Families

JOB POST: Capacity Builder, Intellectual Disabilities, Bolivia (Texto en ingles y español)

Posted on 11 May 2009. Filed under: Announcements, Capacity Building and Leadership, Children, Cognitive Impairments, Education, Families, Jobs & Internships, Latin America & Caribbean, Opportunities | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Texto en español

Capacity Builder in Intellectual Disabilities-Ricerca y Cooperazione, El Alto, Bolivia.

Ricerca y Cooperazione (RC) is an Italian based NGO, with an established development programme in Bolivia, mainly in the area of education for children and youth. Recognising the need for greater inclusion of disabled children in mainstream education, it is implementing an EU funded project entitled ‘Social Inclusion and Mutual Respect’, in coordination with the Municipality of El Alto, in order to educate children, teachers, families and authorities on how to incorporate disabled children into the classroom; a concept which is largely overlooked in Boliva.

Your role will be to compliment the small multidisciplinary technical team of the project, (1 specialist in physical disabilities, 1 in sensory, and you in intellectual) in order that all disabilities are represented. The work will include a diagnostic of children with disabilities in El Alto, designing and implementing training workshops to various beneficiaries, production of educational material, and assist in creating an integral centre – which will serve as a resource for families of disabled children, and also an area for activities with disabled and non-disabled youth.

Ideally educated to Masters level, in a discipline related to intellectual disabilities, you should be experienced in designing and facilitating workshops with participatory methods. Preferably with knowledge and experience in Latin America; of the idiosyncrasies of the disability field in a developing country. Good Spanish and a highly flexible working approach.

Applications can be made in English, Spanish or Italian. Follow this link to view or download a full Job Description. Please send completed applications using the format found here to: feliza@isbolivia.org and e.cipollini@ongrc.org

Deadline for applications: Friday 22nd May 2009.

http://isbolivia.org/blog/?page_id=5


Ricerca y Cooperazione (RC) es una ONG italiana, que cuenta con un programa de desarrollo establecido en Bolivia, principalmente en el área de la educación para jóvenes y niños. Reconociendo la necesidad de una mayor inclusión de los niños con discapacidad en la educación transversal, actualmente se encuentra implementando un proyecto financiado por la UE llamado “Inclusión social y respeto mutuo” en coordinación con el municipio de El Alto, a fin de educar a los niños, maestros, familias y autoridades en cómo incorporar a los niños con discapacidad en las aulas; concepto que es pasado por alto en Bolivia.

Su rol será complementar el equipo técnico multidisciplinario del proyecto. (1 especialista en discapacidad física, 1 en discapacidad sensorial y usted en discapacidad intelectual) para que estén representadas todos los tipos de discapacidad. El trabajo incluirá un diagnóstico de los niños con discapacidad en El Alto, diseñando e implementando talleres de capacitación para varios beneficiarios, producción de materiales educativos y asistir en la creación de un centro integral, el cual servirá como recurso para las familias de los niños con discapacidad como también será un área para las actividades de los jóvenes con o sin discapacidad.

Se requiere una formación universitaria a nivel de Maestría en disciplinas relacionadas con la discapacidad intelectual, con experiencia en diseño y facilitación de talleres con métodos participativos. Preferentemente con conocimientos y experiencia en Latinoamérica en relación a las idiosincrasias en el campo de la discapacidad en un país en desarrollo. Buen conocimiento del castellano y un enfoque de trabajo flexible. Para una Descripcion mas Completa, vea abajo (solo en ingles).

Las solicitudes pueden ser realizadas en idioma inglés, castellano o italiano italiano y enviadas a los siguientes correos electrónicos: feliza@isbolivia.org y e.cipollini@ongrc.org utilizando el formulario encontrado en la siguiente página Web.

Fecha límite para las solicitudes: Viernes 22 de mayo de 2009.



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Training Opportunity: Digital Storytelling Project, June 8-12, 2009, for African Youth with Disabilities and Allies

Posted on 16 April 2009. Filed under: Announcements, Arts, Call for Nominations or Applications, Capacity Building and Leadership, Children, Education and Training Opportunities, Families, Funding, Media & Journalism, Opportunities, Sub-Saharan Africa Region, technology, Women, youth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Secretariat of the African Decade for Persons with Disabilities (SADPD)
APC-Africa-Women and Women’sNet
invite you to
Submit an application to participate in a Digital Storytelling Project
Application DUE 3 May 2009
Workshop dates 8 -12 June 2009

“It’s in the telling of our stories that we discover how much of our experiences and learning we have in common with others. Stories make our connection with others and with the world real. They weave together our individual experiences to reveal a picture of a community, a group and a country.”

Introduction

The Secretariat of the African Decade for Persons with Disabilities (SADPD) in partnership with APC-Africa-Women and Women’sNet, invite you to submit an application to participate in a digital storytelling workshop. We are inviting people living and working in Africa who would like to empower others and affect change by documenting their journey and telling their story. Applicants must be:

(1) parents/carers of children with disabilities and youth
(2) young people with disabilities
(3) people working in organizations to promote the rights of children and youth with disabilities e.g. Advocates, students, CBR workers, teachers, journalists, information activists, content developers, programme officer/managers,

Participants will develop short videos reflecting the experiences of parents and youth with disabilities in particular with regards to challenges and successes in accessing inclusive education, health, employment and acceptance in their communities and country. Participants will also examine the power dimensions of story-telling and how we retain the authenticity of our own voice, as well as the voices of the people whose stories we document, preserve or disseminate.

Parents, youth and individuals working in the field have many stories to tell, but never have the time, knowledge, equipment and space to reflect, understand and tell their own stories, share their responses, understandings and experiences.

There is a large amount of information on the internet but very little that reflects the lived realities of those affected and people working in the field of disability in Africa.

The workshop aims to:
• document real-life stories of a cross-section of parents and youth with disabilities as well as those working in the field
• empower people to tell their own stories, while at the same time create a powerful advocacy tool that can be used in their country and beyond.
• develop Information and Communication Technology (ICT) skills,
• enable parents and youth with disabilities to share and network amongst each other.

More about the workshop

In the workshop we will explore people’s own stories and learn how to develop a story line, use photo’s, video clips, and drawings to tell your story in an effective way.

There is space for twelve applicants who will participate in a five day digital storytelling workshop, 8 -12 June 2009.

In the month before the workshop delegates will need to join an online study group, collect content for their story (pictures etc) and begin to learn some of the software.

At the workshop participants will learn to use computer software and other equipment necessary for making a short (3-5 minutes) multimedia digital story.

The digital storytelling workshop is hands-on and computer intensive, requiring commitment and willingness to develop a short, personal story; learn new software and edit a short digital video of five minutes in length.

Digital storytelling is not like writing a formal document; it’s more like creative, autobiographical writing. To see an example, check out the website
http://www.takebackthetech.net
http://www.silencespeaks.org

In order to be eligible to participate, you must be able to attend all five days of the workshop, and be able to travel to South Africa to arrive by 7 June, departing 13 June 2009. Travel and accommodation will be sponsored by the SADPD. You must be willing to allow your story, or part of it, to be used in advocacy by SADPD and APC WNSP’s Take Back the Tech campaign. The workshop will be conducted in ENGLISH so other language speakers must have a good proficiency in English. Sign language and French / Portugese interpretation will be provided if necessary (Please motivate for this in application form).

This workshop is a chance to learn new skills and tell your story in a creative and visual format. It’s a lot of work . . . AND a lot of fun.

Copyright:
All stories are owned by the person who made them. The story is your story and will be licensed under a Creative Commons license. We are open to discussing a formula that respects your privacy and confidentiality should you be uncomfortable with the widespread sharing and dissemination of some parts of your story. We would like your stories to be part of a public effort promote the rights and quality of life for children and youth with disabilities and their families.

Who Should Apply?
• We are looking for stories told by parent, youth and individuals working in the field of Disability.
• Applicants must be living and working in Africa (preference will be given to women)
• Applicants must preferably be based in an organisation, institution or network, but individuals will also be considered.
• Youth should between the ages of 18 – 35
• The training is in English. Participants must speak and understand English but are welcome to produce their story in any language they choose. If however you require translation into French and Portuguese please motivate in your application.
• The story you tell has to be about you and your experiences. It can be about situations or events but it must be a personal story told in the first person
• The workshop requires a basic level of computer literacy.
• Applicants must be willing to avail themselves for future advocacy work or training in digital stories in their country.

Instructions:
Please complete the form below and email it as a file attachment to Nafisa Baboo nafisa@africandecade.co.za
DEADLINE FOR SUBMITTING APPLICATIONS is 3 May 2009. If you have any questions, feel free to email or Skype Nafisa on nafisababoo. Incomplete forms will not be considered for selection.

APPLICATION FORM

Date:
Name:
Address:
Country:
Organisation:
Phone:
Fax:
Email:
Age:
Date of birth:
Disability:
Support needs (Enlarge print, Braille, translation etc)

Please describe in a few sentences the main point of the story you would like to tell.

What issues does your story address?

What do you hope to get out of the digital storytelling workshop?

Have you talked to anyone about the story you’d like to share, or is this the first time you’ll be talking about it in a group?

If this is your first time talking about it, what do you think it’ll be like for you to share the story with a group of people ?

Please write a draft of the story you’d like to share, below. It should be no more than 500 words (about one and ½ pages, double-spaced, typed). Your story should be written in the first-person. Note: If you’d like to see examples of other people’s digital stories, you can go to http://www.silencespeaks.org or http://www.womensnet.org.za or http://www.takebackthetech.net

Please briefly describe to us what you use computers for.

What is your familiarity with the following Software Programs and Processes? Please put an “x” to the right of the statements that most apply.

Using a PC (Windows Operating System) or a Macintosh Computer
I know nothing
I know next to nothing
I can get around fairly easily
I’m really comfortable
I know a lot

Scanning Photos or Other Images
I know nothing
I know next to nothing
I can get around fairly easily
I’m really comfortable
I know a lot

Adobe Photoshop
I know nothing
I know next to nothing
I can get around fairly easily
I’m really comfortable
I know a lot

Adobe Premiere
I know nothing
I know next to nothing
I can get around fairly easily
I’m really comfortable
I know a lot

Do you know how to (please mark YES or NO)
Open software applications YES/NO
Save documents and find them again YES/NO
How to use a mouse, cut and paste, drag and drop. YES/NO

It would be useful to know the following applications – Microsoft office or Open office, and using web browsers such as Internet Explorer or Firefox.

There are a limited number of spaces in the workshop. So please note that the submission of an application is no guarantee that APC-Africa-Women will be able to support you to attend. Successful applicants will be notified 5th May 2009.

Thank You!

INFORMATION ABOUT THE ORGANIZATIONS

About the Secretariat of the African Decade for Persons with Disabilities
The African Decade of Persons with Disabilities was proclaimed by the African Union for the period 1999 – 2009. The main goals of the African Decade are to raise awareness about the situation of the estimated 60-80 million persons with disabilities in the region and to identify solutions tailored to the African Experience that enhance participation, equality and empowerment of Africans with Disabilities. The overall aims and priorities of the Decade are stipulated in an AU- Continental Plan of Action. A Secretariat was established to facilitate the realization of these objectives.
The Secretariat is an international Non Governmental Organisation, established in 2004 by all the major Regional Disabled People’s Organisations to give a new dynamism to the implementation of the Continental Plan of Action. It is hosted, at the request of African Union by South Africa in Cape-Town where its headquarters are located. The mission of the Secretariat of the African Decade is to empower Governments, DPO´s, Decade steering committee’s (DSC) and development organizations to work in partnership to include disability and persons with disabilities into policies and programs in all sectors of society. The strategy of action of the Secretariat is to
• Build the capacities of DPOs, persons with disabilities who are most vulnerable and the Decade Steering Committees to enable them to advocate and lobby their respective government so that they integrate disability into all their development processes.
• Advocate and lobby for mainstreaming of disability in the policies and programmes.
• Raise awareness around the main issues related to persons with disabilities in society.
Http://www.sadpd.org

About APC-Africa-Women

APC-Africa-women is the African regional network of the Association for Progressive Communications Women’s Networking Support Programme (APC WNSP). APC WNSP is a global network of women who support women networking for social change and women’s empowerment, through the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). We promote gender equality in the design, development, implementation, access to and use of ICTs and in the policy decisions and frameworks that regulate them. We have a special focus on redressing inequities based on women’s social or ethnic background – through the provision of research, training, information, and support activities in the field of ICT policy, skills-sharing in the access and use of ICT, and women’s network-building.
Http://www.apcwomen.org

APC-Africa-Women hosts Women’s Electronic Network Training (WENT) workshops every two years. WENT workshops aim to build the skills and capacities of women and their organisations to utilise ICTs in women’s empowerment, social development work and policy advocacy. In 2003 participants at WENT Africa developed skills in the repackaging of information through the convergence of old and new technologies using radio and in building websites using a Content Management System. Weaving through the training were sessions on gender and ICT policy issues. In 2005 WENT Africa was hosted in Kampala and using a two-track system, trained women technicians in the use of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) and women managers of NGOs in technology planning. More information can be viewed at http://wentafrica.blogspot.com/

About Women’sNet
Women’sNet works to advance gender equality and justice in South Africa through the use of ICTs by providing training and facilitating content dissemination and creation that supports women, girls, and women’s and gender organisations and networks to take control of their own content and ICT use. The organisation is one of the few working on technology for social change in South Africa, and the first to do this from a gender perspective our work has focused on technology for purpose – strengthening women’s organisations specifically and civil society in general – to use ICTs for achieving gender justice.
Http://www.womensnet.org.za



This announcement was disseminated on the EENET Eastern Africa listserver. All applications and inquiries should please be directed to Nafisa Baboo nafisa@africandecade.co.za , NOT to We Can Do.

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Conference: Working with Children with Special Needs and Their Families: Kyrgyzstan and Intl Experience

Posted on 24 February 2009. Filed under: Announcements, Children, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Events and Conferences, Families, Opportunities | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

International conference 7-9 April 2009

[Note application deadline March 6, 2009.]

Dear colleagues!

The Association of Parents of Disabled Children of Bishkek and the Public Association “Shoola Kol” in partnership with HealthProm UK-based charity and the Ministry of Labor and Social Development organizes the 3-day International conference «Innovative approaches to working with children with special needs and their families: Kyrgyzstan and international experience» which will take place at the Dostuk Hotel, Bishkek, on 7-9 April 2009.

Conference aims:

* Present and discuss various approaches to providing support to children with special needs and their families
* Search for ways of cooperation between organizations that support children with special needs and their families in Kyrgyzstan and abroad
* Experience exchange

The conference will see the representatives of government and municipal agencies, nongovernmental local and international organizations that have practical experience in providing early support, education, social support and healthcare services to children with special needs, as well as in the advancement and protection of the rights of people with disabilities.

Conference format: reports, discussion, presentations, workshops, seminars.

During the conference there will be Kyrgyzstan and international experience presented on the following:

* latest models of providing early support to children with multiple disabilities
* innovative approaches of psychological and pedagogical support to children with special needs
* complex rehabilitation and socialization of children and young people with special needs
* protection and advancement of rights of people with disabilities and their families

The final programme of the conference will be developed on the needs and expectations of the participants that sent applications.

The conference invites: heads and specialists of social protection, educational and healthcare government and municipal agencies and nongovernmental organizations that provide support to children with special needs (including with multiple disabilities) and their families.

The selection of participants will based on the applications forms. The applications should be sent before the 6 March 2009 by email ardi.kyrgyzstan@gmail.com of fax: 0312 517634

Participants will be selected before 20 March 2009.

The working language of the conference is Russian, translators will be provided for international participants.

For more information please contact:

ARDI, Bishkek, m-r Kok-Zhar, h.1, polupodval 4, Tel/fax: +996 312 517634, e-mail: ardi.kyrgyzstan@gmail.com



Thank you to Azat Israilov for submitting this announcement to We Can Do. All inquiries, as always, should be directed to the people organizing the opportunity that interests you, NOT to We Can Do. Thank you.

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Call for Papers: Poverty and Intellectual Disabilities

Posted on 10 February 2009. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Announcements, Call for Papers, Children, Cognitive Impairments, Families, Inclusion, Opportunities, Poverty | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Journal of Intellectual & Developmental Disability is seeking submissions for a special issue of their publication that will examine poverty, deprivation, social exclusion and disadvantage. The particular focus of this issue will be on understanding the role that poverty and social deprivation play in shaping the life chances of children and adults with intellectual disabilities, and the role of policy in reducing inequalities and inequity for this population. The aim of this special issue is to explore issues of poverty and social disadvantage in the broadest terms. Papers that express the points of view of people with disabilities and/or their families are particularly welcome. This includes having those with disabilities and their families serve as researchers and/or co-authors as well as participants in the research. We would also particularly welcome papers addressing issues of poverty and deprivation from low and middle income countries. This topic is appropriate for both qualitative and quantitative methodologies.

The closing date for submission is 31st December 2009, although later submission dates may be possible with the agreement of the editors. The anticipated date for publication is 2011. If the special issue is oversubscribed papers will be selected by date of submission.

The Guest Editors, Eric Emerson and Susan Parish, will manage the editorial process. Enquiries and papers for consideration should be directed to Dr Eric Emerson (eric.emerson@lancaster.ac.uk) or Dr Susan Parish (parish@unc.edu) with a copy to JIDD’s Editorial Assistant, Penny Crino (pcrino@med.usyd.edu.au), clearly identified as a Special Issue submission. Electronic submission is preferred.



I received this announcement via the Global Partnership on Disability and Developing (GPDD) listserver.

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PAPER: Disability and Contraception in Developing Countries

Posted on 24 January 2009. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Cognitive Impairments, Families, Health, Mobility Impariments, Psychiatric Disabilities | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Doctors, social workers, neighbors, and even family members often mistakenly assume that people with disabilities cannot possibly be interested in sex. Or if they are, others believe they cannot physically participate. Or if they can, others think that no one would want to have sex with them. Because of these myths, people with disabilities are often deliberately excluded from sex education programs and reproductive care services. These include contraception to prevent pregnancy, as well as support for people with disabilities who wish to bear and raise healthy, happy children.

The fact is, a great many people with a wide range of disabilities are capable of having children and desire the rewards that can come with parenthood. And many become excellent parents who raise well-adjusted children. But they often lack family planning services that allow them to make their own choices about how many children to have and when to have them. This may be partly because even family planners who understand the need and importance of counseling for people with disabilities may not know how.

Although people with physical disabilities frequently can and do have children, the nature of some physical disabilities may sometimes affect what kind of contraceptions they can use or how to use them. An article published in 1999 by Family Health International’s journal Network, entitled Disabled Have Many Contraceptive Needs, explains how some physical disabilities, or the medications taken for them, may affect the kinds of contraceptions they are able to use. Family planning professionals may consult this article at http://www.fhi.org/en/rh/pubs/network/v19_2/disableneeds.htm

People with mild intellectual disabilities, and also people with psychosocial disabilities, are often as interested in sexuality as the general population. They also may in some cases wish to have children. Both intellectual disabilities and psychosocial disabilities may affect how well contraceptive options or instructions are understood, or how well they may follow instructions. Another article entitled Mental Disabilities Affect Method Options” discusses various examples of how family planning professionals can account for these factors. This article, also published in 1999, can be read at http://www.fhi.org/en/RH/Pubs/Network/v19_2/mentaldisab.htm



I learned about these articles through a class I’m taking on Gender, Disability and Development this semester. Thanks, Barbara Earth!

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News from Kyrgyzstan: Projects, Laws, Funding Opportunities

Posted on 27 August 2008. Filed under: Children, Cross-Disability, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Families, Funding, Human Rights, News, Policy & Legislation, Uncategorized, youth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The following newsletter was sent to We Can Do from Kyrgyzstan–thanks to Azat Israilov for passing this on. This contains news about projects for people with disabilities in Kyrgyzstan; a new law protecting the rights of people with disabilities; the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; and announcements for a couple of funding opportunities. Content of Newsletter; Bottom of this page

We are for equal possibilities and better future!
INFORMATIONAL BULLETIN

The newsletter is published under the Health Prom project “Supporting young disabled children and their families in KR” funded by the Big Lottery Fund

July 2008
Content:
Letter from A.Israilov, national in-country project manager
Project “Supporting young disabled children and their families” funded by the Big Lottery Fund started in Kyrgyzstan
Brief information about participants of the project
HealthProm visit to Kyrgyzstan to start the project
Young people: new horizons!
President signed the Decree “About the rights and guarantees for persons with disabilities”
UN adopted the Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities
The new law about social order accepted
Japanese agency for international cooperation plans to open a centre for
people with disabilities

Projects on employment for disabled people
The Japanese fund of reduction of poverty is intended to support disabled children
Children on holiday in Issyk Kul
Grants

Top of this page; Bottom of this page

Dear readers, colleagues and partners,

We welcome you on the pages of the first issue of the Informational bulletin which is published under the HealthProm project “Supporting young disabled children and their families in KR”, financed by the Big Lottery Fund. The important aims of the bulletin will be providing news that are related to children with special needs and their families, and also updating on the progress of the project. The bulletin will be published and distributed once a quarter. At the same time neither the project, nor the bulletin will be involved in political processes in the country. In the first issue you will find some information on the project, its participants and also learn about
some latest events in social sphere of Kyrgyzstan.

It is hoped that the bulletin as a specialist publication will continue its existence beyond the project, and will become a useful source of information for parents and concerned organizations and people. And to become so we will be delighted to publish your interesting news and helpful information which you would like to share with.
Sincerely,
A.Israilov, national in-country project manager

“Supporting young disabled children and their families in KR”
Contacts: Bishkek, m/r Kok-Zhar, h. 1, p/p 4, Tel./fax (0312) 517634, aisrail@gmail.com

Top of this page; Content of Newsletter; Bottom of this page

Project “Supporting young disabled children and their families” funded by the Big Lottery Fund started in Kyrgyzstan
Charitable organisation HealthProm, located in London, UK, together with the Association of Parents of Disabled Children (ARDI) and Public Association “Shoola Kol” has started a project “Supporting young disabled children and their families in the Kyrgyz Republic” funded by the Big Lottery Fund. The project is for three years and will help to establish two rehabilitation and resource centres in two pilot localities – Bishkek and Issyk-Kul oblast with Bokonbaevo v. as a centre. The project aims to improve on improving health and well-being of young children with disabilities and their parents through rehabilitation services, informational support and consultations. The project will not be involved in politics.

Prior to the project beginning there were study visits and research done during which the distress of people with disabilities, especially children, was revealed, whose families belong to the group with the lowest incomes in the country. According to the Ministry of Labour and Social Development, there are about 117 thousand people with disabilities in the republic now, out of them more than nineteen thousand are younger than 18, and 66% out of general number live in rural areas. The number of the disabled makes up 2,1% of the whole population while in the developed countries this figure varies approximately from 10 up to 20% (for example, in
the UK it is about 15%, in Russia up to 10%).

The project will fill the gap in knowledge and information resources in the Republic about prevention of disability, alternative approaches to child disability. Various trainings based on current needs will improve knowledge and skills of people with disabilities as well as of medical and social professionals. There will be developed or translated and published a number of necessary materials, and a specialised web site on disability issues will be created. A specialised microbus for each centre will connect experts and volunteers with disabled children and their families in the remote areas.

“The project focuses on sustainable development of our partners and the centres, and also on cooperation with local communities, non-governmental organisations and relevant local government agencies.” – underlines Tatyana Buynovskaja, the project manager. – “It includes programs on early intervention and providing advisory and practical support to new families with disabled children.” Tamara Dyikanbaeva, ARDI chairwoman, adds: “The project was developed taking into account the needs and wishes of parents and disabled children, considering provision of complex and versatile support to children and their parents. The project activity is based on social model of disability which recognises, that disability is not an illness (and in the developed countries it was recognised and accepted), and disabled people do not need pity and constant
guardianship, but need possibilities to study, work and communicate to become useful members of society”.

As a result of project activities it is planned to reach out about one and a half thousand parents of disabled children, and these children can participate in joint social events together with other children. It is expected in the end of the project the rehabilitation and resource centres in cooperation with local communities and government agencies will become vital for work with disabled children and their parents, and that this experience can be replicated in other regions.

Top of this page; Content of Newsletter; Bottom of this page

Brief information about participants of the project
Partner organisations responsible for implementing the project:

HealthProm – a charitable non-commercial organisation, based in London, works since 1984 with local communities for improving health and social support for vulnerable women and children in the countries of the former Soviet Union (Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Tajikistan and recently in Kyrgyzstan). The primary activities of the organisation are social and medical projects. Recently HealthProm has successfully finished similar (to Kyrgyzstan) a 3-year project in Altay region of Russia. Local authorities immediately supported the initiative and provided premises and financing for two centres.

The Association of Parents of Disabled Children (ARDI), Bishkek, established in 1995, gives advisory support to parents of disabled children, and also aspires to realise capabilities of disabled children and youth by their development and integration into society.

Public Association Shoola Kol, Bokonbaevo v. in Issyk-Kul region, is the human rights organisation and engaged in educational activity and raise public awareness. Shoola Kol also advises and educates people with disabilities and helps them establish NGOs for advancement of interests and rights of disabled people.

People who are involved in the project:
* Tatyana Buynovskaya – HealthProm manager, as well as the project manager “Supporting young disabled children and their families in KR”, financed by the Big Lottery Fund.
* Jonathan Watkins – senior project expert, social worker, consultant.
* Mark Hunter – child disability consultant, paediatrician.
* Azat Israilov – in-country project manager in Kyrgyzstan.
* Tamara Dyikanbaeva – Association of Parents of Disabled Children chair, project officer in Bishkek.
* Antonina Lee – Shoola Kol chair, project coordinator in Issyk-Kul region, Bokonbaevo.

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HealthProm visit to Kyrgyzstan to start the project
Under the project funded by the Big Lottery Fund HealthProm delegation of three people (see list above) have visited Kyrgyzstan for meetings with the representatives of government agencies and international and local non-governmental organisations. Between 11 and 23d May, 33 meetings took place in Bishkek and Bokonbaevo, one of them was an interview to the newspaper “Vechernij Bishkek”. In addition HealthProm representatives visited homes of families with disabled children. The results of these meetings will help partners to define the area of specialization for new rehabilitation centres. These centres will work in close interaction with local authorities and government agencies. Currently through consultations with local authorities and additional meetings there is a search for premises for the future centres as one of overall
project objectives is sustainability of the centres.

Young people: new horizons!
The youth of the Association of Parents of Disabled Children is becoming more active in public life of the country, and has also achieved some successes in education. In June this year Seinep Dyikanbaeva, project and PR manager of ARDI, has been named one of the first New Heroes of Kyrgyzstan for the positive contribution to the development of our society, a nomination organised by NGO “Atool” (Karakol). More detailed information can be found at: http://www.atuul.kg/?pid=19&hid=3. In addition, recently Seinep, a first year student of the American University in the Central Asia, has passed through a rigid competitive selection for a year training in Japan, sponsored by the Japanese International Agency on Cooperation (JICA).

Ukei Muratalieva, another active young volunteer of ARDI, a student of the Kyrgyz Technical University, has been chosen together with other two Kyrgyz citizens for another training program on leadership and building networks, also sponsored by the Japanese International Agency on Cooperation (JICA). She leaves for a month for Tokyo to learn how to train and at the same time to learn how local disabled people live and the organisations of disabled people work. After returning home she will conduct a series of trainings and seminars.
Best wishes to them!

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President signed the Law “About the rights and guarantees for persons with disabilities”
President of the Kyrgyz Republic has signed the law “About the rights and guarantees for persons with disabilities”.

This law aims to improve social protection of persons with disabilities, provide them with equal with other citizens of the Kyrgyz Republic possibilities to practice their rights and freedoms, avoid restrictions in their lives.
Source: 24.kg, 12 April 2008

UN adopted the Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities
The General Assembly of the United Nations in the beginning of June, 2008 approved the Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities. It became the first universal international legal document aiming to protect the rights of persons with various kinds of permanent physical, mental, intellectual or sensor limitations. The convention contains 50 articles that protect and encourage the rights of the disabled, decrease discrimination towards them, provide them with rights to work, health services, education and full participation in society life, and also access to justice, inviolability of person, freedom from exploitation and abuse, and freedom of movement.
Source: 24.kg, 16 June 2008

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The new law about social order accepted
The law accepted in the second reading on 5th June this year intends to involve non-commercial organisations in realisation of government social programs through placing on a competitive basis and implementation the government social orders. This will also allow the government to essentially increase the efficiency of implementation of social programs and to involve in social sphere additional human, material and financial resources from non-government sources and it will partially reduce dependence of the non-governmental organisations on foreign funding.

The Minister of labour and social development of the Kyrgyz Republic Uktomkhan Abdullaeva supporting the law, underlined that “now in Kyrgyzstan, some social establishments, children’s homes, boarding schools, houses for aged people opened by the donor funding and the international organisations are on the verge of closing because of the termination of their financing by the foreign organisations. So why can’t we support the efforts of non-governmental organisations and public associations which will render social services to the
population and care for certain number of the aged, homeless children or the disabled who cannot be accommodated in the formal establishments now since there are no places or shortage of funds?”.

Similar laws has been successfully working for a long time in the countries of Europe, in Kazakhstan and 6 federal areas of Russia. Source:
Source: “The third sector” 16 (42), June 2008

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Japanese agency for international cooperation plans to open a centre for people with disabilities
“The Japanese agency for international cooperation (JICA) plans to open in Kyrgyzstan a centre for people with disabilities”, – informed today at a press conference Uktomkhan Abdullaeva, the Minister of labour and social development of KR. According to her, there is the Asian-Pacific centre on problems of the disabled located in Japan. It is going to expand its activities in Central Asia. “After a working visit by Kyrgyz delegation to Japan it decided to open a head office in Kyrgyzstan for the countries of CA. It will bring to the republic additional investments. After the discussion of details of opening of the centre in October 2008 an international conference will take place in which well-known people with disabilities will take part”, – says Uktomkhan Abdullaeva.

As Minister of labour and social development KP emphasizes, such decision was affected by the new law “About the rights and guarantees of people with disabilities” recently passed by the government. “We have excluded articles from it that this category of people cannot work. Their number in workforce should make not less than 5 percent”, – said Uktomhan Abdullaeva.
Source: 24.kg, 22.05.08

Projects on employment for disabled people
We have to break the stereotype that disabled people are defective, said Edward Vinter, the executive director of Eurasia Foundation in Central Asia (EFCA). According to his words, disabled people in Kyrgyzstan are especially vulnerable group of population as being full members of society they simply cannot get a job. Many businessmen, in his opinion, are just confident that the disabled cannot work properly. In this regard, there are now some projects in Kyrgyzstan aiming to render assistance to disabled people in work search. In particular, the Eurasia Foundation in CA together with the Republican independent association of disabled women has
started cooperation with businesses of Bishkek and their management in granting workplaces for disabled people. There will also be a vacancy fair in Bishkek for people with disabilities.

Besides that, today the World Bank and EFCA declared winners of the Program of small grants of 2008 in Kyrgyzstan. “It is intended for the local organisations of a civil society. For 1996-2007 we have given out 121 small grants for a total sum of $315 thousand”, – said the chief executive of Fund Eurasia in the Central Asia Edward Vinter. Thirteen organisations have become winners.
Source: 24.kg

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The Japanese fund of reduction of poverty is intended to support disabled children
The Minister of Education and Science Ishenkul Boldzhurova presented a law providing such a grant recently at a committee meeting on international affairs and inter-parliamentary communications of the parliament of KR. She said, that in 2005 the ministry of education and science requested the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to support children with disabilities. “This project is supported by the Japanese Fund on reduction of poverty which will allocate $1 million, $50 thousands are provided by our government”, – added Ishenkul Boldzhurova.

The minister informed, that in the republic there are now about 19 thousand disabled children of which 250 children study at comprehensive schools in KR, in addition three thousand children study at the special boarding schools.

Ishenkul Boldzhurova noted that grant money will go on preparation of methodical manuals for schools and future teachers for training children with disabilities. According to her, for implementing the future project 35 comprehensive schools all over the country have already been selected – 5 in each region of the country, and also four boarding schools (internats) and two kindergartens.
Source: 24.kg, 15.04.2008

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Children on holiday in Issyk Kul
Thanks to allocated 50 holiday vouchers by the Kyrgyzstan Federation of Trade unions the Association of Parents of Disabled Children organised on 4 – 25 July holiday for members of the Association, including 50 children ith special needs. Children’s recreational centre “Ulan” located near Balykchy accommodated them, and under the HealthProm project “Supporting young disabled children and their families in KR” funded by the Big Lottery Fund transportation expenses for all children have been covered.

The recreational centre can accommodate about 250 people. Besides swimming on lake, there were joint cultural events organised for children, which promoted integration of disabled children with other children, and also promoted tolerance among their peers.

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Grants
Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) (Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan) on behalf of the Canadian Foundation announces call for applications for small grants program for Central Asia.

The main areas: poverty reduction, sustainable development, increase participation of women, protection the children’s rights, capacity building for organisations, environment.

The maximum size of a grant is $20,000. The general grant pool is $50,000.

Projects should be short-term ending and presenting a financial report until 1st March 2009. For additional information please write to Anna Zhugan on: Anna. Zhugan@international.gc.ca

Bradley Foundation contests
Bradley Foundation supports: conducting annual events, holding conferences and seminars, purchasing equipment, general support, training, investments related to a project, publications, researches, stipends, development of educational programs.

Applications accepted: 1 March, 1 July, 1 September, 1 December each year.

The size of a grant: from $100 up to $550,000.

Priority areas of support: development of civic sense – projects can be aimed at any sphere of public life (economy, politics, culture, civil society), but they should advance citizenship to the bottom idea of elections and vote. For example, these can be projects showing increased public participation, political or academic research, media projects and others. Building projects and individuals are not financed.

Application procedure can be found at the Fund’s site. Results of selection appear in February, May-June, September and November, depending on application submission. More information can be found at: http://www.bradleyfdn.org/
Source: “the Third sector” 16 (42), June 2008

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This newsletter sent to We Can Do by Azat Israilov. People who wish to receive future issues of this newsletter, in PDF format, via email should inquire by email at aisrail@gmail.com (NOT with We Can Do)

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Global Forum for Inclusion 2008: Transforming Rights into Action, Nov 17-26, 2008

Posted on 26 August 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Events and Conferences, Families, Human Rights, Inclusion, Opportunities | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The following open letter of invitation comes from Diane Richler, President of Inclusion International.

GLOBAL FORUM FOR INCLUSION 2008: Transforming Rights into Action. 17-26 Nov 2008.

The Forum for Inclusion 2008: Transforming Rights into Action is Co-Hosted by Inclusion International and the Canadian Association for Community Living

To be held at the Westin Hotel in Ottawa, Canada in November 2008, this Forum will engage self-advocates, families, activists, professionals and partners from around the world. Focused on the new UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Forum will look at how to transform rights into actions that lead to full inclusion and citizenship for people with intellectual disabilities.

Several events will take place in Ottawa: International Gathering of Families (November 17-18); International Gathering of Self-Advocates (November 17-18); International Conference: Putting the UN Convention into Action for People with Intellectual Disabilities (November 18-19); and Inclusion in Focus: Spotlight on Canada, at the 50th Anniversary Conference of the Canadian Association for Community Living (November 19-21). These events will be followed by study tours in Canada and the United States.

For information on these events, registration, accommodation and more please visit:
WWW.INCLUSION2008.COM Conference information is available in English, French, or Spanish.

If you need letters of invitation or have questions concerning your attendance, please contact
Raquel González R.Gonzalez@uel.ac.uk

We hope to see you there!

Diane Richler
President of Inclusion International



Thank you to Inclusion International for sending this announcement to be posted here. Interested parties should please contact them directly to inquire about the conference, NOT We Can Do.

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Ayudar a los niños sordos–en español: New Hesperian Foundation Title in Spanish

Posted on 19 August 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Children, Deaf, Families, Inclusion, Latin America & Caribbean, Resources, signed languages | Tags: , , , |

BILINGUAL POST in English and Spanish; bilingual articulo en ingles y español. (¡Ojala que mi español es bastante claro!)

The Hesperian Foundation has released its book entitled Helping Children Who Are Deaf in Spanish for the first time. It can be downloaded in PDF format for free, one chapter at a time.

El “Hesperian Foundation” ha publicado el libro, Ayudar a los niños sordos, en español. Se puede transferido el libro sin coste (en formato PDF) un capítulo a la vez.

Says, the Hesperian Foundation, “Ayudar a los niños sordos (Helping Children Who Are Deaf in Spanish) supports parents and other caregivers in building the communication skills of babies and young children. Packed with simple activities, this book is a great resource for people who care for children who do not hear well including parents, caregivers, health promoters, and
others in teaching a deaf child how to communicate to the best of his or her ability.”

El Hesperian Foundation ha dicho, “Ayudar a los niños sordos apoyo familiar y comunitario para niños que no oyen bien. Los niños que no pueden oír bien necesitan más ayuda para aprender un idioma hablado o un lenguaje de señas, lo cual es muy importante, porque el lenguaje es la base para pensar, solucionar problemas y relacionarnos con otras personas. Este libro está lleno de actividades sencillas y será un gran recurso para las personas que cuidan de niños sordos, ya sean padres, otros cuidadores y/o promotores de salud, ya que les ofrece herramientas para enseñarle al niño a comunicarse lo mejor que pueda.”
http://www.hesperian.org/publications_download_Sordos.php

The Hesperian Foundation produces a wide range of books for people and organizations in developing countries. It’s most famous book is “Where There is No Doctor,” which has helped many workers in rural areas save lives.

El Hesperian Foundation se publica muchos libros varios para personas y organizaciones en países en desarrollo. El libro más famoso es “Donde no hay medico,” lo cual ha ayuda mucho personas en areas campos salvar las vidas.

Download Ayudar a los niños sordos en español at http://www.hesperian.org/publications_download_Sordos.php

Hesperian Foundation has many other books that can be downloaded for free. Most are in English, some are in Spanish, and one is in French. You can find these at http://www.hesperian.org/publications_download.php

El Hesperian Foundation tiene muchos libros libres. Todos son en ingles. Algunos son en español. Uno es en francés. Se puede encontrar todos a http://www.hesperian.org/publications_download.php



I learned about this book through an announcement from the Hesperian Foundation.

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Deaf Child Worldwide Launches Family Friendly Resource

Posted on 1 May 2008. Filed under: Children, Deaf, Families, Resources | Tags: , , , , |

Deaf Child Worldwide News Release

For release: Thursday 1 May 2008

Deaf Child Worldwide launches Family Friendly resource

Deaf Child Worldwide, the only UK-based international development agency dedicated to enabling deaf children to overcome poverty and isolation, has launched a new action learning resource to help organisations working with deaf children and families throughout the world.

‘Family Friendly – working with deaf children and their communities worldwide’ has been produced to raise awareness of the important role that parents and families can play in the lives of their deaf children and in their communities.

Sofia Garavito, Director of Deaf Child Worldwide, explains:

“Families with deaf children in developing countries face some huge challenges, the biggest one being widespread poverty. For this reason, family priorities are focused on finding a way to look after the basic needs of their children and less time is available for engaging with and finding out the best way to support the development of their deaf children.

“The Family Friendly resource has been designed to help families with deaf children and the organisations working with them to learn quickly and easily how they can help improve the lives of deaf children by working together, or though self-help initiatives.”

The resource is based on real-life examples and is packed with case studies written by parents and practitioners in over 20 countries around the world.

“A very great job has been done; this is a beautiful book – interesting and inspiring. We are sure the book will be very useful to many organizations and families with deaf children worldwide.” Joana Vanagiene Association of Families with Deaf and Hearing Impaired Children, Lithuania

“This book looks great and will be very useful to several of our programmes. Can we have 50 copies please?” Helen Pinnock, Education Advisor, Save the Children UK.

“This book will be an inspiration to all who read it and it will really help to make sure best practices are replicated all over the world” George Gachanja, Kenya Society for Deaf Children

For a free copy of Family Friendly, contact Deaf Child Worldwide by email info@deafchildworldwide.org or write to Deaf Child Worldwide at 15 Dufferin St, London, EC1Y 8UR. You can also download a copy from www.deafchildworldwide.info

  • Deaf Child Worldwide is the only UK based international development agency dedicated to enabling deaf children to overcome poverty and isolation.
  • We work with partners in the countries where need is the greatest throughout the world and we are the international development agency of the National Deaf Children’s Society in the UK.
  • There are 20 million deaf children worldwide, 80 per cent of whom live in the developing world. 98 per cent of all disabled children in the world do not go to school.
  • For many children and families a diagnosis of deafness means a life of inequality and isolation.
  • For more information about Deaf Child Worldwide, visit www.deafchildworldwide.org



Thank you to Deaf Child Worldwide for submitting this announcement to We Can Do for publication.

We Can Do readers who share an interest in working with the families of deaf or other disabled children may also wish to consult various books from the Hesperian Foundation on taking care of people’s health and raising children who are deaf, blind, or have other disabilities.

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RESOURCE: Brochure on People with Intellectual Disabilities and Disability Rights Treaty

Posted on 22 April 2008. Filed under: Cognitive Impairments, Education, Families, Human Rights, Resources | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

People with intellectual disabilities around the world face enormous challenges in realizing basic human rights such as access to education; legal capacity (the right to make their own decisions); the right to live with their families; and the right to live in the community–not an institution. The new disability rights treaty–the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)–is designed in part to help with these challenges. The CRPD, which has now been ratified by 24 countries, will enter into force on May 3, 2008 simultaneously with the Optional Protocol, which has been ratified by 14 countries.

But how can people with intellectual disabilities and their families use the CRPD to achieve their human rights? And how can people who create and implement policy support their efforts? A new brochure from Inclusion International (PDF format, 585 Kb) provides guidance. The eight-page brochure summarizes how people with intellectual disabilities and their families around the world helped to create the CRPD; how the CRPD helps address some of their key human rights concerns; and the important role of families in guiding, developing, and implementing policies.

The English version of the brochure can be downloaded in PDF format (585 Kb) at:

http://inclusion-international.org/site_uploads/File/HearOurVoices-Priority%20Web.08.pdf

The Arabic version of the brochure (without pictures) can be downloaded in Word format (515 Kb) at:

http://inclusion-international.org/site_uploads/File/CRPD%20arab.doc



We Can Do learned of this brochure through the Disabled People International (DPI) e-newsletter.

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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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RESOURCE: Listening to Poor People with Intellectual Disabilities

Posted on 5 January 2008. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Cognitive Impairments, Families, Inclusion, Poverty, Reports, Resources | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

In Their Own Words
A report from Inclusion International can help people better understand poverty among people with intellectual disabilities in developing countries.

Nobody knows more than a poor person what it means to live with poverty or what the biggest barriers are to escaping it. And nobody knows more than a person who is excluded how devastating it can be to be constantly pushed to the margins of society. And it is poor, excluded people who see most clearly exactly what needs to change to bring them out of poverty and into the mainstream.

It is the obligation of anyone who wants to improve the living conditions of the poor and the excluded to listen to their stories–and their proposed solutions–in their own words. If we fail to listen, we will inevitably fail to help.

Documented Information = A Tool for Advocates
For some We Can Do readers, listening to the poor and marginalized in developing countries can be as easy as stepping out their front door and talking to the people in their local communities. But even the most knowledgeable advocates may struggle to communicate what they know to non-disabled people in their country in a way that others will both understand and believe. In particular, they may need a way to strengthen their voices when educating funding agencies that have the power to support or turn away their organization. Advocates can use published research or reports to help others understand that poverty and exclusion among people with disabilities are not just “isolated cases” or “too few in number” to be worth targeted efforts.

A report entitled “Hear Our Voices: A Global Report: People with an Intellectual Disabilities and their Families Speak Out on Poverty and Exclusion,” published by Inclusion International in November 2006, helps share insights into how intellectual disability can lead to poverty and exclusion. “Hear Our Voices” also makes recommendations for action. The report was made possible with the partnership and financial support of the Norwegian Association for Persons with Developmental Disabilities, NFU, and the Atlas Alliance of Norway.

How “Hear Our Voices” Was Made
Inclusion International (II) is a global federation of family-based organizations advocating for the human rights of people with intellectual disabilities worldwide. It spoke with people with intellectual disabilities, their families, and supporters in more than 80 countries about the experience of intellectual disability and poverty. “Hear Our Voices” combines personal with secondary research sources to analyze how well each of the eight Millennium Development Goals for fighting poverty are being met for people with intellectual disabilities. The report makes recommendations for how civil society organizations, governments and donor and international agencies can each play a role in ending poverty and exclusion among people with intellectual disabilities.

In the acknowledgments page of their report, Inclusion International points out that people with intellectual disabilities “are too often invisible,” which means that “their stories are not influencing decisions that affect their lives.” Inclusion International explains, “We wanted to bring about change on a global scale – by convincing governments, multi-lateral institutions, and communities of the current injustice of exclusion. Where before our members’ voices were not being heard because they were isolated, we wanted to bring them together into a loud chorus. We wanted to link those local voices to bring about global change.” (p. viii)

What Next?
Here, Inclusion International’s focus is on people with intellectual disabilities. But people who are deaf, blind, have mobility impairments, autism, psycho-social disabilities, or other disabilities are also “invisible” in society—whether or not they are poor. And all poor people also are invisible–whether or not they have disabilities. Disabled poor people, their stories, and their ideas for how to solve their own problems, are too rarely heard when people with power make choices that affect their lives.

Perhaps Inclusion International’s report could inspire other global organizations to do the research for more reports like it. Advocates could then use these reports to help amplify the voices (and signs) of disabled (and deaf/Deaf) people living in poverty around the world.

Read the Report, Watch the Video
The full 79 page report can be downloaded for free in English in PDF format (500 Kb) at

http://www.inclusion-international.org/report/Hear_Our_Voices_English.pdf

The report is also available in a 10-minute DVD (video). This video is not captioned. There are many pictures and only an occasional line of text on the screen that is used to highlight key statistics or other information. I’m guessing there is also some kind of narration–but this is not accessible to deaf viewers. I’m not in a position to evaluate whether this DVD would be accessible or usable to hearing people with vision impairments. If you are, please do comment below.

The DVD can be viewed at:

http://s80.photobucket.com/albums/j194/raqueldejuan/?action=view&current=PhotoStory8.flv

The report and DVD are also available in Spanish at:

http://www.inclusion-international.org/sp/report/index.html



We Can Do learned about the “Hear Our Voices” report by browsing Inclusion International’s web site. The information for this blog post was gathered from their web site and particularly from the report itself.

Find more information about disabled poor people around the world by click on “reports” or “resources” under “categories” in the right-hand navigation bar on this page. Or consult the recent Retrospective post under “Finding sources of information.”



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News at Your Fingertips

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

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

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

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



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RESOURCE: Atlas on Country Resources in Intellectual Disabilities

Posted on 27 December 2007. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Cognitive Impairments, Education, Employment, Families, Health, Human Rights, News, Reports, Resources | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Montreal PAHO/WHO Collaborating Centre for Research and Training in Mental Health have released an atlas that presents global data on intellectual disabilities. The Atlas: Global Resources for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities: 2007 (PDF format, 5.6 Mb) was launched during the Second International Conference on Intellectual Disabilities held in November 2007 in Bangkok, Thailand.

WHO initiated the Atlas in recognition that “global data collection in the field of intellectual disabilities has long been neglected” (Preface, p. 11). The Atlas gives an overview of the extent to which resources and services for children, adolescents, and adults with intellectual disabilities are available throughout all the member states of WHO. This includes information on health services; education; services specific to intellectual disabilities; work-related services such as sheltered or supported employment and vocational training; services to families; and other types of services such as leisure activities, transportation, assistive technology, rights or advocacy support, or food/meal supplies. Data is also given for how these resources and services are distributed by region and by income level.

This information was gathered in the hope that it can be used to help stimulate advocacy and planning efforts in support of people with intellectual disabilities and their families. Specifically, it helps identify specific gaps and needs in the resources and services available for people with intellectual disabilities and their families throughout the world. This information could be used to advocate with governments or foundations for the resources needed to fill these gaps. The Atlas also has developed two instruments that can be used at the country or the regional level to help map where intellectual disability services are available (in Appendix III and IV of the Atlas). Furthermore, the Atlas has helped produce a network of contacts in the intellectual disability field (in Appendix II of the Atlas).

The Atlas also was developed in acknowledgment that disability is increasingly recognized as a human rights issue. Health and other public services for people with intellectual disabilities are a human right, as recognized by the new international disabilities rights treaty. The Atlas was enabled by a new linkage between WHO and the intellectual disability field, via the Montreal PAHO/WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research in Mental Health and its associated partners, the Lisette-Dupras and the West Montreal Readaptation centres for persons with intellectual disabilities.

This new resource is primarily targeted at individuals and agencies responsible for planning health and social policy and services within countries. However, it also is meant for those who provide services to people with intellectual disabilities; for international and national NGOs active in the intellectual disability field; human rights advocates and activists; public health professionals and students; and for civil society in general.

The entire Atlas is available for free in PDF format (5.6 Mb). You can download it by clicking on the link to:

http://www.who.int/entity/mental_health/evidence/atlas_id_2007.pdf

You can also read more background information on the Atlas, including the contact person at WHO, at:

http://bangkok-id-conference.org/program-documentation-ressources/project-atlas



We Can Do first learned of this resource through the web site for the International Conference on Intellectual Disabilities/Mental Retardation. The information in this blog post was gathered partly from



What other resources are available via We Can Do that you might have overlooked? See the We Can Do Retrospective: The First 100 Posts (and Then Some) for an overview.

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

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

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

Skip introduction, go straight to the Table of Contents

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

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Table of Contents

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About We Can Do

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

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

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

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

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The Five Most Popular We Can Do posts

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

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The Five Most Under-Rated We Can Do posts

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

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Finding Practical Resources and Case Studies or Helpful Organizations

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Read the CRPD “translated” into plain English.
  • UNICEF has developed a child-friendly version of the CRPD to help children understand disability rights
  • Disabled People International offers two toolkits on ratifying and implementing the CRPD for disability advocates who want to help ensure that all disabled people have their human rights recognized.
  • A handbook on disability rights targeted at parliamentarians can help parliamentarians, people who work in close contact with government agencies, and disability advocates in general, better understand the CRPD.
  • The United Nations’ new web site, UN Enable, is one of the best, and most official, places to find information on the CRPD.
  • Handicap International has produced its own Teaching Kit on the CRPD.
  • The International Disability Equality Agency (IDEA) has issued Equalize It! A Manifesto for Disability Equality in Development Cooperation that expresses their position on how to ensure disability equality in the international development field.
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    Case Studies
    Reviewing case studies of projects implemented elsewhere can be a valuable source of ideas that could help you figure out how to run or implement your own projects. I would love to post many more best-practice and failed-practice case studies than I have available right now. If you think you have something worth sharing, please check my Wish List of Written Materials and Resource and contact me at ashettle [at] patriot.net.

    But for now, here are two case studies:

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

    Other Helpful Resources

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

    Finding Useful Sources of Information and Research

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

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

    Table of Contents; Top of this page

    Funding Sources

    Table of Contents; Top of this page

    Academic Papers

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

    Table of Contents; Top of this page

    News

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

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

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

    October 2007

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

    November 2007

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

    Early December 2007

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

    Opinion Pieces

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

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

    Table of Contents; Top of this page

    Call for Papers (for Conferences, Journals, Other)

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

    Table of Contents; Top of this page

    International Conferences and Events

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

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

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

    February 2008

  • The Disabilities Initiatives in Development Seminar, also in Bangladesh also in February 2008.
  • One for all: Persons with Disabilities Initiative in Development, again in Bangladesh in February 2008.
  • The International Centre for Sign Languages and Deaf Studies at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston, UK is holding a conference on sign language research in the UK in February 2008.
  • A conference on the deaf community, sign languages, social issues, civil rights, and creativity will be held on the campus of Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, USA.
  • The Techshare India 2008 Conference on accessibility will be held in New Delhi, India, in February 2008.
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    March 2008
    The 8th annual meeting of the Gulf Disability Society will meet in United Arab Emirates in March 2008.

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

    April 2008

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

    May 2008

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

    August 2008

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

    September 2008

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

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

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

    Jobs, Internships, Volunteer Opportunities

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

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    Education and Training Opportunities

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    Missed Opportunities

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Missed Training Opportunities

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

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

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

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

    Missed Event and Conference Opportunities

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

    What’s Next for We Can Do?

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

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

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

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

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    SURVEY and FORUM on Successful Family Planning Programs

    Posted on 11 December 2007. Filed under: Announcements, Families, Health, Opportunities | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    What makes a family planning program successful? The Information and Knowledge for Optimal Health (INFO) Project at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, in collaboration with the the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Implementing Best Practices(IBP) Initiative, invites you to
    share your opinions in a short survey on Elements of Successful Family Planning Programs; follow the link to:

    http://www.zoomerang.com/survey.zgi?p=WEB22786ZF78CZ

    This survey is not focused specifically on disability issues in family planning. However, survey participants can use the open-ended questions to explain their own perspectives on familiy planning issues. This could be an opportunity to help ensure that the people conducting the survey are aware of the importance of disability inclusion in family planning
    efforts.

    Interested in the survey results? What more information on this topic? You may also wish to register for a free online discussion forum, entitled “Elements of Successful Family Planning Programs,” from Monday, December 10th through December 21, 2007.

    Read more about the forum at: http://my.ibpinitiative.org/public/ElementsofFPSuccess/

    Again, this forum is not focused specifically on disability issues in developing countries. But for people who are interested in family planning among disabled people internationally, this forum could be an opportunity to ensure that your voices are heard (or read!) among mainstream professionals.

    Register for the forum at: http://my.ibpinitiative.org/public/Register.aspx?c=2d6a569b-e335-4e83-ba34-3b8366761cfe

    After you register for the forum, you can participate in the forum at: http://my.ibpinitiative.org/community.aspx?c=2d6a569b-e335-4e83-ba34-3b8366761cfe

    Please share this announcement with your friends and colleagues. Thank you for your participation!


    We Can Do received this announcement via the Sexual and Reproductive Health of Persons with Disabilities forum that was recently sponsored through the (IBP) Initiative. I modified it slightly.


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    Please Submit YOUR Materials to We Can Do

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

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

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

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

    Current Top Priority for We Can Do

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

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

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

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

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

    My username is: ashettle

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

    My email domain is patriot.net

    Put it all together and you have my email address.

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


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    Rubinstein Taybi Syndrome: Support for Families

    Posted on 3 October 2007. Filed under: Announcements, Cognitive Impairments, Families, Latin America & Caribbean, Resources | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

    For many parents of disabled children, their own child may be the first person they have ever met who has a disability. Any of us may feel frightened when we are first exposed to something unfamiliar simply because we cannot be sure what to expect. It can be even more frightening when the unfamiliar affects your own child–especially if you had always assumed until then that disabled people necessarily lead tragic lives of deprivation and suffering.

    Support groups and networks can be invaluable in helping reassure families that a happy and fulfilled life is still possible after a diagnosis. It may be a very different life, with a very different daily routine than they had planned upon when starting their family. But it can be just as rewarding.

    But what if the affected child has a rare disability–so rare that your child might be the only person with that disability in your entire city? Even if your city has as many as 100 to 300 thousand people? And what if you are also in a developing nation where resources of any kind for people with disabilities are rare and hard to find? Such is the case for families of people with Rubinstein Taybi syndrome.

    Rubinstein Taybi syndrome generally involves some degree of cognitive impairment and an assortment of medical problems that might include feeding problems, respiratory infections, ear and eye infections, cataracts or glaucoma, and heart problems.

    One American organization for families of people with Rubinstein Taybi syndrome has established a web site that has links to similar organizations around the world. Not surprisingly, most of these organizations are in high-income countries, particularly in Europe. However the web site indicates that sometimes smaller, more informal support networks may still exist in some countries even if there is no official organization there. It is also possible for family members to join a mailing list (via email) that currently has 180 members from two dozen different countries.

    The full list of organizations, and instructions for joining the email discussion group, can be consulted at:

    http://www.rubinstein-taybi.org/html/organizations.html

    Official organizations appear to exist–or at least have web sites in–only two middle-income countries and no low-income countries.

    The Argentina page (in Spanish) can be found at:

    http://www.rubinsteintaybi.com.ar/

    The Brazil page (in Portuguese) can be found at:

    http://www.artsbrasil.org.br/


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    IDCS Newsletter: Deaf Children, Families, and Schools

    Posted on 1 October 2007. Filed under: Case Studies, Children, Deaf, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Education, Families, South Asian Region, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    Thank you to the International Deaf Children’s Society (IDCS) for granting their permission to repost their newsletter at We Can Do. This newsletter contains information about a range of programs targeted at deaf children and their families and schools in Burkino Faso; Zimbabwe; Somaliland; Kazakhstan; Afghanistan; and India.

    Note that IDCS would like to receive stories about your experiences in supporting families in improving their ability to communicate with their deaf children for possible use in their next newsletter. Their deadline is October 10, 2007; see the bottom of this post for more detail.

    August 29, 2007
    Learning from Each Other: An Update from the IDCS Network
    The International Deaf Children’s Society (IDCS) is the international development wing of The National Deaf Children’s Society in the UK.

    Families and schools

    In this issue of Learning from Each Other you can find out more about how schools can involve families and communities in their work.

    Education is central in promoting every child’s development. It is a Millennium Development Goal to achieve universal primary education, because it is recognised that education broadens opportunities and choices for young people and helps to fight poverty. As one third of the out-of-school children are disabled – it will be impossible to meet this goal without deaf children getting into school. IDCS believes that this will be impossible without family and community involvement.

    Research by academics like Desforges in the UK have shown that the support children receive from their family makes a big difference to their success at school. The case studies in this newsletter highlight the role that families play globally. Over 90% of deaf children are born into families who are not deaf and who may have little understanding of how they can support their child. That’s why it’s important for schools and families to work together. Read on for some brilliant examples of how this can work in practice!

    For example, you can read a case study from Burkina Faso showing how schools can help families learn the skills they need to support their children more effectively. In addition, parental involvement can really benefit the school by using parents’ unique knowledge, skills and motivation – both in the classroom like in the example from Afghanistan, and at school management and policy level like the project for families in Kazakhstan.

    As so many deaf children are out of school, it’s essential that schools consider how they can reach those parents in the community whose children are not in school. Again, with the right support, other parents whose deaf children have been to school can be the best people to reach out, like the inspiring parent trainers in Zimbabwe.

    Later this year, IDCS will publish Family Friendly! a book of case studies and practical tips about involving families and communities in work with deaf children. Some of the case studies in this newsletter are also featured in the book – so look out for our email publicising the book later in the year! Some existing resources to help you think about how you can improve the way you work with families and communities are featured below.

    Teachers training parents in Burkina Faso

    In order for deaf children to do well at school, it really helps if families are actively involved in their education, and are able to communicate, play or help their children with homework. However it’s not always easy for parents to know what to do.

    After asking parents what they needed, IDCS’s partner CEFISE, a mainstream school where lots of deaf children study, trained a group of teachers to carry out workshops for parents at three other schools for the deaf. During these workshops, teachers provide parents with information about deafness and lots of creative ideas to make learning fun. Using creative techniques proved to be a great way to provide parents with practical skills and motivation to spend more time with their child!

    Follow the link to find out more about this Burkina Faso project, as well as great examples of games and activities.

    Parents outreaching to other parents in Zimbabwe

    Nyadire Primary School is located in a rural area of Zimbabwe where there is little awareness of deafness. With support from IDCS and the NZEVE centre for deaf children, Nyadire School trained two parents to be outreach workers.

    Being visited at home was a great way for parents of out-of-school deaf children to find out more about deafness and their children’s potential. The parent trainers encouraged parents to send their deaf child to school and provided them with information about how they could support learning in the home. The families felt comfortable discussing personal issues with someone who had faced similar challenges and the parent trainers became a real community resource. The school also organised workshops to provide parents with more information and training to help them communicate with their deaf child.

    Follow the link to find out more about this innovative approach to working with parents

    Establishing a parents’ group in Somaliland

    In Somaliland there are only two schools for the deaf. The Hargeisa School for the Deaf is working with parents to support them to advocate for the rights of their child. Getting parents together is also an effective and sustainable way of establishing support networks and a forum to share ideas and experiences.

    The Hargeisa School found that, in order for parents to have an impact, it was important to set up a formal organisation. They provided a group of parents with the necessary skills to organise and register a parents’ group. This group now meets regularly and, together with the school and a group of young deaf people, has carried out advocacy and awareness raising activities.

    Find out more about the process of setting up a parents group

    Working together for children’s rights in Kazakhstan

    Children living in institutions in Kazakhstan are often denied their rights. In addition, many find that communicating with their families is very difficult. With limited parental involvement, professionals have a lot of power over children’s lives. To create change in such a context meant that everyone needed to be involved – that’s why the project working to improve the lives of deaf children in institutions was called Rights for All.

    Using the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child as a tool, this project tried to involve teachers, children and parents. An important achievement was the establishment of an ongoing parents’ group which have quarterly meetings with school directors and are working with the Deaf People’s Association to lobby for policy changes. A resource room staffed by a parent volunteer also helps to provide parents with practical support when they visit the school.

    Read more about how this project aimed to make Rights For All a reality

    A father’s story – getting involved in education in Afghanistan

    Getting involved in their children’s education can radically change parents’ attitudes towards their child’s deafness. As they witness first-hand their child’s capacity for learning and educational success, they can become advocates for other children’s rights.

    Abdul Ghani is the father of six children, four of whom are deaf. He worked for an inclusive education project run by the International Rescue Committee in Afghanistan which helped deaf children, previously denied access to education, to stay in school. His valuable contribution and change of attitude towards his deaf children’s potential shows how parent involvement benefits both schools and families!

    Find out more about our work in Afghanistan.

    Real inclusion requires a supportive family

    In India, the Persons with Disabilities Act says that every disabled child should be able to study in a regular school if that is their choice. Snigdha talks about how she fought to make the act a reality for her deaf daughter, Sneha. This would not have been possible without the support she received in the early days from a family-focused organisation in West Bengal. Snigdha’s story shows why IDCS’s focus on parent-support is so important and gives practical tips for regular schools wishing to include deaf children.

    Read Snigdha’s story to find out more about parenting a deaf child in India and why family support is so important.

    Member spotlight

    IDCS Network member the Loto Taumafai Society in Samoa worked with UNESCO to pilot the Toolkit for Creating Inclusive, Learning Friendly Environments. The second chapter focuses on involving families and communities. It is a very useful tool for any school. However, IDCS thinks that as deaf children have less opportunity than other children to learn incidentally in their community, the ideas presented in this UNESCO publication are even more important for schools where deaf children learn!

    You can read an extract and download the booklet

    More resources

    EENET, the Enabling Education Network is an international information sharing network which promotes the inclusion of marginalised groups in education. Membership is open to all.

    The EENET website contains resources about working with parents including the Family Action for Inclusion book. This tells the stories of family-based advocacy organisations which have contributed to transform education systems in southern Africa, South Asia, Europe and Australia. It has been written for family and community members who may feel isolated and want to form a support group, advocacy organisation, or want to challenge exclusion. It will also be of relevant to those interested in promoting inclusive practices in education, such as teachers, teacher educators and policy makers.

    Find out more about EENET

    Improving family communication

    For our next issue of Learning from Each Other, we would like to focus on family communication. As the articles presented here have shown, communicating with a deaf child at home is extremely important for his or her emotional and educational development. We would be delighted to hear of your experiences of supporting families to improve their ability to communicate with their deaf child.

    What challenges do you face in communicating with deaf children? Have you received support from an organisation or parents of deaf children? Are there any games or exercises that you have found particularly useful? Are you involving deaf adults in family communication exercises?

    As always, please do not worry if you don’t have much experience of writing about your work, just get in touch with any contribution, long or short. We will do our best to include it in the newsletter or publish on our website to share with The IDCS Network.

    Please send us your stories by 10 October 2007 by email, post or fax

    The IDCS Network
    15 Dufferin Street
    London, EC1Y 8UR
    United Kingdom
    idcs@idcs.info
    Fax + 44 (0)20 7251 5020

    http://www.idcs.info


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