and manage the work of all national and international program staff, including the oversight of work assignments.
  • Supervise the activities of the Educational Leadership Program.
  • Supervise the activities of on campus projects including research library and information services, DBLINK, and other projects as appropriate to meet national objectives of program.
  • In collaboration with program staff, identify program priorities and additional funding needs for project development. Liaison between program staff and Trust Office for new and ongoing project development and identifying and securing financial and material support with existing and new supporters and donors.
  • Communicate effectively with all staff, trainers and partners.
  • Provide leadership and collegial supervision to insure that all program goals and objectives are being addressed and evaluated, including but not limited to:
  • Working with local personnel to assess the future needs of all Hilton/Perkins and other international projects in the region and arrange for appropriate training, consultation and technical support.
  • Working with colleges, universities and other entities internationally to maintain and establish formal training programs of pre-service training for teachers of the target population.
  • Arranging for the production, translation and dissemination of appropriate literature for parents and professionals in print and on-line formats.
  • Supporting parents and agencies to establish improved services to parents and family members, including the establishment of parent organizations.
  • Supporting the content, logistics and other arrangements for trainings provided by the Program
  • Prepare and manage an annual program budget. Oversee the financial resources allocated to projects. Work with regional staff to draft grant agreements to sub-grantees, and define and monitor a reporting system for each project.
  • Prepare regular narrative reports on activities for inclusion in the Program’s reports to donors.
  • Function as liaison between Perkins management team and international and national program staff. Work collaboratively with personnel on the campus, to plan jointly for training and experiences provided to international visitors to Perkins School for the Blind.
  • Function as the focal point for planning, communication and collaboration between the Perkins International Program and other national and international non-profit organizations, multi-lateral organizations and key governmental agencies to further enhance program’s mission.
  • Coordinate the work with all other Perkins offices including the on-campus programs, the Business Office, Howe Press, Trust office, Communications Office and other Perkins departments.
  • Provide oversight of program office staff and support service operations to ensure facilitation of program objectives.
  • Represent Perkins International at international events which include international development, education, and disability conferences.

COMPENTENCIES
To perform the job successfully, an individual should demonstrate the following competencies:

Problem Solving – Identifies and resolves problems in a timely manner; Gathers and analyzes information skillfully; Develops alternative solutions. Able to deal with frequent change, delays, or unexpected events

Oral and Written Communication – Speaks and writes clearly and persuasively, listens and gets clarification; responds well to questions. Knowledge of technology for communicating.

Leadership – Effectively influences actions and opinions. Inspires and motivates others to perform well.

Diversity – Demonstrates knowledge of EEO policy; Shows respect and sensitivity for cultural differences; promotes a harassment-free environment.

Ethics – Treats people with respect; Keeps commitments. Works with integrity and ethically.

Organizational Support – Follows policies and procedures; Completes administrative tasks correctly and on time.

Judgment – Displays willingness to make decisions; Exhibits sound and accurate judgment. Includes appropriate people in decision-making process and delegates appropriately.

Professionalism – Approaches others in a tactful manner; Reacts well under pressure; Treats others with respect and consideration regardless of their status or position; Accepts responsibility for own actions; Maintains a positive attitude regarding required duties and changes in routines and assignments.

Quality – Demonstrates accuracy and thoroughness; Looks for ways to improve and promote quality; Applies feedback to improve performance.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS

Master’s Degree in Special Education with a preference on education of children who are deafblind, or with multiple disabilities or relevant work experience.

A minimum of 7-10 years of experience in a position of increasing management experience and responsibility for consultation to and training of other teachers and personnel. Preference will be given to work in the fields of blindness, deafblindess or multiple disabilities with international work experience.

Extensive knowledge of educational techniques for children who are deafblind and/or blind with additional disabilities.

Understand and appreciate the cultural diversity of the programs and areas in with which Perkins works and the implications for program support and development.

PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS

Ability to travel independently and frequently to international destinations.

PREFERENCE MAY BE GIVEN FOR THE FOLLOWING:

Prior experience in international work as a trainer of teachers within the specific field of blind or deafblind education.

Candidates with Masters in deafblind or multi-handicap education, or the equivalent job experience in working with this same population

Prior experience, whether paid or voluntary, in working for other international governmental or non-governmental organizations.

Perkins School for the Blind is an Affirmative Action Employer. Candidates from diverse background are strongly encouraged to apply.

For more information contact Charles Pimlott at 617-972-7235 or send resumes to Human Resources, Perkins School for the Blind, 175 North Beacon Street, Watertown, MA 02472 or email Employment@Perkins.org.

May 2008

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VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: Empowering Disabled in Bangladesh Through Micro-Credit

Posted on 29 April 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Blind, Jobs & Internships, Opportunities, South Asian Region, Volunteer Opportunities | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

If I understand correctly, it seems that the participating fellow/volunteer may need to cover all associated travel and other expenses. In exchange, you would gain experience that you can put on your resume. Please use the contact information provided near the bottom of this announcement to obtain more detail about this opportunity.

Short Term Fellowships (3 months)
1 position available

BANGLADESH: Using micro-credit to empower the disabled community, raising awareness about disabilities, and advocating for disability rights in Bangladesh

Based in: Dhaka, Bangladesh

Host: Since 1991, Blind Education and Rehabilitation Development Organization (BERDO) has been working for the development and protection of the disabled community in Bangladesh. Founded and run by individuals living with blindness themselves, BERDO’s programs include microcredit, rehabilitation, a Talking Library, scholarships, job placement, health services, and disability prevention. BERDO fulfills its mission through networking, research, advocacy, and service.

Responsibilities:

  • Identify and define a clear social justice agenda,
  • Work with BERDO to develop their micro-credit programs, and disseminate information on these programs
  • Produce a newsletter regularly, website content, and press releases
  • Place articles with the local and international press
  • Explore existing and new ways to help disabled persons exploit ICT, including social networking
  • Develop eco-network of local ICT supporters
  • Continue developing BERDO’s website
  • Expand upon the BERDO partner page (AP site)
  • Expand BERDO’s network of micro-credit contacts, locally and internationally
  • Expand BERDO’s network of contacts with disability rights advocates
  • Limited fundraising (small social justice projects)

Qualifications:

  • Understanding of disability issues, rights, and advocacy possibilities, including the new International Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities
  • Knowledge and experience of microcredit (preferred)
  • Sensitivity, flexibility, open-mindedness, and a willingness to confront new challenges
  • Experience in advocacy or activism
  • Networking and excellent interpersonal skills
  • Strong writing skills

For more detail, consult the web site at:

http://www.advocacynet.org/page/3months

Any questions about this opportunity should be directed to aburrows@advocacynet.org



Thank you to Amy Wilson for passing along this announcement.

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NEWS: World Blind Union Right to Read Global Campaign

Posted on 27 April 2008. Filed under: Blind, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Blind people read books too!

Announcing the launch of the WBU’s Right to Read Global Campaign

Blind and partially sighted people enjoy reading books just as much as the rest of us. However, only 5% of books are ever published in formats that blind and partially sighted people can read, such as audio, braille and large print.

Today, 23rd April 2008, saw the launch, in Amsterdam, of the World Blind Union’s International Right to Read Campaign, which will advocate globally for accessible books. The event was organised in close collaboration with the Secretariat of the Amsterdam 2008 World Book Capital which celebrates reading this year with the theme “open book”.

Mrs Judith Belinfante, Chair of the Amsterdam 2008 WBC Foundation and Mr Mauro Rosi, UNESCO’s Chief Delegate to the Amsterdam WBC Launch, attended the WBU Right to Read Press Conference and heard Dr William Rowland, President of the World Blind Union, explain.

“For far too long the book has been closed for blind people. The International Right to Read Campaign aims to open it”.

Bente Dahl Rathje, Chair of the IFLA Libraries for the Blind Section, added:

“Libraries exist to serve ALL members of the public. However, we need more books to be published in braille, audio and large print in order to fully achieve our mission”.

Anne Bergman, Director of the Federation of European Publishers, also spoke at the event, and underlined the will of publishers to work with the Visually Impaired to publish more books which blind people can read.

The International Right to Read Alliance is a partnership between the World Blind Union and the Libraries for the Blind Section of the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA), and it will work with publishers, booksellers, libraries and many others to create a world where blind people can read the same book at the same time and for the same price as everyone else. WBU, working through its 160 National Member Organisations, will be establishing National Right to Read Alliances, bringing together stakeholders, including librarians, University Disabled Students Support Teams, Ministries of Education Special Education Units and other Service Providers, all of whom have an interest in promoting the need for accessibility for visually impaired people.

The campaign will pursue three main objectives, namely:-

To form National Right to Read Alliances to give visibility to the visually impaired reading community

To lobby, in the 120 countries that currently do not have copyright legislation on Exceptions, Governments to enact Copyright Exceptions for the Visually Impaired. Such legislation would facilitate the production of accessible formats, such as audio, braille and large print without the need to re-clear copyright

To field test, in the 60 countries that already have copyright legislation for Exceptions for the Visually Impaired, the cross border export/import of accessible formats created under these Exceptions to validate the compatibility of Exceptions of different legal jurisdictions. Evidence gained from these field trials will be presented to both Publishers and the World Intellectual Property Organisation’s Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights.

During the event WBU demonstrated the world’s first fully accessible book ‘Blindness and the Visionary’ by Sir John Coles. Published in 2006, this biography of Sir John Wilson, founder of Sightsavers International http://www.sightsavers.org is published by Giles de la Mare http://www.gilesdelamare.co.uk and provides, tucked into every copy, on a Daisy CD an audio copy of the book and special formats for printing the book in braille and large print. In recognition of the world’s first ‘same day same cost book’ the WBU has welcomed Giles de la Mare as a ‘Pioneer Publisher’ and gratefully appreciates its offer to support the Right to Read Campaign.



This press release has been circulated via several different listserves.

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NEWS: Disabled to Vote in Karnataka, India

Posted on 22 April 2008. Filed under: Blind, Democratic Participation, Human Rights, Mobility Impariments, News, South Asian Region, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

People with disabilities in Karnataka, India, have now won the right to accessible polling locations in the upcoming May 10, 2008, assembly elections, Action Aid India has reported.  All officials involved with the upcoming election have been alerted to the requirement to install ramps and Braille voting booths so that people with mobility and vision impairments will be able to vote.

Delegates, including people who use wheelchairs or have vision impairments, visited political party officies to raise demands for access to voting polls.  However, the offices themselves were not accessible to the delegates because they had no ramps. 

Read the full story on the successful fight to achieve voting rights for disabled people in Karnataka, India, at:

http://actionaidindia.org/People_with_disability_Karnataka%20fight_to_make_election_count.htm

Are you working to achieve voting rights for disabled people in your own country?  If so, you might wish to review a letter written to Chief Electoral Officers in India  (PDF format, 2.29 Mb) last fall as part of the campaign to advocate for more accessible voting locations; unfortunately, the second part of the PDF file seems to be an image, which may be inaccessible to people using screen readers:

http://actionaidindia.org/download/disabled_right_group.pdf

While you are at the Action Aid India web site, you may wish to also browse among some of the other resources linked there related to disability rights.



We Can Do first learned about this news from Ghulam Nabi Nizamani.

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RESOURCE: African Union of the Blind Web Site

Posted on 22 March 2008. Filed under: Blind, Democratic Participation, Health, HIV/AIDS, Inclusion, Resources, Sub-Saharan Africa Region, youth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Individuals who share an interest in the self-empowerment of blind people in Africa can turn to the African Union of the Blind (AFUB) web site for a range of information, publications, and helpful resources. The materials at this site will be particularly for people with an interest in HIV/AIDS; women; and youth.

The AFUB website is meant to mobilize, empower, and disseminate information for individuals and organizations supporting people with visual impairments across Africa. AFUB is a pan-African umbrella non-government organization (NGO).

On the page for AFUB publications, readers may download past issues of AFUB news in English or French. Issues of the news letter, Women’s Voices, contain a range of news, advice for independent living, and advocacy tips related to blind African women. Or readers may download manuals on training HIV/AIDS trainers; including blind people in HIV/AIDS education programs; training blind people to advocate and lobby for their rights at the local and national level; and empowering visually impaired youth. Some of these manuals could probably be usefully adapted for use outside of Africa as well.

On the projects page, people may learn about AFUB’s HIV and AIDS Awareness and Training Project; its Gender And Youth Development; and its National Civic Education Program.

The Reports and Policy page offers copies of AFUB’s annual reports and many reports from AFUB’s various training activities and other projects, particularly in the areas of HIV/AIDS awareness and in gender and youth development.

Or, download reports from
past conferences
on HIV/AIDS and on Democracy and Development training.

Begin exploring AFUB’s web site from their home page at:

http://www.afub-uafa.org



We Can Do first found the AFUB web site through the AskSource.info database. Further
details about its contents were found by exploring the AFUB web site
itself. I especially encourage the AFUB
publications
page for anyone seeking pragmatic materials they can use
in the field.

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NEWS: New Thai Senator to Represent Disability Community

Posted on 20 February 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Blind, Democratic Participation, East Asia Pacific Region, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Aiko Akiyama of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) has recently circulated the following email:

I would like to spread a good news for Thailand, which just came out. Mr Monthian Buntan was just appointed as a senator here in Thailand. According to what I heard, 75 members of the Senate are appointed by a selection committee, taking due considerations of diversity of society and different professional fields. So, Monthian was selected as a representative from the disability community. As Thailand revised its comprehensive law on disability to be more rights-based, and as it is preparing for the ratification of the Convention. His appointment would certainly serve as a good impetus.

Thanks and regards,

Aiko Akiyama
Social Affairs Officer
Emerging Social Issues Division (ESID)
UNESCAP
RAJDAMNERN NOK AVENUE,
BANGKOK 10200
THAILAND
http://www.unescap.org/esid/psis/disability/index.asp

Note from We Can Do: a search for Monthian Buntan’s name on the Web turns up several references to him as president of the Thailand Association of the Blind (TAB). The association’s web site (in Thai) is at http://www.tabod.net/

Thank you to Aiko Akiyama for circulating this email on the mailing list for the Global Partnership on Disability and Development (GPDD).

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FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: Preventing Visual Impairment

Posted on 20 February 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Blind, Funding, Health, Opportunities | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Carson Harte, of the Cambodian Trust, recently circulated the following email message(s). Note that the application deadline for this funding opportunity is April 30, every year, though there is a different theme each year. If you are reading this after April 30, 2008, then the theme for 2009 will be something different.



Dear Colleagues

I attach a string of emails below regarding the Arab Gulf Fund for UN Development prize fund (AGFUND)

In 2002, we (Cambodia Trust) were recipients of one of the prizes, hence we are asked, each year to give an opinion on who should be nominated.

As you will see, this year, AGFUND have decided to concentrate on those individuals and organizations who are working in the area of prevention of visual impairment.

Since I have no expertise in this area, and many of you have, I have asked permission from AGFUND to forward the email to those of you who work in this area.

They are seeking nominations in three categories: International organizations, Non Government Organizations and Individuals.

Please feel free to nominate direct to the website or the mail on the header below, as you see fit.

The prize is not insubstantial, when my employer received the prize it was in the second category and the prize was $100,000. I am not sure what it is this year. [Note from We Can Do: from looking at the AGFUND website, it seems that the prize is $150,000 for UN, international, and regional organizations; $100,000 for projects implemented by NGOs; and $50,000 for projects founded, sponsored, or implemented by individuals.]

Further info is on the website http://www.agfund.org/english/prize/

Best wishes
Carson


—— Forwarded Message
From: Ali Tahir
Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2008 09:02:03 +0300
To: “Carson Harte. The Cambodia Trust”
Conversation: AGFUND Prize
Subject: RE: AGFUND Prize

Dear Mr. Carson Harte,
Thank you for your e-mail.
Please note that it will be a pleasure if you forward it to your colleagues worldwide.

Thanks for your cooperation.

Best regards
_______________________
Ali Eltahir Elabbas
AGFUND International Prize
Communications Dept.
Tel: 00966 1 4418888 ext. 251
Fax: 00966 14412962/3
E-mail: ali@agfund.org >
Dept. E-mail: prize@agfund.org
PLS visit : www.agfund.org


On 17/2/08 08:19, “Ali Tahir” wrote:
Mr. Carson Harte,
International Director,
The Cambodia Trust
Email: carson@cambodiatrust.co.uk

Dear Mr. Harte,
Further to the announcement of the subject of AGFUND International Prize for Pioneering Development Projects 2008 on “Prevention of visual impairment”, I take pleasure in requesting your kind cooperation in nominating experts as you may see fit for the evaluation of the projects nominated for the Prize in the fields detailed hereunder:
– First Category: (The international organizations’ role in supporting the developing countries’ national policies and programs to control the main causing diseases of visual impairment), for projects implemented by UN, international or regional organizations.
– Second Category: (NGOs efforts in the prevention of visual impairment and rehabilitation of the blind people), for projects implemented by national NGOs.
– Third Category: (Individual-led initiatives to develop the blind’s capabilities and invest their skills), for projects initiated, sponsored and/or implemented by individuals.

I look forward to receiving the available contact information of the expert/s you may nominate.

With my best regards,

Yours sincerely,
Nasser Al-Kahtani,
Executive Director

Inquiries about this prize can be directed to prize@agfund.org

Further information about this annual funding opportunity and the themes chosen for past years is available at

http://www.agfund.org/english/prize/



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Also at We Can Do: catch up with the news; explore resources, toolkits, or funding and fellowship opportunities that might be helpful for your organization; find research, reports, papers, or statistics; or look up conferences, events, call for papers, or education/training opportunities.



This blog post is copyrighted to We Can Do (https://wecando.wordpress.com). Currently, only two web sites have on-going permission to syndicate (re-post) We Can Do blog posts: BlogAfrica.com and www.RatifyNow.org. If you are reading this anywhere other than these three sites, then you are most likely reading a web site that regularly plagiarizes the work of other people without their permission.

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NEWS: AIR Foundation Committed to Making Web Universally Accessible for Blind, Low-Vision People

Posted on 19 February 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Blind, News, technology | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Nonprofit Launched to Bring Free Accessibility Worldwide

The AIR Foundation committed to ‘accessibility is a right’

Orlando, Florida – January 31, 2008 – The AIR Foundation, a nonprofit organization headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA was announced today at a press conference held during the Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) 2008 National Conference at the Caribe Royale Resort in Orlando, Florida. The mission of the foundation is to promote universal accessibility so that every blind and low-vision person in the world has access to digital information over the Internet and Worldwide Web.

The foundation’s executive director, Art Schreiber, also announced that the organization’s first offering will be free usage of a Web 2.0 accessible screen reader. The product is provided through an exclusive license in perpetuity granted to The AIR Foundation from Serotek Corporation, the leading provider of Internet and digital information accessibility software and services. The screen reader is called SA To Go and is powered by Serotek’s award-winning System Access software which provides immediate text to speech, magnified visual, and Braille access to digital information presented through the Web or other means, while the user is directly connected to the Internet. The software does not remain resident on the user’s computer when the connection to the Internet is interrupted or terminated. Users can obtain access to the free software by calling 877-369-0101 or visiting www.AccessibilityIsaRight.org http://www.accessibilityisaright.org/

“The basic tenet of The AIR Foundation is that accessibility is a fundamental human right, regardless of financial or geographic constraints” said Art Schreiber, executive director of The AIR Foundation, “by allowing the blind and visually impaired to have equal access to computer and Internet information through the free use of an advanced screen reader like SA To Go, we have already taken great strides toward our mission.”

The AIR Foundation will solicit funds and contract development of product enhancements including availability in other languages. The organization’s first priority is to make SA To Go available in Mandarin Chinese.

“SA To Go is highly intuitive and requires minimal training to use,” said Serotek CEO, Mike Calvo, “the user not only has access to information displayed on Web pages, but to Web-based applications such as Internet telephone service, and to applications resident on the host computer. The user can also access PDF files, fill out forms, and otherwise interact with information with the same facility as a sighted person.”

The AIR Foundation will operate through the generosity of organizations donating their time, expertise, and funds. It invites other nonprofits, assistive technology vendors, mainstream hardware and software companies and anyone interested in promoting accessibility as every person’s right, to align with the AIR team.

The AIR Foundation
The AIR Foundation is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to advocate, teach, and deliver information accessibility tools. We focus on the accessibility needs of blind and low-vision people. Our mantra is “accessibility is a right” and we work with corporations and agencies worldwide to deliver free accessibility to all. For more information, call 877-369-0101 or visit http://www.accessibilityisaright.org/

Serotek Corporation
Serotek Corporation is a leading technology company that develops software and manufactures accessibility solutions. Committed to the mission of providing accessibility anywhere, Serotek launched the first online community specifically designed to meet the needs of people with disabilities. Since then, Serotek has introduced several powerful, affordable solutions that require minimal training and investment. For more information, visit http://www.serotek.com/.



This press release was first posted at the Air Foundation web site. It has also been circulated on several on-line newsletters and mailing lists, incluing AdHoc_IDC, the DPI newsletter, and Intl-Dev.

People interested in technology for people with vision impairments may also wish to learn more about the Sightsaver’s Dolphin Pen, which is a low-cost screenreader targeted at people in developing countries, or in information about low-cost, mechanical Braille writers.



Also at We Can Do: catch up with the news; explore resources, toolkits, or funding and fellowship opportunities that might be helpful for your organization; find research, reports, papers, or statistics; or look up conferences, events, call for papers, or education/training opportunities.



Learn how to receive an email alert when new material is posted at We Can Do (wecando.wordpress.com).



This blog post is copyrighted to We Can Do (https://wecando.wordpress.com). Currently, only two web sites have on-going permission to syndicate (re-post) We Can Do blog posts: BlogAfrica.com and www.RatifyNow.org. If you are reading this anywhere OTHER THAN We Can Do, BlogAfrica, or RatifyNow, then you are most likely reading a web site that regularly plagiarizes the work of other people without their permission.

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NEWS: Radio Program for Blind Listeners Recognized

Posted on 18 February 2008. Filed under: Blind, Media & Journalism, News, South Asian Region | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Announcement from Score Foundation, India

It is with great pleasure that we at Score Foundation share with you the good news that our Radio programme Eyeway, yea hai roshni ka karwan has won the Radio Duniya Award for 2008 in the category “Best Social Responsibility Initiative”. The award comprises a shield and a certificate.

Project Eyeway is a single stop information Help Desk on the eye and blindness. The Eyeway, yea hai roshni ka karwan is a half hour radio show in Hindi broadcast over the 29 stations of the Vivid Bharti network of All India Radio. The programme comprises interviews, profiles read by celebrities, advice on various issues, music and competitions. The programme that was first launched in November 2005 connects the Eyeway Help Desk with our stake holders across the country. At the present moment we receive an average of 35 to 40 calls a week. The callers share with our Help Desk questions and concerns regarding matters like careers, parenting, education, discrimination, human rights violation, legal issues, technology and life in general. Our Help Desk counsels them and connects them with organisations and professionals who have the where with all to help.

The award is a recognition of the relevance and value of our effort and is definitely a great motivation for all of us at Score Foundation to take our work to the next level.

Best regards,

George

George Abraham
CEO
Score Foundation
Y-70, Lower Ground Floor
Hauz Khas
New Delhi 110016
Ph: 91 11 26852581/91 11 26852559
Mob: 91 9810934040
Email: george [at] eyeway.org
website: www.eyeway.org

Ps. You can also hear the radio programme online at
www.eyeway.org/include/radio/radio.php

[Note from We Can Do: it is not clear from their web site if they have transcripts or captions available for deaf people interested in their radio program. Any interested Deaf, deaf, hard of hearing, or hearing impaired individuals should go to their web site and contact them directly to inquire.]



Thank you to George Abraham for circulating this notice about Eyeway’s award.



Also at We Can Do: catch up with the news; explore resources, toolkits, or funding and fellowship opportunities that might be helpful for your organization; find research, reports, papers, or statistics; or look up conferences, events, call for papers, or education/training opportunities.



Learn how to receive an email alert when new material is posted at We Can Do (wecando.wordpress.com).



This blog post is copyrighted to We Can Do (https://wecando.wordpress.com). Currently, only two web sites have on-going permission to syndicate (re-post) We Can Do blog posts: BlogAfrica.com and www.RatifyNow.org. If you are reading this anywhere OTHER THAN We Can Do, BlogAfrica, or RatifyNow, then you are most likely reading a web site that regularly plagiarizes the work of other people without their permission.

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CASE STUDIES: Disabled Women Entrepreneurs in Ethiopia

Posted on 26 January 2008. Filed under: Blind, Case Studies, Cognitive Impairments, Cross-Disability, Deaf, Employment, Mobility Impariments, Sub-Saharan Africa Region, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Women with disabilities in Ethiopia and many other countries can face enormous obstacles in becoming economically independent. But some Ethiopian disabled women do become successful entrepreneurs.

A publication from the International Labour Organization (ILO), entitled Doing Business in Addis Ababa: Case Studies of Women Entrepreneurs with Disabilities in Ethiopia, presents 20 stories that describe how women with various disabilities have established their own small businesses in Addis Ababa and the Tigray region in Ethiopia. The women have a range of disabilities including visual impairments, hearing impairments, mobility impairments; and some have had leprosy. Two stories also describe how mothers of children with learning difficulties became entrepreneurs.

All the stories depict both the challenges faced by disabled women in Ethiopia and also the range of possibilities that can be open to them when they have access to the right skills, training, and opportunities. Many of the disabled women entrepreneurs in these case studies are able to use their income to support their families and children.

Read an abstract and download the publication in PDF format at:

http://digitalcommons.ilr.cornell.edu/gladnetcollect/189/



We Can Do learned about this publication by browsing through Siyanda, an on-line database for publications and research related to gender and development.



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RESOURCE: Low-Cost, Mechanical Braille-Writers

Posted on 18 January 2008. Filed under: Blind, News, Resources, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

[Originally published at wecando.wordpress.com (We Can Do) at http://tinyurl.com/26lwyl]

As many as 90% of the world’s 45 million blind people live in developing countries. But only about 10% of them have the tools they need to write in Braille. Even if they had electronic Braille writing equipment, specialized Braille paper is even more rare in developing countries. Also, two billion people still lack access to electricity.

Tim Connell, in writing for the January 2008 issue of the American Foundation of the Blind Access World newsletter says there is a solution to this problem. Two products have recently been developed that can write Braille onto regular paper without using electricity. One is the Jot a Dot, which has been used successfully in a pilot evaluation project in Uganda. The other is the Tatrapoint Braille Writer, which has the additional innovation that the keys can be spaced differently to accommodate different sized hands. (Think of rapidly growing children, with their rapidly growing hands.) Both are designed to be small and portable, like the traditional stylus and slate that also has been used for producing Braille by hand. However, both operate similarly to electronic Braille writers.

Tim Connell criticizes most blindness agencies and organizations for failing to give more support to distributing simple Braille writing technologies in developing countries. It should be noted that Connell works for the Quantam Technology company that sells both the Jot a Dot and the Tatrapoint Braille Writer. This, however, does not invalidate some of his underlying arguments. For example, he points out that blind people deserve to have a wider range of technologies and tools that enable them to write in different situations and contexts–just like sighted people do.

Read more about the Jot a Dot, the Tatrapoint Braille Writer, and Tim Connell’s views on why agencies should be more actively involved in supporting low-tech (and high-tech) solutions for blind people, at http://www.afb.org/afbpress/pub.asp?DocID=aw090107.

Read more about the Jot a Dot and the Tatrapoint Braille Writer products at the Quantam Technology web site.

If you’re interested in other low-cost, portable technologies for blind people in developing countries, then you might also be interested in reading about the Sightsaver’s Dolphin Pen. The Dolphin Pen is designed to enable blind people in developing countries to read computers.



We Can Do learned about Tim Connell’s article on alternate Braille writing equipment through the Accessibility discussion group. The Accessibility email group is devoted to brainstorming how to make the XO laptop more accessible for disabled children in developing countries. People can join the Accessibility mailing list for free.



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REPORT: State of Disabled People’s Rights in Kenya (2007)

Posted on 17 January 2008. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Blind, Cognitive Impairments, Cross-Disability, Deaf, Human Rights, Mobility Impariments, Reports, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

[Originally published at wecando.wordpress.com (We Can Do) at http://tinyurl.com/27gxpy]

A recent publication, entitled “State of Disabled People’s Rights in Kenya (2007) Report,” analyzes national and regional Kenyan legislation on disability; government programs and policies on disability, and case law in disability. The report also presents the results of interviews with disabled people in three selected regions within Kenya about their human rights situation, in respect to dignity, autonomy, equality, and inclusion. Deaf people, blind people, and people with mobility impairments, and intellectual disabilities were interviewed. An overview of the disability rights movement in Kenya is given.

The examination of legislation and policies found that the Constitution of Kenya guarantees the human rights and liberties of all citizens. However, although the constitution outlaws discrimination on grounds such as race, tribe, or color, it does not specifically outlaw discrimination on the basis of disability. Further, anti-discrimination laws have not been enforced in cases where disability-related discrimination has occurred.

Interviews with individual disabled people in Kenya found that nearly three-quarters had been denied the right to make decisions affecting their own lives. Also, 80% report experiencing segregation, isolation, and lack of support for their needs. More than one-third reported that their own families had committed abuse or violence on them, and more than 45 percent said their families did not allow them to participate in family activities on the same basis as other family members.

The report recommends strengthening the capacity of Disabled People’s Organizations to address human rights issues; mainstreaming disability rights issues into government bodies and the national development strategy; involving disabled people and their organization in improving anti-discrimination legislation; and making the court process more accessible to disabled people so they can more effectively challenge disability-based discrimination.

The “State of Disabled People’s Rights in Kenya (2007) Report” was commissioned by the African Union of the Blind in collaboration with the Kenyan Union of the Blind, the World Blind Union, and the Centre for Disability Rights Education and Advocacy (CREAD), with support from the Swedish International Development Agency, the Swedish Association of the Visually Impaired, and Disability Rights Promotion International (DRPI).

The report can be read on-line at http://www.yorku.ca/drpi/Kenya07.html#startContent

The report also can be downloaded in PDF format (1.2 Mb) at http://www.yorku.ca/drpi/files/KenyaReport07.pdf



This article has been reposted at the RatifyNow.org web site with permission of author. RatifyNow is an organization working to maximize the number of countries signing, ratifying, and implementing the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).



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RESOURCE: Books for Healthier People, Happier Children

Posted on 16 January 2008. Filed under: Blind, Children, Cross-Disability, Deaf, Health, Resources, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

[Originally published at wecando.wordpress.com (We Can Do) at http://tinyurl.com/2b23c5]

If you’re sick, and you’re in an industrialized country with a health insurance system that meets your needs reasonably well, then you go to the doctor. Or if you are a parent who has just found out that your child is deaf or blind, you turn to professionals for advice and services.

But sometimes there is no doctor. And there are no professionals. If you’re poor; if you have no medical insurance; if you’re in a remote rural area; if the nearest doctor, clinic, or rehabilitation center is three days away on the back of a donkey, then you’re on your own.

Books cannot replace good-quality, affordable medical care from professionals. Nor can they replace blind adults who can teach your child Braille, or deaf adults who can teach your family sign language. But the right kind of books can still save lives. And books can guide parents and community members in helping integrate their disabled children into the family and community.

That’s where the Hesperian Foundation comes in. The Hesperian Foundation is a non-profit organization that publishes books and educational materials. People in developing countries around the world use publications from the Hesperian Foundation to help them understand how to take better care of their own
health and how to raise disabled children. These books are written in simple language with many pictures that can be understood by people with basic literacy skills. Some have been translated into Spanish. A few have also been translated into other languages, such as Chinese or Vietnamese.

Their most famous book is Where There is No Doctor, also available in its Spanish edition, Donde no hay doctor.

Many of their books can be downloaded for free, one chapter at a time, from Hesperian’s on-line library in PDF format. Other books can be purchased.

Don’t have enough money to buy the books you need to save lives or guide parents in your community? Not satisfied with downloading books for free onto your computer? Discounts may be available, under certain conditions, for people in developing countries. A limited number of print books may be available, for free, to some health workers and community leaders in developing countries, through the Gratis Books program.

Free books of particular interest to people with disabilities, their families, and the professionals who work with them, include: A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities; Helping Children Who are Deaf; Helping Children Who are Blind (in English); and the Spanish edition of the same book, Ayudar a los ninos ciegos. People can also purchase Disabled Village Children; or the Spanish edition of the same book, El nino campesino deshabilitado.

If you wish to download a free book or book chapter, you can proceed to the Hesperian on-line library at http://www.hesperian.org/publications_download.php#wwd.

If you wish to purchase a book or multiple publications, you can review the full list of products at http://www.hesperian.org/mm5/merchant.mvc?Store_Code=HB&Screen=PLST.

Have any questions about how to order a book, or how to get a discount for people in developing countries? You may find it helpful to consult the book order FAQ at http://www.hesperian.org/publications_faq.php.

Inquiries about ordering books or obtaining discount prices can be directed to the Hesperian Foundation store at bookorders@hesperian.org.



The information provided in this post was gathered by exploring the Hesperian Foundation web site. Any inquiries should be directed to the Hesperian Foundation.



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NEWS: Christian Blind Mission Now for All Disabilities

Posted on 6 January 2008. Filed under: Blind, Cross-Disability, Deaf, Education, Mobility Impariments, News, Psychiatric Disabilities, Rehabilitation | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

The Christian Blind Mission has announced that they will now serve people with all disabilities, not only people with vision impairments. Until now, the century-old organization also known as Christoffel Blinden Mission and now officially named cbm, has focused its efforts on preventing and treating blindness and on providing education and rehabilitation services for people with vision impairment.

“The organization has decided that its purpose and work is to improve the quality of life of all persons with disability, which includes those with hearing or physical impairment and mental ill health as well as those with visual loss,” says CBM president, Prof. Allen Foster.

CBM has also issued a new motto: “Together we can do more.” The word “together” is meant to emphasize the importance of partnership, particularly with organizations in low-income countries and with mainstream development organizations. The phrase “we can” is meant to emphasize ability over disability. And “do more” is meant to challenge the fact that the majority of people with disabilities in developing nations do not receive the medical, educational, and rehabilitation services they need.

CBM works with more than 700 partners in more than 100 countries to serve more than 18 million people with disabilities.

More detail can be found at:

http://www.cbmicanada.org/news_viewer.asp?news_id=138



Thank you to Ghulam Nabi Nazimani for helping alert me to this news.



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News at Your Fingertips

Posted on 30 December 2007. Filed under: autism, Blind, Children, Cognitive Impairments, Commonwealth Nations, Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR), Cross-Disability, Deaf, Democratic Participation, East Asia and Central Asia, East Asia Pacific Region, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Education, Employment, Families, Funding, Health, HIV/AIDS, Human Rights, Inclusion, Introduction to "We Can Do", Latin America & Caribbean, Middle East and North Africa, Mobility Impariments, Multiple Disabilities, News, Psychiatric Disabilities, Rehabilitation, Reports, Resources, South Asian Region, Sub-Saharan Africa Region, technology, Women |

I have now added a page to the top navigation bar, News, that consolidates all the news and press releases posted at We Can Do since this blog began.

I mostly cribbed this new page from the work I did recently for the We Can Do Retrospective: The First 100 Posts (and Then Some). However, if you compare the two, you will see that there are more items listed under the “News” page in the top navigation bar than there are in the Retrospective post. That’s because, when I wrote the Retrospective post, I made a rule with myself that each We Can Do post would be listed only once, even if it arguably belonged in more than one category. Some of the “news” items reported new resources that might still be helpful for readers months or years from now. So I listed those items under “Resources” in the Retrospective post instead of news. But for the “News” page in the navigation bar, I made sure to include anything that was tagged as “news” when it was first posted.

I will try to keep the “News” page up to date. You will notice that it already includes one news item that has gone up since the Retrospective post.



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We Can Do Retrospective: The First 100 Posts (and Then Some)

Posted on 22 December 2007. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Announcements, Arts, autism, Blind, Call for Papers, Case Studies, Children, Cognitive Impairments, Commonwealth Nations, Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR), Cross-Disability, Deaf, Democratic Participation, Disability Studies, Disaster Planning & Mitigation, East Asia and Central Asia, East Asia Pacific Region, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Education, Education and Training Opportunities, Employment, Events and Conferences, Families, Fellowships & Scholarships, Funding, Guest Blogger, Health, HIV/AIDS, Housing, Human Rights, Immigration, Inclusion, Interpreting, Introduction to "We Can Do", Jobs & Internships, Latin America & Caribbean, Middle East and North Africa, Mobility Impariments, Multiple Disabilities, News, Opinion, Opportunities, Policy & Legislation, Poverty, Psychiatric Disabilities, Rehabilitation, Remittances, Reports, Resources, South Asian Region, Sub-Saharan Africa Region, technology, Violence, Volunteer Opportunities, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Skip introduction, go straight to the Table of Contents

If you’re new to We Can Do, what interesting information, news, or resources might you have overlooked from the past few months? Although some older items may no longer be interesting, others may still be relevant and helpful a year or three from now. This post can help guide you through the first 100-plus posts at this blog. You can click from the table of contents below to any section of this page that interests you–and then another click on “table of contents” can take you back to the contents, or “top of this page” takes you back to this introduction.

Top of this page


Table of Contents

Table of Contents; Top of this page

About We Can Do

To learn more about the purpose of We Can Do, see About We Can Do. For more on its guiding philosophy, go to Why We Can Do.

Thinking about submitting your own written materials, job posts, conference announcements, or resources to We Can Do? Check the Wish list for written materials and resources.

Want to receive an alert in email when a new post goes up at We Can Do? You can Subscribe to We Can Do for free.

I changed the organization and appearance of We Can Do in early October to its present format.

Table of Contents; Top of this page

The Five Most Popular We Can Do posts

The five listed here are the ones that have attracted the most “page views” since We Can Do began in late July. You may notice that not all of these are featured in the 10 “most popular posts” listed in the right-hand navigation bar. That’s because the navigation bar only lists posts that have received a lot of traffic very recently (I think within the past few days; its done automatically by wordpress so I’m not sure how it works). But here I’m listing the five that have the highest TOTAL page views.

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The Five Most Under-Rated We Can Do posts

Are these posts really under-rated? You’ll have to read them and decide for yourself. But in choosing these five, I used two criteria: 1. These are posts that have received fewer than 100 visitors–sometimes far fewer. 2. These are posts that I think could be helpful or interesting to readers and maybe deserve more attention than they have gotten. These are in no particular order:

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Finding Practical Resources and Case Studies or Helpful Organizations

Finding organizations; Resources for inclusive development; Human rights resources; Case studies; Other helpful resources

Finding organizations
Mainstream international development agencies sometimes say that they don’t know how to find people with disabilities, or their representative organizations, in the developing countries where they work. Reviewing the July post entitled Finding Local Disability Organizations may help point you in the right direction. Also see Disability Organizations in Afghanistan, Asia, Kenya, Uganda.

Disabled People’s Organizations (DPOs) sometimes aren’t sure where to find mainstream development organizations and resources that might be willing to collaborate with them.

There is an international network of organizations for families of people with Rubinstein Taybi Syndrome.

Top of Finding practical resources; Table of Contents; Top of this page

Resources for Inclusive Development
Both disability advocates and mainstream development organizations want to ensure that people with disabilities are not left behind when countries and organizations fight poverty or improve public health, education, water, and other services. But it can be a challenge to figure out how to make projects and government policies more inclusive. The following resources can help:

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Resources on the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
By now, you may be aware that a global movement is taking place to ratify the international disability rights treaty, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Many relevant resources are now being produced in relation to the CRPD, some of which have been posted or featured here at We Can Do:

  • Read the CRPD “translated” into plain English.
  • UNICEF has developed a child-friendly version of the CRPD to help children understand disability rights
  • Disabled People International offers two toolkits on ratifying and implementing the CRPD for disability advocates who want to help ensure that all disabled people have their human rights recognized.
  • A handbook on disability rights targeted at parliamentarians can help parliamentarians, people who work in close contact with government agencies, and disability advocates in general, better understand the CRPD.
  • The United Nations’ new web site, UN Enable, is one of the best, and most official, places to find information on the CRPD.
  • Handicap International has produced its own Teaching Kit on the CRPD.
  • The International Disability Equality Agency (IDEA) has issued Equalize It! A Manifesto for Disability Equality in Development Cooperation that expresses their position on how to ensure disability equality in the international development field.
  • Top of Finding practical resources; Table of Contents; Top of this page

    Case Studies
    Reviewing case studies of projects implemented elsewhere can be a valuable source of ideas that could help you figure out how to run or implement your own projects. I would love to post many more best-practice and failed-practice case studies than I have available right now. If you think you have something worth sharing, please check my Wish List of Written Materials and Resource and contact me at ashettle [at] patriot.net.

    But for now, here are two case studies:

    Top of Finding practical resources; Table of Contents; Top of this page

    Other Helpful Resources

    Top of Finding practical resources; Table of Contents; Top of this page

    Finding Useful Sources of Information and Research

    Finding academic research, papers, resources, or statistics
    Looking for academic research and academic papers; resources that can be used by people working in the field; or sources of statistics? Some of the following posts may be helpful:

    Information on people with disabilities
    Interested in learning about the living conditions of people with disabilities in specific nations, or in specific thematic areas? Some of the following may be of interest:

    Table of Contents; Top of this page

    Funding Sources

    Table of Contents; Top of this page

    Academic Papers

    We Can Do has published, or re-published, academic papers, or linked to same, on a range of subjects, including:

    Table of Contents; Top of this page

    News

    September 2007; October 2007; November 2007; Early December 2007

    September 2007
    At one point in September, the international disability community prematurely thought we might be On the Verge of Making History by ratifying the disability rights community.

    Top of News; Table of Contents; Top of this page

    October 2007

    Top of News; Table of Contents; Top of this page

    November 2007

    Top of News; Table of Contents; Top of this page

    Early December 2007

    Top of News; Table of Contents; Top of this page

    Opinion Pieces

    So far, the opinion pieces here are all by me. But I would like for We Can Do to be host to an active exchange of ideas and differing perspectives. If you have a strong opinion about something, please consider submitting it. Yes, that includes opinions that disagree with mine! Consult the Wish list for written materials and resources for ideas of the kinds of topics I’m trying to cover at We Can Do.

    Meanwhile, here are a few of my own opinion pieces:

    Table of Contents; Top of this page

    Call for Papers (for Conferences, Journals, Other)

    You might be just now starting your academic career as an undergraduate or graduate student. Or perhaps you have been doing quantitative or qualitative research, or writing policy analysis, or case studies, or social analysis, for years. Either way, if you’re looking for opportunities to present, publish, or otherwise disseminate your papers or run a workshop, then check out these upcoming or ongoing opportunities:

    Table of Contents; Top of this page

    International Conferences and Events

    Looking for a conference to attend? Here are a few upcoming events:
    January 2008; February 2008; March 2008; April 2008; May 2008; August 2008; September 2008; November 2008

    January 2008
    The South Asian Conference on Autism is being held in New Delhi, India in January 2008.

    Top of International Conferences and Events; Table of Contents; Top of this page

    February 2008

  • The Disabilities Initiatives in Development Seminar, also in Bangladesh also in February 2008.
  • One for all: Persons with Disabilities Initiative in Development, again in Bangladesh in February 2008.
  • The International Centre for Sign Languages and Deaf Studies at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston, UK is holding a conference on sign language research in the UK in February 2008.
  • A conference on the deaf community, sign languages, social issues, civil rights, and creativity will be held on the campus of Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, USA.
  • The Techshare India 2008 Conference on accessibility will be held in New Delhi, India, in February 2008.
  • Top of International Conferences and Events; Table of Contents; Top of this page

    March 2008
    The 8th annual meeting of the Gulf Disability Society will meet in United Arab Emirates in March 2008.

    Top of International Conferences and Events; Table of Contents; Top of this page

    April 2008

    Top of International Conferences and Events; Table of Contents; Top of this page

    May 2008

    Top of International Conferences and Events; Table of Contents; Top of this page

    August 2008

    Top of International Conferences and Events; Table of Contents; Top of this page

    September 2008

    Top of International Conferences and Events; Table of Contents; Top of this page

    November 2008
    The Association on Women’s Rights in Development (AWID)’s International Forum on Women’s Rights and Development will be held in Cape Town, South Africa in November 2008. A call for proposals is open until January 28, 2008.

    Top of International Conferences and Events; Table of Contents; Top of this page

    Jobs, Internships, Volunteer Opportunities

    We Can Do will probably never be a comprehensive job-board. Serious job, internship, or volunteer placement hunters will want to explore other means of finding opportunities. For example, jobs, internships, and volunteer opportunities in the international field generally, or in the disability field generally, can sometimes be found at www.idealist.org. But I do occasionally happen to come across a job announcement. Here are a few that may still be open to applications:

    Table of Contents; Top of this page

    Education and Training Opportunities

    Table of Contents; Top of this page

    Missed Opportunities

    Missed call for papers; Missed training opportunities; Missed job, internship, and volunteer opportunities; Missed events and conferences

    Some of the material I post at We Can Do is time-sensitive material. That means the conferences announced here have come and gone; job posts have been filled; and deadlines are over. So, if it’s too late for you to do anything about any of the following announcements, then why bother listing them? First, some conference organizers issue compilations of papers and presentations or other interesting materials after their event is over. If a topic interests you, it may be worth communicating with event organizers to see if any follow-up publications are available. Second, organizations that offer one conference, job opportunity, call for papers, etc., may offer something similar in the future. Many conferences, for example, meet every one, two, three, or four years. Monitoring, joining, or communicating with organizations of interest to you could help ensure that you learn about the next opportunity in time to plan for it.

    Top of Missed Opportunities; Table of Contents; Top of this page

    Missed Call for Papers
    The German Journal for Disability and Development called for papers on art and disabilities to be submitted by the end of November 2007.

    Also browse through the listing of upcoming conferences and missed conferences.

    Top of Missed Opportunities; Table of Contents; Top of this page

    Missed Training Opportunities

    In October 2007, the International Labour Organisation had a training course for professionals from developing countries.

    Top of Missed Opportunities; Table of Contents; Top of this page

    Missed Jobs, Internships, and Volunteer Opportunities
    Remember that it is too late to apply for these specific opportunities. These are listed here in case you want to check out the sponsoring organizations for future opportunities like these:

    Top of Missed Opportunities; Table of Contents; Top of this page

    Missed Event and Conference Opportunities

    Top of Missed Opportunities; Table of Contents; Top of this page

    What’s Next for We Can Do?

    I am not yet satisfied with We Can Do. I still see many gaps that I want to repair. I want to find, and post, more materials of a pragmatic nature. By which I mean, material that people in the field can put to immediate use in improving the lives of disabled people in developing countries. If you think you can help me locate helpful materials, please review my Wish list for written materials and resources and contact me.

    I also want to reach more development professionals at mainstream development organizations and more employees and volunteers at international disability organizations. And I want to reach more small DPOs and individual advocates in more developing countries. The knowledge shared at We Can Do cannot help until it is brought to people with disabilities living in poverty in developing countries. That “final mile” can only be bridged by readers like YOU.

    If you want to help, I hope you will consider telling your colleagues and contacts about We Can Do. If you run a web site or a blog, please consider linking to We Can Do at https://wecando.wordpress.com. If you have the skills, the time, and the commitment to launch a We Can Do mirror site translation into some other language, please talk to me (leave a comment or email me at ashettle [at] patriot.net). And please do feel free to print out the more helpful We Can Do posts to share with people you know in developing countries who do not have easy access to the Internet.

    For those of you who like numbers: We Can Do had 285 page views in July; 851 in August; 1305 in September; 2936 in October; 4862 in November; and more than 5100 in the first three weeks of December. And who is responsible for making these numbers happen? Why—you, of course! So, thank you for visiting We Can Do.

    Table of Contents; Top of this page

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    NEWS: Enabling Blind to Read Computers in Africa, Other Developing Regions

    Posted on 11 December 2007. Filed under: Announcements, Blind, East Asia and Central Asia, East Asia Pacific Region, Latin America & Caribbean, News, South Asian Region, Sub-Saharan Africa Region, technology | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    Sightsavers Dolphin Pen – For developing countries

    What is Sightsavers Dolphin Pen?

    The Sightsavers Dolphin Pen is a low-cost, lightweight pen drive with a screen magnifier and screen reader, designed to benefit those living in some of the world’s poorest communities. It enables visually impaired people in Africa and other developing regions to gain the same access to computers as sighted people – and so to develop their skills and employment prospects.

    This is an exciting venture because it is the first time a world-ranked assistive technology manufacturer has collaborated with an NGO (non-government organisation) to make high-quality product such as this available at cost price to eligible overseas projects.

    Robin Spinks of Sightsavers International says: “Blind and low vision computer users can now carry their assistive software on a pen drive and use it on any PC. This represents a huge step forward for visually impaired computer users in developing countries.”

    Users can take magnification and speech with them to any PC.
    Easy to use and quick to set up. Simply plug in and go.
    Lightweight yet robust. Fits in a pocket.
    Gives independence to produce documents, send email and surf the web.
    Will be made available in schools and universities wherever possible.

    The pen will be available in eligible African countries and in other eligible countries in Asia (both Eastern Asia and Southern Asia); Eastern Europe and Central Asia; and Latin America and the Caribbean.

    For more information:

    http://www.yourdolphin.com/productdetail.asp?id=27&utm_source=SSdolphinpenKenya&utm_medium=email


    Most of the text for this blog post is taken from the Dolphin Pen web site. We Can Do first learned about the Dolphin Pen through an announcement distributed on the Intl-Dev email news distribution list.


    Learn how to receive an email alert when new material is posted at We Can Do.

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    Receive We Can Do alerts via email!

    Posted on 7 December 2007. Filed under: Announcements, Blind, Introduction to "We Can Do" |

    If you wish, you can receive an alert in email when new posts are added to We Can Do. You can subscribe for free via “Feedblitz” at:

    http://www.feedblitz.com/f/?Sub=332241

    If you are blind, visually impaired, or dyslexic, then you will need to subscribe in a different way. The usual web form at the Feedblitz site above asks subscribers to prove they are a human being–not a robot–by looking at an image and typing the letters they see. This is not accessible to screen readers. It may also be difficult for some people with dyslexia. BUT the good news is that Feedblitz says they will help you subscribe. If you are blind, visually impaired, or otherwise unable to subscribe via the feedblitz web subscription form, then you can send an email to Feedblitz Support at

    support@feedblitz.com

    Tell them you want to subscribe to the We Can Do blog at https://wecando.wordpress.com Also tell them whether you want these alerts via email, Skype, AOL IM, or Twitter (public or private).

    Feedblitz says that they will help blind or visually impaired users subscribe to the blog(s) of your choice within one business day. This probably means 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. So if you try to sign up when it is Friday night in the United States then Feedblitz might not help until the following Monday.

    I ALSO encourage blind, visually impaired, or dyslexic users to let me know that you are trying to subscribe. If you do this, then I can help make sure your subscription goes through as quickly as possible, or I can help you follow up with Feedblitz if you run into trouble. You can contact me by posting a comment in the comments area below. (Be sure to put your email address in the field provided for it so I can help you.) Or you can send me an email at ashettle [at] patriot.net.

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    CONFERENCE: Unite for Sight Int’l Health Conference

    Posted on 27 November 2007. Filed under: Announcements, Blind, Events and Conferences, Health | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    Unite For Sight 5th Annual International Health Conference: Building Global Health For Today & Tomorrow

    This conference, to be held April 12 & 13, 2008, at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA, is targeted at people interested in in public health, medicine, social entrepreneurship, nonprofits, philanthropy, anthropology, eye care, and international development. Other interested individuals may include students, doctors, nurses, Peace Corps volunteers, public health, business and nonprofit professionals, anthropologists, policy makers, philanthropists, educators, and others.

    There will be 150 expert speakers in international health and development, public health, eye care, medicine, social entrepreneurship, nonprofits, philanthropy, microfinance, human righs, anthropology, health policy, advocacy, public service, environmental health, and education. These will include keynote addresses by Dr. Jeffrey Sachs, Dr. Sonia Sachs, Dr. Susan Blumenthal, and Dr. Jim Yong Kim.

    Registration for the conferences ranges from $65 to $150 depending on how promptly you register (the earlier, the cheaper) and on whether you are a student (in which case, it is cheaper). Several hotels are located near the conference, but a special rate has been arranged at the Courtyard by Marriot for $129 per night. I could not locate information on the Unite for Sight website regarding whether there is any assistance for lodging, travel, or other expenses for participants traveling from developing nations.

    For more information, including how to register, follow the link to the conference website.


    The information for this blog post, and part of the text, was harvested from the conference website. We Can Do learned about this conference through the Poverty Reduction and Disability List (PRD-L).


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    NEWS: Human Rights Abuses of Disabled Children, Adults in Serbia

    Posted on 17 November 2007. Filed under: Blind, Children, Cognitive Impairments, Cross-Disability, Deaf, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Human Rights, Mobility Impariments, Multiple Disabilities, News, Psychiatric Disabilities | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

    MENTAL DISABILITY RIGHTS INTERNATIONAL

    Embargoed Until November 14th, 2007

    Contact: Laurie Ahern – 202.361.1402
    Eric Rosenthal – 202.361.9195
    Email: Lahern@mdri.org
    Email: Erosenthal@mdri.org

    HUMAN RIGHTS GROUP ACCUSES SERBIA OF TORTURE AND ABUSE AGAINST CHILDREN AND ADULTS WITH DISABILITIES

    Belgrade, Serbia – November 14, 2007 – Following a four year investigation, Mental Disability Rights International (MDRI) released its findings today in a report detailing the human rights abuses perpetrated against children and adults in Serbia with disabilities, forced to live out their lives in institutions. Torment not Treatment: Serbia’s Segregation and Abuse of Children and Adults with Disabilities describes children and adults tied to beds or never allowed to leave their cribs – some for years at a time. In addition, filthy conditions, contagious diseases, lack of medical care, rehabilitation and judicial oversight renders placement in a Serbian institution life threatening for both children and adults. The children and adults had a range of disabilities including Downs Syndrome, deafness, visual impairment, autism, and mobility impairments.

    “These are Serbia’s most vulnerable citizens. Thousands confined to institutions are subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment and abuse. Children and adults tied down and restrained over a lifetime is dangerous and painful treatment tantamount to torture – clear violations of the European Convention on Human Rights,” said Attorney Eric Rosenthal, Executive Director of MDRI and an expert on human rights law.

    “We call on the government of Serbia to stop these abuses immediately and to respect the human rights of all people with disabilities,” concluded Rosenthal.

    For more information visit www.mdri.org, where you can download a copy of the full report in PDF format, videos, and photos. The video footage does not have captions available. As a deaf person, I found that if you read the executive summary of the report and look at some of the photos before viewing the video then most of the images in the video speak for themselves. I’m guessing that there is probably no audio description for blind people; as a sighted deaf person, I’m afraid I’m not in a position to judge how much sense the video will make without it. Readers who are deaf or blind–or who support their interests–may wish to contact MDRI to encourage them to make their video materials available with both captions and audio description.

    MDRI is an international human rights and advocacy organization dedicated to the full participation in society of people with mental disabilities worldwide. We Can Do published an earlier press release from MDRI reporting on similar human rights abuses in Argentina; the Argentina report, entitled Ruined Lives, can still be downloaded from the front page of the MDRI web site (scroll down the page). More reports about human rights abuses of people with disabilities in Turkey, Peru, Uruguay, Mexico, Kosovo, Russia, and Hungary can be downloaded in PDF format from http://www.mdri.org/publications/index.htm

    Most of the text of this blog post comes from the MDRI press release, which can be retrieved at www.mdri.org.


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    PAPER: Equalizing Educational Opportunity for the Nigerian-Ghanaian Blind Girl-Child

    Posted on 11 November 2007. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Blind, Children, Education, Guest Blogger, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

    Equalizing Educational Opportunities for the Nigerian-Ghanaian Blind Girl-Child

    Florence Banku Obi
    Senior Lecturer
    Institute of Education
    University of Calabar
    NIGERIA

    [Editorial Note: Please note that the original version of this paper contained tables. We Can Do has converted them to text. Any flaws in this conversion are entirely my own and are not the fault of the author of this paper.]

    Introduction
    Education is recognised a major instrument of change and development. In recognising this, the Federal Republic of Nigeria Policy on Education aptly adopted education as an instrument par excellence for effecting national development. Education according to the United Nations Children Fund (Unicef) is a fundamental human right and the key factor to reducing poverty and child labour as well as promoting sustainable development. It is in the light of this that Nigeria and Ghana have well documented policies on the education of children with special needs. However, despite these policies discrimination still pervades in these societies.

    In Africa women generally lack access to education. Girls’ access to education is influenced by traditional considerations and attitudes which make them underrepresented. Girls are usually the first to be pulled out of school when the family suffers some financial lose or constrains. The picture is gloomier when the girl is blind. Girls who are blind in Africa are still to reap the benefit of the fight against gender discrimination which gained popularity in Africa after the Beijing Conference in 1998. They more than their sighted counterpart suffer lots of discrimination especially in the two countries. According to Rannveig Traustadottir as quoted by Bowe (1984) women with disabilities are likely to have received less education than both non-disabled women and men with disabilities. Women with disabilities are five times as likely as women without disabilities to have less than eight years of formal education; 17.4 percent of all women with disabilities have less than eight years of formal education as compared to 3.5 percent of non-disabled women. Only 16 percent of all women with disabilities are likely to have any college education compared to 31 percent of non-disabled women and 28 percent of men with disabilities (Bowe, 1984).

    Accordingly, boys who are blind are more likely to have more and better educational opportunities than girls. Bowe (1984) writing on the educational opportunities open to children with disabilities states that boys are likely to be perceived and identified for special education than girls. While disabled boys count for 51% of all students in elementary and secondary schools and up to 75% of students in special education classes (Russo & Jansen, 1988). in developed countries, they are said to count for less than 10% of the total school age children in Nigeria. Although this figure seems low compared to the non-disabled children there are relatively higher when compared to disabled girls who are in schools. Reasons advanced for why boys are more readily identified as needing special education include their disruptive behaviours which made parents to view them and their education as a priority to enable them develop the skills to be able to support themselves and a family later on.

    The history of education for the blind in Nigeria and Ghana

    Nigeria
    Children who are blind did not start to enjoy formal education until the early 1950s. The first school for the blind in Nigeria was established in 1953 at Gindiri in Plateau State by the Sudan United Mission (SUM). The school is now being run by Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN).This was followed up with the establishment of Pacelli School for the Blind at Lagos in 1962 by the Catholic Church and supported by the Federal Government. Oji River Rehabilitation Centre (now Oji River Special Education Centre) in Enugu State was the next in the line. Today there are a number of schools for the blind across the country. Among them include; St Joseph School for the blind, Obudu in Cross River State established in 1972 and supported by the Christoffel Blinden Mission (CBM), Ondo State school for the Blind Owo, School for the handicapped (blind unit) Sokoto, School for the blind Umuahia in Abia State, School for the blind, Zuba, Abuja among others (Olukotun, 2003; Skyes and Ozoji, 1992). Interestingly, the functional schools for the blind still have the missionaries as their proprietors.

    Ghana
    In Ghana, education of children who are blind was initiated by the missionaries and philanthropists (Special Education Division, (SED) 2004). The early attempt according to the SED was made in 1936, when two blind children were taught Braille reading and writing. The success of this experiment led to the establishment of a school for the blind at Akropong-Akuapem in the Eastern Region of the country by the Basel Mission in 1946 (SED, 2004). This became the first school for the blind in West Africa. In 1958, the Methodist Church established the second school for the blind at Wa in the Upper West Region. These two schools till date remain the basic schools for blind children in the country although some children who are blind are also integrated in seven mainstreamed schools across the country.

    Equal Educational Opportunities for all Children
    The basic reasons for the establishment of schools for the blind across the two countries are to provide educational opportunities to the children who are blind and integrate them into their societies. This was to prepare them to be functional citizens who will be able to contribute to the development of their nations and their families and to help them live as near a normal live as possible. These objectives are in line with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1949, the United Nations General Assembly Charter of 1959, and the United Nations Convention on the Right of the Child of 1989 which saw education as a human right issue (Unicef, 2004). Based on these Rights and Conventions all children including those who are blind are to access education by the year 2015. To make this realistic, Unicef (2004) in the Millennium Development Goals resolve to

    “eliminate gender disparities in primary and secondary education by 2005, and achieve gender equality in education by 2015, with a focus on ensuring girls’ full and equal access to and achievement in basic education of good quality; expand and improve comprehensive early childhood care and education for girls and boys especially for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children; promote innovative programmes that encourage schools and communities to search actively for children who have dropped out of schools especially girls ……children with special needs and children with disabilities and help them enrol, attend and successfully complete their education……and ensure that basic education programmes are accessible, inclusive and responsive to children with special learning needs and for children with various forms of disabilities”
    p. 34 & 35.

    It must be stated that in developing the Millennium Development Goals, cognizance was taken of the fact that all children (blind and sighted) are born free and equal in dignity and rights; therefore all forms of discrimination affecting them need be stopped.

    Research Questions
    The study seeks to answer two research questions.
    • Is there gender equity in the educational opportunities for children who are blind in Nigeria and Ghana?
    • Are girls who are blind negatively affected in the provisions of educational opportunities than boys who are blind?

    Subjects and Method
    The study involves only blind children in Nigeria and Ghana. The two schools for the blind in Ghana were involved in addition to all schools mainstreaming the blind. In Nigeria, three schools were used for the study. This was to make for easy data collection due to the size and population of the country. The three schools were visited and data collected from the heads of the schools. The schools used were, St Joseph School for the Blind, Obudu in Cross River State; Gindiri School for the Blind, Plateau State and Oji River Special Education Centre Enugu State. These schools happened also to be among the earliest Blind Schools in the country and were all established by the missionaries.

    Results

    Nigeria

    Table 1: Population of Blind Children in three selected schools in Nigeria

    Gindiri School for the Blind:
    2003/2004: 49 boys; 20 girls
    2004/2005: 58 boys; 29 girls
    2005/2006: 54 boys; 27 girls
    TOTAL: 161 boys; 76 girls

    St. Joseph Obudu
    2003/2004: 26 boys; 17 girls
    2004/2005: 25 boys; 12 girls
    2005/2006: 21 boys; 18 girls
    TOTAL: 72 boys; 57 girls

    Oji River Centre
    2003/2004: 32 boys; 28 girls
    2004/2005: 28 boys; 23 girls
    2005/2006: 35 boys; 27 girls
    TOTAL: 95 boys; 78 girls

    Table 1 show that for the three years under study, 161 boys representing 67.9% and 76 girls representing 32.1% in Gindiri School for the Blind had access to school. The school records also showed a yearly breakdown of new intakes in primary one in the 2003/2004, academic session to be 9 boys and 8 females; the 2004/2005 had 8 boys and 4 girls while 8 boys and 3 girls were admitted in the 2005/2006 session.

    St Joseph’s School for the Visually Impaired results also show that for the three years under study 72 blind boys as against 57 blind girls had access to school representing 55.8% and 44.2% respectively. The population of Oji River Centre shows that more boys are equally having access to education than girls.

    Ghana

    Table 2: Population of Blind Children in Special Schools in Ghana

    School for the blind-Akropong
    2003/2004: 162 boys; 111 girls
    2004/2005: 164 boys; 101 girls
    2005/2006: 175 boys; 104 girls
    TOTAL: 501 boys; 316 girls

    Wa School for the Blind
    2003/2004: 114 boys; 67 girls
    2004/2005: 108 boys; 65 girls
    2005/2006: 116 boys; 69 girls
    TOTAL: 338 boys; 201 girls

    The above table shows that 501 boys and 316 girls representing 61% and 39% respectively have access to education in the last three years under study in the School for the Blind, Akropong. Data from Wa School for the Blind reveals that 338 boys representing 63% and 201 girls representing 37% have had access to education in Special settings since 2003/2004 academic session. These figures show that more boys have access to education than girls in the country. In the three years under study, 839 and 517 blind boys and girls were in schools respectively. The figures also revealed that girls are more disadvantaged than boys and that there is no gender equity in the provisional of educational services to blind children in Ghana.

    Table 3: Population of blind children mainstreamed in the
    2003/2004 academic year
    Institution Students Enrolment
    Male Female Total

    Three Kings-Blind Unit: 10 males; 5 females; 15 total
    Wa Secondary School: 4 males; 2 females; 6 total
    Presbyterian Training College: 9 males; 6 females; 15 total
    Bechem Blind-Unit: 4 males; 2 females; 6 total
    Wenchi Seondary School: 14 males; 8 females; 22 total
    Cape Coast School for the Deaf-Unit: 9 males; 2 females; 11 total
    Wa Training College: 5 males; 2 females; 7 total
    TOTAL: 55 males; 27 females; 82 total

    The result on the table shows that in the 2003/2004 academic year, 55 males and 27 females who are blind were in mainstreamed schools in Ghana. This represents 67% and 33% boys and girls respectively.

    Discussion
    In Nigeria, results in table 1 shows that more boys have access to education than girls. Data gathered show that 161, 72, and 95 boys who are blind had access to education in Gindiri, Obudu and Oji River respectively. For the girls 76, 57, and 78 had access to Gindiri, Obudu and Oji River respectively. Of the total number of 529 children who are blind in the study schools, 328 are boys while 201 are girls thus representing 62 and 38 percent respectively.

    The result in Ghana is not different either. In tables two and three the data show that more blind boys have access to educational opportunities than the girls. The figures computed show that 839 boys and 517 girls have access to education in segregated special schools. These figures represent 61% for boys and 39% for girls. The results in table three show that they were more boys who are blind in mainstreamed regular schools than girls as at the 2003/2004 academic year. This lopsidedness goes to confirm that there is no gender equity in the provision of educational opportunities to children who are blind in Ghana.

    The findings are in conformity with the general trend where girls are denied educational opportunities in favour of boys. The reasons for this inequality are not far fetched. Women are associated with some stereotyped roles that make them feel subservient to the men in the society. For instance, there is the inculcation of the beliefs in both boys and girls in their formative years that there are definite and separate roles for both sexes (Chizea & Njoku, 1991). For instance, the traditional African society believes and teach that men are the bread-winners and at such they should be full of activity including access to education while women are home makers hence they should be home bound and passive. The socio-cultural environment of the two countries is so discriminatory in terms of gender. The Nigerian report under the United Nations Convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women states that women are relegated to the background and stereotyped roles of women drummed into and accepted by them from childhood (Chizea & Njoku, 1991).Abang-Wushishi (2004) pointed out that the different economies and socio-cultural factors affect sex roles and the different socialisation culture of boys and girls and their resulting personality formation. Citing Barry (1959) Abang-Wushishi states that boys were more pressured towards assertiveness, responsibility, achievement and self-reliance. The reasons for this state of affairs are the belief that women would sooner or later marry and their contribution to national development were in the areas of child-bearing, home-making and farming. Obi, (2004) states that the gender stereotyped and socialization process in Nigeria prepared women for domestic roles as housewives even with the introduction of western system of education. Western education was not considered relevant for girls but for boys. The situation is even worse when the girl in question is blind. Most parents have very poor concept of children who are blind especially the blind girl-child. These parents do not think that girls who are blind have bright opportunities in the society. Such parents will rather prefer to spend their money on the boys who have better chances of getting employment, marrying and raising a family. This is because it is not a common occurrence to see women who are blind happily married with children and having paid jobs unlike the case with most men who are blind. Davies (1996) attributed this to the fact that women in the society are still the more nurturing sex and they may be less hesitant to accept date from men who are blind that sighted men will do for girls who are blind. The fact that men find it very difficult to partner a girl who is blind affects the acceptability of such women in the society including the provision of educational services to them. Some informal interactions with some women who are blind revealed that some parents see investment in their education as a double waste of resources and energy for both the girl and the family. Many contend that their parents said they will rather use such monies to cater for their daily needs than school needs. The preference for boys has also to do with the fact that they are seen as those to continue with the family name hence much premium is placed on the birth and education of the boy child even when he is blind.

    Conclusion
    Education is seen in the society as the process of developing the whole being, physically, mentally, morally, politically and socially. However, despite the benefit and functions of education in the personal development of an individual and society at large cultural and social norms have been used over the years to deny women the opportunity of developing themselves and contributing to the development of their society. Women with disabilities especially the blind ones are one of the most vulnerable and marginalized groups in today’s society. We need to develop a better understanding of their lives in order to remove the obstacles that still remain in their way to equality. The constitutions of Ghana and Nigeria guarantee equal rights to citizens their handicapping condition not withstanding. The two countries educational policies equally advocate for non-discriminatory educational opportunities for all children. More importantly the United Nations in her different conventions on human rights has repeatedly emphasized the need for equal educational opportunities and access by all children irrespective of gender or disability. The governments of Ghana and Nigeria must as a matter of urgency put in place measures to ensure that the blind girl-child has unhindered access to education. Parents need to be sensitized on the need for the education of the blind girl-child. Women organizations and civil right activists should integrate the issues of education of the blind girl-child into their programmes and begin to advocate for the implementation of Nigerian and Ghanaian educational policies that emphasized on equality of educational opportunities for children. Defaulters (Heads of Schools, Parents, Guidance etc) should be prosecuted to serve as deterrents for others.

    References
    Abang-Wushishi, Rose (2004). Perceptions of Female Development. In Oshita O.Oshita (ed) Towards Self-Knowledge: Essays on the Boki Nation. Ibadon. Hope Publications

    Bowe, F. (1984). Disabled women in America: A statistical report drawn from census data. Washington, DC: President’s Committee on Employment of the Handicapped.

    Chizea, D. O and Njoku, J. (1991) Nigerian Women and the Challenges of our time. Lagos. Malthouse Press Limited.

    Davies, J. (1996). Sexuality Education for Children with Visual Impairment. http://www.tsbvi.edu/Education/sexuality-education.htm

    Obi, F.B. (2004). Women, Environment and Development in Boki. In Oshita O. Oshita (ed). Towards Self-Knowledge: Essays on the Boki Nation. Ibadon. Hope Publications

    Olukotu, J.O. (2003). Teaching Children with Blindness and Visual Impairment: A Basic Text. Ibadon. Codat Publications.

    Special Education Department (2004). Special Educational Needs Policy |Framework. Ghana Education Service.

    Skyes, K.C. and Ozoji, E.D. (1992). Teaching Blind and Low Vision Children. Zaria. Ahmadu Bello University Press Ltd.

    United Nations Children Fund (Unicef) (2004). A World Fit for Children. New York.


    Thank you to the author of this paper, Florence Banku Obi, for granting permission to publish it at We Can Do. This paper was previously presented at the presented at the 12th International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairments (ICEVI) World Conference held in Malaysia from 16-21 July 2006 and was also circulated on an email listserv called the “Disability Information Dissemination Network,” which is managed by the ”Centre for Services and Information on Disability”(CSID), Bangladesh and currently sponsored by Sightsavers International. Individuals who wish to join receive papers, news, and announcements like this one relevant to the concerns of people with disabilities in developing countries should send an email to csid@bdmail.net or csid@bdonline.com with the word “join” in the subject line.

    For more papers like this one, click “Academic Papers and Research” under “Categories” in the right-hand navigation bar. For more items related to blind people, or children, or education, or Sub-Saharan Africa generally, please click on the appropriate categories.

    The “tiny URL” to reach this page directly is http://tinyurl.com/26jdvz


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    Please Submit YOUR Materials to We Can Do

    Posted on 7 November 2007. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Announcements, Arts, Blind, Call for Papers, Case Studies, Children, Cognitive Impairments, Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR), Cross-Disability, Deaf, Disability Studies, Disaster Planning & Mitigation, East Asia Pacific Region, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Education, Employment, Events and Conferences, Families, Funding, Guest Blogger, HIV/AIDS, Housing, Human Rights, Immigration, Interpreting, Introduction to "We Can Do", Jobs & Internships, Latin America & Caribbean, Middle East and North Africa, Mobility Impariments, Multiple Disabilities, News, Opinion, Opportunities, Policy & Legislation, Poverty, Psychiatric Disabilities, Rehabilitation, Remittances, Resources, South Asian Region, Sub-Saharan Africa Region, Uncategorized, Violence, Volunteer Opportunities, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    Currently, We Can Do gathers news; announcements; academic papers; case studies; opinion pieces; information about resources; and other materials of interest to disabled advocates and international development professionals from a wide range of sources. In addition to these, from time to time, I write fresh content of my own.

    I also hope to be able to depend heavily on YOU–We Can Do readers–for some of the best, most interesting, and helpful materials. Examples of materials that would interest me include, but are not limited to: “best practice” case studies; “failed practice” case studies; checklists; fundraising advice or resources; other pragmatic resources; academic papers or reports; student projects; press releases; opinion pieces; announcements; and more. For more detail, please click on “Wish List for Written Materials and Resources” at the top navigation bar.

    If you can assist with my current top priority, or with any of the other items in my “wish list”, then PLEASE GET IN TOUCH. Email me at ashettle at patriot dot net or leave a short note in the comment area below and I’ll contact you.

    Current Top Priority for We Can Do

    Are you from Croatia, Cuba, Gabon, Hungary, India, Jamaica, or Panama? If so, were you involved with the movement to persuade your government to sign and ratify the international Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)? If so PLEASE CONTACT ME (ashettle at patriot dot net, or leave a comment below with your email address).

    I want to interview people involved with these movements (via email) so I can write a story describing what strategies you used; any barriers you faced along the way; how you overcame these barriers; any mistakes you made, how you corrected them, and how other countries can avoid them; what activities or techniques you think were the most critical to your success; and so forth. Sharing this type of information at We Can Do–and elsewhere–could be immensely helpful to disability movements in other countries that are working toward the same goals.

    My primary written language is English, pero puedo escribir y leer, mas o menos, en espanol tambien. (Lo siento para la mala ortografia–no se como crear acentos en WordPress.) Once we are in contact, I will probably have many questions for you–and follow up questions after that!

    Thank you for helping make We Can Do become a strong, good-quality resource for people with disabilities in developing countries and the people who are working hard to meet their needs.

    Edited to Add: I do not post my full email address because any recognizable email address posted on the web then immediately becomes the target of “spam harvesters” and starts receiving tons of unwanted, unsolicited commercial emails. But I spelled it out above and spell it out again here. But this time I’m amplifying it because I realize that not all people have learned how to parse spelled out email addresses:

    My username is: ashettle

    Every email address has an @ at sign @ between the user name and the domain name, thus ashettle@

    My email domain is patriot.net

    Put it all together and you have my email address.

    Or if that is still too confusing–or if it’s just easier for you–then feel free to leave a note below (with your email address in the area provided for it) and I’ll get in touch.


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    Violence Against Blind/VI Girls in Malawi

    Posted on 6 October 2007. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Blind, Case Studies, Children, Guest Blogger, Sub-Saharan Africa Region, Violence | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    This paper was presented by its author Abigail Suka at the 12th International Council on Education for People with Visual Impairment (ICEVI) World Conference held in Malaysia from 16-21 July 2006.  Although she was with Sightsavers International at the time she presented this paper, Abigail Suka is now an independent consultant in development issues, team building, and planning.  She is also a part-time postgraduate student working toward a Masters of Public Health (MPH) at the University of Malawi.  Thank you to Abigail Suka for granting permission to publish her paper at We Can Do.

    Violence against Girls who are Blind and
    Visually Impaired in Schools in Malawi

    Abigail Suka
    Country Representative
    Sight Savers International
    Private Bag A 197
    Lilongwe
    Malawi
    Introduction
    In Malawi violence against girls (VAG) is rampant. Research work commissioned between recently by DFID, Action Aid and its partners shows that out of all the incidences of violence in schools 65% of these affect girls while 35% affect boys.(1) None of this research has looked at how violence in school affects girls with disabilities in general and visual impairment in particular.

    Sight Savers International (SSI) in Malawi is a member of the Civil Society Coalition for Quality Basic Education (CSQBE) which recently conducted a study on Violence Against Girls. SSI collaborated with Malawi Union of the Blind to also gather some information from this study and extrapolate it to attempt to establish how the girl who is blind is affected by such violence. This paper reports issues raised in discussions held by the writer with MUB Girl Guide members using the CSQBE study report as a guide, and some key informants, mainly blind young women who have defied the odds and passed through an unsafe school system. It also draws on literature available on the subject.

    What is Gender Based Violence (GBV)?
    The Fourth World Conference of Women, held in Beijing, China in 1995, reported the continued exploitation and abuse of girls in spite of the ratification of various UN conventions notably the Convention of the Rights of the Child of 1989. Specific issues raised included the violence directed at girls in the form of female genital mutilation, forced and early marriages, sexual exploitation, unequal access to education and health care. GBV recognizes that violence directed at girls and women is expressive of patriarchal power and authority.(2)

    What is School Related Gender Based Violence (SRGBV)?
    SRGBV comes in various forms such as sexual, physical, verbal, emotional and psychological and occurs in and out of school. Perpetrators of VAG are many but most of the VAG is committed by male pupils and male teachers thereby making schools unsafe for girls. This problem came into the limelight because in most schools enrolment for girls in upper primary school and secondary schools in much lower than boys. Moreover in most schools girls perform poorly during classroom exercises, tests and examinations. This problem is partly attributed to violence and is of concern because they cause high drop out and low education attainment for girls.

    The Global Statistics on Violence Against Girls with Disabilities
    The FREDA Research Centre on VAG, based in Canada, reports that (3)
    • 53% of women with disabilities from birth have been raped, abused, or assaulted (Lynn & O’Neill 1995:278)
    • The rate of sexual abuse for girls with disabilities is quadruple that of the national average (Razack 1994)
    Another study conducted through the New York City Board of Education who documented cases of adult to student sexual abuse found that whilst students receiving special education made up only 7% of the student body as a whole, they made up twice that percentage of targets of abuse.(4) A report by Waxman Fiduccia summarizing a few studies that offer a gender breakdown suggests that women and girls face higher rates of abuse than men and boys, often at the rate of more than twice the rate of non disabled girls. (5)

    Perceptions about Violence Against Girls
    Centre for Social Research in Malawi found the following perceptions about acts that constitute violence against girls at school(6):

    • Corporal punishments like digging pits, molding bricks during class time
    • Teasing, bullying and beating by boys and teachers
    • Forced to have relationships and sex with boys and teachers
    • Verbal abuse
    • Sexually harassment i.e. touching their breasts and other private parts.
    • Rape
    • Impregnation
    • Discrimination by teachers.
    • Suspending and expelling girls without warnings.
    • Not giving girls chance to voice out their views.

    A focus group discussion undertaken with Malawi Union of the Blind – Youth Wing girls when they were undergoing Girl Guide training, identified all the above as factors affecting them and added some more as:

    • Threats and actual sexual abuse from specialist teachers, class room (contact) teachers and blind boys
    • Promises to marry from blind adults in leadership positions in the organization of the Blind
    • Extensive teasing, such as leading them to a wrong classroom, hiding their white cane and their writing materials (Primary Education Pack)
    • Not escorting them to the toilet
    • Name Calling: For girls with albinism and low vision they face ridiculing name calling such as Zigoma: after the name of a singer with albinism or Mzungu or whitey
    • Verbal abuse : belittling them suggesting no one would be interested in an affair with a blind girl

    The Face of SRGBV: Low Enrolment of Visually Impaired Girls in School
    There are more women with visual impairment than men, however enrolment figures obtained from an integrated education programme that Sightsavers International supports consistently show a lower enrolment of girls in primary schools. Data from 8 project districts is tabulated below:

    MALAWI INTEGRATED EDUCATION PROGRAMME
    ENROLMENT 2004
    DISTRICT IT’s VIC BOYS VIC GIRLS VIC TOTAL
    Blantyre 10 129 81 210
    Lilongwe 11 140 104 244
    Rumphi 8 64 64 128
    Chikwawa 5 37 28 65
    Zomba 6 35 39 74
    Salima 5 41 30 71
    Balaka 6 45 58 103
    Machinga 8 65 80 145

    Total 59 556 484 1040
    53% 47%

    The Basic Education Statistics 2005, reported national enrollment of visually impaired children in schools in 2005 to be 15490 (7), of which 7412(47%) are girls and 8078 (53%) are boys, as in the project districts supported.

    Analysis of the Basic Education Statistics published for 2005 demonstrates that of the number of visually impaired girls who would have started off primary school in Standard 1, only 15% make it to the final class in primary school (Standard 8) indicating an unacceptably high level of drop outs. Although ‘lack of interest’ is indicated as the major reason contributing to high drop out, this consultation and other evidence suggests that violence against these visually impaired girls in school is a key factor in this high drop out rate. Or at least violence in schools is a major cause of the lack of interest, in other words, girls simply stop going to school because of the unsafe environment and this is interpreted as ‘ a lack of interest’ Compared to sighted girls, 25% reach the final primary school class. Compared to visually impaired boys, 31% would reach Standard 8, even beating the sighted pupils demonstrating that girls in general occupy a lower place in society. This also accentuates the fact that when a girl, is not only a girl but is also blind, the odds of her finishing her education are even more limited.

    Sadly continuation to secondary school is even more dismal. Of 607 girls with visual impairment who would have completed Standard 8 in 2005, only 217 (35%) would make it to secondary school and not all of these will complete secondary school.

    Factors affecting their propensity to Violence
    The first obvious factor has to be the limitation caused by the disability itself that may make it more difficult for a girl with visual impairment to detect or even discern the behavior of her perpetrator. Harilyn Rousso in her paper on ‘Sexual harassment in Schools’ intimates that ‘disability – related limitations make it difficult for girls with certain disabilities, to detect and fully understand the nature of the perpetrators behaviour, and some disabilities may limit her ability to defend herself or move away from perpetrators and to report incidents of violence.(8)

    The more underlying reasons however lie in the negative attitudes that girls with disability face in their day to day lives. The focus group discussion undertaken with MUB girl guides indicate that many suffer from low self-esteem and a lack of self-confidence which makes them portray a sense of helpless which in turn licenses perpetrators. For many girls such abuses start from their homes and extend to their trusted mentors such as a specialist teacher. There is no data to quantify the extent to which people in position of trust such as specialist teachers and classroom teacher, guides etc. This is mainly because the girls will lack the courage to report. Those who can talk about it are no longer in the school system.
    In her paper, The Girl Child: Having to ‘Fit’, Yasmin Jiwani, Ph.D. states that ‘girls with disabilities experience higher rates of sexual abuse (at 4 times the national average) because of their dependent status, isolation, and the negative stereotypes that prevail in the dominant society. Afraid to report the abuse because of the fear of not being believed, many of these girls continue to lead lives that are jeopardized by threats and actual incidents of violence’ They are often stereotyped, thereby undermining for actors to deal with unique and specific issue different to each girl. Harilyn Rousso reports of an extreme example of a stereotypical attitude in an incident of a young woman with disability who tried to report an attempted rape, her counselor said ‘Who would want to rape YOU?’ Furthermore, it is unbelievable that in some countries some courts will not entertain allegations of sexual violence brought by blind women or girls, because of supposed difficulties in identifying the perpetrator.

    Why should we address Violence against Visually Impaired girls NOW?

    1) MDGs and EFA
    One of the UN Millennium Development Goals adopted by the Heads of State and Government is to ensure that children everywhere, boys and girls alike, should be able to complete a full course of primary schooling by 2015. In order to achieve this goal, there is need for a 100% net enrolment and completion rates for school age children, including those with disabilities. There are far too few girls with disabilities completing school (15%). If this phenomenon is not addressed, it threatens to derail efforts by governments and other stakeholders to promote girls education and achieve 2015 Education for All (EFA) goals. Without visually impaired girls attaining an education, MDG and EFA will not be a reality for Malawi.

    Girls with Disabilities are bound together by double discrimination based on gender and disability. Statistics tell us that females with disabilities are achieving less in terms of employment and socialization into the mainstream of life than men with disabilities, with the vast majority of women living in dependent and comparatively impoverished circumstances.(9) In many developing countries, there are few educational opportunities for girls with disability. When there are opportunities for education, in special schools, boys usually receive them. Therefore it is necessary to ensure that where visually impaired girls are managing to go to school as is the case in Malawi where at least 400 girls with visual impairment were attending an integrated education in 2004, concerted effort should be made by stakeholders in their education to make sure that they stay in school.

    2) The time is right
    There is sufficient platform provided by Women’s Rights Activism, Women Disability Rights and the UN Charter on Disabilities. These international instruments will help to accelerate the effort to address and advocate for safe environment for girls who are blind and visually impaired to go to school.

    3) HIV/AIDS
    In Malawi, we are racing against the deadly HIV/AIDS pandemic. Not only is the rate of HIV/AIDS among people with disabilities threatening to scourge, on account of poverty related socio economic factors and attitudes, but sadly also due to prevalent cultural beliefs that having sex with a person with a disabilities will cure or ‘cleanse’ you of AIDS. Grace Massa, chairperson of Albinism Fellowship in Malawi intimates it is a common belief that girls with albinism are the best ‘cleansers’. (10)

    According to the World Bank funded Global Survey of HIV/AIDS among disabled populations(11), HIV/AIDS is a significant and almost wholly unrecognized problem among disabled populations worldwide. A growing body of literature and experience supports the notion that HIV/AIDS educational, testing and clinical programs around the world are largely inaccessible to individuals with disability.

    Continued low literacy rates among disabled individuals, particularly girls present real challenges to prevention efforts. It is therefore imperative that we address the issue of a safe environment for a girl who is blind to stay in school so that she can have higher literacy rates.

    What strategies can we employ?
    Concrete information: Obtaining information and data is the first step towards developing appropriate responses and services. It has been acknowledge that there is insufficient information in this important area. We need to undertake studies specifically addressing Violence against Girls with Disabilities and specifically with visual impairment because there are unique aspects to visual impairment.

    Challenging stereotypes: through community education, youth projects and media campaigns. In particular challenging “the almost universal belief that disabled people cannot be a reliable witness on their own behalf.” (12)

    Raising awareness: of the adverse effect SRGBV has on a girl who is blind to the various audiences that we have access to.

    Empowerment Programmes specifically designed to empower girls who are blind and visually impaired. Many state that they fail to report incidents of violence because they were shy. Therefore, programmes to improve the assertiveness of girls are necessary.

    However, shyness sometimes comes about because the reporting procedures themselves are not conducive. Therefore, advocating for the establishment of ‘safe pathways’ or procedures that encourages girls who are blind to report incidents of violence.

    Advocacy & Coalition Building – by remaining alert on SRGBV issues and participating in the wider advocacy arena, we can influence changes in legislation, school practice and curricula aimed at stopping violence against girls and we will have opportunity to add a voice regarding the girl who is blind. Joining established ‘voices’ or platforms such as the Civil Society Coalition will add credibility and muscle to our voice. Going it alone is unnecessary and expensive. However for us to participate in this advocacy effort we need to bring a body of evidence to the table, hence the need for professional research in this area.

    Motivation & Role Models – What would be the point of going to school if there no hope of you getting employment or engaging in meaningful pursuits? There is a role that role models can play. In this regards, the few girls who are blind and have completed their education and are participating meaningfully and interdependently in society need to be involved in programmes to reach the younger blind girls and talk to them about what career options they have. In this regard most of the key informants to this interview are in that category. They have demonstrated that they are not passive victims of harassment and violence. Theirs are stories that also need to be told.

    (1) CSCQBE report 2005
    (2) The Girl Child: Having to Fit by Yasmin Jiwani 19998.
    (3) The FREDA Centre for Research on Violence Against Girls and Women
    (4) Sexual Harassment in School, An invisible issue for Girls and Young Women with Disabilities, Harilyn Rouso
    (5) Disabled Women and violence Fact sheet, B.F. Waxman Fiduccia
    (6) Study Report: Violence Against Girls in School by University of Malawi, Centre for Social Research
    (7) Education Basic Statistics Malawi 2005, ME&HRD Statistics Unit, Page 33
    (8) Harilyn Rousso, Sexual Harassment in Schools: An invisible Issue for Girls and Young Women with Disabilities
    (9) Having a Daughter With a Disability: Is it Different For Girls? An extract from news Digest
    (10) Newspaper article, Grace Massa, Chairperson of Albino Association in Malawi
    (11) Groce N. Global Survey on HIV/AIDS and Disability. The World Bank/Yale University. April 2004. http://circa.med.yale.edu/globalsurvey
    (12) Nosek MA, Howland CA, Hughes RB. The investigation of abuse and women with disabilities: going beyond assumptions. Violence Against Women2001; 7:477-99.

    _________________________________

    We Can Do first received this paper via the Disability Information Dissemination Network, which is sponsored by Sightsavers International. If you wish to receive papers like this one directly, you can subscribe to the CSID mailing list by sending an email to csid@bdmail.net or csid@bdonline.com and putting the word “join” in the subject line.


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    CASE STUDY: Early Intervention for Blind Children

    Posted on 20 September 2007. Filed under: Blind, Case Studies, Children, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Multiple Disabilities | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

    The following case study is written by Irina Germanova Sumarokova, director of Nizhniy Novgorod Regional Charity of Parents of Visually Impaired “Perspektiva.”

    Establish a model of early intervention center for providing permanent medical, social psychological and pedagogic services for families with blind or visually impaired children in Nizhniy Novgorod

    Irina Germanovna Sumarokova
    Director
    Nizhniy Novgorod Regional Charity of Parents of Visually Impaired “Perspektiva”
    Nizhniy Novgorod
    28 M.Pokrovskaya St
    Russia
    7 8312 333402
    Email: irasu at sandy dot ru
    (The above email address should use the @ at sign in place of the word “at,” and an actual dot . in place of the word “dot”, all spelled as one word.)

    Raising a blind of visually impaired preschool child now days is a big challenge. Because of limited sensor system and lack of information about how things happen in the world, blind and visually impaired children have special needs caused by physical and psychological development, and process of social psychological adjustment to now day’s life. From the birth blind or visually impaired child needs special care aimed to form compensatory mechanism and attitude towards the world. If these problems are successfully solved in preschool ages blind and visually impaired children better integrate in community, have better private and social life, better social and psychological well-being, also for this children it is easier to get good education and profession.

    Now days the number of blind and visually impaired children is increasingly growing. The situation is worsened by fact, that last few years as a result of medical successes in nursing of premature newborn children a number of multi-disabled children with blindness increased too.

    In spite of increasing number of these children in most of Russian cities there are no preschool institutions for blind children. There are institutions that work with children with amblyopic and strabismus. Absence of Systematic approach to preschool education of blind and visually impaired children exclude children of this category from preschool education process. Because of this now blind children are raised isolated by parents who do not know ways and perspectives of development of such children. As a result of incompetent pedagogic influence accrue strong developmental lag (physical and psychological) compared to their sighted peers that badly influences their educational process and farther lives of these children.

    The worst situation is with multi-disabled children. According to “Children’s rights declaration each child regardless of disability has a right to education in conformity with his abilities and needs. But special educational institutions cannot fully meet these children’s needs. Multi-disabled children need to have more influence than just blind children. Because of all reasons above establishing an affective system of medical, social, psychological help for families with blind, visually impaired and multi-disabled children is very important for Russia.

    Russian and foreign experience shows that the most effective model of this system is center of early intervention, where psychologists and teachers are working in close contact with parents. In European countries and in the US gained positive experience of work of such centers. This experience shows that rehabilitation work done in preschool ages enables them late to integrate in society and allows to decrease the difference in physical and psychological development of blind and visually impaired children from other children in preschool ages.

    In Russia there is Municipal early intervention center in St. Petersburg. Parents of blind children and multi-disabled children get medical, social, psychological and pedagogic help there. Unfortunately current economic conditions do not allow local government in others Russian districts to give funds for such organization. In this situation the idea of establishing early intervention centers in big cities of Russia on the basis of NGOs becomes significant.

    In Nizhniy Novgorod the early intervention center was established on the basis of Nizhniy Novgorod society of parents of visually impaired and blind children «perspektiva» on November 4 in 2003. It happened in process of activities in project «Developing and inventing a model of early intervention center for blind and visually impaired children» that was implemented by Perspektiva in partnership with Saratov regional organization of All-Russian society of blind and Blind Babies Foundation (San Francisco) from September 1 2003 to September 31 2004. I would like a few words about this organization.

    Nizhniy Novgorod Regional Charity of Parents of Visually Impaired “Perspekiva” was officially registered on 24 of October 2001. The main aims of its activity are:

    • To develop the appropriate environment for successful social rehabilitation of blind and visually impaired and multi-handicapped preschool children;

    • To promote the ideas of social integration of the visually impaired children in media;

    • The main directions of Perspektiva’s activity are:

    • Creating a database of blind and visually impaired children, and children with multi-disabilities as well;

    • Information support of families, having children with the described problems;

    • Consulting parents on their rights and rehabilitation of their children;

    • Providing the families with tactile books, toys and games;

    • Organizing activities and events, helping to integrate these children into society.

    As organization Perspectiva appeared during the Russian-British project “in contact with a family” financed by CAF implemented by Moscow foundation of parents of blind children, Parents from Nizhniy Novgorod participated in it. Perspectiva is the only organization working with blind babies in Nizhniy Novgorod. Since there are no special educational institution for blind, visually impaired and multi-disabled children in Nizhniy Novgorod the main goal for “Perspektiva” now is to establish a center of social and psychological rehabilitation of blind and visually impaired children (early intervention center). At the end of 2001 organization initiated creation of such center and was supported by city administration of Nizhniy Novgorod. City administration gave “Perspektiva” room for it.

    Center was equipped with materials needed in development of blind and visually impaired children: Trampoline, dry water pool, Tunnel, Furniture for children, Set of apparatuses for children, Floor mats, Montessori special equipment. In Center there are a lot of tactile books, special toys, special adapted table games. The special crawling room was made for working with multidisabled children who cannot walk.

    The main goals of our center – to promote continuous patronage of blind and visually impaired children from the moment of diagnose till they gain satisfying social status. Early intervention center’s activity includes two main aspects: work with parents (mothers, fathers, other family members) and work with children.

    Work with parents include:
    • Legal education aimed to raise awareness of parents about their rights;
    • Teaching skills of competent pedagogic influence of such children;
    • Their social and psychological rehabilitation.

    Work with children is based on generalized innovative Russian and foreign experience in this area. In this center the main activities are:

    Rehabilitation classes with blind and visually impaired children and their parents- Children come for such lessons 1-3 times a week depending on their needs. During these lessons children obtain communication, self-serving, orientation skills, learn to play, develop their movements and motor skills of hands. Preschoolers are preparing for going to school. There are individual and small group lessons. Parents attend these lessons too; there they learn how to develop their blind and visually impaired children.

    Consultations for parents on medical, psychological and pedagogic issues. These consultations were available in the centers, at home and by phone. Some parents of children with insignificant visual impairments that do not lead to disability came to the centers for one-time consultations on determining developmental level of their children and about saving and developing vision. Parents of children with serious disorders usually needed to come to the centers for consultations a lot of times. Such families need permanent psychological and pedagogic assistance. Centers provide this kind of assistance for such parents.

    Teaching parents of blind and visually impaired children skills, needed for competent development of their children, – parents receive educational films and brochures; also seminars for parents are organized. Films are very popular, because parents get visual information that they can use with their children in daily routines. Center started to collect films on early intervention for blind and visually impaired children. With help of Blind Babies Foundation now Nizhniy Novgorod center have 8 films, 3 of them were subtitled wit Russian subtitles. «Perspektiva» made 2 films. Also “Perspektiva” produced 8 brochures for parents. The goal of seminars for parents is to introduce parents of visually impaired children to different methods of developing such children. The programs of seminars are very rich. They include different trainings for parents: creating developing environment for blind child at home, teaching blind children orientation and mobility skills, teaching self-help skills, developing other senses…

    Besides functioning as educators centers started to organize vocational activities for children and their parents. We think that such activities will improve understanding and collaboration among families and will help children to learn practical skills better. For example, every year we organize New Year parties, mother’s day and «birthdays» day when all children get presents.

    Many affords were made in order to improve system of revealing blind and visually impaired infants toddlers and preschoolers and involve their families in the project activities. In order to do this, partners established partnerships with governmental authorities, in particular those working with social security, health and education issues. As a result of this work database on such children was created and it continues to grow.

    To disseminate information about early intervention center «Perspektiva» produced colorful fliers with information about the center. These fliers are distributed to parents of visually impaired children through kindergartens that have special groups for such children, social security departments and medical-social expertise agencies, where parents of children who get official status of disabled get flier with recommendation to apply for help to early intervention centers. Fliers are also disseminated through pediatric ophthalmologists at clinics for children.

    Nizhniy Novgorod center’s activity is based on American experience. Three project staff members went to San Francisco to learn more about experience of Blind Babies Foundation in early intervention work with blind and visually impaired children and their families in order to use this experience in Russia. During that trip we learned experience of American partner in providing early intervention services for families of blind and visually impaired children. Because of diverse program of the trip we could see how American methods of developing blind and visually impaired children work on practice. We were able to see different agencies that provide help and education for such children, to learn a lot about work of Blind Babies Foundation and see how it is organized. Together with unique experience we got a lot of printed materials on early intervention for blind and visually impaired children and multydisabled children and 6 videos for parents with practical information. These materials are translated and used by in Nizhniy Novgorod center’s activities.

    We found very useful work of home counselors, who provide home visits to families of blind and visually impaired children. We think that this experience will be very important for Russian early intervention centers. This method of working will allow us to involve much more families, since not all of the families are able to come to the centers for help. Home counselors also could help to involve families at social risk, now it is very challenging to have a contact with them. Coming back to Russia we discussed this ideas with governmental authorities and this year we got some money for establish the center of home visits of blind and visually impaired babies. In May we are starting this program. It is Wonderful result of our work.

    Establishing early intervention centers on the basis of “Perspektiva” in Nizhniy Novgorod solve a problem of preschool development of blind and visually impaired children. This experience is useful for other regions of Russia and other countries that are developed. It also will allow equal opportunities for blind children at schools, and will be a precondition for inventing the model of inclusive education for blind children in Russia.


    I received a copy of this case study via an email listserv called the Disability Information Dissemination Network, managed by the Centre for Services and Information on Disability (CSID) and sponsored by Sightsavers International. You can subscribe to CSID free email distribution list by sending an email to either csid@bdmail.net or to csid@bdonline.com and putting the word “join” in the subject line.


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