Cross-Disability

Information Wanted: Africans with Disabilities, Policies, Programs, Organizations

Posted on 23 November 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Call for Comments or Information, Cross-Disability, Human Rights, Middle East and North Africa, Opportunities, Policy & Legislation, Resources, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

**The Secretariat of the African Decade of Persons with Disabilities needs your Help**
The Secretariat is currently collecting and updating information on the situation faced by persons with disabilities in the 54 African countries. It will enter this information into the country folders on its website. The information collected relates to policies, programmes, contact details for organisations engaged in disability work, best practice in the inclusion of disability in mainstream programmes, etc. If you have such information to share, please write to info@africandecade.co.za.

We Can Do readers will want to explore the excellent web site for the Secretariat of the African Decade of Persons with Disabilities. As implied in the above paragraph, their web site has a section with information on the 54 individual countries of Africa. Your assistance can help them expand the information provided in these folders. Providing information to the Secretariat of the African Decade of Persons with Disabilities can also be an opportunity for you to help bring attention to policies, programs, organizations, and practices that have benefited people with disabilities in your country. Again, you can email relevant details to info@africandecade.co.za

It is also well worth exploring their collection of training materials for organizations of people with disabilities. Some of their training materials have been highlighted in past We Can Do posts, but not all of them. Training materials include a guidebook for journalists; material on lobbying and advocacy; resource mobilization and fund raising; evaluation; capacity building; and more.



The first paragraph of the above text is copy/pasted from a recent issue of the email newsletter for Disabled People’s International.

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NEWS: Disabled People Lack Assistance After Myanmar Disaster

Posted on 23 November 2008. Filed under: Cross-Disability, Disaster Planning & Mitigation, East Asia Pacific Region, Inclusion, News | Tags: , , , , |

In humanitarian disasters, people with disabilities are often more at risk and disproportionately affected by crisis situations. Yet they are persistently forgotten and left behind by most of the mainstream agencies that are supposed to help. Unfortunately, this has happened once again during and after the recent cyclones in Myanmar. (Given how often this situation occurs, it would perhaps be more accurate to term this article “Non-News” rather than “News.”)

It is reported that very little of the relief dollars sent to Myanmar has filtered down to people with disabilities in the country. Yet, despite the fact that people with disabilities are both more likely to need assistance and less likely to actually receive it, they are often not even included in most mainstream reports meant to assess the situation in Myanmar.

Read more detail about the situation for people with disabilities in post-cyclone Myanmar in the article entitled Myanmar: Disabled People Await Post-Cyclone Aid at the humanitarian news and analysis page for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

People interested in the fate of people with disabilities in humanitarian crisis situations may wish to browse other We Can Do blog posts on Disaster Planning and Mitigation (consult the pull down menu under “categories” in the right hand navigation bar). A few items of particular interest include:



I found the link to the Myanmar story via a recent issue of the newsletter for Disabled People’s International.

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We Can Do Copyright
This blog post is copyrighted to We Can Do (wecando.wordpress.com). Currently, only two web sites have on-going permission to syndicate (re-post) We Can Do blog posts in full: BlogAfrica.com and www.RatifyNow.org. Other sites are most likely plagiarizing this post without permission.

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NOMINATIONS wanted for CavinKare Ability Awards for Indians with Disabilities

Posted on 22 November 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Awards & Honors, Call for Nominations or Applications, Cross-Disability, Opportunities, South Asian Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Note that the deadline for submitting nominations is November 30, 2008; nominees must be Indian citizens with disabilities.

The seventh CavinKare Ability Awards will be conducted in Chennai in the month of February next year. An all India event that is conducted every year by CavinKare in collaboration with Ability Foundation an NGO, to salute and honor the brave and courageous with physical limitations. This recognition is an accolade to the pedigree of exceptional people with talent, who have exhibited excellence in accomplishing challenges in the face of adversity.

The awards salute personal triumphs, the extraordinary spirit of achievement, a looking beyond one’s own self and physical limitations and the universality of human rights.

Jointly instituted by CavinKare(P) Ltd and Ability Foundation, the awards come in two categories

CavinKare ABILITY Award for Eminence: This is a single award given to just one individual, that salutes the exemplary achievement of an individual with disability who has not only overcome great odds towards achievement but has also contributed significantly to society by initiating an organisation of his/her own. The award carries a citation, a trophy and a cash prize of Rs. 2 lakh.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA:

v Nominees should be persons with disability and be Indian citizens.
v A minimum of two references must be cited in the nomination form.
v For the award for Eminence, the nominee should have worked in India in his/her field of service for a minimum of three years. The result of the nominee’s social entrepreneurship should be evident and continuing at the time of nomination.

· CavinKare ABILITY Mastery Awards: These are two awards given to two individuals with disability in recognition of their extraordinary achievement in field of their choice – be it arts, film, medicine, science, industry, technology, education, community development, human rights, sports or more. The awards carry a citation, a trophy, and a cash prize of Rs.1 lakh, each.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA:

v Nominees should be persons with disability and be Indian citizens.
v A minimum of two references must be cited in the nomination form.

SELECTION PROCESS:
The screening process includes scrutiny and short listing, based on the details given in the nomination form. Site visits and reference checks by regional representatives will then further shortlist nominees, following which, an eminent jury will select the final awardees.

SENDING NOMINATIONS:
The completed nomination forms must be sent ONLY by post and must reach Ability Foundation on or before November 30, 2008 Nomination forms that are sent by Email/fax or incomplete/late submission WILL NOT be accepted.

The decision of the jury is final and binding. No correspondence whatsoever in this regard will be entertained.
Please send the completed form only by post or by courier, to:
CavinKare ABILITY Awards 2008-2009,
C/o ABILITY FOUNDATION,
28, Second Cross Street,
Gandhi Nagar, Adyar,
Chennai – 600 020.
Tamil Nadu, India.
Tel: 044 24452400
http://news.chennaionline.com/newsitem.aspx?NEWSID=116d4ab5-0ca0-496b-9070-5293bd2c6ac5&CATEGORYNAME=CHN



Thank you to Ghulam Nabi Nizamani for circulating this announcement.

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NEWS: Deaf Malaysian Writer Wins National Media Award

Posted on 21 November 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Awards & Honors, Cross-Disability, Deaf, East Asia Pacific Region, Media & Journalism, News | Tags: , , , , , |

Challenges Deaf writer wins national Media Award

Kuala Lumpur, Oct 26, 2008: CHALLENGES writer James Chua has won the Mercedes-Benz Malaysia Red Ribbon Media Award in Journalism in HIV/AIDS reporting in Malaysia for the print media magazine category (English).

His Winning Entry : HIV/AIDS, a Serious Health Threat in Any Language was published in the very first issue of Challenges Magazine, that is Volume 1/issue 1 April 2008.

We, at Challenges, are so proud of James! Well Done!

more details : www.challengesmagazine.wordpress.com
www.challengesmag.com

Mary Chen
Editor
CHALLENGES
Malaysia’s 1st Cross-disability national magazine
Get your copy today online order :
http://www.challenges.kids.net.my

Get updates here
www.challengesmag.com
contact us: www.challengesmagazine.wordpress.com



Thank you to Mary Chen for submitting this item to We Can Do.

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JOB POST: Project Manager Inclusive Education Bac Kan province, Vietnam, Handicap International

Posted on 21 November 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Children, Cross-Disability, East Asia Pacific Region, Education, Inclusion, Jobs & Internships, Opportunities | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Handicap International IS LOOKING FOR Project Manager Inclusive Education in Bac Kan province, Vietnam.
Posting date: 1st February 2009 Length of the assignment : 2 years
Closing date for application : 21/12/2008 (December 21, 2008)

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, in response to humanitarian crises and the effects of extreme poverty. Handicap International implements programmes of assistance to persons and local organisations, inclusion programmes and programmes focusing on the fight against the main causes of disability. It runs projects in almost 60 countries, with the support of a network of 8 national associations ( Germany, Belgium, Canada, United-States, Luxembourg, United Kingdom and Switzerland)

The organisation employs almost 3300 people worldwide, 330 of whom work in France and in its European and North American sections.

For more details on the association: http://www.handicap-international.fr/en/s/index.html

JOB CONTEXT :

Unified from 1975 after 40 years of conflict, Vietnam entered into the Doi Moi process on economy and politics in the mid 80’s to open the country to liberalism. With economic growth rate of more than 8% in 2007, the country is now becoming one of the new Asian Dragons. This development creates a gap between rich areas mainly located in the lowlands and urban areas and remote mountainous regions where people remain poor, despite a 50% fall in poverty over the last 10 years.

The country is very stable with a government ruled by one legal political party. All institutional levels have People Committee representatives from the State to the villages. With around 85 millions inhabitants, Vietnam is highly populated for a territory of 331,000 km2. 54 ethnic groups co-exist in this area; the Kinh (Vietnamese themselves) constitute a majority of 85% and are dispersed nationwide. All other population groups are ethnic minorities mainly located in mountainous provinces.

JOB DESCRIPTION :

The objective aims to implement the Inclusive Education National Plan in Bac Kan province. The project has been designed and submitted as a consortium between Handicap international France and Save the Children Sweden. The project will be implementing with others external partners specialized or working in education domain.

Challenges and goals:

The Project Manager will ensure the effective implementation of the project “Rights-Based Inclusive Education Access for Children with Disability in Bac Kan province, Vietnam” in line with programme and project requirements. The post holder must support and promote the core values and interests of HI. The Project Manager will work under the supervision of the Programme Director based in Hanoi and will manage one to two project assistants, and up to two field staff (to be recruited).

_Activities_ :

/_Manage the project_/:

– To manage the following project areas: implementation of activities, human resources (field staff), finance and communications. To coordinate with partners strategies on Inclusive Education;

– Determine the methodology to be used in the project appropriate to the Vietnamese understanding of inclusion of disabled children in education

– Support the implementation of activities by partners and consultants, to implement an education policy which takes into account disabled children,

– Write the project narrative reports and participate in financial reports,

– Co-ordinate between all the project’s internal and external stakeholders;

– Prepare and participate in the evaluation phases and implement any pertinent recommendations;

– Provide initiatives to develop the project in the relation to the HI Vietnam’s pluri-annual strategy and participate technically in fundraising.

/_Manage the project and site team:_/

– Draw-up job profiles, validate recruitments an individual action plans for each team member

– Train the team in methods, approaches (participative methods, partnership…) or technical aspects (Inclusive Education, Specialized Education, identification and assessment of disabled children); Ensure effective communication within the HI team in Hanoi and other sites.

/_ Assure the project’s technical framework and its representation_/:

– Ensure that the project is implemented in line with Handicap International’s Inclusive Education policy and the Vietnamese education sector plan. /__/

/_Contribute towards the capitalization of experience:_/

– Identify with the Technical Adviser, which issues or subject areas should be capitalized,

– Define a method for collecting good practice with the Technical Adviser

CANDIDATE PROFILE:

_Mandatory:_

– Degree in a relevant discipline ; Education, development or disability (equal to BAC + 4 in France)

– Strong management skills. At least 5 years experiences in his/her field or in project management.

– Sound knowledge of Monitoring and Evaluation techniques and methodology

– Ability to work in partnership with national and local actors

– Experience of working within a multi-cultural environment

– English is essential as all project documentation and reporting systems are in English

_Qualities required_: Group leadership, initiative, creativity, diplomacy, interpersonal skills. Written and oral expression, decision making, good team work skills, strong autonomy.

_Complementary_:

– _Field of studies:_ special Education (Inclusive education, social work…)

– Experience of working in remote area, experience in INGO, experience in Asian context.

REQUIRED LANGUAGE SKILLS: English mandatory both written and oral, French would be an asset.

JOB ENVIRONMENT : The Project Manager will travel to Hanoi once a month to attend a monthly internal HI meeting in order to monitor and share his project with the Hanoi office and the Quang Tri site (HIV/AIDS project).//

EMPLOYMENT CONDITIONS :

_Volunteer :_ 750 or 850 Euros monthly indemnity + living allowance paid on the field + accommodation + 100% medical cover + repatriation insurance

_Salary :_ 2000 to 2300 + 457 Euros expatriation allowance + 100% medical cover + repatriation insurance « + family policy »

Please send resume and covering letter with the above reference to : FPINSERCPEducVietnam1108

HANDICAP INTERNATIONAL – 14, avenue Berthelot – 69361 LYON CEDEX 07

Or by Email : recrut11@handicap-international.org

Please do not telephone

Candidates from Canada or the United States, and nationals of these countries, should send their application to the following address :

HANDICAP INTERNATIONAL CANADA
1819 Boulevard René Lévesque, bureau 401 – MONTRÉAL, QUÉBEC – H3H 2P5

Or by email : jobs@handicap-international.ca
or fax : 514-937-6685

Please do not telephone



This announcement was previously circulated via the Intl-Dev mailing list; the Global Partnership for Disability and Development mailing list; and other sources.

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Marketing and Communications Internship (paid), Global Partnership for Disability and Development, Washington DC

Posted on 18 November 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Cross-Disability, Jobs & Internships, Opportunities | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS INTERNSHIP
Location: Washington, District of Columbia, 20006, United States
Organization: Global Partnership for Disability and Development (GPDD)

Area of Focus: Disability Issues, International Cooperation
Skill(s): editing, special events planning, Writing
End date: July 9, 2009
Language(s): English
Start date: January 9, 2009
Last day to apply: December 6, 2008
Paid or unpaid: Paid

Description:
The Marketing and Communications Intern will provide critical support in raising awareness about the GPDD and its programs, disseminating information and outcomes, and providing outreach to a large number of diverse stakeholders. The duties of the GPDD Communication Intern include:
* Identifying key constituencies and stakeholders for the organization
* Assisting with the development of communications and marketing strategies to effectively engage them
* Assisting with the development and maintenance of communities of practice and work groups, comprised of individuals and institutions, in order to facilitate the GPDD programmatic and development goals
* Assisting with the development of informational materials about the GPDD, including website content, newsletters, annual reports, videos and other organizational materials
* Assisting with the development of press releases and management of media relations
* Assisting with the coordination of organizational mailings
* Coordinating special events
* Assisting with the maintenance of the organization’s contact and membership databases
* Staying abreast of local events, seminars and publications of interest to the organization and facilitating the organizations participation as necessary
* Management of special projects related to the communications strategy of the organization

Qualifications:
Required Skills: A minimum of 3 years of under-graduate education.
Experience in communications field, disability issues, international relations, or development. Knowledge of information gathering and data building. Fluency in written and oral English; communication skills and ability to draft, edit and proofread. Computer proficiency.

Desired Skills: Experience or knowledge of communications and development. Master’s degree, or working towards a degree, in relevant field. Work experience in non-profit organizations.

Required Attributes: Proactive attitude and ability to work independently. Attention to detail and strong organizational skills. Creative and thorough approach to research. Interest in disability issues.

Application instructions:
To apply, please submit your resume/CV and cover letter to
kmhamel@law.syr.edu.
Please include “Marketing and Communication Internship” in the subject line.
Qualified candidates will be contacted by phone and/or email.



This announcement was disseminated on the GPDD mailing list.

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CONFERENCE: Persons with Disabilities as Actors of Sustainable Development, December 2-3, 2008, Berlin

Posted on 11 November 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Cross-Disability, Events and Conferences, Inclusion, Opportunities, Poverty | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Bezev (disability and development cooperation in Essen, Germany) would appreciate very much if you could spread this invitation within your networks, and send it to people you think could be interested.

Thank you very much for your attention, and cooperation,
with warm regards,

Mareike Bübl
www.bezev.de

International Congress in Berlin „´Nothing About Us Without Us´ – Persons with Disabilities as Actors of Sustainable Development”

On 3rd December, the worldwide Day of Persons with Disabilities, the international congress „´Nothing about us without us´ – Persons with Disabilities as Actors of Sustainable Development”, will take place from 2-3 December 2008 in Berlin/Germany.
The purpose of the congress is to make its contribution towards the implementation of the UN Convention marking a paradigm shift in the role of persons with disabilities.
It aims to show how persons with disabilities can be included to take an active part in development activities. The congress will conclude with a discussion by a panel of politicians and representatives of non-government organisations and associations about their contribution towards the realisation of the UN Convention and the demand for inclusive development implicated therein.

Speakers from all over the world will share their experiences with us, and we will discuss the implementation of the UN convention on the rights of persons with disabilities.

We are very glad to welcome Mrs Evers-Meyer, the federal government comissioner for persons with disabilities in Germany, Mrs Venus M. Ilagan from the USA (Rehabilitation International), Dorothy Musakanya from Zimbabwe (Southern African Federation of Disabled People SAFOD), Mrs Tuija Halmari from Finland (Finnish Disabled People´s International Development Association FIDIDA), Mr Shikuku Obosi from Great Britain (Action on Disability and Development ADD), Mr Raghavan Ramachandran from India (ebenfalls ADD) and many other interesting guests.

The congress is directed to actors working in the areas of development and disability, as well as anyone interested in these issues.

It is organised jointly by Disability and Development Cooperation (bezev), CBM (Christian Blind Mission), Deutsche Lepra- und Tuberkulosehilfe (DAHW), Interessenvertretung Selbstbestimmt Leben in Deutschland (ISL) and Misereor.

Learn more about the conference and how to participate at http://bezev.de/bezev/aktuelles/index.htm



Thank you to Mareike Bübl at bezev for submitting this announcement to We Can Do.

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RESOURCE: Global Alliance on Accessible Technologies and Environments

Posted on 10 November 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Cross-Disability, Human Rights, Resources, technology | Tags: , , , , , , |

A contact at this organization sent me the following blurb; We Can Do readers are invited to explore their web site at http://www.gaates.org/ for more detail.

Global Alliance on Accessible Technologies and Environments (GAATES) is a leading not-for-profit international organization which brings together experts in accessibility of the Built, Virtual and Social Environments. GAATES has an international presence in 6 Global Regions: Asia-Pacific, Middle East, North America, South America, Europe and Africa. GAATES maintains a database of international experts with extensive and diverse experience in universal design and accessibility of built and virtual environments. Our expert professionals include: architects; engineers; accessible user interface technology specialists; website designers; accessibility auditors/surveyors; and experts in human rights and implementation of the 2006 UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Please visit our site at www.gaates.org for more information on our organization.



Thank you to GAATES for alerting me to their organization. They are now also added to the extensive blogroll listing at the very bottom of every page at We Can Do.

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NEWS: Disability Rights Fund Makes Grants to 33 Organizations in 7 Countries

Posted on 10 November 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Cross-Disability, Funding, Human Rights, Latin America & Caribbean, News, South Asian Region, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

PRESS RELEASE
Disability Rights Fund Makes Grants to 33 Organizations in 7 Countries

November 3, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BOSTON, MA – The Disability Rights Fund (DRF) – a groundbreaking collaborative to support the human rights of people with disabilities around the world– today announced funding decisions from its first request for proposals. A total of $800,000 will be gifted to 33 organizations in seven countries. The grants will support work to raise awareness about the rights of people with disabilities, build coalitions and networks, and develop advocacy and monitoring activities, in connection with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

DRF grantees share the goal of advancing the rights of people with disabilities at the country-level. Recipients include:
• A Ugandan organization of lawyers with disabilities.
• An emergent Peruvian group of people with psycho-social disabilities.
• A grassroots network in Bangladesh of women-led disabled persons’ organizations.
The full grantee list is posted on the DRF website, www.disabilityrightsfund.org/grantees.html and is available upon request.

“As the disability rights movement gains new impetus through the UN Convention we are delighted to play our part by placing new funding in the hands of DPOs to enable them to advance rights at country level,” stated DRF Co-Chair, William Rowland. DRF Director, Diana Samarasan, added “It is an auspicious day to put money in the hands of organizations run by people with disabilities. The first Conference of States Parties to the Convention is being held at the UN; the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is being elected. The work of translating the Convention from paper to practice is before us.”

Grantees were selected after a rigorous review process which included review by DRF’s Steering Committee, a committee composed of donor representatives and people with disabilities from the Global South.

DRF’s donors include: an anonymous founding donor, The Sigrid Rausing Trust, the Open Society Institute, the UK’s Department for International Development, and the American Jewish World Service.

A grantee list can be requested from DRF by writing to dsamarasan@disabilityrightsfund.org. Or you can consult the Grantee web page at the Disability Rights Fund website.

####

As an addendum from this We Can Do editor, I would like to encourage readers to consult the Disability Rights Fund website to learn about upcoming funding opportunities from their organization for projects to promote the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Readers may also wish to consult their extensive resource listings to find resources that can help them learn how to raise funds, find funding sources, and use the CRPD to promote the human rights of people with disabilities in their country.



Thank you to Diana Samarasan for circulating this press release.

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Change for People with Disabilities: Time to Email Obama!

Posted on 7 November 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Call for Comments or Information, Cross-Disability, Human Rights, Inclusion, News, Opportunities | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Change for People with Disabilities: Time to Email Obama!

[Addendum, 21 January 2009: Please note that this blog site has no association with the Obama administration or the US government. This means that comments left here will NOT be passed along to the White House.  People who wish to contact Obama’s administration will wish to try the White House web site, or you may wish to communicate with the White House Office of Public Liaison.]

On November 4, 2008, millions of people with disabilities across the United States and around the world joined our non-disabled peers in watching the United States election results. Obama supporters cheered or wept to learn that the next US president would be Obama. Then we cheered or wept again when Obama mentioned people with disabilities in his acceptance speech. History was made–not only for America, not only for Black people, not only for Kenya and all of Africa, not only for Indigenous peoples, but also for people with disabilities.

But we cannot afford to allow the moment to end here. Whether we supported Obama, McCain, or another candidate, we all know there is far too much work ahead before we can say, “Yes, we have made real change for people with disabilities.”

It is time for people with disabilities, our loved ones, our neighbors, and colleagues to join together, across ideological divides, to reach out to Obama. We should all send an email to Kareem Dale, Obama’s National Disability Vote Director (at kdale@barackobama.com), WITH COPIES TO Anne Hayes, a volunteer on the Obama Disability Policy Committee (at ahayesku@hotmail.com).

First, we should thank Obama — and also Kareem Dale — for mentioning people with disabilities in Obama’s acceptance speech on November 4. Ensure that they understand how much it matters simply for us to be included. How did you feel when Obama mentioned us? Share your story.

Second, we should tell Obama and Kareem Dale that we are aware of Obama’s disability platform. He promised to increase educational opportunities; end discrimination; increase employment opportunities; and support independent, community-based living for Americans with disabilities. And he promised to sign the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), the first international, legally-binding human rights treaty for people with disabilities. Tell Obama and Kareem Dale that we are ready to call Obama to account if he fails us. But more importantly, we are ready to work with him for change for people with disabilities.

It is important to send your disability-related emails to BOTH Kareem Dale AND Anne Hayes (kdale@barackobama.com AND ahayesku@hotmail.com) between now and inauguration day. Kareem Dale’s email address may change between now and January 20, 2009. Anne Hayes can help ensure that emails sent to Kareem Dale are not lost during this time of transition.

Both Kareem Dale and others who have worked on disability issues within the Obama campaign are ready to receive YOUR emails on disability-related issues for US President-elect Obama. Emails are welcome from across the United States and around the world. If you are a US citizen, then please say so in your email.

Learn more about Obama’s plan for people with disabilities at: http://origin.barackobama.com/issues/disabilities/

Yes, the video is captioned. And if you scroll down to the bottom of the page, you can download Obama’s Full Plan for people with disabilities in PDF format (62 Kb).

Read Obama’s acceptance speech at: http://www.barackobama.com/2008/11/04/remarks_of_presidentelect_bara.php

Want to read someone else’s letter to Obama before you write your own? Some links to a few letters to Obama are posted at: http://reunifygally.wordpress.com/2008/11/13/emails-to-obama-creating-change-for-people-with-disabilities/

Learn more about the CRPD at http://ratifynow.org/ratifynow-faq/

If you wish to contact Obama’s staff on some topic other than disability, then you can send an email via his web page at http://www.change.gov/page/s/ofthepeople

Please circulate this email freely, or post this at your own blog, web site, or Facebook page.

This text was first posted at https://wecando.wordpress.com/2008/11/07/disabilities-email-obama/ The most updated version will be here, so please consult before cross-posting.

“It is the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, DISABLED and not disabled — Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been a collection of Red States and Blue States: we are, and always will be, the United States of America.”
–President-Elect Barack Obama
Acceptance speech, November 4, 2008; emphasis added

The above text, with some alterations, is also available in this slide show:


_________________
The above text was written by me, Andrea Shettle. Please do copy/paste and circulate the text above the line among other people. Let’s send as many letters as we can to Obama and his staff to ensure they know that people with disabilities around the world are looking to him to stand by us during his tenure as US president.

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NEWS: African Decade of Persons with Disabilities Extended to 2019

Posted on 2 November 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Cross-Disability, Human Rights, News, Poverty, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

ANNOUNCEMENT:

AFRICAN DECADE OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES EXTENDED TO DECEMBER 2019

A. CONGRATULATIONS AND GOOD NEWS!

We are ecstatic!

This is to announce that the AU Continental Decade of Persons with Disabilities has been extended to December 2019.

The Windhoek Declaration on Social Development adopted by Ministers in Charge of Social Development on 31 October 2008, adopted Resolution 6, which reads as follows:

‘6. ADOPT the extension of the Continental Decade of Persons with Disabilities for the period 2010-2019; CALL for the evaluation of the existing Decade and its Plan of Action (1999-2009) and the speedy conclusion of the evaluation and restructuring of the African Rehabilitation Institute (ARI)’

In addition to the resolution extending the Decade, the Windhoek Declaration also adopted resolution 5(x) which reads as follows:

‘5. Further commit ourselves to implement the priority strategies under the key thematic social issues spelt out in the Social Policy Framework for Africa, through the following:

(x) Empowering and providing persons with disabilities with equal opportunities, safeguarding their rights and enlisting their participation and mainstreaming them in all development programmes’

The new Social Development Policy adopted by the Ministers in Windhoek Namibia has detailed coverage of disability work. We encourage organisations to get a copy of this policy and apply its contents in your programming processes.

We would like to thank all organisations (notably Pan African Federation Of the Disabled (PAFOD), African Union of the Blind (AFUB), and others), Secretariat of the African Decade of Persons with Disabilities (SADPD) Staff and leaders, Panel of Experts/Parliamentarians, Pan African Parliament, African Rehabilitation Institute (ARI), the African Union Social Affairs Commission, our Development Partners (Disabled Persons Organizations Denmark [DPOD], Sida, UK Department for International Development [DFID], and Southern Africa Trust), Christian Blind Mission (CBM) and those that supported our down-line networks and DPOs for their support during the first Decade and the campaign towards extension.

We look forward to hard work during the next ten years. We now have the benefit of learning from the mistakes that we made and the experience of managing an initiative of this nature.

B. MORE INFORMATION ON THE FIRST DECADE

The African Union declared the first decade of the new millennium (1999-2009) as the African Decade for Persons with Disabilities. In 2001 the African Union’s Labour and Social Affairs Commission along with its African Rehabilitation Institute (ARI) and the ILO held a meeting in Addis Ababa. In this meeting they designed a Continental Plan of Action (CPOA) to guide the member states of the African Union on how to implement the African Decade. The adoption of the African Decade of Disabled Persons (ADDP) placed responsibility on African States to implement Decade Programme activities.

With this declaration, the African Union adopted a Continental Plan of Action (CPOA) with twelve objectives that African States were to implement over the period.

The twelve objectives cover a wide range of themes that are of critical importance to improvement in the lives of persons with disabilities in Africa. These themes include ideas and strategies to:
1. Formulate and implement national policies, programmes and legislation to promote the full and equal participation of persons with disabilities.
2. Promote the participation of persons with disabilities in the process of economic and social development
3. Promote the self-representation of people with disabilities in all public decision-making structures.
4. To enhance support services for disabled persons.
5. Promote special measures for children, youth, women and elderly persons with disabilities.
6. Ensure and improve access to rehabilitation, education, training, employment, sports, the cultural and physical environment.
7. To promote and protect disability rights as human rights
8. To support the development of and strengthen Disabled Persons’ Organizations
9. Mobilize resources

These objectives where meant to be implemented by Africa States, with the cooperation of civil society organisations.
Prepared By:

Kudakwashe A.K. Dube, CEO
SADPD



This announcement is being circulated by The Secretariat of the African Decade of Persons with Disabilities (SADPD). Their website is at http://www.africandecade.org.za and is worth exploring for anyone with an interest in human rights or social and economic development for people with disabilities in Africa. I modified this announcement to spell out most of the acronyms.

I received this announcement via the mailing list for the Global Partnership for Disability and Development.

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25th Annual Pacific Rim International Conference on Disabilities, Honolulu, Hawaii, 4-5 May 2009

Posted on 2 November 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Call for Papers, Cross-Disability, East Asia Pacific Region, Events and Conferences, Opportunities, Poverty | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Call for Proposals
25th Annual Pacific Rim International Conference on Disabilities

May 4-5, 2009
Honolulu, Hawai‘i
Hawai‘i Convention Center
Note that proposals for workshops need to be submitted by December 12, 2008.

Working toward a brighter future

The Center on Disability Studies (http://www.cds.hawaii.edu) at the University of Hawai‘i cordially invites you to the 25th Annual Pacific Rim International Conference on Disabilities on May 4-5, 2009 in Honolulu, Hawai‘i. Celebrate the collective achievements of the past and look forward to create an inclusive vision for the 21st century. As we face economic uncertainty and global challenges, it is even more important to honor tradition, and use this foundation to navigate our futures.

In the tradition of PacRim, the 2009 conference will revisit familiar themes and explore new directions through scholarship, best practice, and international networking. Join us, and continue this extraordinary journey. We will have several pre and post conference sessions,
including an accessible sports Sunday at the beach; an international film festival; and the 2nd Annual International Forum: Securing the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Eradicating Poverty.

Envisioning the Future

· To achieve human and social progress we will address poverty.

· To maximize human potential we will highlight indigenous/native peoples; girls and women; and veterans with disabilities.

· To realize our dreams for inclusion and self-determination, we will ensure all people have access to services and opportunities: transition to adulthood, employment, family support, independent living.

· To create an accessible world, we will showcase Universal Design for Learning and Living and feature products and design elements for home, school, play and office.

· To ensure our future we will prepare our youth to take responsibility for the future by bringing them together to dialogue about experiences, visions, insights, and futures.

· To support your attendance PacRim 2009 will provide an early acceptance notice within 2-3 weeks of your submission. Conference rates are very reasonable and we have secured room blocks for under $160 per night. We will also help facilitate room-shares if you are trying to
keep your costs low. We all need to be together!

If you are only able to attend one conference this year, choose PacRim 2009 in Waikiki, Hawaii at the beautiful Hawaii Convention Center.

Traditionally this conference is one of the most exciting for attendees and presenters – providing a unique balance of cultures, and issues of local, national and international importance. This year’s conference will seek to better these efforts and provide you with a most unique and exceptional experience – we hope to be seeing you in Honolulu in
May.

Robert Stodden
Director, the Center on Disability Studies

Charmaine Crockett
Co-Chair, PacRim 2009

Valerie Shearer
Co-Chair, PacRim 2009

People interested in learning more about the conference should please follow the web links listed below. Any inquiries regarding the conference should please be directed to the people organizing PacRim 2009, NOT to We Can Do.

Web Site Links
Text Only version of the Call for Papers:http://www.pacrim.hawaii.edu/ad/callforpapers2009/text.html
About PacRim: http://www.pacrim.hawaii.edu/
PacRim Themes: http://www.pacrim.hawaii.edu/pacriminfo/pacrim2009/topics/
Submission: http://www.pacrim.hawaii.edu/submissions/
Registration: http://www.pacrim.hawaii.edu/registration/
About the Convention Center: http://www.hawaiiconvention.com/



I received this conference announcement via the AsiaPacificDisability email discussion group. Again, all official information on the conference is on their web site, including information on how to contact the organizers as needed.

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How Was the CRPD Born? Opportunity to Share Your Story with History

Posted on 30 October 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Call for Comments or Information, Cross-Disability, Human Rights, Opportunities, Policy & Legislation | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

We Can Do readers who were involved with the negotiation process for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) may wish to share their stories with the United Nations Intellectual History Project (UNIHP). This could be an important means of documenting the history of how the CRPD was created. The following text is taken directly from the UNIHP web site at http://www.unhistory.org/ora_his_sol.htm; only information provided at the UNIHP website itself should be considered official or up-to-date.

Do You Have a Story to Tell?

Limited time and resources make it impossible for UNIHP staff to conduct oral history interviews with all those who may have served the United Nations as staff members, consultants, researchers, diplomats or chairs of commissions. However, anyone who has participated in UN development activities over the years, and who has a particular story to contribute about the nexus of development ideas, international public policy, and multilateral institutions, is welcome to send us a short, written contribution.

We have set out below some of the questions, about which it would be most useful to receive your own ideas and experiences.

We ask that you send a brief note, 5 to 10 pages, by email to unhistory@gc.cuny.edu, or by fax or mail to the project’s New York headquarters.

Please note that by sending your contribution to the project you agree to vest copyright with the United Nations Intellectual History Project. This agreement will allow the project to quote directly from your note if it is used in project publications, although it will license you to copy, publish or otherwise use the note for your own purposes.

As the aim of the project is to better understand the UN’s contribution to global economic and social policy and to development discourse and practice, we examine the sources, evolution, and implementation of economic and social ideas generated or promoted by the UN. With this in mind, we ask that your note address the following questions as they relate to your own experience at the UN:

1. Please briefly describe the nature of your affiliation with the UN, positions held, and dates.

2. Could you identify one or two of the most original development ideas that you worked on, or were aware of, during your experience with the UN?

3. Where did this idea originate? Did it come from

a. Intellectual leadership of particular individuals, within or outside UN secretariats?
b. Eminent commissions?
c. Ad hoc global conferences?
d. Expert groups?
e. Academics?
f. NGOs?

4. How did this idea develop? What were the debates about it? Was it promoted, distorted, abandoned, or implemented? Some possible factors to consider that may have impacted on it are:

a. Global or regional events
b. Tensions within and among diplomatic coalitions, i.e. North-South relations within the UN during the Cold War and after; East and West; within “like-minded”; within the least developed.
c. Institutional rivalries or coalitions, including tensions between the UN and the Bretton Woods institutions
d. Quality of the international civil service, including its leadership

5. In your view, did this idea make a difference?

a. Did it change international public policy discourse?
b. Did it provide a guide to national policy and action?
c. Did it alterprospects for forming new coalitions of political or institutional forces?
d. Did it become embedded in institutions?



I became aware of the UNIHP via the AdHoc_IDC email discussion list.

[Published at wecando.wordpress.com (We Can Do)]

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New Global Email Network of Women with Disabilities Launches

Posted on 30 October 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Call for Nominations or Applications, Cross-Disability, Human Rights, Networking Opportunities, Opportunities, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Dear friends,

As you may know, a group of over 50 participants from 20 countries and various sectors (civil society, governments, academia, international organizations and private sector) met in Quebec, Canada on August 26-27 for a Global Summit on the Rights of Women with Disabilities. All Interational Disability Alliance organizations were invited to send a representative, and were actively engaged in the discussions.

The Summit was a great opportunity to talk about the key challenges facing women with disabilities worldwide, network, exchange ideas and take actions for us to “claim our rights”. Together, the Summit participants decided to form a new global network of women with disabilities and allies, charged with raising awareness and carrying out advocacy.. Attached and below is the Call for Action presented at the close of the Summit.
As the Call to Action say, this network aims to be inclusive of women of all ages from all parts of the world with ALL types of disabilities.

In order to move forward, an email list for the “International Network of Women With Disabilities” (INWWD) has been set up, and interested individuals are invited to join the email list by sending a message to: inwwd-subscribe@yahoogroups.com In this email, please include your name, affiliation and whether you agree to following principles:

Provisional guidelines for membership in the INWWD email list:
– Members accept the principle that this is a network OF women with all types of disabilities from all over the world, led by women with disabilities.
– Members of this email list are committed to the philosophy of women with disabilities advocating for themselves and identifying the issues of women with disabilities.
– Members support the principles in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
– Members of this email list support the goals of this network, which include sharing our knowledge and experiences, speaking up for our rights, bringing about change and inclusion in our communities, and empowering women with disabilities to be leaders of today and tomorrow.
– Members agree that the work of the network should be equally relevant to all women with disabilities irrespective of the type of disability or geographical location.
– Members agree to be respectful and constructive.

If you’d like to join an allied group of men with disabilities, please email mszporluk@disabilityrightsfund.org

The Summit participants also created a Working Group to develop the terms of reference for our network – to be finalized by the network over email by the end of the year. We are now reaching out to other networks, interested women and allies, and look forward to this partnership to promote the rights of women with disabilities around the world!

Best,
Shantha (a member of the INWWD)

GLOBAL SUMMIT on the Rights of Women with Disabilities
A Call for Action: Claiming Our Rights

Women with disabilities have been the world’s forgotten sisters. There are over 300 million women with disabilities around the world, representing a huge and important part of society. We face multiple forms of discrimination.

We, the participants in a global Summit on the Rights of Women with Disabilities, held in Quebec, Canada, in August 2008, have come together to claim our rights, through the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the human rights framework. Today, we take the first, historic step by creating a global network of women with disabilities, which must include women with ALL types of disabilities from ALL over the world.

We will use this network to share our knowledge and experiences, speak up for our rights, bring about change and inclusion in our communities, and empower women with disabilities to be leaders of today and tomorrow. We invite ALL women with disabilities to join us and we will achieve these goals TOGETHER.

Adopted on August 27, 2008, Quebec, Canada



This announcement was circulated by Shanta Rau of Rehabilitation International via the Global Partnership for Disability and Development (GPDD) email list. Queries about the new email network of women with disabilities, and allied men, should please be directed to inwwd-subscribe@yahoogroups.com or to mszporluk@disabilityrightsfund.org, NOT to We Can Do.

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NEWS: Albanian Disability Rights Foundation Monitors National Action Plan of the National Strategy on People with Disability

Posted on 30 October 2008. Filed under: Cross-Disability, Democratic Participation, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Human Rights, News, Policy & Legislation | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

For Immediate Release
October 23rd, 2008

Albanian Disability Rights Foundation organized on October 23rd, 2008 at the Rogner EuropaPark Hotel, a National Conference to announce to the Public the Report on the Implementation by the Albanian Government of the National Action Plan of the National Strategy on People with Disability (NSPD). This is the second in the series of the monitoring reports for NSPD and it includes the progress made during 2005-2007 by focusing on the status of progress in 2007.

Participants in the Conference Deputy Prime Minister, Genc Pollo, Minister of Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, Anastas Duro, USAID Mission Director, Roberta Mahoney, Executive Director of the Albanian Disability Rights Foundation, Blerta Cani, and other representatives from governmental and nongovernmental institutions who spoke in the Conference presented facts and findings that came out in the monitoring process.

The data for the monitoring report were mainly collected through six-region surveys with participants from Tirane, Shkoder, Durres, Vlore, Elbasan and Korce. The survey was conducted with participation of 113 government officials at the central, regional and local level, who provided official information on the status of progress on the measure assigned to their office, as well as representatives of four national disability nongovernmental organizations. 954 participant’s people with disabilities and family members from the same six regions were also asked to evaluate the situation in the country in regards to the five areas of the National Action Plan – Accessibility, Services(Health care and Social Services); Education, Employment and Vocational Training, Capacity Building and Legislation through a quantitative-qualitative survey.

The Report acknowledges the increased awareness of the Albanian Government, its engagement in taking more responsibilities for improvement of disability legal and policy framework in Albania.

Still, findings from the monitoring process revealed unrealized tasks in all the five areas of the action plan of the National Strategy on People with Disability. An analysis of all the findings revealed that there has been no progress at all in 41% of the total measures, only two measures have been completed on schedule, this means that the implementation has been delayed for 98% of the measures the National Action Plan.

As a consequence, half of people with disabilities and their families participating in the survey (51.8%) consider their financial situation to be poor; the communities where people with disabilities live continue to be inaccessible to them, 4,534 children with special needs between ages of 6-18 do not receive any form of education; People with disabilities and their family members gave opportunities for employment and vocational training a failing grade. The participants strongly believe that they are not considered as equal partners in the relevant decision making process at the local, regional and central level. They believe that majority of 102,945 officially recognized people with disabilities, are not treated as equal citizens, and they are discriminated against in many fields of life.

The NSPD was written to address the most basic needs of people with disabilities in Albania. The failure of the state agencies to realize the tasks according to the scheduled timelines indicates that work to promote awareness and accountability needs to be enhanced at all levels.

Constant monitoring of the national disability strategy by civil society tends to hold the Albanian government accountable, increase the responsibility and engagement of responsible governmental and non-governmental agencies to place disability in the agenda of the reforms, by challenging exclusion and promoting an all inclusive society.

Efforts of ADRF to monitor implementation of the National Strategy for People with Disability were enabled through financial support of United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under the program of “Promoting the Human Rights for people with Disability in Albania.

Albanian Disability Rights Foundation is an Albanian non-governmental organization that has advocated for the human rights and people with disabilities since 1996. The ADRF empowers individuals with disabilities and their family member, provides technical and policy-level advice regarding human rights, and raises public awareness concerning disabilities.

For further information you may contact:

Blerta Cani
Tel: + 355 4 2269 426
e-mail: adrf@albmail.com

www.adrf.org.al



This press release was recently circulated on the AsiaPacificDisability email discussion group.

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RESOURCE: Manual on Mainstreaming Disability in Development Projects

Posted on 2 October 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Cross-Disability, Inclusion, Poverty, Resources | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Christian Blind Mission announces the publication of a new manual on including persons with disabilities in development projects. The manual is part of the “Mainstreaming Disability in Development Cooperation” project funded by the European Commission. The purpose of the manual is to give guidance and practical tools to operational staff to include a disability
perspective in the Project Cycle Management. [Note from We Can Do: Although this manual is written from a European perspective for European-based international development agencies and organizations, some of its content seems broadly relevant to mainstream international development organizations based outside of Europe.]

The manual aims to support the inclusion of the perspectives of persons with disabilities throughout the project management cycle, from program planning through evaluation. It contains examples of projects which include the perspectives of persons with disabilities, many of which are financed by the EC partnership with NGOs, including CBM. The manual is
accompanied by a web-based toolbox, which is available in September 2008.

To download the manual go to

http://www.cbm.org/en/general/CBM_EV_EN_general_article_36218.html

This manual comes in two parts. The first part, entitled Make Development Inclusive: Concepts and Guiding Principles (PDF format, 750 Kb), discusses what disability is; why all poverty reduction projects should include a disability perspective; the degree of disability inclusion needed for different types of projects; and the legal and policy framework in Europe and internationally. It also includes a discussion of the “twin-track approach” to development, which explores the difference between disability-inclusive mainstream projects and disability-targeted initiatives–and why we need both.

The second part of the manual, entitled Make Development Inclusive: A Pratical Guide (PDF format, 2.8 Mb) advises mainstream development organizations in how they can make their projects more inclusive to the benefit of everyone–without bankrupting themselves or consuming staff time that just isn’t available. Case examples are described that highlight how disability inclusion has been done at every stage of programming, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating projects around the world.

More information on the project Make Development Inclusive can be found online at www.make-development-inclusive.org

CBM is an international disability and development organization with 100 years of expertise whose purpose is to improve the quality of life of persons with disabilities and their families and prevent and treat those diseases which can lead to disability in the most marginalized societies
in the world. Working for and together with persons with disabilities, CBM advocates for meaningful and effective participation, equal opportunities and full inclusion in all spheres of society.



I learned of this resource from Joan Durocher, who learned about it from Karen Heinicke-Motsch. Most of the text in this blog post comes from an announcement from CBM; the text summarizing the content of the two parts of the manual is mine.

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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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NEWS: PACER, IBM partner to open model center in India for people with disabilities

Posted on 2 October 2008. Filed under: Cross-Disability, News, South Asian Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

PACER, IBM partner to open model center in India for people with disabilities

The first comprehensive assistive technology center serving people with disabilities in India opened on Sept. 13, thanks to a partnership between PACER Center, IBM Corporation, and the Spastics Society of Karnataka (SSK) in Bangalore, India.

“This center will be a model for the rest of the country,” said Paula F. Goldberg, executive director of PACER Center, a national parent center in the U.S. “We’re very excited about this tremendous opportunity, and we appreciate the support of corporations in India and the U.S. to make this center a reality.”

More than 350 people attended the Sept. 13 inauguration of the Spastics Society of Karnataka Assistive Technology Centre for Education and Life Skills Training on the campus of the SSK, a nonprofit agency serving children and young adults with disabilities. The new center will give
people with disabilities in India the opportunity to learn, communicate, and participate more fully in many work and life activities.

Through a collaborative effort involving parents, professionals, and consumers, the center will provide numerous services, including technology consultations, workshops on technology-related topics, individual training, and library facilities. The new center was modeled after PACER’s Simon Technology Center in Minneapolis, Minn.

The opening of the center “is a milestone in international cooperation,” said inauguration keynote speaker Paul Ackerman, Ph.D., an international consultant on disability and a noted author. He was formerly with the United States Department of Education, providing assistance to projects aiding children and adults with disabilities in India.

Shanker Annaswamy, Manager Director, IBM India Pvt. Ltd, also spoke at the inauguration. “IBM is committed to enable differently challenged people with technology and expertise. Our volunteers and consultants are engaged in supporting this centre,” he said. “It’s heartening to see how quickly children are adapting and growing when they get access to these types of assistive technologies.”

The inauguration’s guest of honor was Shri. P.M.Narendra Swamy, Honorable Minister for Women and Child Development, Government of Karnataka. The ceremony was also attended by Mrs. Rukmini Krishnaswamy, executive director of SSK, Bridget Ames, coordinator of PACER’s Simon
Technology Center (STC) in the U.S., and others.

PACER Center provided training for the SSK staff and solicited corporate donors and assistive technology vendors to contribute technology, financial gifts, and volunteer time to help build and support the center. IBM donated the hardware and Accessibility Works software. IBM
consultants and volunteers will also help support this center.

About Assistive Technology
Assistive technology (AT) is a device or technology that helps a person with disabilities perform tasks they were unable to accomplish or had great difficulty doing.

About Spastic Society of Karnataka
Spastics Society of Karnataka is a Non-Government Organization (NGO) dedicated to the welfare of persons with neuro-muscular disorders and developmental disabilities.

For more information, visit: http://spasticssocietyofkarnataka.org/

About PACER
A national organization based in Minnesota, PACER works to expand opportunities and enhance the quality of life of children and young adults with disabilities and their families, based on the concept of parents helping parents Learn more at www.PACER.org.

About IBM
For more information about IBM, visit http://www.ibm.com



I received this press release when it was passed along by Joan Durocher via her email distribution list.

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RESOURCE: The BIAS FREE Framework: A practical tool for identifying and eliminating social biases

Posted on 1 October 2008. Filed under: Cross-Disability, Health, Inclusion, Resources | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The worst myth that most good people have about bias, prejudice, discrimination, and exclusion is that only bad people do these things. If only bad people or bad organizations excluded others on the basis of disability status, gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, or socio-economic class, then the world would be in pretty good shape. And people with disabilities would no longer face frustration when persuading mainstream international development organizations to include their needs and concerns. After all, most of us (or so most of us hope) are good people.

Unfortunately, in the real world, most exclusion is done by good people who don’t even realize that they might be creating barriers simply by carrying on with business as usual. This is because many people simply don’t know enough about the lives, challenges, and strengths of the people in their communities who happen to be different from them. This ignorance is perhaps particularly problematic for people with disabilities because disability is often so profoundly invisible and ignored in many societies. (Did you know, for example, that doorknobs, flourescent lights, and pictures can all create barriers for people with certain disabilities?)

Exclusion caused by good people is often the hardest kind of exclusion to overcome because it first means helping people to understand that “being a good person” and “being a person who excludes others” are not mutually exclusive concepts. Then comes the next big challenge: we can only remove sources of bias in our research, policies, programs, services, and practices if we first learn how to see the bias. So how do we learn to see the biases that are so deeply buried in our environment, in our policies, in our programs, in ourselves?

One possible starting point is a 64-page publication entitled The BIAS FREE Framework: A practical tool for identifying and eliminating social biases in health research. The framework is available in PDF format in English, French, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish, and Vietnamese; and it looks like they plan a Chinese translation as well (the button is there but doesn’t lead anywhere yet).

This framework is not specific to international development. In fact, it’s focus is on eliminating bias in health research. But the manual is meant to be used more broadly by, not only researchers, but also students and policy makers, and could also be used by program directors and service providers. It is also meant for use in both high-income and low-income countries. It does not cover every possible area of bias. But it does include a focus on bias related to disability; to gender; and to race. And some of the broad concepts could be carried over to other types of bias, across many of the different sectors of international development.

The BIAS FREE Framework discusses how bias creeps in and serves to perpetuate social hierachies; how we tend to both overlook differences and also to exagerate them; how many of us forget to account for the complex social hierachies within gender, race, and disability issues, as well as across them. It discusses how people can identify and minimize these biases.

Learn more about the publication, or download it in your preferred language, at:

http://www.globalforumhealth.org/Site/002__What%20we%20do/005__Publications/010__BIAS%20FREE.php

Or, if you are looking for shorter, more accessible essays that may help stretch your thinking about disability issues, and why good people may still do bad things even when trying very hard to do only good things, consider a few samples from an excellent blogger named Amanda Baggs:

No Good Guys or Bad Guys Here

The Vehement Defense of Prejudicial Behavior

And this next one should be read by anyone and everyone who thinks their most important mission is to “help” people–whether by “helping” people they mean disabled people; poor people; people in developing countries; or all three. Do be sure to follow all the links and read those as well. It’s well worth your time to work through all of it. Then set aside some more time to think through all the implications. Are you a “Do-Gooder”? Are you sure?

Do-gooderism: Links, quotes, and discussion

Amanda Baggs has influenced my thinking in all kinds of subtle ways I couldn’t even begin to identify. I have read every single post in her entire blog, including all of the comments and most of her links. And it has been time very well spent.

No, Amanda Baggs doesn’t write about international development. Her focus is on disability rights and a broad spectrum of other issues. But she thinks deeply about power imbalances, power structures, and why oppression happens, in all kinds of ways that most people never think about. Much of it could be extended broadly not only to relationships between disabled people and non-disabled people but also to relationships between poor people and the people who deliver services.

If you have time to explore, I encourage you to go to her blog and do so: http://ballastexistenz.autistics.org



I first learned about The BIAS FREE Framework via the AdHoc_IDC email discussion list.

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FUNDING: Campaigns to Ratify, Implement Disability Rights Treaty (CRPD)

Posted on 1 October 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Cognitive Impairments, Cross-Disability, Human Rights, Psychiatric Disabilities | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Are you a disability rights advocate working in a developing country? Is your organization trying to persuade your country’s government to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)? Or, has your country already ratified the CRPD–and you are now working on making sure the CRPD is fully implemented, so that all people with disabilities in your country have their rights respected and protected? Do you need funding support?

The grantmaking foundation, Open Society Institute, has now established the Disability Rights Initiative that supports the efforts of disability rights advocates working on ratification and implementation of the CRPD around the world. The initiative gives priority to efforts promoting the rights of people with intellectual and psycho-social disabilities. However, OSI is willing to support a range of programs and projects that advance the CRPD.

Learn more detail about this funding opportunity and how to apply for it at:

http://www.soros.org/initiatives/special/focus/disability/grants

This is an on-going funding opportunity.

Please note that all inquiries and funding applications should be directed to the Open Society Institute, NOT We Can Do.

Advocates working on issues related to implementing the CRPD in developing countries will also want to keep checking the Disability Rights Fund web site for announcements of future, additional funding opportunities there. The application deadline for their first round of grants passed in August 2008, but they will be offering more funding grants to more countries in the future. Also check the resource section of the Disability Rights Fund website for links to more possible funding sources in general.

New to the CRPD? Learn more about this international, legally-binding human rights treaty that protects the human rights of people with disabilities around the world at http://ratifynow.org/ratifynow-faq/



Thank you to Diana Samarasan for alerting me to the OSI funding opportunity.

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NEWS: Australia Commits to Leading Disability Inclusion in Development in Pacific Region

Posted on 30 September 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Cross-Disability, East Asia Pacific Region, News, Policy & Legislation | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

The Australian government agency devoted to international assistance programs, AusAid, released the following statement yesterday.

MEDIA RELEASE
BOB MCMULLAN MP
PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE
MEMBER FOR FRASER

——————————————————————————–
AA 08 60 29 September 2008
Australia Leads Support for People With Disabilities in Asia Pacific
Parliamentary Secretary for International Development Assistance, Bob McMullan, today committed Australia to a leadership role in supporting people with disability in the Asia Pacific.

An estimated 650 million people across the world have a disability and about 80 per cent of the population with a disability live in developing countries. The Asia Pacific region is home to two-thirds of this population.

“The Australian Government recognises that poverty is both a cause and consequence of disability and is committed to ensuring that the benefits of development reach those who are most excluded,” Mr McMullan said.

Australia is providing $45 million over two years to develop an avoidable blindness program and the development of a comprehensive disability strategy to guide Australia’s international development assistance program.

Mr McMullan said the Government’s new emphasis on disability reflected Australia’s commitment to increasing social participation for all.

Mr McMullan released the draft strategy for consultation today at the International Conference on Disability, Disadvantage and Development in the Pacific and Asia on 29 September – 1 October.

“This conference shows that there is a growing interest in disability across the region and increasing recognition that people with disability, who often count amongst the poorest of the poor, have an important role to play in national development.

“I am determined that Australia will take a lead in this respect,” said Mr McMullan.

He said the conference also represented a timely opportunity to discuss the draft disability strategy with disability representatives, many of whom have contributed to its development, before its official launch later this year.

The conference aims to exchange knowledge and promote action on disability in developing countries. Organised by the Australian Disability and Development Consortium, it has attracted over 200 participants from the region and will open at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra on 29 September.

Australia has recently ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and, in addition to a disability strategy for its aid program, is preparing a national disability policy to be released in 2009.

The text for the above statement statement was taken from the AusAid website at: http://www.ausaid.gov.au/media/release.cfm?BC=Latest&ID=1213_3874_2510_2635_942

More information about AusAid efforts to include disability issues in their assistance programs is available at: http://www.ausaid.gov.au/keyaid/disability.cfm

Looking to make your own mainstream international development organization more disability-inclusive? Check the page on Resources, Toolkits, and Funding for a listing of past We Can Do posts with links to resources related to inclusive development.



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I first received a copy of AusAids’ statement via the AsiaPacificDisability email discussion group.

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Report from Seminar on Disaster Risk Reduction for Deaf People, Persons with Disabilities

Posted on 30 September 2008. Filed under: Cross-Disability, Deaf, Disaster Planning & Mitigation, South Asian Region | Tags: , , , , |

Deaf people, and people with disabilities, are often at high risk during natural disasters and other large-scale emergencies. A seminar on disaster risk reduction for people with disabilities was held in Pakistan last July 2008. A summary of the lectures and presentations are available on-line at:

http://www.danishkadah.org.pk/activities/events/080720-DRR/program.html#speakers_introduction

Among other things, people may read a summary of a lecture describing a curriculum and teaching strategies used to teach deaf students how to protect their safety during disasters. Also included are bullet points from a speech that makes recommendations for the importance of including people with disabilities generally in all stages of disaster prevention and preparation.



We Can Do learned about this conference report via an email circulated by Ghulam Nabi Nizamani, who was one of the presenters at this conference.

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RESOURCE: Disability Rights Convention Ratification Campaign Handbook

Posted on 29 September 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Cross-Disability, Human Rights, Media & Journalism, Resources | Tags: , , , , , , |

Disability advocates can use the Disability Rights Convention Ratification Campaign Handbook (PDF format, 250 Kb) from the Landmine Survivors Network as one more tool to help them persuade their government to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

The most significant international, legally binding treaty affecting people with disabilities is, of course, the CRPD. The 40 countries that have ratified it so far are now legally obligated to make sure their laws protect a wide range of human rights for people with disabilities, such as the right to life, to privacy, to accessible education and health care services, and many more. In some cases, this may mean creating new legislation; in some cases, this may mean abolishing old laws that discriminate.

But what of the other 160 countries or so that have not yet ratified the CRPD? The good news is that 95 of these have taken the first step toward ratification by signing it. And signing the convention does at least obligate the country to avoid doing anything that would directly violate the treaty. But a few dozen countries still haven’t even signed it. And the countries that have signed it vary widely in the level of progress they are making toward ratification. A country is not obligated to fully obey the CRPD until after they ratify it.

Disability communities around the world–and their families and the service providers who work with them–are working together to persuade their governments to ratify. The global grassroots organization RatifyNow is one example, but there are also many local efforts. Advocates who are new to the process have an increasing number of toolkits they can use to help them figure out how to get started. One of these resources is Disability Rights Convention Ratification Campaign Handbook (PDF format, 250 Kb).

The first part of this handbook explains what a human rights convention is and how the process for creating one works; presents the CRPD and its Optional Protocol in plain (simple) language; and answers some frequently asked questions such as “what rights are included”? and “how will it work?”

The second part explains how a country can ratify the CRPD and shares advice for how people can run an advocacy campaign. Perhaps the most valuable part of this section, at least for advocates who are new to writing letters to politicians or the wider community, are the sample letters they can use to help them figure out how to write letters of their own.

The third part of this handbook explains how advocates can reach out to the media; get media coverage for their campaign; prepare press releases; and prepare press conferences. This section includes a sample press release that advocates can use as a guide for writing their own. A Guide to Portraying People with Disabilities in the Media can be distributed to journalists as a way of encouraging them to write or speak about people with disabilities with repsect and accuracy.

Download the PDF file (250 Kb) at:

http://www.landminesurvivors.org/files/ConvHandbook_4-30.pdf

Advocates who have difficulty understanding legal terminology may be contented with the plain language version of the CRPD presented in this handbook. However, if you’d rather read the original, unaltered CRPD–i.e., the same text that government officials would be reading and deciding whether to ratify–then you can find the full CRPD at http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?navid=12&pid=150. You will need to scroll down the page to choose your preferred language; the CRPD is available in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Russian, Chinese, Portuguese (Brazilian), Khmer, Croatian, Hungarian (in both the original translation and the easy to read version), Hungarian Sign Language, Persian (Farsi), Maltese, Dutch, Korean, Slovenia, and Turkish. Some translations are in PDF format, some are in Word format.

Want a quick background on the CRPD that you can read in a few minutes? Try the RatifyNow FAQ at http://ratifynow.org/ratifynow-faq/.

Find out if your country has signed or ratified the CRPD at http://www.un.org/disabilities/countries.asp?navid=12&pid=166

Also, a number of other toolkits and resources related to the CRPD have been featured at We Can Do in the past–see a list of links to relevant We Can Do posts at https://wecando.wordpress.com/resources-toolkits-and-funding/#CRPD%20resources. Especially helpful might be the Ratification and Implementation Toolkits from Disabled Peoples International, available in English, Spanish, and French.

Find an even more extensive collection of links to resources on the CRPD and disability rights at the Disability Rights Fund Resource page.



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CALL FOR PAPERS: Impact of Nanoscale Science on Disability

Posted on 29 September 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Call for Papers, Cross-Disability, Disability Studies, Health, Inclusion, Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Opportunities, Poverty, technology, Water and Sanitation | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Call for papers On the impact of nanoscale science and technology on disability, community and rehabilitation.
[NOTE from We Can Do editor: The deadline for abstracts is October 30, 2008; full articles can be submitted later, for authors whose abstracts are selected. We Can Do readers will note that the areas of suggested possible focus may include the impact of nanotechnology on people with disabilities in low-income countries; on international development; and on relevant topics such as water and sanitation, the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, and others. Inquiries and abstracts should be directed to the journal, NOT We Can Do.]

For a special issue of the International Journal on Disability, Community & Rehabilitation (IJDCR) (http://www.ijdcr.ca/copyright.shtml)

Guest Editor: Gregor Wolbring, Community Rehabilitation and Disability Studies Program, Dept of Community Health Sciences, University of Calgary. <gwolbrin@ucalgary.ca>

Invitation
Nanoscale science and technology, while still in its infancy, describes a rapidly growing sphere of enquiry, with many and varied implications for the disability field. To establish a ‘benchmark’ of the current state of knowledge and conceptual understanding, the Editors of IJDCR decided a special issue should be devoted to the topic. Background information and potential topics are presented below.

We invite potential contributors, regardless of fields of study (discipline), to submit 250-word Abstracts that articulate the conceptual arguments and knowledge base to be covered in a critical analysis on some aspect of the impact of nanoscale science and technology on disability, community and/or rehabilitation. Please submit abstracts to the Guest Editor via e-mail by 30 October, 2008.

From selected abstracts, we will request full articles of 3000-5000 words (excluding figures and tables) of original research and scholarship on a range of topics. Note that an invitation to submit an article does not guarantee its publication. Every submitted article will be subject to blind peer review and recommendations arising.

Background
Nanotechnology in all its meanings allows for, among other things, the manipulation of materials on an atomic or molecular scale and enables a new paradigm of science and technology that sees different technologies converging at the nanoscale namely:

  • nanoscience and nanotechnology,
  • biotechnology and biomedicine, including genetic engineering,
  • information technology, including advanced computing and communications,
  • cognitive science (neuro-engineering),
  • synthetic biology;

hence, the designation “NBICS” (nano-bio-info-cogno-synbio).

Many lists of anticipated nanoproducts exist (Institute of Nanotechnology 2005;Kostoff et al. 2006). Applications for NBICS products are envisioned in areas such as the environment, energy, water, weapons and other military applications, globalization, agriculture, and health (e.g., more efficient diagnostics and genetic testing, cognitive enhancement; life extension and enhancing human performance in general) (M.Roco 2003). Many believe that advances in NBICS hold the key for extreme life extension to the level of immortality and the achievement of morphological (Anders Sandberg 2001) and genomic freedom(Wolbring 2003). NBICS-medicine is envisioned by some to have the answer to global problems of disease and ill medical and social health. Others argue for the pursuit of ‘morphological freedom’ (Anders Sandberg 2001)–allowing the human body to move beyond typical functioning of the species. Disabled people are often highlighted as the beneficiaries of NBICS-medicine products. NBICS applications and the selling of NBICS health products focuses mostly on offering disabled people medical solutions (prevention or cure/normative adaptation) and might move towards transhumanist solutions (augmentation, enhancement of the human body) but rarely offers social solutions (adaptation of the environment, acceptance, societal cures of equal rights and respect). Many NBICS applications/products for disabled people are envisioned and are under development(Wolbring 2005).

We chose this topic for an issue of IJDCR because of how the discourses around these new and emerging nanoscale science and technologies are emerging and their potential impact on people with disabilities, the communities linked to them and/or practitioners as well as others. Consumers and researchers linked to the disability discourse are involved will shape the positive or negative consequences for everyone involved.

Nanotechnology and NBICS have an impact on disabled people in at least four main ways.

Impact of NBICS on disabled people (Wolbring 2006)

NBICS may develop tools to adapt the environment in which disabled people live and to give disabled people tools that would allow them to deal with environmental challenges. This side of S&T would make the life of disabled people more liveable without changing the identity and biological reality of the disabled person

NBICS may develop tools that would diagnose the part of disabled people’s biological reality seen by others as deficient, defect, impaired and ‘disabled’ thus allowing for preventative measures

NBICS may develop tools that would eliminate that portion of disabled people’s biological reality seen by others as deficient, defect, impaired and ‘disabled’.

NBICS may be a target for – and an influence upon – the discourses, concepts, trends and areas of action that impact disabled persons.

Discourses:

  • The discourse around the term human security
  • The religious discourse
  • The politics of biodiversity
  • The politics of inequity
  • The politics of the ethics discourse.
  • The politics of law:
  • The politics of raising the acceptance level for a given technology
  • The politics of setting goals and priorities
  • The politics of language
  • The politics of self perception and identity (Body politics)
  • The politics of red herrings
  • The politics of interpreting International treaties
  • The politics of governance
  • The Politics of evaluation, measuring, analysis, and outcome tools

Concepts:

  • Self identity security
  • Ability security
  • Cultural identity/diversity
  • Morphological freedom and morphological judgement(Anders Sandberg 2001)
  • Freedom of choice and tyranny of choice
  • Duty to fix oneself
  • Duty to know
  • Parental responsibility
  • Societal responsibility

Trends:

  • Change in the concepts of health, disease and ‘disability’/’impairment’
  • The appearance of enhancement medicine and the acceptance of beyond species-typical functioning
  • Moving from curative to enhancement medicine; decrease in curative medicine and the appearance of the transhumanist/enhancement burden of disease
  • Moving from human rights to sentient rights
  • Moving from morphological freedom to morphological judgement
  • The appearance of the techno poor disabled and impaired
  • Moving from freedom of choice to tyranny of choice judgement

Areas of Action:

  • Nanotechnology/NBIC for development
  • Nanotechnology/NBIC and the UN Millennium Development Goals
  • Nanotechnology/NBIC and global medical and social health
  • Nanotechnology/NBIC and accessibility
  • Nanotechnology/NBIC and law
  • Nanotechnology/NBIC and water and sanitation
  • Nanotechnology/NBIC and disaster management
  • Nanotechnology/NBIC and weapons/war
  • Nanotechnology/NBIC and ethics/philosophy
  • Nanotechnology/NBIC and social science/anthropology
  • Nanotechnology/NBIC and community
  • Nanotechnology/NBIC and networking

All of the above discourses, concepts, trends and areas of actions impact on disabled people[1] and others.

Potential contributors to this Special Issue might consider areas from the above table or one of the following topics:

1. What are the potential positive and negative impacts of envisioned nanoscale science and technology products and research and development on:

  • disabled people,
  • the community around them
  • practitioners, consumers and researchers linked to the disability discourse
  • community rehabilitation and the rehabilitation field in general
  • inclusive education and the education of disabled people in general
  • employability of disabled people
  • citizenship of disabled people
  • body image of disabled people
  • medical and social health policies and their impact on disabled people
  • health care for disabled people
  • the elderly
  • disabled people in low income countries
  • laws related to disabled people such as the UN Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities
  • the concept of personhood
  • concept of health and health care
  • the measure of disability adjusted life years and other measurements used to guide health care dollar allocation
  • quality of life assessment

2. What are the potential positive and negative impacts of the new social philosophy of transhumanism that is seen as being enabled by nanoscale science and technology products and research and development?
3. What impacts of potential nanoscale science and technology products and research and development onto disabled people will impact other marginalized groups?

For more information about the International Journal of Disability, Community & Rehabilitation (IJDCR) please go to http://www.ijdcr.ca.

References
Anders Sandberg. Morphological Freedom — Why We not just Want it, but Need it. 2001. <http://www.nada.kth.se/~asa/Texts/MorphologicalFreedom.htm>

Institute of Nanotechnology (2005). Research Applications And Markets In Nanotechnology In Europe 2005 <http://www.researchandmarkets.com/reportinfo.asp?report_id=302091&t=t&cat_id=4>

Kostoff, Ronald et al. “The seminal literature of nanotechnology research.” Journal of Nanoparticle Research (2006): 1-21. <http://www.springerlink.com/openurl.asp?genre=article&id=doi:10.1007/s11051-005-9034-9>

M.Roco, W. Bainbridge eds. Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance: Nanotechnology, Biotechnology, Information Technology and Cognitive Science. 2003. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht Hardbound. <http://www.wtec.org/ConvergingTechnologies/Report/NBIC_report.pdf> [PDF format]

Wolbring, G. “SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY AND THE TRIPLE D (DISEASE, DISABILITY, DEFECT).” Ed. William Sims Bainbridge Mihail C.Roco National. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic, 2003. 232-43<http://www.wtec.org/ConvergingTechnologies/> <http://www.bioethicsanddisability.org/nbic.html>

Wolbring, G (2005). HTA Initiative #23 The triangle of enhancement medicine, disabled people, and the concept of health: a new challenge for HTA, health research, and health policy Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research, Health Technology Assessment Unit, Edmonton, Alberta Canada <http://www.ihe.ca/documents/hta/HTA-FR23.pdf> [PDF format]

Wolbring, G (2006). Scoping paper on Nanotechnology and disabled people. Center for Nanotechnology in Society Arizona State University [On-line]. <http://cns.asu.edu/cns-library/documents/wolbring-scoping%20CD%20final%20edit.doc> [Word format]

——————————————————————————–
[1] The term ‘disabled people’, as used here, reflects the way in which environmental factors impact on the ability of individuals with sensory, motor, cognitive or other variations to participate in society, consistent with its usage by Disabled Peoples’ International.



Thank you to Gregor Wolbring for submitting this announcement for publication at We Can Do.

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FOREIGN LANGUAGE SURVEY for US People with Disabilities: Take 10 Minutes to Share Experience Studying, or Being Excluded From Learning, Foreign Languages

Posted on 29 September 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Call for Comments or Information, Cross-Disability, Education, Opportunities | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

NOTE from We Can Do editor: I hope that We Can Do readers with disabilities in the United States will take 10 minutes of their time to participate in a survey on their experiences studying foreign languages–or, as the case might be, on their experience being excluded from these opportunities.

People with disabilities in developing countries cannot lift themselves out of poverty if mainstream international development and humanitarian agencies and organizations continue to overlook their concerns when developing new programs and policies. One important way to ensure that the needs of poor disabled people are always put front and center is for more mainstream international development organizations to hire more disabled employees from all countries. Workers with disabilities need to be employed across all sectors, in all regions, and at all levels of all agencies and organizations, including in management. (Ditto for more employees who have grown up in poverty, or who have grown up in a developing country, or all three.)

Bringing more employees with disaiblities into these organizations, among other things, means we must ensure that more students with disabilities have a way to study foreign languages. This is a critical pre-requisite: it’s not impossible to pursue a career in the field without foreign language skills, but it is harder. But, many people with disabilities in many countries–including the United States–find it difficult to receive appropriate accommodations in foreign language classes.

This foreign language survey is an opportunity for people with disabilities in the United States to take 10 minutes of their time to share their experience with studying foreign languages–or with being excluded from the opportunity. What accommodations worked best for you? Or, what would have helped if you could have had them? The deadline to participate in the survey is October 31, 2008.

Start the survey at http://www.surveygizmo.com/s/47971/foreignlanguages, or if you wish, you may read the original press release about this survey below:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE August 26, 2008

CONTACT: Michele Scheib, Project Specialist
EMAIL: pr@miusa.org

Foreign Language Survey Asks U.S. People with Disabilities to Respond

National surveys show US high school students with disabilities, while increasing in numbers enrolled, still lag behind their non-disabled peers in the percentages taking foreign language courses. Students with and without disabilities are close to equal in the percentages completing foreign language courses at the higher education level. However, the data does not explain what languages are being studied, how successful the learning experience is, and what are the barriers and benefits for people with disabilities at all ages.

Are you a person with a disability from the United States who is interested in taking a survey about foreign language learning and disability? The National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange seeks your and other individuals with disabilities input and experiences.

Take a 10-minute Foreign Language survey online at:
http://www.surveygizmo.com/s/47971/foreignlanguages

Deadline to submit the survey: October 31, 2008

The National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange (NCDE) is sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State and administered by Mobility International USA. The NCDE works to increase the participation and inclusion of people with disabilities in international exchange programs. Contact us at: 541-343-1284 (tel/tty), clearinghouse@miusa.org, http://www.miusa.org/ncde.

The National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange provides free information and referral services related to the participation of people with disabilities in international exchange programs. The Clearinghouse is sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, and is managed by Mobility International USA, which is celebrating its 27th year as a U.S.-based non-profit organization.

Our mailing address is:
Mobility International USA
132 E. Broadway, Suite 343
Eugene, Oregon 97405 USA

Our telephone/tty:
541-343-1284

If you want to receive these press releases, please subscribe by inquiring with pr@miusa.org.

Copyright (C) 2008 Mobility International USA All rights reserved.



Thank you to MIUSA for circulating this announcement.

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Take Action! Promote the Mainstreaming of Disability in the MDGs

Posted on 26 September 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Call for Comments or Information, Cross-Disability, Education, Health, HIV/AIDS, Human Rights, Inclusion, News, Opinion, Opportunities, Policy & Legislation, Poverty | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

MEMORANDUM
TO: GPDD PARTNERS
FROM: GPDD SECRETARIAT
SUBJECT: PROMOTING THE MAINSTREAMING OF DISABILITY IN THE MDGs
DATE:    9/25/2008
 
The General Assembly’s sixty-third session is taking place at the UN headquarters in New York. This session marks a special occasion to highlight the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and a number of consultations and events examining multiple dimensions of MDG activities are taking place throughout the week. This presents a unique opportunity for all concerned stakeholders to advocate for the inclusion of disability in the MDGs.
 
Since the GA Plenary may discuss this issue from October 6 to 8, immediate action is essential. For this reason, the Secretariat of the Global Partnership for Disability and Development is:

1)    Circulating a letter to UN Missions and Foreign Affairs Offices of Member States requesting Member States to make interventions and support a resolution in favor of mainstreaming disabilities in the MDGs.

2)    Encouraging advocates and activists to phone, fax, or e-mail relevant government officials in their countries.

3)    Sending an advisory to relevant media outlets.

We request your support in these actions as well as your suggestions.

Your ideas and participation will make a difference! A sample letter and relevant contact information are attached for your use.

FYI,  a copy of the Secretary-General’s report on mainstreaming disability in monitoring and evaluation of MDGs conducted as part of the Fifth quinquennial  review and appraisal of the World Program of Action concerning Disabled Persons and a short summary are attached, as well.
 
Sincerely,
Maria Verónica Reina
Executive Director
GPDD

Sample Letter
Disability advocates may wish to use this sample letter as inspiration when writing to the UN Mission Office for your country, or when writing to the Foreign Affairs office in your country. Find the full list of UN Mission offices, with the relevant contact information, at http://www.un.org/members/missions.shtml. Search the website for your government to locate the contact information for your country’s equivalent of the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Dear Mr./Ms. Minister of Foreign Affairs (or Head of Delegation):
As members of the Disability and Development community, we want to encourage your government to play a substantive and active role in favor of mainstreaming Disability in the Millennium Development Goals (during the fifth review and appraisal of the World Programme of Action (A/63/183) which will be reviewed by the GA during its 63rd session (6-8 October under Social Development). The report was envisaged as a contribution to reinforcing the disability perspective in reviews of the progress made, and challenges encountered, in implementing the MDGs as requested by GA resolution 62/127.

Mainstreaming disability in the MDGs will help to ensure that no one is excluded from the processes of global development. In view of the enforcement of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, new and concerted efforts should be made in order to accomplish the advancement of persons with disability in the context of development. It is important to note the importance of promoting universal design, the design of products, environments, programmes, and services which are usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design. Such increased accessibility benefits all members of society, not only persons with disabilities. Simultaneously, it is also relevant to state that disability specific programs addressing MDG concerns are also needed to guarantee the full inclusion of persons with disabilities on an equal basis with others.

For these reasons, we respectfully urge you to promote a resolution on mainstreaming disability in the MDGs during the fifth review and appraisal of the World Programme of Action at the 63rd Session of the GA.

Sincerely,

Summary Fifth review and appraisal of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons (A/63/183)
The full Fifth quinquennial review and appraisal of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons, referred to in Maria Verónica Reina’s letter, was too long to publish here. But someone also disseminated a shorter summary which is provided below.

The fifth review and appraisal of the World Programme of Action (A/63/183) will be reviewed by the General Assembly during its 63rd session(6-8 October under social development)The report was envisaged as a contribution to reinforcing the disability perspective in reviews of progress and challenges encountered in implementing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as requested by General Assembly resolution 62/127. The resolution also requested the Secretary-General to present proposed updates of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons which were summarized in Annex I to the report. The report also presents Annex II, “Millennium Development Goals: Mainstreaming Disability”, which presents practical guidance on the inclusion of disability in the processes of the MDGs.

The principal issue addressed in the fifth review and appraisal is the emergence of a “new normative and policy architecture” on the advancement of persons with disabilities within the context of development. This architecture comprises the broad policy framework of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons (for policy formulation, planning and development); the tactical guidance for States of the Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunity for Persons with Disabilities; and the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which are legally binding for States parties, and is discussed in the section “International Disability Architecture”.

A second point of importance within the report is the emergence, of regional action plans and programmes on the advancement of persons with disabilities, which reflect needs and priorities of the respective regional actors and their complementary relationship to the international architecture.

A third point addresses the processes of the MDGs and focuses on options suggested in the architecture to ensure that no one is excluded from the processes of global development.

A fourth point within the report discusses the expanded constituencies for the advancement of persons with disabilities. As the median global age is on the rise, disability will have major policy implications because the prevalence of disabilities tends to be higher among older persons. The new constituencies represent important agents in a new and concerted effort as part of a disability-sensitized community to the advancement of persons with disability in the context of development. It is important to note the importance of promoting universal design, the design of products, environments, programmes and services which are usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design. Such increased accessibility benefits all members of society, not only persons with disabilities.

The fifth, point, is the need for a single, comprehensive biennial review of progress and obstacles in implementing a global strategy for disability-inclusive development. This unified report on the new disability architecture could facilitate substantive exchange and learning from the findings and recommendations of the CRDP treaty body once established, within the context of development.

Annex I to the Fifth review and appraisal of the World Programme of Action – Updates to the World Programme of Action
Annex I discusses the issue of the updating of the World Programme of Action, as requested by General Assembly resolution 62/127.

The report recommends that the General Assembly endorse a plan to develop a Global Strategy toward Disability-Inclusive Development 2010-2015, through regional consultations and contributions from experts. These strategic guidelines could be developed based on the complementarities and synergies of three disability-specific instruments, namely the World Programme of Action, the Standard Rules and the Convention, and could incorporate updates proposed by Member States. There are existing regional guidelines for disability action in the context of development that could provide a basis for the development of a global strategy.
Annex II to the Fifth review and appraisal of the World Programme of Action – Millennium Development Goals: Mainstreaming Disability

Annex II provides a selection of examples and guidelines for mainstreaming disability in the MDGs and includes possible indicators to include disability in the monitoring of progress in achieving MDGs.



This call for action, and the associated materials, was recently circulated in several different locations including the IDA_CRPD_Forum and the GPDD mailing list.



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Including Everybody: Website on Disability and MDGs Launched

Posted on 26 September 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Children, Cross-Disability, Education, Health, HIV/AIDS, Inclusion, Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), News, Opinion, Policy & Legislation | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
End poverty and hunger. Put all children in school. Empower women. Stop children from dying. Keep pregnant and birthing mothers healthy. Fight AIDS, malaria, and other disease. Create a sustainable environment. And promote global cooperation. These are the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)–an important set of goals agreed upon by key leaders and heads of state from around the world in September 2000. No, they don’t mention people with disabilities at all–and I will come back to this point in a few paragraphs. Or you can ignore me and go straight to the new website on disability and the MDGs. But in theory, the MDGs are meant to help everyone.

Each goal has a set of specific targets to be achieved, most with the deadline set for 2015. For example, the poverty goal includes a target to cut the number of people living on less than $1 a day in half by 2015. And the goal on child mortality includes a target to cut the child mortality rate by two-thirds among children below age 5. Many country governments, multi-lateral development banks, international development organizations, and donors have invested billions of dollars into projects meant to help more countries and regions meet the Millennium Development Goals.

What has the results been? Mixed. Some of the goals, such as the targets for reducing poverty and hunger, or in putting all children in primary school, have been met–and exceeded in many countries particularly in eastern Asia. Progress in southern Asia has helped also. But many countries in sub-Saharan Africa lag far behind in meeting many of the MDGs.

You can read more about the overall progress–or lack of it–at http://www.undp.org/mdg/basics_ontrack.shtml. Or if you only want to look up the progress in the country where you live, work, or care about the most, go to http://www.undp.org/mdg/tracking_countryreports2.shtml.

People with Disabilities and the MDGs
But what about people with disabilities? Unfortunately, they have been so invisible that most programs and governments don’t even count them. That means it’s hard to find reliable numbers that measure whether people with disabilities are included–or left behind–in the haphazard progress that has been made toward the MDGs. But, we can make some educated guesses.

For example, what limited numbers do exist estimate that possibly as many as 98% of children with disabilities in some developing countries never go to school. Personally, I doubt this number is universally true. For one thing, there is a great deal of variation from country to country in how proactive they are about finding creative ways to include children with disabilities in school. Read Making Schools Inclusive: How Change Can Happen: Save the Children’s Experience (PDF format, 4.14 Mb) for examples of progress.

Then, there is probably some variation depending on the disability. A child with a relatively mild walking-related disability, for example, might have only minor difficulty reaching school if it is not too far. Or a child with undiagnosed and unaccommodated dyslexia might sometimes make it through a few years of school, and even learn a little, before they quit in frustration.

But if that 98% figure is anywhere close to the mark, then it is safe to say that the MDG target on universal primary education has failed disabled children miserably. We do know that they are very disproportionately left behind: the UK Department of International Development (DFID) says that one-third of the 72 million children who are out of school have disabilities, even though people with disabilities are only an estimated 10 percent of the world population in general. And this only covers the education-related target of the MDGs; the new website on disability and the MDGs points out gaps in all the rest.

Disability Inclusion is Everyone’s Business
So what’s the answer to this problem? A thorough response to this question would fill a book. One thing, however, is clear: It will not be resolved by any one government or organization working in isolation. And it certainly will not happen if resource-strapped disability-oriented organizations are left to tackle the problem alone. It will take many governments, agencies, and organizations working together–including those that do not normally specialize in disability issues. In short, everybody who is doing anything to address the MDGs needs to identify better ways to include people with disabilities in the work they’re already doing.

This begins by increasing everyone’s awareness of the complex relationship between disability and the MDGs. By “everyone” I mean both disability advocates (so they can help advocate the issue) and also mainstream international development professionals (so they can find ways to ensure their programs are not inadvertently leaving disabled people behind). Either way, you can start learning at the new website on disability and the Millennium Development Goals, Include Everybody, at:

http://www.includeeverybody.org/

What Do I Think of “Include Everybody”?
When you consider that this website is brand new, I think it makes an excellent start at covering the issues. In the long run, as with any new endeavor, I see room for them to expand. For example, their page on achieving universal primary school education or the page on promoting gender equality and empowering women could usefully link to publications such as Education for All: a gender and disability perspective (PDF format, 151 Kb). Or their page on combating HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases could link to the on-line global survey on disability and HIV/AIDS.

They also could consider eventually developing a one to two page, attractive looking, factsheet on disability and the MDGs that advocates could print out and disseminate when educating others about the topic. They also could consider developing a similarly attractive, one-page factsheet for each of the MDGs individually. The latter could be useful, for example, for passing along to a specialist who only wants to read the information on child mortality without also having to wade through a lot of detail on environmental sustainability. Or vice versa.

But, for now, this web site is a good place to start learning.

http://www.includeeverybody.org/links.php



The Include Everybody website has been publicized in several different locations by now, including the GPDD mailing list, the Intl-Dev mailing list, Joan Durocher’s mailing list, and others.

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Statement on the Millennium Development Goals and Disability, from the Africa Regional Conference

Posted on 26 September 2008. Filed under: Cross-Disability, Education, Health, HIV/AIDS, Human Rights, Inclusion, News, Poverty, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

THE STATEMENT OF THE MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS AND DISABILITY AFRICA REGIONAL CONFERENCE, HELD AT THE PANAFRIC HOTEL, NAIROBI, KENYA 15TH TO 17TH SEPTEMBER, 2008

We, the 200 delegates of the Millennium Development Goals and Disability Conference from the, Central, Eastern, Northern, Western and Southern sub regions of Africa met in Nairobi, Kenya, at the Panafric Hotel on 15th to 17th September 2008, to examine the status of MDGs in respect to the inclusion and mainstreaming of disability;

And further to enhance the capacity of leaders from the disability and development sectors on effective mainstreaming of disability in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in African countries;

Noting that MDGs have no specific reference to persons with disabilities and therefore their continued exclusion in the campaign processes, policies, planning, programmes and implementation;

Concerned also that disability has not been mentioned in the midway Millennium Development Goals Report;

Further acknowledging that the convention on the rights of PWDs has recently come into effect, to among other things strengthen the resolve for inclusion of people with disabilities;
We note with dismay the continued categorisation of people with disabilities as vulnerable which further marginalises us and consigns us to invisibility, we state that we wish to be recognised as actors in the development processes;

We Resolve As Delegates That We Shall;
• Communicate the outcome of this conference to our governments to review, prioritise and include issues of disability in their Country Statements during their high level meetings on MDGs in New York, in the September 2008 Summit
• Call on our Governments to move and support a motion during the UN General Assembly, calling for the establishment of a new UN Special Agency on Disability; to provide leadership, coordination, harmonisation and enhanced monitoring and reporting.
• Engage our Governments to ensure that People with Disabilities are protected from adverse effects from rising costs and related vulnerabilities and participate and benefit from existing social protection schemes
• Lobby Governments through the African Development Bank and related partners to establish an African Disability Equity Fund to support economic empowerment, entrepreneurship and business of people with disabilities
• Encourage the use of professional campaigners including goodwill ambassadors in promoting disability inclusion
• Recognise the efforts of parents, friends and guardians of people with disabilities and recognise them as part of the wider disability movement
• Uphold the principle of gender equity in disability
• Promote the use of positive language in reference to people with disabilities
We Urge The UN Through Member States;
• To establish a Specialist Agency on Disability in the league of UNICEF and UNIFEM to provide leadership and global accountability on matters related to the disabled people
• To prioritise include and partner with the disability movement in its entire millennium campaign initiatives and develop the strategies for doing so in the September summit
We Urge The AU And Related Bodies To;
• Set up a Disability Desk within all African regional bodies to monitor the implementation of both the convention and human rights violation of people with disabilities within the respective regions.
• Mainstream disability into their programmes and performance management systems
• Establish peer review mechanism and performance management system for disability in Africa
• Ensure political and social economic representation of people with disabilities in NEPAD and develop terms of reference for their participation.
• Work with DPOs to urgently review the structure and mandate of the African Rehabilitation Institute (ARI)
• Extend the African Decade of Persons with Disabilities for another ten years by means of a proclamation by the meeting of the African Heads of State planned for January 2009
• Facilitate self- representation of PWDs in all commissions, Pan Africa Parliament and other structures

We Call On The Secretariat Of African Decade Of Persons With Disability to;
• Establish a programme to develop human resource capacity for policy analysis to act as a watch dog in monitoring disability inclusion
• Allocate responsibilities, roles and duties to the regional federations and other partners in order to ensure effective, well – monitored follow up and implementation strategies
We urge all Government to;
• Ratify, domesticate and implement the UN convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)
• Work with DPOs in nominating the members of the panel of experts in convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
• Recognise DPOs as agents of change and therefore as partners in development planning and programmes
• Include people with disabilities and disability into their poverty reduction and development programmes
• Put into place affirmative action to enhance participation in political social and economic sectors
• Include disability data collection within the general national data collection systems recognising diversity in disability
• Use data to inform planning and service delivery and monitoring and evaluation
• Highlight and include disability in the existing MDG indicators in partnership with the disability movement.

We Call On Development Partners To;
• Prioritise disability as a tool for planning and analysis for development assistance and international cooperation in all their international cooperation and assistance (aid, debt relieve and trade)
• Include and consult people with disabilities and their respective organisations in planning, implementation, monitoring and reporting
• Include disability as a requirement / condition for funding development programmes

We Resolve That As Disabled Peoples Organisations We Shall;
• Advocate to ensure that disability issues are mainstreamed in all government, UN agencies and development partners policies, plans and programmes particularly those related to MDGs
• Endeavour to understand the structures of various government, UN agencies and development partners with a view to engaging with them more effectively for full inclusion of people with disabilities
• Advocate development partners to include disability as a requirement / condition for funding development programmes
• Engage and influence the social development process
• Participate in the Social Protection processes to ensure people with disabilities are included
• Advocate and lobby to be included in national poverty reduction strategies and other national development plans and initiatives
• Explore avenues of partnership with private sector in their economic empowerment programes
• Utilize our individual and collective capacity to cause the implementation of programmes related to the MDGs for the benefit of people with disabilities
• Build our own capacity to engage with our government on their commitments and agreement at national and international levels
• Ensure that whatever is agreed at regional or national workshops cascades downward to people with disabilities at the grassroots and rural areas
• Familiarise ourselves with the disability policies of different development agencies and ensure that they benefit us
• Strengthen our unity and common voice in planning, implementation and monitoring processes whilst at the same time recognising diversity in disability
• Restructure and reform our internal governance structures to adopt modern management and good governance systems and increase transparency and accountability to our members
• Nurture and mentor youth with disabilities into leadership succession plans and support them towards social economic empowerment
• Make a paradigm shift from the charity model to the human rights and social development model
• Strategically engage with media for both awareness and advocacy and built our capacity to engage with media
• Sensitise and capacitate the media to various disability needs and to urge them to be inclusive in their presentation and reporting
• Link with African Universities to promote evidence based disability research and to promote disability inclusive academic programmes
• Review through our Governments the Accra Development Plan of Action and cause its implementation for the benefit of PWDs in Africa

These resolutions are the outcomes of the conference, formulated and spoken by the delegates at this esteemed Millennium Development Goals and Disability Conference.



This statement from the Africa Regional Conference was recently circulated on the AdHoc_IDC email discussion group.

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RESOURCE: Global Partnership for Disability and Development Launches New Website

Posted on 25 September 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Capacity Building and Leadership, Cross-Disability, Inclusion, Poverty, Resources | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Regular readers who look closely may have noticed that one source I often credit for the information I share is the email distribution list for the Global Partnership for Disability and Development (GPDD).

If you didn’t know, the GPDD works to promote the inclusion of people with disabilities and their families in development policies and practices. They do this by facilitating collaboration among development agencies and organizations to reduce poverty among children, women, and men with disabilities living in poor countries.

One of its sponsors is the World Bank, which is why the GPDD used to have its electronic home at http://www.worldbank.org/disability/gpdd. But the GPDD now has a new website all to itself.

You can find updated information on GPDD’s work, background, and membership, as well as relevant news and events at:
http://www.GPDD-online.org.

And what about their mailing list? I’ll let GPDD describe its purpose: “The Global Partnership for Disability and Development (GPDD) mailing list facilitates interaction between stakeholders to advance the social, economic, and civic empowerment of people with disabilities, and the mainstreaming of disability issues in development.” If you have made a habit of examining my source credits at the bottom of each post, then you will have noticed that GPDD is a common avenue for distributing conference and job post announcements related to disability and international development, as well as announcements about new resources and publications.

But the people who participate on the list do sometimes exchange information that doesn’t necessarily make it to this blog site. (The same goes for any of the other sources I cite.) People also use the GPDD list for networking among people who share similar goals in reducing poverty among people with disabilities and sometimes turn to each other for advice and guidance on finding the information they need. If you think you’d like to subscribe to the GPDD mailing list directly, you can do that for free. You don’t have to become an official member of GPDD to join. More details at http://gpdd-online.org/mailinglist/

Or, if you think you might want your organization or agency to become a GPDD member, then read the GPDD membership page to decide if you are eligible. You can also check their list of links to see what organizations are already members.

Please send any feedback, comments, or concerns regarding the GPDD website to Kelly Hamel at kmhamel@law.syr.edu.



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Good Practice AWARD COMPETITION for Service Providers in Middle East: Chance to Win 1500 Euro for Organization

Posted on 25 September 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Awards & Honors, Call for Nominations or Applications, Case Studies, Cross-Disability, Education, Funding, Health, Middle East and North Africa, Opportunities | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Note that the application deadline is October 18, 2008.

Funded by:
DISABILITY MONITOR INITIATIVE- MIDDLE EAST
Good Practice Award

The identification and sharing of good practices helps service providers to improve their performance and ultimately provide enhanced services for persons with disabilities. The Disability Monitor Initiative (DMI-ME) is conducting a Good Practice Awards program to recognize good practices in service delivery.

Who can apply:

  • Service providers in Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Palestine and Yemen working in the areas of healthcare, education, livelihood opportunities and social protection – for persons with disabilities
  • Service providers with no more than 40 salaried staff or an annual budget less than $300,000

What is the process:
1. Download the application form from this website www.disabilitymonitor-me.org
2. Complete the application and email to editor@disabilitymonitor-me.org
3. Applications can be submitted until Saturday 18 October 2008
4. The finalists from the region will be shortlisted and notified to arrange a face-to-face meeting to allow gathering of more in-depth information about the good practice
5. Face-to-face meetings will occur during October, November and December 2008, with the final winners notified shortly after all the assessments are completed

What is the prize:
For shortlisted service providers

  • their organization will be listed in the DMI-ME report themed around access to services for persons with disabilities in the Middle East due out in mid 2009
  • will receive a free flight and accommodation for a member of the organization to attend a major Regional Disability Conference for the Middle East scheduled to take place in mid 2009
  • For winning service providers

  • in addition to the above prizes, the organization will ultimately receive €1,500
  • a commemorative plaque presented before the media, recognizing their achievements in demonstrating a good practice for the delivery of social services for persons with disabilities in the Middle East

For more information please visit the DMI-ME website www.disabilitymonitor-me.org or email the team at the DMI-ME on editor@disabilitymonitor-me.org

Unsuccessful applicants will be informed why they were not considered as a winner and the judges’ decision is considered final.

This Good Practice Award competition is being funded by the Christian Blind Mission and Handicap International.



I received this notice via the GPDD mailing list.

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RESOURCE: International and Comparative Disability Law Bibliographic Web Resource

Posted on 24 September 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Cross-Disability, Human Rights, Policy & Legislation, Resources | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Until recent years, disability rights advocates, human rights lawyers, and other people who share an interest in comparing national and international laws related to people with disabilities faced challenges in finding the information they needed. But the task of looking up exactly what laws, constitutions, and international treaties say about people with disabilities around the world has become a little easier in the past few years.

One more resource has just been launched: The Syracuse University College of Law Disability Law and Policy Program, in conjunction with the H. Douglas Barclay Law Library, has developed a comprehensive bibliographic web resource on International and Comparative Disability Law. This resource is available at:

http://www.law.syr.edu/lawlibrary/electronic/humanrights.aspx

People interested in issues related to disability, laws, and policies in general can find more relevant resources at the new collection of resource links at the Disability Rights Fund web site:

http://www.disabilityrightsfund.org/resources-reports.html#global_laws

Also see an earlier We Can Do blog post on the topic of researching laws, regulations, judicial decisions, and legal case summaries related to people with disabilities around the world: RESOURCES: Finding Disability-Related Laws and Policies.



I learned about the new on-line database at Syracuse University via Joan Durocher, and also via the Global Partnership for Disability and Development mailing list.

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RESOURCE: Young People Share Views on Inclusive Education

Posted on 24 September 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Children, Cross-Disability, Education, Inclusion, Reports, Resources, Sub-Saharan Africa Region, youth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

A new publication is available from the Enabling Education Network (EENET). It is called “Young Voices: Young people’s views of inclusive education” (PDF format, 905 Kb).
 
This easy-to-read A5 booklet contains photographs and drawings taken by disabled and non-disabled students in Uganda and Tanzania, along with quotes from them about what they think makes a school inclusive. The booklet also summarizes some of the important ideas raised by the students. For example, it points out that many children say that the attitudes of teachers and the encouragement of parents are important to helping them feel included.
 
The booklet was published/funded by the Atlas Allliance (Norway), with the participatory work and book production being handled by EENET.
 
A Kiswahili version and a Braille version will be available before the end of 2008. There is also a short DVD (approx 15 minutes) which accompanies the booklet. Copies will be available from EENET in mid-September.
 
EENET hopes that this booklet/DVD will be useful for advocacy and awareness raising around both inclusive education and the importance of listening to children’s opinions. Please in future send EENET any feedback you have about the booklet/DVD, or how you have used it.
 
The booklet can be downloaded from the EENET website in PDF format (905 Kb):

http://www.eenet.org.uk/downloads/Young%20Voices.pdf

People who need a print copy or the accompanying DVD mailed to them can contact EENET directly and give them their mailing address. People who will want the Braille version or the Kiswahili version when they become available also should contact EENET directly. People may either email info@eenet.org.uk or ingridlewis@eenet.org.uk



This announcement is modified from the text of an email circulated by Ingrid Lewis at EENET on the EENET Eastern Africa email discussion group. EENET Eastern Africa discussions focuses on issues related to inclusive education in the Eastern Africa region and can be joined for free.

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JOB POST: Chief Executive, Action on Disability and Development, South West England

Posted on 23 September 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Call for Nominations or Applications, Cross-Disability, Human Rights, Jobs & Internships, Opportunities | Tags: , , , , , |

Action on Disability and Development (ADD) is an international development agency working with organisations of disabled people in their struggle for the rightful inclusion of disabled adults and children in society. Established in 1985, ADD operates internationally with partner organisations of disabled people to create a world where all disabled people are enabled to enjoy their rights, fulfil their responsibilities and participate as fully as they can and choose at every level of society.

Chief Executive Circa: £70,000

Currently based in South West England. Extensive international travel.

ADD is committed to championing the human rights of disabled people. We are equally committed to recruiting a disabled person for this key role. Only disabled applicants should, therefore, apply.

This is an exciting and unique opportunity to make a real difference to the lives of disabled people. We want to appoint a disabled person to lead ADD into the next phase of its development. Responsible for circa 200 staff and working across 12 countries, you will lead ADD to help develop the capacity of disabled people and their organisations, and work with them to influence policies at local, regional and national level. You will cultivate key stakeholder relationships (particularly with the disability movement and donors), promote ADD in international
arenas, and develop income through existing and new funding streams.

You will need:
• A commitment to the social model of disability, with a deep understanding of the discrimination and human rights deprivation that many disabled people face
• Strategic leadership experience and management skills gained in disability rights/international development/non-profit/public sector arena
• Understanding and experience of capacity-building approaches to develop and implement programmes that improve disabled people’s quality of life
• Demonstrable financial acumen to oversee ADD’s financial strategy
• Strong communication and relational skills in cross-cultural contexts

For more information about ADD and this unique opportunity please visit www.add.org.uk

For an application pack please visit www.crsearchandselection.com/add
or e-mail Alex Ouezzani at alex@crsearchandselection.com

If you would like to discuss this role please call Olga Johnson on + 44 (0)20 7520 2210
or Geraldine Norris on + 44 (0)20 7520 2206.

Closing date for applications is Friday 3rd October 2008.

Please request an application in your preferred format. Please inquire directly with Alex Ouezzani at alex@crsearchandselection.com, NOT We Can Do.



We Can Do received this announcement via several sources, including the GPDD mailing list.

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Leadership Training, for Asia-Pacific Region, November 2-7, 2008, Seoul, Korea

Posted on 15 September 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Capacity Building and Leadership, Cross-Disability, East Asia Pacific Region, Education and Training Opportunities, Human Rights, Opportunities | Tags: , , , , |

The following text is taken from a recent issue of the Disabled People International newsletter.\

Leadership Training in Korea
DPI Korea will be holding its 4th Leadership Training Program 2-7 November 2008 in Seoul, Korea. The intent is to train future generations of leaders. This program will set the stage on disability issues in the Asia-pacific region, including Korea. Cost of attendance and registration are provided. For information, phone +82-2-457-0427 / Fax +82-2-458-0429 or email dpikorea@dpikorea.org.



As with all other announcements of this nature, any inquries should be directed to the organizers, NOT to We Can Do.

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Stories of People with Disabilities in Developing Countries from Around the World

Posted on 15 September 2008. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Announcements, Cross-Disability, Democratic Participation, Education, Human Rights, Inclusion, Latin America & Caribbean, Mobility Impariments, South Asian Region, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Too often, the voices of people with disabilities are simply not heard–within their country, within their community, or sometimes even within families. The voices of disabled people in developing countries are even more suppressed.

One special issue of the New Internationalist, released in 2005, brings us the voices of people with disabilities from India … Zimbabwe … Sri Lanka … Colombia … Bangladesh … and elsewhere.

The stories and interviews published in their magazine, available for free on-line, share the experiences of people with disabilities in developing countries in their struggle for sexual expression … the harrowing experience of rape … the push to achieve recognition for their human rights … the battle against severe poverty and starvation … success at becoming a blind teacher … getting involved with politics … and overcoming discrimination in the work force.

Browse the stories at the New Internationalist website at:

http://www.newint.org/issue384/index.htm

Each story can be read on-line in html format; they do not need to be downloaded.



I learned of this magazine issue when several of its stories were recently circulated via email on the Disability Information Dissemination Network, which is managed by the Centre for Services and Information on Disability (CSID), Bangladesh, and currently sponsored by Handicap International. People may subscribe directly to the CSID mailing list by sending an email to csid@bdmail.net, csid@bdonline.com, or info@csididnet.org, with the word “join” in the subject line.

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Training Workshop on AIDS and Disability, 19-20 November 2008, Soesterberg, The Netherlands

Posted on 15 September 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Call for Nominations or Applications, Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR), Cross-Disability, Education and Training Opportunities, Events and Conferences, Health, HIV/AIDS, Inclusion, Opportunities | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

The application deadline is October 1, 2008, to attend the training seminar November 19-20, 2008. Inquiries should be directed to Enablement, or to h.cornielje@enablement.nl, NOT We Can Do.

The number of disabled people worldwide is considerable – the figure of 650 million is often quoted. People with a disability and their families also account for 20% of the world’s poorest people. But so far most HIV-AIDS programmes are not accessible to people with disabilities.
International attention to the rights of people with disabilities is increasing especially since May 2008, when the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities has come into effect. However governments and policy makers have generally yet to include disability issues in their AIDS strategic plans. Even within specific disability programmes it is not yet common to ensure that clients of such programmes do have access to appropriate information and services that are related to HIV-AIDS and reproductive health. Leaving disabled people out of HIV-AIDS prevention and care is shortsighted. Given the rapid growth of the epidemic and the size of the global disabled population (an estimated 10% of the world‘s citizens); the AIDS crisis cannot be addressed successfully unless individuals with disability are routinely included in all HIV-AIDS prevention, treatment and outreach efforts!

Local Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) teams, professionals, people with disabilities and their families share the same fears, misconceptions and risks as the rest of the general public with regard to the virus. They urgently need to receive accessible and appropriate information on HIV-AIDS. The launch of the new United Nations CBR Guidelines December 2008 in Bangkok will mean that information on HIV-AIDS will become more easily available for CBR teams as these guidelines pay specific attention to this subject. The goal of the section focusing on HIV-AIDS is to ensure ‘access for all’ to HIV-AIDS information, services and programmes. This goal involves three key areas: increasing individual knowledge, reducing stigma and discrimination and mitigating the impact HIV-AIDS has on families and communities.

During this 2-day workshop outstanding researchers and practitioners will ensure that participants will become sensitized towards the need for inclusion of disabled people within their mainstream HIV-AIDS programmes. They will also discuss strategies, tools and experiences in HIV/AIDS programmes that include disabled people and in CBR and disability programmes which integrate HIV-AIDS with their other activities.

Prospective participants are
• policy makers & planners as well as project staff working in the field of
development cooperation
• policy makers & planners as well as project staff of mainstream HIV¬AIDS organisations
• AIDS activists
• interested academic staff from various university faculties

Overall goal
Mainstream development and HIV¬AIDS organisations understand the importance of inclusion of disabled people in their HIV-AIDS programmes.

Objectives
Participants have an increased awareness about the vulnerability of persons with disabilities to the risk and impact of HIV and AIDS;
Participants have tools and arguments for how to ensure inclusion of disability in HIV-AIDS policies, strategies and programs; Participants are able to advocate within their own organizations for equal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services for persons with disabilities.

Content
The following content is being discussed:
• Sexual and Reproductive Health: a right of disabled people
• The situation of HIV-AIDS among disabled people world wide
• Specific risk factors
• Inclusion of disabled people in mainstream HIV-AIDS programmes: why (not)?
• Inclusive HIV-AIDS programming
• Effectiveness of inclusive HIV-AIDS programmes
• Community Based Rehabilitation and HIV-AIDS

Lecturing methods
• Short lectures by experts,
• Discussions
• Small group work
• Case study analysis

Lecturing staff Dr. Nora Groce (USA) is a medical anthropologist, interested in the area of global health and international development with particular emphasis on cross-cultural systems of health care and health as human rights issues. Her research interests include issues of disability in international health and development, violence as a global public health problem and equity in access to health care in ethnic and minority communities. Current Research Projects of Nora Groce are:
• Disability and HIV/AIDS knowledge among Disabled Populations (and the Yale University/World Bank Global Survey on HIV/AIDS and Disability);
• World Bank Health Systems Assessment Project;
• Violence against Disabled Children; and
• HIV/AIDS Education in Indigenous Communities: Rites of Passage

George O. Obuya (Kenya) is project co-coordinator of the Deaf Social Counselling & HIV/AIDS Education Program. He is representing the Dar-es Salaam (Tanzania) based and recently formed African Deaf Union in the African Decade for Persons with Disability HIV/AIDS Steering Committee, as well as a senior board member of the Kenya National Association of the Deaf (KNAD).

Jessica de Ruijter is the advocacy officer at VSO Netherlands. She has much experience in the area of HIV prevention and started advocacy on HIV and disability since January 2008. She is also the co-chair of the DCDD working group HIV and Disability.

Dr Peter Rule is a Senior Lecturer in the Centre for Adult Education at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. He recently completed a three-country study for the World Bank on HIV & AIDS and Disability. He has experience of working with NGOs in KwaZulu-Natal in the fields of adult literacy, disability, gender, HIV/AIDS and early childhood development.

Geert Vanneste is a health and rehabilitation consultant who worked for Christoffel BlindenMission (CBM) in Rwanda (1987-1994) and Tanzania (1994-2007). His main expertise is in the area of CBR but increasingly he became involved in Health and Hospital Management and HIV-AIDS issues. Currently he is Independent Consultant and living in Belgium.

The workshop will be conducted under the leadership of Roelie Wolting and Huib Cornielje and supported by the HIV-AIDS working group of the Dutch Coalition on Disability and Development.

Dates
19th and 20th of November 2008
(10.00 to 17.00 hours)

Venue
Kontakt der Kontinenten, Soesterberg, The Netherlands

Course fees
€ 500,00 (including tea/coffee, lunches and a course map)

Maximum number of participants
24

Application and Further Information
Interested people should apply well in advance (before the 1st of October 2008) by filling out the attached application form.

Huib Cornielje Enablement Langenhorst 36 2402PX Alphen aan den Rijn
Tel: +31-172-436953
Fax: +31-172-244976 E-mail: h.cornielje@enablement.nl Internet: www.enablement.nl
We gratefully acknowledge the financial support provided by CORDAID.

Interested participants should send the following information to h.cornielje@enablement.nl, NOT to We Can Do.

Application form for Disability- HIV&AIDS training
19th and 20th of November 2008

This form to be submitted to: Enablement, Langenhorst 36, 2402PX, Alphen aan den Rijn, The Netherlands. E-mail: h.cornielje@enablement.nl

General Information participant

First name
Family Name
Address
Postal code
City
Country
Telephone
Cell Phone
Fax
E-mail address
Employer/organisation
Profession or function within organisation
Organisation name (if different from information above)
Address
Postal Address
Postal Code
City
Telephone
Cell phone
Fax
E-mail address
Website

Dietary requirements?
If any special requirements please specify

Signature of applicant
Date
Place

Again, send application form to h.cornielje@enablement.nl



The above text was taken from an announcement being circulated by Enablement, an organization committed to disability and rehabilitation management, particularly in less developed nations.

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NEWS: Disabled People in China Face Discrimination, Says Human Rights Watch

Posted on 12 September 2008. Filed under: Cross-Disability, East Asia Pacific Region, Human Rights, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

China has made progress in confronting discrimination toward people with disabilities–but significant problems remain, Human Rights Watch recently told the media. Human Rights Watch is a major international organization that monitors the status of human rights around the world.

Sophie Richardson, a representative of Human Rights Watch, praised China for creating laws that protect people with disabilities and for ratifying the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). But the Human Rights Watch website reports her as saying, “So far these protections have meant little to persons with disabilities and their advocates in China who struggle to promote their rights and, in particular, to fairly compete for employment.”

Also according to the Human Rights Watch website, their organization has called upon the Chinese government to ratify the Optional Protocol that accompanies the CRPD. The Optional Protocol can help strengthen the CRPD by giving citizens the option of pursuing justice at the international level if they are unable to address human rights abuses domestically. The Human Rights Watch also has called on China to remove restrictions that make it harder for grassroots organizations to help people with disabilities.

Read the full story on what Human Rights Watch says about the human rights situation for people with disabilities in China at:

http://hrw.org/english/docs/2008/09/04/china19751.htm

Learn more about the CRPD by reading the RatifyNow FAQ; or learn more about the Optional Protocol.



Several people helped alert me to this news story including Diana Samarasan, Joan Durocher, and Catherine Townsend.

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We Can Do Copyright
This blog post is copyrighted to We Can Do (wecando.wordpress.com). Currently, only two web sites have on-going permission to syndicate (re-post) We Can Do blog posts in full: BlogAfrica.com and RatifyNow.org. Other sites may be plagiarizing this post without permission.

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NEWS: Arab Region Lacks Disability Awareness, Says Outgoing UN Special Rapporteur on Disability

Posted on 12 September 2008. Filed under: Cross-Disability, Human Rights, Middle East and North Africa, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Sheikha Hissa Khalifa Al Thani, who is nearing the end of her six-year tenure as the United Nations special rapporteur on disability, told The National that the Arab region lags behind the rest of the world in disability awareness. The National is a newspaper in the United Arab Emirates.

“It doesn’t need to be this way,” Sheika Hissa told The National “Countries like Qatar and Saudi Arabia could have standards like Scandinavian countries – but there is this obstacle, which is the lack of awareness.”

Read the full interview with Sheika Hissa; her perspective on disability rights in the Arab region; and her involvement with disability issues both before and during time at the United Nations at:

http://www.thenational.ae/article/20080903/FOREIGN/331820926/1011/SPORT



Thank you to Ghulam Nabi Nizamani for alerting me to this news story.

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Events and Competitions for Sri Lanka Children with Disabilities

Posted on 12 September 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Arts, Call for Audio & Visual Materials, Call for Nominations or Applications, Call for Papers, Children, Cross-Disability, News, Opportunities, South Asian Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Saviya Development Foundation (SDF) will implement various programmes aiming at disabled children in Galle, Matara and Hambantota districts.

Saviya Athvela Vocational Training Center in Kamburugamuva facilitates male and female students with physical impairment and has made arrangements to obtain the accreditation of tertiary and vocational education commission for the one year courses of repairing domestic
electrical equipments and motor rewinding.

A training centre with residential facilities for female children with autism in Nalavana, Kananke, Weligama and a boys’ home for the mentally handicapped in Akmeemana, Galle are also managed by the SDF.

SDF has also organised a series of painting, poster and writing competitions to be implemented at national level.

Children, between 10 to 15 years can participate in the junior competitions while those over 15 years can participate in the senior competitions. Children who are not disabled can also participate in the competitions.

Contributions should be sent before November 20, 2008. Rs. 5,000 will be awarded to the first prize winner while Rs. 3,000 will be awarded to the second and Rs. 2,000 to the third prize winners. Singing and dancing competitions for boys and girls are also planned under senior and junior levels.

Essays can be presented on ‘Community participation towards making the persons with disabilities partners in the society, ‘Facilitate the fulfillment of aspirations of the persons with disabilities through providing easy access.

Safeguard equality and equity of the persons with disabilities and the necessity to launch community interventions to combat social stigma. Essays of seniors should not be less than 400 words while it should not be less than 300 words for juniors.

The topics of paintings and posters are – “We will came to this world with dignity’, “Persons with disability” and “Humanity Rights and A productive alternative through skills development”.

Information can be obtained by writing to Saviya Development Foundation, 24A, Wewelwala Road, Bataganvila, Galle or calling 091-2245781 and 091-2234281. sdfsri@sltnet.lk or sdf@sri.lanka.net
http://www.saviya.org/



This text is taken from an announcement circulated by Ghulam Nabi Nizamani.

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