News

Guyana President Pledges Support to Deaf Awareness Week

Posted on 27 September 2008. Filed under: Deaf, Latin America & Caribbean, News | Tags: , , , |

One We Can Do reader has informed me that Guyana President President Bharrat Jagdeo pledged to support the Deaf Awareness Week initiated by a local Support Group of Deaf Persons. Read more detail in the Kaieteur News at:

http://www.kaieteurnews.com/?p=7626



Thank you to Montgomery Chester for bringing my attention to this story.

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Take Action! Promote the Mainstreaming of Disability in the MDGs

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

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

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

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

3)    Sending an advisory to relevant media outlets.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sincerely,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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



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Including Everybody: Website on Disability and MDGs Launched

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://www.includeeverybody.org/

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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Report on Seminar on Challenges and Hopes of Deaf and Hard of Hearing People

Posted on 15 September 2008. Filed under: Capacity Building and Leadership, Deaf, Events and Conferences, Inclusion, News, technology | Tags: , , , , , , |

In late August, a seminar was held in Pakistan entitled “Challenges and Hopes: Deaf and Hard of Hearing People in the 21st century,” sponsored by Danishkadah, an organization for the empowerment of leaders with disabilities.

Lectures were delivered on topics such as cochlear implants; sign language; removing barriers from the environment; assistive technology in education; information technology in developing countries; and others.

The Danishkadah web site has a report summarizing the highlights of what speakers said at:

http://www.danishkadah.org.pk/activities/events/080830-CH/program.html



We Can Do learned about this seminar report via an email from Ghulam Nabi Nizamani.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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Events and Competitions for Sri Lanka Children with Disabilities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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NEWS: Invisible in Russia

Posted on 12 September 2008. Filed under: Cross-Disability, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Education, Employment, Human Rights, Inclusion, News | Tags: , , , , |

Individuals with disabilities, and organizations that represent them, recently told Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty that they are still largely invisible in Russian society. They face challenges in education; finding employment; living in the community; and finding accessible services. However, there also has been some progress over time. Children who once would have been kept home from school now receive an education; and people with disabilities are, slowly, becoming integrated into society.

Read the full story about the situation that confronts people with disabilities in Russia at:

http://archive.rferl.org/reports/FullReport.aspx?report=577#736738



I learned about this news story when Ghulam Nabi Nizamani circulated it via email.

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International Day of Persons with Disabilities, December 3, 2008

Posted on 11 September 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Cross-Disability, Events and Conferences, Human Rights, News, Opportunities | Tags: , , , , , |

[One of the most common kinds of announcements I post at We Can Do are events and conferences organized by a wide range of organizations and agencies. But this time, this is an event that YOU can help organize for YOUR country or local community.]

International Day of Persons with Disabilities – 3 December
2008 Theme: “Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Dignity and justice for all of us”.

Dignity and justice for all of us is the theme of this year’s International Day for Persons with Disabilities, as well as for the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Dignity and justice for all persons are established universal principles. Since its inception, the United Nations has recognized that the inherent dignity and the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family are the foundations of freedom, justice and peace in the world. These principles, along with equality and non-discrimination, have guided the work of the United Nations for the past 60 years and are enshrined in various instruments such as the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as in treaties such as the International Covenants on Human Rights, and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. These instruments are among those which make up the international human rights framework, are complementary and reaffirm that all human rights are universal, indivisible, interrelated, interdependent and mutually reinforcing.

2008 is a significant year in the international human rights movement given the entry into force on 3 May of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol, legally binding instruments which set out the legal obligations of States to promote and protect the rights of persons with disabilities, as well as the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Article 25 of the UDHR provides that each person has “the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age, or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control”. Several articles in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities expound on this right to security, including article 10 on right to life and article 14 on liberty and security of person. Article 28 is more specific in that it asks that States Parties take steps to safeguard and promote that realization of the right to an adequate standard of living and social protection, including ensuring “access by persons with disabilities and their families living in situations of poverty to assistance from the State with disability-related expenses, including adequate training, counselling, financial assistance and respite care”. These instruments mark a clear reaffirmation that persons with disabilities have the right to full and equal enjoyment of their human rights. They also mark a clear reaffirmation of the principles of ‘dignity and justice for all of us’.

Around 10 per cent of the world’s population, or 650 million people, live with disabilities. The Convention promotes and protects the human rights of persons with disabilities in civil, cultural, economic, political, and social life. However, all over the world, persons with disabilities continue to face barriers to their participation in society and are often forced to live on the margins of society. They are routinely denied basic rights such as to equal recognition before the law and legal capacity, freedom of expression and opinion, and the right to participate in political and public life, such as voting. Many persons with disabilities are forced into institutions, a direct breach of the rights to freedom of movement and to live in the community.
Eighty per cent of persons with disabilities – more than 400 million people – live in poor countries and there is a strong link between disability and poverty. For example, the statistics on employment for persons with disabilities are staggering. In developing countries, 80 per cent to 90 per cent of persons with disabilities of working age unemployed and in industrialized countries it is estimated to be between 50 per cent and 70 per cent. The rights to education and health are also routinely denied. Ninety per cent of children with disabilities in developing countries do not attend school, says UNESCO. Approximately 20 million women acquire disabilities as a result of complications during pregnancy or childbirth. This continued marginalization against persons with disabilities highlights the need for all States to sign, ratify and implement the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol.

The United Nations and the global community must ensure that all its work is inclusive of persons with disabilities. The Millennium Development Goals will not be achieved if persons with disabilities are not included. Efforts to achieve the MDGs and implement the Convention are interdependent and mutually reinforcing.

On this International Day of Persons with Disabilities, as well during the year-long celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, let us use “dignity and justice for all of us” as a rallying call, as these principles are far from being realized for everyone. Dignity and justice are embodied in the civil, cultural, economic, political, and social rights promoted by the Convention. Therefore, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities is a time to make a renewed commitment to the ratification and full implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol.

One of the fundamental obligations contained in the Convention is that national law should guarantee the enjoyment of the rights enumerated in the Convention. States Parties should thus consider the best ways of giving effect to the rights guaranteed by the Convention in domestic law. Implementing legislation should include the terms of the Convention or a specific reference to them, in order to indicate clearly that the laws should be interpreted in accordance with the letter and spirit of the Convention.

Legislation alone will not ensure that persons with disabilities can enjoy their human rights. States will need to formulate effective policies and programmes that will transform the provisions of the Convention into practices that will have a real impact on the lives of persons with disabilities. For persons with disabilities, as for all persons, the denial of one right can lead to the denial of other rights and opportunities throughout their lives.

Article 33 explains that States must set up national focal points governments in order to monitor implementation of the Convention’s precepts. States must also set up independent monitoring mechanisms, which usually take the form of an independent national human rights institution.

The full participation of civil society, in particular persons with disabilities and their representative organizations, is essential in the national monitoring and implementation process. International monitoring is achieved via the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Conference of States Parties. The first meeting of the Conference of States Parties will be convened by the Secretary-General no later than six months after the entry into force on 3 May 2008 of the Convention.

This International Day for Persons with Disabilities is a time to make a renewed commitment to these principles of dignity and justice and to ensure implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

All human beings are not only entitled to rights, but also have the responsibility of making universal human rights a reality for all of us.

The annual observance of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, 3 December, aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. It also seeks to increase awareness of gains to be derived from the integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life. The theme of the Day is based on the goal of full and equal enjoyment of human rights and participation in society by persons with disabilities, established by the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons, adopted by General Assembly in 1982. The official title of the Day was changed from International Day of Disabled Persons to International Day of Persons with Disabilities by General Assembly resolution 62/127 on 18 December 2007.

How the Day may be observed
Involve: Observance of the Day provides opportunities for participation by all interested communities – governmental, non-governmental and the private sector – to focus upon catalytic and innovative measures to further implement international norms and standards related to persons with disabilities. Schools, universities and similar institutions can make particular contributions with regard to promoting greater interest and awareness among interested parties of the social, cultural, economic, civil and political rights of persons with disabilities.

Organize: Hold forums, public discussions and information campaigns in support of the Day focusing on disability issues and trends and ways and means by which persons with disabilities and their families are pursuing independent life styles, sustainable livelihoods and financial security.

Celebrate: Plan and organize performances everywhere to showcase – and celebrate – the contributions by persons with disabilities to the societies in which they live and convene exchanges and dialogues focusing on the rich and varied skills, interests and aspirations of persons with disabilities.

Take Action: A major focus of the Day is practical action to further implement international norms and standards concerning persons with disabilities and to further their participation in social life and development on the basis of equality. The media have especially important contributions to make in support of the observance of the Day – and throughout the year – regarding appropriate presentation of progress and obstacles implementing disability-sensitive policies, programmes and projects and to promote public awareness of the contributions by persons with disabilities.



The text for this announcement is taken from the United Nations Enable website.

In a developing country? Organizing activities for the local disability community? Please send announcements about your event to We Can Do at ashettle [at] patriot.net.

Understand the CRPD better by reading the RatifyNow FAQ on the CRPD.

Read more about past celebrations of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

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Disability Awareness Action newsletter, Our Rights, Issue 2, August 2008

Posted on 3 September 2008. Filed under: Children, Cognitive Impairments, Health, HIV/AIDS, Human Rights, Latin America & Caribbean, News, South Asian Region, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Our Rights – issue 2, August 2008

DAA’s newsletter for Disability Lib.

In the interest of solidarity, this newsletter is sent around by email to disabled people and their organisations across the world, and we invite you to forward it freely. We have provided links to internet sites, web pages and video clips, but understand that not all links are technically accessible to all users. From October Our Rights will be available in electronic format and on our website. For our contact details follow this link http://www.daa.org.uk/

Contents
Welcome Hello from DAA
Disability LIB partners
• Central Office
ALLFIE Tara Flood recognised for Inclusion Now campaign work
Disabled by Society … Our Stories: Body Politics
Excluded because of crooked teeth
Disabled by Society …. Our stories: Mind Politics
Stigma
Disabled by Society … Our Stories: Your Say
Being an Un-Person
Sceptical about The UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled People
60 years of UN Convention on Human Rights
Inclusion means … being given a £50 token?
International News
Canada says ‘go home’ to disabled child
Sex in the City, and world wide
From Mexico to India: Disability and HIV
A short recent history of the Disability Rights Movement in El Salvador
Sit-in at Nursing Home
And Finally …

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******************
Welcome Hello from DAA
Thank you to all of you who took the time to respond to our first issue. We are delighted to be back! We have had replies from around the world.

“I am very happy indeed to get the DAA Newsletter – this is one newsletter that I eagerly look forward to. The articles provided me with new insights and sharpen my understanding.”
“Great newsletter!”
“I access DAA website regularly and will disseminate DAA newsletter to all my contacts.”
“Have just read your first bulletin and I am impressed with its coverage.”
“thanks a lot for your nice news letter. Hope it can help my people in bangladesh.”

Thank you for all your comments. We have improved our technical set-up, so fewer newsletters should land in Junk or Spam email boxes. From October you can access the newsletter on our website. You can request picture supported and word versions. We continue to strive to make our articles interesting, relevant and accessible. Please let us know how we are doing. This edition has two main themes: the body politics of bio-ethics and inclusion. We will also tell you again who we are and what we hope to achieve. Enjoy!
Email: mysay4daa@live.co.uk

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Disability LIB partners
The project has its own website and central office. www.disabilitylib.org.uk
Disability LIB
6 Market Road
London
N7 9PW
England UK
Telephone: 0844 800 4331
Email: contact@disabilitylib.org.uk

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ALLFIE Tara Flood recognised for Inclusion Now campaign work
The Social Inclusion Campaign Award from the Sheila McKechnie Foundation was given to the director of ALLFIE, Tara Flood. Tara is also chair of DAA. Tara and the Alliance run a campaign ‘We know inclusion works’. This is in response to the negative reporting in the media. You are invited to send your stories about how inclusion works to info@allfie.org.uk

“Inclusion for me is about society, which respects the humanity of its people.” says a disabled young person in Nottinghamshire. “Inclusion happens when everyone feels appreciated and welcome to participate.”
Centre for Studies on Inclusive Education.

Inclusion is going to school with your friends. “I kept asking myself what words a mother would use to explain to her daughter why they did not want her at her school. Except that she was disabled. If my daughter had only been black, and not disabled too, would the school have been able to do the same?”
Preethi Manuel mother of Zahrah.

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Disabled by Society …. Our stories: Body Politics
Excluded because of crooked teeth

The media reported that a nine-year-old girl called Lin was moving her lips, but did not actually sing at the opening of the Olympic Games in China. The beautiful voice we all heard was from a different girl, the seven year-old Yang Peiyi. Apparently Yang was not shown on stage nor on television, because she has crooked teeth. Her face and her smile were regarded as not photogenic enough, so she was hidden to avoid damaging China’s international image.

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Often we find disabled people are hidden, out-of-sight and at the margins of society. Society’s underlying cultural preferences in terms of the body and mind is for a particular image of beauty and health: a superficial one.

Our impairment difference is treated like a ‘stigma’, a characteristic that is deeply discredited within one’s society and for which we are rejected. Our difference, it seems, is challenging.

“I experienced a nervous breakdown 20 years ago. Despite recovering from that, then going on to achieve academically and build a good marriage, my family remain wary of me. My sister is bringing up her child to refer to me as “crazy”. She even considers it funny to do so. I have tried to express how hurtful I find this, but my feelings have been overlooked.”
7th August 2008, Guardian ‘Stigmatised by my own family’

In a unique research called ‘Shout’ almost 4,000 mental health service users were involved. The charity Rethink found that 87% of people said they had direct personal experience of stigma and discrimination and reported the negative impact of stigma on their lives.

The damage caused was wide-ranging; the areas affected include employment, family, friendships, neighbours, accessing education, reporting crime, relationships with health professionals, and feeling confident enough to visit the shops, go to the pub or take part in activities in the community, it says.
The Stigma Shout report can be found at http://www.rethink.org/how_we_can_help/campaigning_for_change/moving_people/stigma_shout.html

But this problem goes deeper. If a girl can be excluded for crooked teeth, where does it end? Our society allows science and law to de-select disabled lives.
For impairment reasons they tamper with genetics in an attempt to screen out difference. We have laws that allow late abortion because of so called ‘defects’.We allow bio-ethics to de-select impairment.

In 2004, UKCPD (formerly the British Council of Disabled People) asked “Can human rights apply if we select children or value people’s quality of life on the basis of their genetic make-up or impairment?” http://www.bcodp.org.uk/library/genetics/3disabhr.pdf
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2008/aug/06/mentalhealth
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2008/aug/07/mentalhealth.familyandrelationships

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Disabled by Society … Our Stories: Your Say
on last month’s theme: Forced Interventions
Being an Un-Person… (8’47’’)
“This is from a handout I gave while speaking at training for staff who work with people who have developmental disabilities. It is about what it means to be dehumanized and it applies to a far greater group of people than the original audience. It is, to make it clear, something that is done to us by other people, not something intrinsic to who we are.

Being an Un-person means that people talk in front of you as if you aren’t there… It means that your existence seems to fill people with disgust and fear. … If you communicate with behaviour, you will be punished, restrained, drugged or put in a behaviour program.”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4c5_3wqZ3Lk

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Sceptical
A sceptical view was expressed about the usefulness of the Convention. How does it protect the rights of people with mental health issues?

“My organization are skeptical on the UN Convention re Legal Intervention for people with mental health issues and the sense of disabled people being able to join the armed forces.”

For a discussion of how different Articles in the Convention can work together, go to page 47 in this 2007 publication: http://www.riglobal.org/publications/RI_Review_2007_Dec_WORDversion.doc
The text of Article 12 can be accessed at http://www.mindfreedom.org/kb/mental-health-global/united-nations/article-12-un

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The UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled People
This year (2008) we celebrate 60 years of the United Nations Convention on Human Rights, the first international commitment on human rights.

A web campaign http://www.everyhumanhasrights.org/ urges us to embrace the values and goals of the Declaration. To protect the rights of our fellow global villagers and to encourage others to do the same in our communities, workplaces and schools. We are asked to affirm these principles:

“Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, lanaguage, relition, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.” Every Human has Rights

However, our rights as disabled people are not spelled out specifically. It makes no specific mention of the meaning of rights as disabled people. Our experience is that we are often invisible, excluded or forgotten. We are not always included into the general phrase of ‘human’ inhuman rights.

That is why we needed a specific convention and why we are campaigning for our countries to ratify the Convention of the Rights of Disabled Persons.

UN Convention text resources:
Details of the Convention on the Rights of Disabled People can be found at
http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?navid=12&pid=150
http://www.un.org/disabilities/convention/conventionfull.shtml
Easy Read version of the Convention
http://www.officefordisability.gov.uk/docs/international-agreement-rights-disabled-people.pdf
For Easy Read versions of the Convention’s extra agreements (Optional Protocols) go to
http://www.hreoc.gov.au/disability_rights/convention/nz.htm
A child-friendly text of the Convention can be accessed at
http://www.unicef.org/Child_friendly_CRPD.pdf

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Inclusion means … being given a £50 gift token?
A grammar school in Lincolnshire, England, did not listen to a boy with Autism when planning and arranging the 11-plus entrance exam. Under the Disability Discrimination Act any barriers to learning have to be removed, for example by making alternative arrangements or providing reasonable adjustments.

His mother said: “We knew he would struggle with the change in surroundings. Our primary school head teacher suggested we ask if he could sit the test there, or at least in a room on his own. But when I went to the school I was told, ‘No, we don’t make any allowances’.”

As the barriers of unfamiliar surroundings, a crowded room full with unfamiliar people were not removed, the boy was extremely distressed and failed the exam.

The ombudsman Anne Seex said the school had not considered its duties under the Disability Discrimination Act.

The boy was admitted to another grammar school on the basis of his exam results at the end of primary school (called SATs) and his junior school’s recommendation.

The school has apologised, has given the boy a £50 gift token and agreed to handle future cases differently.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/lincolnshire/7542948.stm
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/education/article4460621.ece

International News

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Canada
Paul and Barbara-Anne Chapman had sold their home in Britain and bought a farmhouse in Nova Scotia, Canada. The local authorities supported and welcomed them.

However, when the family arrived at the airport a border guard refused them entry. Several questions were raised about their work permit, clearance for their black Labrador and about their daughter Lucy, who has Angelman syndrome.

The family claim they were told by a border guard that because Lucy is disabled she would never be allowed into the country, and that she had a lifetime ban.

Mrs Chapman said: “My dog was allowed to stay. My dog has a higher status than my daughter in Canada, just because she is disabled.”

Canada’s immigration rules in section 38 do have a clause that states that you are not eligible for immigration if you would make an excessive demand on health and social services. Presently, “excessive demand” is usually defined as exceeding $15,000 of publicly funded health care costs over the next 5 years. However, in certain family applications, children are exempt from this rule of no entry due to health care costs.

The Convention on the Rights of Disabled People places obligations on countries to protect disabled people’s rights and freedoms. This includes the right to free movement and residency.

Entry to one’s own country is specifically mentioned in Article 18 of the Convention: “Are not deprived, arbitrarily or on the basis of disability, of the right to enter their own country.”

Entry into another country is protected in Article 18, where it says that disabled people should “not be deprived, on the basis of disability, of their ability to obtain, possess and utilize … relevant processes such as immigration proceedings, that may be needed to facilitate exercise of the right to liberty of movement.”

Mr and Mrs Chapman hired a Canadian lawyer to fight the decision.

http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?id=278
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/canada/2519496/Canada-refuses-entry-to-disabled-girl.html

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Sex in the City… and world-wide.
Research has shown that disabled people are being denied the choice to full sexual relationships.

“I want to meet a girl I can become friends with, take to the pub and the cinema and then after a couple of months see where it goes,” Joseph Greene, 23.

The national charity Family Planning Association FPA has organised an information and poster campaign about the right to have sex and relationships. FPA gives people information and advice about sexual health. This is particularly important in view of the continuing rise and impact of HIV (see reports below).

Easy Read, posters and campaign info at
http://www.fpa.org.uk/news/campaigns/current%5Fcampaigns/detail.cfm?contentid=1021
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7540103.stm
http://www.fpa.org.uk/products/learning_disabilities_publications/detail.cfm?contentid=1037

‘Let’s talk About Sex’ was launched in June 2008 for young people with life-limiting health conditions, in a bid to open up a taboo subject and to better support these young people to have the opportunity to experience relationships and explore their sexuality, in a safe, supportive and empathetic environment.
http://www.act.org.uk/content/view/153/1/

Our rights and dignity in connection with these personal areas are protected in the Convention. Article 23 of the Convention on the Rights of Disabled People specifically refers to forming relationships and accessing age-appropriate information, reproductive and family planning education.

As part of their obligations, countries who have ratified the Convention, have a duty to develop and change customs or practices. This includes working towards a change in attitude towards disabled people and sex.

Article 4 of the Convention asks governments to develop or change customs and practices which contradict the rights. Community norms, customs and practices of what people believe or how professionals deal with disabled people may go against the ideals laid down in the Convention.

“What is acceptable in the community is for a disabled person to marry another disabled person so that together they share their curse”, says a disabled local councillor in Uganda.
http://www.disabilitykar.net/docs/stories_women.doc

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From Mexico to India: Disability and HIV
On August 6th a very important international panel discussion took place. ‘Beyond Barriers: Disability and HIV/AIDS’ gave information about studies from across the world – Brazil, South Africa, Cameroon, and Canada.

Disabled people were found to be consistently more vulnerable to infection. People with learning difficulties and disabled women are often exposed to riskier situations; women in particular experience more unprotected sex than the general population, often as a result of sexual violence.

A researcher in Kwa Zulu-Natal, where there is no disability-specific sex education, encountered a “let sleeping dogs lie” attitude in schools. As a result, she found that disabled children had little access to education or legal protection and were more vulnerable to abuse and infection.

n Cameroon, a study focused on a young deaf population, found that sexual debut was on the whole earlier and riskier than in the general population.
http://eliminateaids.blogspot.com/2008/08/beyond-barriers-disability-and-hivaids.html

The Kampala Declaration on Disability and HIV/AIDS is an advocacy tool for all Campaign partners and supporters. We invite you to download this printer-ready version in English, French and Portuguese to disseminate at your various meetings and conferences!
http://www.africacampaign.info/a-nos-lecteurs-francais/index.html
http://www.africacampaign.info/recent-publication/index.html
http://www.dcdd.nl/data/1208782834413_Kampala%20Declaration%20on%20Disability%20and%20HIVAIDS.pdf

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A short recent history of the Disability Rights Movement in El Salvador
This article argues that despite national laws and certain improvements towards disability rights, El Salvador has only made nominal progress in implementing disability legislation and awareness.

In the context of El Salvador’s twelve-year armed conflict, 70,000 individuals were killed and another 300,000 people were disabled as a result of war.

However, this estimate conflicts with official statistics released by the Ministry of Economy in August 2008. Jesus Martinez, Director of the Landmine Survivors Network-El Salvador is extremely uncomfortable with the results of this 2008 Census.

“It should include accurate and trustworthy statistics about all of the disabled individuals living in this country.” he says.

Disabled people need to be counted in order to be visible in policy action, planning and prioritisation. Article 31 asks countries to find out about disabled people. State parties need collect appropriate information, including statistical and research data, to enable them to formulate and implement policies, which make a reality of the rights in the Convention.

If the Convention marks “a paradigm shift” in attitudes and approaches, then disabled people are not objects that are being counted, but subjects, who have rights and freedoms. As a result of this shift in thinking, ratification of the Convention should also mark a shift in creating a more inclusive society in El Salvador.
http://upsidedownworld.org/main/content/view/1384/74/

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Sit-in at Nursing Home
Demonstrators organised a sit-in and called for closure of a nursing home in Philadelphia. “There is no justice for someone in a nursing home,” read a sign held by one of the demonstrators.

The group’s goal was to persuade Mayor Nutter to help find homes for 50 or so disabled residents over the next six months, then get out of the nursing-home business. They were successful! Details at:
http://www.adapt.org/ http://www.philly.com/philly/hp/news_update/20080818_Protesters_seek_to_close_Phila__nursing_home.html

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And Finally …
Discrimination is a putrid shade of yellow
It tastes like stale vomit
It smells like rancid fish
Discrimination reminds me of corruption, anger and despair
And sounds like a hooded coward running scared
Discrimination feels like nobody cares …
Extract from Bipolar works blog, 2007

Thank you for your time.
We are pleased to hear from you.
Email: mysay4daa@live.co.uk

Supported by the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund.



Thank you to Disability Awareness Action for giving open permission to disseminate and re-publish their newsletter.

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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

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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

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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.

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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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Dhaka University in Bangladesh Creating Disability-Friendly Environment

Posted on 25 August 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Cross-Disability, Education, Inclusion, News, South Asian Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Dear Friends

Action on Disability and Development (ADD) and Disabled Students Rights Forum in cooperation with Dhaka University organized a roundtable discussion titled ‘Right to education for students with disabilities: Barriers and moving forward to inclusion into mainstream’ held at Senate Bhaban, University of Dhaka on Aug, 2008. Professor S.M.A. Faiz, Vice-Chancellor, University of Dhaka attended the roundtable as Chief Guest while Mr. Mosharraf Hossain, Country Director, ADD moderated the event.

Disabled friendly environment should be ensured in university for disabled students in acquiring higher education. This is why; the authority of the university should be sensitized in building a sustainable infrastructure paving the advancement to the disabled students in getting higher education smoothly. The speakers demanded at the roundtable discussion.

Prof Faiz said, Dhaka University is committed to ensure the disabled friendly environment paving the disabled students in acquiring higher education. We will try our level best to do for the betterment of the disabled students studying in DU. We will bring this issue to the policy making authority in a view to find the better way out mitigating the existing barriers faced by the disabled students. He also assured to award the scholarships to the disabled students more and ease the admission process so far.

The distinguished speakers said that a tiny group of students got chance in getting admission at higher education by their arduous efforts as they always face the grueling barriers from everywhere. So, the authority of Dhaka University should take initiatives to move forward for inception of inclusive education where disabled students will enjoy full facilities having higher education. The issue should be taken as a serious agenda in the policy making level of the university for easing the problems of the disabled students, which could be replicated to other universities.

Among others Prof Dr. AFM Yusuf Haider, Pro-VC, DU, Prof. Md. Muinuddin Khan, VC, ASA University and former adviser to caretaker government, Prof Sirajul Islam Chowdhury, Educationalist, Prof. M. Anower Hossain, General Secretary, Dhaka University Teachers Association, DU, Mr. Anisul Haque, Deputy Editor, Prothom Alo, Sultana Zaman, education expert, Mr. Syed Rezaur Rahman, Registrar, Dhaka University, Mr. Sadek Khan, Syndicate Member, DU, Prof. Farida Rahman, Registrar, Jagannath University, Prof. Syed Anower Hossain, Naimul Islam Khan, Editor, Amader Shamoy Abul Kalam Azad, President, Disabled Students Rights Forum, DU and Mozammel Haque, Advocacy Coordinator, Md. Aktar Uddin, Communication and Fundraising Officer, Fazlul Azim, Human Rights Officer, ADD spoke at the roundtable discussion.

Key findings of the roundtable
• 5% quota should be reserved for the students with disabilities in the university admission process.
• Formulation a policy to ensure higher education uninterruptedly for the students with disabilities
• Set up ramps and disabled friendly spacious and talking lifts in all buildings of the university and introducing Braille readers and writers at the halls of residence.
• Allocation of seats of residential halls should be reserved for student with disabilities
• Seats should be reserved for disabled students at university bus which should also be disabled friendly
• The process of getting scribes (interpreter) for visually impaired persons in delivering examination should be easy and allowed necessary extra time for examination
• Scholarship should be reserved for the students with disabilities
• Every department of university should appoint a disability sensitive teacher to minimize the barriers of the disabled students
• Attitudes of teachers, administrative officers, students should be sensitive to the disabled students, so, the authority should organize training on disability for those groups in a view to deal the disability issue from rights based approach
• UGC should constitute a specific guideline on disability for the universities to deal the students with disabilities and take actions for implementation properly
• Inclusive education should be materialized managing all facilities for the students with disabilities
• Disability issue should be included at policy making body of university as a serious agenda to ensure congenial atmosphere for students with disabilities to obtaining higher education
• Authorities should appoint officials at the university dormitories who would read newspapers for the visually impaired students.

I hereby attach a brief report on the roundtable discussion for your convenience.

Thanking you

Md. Aktar Uddin
Communication and Fundraising Officer
ADD
Cell: 01726-832567



Ensure disabled friendly environment at university for students with disabilities obtaining higher education

Disabled friendly environment should be ensured in university for disabled students in acquiring higher education. This is why; the authority of the university should be sensitized in building a sustainable infrastructure paving the advancement to the disabled students in getting higher education smoothly. The speakers demanded at the roundtable discussion titled `‘Right to education for students with disabilities: Barriers and moving forward to inclusion into mainstream’ held at Senate Bhaban, University of Dhaka yesterday organized by Action on Disability and Development (ADD) and Disabled Students Rights Forum in cooperation with Dhaka University.

Professor S.M.A. Faiz, Vice-Chancellor, University of Dhaka attended the roundtable as Chief Guest while Mr. Mosharraf Hossain, Country Director, ADD moderated the event.

Prof Faiz said, Dhaka University is committed to ensure the disabled friendly environment paving the disabled students in acquiring higher education. We will try our level best to do for the betterment of the disabled students studying in DU. We will bring this issue to the policy making authority in a view to find the better way out mitigating the existing barriers faced by the disabled students. He also assured to award the scholarships to the disabled students more and ease the admission process so far.

He also opined that Physical impairment can not be a bar to get admission in educational institutions. The students with disabilities deserve equal education facilities everywhere. Of course, potentialities lying in disabled students if flourished can play a vital role in advancing social development.

Prof Faiz heard patiently the problems of the disabled students of DU and gave some instant solution to do. He also opined that states should take the disability issue as a serious concern as it covers 10% population of the country, so they must be noticed priority concern from everyone for bringing into mainstream. He also called upon the corporate sectors to come forward standing beside the students with disabilities to bring them into mainstream.

Among others Prof Dr. AFM Yusuf Haider, Pro-VC, DU, Prof. Md. Muinuddin Khan, VC, ASA University and former adviser to caretaker government, Prof Sirajul Islam Chowdhury, Educationalist, Prof. M. Anower Hossain, General Secretary, Dhaka University Teachers Association, DU, Mr. Anisul Haque, Deputy Editor, Prothom Alo, Sultana Zaman, education expert, Mr. Syed Rezaur Rahman, Registrar, Dhaka University, Mr. Sadek Khan, Syndicate Member, DU, Prof. Farida Rahman, Registrar, Jagannath University, Prof. Syed Anower Hossain, Naimul Islam Khan, Editor, Amader Shamoy Abul Kalam Azad, President, Disabled Students Rights Forum, DU and Mozammel Haque, Advocacy Coordinator, Md. Aktar Uddin, Communication and Fundraising Officer, Fazlul Azim, Human Rights Officer, ADD spoke at the roundtable discussion.

Serajul Islam Chowdhury, Professor Emeritus said we have to change our attitudes towards the persons with disabilities. Obviously, we should not think the disability issue as charity, rather an issue of rights. We should respect their capability and dignity. The demand of 5% quota for disabled students is very rational.

Naimul Islam Khan, Editor, the daily Amader Shomoy urged the authority of Dhaka University making disabled friendly environment at DU to give the opportunity the students with disabilities having higher education smoothly through taking all out initiatives.

The distinguished speakers said that a tiny group of students got chance in getting admission at higher education by their arduous efforts as they always face the grueling barriers from
everywhere. So, the authority of Dhaka University should take initiatives to move forward for inception of inclusive education where disabled students will enjoy full facilities having higher education. The issue should be taken as a serious agenda in the policy making level of the university for easing the problems of the disabled students, which could be replicated to other universities.

Key findings of the roundtable
• 5% quota should be reserved for the students with disabilities in the university admission process.
• Formulation a policy to ensure higher education uninterruptedly for the students with disabilities
• Set up ramps and disabled friendly spacious and talking lifts in all buildings of the university and introducing Braille readers and writers at the halls of residence.
• Allocation of seats of residential halls should be reserved for student with disabilities
• Seats should be reserved for disabled students at university bus which should also be disabled friendly
• The process of getting scribes (interpreter) for visually impaired persons in delivering examination should be easy and allowed necessary extra time for examination
• Scholarship should be reserved for the students with disabilities
• Every department of university should appoint a disability sensitive teacher to minimize the barriers of the disabled students
• Attitudes of teachers, administrative officers, students should be sensitive to the disabled students, so, the authority should organize training on disability for those groups in a view to deal the disability issue from rights based approach
• UGC should constitute a specific guideline on disability for the universities to deal the students with disabilities and take actions for implementation properly
• Inclusive education should be materialized managing all facilities for the students with disabilities
• Disability issue should be included at policy making body of university as a serious agenda to ensure congenial atmosphere for students with disabilities to obtaining higher education
• Authorities should appoint officials at the university dormitories who would read newspapers for the visually impaired students.

Achievement
The issue of creating congenial atmosphere for the students with disabilities at universities to obtaining higher education has grabbed the attention of the public and private university authorities, educationalists, researchers, students political leasers, civil society, general students, mass media and other concerns resulting the sensitization will be turned into active support materializing the rights of disabled students in acquiring higher education. All the speakers agreed upon the demands of the roundtable so far. They strongly uttered their commitment to provide their full support and cooperation ensuring rights to education for students with disabilities.

The Vice Chancellor of Dhaka University gave some instant solutions after hearing the problems faced the disabled students and he also assured doing best to minimize the barriers in getting education smoothly. He also declared that Dhaka University will provide all out cooperation to ADD in organizing any programme at Senate Hall of DU regarding the development of disabled people. The roundtable also experienced the prolific confidence, mental strength, active team force and unity among the students with disability in moving forward to materialize their rights to education through strengthening disability movement.



Thank you to Md. Aktar Uddin, Communication and Fundraising Officer at ADD, for circulating this notice and the accompanying report on the DU roundtable.

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WHO Disability and Rehabilitation Newsletter July 2008 Issue

Posted on 25 August 2008. Filed under: Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR), Cross-Disability, Events and Conferences, Human Rights, Mobility Impariments, News, Opportunities | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Text-only version of the WHO/DAR Newsletter
July 2008 Issue

The World Health Organization (WHO) disability and rehabilitation newsletter is produced three times a year and distributed via e-mail. Subscription/unsubscription requests should be sent to WHO’s Disability and Rehabilitation Team (DAR) at the following e-mail address: pedersenr@who.int

IN THIS ISSUE

Features
* WHO Task Force on Disability
* WRDR Regional Consultations
* RI World Congress
* Wheelchair Guidelines
* CBR Congress
* New faces at DAR

Editorial
This month sees the halfway stage of development of the World Report, a moment to celebrate and take stock of how far we have come and how much more there is to do before we launch the document in eighteen months time. Another milestone has been the first meeting of the WHO Task Force on Disability, part of the Organizations’ response to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. These are exciting times for WHO’s work in disability and rehabilitation, and we have an expanded and enthusiastic team of staff working to deliver change. We are particularly grateful to all our collaborators and funders who have worked with us to help us achieve our ambitions to improve the lives of people with disabilities.

Alana Officer,
Coordinator
Disability and Rehabilitation

Task Force on Disability
WHO Director-General, Dr Margaret Chan, has set up a Task Force on Disability, chaired by Assistant Director-General Dr Ala Alwan, with representation from each regional office and from each cluster within HQ. This exciting initiative comes in the wake of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and will work to raise the profile of disability at WHO. Key tasks will include: conducting audits of WHO premises and making access improvements; reviewing websites and printed information to improve their accessibility; promoting employment opportunities for people with disabilities; and providing disability equality training for staff.

The Task Force will also work with the Technical Programmes of WHO to assist them to make their programs inclusive of and accessible to people with disabilities. For example, what about the needs of people with disabilities in disaster and emergencies? What about the needs of women with disabilities during pregnancy and childbirth?

Task Force focus: Information
So, what is WHO doing to ensure better access to all the information it produces? Ian Coltart of WHO Press, responsible for publishing guidelines and standards across WHO, writes…

“With a global audience and a mission to disseminate WHO’s information as widely as possible, WHO needs to ensure that it’s published information is accessible in appropriate formats for different audiences, including partially sighted and blind people, as well as people with learning difficulties.

WHO Press has developed and published a large print version of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF). The book is produced in A4 size with a clear page layout designed for partially sighted people. The book is available from the WHO online bookshop, at: http://bookorders.who.int/bookorders/anglais/detart1.jsp?sesslan=1&codlan=1&codcol=15&codcch=4088. WHO Press also plans to develop a Braille version of ICF for the blind.

WHO Press is working with WHO’s Disability and Rehabilitation Team (DAR) to develop publishing guidelines for WHO staff on producing specific formats such as large print and Braille, but also to improve the general design and layout of WHO’s mainstream printed products to accommodate partially sighted audiences.

World Report on Disability and Rehabilitation Regional Consultations
In May and June 2008, regional consultations on the preliminary draft of the World Report on Disability and Rehabilitation were held in San José, Costa Rica for the Americas Region; Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania for the African and Eastern Mediterranean Regions; Rome, Italy for the European Region; and Manila, the Philippines for the South-east Asian and Western Pacific Regions. Each consultation brought together a diverse group of experts with complementary knowledge and experience, including people with disabilities. Participants included editors of the Report, chapter authors, academics, service providers, policymakers, government officials, NGO representatives, and disability advocates.

Claudia Sánchez, a Columbian architect and participant in the consultation in San José, felt that the process was vital because “it brings into the report experiences from around the world that come from the real people”, i.e. those who have direct knowledge of the issues. While it was most helpful to gather constructive criticisms of the preliminary draft, it was also encouraging to witness how many participants were excited by the potential of the Report to advance work in disability and rehabilitation. As Kudakwashe Dube, CEO of the Secretariat of the Africa Decade of Persons with Disabilities remarked at the Dar-Es-Salaam event, “the report challenges countries to take serious steps to mainstream disability and capacitate all actors in order to achieve an improvement in the quality of life of persons with disabilities”.

The participants’ feedback, cultural perspectives on the draft and the sources of regional information they identified, will help ensure that the final document is relevant in diverse global contexts. They also proposed recommendations for action and generated ideas for regional dissemination of the Report and related events. The comments and suggestions from the four consultations will be collated and reviewed by the Editorial Committee. Lead authors will then use the input to help guide development of the next draft.

Wheelchair Guidelines
The wheelchair is one of the most commonly used assistive devices for enhancing personal mobility. For many people, an appropriate, well-designed and well-fitted wheelchair can be the first step towards inclusion and participation in society.

The United Nations Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and World Health Assembly Resolution WHA58.23 all point to the importance of wheelchairs and other assistive devices for the developing world, where few of those who need wheelchairs have them, insufficient production facilities exist, and all too often wheelchairs are donated without the necessary related services.

When the need is not met, people with disabilities are isolated and do not have access to the same opportunities as others within their own communities. Providing wheelchairs with related services not only enhances mobility but begins a process of opening up a world of education, work and social life. The development of national policies and increased training opportunities in the design, production and supply of wheelchairs are essential next steps.

In the light of the realities of the developing world and the immediate need to develop functioning systems of wheelchair provision in less-resourced parts of the world, the World Health Organization (WHO), the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics (ISPO) and Disabled Peoples’ International (DPI), in partnership with the Centre for International Rehabilitation, the Motivation Charitable Trust and Whirlwind Wheelchair International, have developed the Guidelines on the provision of manual wheelchairs in less-resourced settings. These will assist WHO Member States to develop a local wheelchair provision system and thereby implement Articles 4, 20 and 26 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Update from the WHO Ghana Country Office
As part of measures to strengthen the capacity of the Rehabilitation Services in Ghana, a joint WHO and International Society of Prosthesis and Orthotics (ISPO) mission was carried out. Details of the mission were provided in the fourth Newsletter (http://www.who.int/disabilities/publications/newsletter/en/index.html). In response to the mission’s recommendations, the Ghana Health Service, the Ministry of Health and the WHO Ghana Country office selected two candidates for certificate level training in prosthetics and two candidates for certificate level training in orthotics. The training will be carried out in the WHO collaborating Centre: Tanzania Training Centre for Orthopaedic Technologies (TATCOT), Moshi, Tanzania. The certificate courses, each of one year duration, comprise theoretical, laboratory and clinical practice to prescribe and deliver the appropriate lower limb prosthesis or orthotic in consultation with the intended user. This is an important step towards developing prosthetics and orthotics service provision in Ghana. The training has been made possible through support from ISPO and full scholarships from the Leahy War Victim Fund of USAID .

RI World Congress
Rehabilitation International (RI), a partner of WHO, is a global organization bringing together expertise from all sectors in the disability field advancing the rights and inclusion of persons with disabilities. RI is organizing its 21st World Congress in Quebec City from 25 -28 August 2008, attended by more than 1000 participants, including people with disabilities and their organizations, human rights activists, experts, rehabilitation professionals, government representatives, service providers and leaders of civil society. The vision statement of the Congress is “Disability Rights and Social Participation: Ensuring a Society for all” and the key areas of discussion are: Human Rights, Independent Living and Social Participation and Implementation of the UN Convention.

WHO will be launching the new Wheelchair Guidelines during the plenary session of the first day of the Congress. Additionally, WHO is hosting three sessions during the event and will be supporting the ICF conference, a dedicated two-day track, within the RI conference:

1. CBR Guidelines — 25 August (Block 63 – 2:10 pm) with Barbara Murray (ILO), Karen H. Motsch (CBM), Venus Ilagan (RI), Tomas Lagerwall (RI), Alana Officer (WHO) and Chapal Khasnabis (WHO).

2. World Report on Disability and Rehabilitation — 25 August (Bloc 62 – 4:20 pm) with Anne Hawker (RI); Charlotte McClain-Nhlapo (World Bank); Sebenzile Matsebula (RI); Kicki Nordstrom (WBU) and Alana Officer (WHO).

3. 3. Wheelchair Guidelines — 27 August
(Bloc 72 – 10:30 am) with David Constantine (Motivation); Dan Blocka (ISPO); Rob Horvath (USAID); Anna Lindstrom (Swedish Institute of Assistive Technology – SIAT); Venus Ilagan (RI) and Chapal Khasnabis (WHO).

4. International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) — August 26 and 27.
The 14th annual North American Collaborating Center (NACC) Conference on the ICF will be hosted by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), Statistics Canada and the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) in collaboration with Rehabilitation International. The theme is Evaluating Social Participation: Applications of the ICF and ICF-CY.

Conference website: www.riquebec2008.org/

1st CBR Asia-Pacific Congress
This event, taking place on 9-11 December 2008 at the United Nations Conference Centre (UNCC), Bangkok, Thailand, will be the first meeting of CBR practitioners from countries in Asia and the Pacific. The Asia-Pacific Decade of Disabled Persons, promoted by ESCAP, has given an impetus for Governments and NGOs to create an inclusive, barrier free and rights-based society. A regional policy guideline, the Biwako Millennium Framework (BMF) for Action and its supplement, the BMF +5, promoted a paradigm shift from charity to a rights-based approach to disability. Meanwhile, the CRPD heralds a new era of state recognition of the human rights of people with disabilities.

The Congress will bring together key stakeholders to share resources and to be updated on CBR as an effective multi-sectoral strategy for rehabilitation, equalization of opportunity, poverty reduction and social inclusion of people with disabilities. It will promote research and evidence based practice related to CBR, and facilitate the development of an alliance and resource base for the Asia-Pacific region – comprising UN, Governments, NGOs, DPOs and others.

Satellite workshops pre- and post-conference will be held on CBR and mental health; CBR, human rights and the CPRD; CBR and Leprosy for up to 45 participants each.

The Congress is jointly organized by WHO, UNESCAP and the Government of Thailand and supported by ILO, UNESCO, JICA, CBM, HI, AIFO, NAD, ILEP and others.

Conference Website: www.cbr-asiapacific.org/
E-mail: secretariat@cbr-asiapacific.org

New faces at DAR

Three short term staff have brought their wit and wisdom to bear on WHO’s projects on disability and rehabilitation. Bliss Temple is a trainee physician from North Carolina, USA, and she has been supporting the development of the World Report. Tom Shakespeare is a disability studies academic from Newcastle, UK, and has been working for the Task Force on Disability. Veronica Umeasiegbu is a physical therapist from Nigeria, currently studying Rehabilitation Counselling at the University of Pittsburgh, USA and has been working on CBR. As well as their solid academic and professional credentials, as people with disabilities they bring personal experience of the issues.



We Can Do discovered this newsletter when it was forwarded to the AsiaPacificDisability email discussion group and the AdHoc_IDC email discussion group, both of which can be subscribed to for free.

If you wish to receive future issues of the WHO Rehabilitation Newsletter directly via email, then please inquire with pedersenr@who.int. You may also download past issues of the newsletter in PDF format at http://www.who.int/disabilities/publications/newsletter/en/index.html

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NEWS: Women with Disabilities in Pakistan Hold Empowerment Seminar

Posted on 20 August 2008. Filed under: Cross-Disability, News, South Asian Region, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Thank you to Ghulam Nabi Nizamani for circulating the following report.

Seminar on empowerment of women with disabilities, Karachi – Pakistan
Held on 2nd August 2008.

A joint seminar organized by Social Welfare Department Government of Sindh and Association of Physically Handicapped Adults (APHA) member organization of Sindh Disability Forum (SDF) and Pakistan Disabled Peoples’ Organization (PDPO) DPI Pakistan.

Centuries ago, as you all know, in most societies of the world women occupied a secondary position to their male counterparts. It was a common feature that women got very little opportunity to voice their opinion even in matters, which concerned their own lives. They were considered to have no opinions of their own but merely adhere to the decisions made first by their fathers, then their husbands and at a later stage of their lives by their sons. But society has progressed from the discriminating attitude towards women. This is not to say that even today women stand equal with men. Discrimination against women persists even till date, the only change being that in some situations take place at a more subtle level.

Women’s movements have been instrumental in bringing about this change. These movements attempt to empower and equip women to fight for equality and stand equal with men.

But this is not the case when we turn our attention to women with disabilities. The mainstream women’s movements have remained completely oblivious to the needs of this group. The disability movements too have not paid much attention to the particular needs of disabled women. Hence these women remain at the periphery of all rights movements. Being a neglected segment they lack in self-esteem and self-confidence. They are conceived as not having part to play in society they are role-less people. Thus arises the imperative need to develop the image they have of themselves. Empowerment of disabled women therefore becomes the need of the hour.

SPEAKERS
1. Ms. Shagufta Shehzadi Chairperson Special Education Department, University of Karachi

2. Ms. Nasreen Aslam Shah Chairperson Women Study Centre University of Karachi

3. Ms. Musarrat Jabeen Women Development Department,Govt. of Sindh

4. Keynote Presentation By M. Zeeshan Taqi Finance Secretary A.P.H.A

5. Mr. S.M Nishat General Secretary A.P.H.A

6. Ms. Shama Dosa Active Social Worker

7. Mr. Shariful Muzaffar President A.P.H.A

8. Mrs. Riaz Fatima.Social Welfare Training Institute

9. Ms. Farzana WWD member of APHA

10. Ghulam Nabi Nizamani DPI Pakistan/Asia Pacific

Speakers highlighted issues related to women with disabilities specially WWDs based in rural areas. They discussed about:

1. Position in the family,

2. Access to education and health care facilities,

3. Opportunities to find employment,

4. Knowledge regarding existing legislation and facilities for disabled people and Women with disabilities.

5. Fulfilling the role generally ascribed to women including mainstreaming of WWDs.

6. Reproductive health of Women with Disabilities.

7. Violence against Women with Disabilities.

Delegates of the seminar recommended that:

  • Self-help groups of disabled women need to be organized. These women are to be made aware of the rights through training in self-advocacy.
  • Media campaign for spreading awareness regarding the rights of the disabled in general and disable women in particular.
  • Creation of Awareness on the Rights of Women with Disabilities according to Article 6 of UN Convention on the Rights of Person with Disabilities (CRPD).
  • Government to frame policies specifically catering to the interest of women with disabilities.
  • Training for women with disabilities needs to be geared towards developing a positive self-concept and self-image. They are to be empowered to recognize that they too are contributing and responsible members of society.
  • To fill the gape between WWDs of Urban and Rural area.
  • Job quota for WWDs be raised by Government from 2% to 15% because for women without disabilities have 10% quota in Government’s Jobs



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NEWS: Disabled People of Pakistan to Receive Wheelchairs, Hearing Aids, Personal Attendants

Posted on 20 August 2008. Filed under: Assistive Devices, Deaf, Mobility Impariments, News, Opportunities, South Asian Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

The Milestone National Network of DPOs (Disabled People’s Organizations) in Pakistan recently circulated the following email:

Dear Leaders of disabillity movement

Milestone National Network of DPOs has achieved a big target.

1- Disabled persons of Pakistan can get 1000 Rs every month directlly from the provicial government.

2- Severe disabled persons can get 2000 Rs as BENAZIR SOCIAL SECUTRITY FUND FOR INDEPENDENT LIVING, So its mean that now the severe disabled persons could use Personal attendent services.

3- All assesstive devices are by the Pakistan Bait ul Mall and the federal government. For devices you can send the application in milestone office or in Pakistan Bait ul Mall. An apllication with the copy of Nation ID card.
Disabled persons of Pakistan can get their own wheelchair due to their requirement of disabillity from government ( first 120 wheelchairs allready distributed on 14th Augest by the Zumard Khan sahab and Dr.Israr shah sahab with collaboration of Milestone.
Hearing Aid also available free of coast by the federal Government. 500
white can also distributed on 14th Augest.

4- If a familly have 2 or more the 2 disabled persons in a same familly that familly will declared a special respected familly and will supported by the government.

Dear friend we did this and implementation is also started and if you will not take responsiabillity to make it social movement it will be failed. Share this information with your collegue organizations and members with disabillities.

Lot of Love

Shafiq Ur Rehman
President
MILESTONE
479-omer block Allama Iqbal Town Lahore, Pakistan
MILESTONE H8/4 street NO 7 Next to Pakistan Bait ul Mall, Islamabad Pakistan

More detail about this program has been reported in the Pakistan publication, The News, at

http://www.thenews.com.pk/print1.asp?id=130062



Thank you to Shafiq Ur Rehman and to Ghulam Nabi Nizamani for circulating this notice.

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CALL for Views, Information on Ratifying, Implementing, Monitoring Disability Rights Treaty

Posted on 18 August 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Call for Comments or Information, Call for Papers, Human Rights, News, Opportunities | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

English; español; français

The following announcement from the United Nations should be of interest to anyone who has been watching developments with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities CRPD. It is also important for anyone who wishes to be involved with implementing or monitoring the CRPD. Individuals or organizations who wish to be involved with sharing feedback might also wish to join the AdHoc_IDC email discussion group and also the IDA_CRPD_Forum email discussion group. Please note that any related feedback or queries should please be directed to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, NOT to We Can Do. The deadline for feedback is September 15, 2008.

In English, español, or français

In English
On 4 June 2008, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights sent a letter to non-governmental organizations in relation to Human Rights Council resolution 7/9 entitled “human rights of persons with disabilities,” requesting views and information on:

a) Legal measures for the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Optional Protocol;
b) Legal measures for implementation of the Convention and Optional Protocol;
c) Legal measures on national monitoring, particularly in relation to Article 33 of the Convention;
d) Any other information relating to paragraph 16 of the resolution.

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has the pleasure to extend the deadline for submissions and consequently would be grateful if any response could be forwarded to the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, (United Nations Office at Geneva, Ch-1211 Geneva 10; Fax. + 41 22 917 90 08; email: registry@ohchr.org by September 15, 2008.)

7/9. Human rights of persons with disabilities

The Human Rights Council

Recalling the relevant resolutions of the General Assembly, the most recent of which are resolution 62/170 of 18 December 2007 on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Optional Protocol thereto, and resolution 62/127 of 18 December 2007 on the implementation of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons,

Recalling also the relevant resolutions of the Commission on Human Rights, the most recent of which is resolution 2005/65 of 25 April 2005, as well as those of the commission for Social Development of the Economic and Social Council,

Reaffirming the universality, indivisibility, interdependence and interrelatedness of all human rights nad fundamental freedoms and the need for persons with disabilities to be guaranteed their full enjoyment without discrimination,

Recognizing that disability is an evolving concept and that disability results from the interaction between persons with impairments and attitudinal and environmental barriers that hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others,

Recognizing also the importance of accessibility to the phyiscal, social, economic and cultural environment, to health, education, information and communication, in enabling persons with disabilities to enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms fully,

Recognizing further the importance of international cooperation for improving the living conditions of persons with disabilities in every country, particularly in developing countries,

Recognizing that women and girls with disabilities are often subject to multiple discrimination, and emphasizing the need to incorporate a gender perspective in all efforts to promote the full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms by persons with disabilities,

1. Reaffirms the need to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity, and in this regard, calls upon Governments to take active measures:

(a) To prevent and prohibit all forms of discrimination against persons with disabilities;
(b) To ensure, for persons with disabilities, full and effective participation and inclusion, respect for their individual autonomy, including the freedom to make one’s own choices; independence; and equality of opportunity;

2. Welcomes the adoption by the General Assembly on 13 December 2006 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol, and expresses the hope that they will enter into force at an early date;

3. Also welcomes the fact that, since the opening for signature of the Convention and Optional Protocol on 30 March 2007, 126 States have signed and 17 have ratified the Convention, and that 71 States have signed and 11 have ratified the Optional Protocol, and calls upon those States and regional integration organizations that have not yet done so to consider signing and ratifying the Convention and the Optional Protocol as a matter of priority;

4. Further welcomes the attention that several special rapporteurs ahve paid to the rights of persons with disabilities in carrying out their mandates, and requests special procedures, in carrying out their mandates, to take into account the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights by persons with disabilities;

5. Encourages the Human Rights council Advisory committee, and other mechanisms of the Council, to integrate the perspective of persons with disabilities, as appropriate, in carrying out their work and in their recommendations so as to facilitate the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the work of the council;

6. Urges all stake holders to give consideration to the rights of persons with disabilities at all stages of the universal periodic review, including during the consultations carried out by States at the national level for the preparation of information to be submitted for the review, so as to include national human rights institutions and non-governmental organizations representing persons with disabilities in such consultations;

7. Welcomes the attention pad to the rights of persons with disabilities in the work of several human rights treaty monitoring bodies and encourages all such bodies to further integrate the perspective of persons with disabilities in their work, including in their monitoring activities and through the issuing of general comments;

8. UrgesGovernments to address fully, in consultation with, inter alia, national human rights institutions and organizations of persons with disabilities, the rights of persons with disabilities when fulfilling their reporting obligations under the relevant United Nations human rights instruments, and welcomes the efforts of those Governments that have begun to do so;

9. Welcomes the report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on progress in the implementation of the recommendations contained in the study on the human rights of persons with disabilities (A/HRC/7/61) and invites the High Commissioner to continue to provide adequate support for the integration of the perspective of persons with disabilities in the work of the Council and to continue the activities of her Office that contribute to raising awareness and understanding of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, including in cooperation with the Department for Economic and Social Affairs of the Secretariat;

10. Encourages States to raise awareness regarding the rights of persons with disabilities, including through public awareness campaigns and training programmes, to combat stereotypes, prejudices, harmful practices and attitudinal barriers relating to persons with disabilities and to promote positive perceptions and greater social awareness of persons with disabilities;
11. Encourages the High Commissioner for Human Rights to take fully into account the progressive implementation of standards and guidelines for the accessibility of facilities and services of the United nations system, also taking into account relevant provisions of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and underlines the need for the Council, including its Internet resources, to be fully accessible to persons with disabilities;

12. Encourages States to take appropriate measures to identify and eliminate obstacles and barriers to accessibility for persons with disabilities, in particular to ensure that persons with disabilities have access, on an equal basis with others, to the physical environment, transportation, information and communications, and to other facilities open or provided to the public, both in urban and rural areas;

13. Welcomes the important role played by national human rights institutions and civil society organizations, including organizations of persons with disabilities, in the negotiation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and encourages relevant institutions and organizaitons to continue their efforts to promote understanding of the Convention and, where appropriate, its implementation;

14. Encourages the Office of the United Nations High commissioner to continue to strengthen its partnerships with and its outreach activities toward civil society organizations, with a particular emphasis on organizations representing persons with disabilities, so as to raise awareness among them about the work of the human rights system;

15. Decides to hold an annual interactive debate in one of its regular sessions on the rights of persons with disabilities and that the first such debate should be held at its tenth session, focusing on key legal measures for ratification and effective implementation of the convention, including with regard to equality and non-discrimination;

16. Requests the Office of the High Commissioner to prepare a thematic study to enhance awareness and understanding of the convention on the Rights of Persons with disabilities, focusing on legal measures key for the ratification and effective implementation of the Convention, such as those relating to equality and non-discrimination, in consultation with States, civil society organizations, including organizations of persons with disabilities, and national human rights institutions, and requests that the study be available on the website of the Office of the High Commissioner, in an accessible format, prior to the tenth session of the Council;

17. Notes that the General Assembly requested the Secretary-General to submit to the Assembly at its next session a report on the status of the Convention and the Optional Protocol and on the implementation of resolution 62/170, and that it also requested the Secretary-General to submit that report to the Council as a contribution to its discussion of the rights of persons with disabilities;

18. Invites the Special Rapporteur on disabiltiy of the Commission for Social Development to continue cooperating with the Council and to address it on activities undertaken pursuant to his/her mandate, in accordance with its programme of work.

40th meeting, 27 March 2008 [Adopted without a vote. See chap. III.]

Top of page English; español; français

En español
Estimado Señor, estimada Señora,

El 4 de junio de 2008, la Oficina del Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos envió una carta a las organizaciones no gubernamentales, en relación con la resolución 7/9 del Consejo de Derechos Humanos titulada “Los derechos humanos de las personas con discapacidad,” pidiendo información referente a:

a) Medidas jurídicas esenciales para la ratificación de la Convención y el Protocolo Facultativo;
b) Medidads jurídicas esenciales para la aplicación efectiva de la Convención y el Protocolo Facultativo;
c) Medidads jurídicas esenciales para la aplicación y el seguimiento nacionales en relación con el articulo 33 de la Convención;
d) Cualquier otra información relacionada con le parrafo 16 de la resolución.

La Oficina del Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos tiene el honor de prolongar el periodo para someter la correspondiente información. En consecuencia, la Oficina agradeceria que toda información en respuesta a la nota verbal se enviara a la Oficina del Alto comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Derechose Humanos, (Oficina de las Naciones Unidas en Ginebra, CH-1211 Ginebra 10; Fax. + 41 22 917 90 08; email: registry@ohchr.org, antes del 15 de septiembre de 2008.

7/9. Los derechos humanos de las personas con discapacidad

El Consejo de Derechos Humanos,

Recordando las resoluciones pertinentes de la Asamblea General, las más recientes de las cuales son la resolución 62/170, de 18 de diciembre de 2007, relativa a la Convención sobre los derechos de las personas con discapacidad y su Protocolo Faculativo, y la resolución 62/127, de 18 de diciembre de 2007, relativa a la aplicación del Programa de Acción Mundial para las Personas con Discapacidad,

Recordando asimismo las resoluciones pertinentes de la Comisión de Derechos Humanos, la más reciente de las cuales es la resolución 2005/65, de 25 de abril de 2005, y las de la Comisión de Desarrollo Social del Consejo Económico y Social,

Reafirmando la universalidad, indivisibilidad, interdependencia e interrelación de todos los derechos humanos y liberatdes fundamentales, asi como la necesidad de garantizar que las personas con discapacidad los ejerzan plenamente y sin discriminación,

Reconociendo que la discapacidad es un concepto que evoluciona y que resulta de la interacción de las personas condeficiencias y las barreras debidas a la actitud y el entorno que evitan su particiación plena y efectiva en la sociedad en igualdad de condiciones con las demás,

Reconociendo asimismo la importancia de la accessibilidad al entorno fisico, social, económico y cultural, a la salud, la educación, la información y las comunicaciones para que las personas con discapacidad puedan gozar plenamente de todos los derechos humanos y las libertades fundamentales,

Reconociendo además la importancia de la cooperación internacional para mejorar las condiciones de vida de las personas con discapacidad en todos los paises, particularmente en los paises en desarrollo,

Consciente de que las mujures y las niñas con discapacidad están sujetas a multiples formas de discriminación, y surayando la necsidad de incorporar una perspectiva de género en todas las actividades destinadas a promover el pleno goce de los derechos humanos y las libertades fundamentales por las personas con discapacidad,

1. Reafirma la necesidad de promover, proteger y asegurar el goce pleno y en condiciones de igualdad de todos los derechos humanos y liberatdes fundamentales por todas las personas condiscapacidad y de promover el respeto de su dignidad inherente y, a este respecto, pide a los Gobiernos que adopten medidas activas para:

(a) Prevenir y prohibir todas las formas de discriminación contra las personas con discapacidad; y
(b) Garantizar a las personas con discapacidad la participación e inclusión plenas y efectivas en la sociedad; el respeto a su autonomia individual, incluida la libertad de tomar sus propias decisiones; la independencia, y la igualdad de oportunidades;

2. Acoge con satisfacción la aprobación por la Asamblea General, el 13 de diciembre de 2006, de la Convencion sobre los Derechos de las personas con discapacidad y su Protocolo Facultativo, y expresa el deseo de que entren en vigor en breve;

3. Acoge con satisfacción asimismo que desde la apertura a la firma de la Convención y el Protocolo Facultativo, el 30 de marzo de 2007, hayan firmado la Convención 126 Estados y la hayan ratificado 17, y que hayan firmado el Protocolo 71 Estados y lo hayan ratificado 11, y pide a los Estados y las organizaciones de integración regional que todavia no lo hayan hecho que consideren como cuestion prioritaria la firma y la ratificación de la Convención y el Protocolo Facultativo;

4. Acoge con satisfacción además la atención prestada por varios rlatores especiales en el cumplimiento de sus mandatos a los derechos de las personas con discapacidad, y pide que todos los responsables de los procedimientos especiales, en el cumplimiento de sus mandatos, tengan en cuenta el disfrute pleo y en condiciones de igualdad de todos los derechos humanoes por las personas con discapacidad;

5. Alienta al comite Asesor del Consejo de Derechos Humanos y a los demas mecanismos del Consejo a que integren la perspectiva de las personas con discapacidad, segun proceda, en sus actividades, y en sus recomendaciones para facilitar la inclusión de esas personas en la labor del Consejo;

6. Insta a todos los intersados a que tengan en consideración los derechos de las personas condiscapacidad en todas las etapas del examen periódico universal, por ejemplo en las consultas cleebradas por los Estados a nivel nacional para preparar la información que se ha de presentar para el examen, de modo que incluyan en esas consultas a las instituciones nacionales de derechos humanos y a las organizaciones no gubernamentales que representan a las personas con discapacidad;

7. Acoge con satisfacción la atención prestada a los derechos de las personas con dicapacidad en la labor de varios órganos de supervisión de tratados de derechos humanos y alienta a estos a que sigan integrando la perspectiva de las personas con discapacidad en su trabajo, especialmente en sus activades de supervisión y al formular las observaciones generales;

8. Insta a los gobiernos a que, en consulta con las instituciones nacionales de derechos humanos y las organizaciones de personas con discapacidad, entre otros, tengan plenamente en cuenta los derechos de las personas con discapacidad cuando presenten los informes previstos en los instrumentos pertinentes de las Naciones Unidas en materia de derechos humanos, y se contratula de los esfuerzos de los gobiernos que han empezado a hacerlo;

9. Acoge con satisfacción el informe de la Alta comisionada para los Derechos Humanos sobre los progresos alcanzados en la aplicación de las recomendadiones en el estudio sobre los derechos humanos y la discapacidad (A/HRC/7/61), e invita a la Alta comisionada a que siga prestando la ayuda oportuna con miras a integrar la perspectiva de las personas con discapacidad en el trabjo del Consejo y a proseguir las activi dades de su Oficina que contribuyan a dar a conocer y explicar la Convención sobre los derechos de las personas con discapacidad, por ejemplo en cooperación con el Departamento de Asuntos Económicos y Sociales de la Secretaria;

11. Alienta asimismo a la Alta Comisionada para los Derechos Humanos a que tenga plenamenta en cuenta la aplicacion progresiva de normas y directrices sobre la accesibilidad de las instalaciones y los servicios del sistema de las Naciones Unidas, teniendo presentes ademas las disposiciones pertinentes de la Convencion sobre los derechos de las personas con discapacidad, y subraya la necesidad de que el Consejo sea totalmente accesible a las personas con discapacidad, incluidos sus recursos de Internet;

12. Alienta ademas a los Estados a que adopten las medidas oportunas para identificar y eliminar los obstaculos e impedimentos a la accesibilidad de las personas con discapacidad, en particular para velar por que esas personas tengan acceso, en igualdad de condiciones con las demas, al entorno fisico, el transporte, la informacion y las comunicaciones y a otros servicios abiertos o suministrados al publico, tanto en las zonas urbanas como en las rurales;

13. Se congratula por el importante papel desempenado por las instituciones nacionales de derechos humanos y las organizaciones de la sociedad civil, en particular las organizaciones de personas con dicapacidad, en la negociacion de la Convencion sobre los derechos de las personas con discapacidad, y alienta a las instituciones y organizaciones pertinentes a que prosigan sus actividades para fomentar la comprension de la Convencion y, cuando proceda, su aplicacion;

14. Alienta a la Oficina del Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos a que siga fortaleciendo sus aliaznas con las organizaciones de la sociedad civil y sus actividades de comunicacion con ellas, centrandose especialmente en las organizaciones que representan a las personas con discapacidad, para hacerlas mas conscientes de la labor del sistema de derechos humanos;

15. Decide celebrar en uno de sus periodos ordinarios de sesiones un debate interactivo anual sobre los derechos de las personas con discapacidad, y que el primero de esos debates se celebre en su decimo periodo de sesiones y trate de las medidads juridicas esenciales para la ratificacion y la aplicacion efectiva de la Convencion, y tambien en relacion con la igualdad y la no discriminacion;

16. Pide a la Oficina del Alto comisionado que prepare un estuido tematico para mejorar el conocimiento y la comprension de la Convencion sobre los derechos de las personas con discapacidad centrado en las medidas juridicas esenciales para la ratificacion y la aplicacion efectiva de la convencion, como las relativas a la igualdad y la no discriminacion, en consultat con los Estados, las organizaciones de la sociedad civil, incluidas las organizaciones de personas con discapacidad, y las instituciones nacionales de derechos humanos, y pide que el estuido este disponible en el sitio web de la Oficina del Alto Comisionado en un formato acceisble antes del decimo periodo de sesiones del Consejo;

17. Toma nota de que la Asamblea General pidió al Secretario General que le presentara en su próximo periodo de sesiones un informe sobre la situación de la Convención y el Protocolo Facultativo y sobre la aplicación de la resolución 62/170, y de que tambien pidió al Secretario General que presentara ese informe al Consejo para facilitar el examen de los derechos de las personas con discapacidad;

18. Invita al Relator Especial de la Comisión de Desarrollo Social encargado de la situación de la discapacidad a que siga cooperando con el Consejo y a que le informe, de conformidad con el programa de trabajo del Consejo, sobre las actividades que haya realizado en cumplimiento de su mandato.

40a sessión, 27 de marzo de 2008. [Aprobada si nvotación. Vease cap. III.]

Top of page English; español; français

En français
Madame/Monsieur,

Le 4 juin 2008, le Haut-Commissariat des Nations Unies aux droit de l’homme a envoyé une lettre aux aorganisations non gouvernementales, en référence à la résolution 7/9 du Conseil des droit de l’homme intitulée <> en demandant des informations sur les points suivants:

a) des mesures juridiques nécessaires à la ratification de la Convention et Protocole Facultative;
b) des mesures juridiques nécessaires à la mise en œuvre de la Convention et Protocole Facultative;
c) des mesures juridiques nécessaires à l’application et su suivi au niveau national (article 33 de la Convention);
d) ainsi que toute autre information se rattachant au paragraphe 16 de la résolution.

Le Haut-Commissariat des Nations Unies aux droit de l’homme a l’honneur de prlonger le délai pour soumettre les réponses. en conséquence, il serait utile que toute information en réponse à la note verbale soit communiquée au Haut-Commissariat aux droit de l’homme, Office des Nations Unies à Genéve, CH-1211 Genéve 10, Fax + 41 22 917 90 08; Courrier électronique: registry@ohchr.org, vant le 15 septembre 2008.

Je vous prie d’agréer, Madame/Monsieur, l’expression de mes salutations distinguées.

Ibrahim Wani, Chef, Service du développement et des questions économiques et sociales.

7/9. Droits fondamentaux des peronnes handicapées

Le Conseil des droits de l’homme,

Rappelant les résolutions pertinentes de l’Assemblée générale, dont les plus récentes sont la résolution 62/170 du 18 décembre 2007 sur la Conventoin relative aux droits des personnes handicapées et le Protocole facultatif s’y rapportant et la résolution 62/127 du 18 décembre 2007 sur la mise en œuvre du Programme d’action mondial concernant les personnes handicapées,

Rappelant également les résolutions pertineentes de la Commission des droits de l’homme, dont la plus récente est la résolution 2005/65 du 25 avril 2005, ainsi que celles de la Commission du déeleoppement social du Conseil économique et social,

Réaffirmant que tous les droits de l’homme et toutes les libertés fondamentales sont universels, indivisibles, interdépendants et intimement liés, et qu’il est indispensable de garantir aux peronnes handicapées la pleine joussance de ces droits et libertés sans discrimination aucune,

Reconnaissant que la notion de handicap évolue et que le handicap résulte de l’interaction entre des personnes présentant des incapacités et les barriéres comportementales et environnementales qui font obstacle à leur pleine et effective participation à la société à égalité avec les autres,

Reconnaissant également qu’il importe que les personnes handicapées aient accés aux équipements physiques, sociaux, économiques et culturels, à la santé, à l’éducation, à l’information et à la communication pour jouir pleinement de tous les droits de l’homme et de toutes les libertés fondamentales,

Reconnaissant en outre l’importance de la coopération internationale pour améliorer les conditions de vie des personnes handicapées dans tous les pays, en particulier dans les pays en développement,

Reconnaissant que les feemes et les filles handicapées sont souvent exposées à de multiples discriminations et soulignant la nécessité d’intégrer le principe de l’égalité des sexes dans tous les efforts visant à promouvoir la pleine joussance par les peronnes handicapées des droits de l’homme et des libertvs fondamentales,

1. Réaffirme qu’il est nvcessaire de promouvoir, de protéger et d’assurer la pleine et égale joussance de tous les droits de l’homme et de toutes les libertés fondamentales par les personnes handicapées et de promouvoir le respect de leur dignité intrinséque et, à cet égard, demande aux gouvernements de prendre des mesures énergiques pour:

a) Empêcher et interdire toutes les formes de discrimination envers les personnes handicapées; et
b) Garantir la participation et l’intégration pleines et effectives des personnes handicapées dans la société, le respect de leur autonomie individuelle, y compris leur liberté de faire leurs propres choix, le respect de leur indépendance et l’égalité des chances;

2. Note avec satisfaction l’adoption par l’Assemblée générale, le 13 décembre 2006, de la Convention relative aux dorits des personnes handicapées et de son Protocole facultatif, et exprime l’espoir que ces instruments entreront en vigueur à une date proche;

3. Note également avec satisfaction que, depuis l’ouverture à la signature de la Convention et du Protocole facultatif le 30 mars 2007, 126 États ont signé la Convention et 17 l’ont ratifiée, et que 71 États ont signé le Protocole et 11 l’ont ratifié, et demande aux États et aux organisations régionales d’intvgration qui ne l’ont pas encore fait d’envisager de signer et de ratifier la Convention et le Protocole facultatif à titre prioritaire;

4. Note en outre avec satisfaction l’attention que plusieurs rapporteurs spéciaux ont portée aux droits des personnes handicapées dans l’exercice de leur mandat et invite les titulaires de mandats relevant des procédures spéciales à tenir compte, dans l’exercice de leur mandat, de la pleine jouissance — dans des conditions d’égalité–de tous les droits fondamentaux par les personnes handicapées;

5. Encourage le Comité consultatif du Conseil des droits de l’homme et dautres mécanismes du Conseil à intégrer la question des personnes handicapées, selon qu’il convient, dans l’exécution de leur tâche et dans leurs recommandations afin de faciliter l’incorporation de cette question dans les travaux du Conseil;

6. Prie instamment toutes les parties prenantes de prendre en considération les droits des personnes handicapées à toutes les étapes de l’Examen périodique universel, notamment lors des consultations que les États ménent au niveau national pour réunir les informations à présenter à l’Examen, afin que les institutions nationales des droits de ‘lhomme et les organisations non gouvernementales représentant les personnes handicapées prennent part à ces consultations;

7. Se félicite de l’attention accordée aux droits des personnes handicapées dans les travaux de plusieurs organes conventionnels relatifs aux droits de l’homme et encourage tous ces organes à poursuivre l’intégration de la question des personnes handicapées dans leurs travaux, notamment dnas leurs activitvés de suivi et dans les observations générales qu’ils publient;

8. Prie instamment les gouvernements, en consultation avec, notamment, les institutions nationales des droits de l’homme et les organisations de personnes handicapées, de traiter en détail de la question des droits des personnes handicapées dans les rapports qu’ils sont tenus de présenter en vertu des instruments pertinents des Nations Unies relatifs aux droits de l’homme, et salue l’initiative des gouvernements qui ont commencé à le faire;

9. Accueille avec satisfaction le rapport de la Haut-Comissaire des Nations Unies aux droits de l’homme sur les progrés accomplis dans la mise en œuvre des recommandations formulées dans l’étude sur les droits de l’homme et l’invalidité (A/HRC/7/61) et invite la Haut-Commissaire à continuer à appuyer comme il convient l’intégration de la question des personnes handicapées, notamment en coopération avec le Département des affaires économiques et sociales du secrétariat;

10. Encourage les États à faire œuvre de sensibilisation au sujet des droits des personnes handicapées, y compris au moyen de campagnes de sensibilisation du public et de programmes de formation, afin de lutter contre les stéréotypes, les préjugés, les praticques dangereuses et les barriéres comportementales concernant les personnes handicapées, et à promouvoir les perceptions positives et une plus grande conscience sociale à l’égard des personnes handicapées;

11. Encourage la Haut-Commissaire aux droits de l’homme à tenir pleinement compte de l’application progressive des normes et des directives régissant l’accessibilité des lcaux et des services du systéme des Nations Unies, en tenant également compte des dispoitions pertinentes de la Convention relative au droits des personnes handicapées, et souligne que le Conseil, y compris ses rssources Internet, doit être pleinement accessible aux personnes handicapées;

12. Encourage les États à prendre des mesures appropriées pour recenser et éliminer les obstacles et les entraves à l’accesibilité pour les personnes handicapées, en particulier à veiller à ce qu’elles aient accés, à égalité avec les autres, aux équipements physiques, aux transports, à l’information et à la communication et à d’autres équipements ouverts ou destinés au public, tants dans les zones urbaines que dans les zones rurales;

13. Se félicite du rôle important joué par les institutions nationales des droits de l’homme et les organisations de la socétécivile, notamment les organisations de personnes handicapées, dans la négocation de la Convention relative aux droits des personnes handicapées, et encourage les institutions et les organisations intéressées à poursuivre leurs efforts pour faire comprendre la Convention et, le cas échéant, promouvoir sa mise en œuvre;

14. Encourage le Haut-Commissariat des Nations Unies aux droits de l’homme à continuer de renforcer ses partenariats avec des organisations de le sociét civile, notamment les organisations et les activités de sensibilisation qu’il méne dans leur direction, en privilégiant en particulier les organisations représentant les personnes handicapées, afin de les sensibiliser aux travaux du systéme des droits de l’homme;

15. Décide de tenir tous les ans, au cours d’une de ses sessions ordinaires, un débat interactif sur les droits des personnes handicapées dont le premir devrait avoir lieu à sa dixiéme session, l’accent étant mis sur les principales mesures juridiques nécessaires à la ratification et à la mise en œuvre effective de la Convention, notamment en ce qui concerne l’égalité et la non-discrimnation;

16. Prie le Haut-Commissariat de réaliser une étude thématique visant à faire miux connaître et comprendre la Convention relative aux droits des personnes handicapées, en insistant sur les principales mesures juridiques nécessaires à la ratification et à la mise en œuvre effective de la Convention, telles que les mesures ayant trait à l’égalité et à la non-discrimination, en consultation avec les États, les organisations de la société civile, notamment les organisations de personnes handicapées, et les institutions nationales des droits de l’homme, et demande que cette étude soit disponible sur le site Web du Haut-Commissariat, dans un format accessible, avant la dixiéme session du Conseil;

17. Note que l’Assemblée générale a prié le Secrétaire général de lui présenter à sa prochaine session un rapport sur l’état de la Convention et du Protocole facultatif et sur la’application de la résolution 62/170 et l’a également prié de soumettre ce rapport au Conseil en tant que contribution à son débat sur les droits des personnes handicapées;

18. Invite le Rapporteur spécial de la Commission du développement social chargé d’étudier la situation des handicapés à continuer à coopérer avec le Conseil et à lui rendre compte des activités entreprises en application de son mandant, conformément au programme de travail du Conseil.

40e séance, 27 mars 2008 [Adoptée sans vote. Voir chap. III.]

Top of page English; español; français



This letter, in all three languages, was recently circulated on the Global Partnership for Disability and Development email discussion group; the AdHoc_IDC email discussion group and also the IDA_CRPD_Forum email discussion group. Please note that any related feedback or queries should please be directed to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, NOT to We Can Do.

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History of Disability Rights in El Salvador

Posted on 18 August 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Cross-Disability, Disability Studies, Human Rights, Latin America & Caribbean, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Upside Down World has recently published an extensive history of the disability rights movement in El Salvador from the 1990s through today, with special attention to the 12-year civil war; land mines and land mine victims; disability-related legislation in the country; and the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). 

El Salvador is one of 34 countries to have ratified the CRPD.  The CRPD is the first international, legally-binding treaty to protect the human rights of people with disabilities.  It protects many different human rights including: the right to healthcare and to informed consent in health services; the right to procreate and to obtain contraceptives; the right to education; the right to live with one’s own family in the community; and many more. 

El Salvador also is one of 20 countries to have ratified the accompanying Optional Protocol.  The Optional Protocol gives people with disabilities another way to obtain justice if their human rights have been violated under the CRPD.  People must first pursue all means of justice available to them within their own country.  If all of these attempts fail, and if their country has ratified both the CRPD and the Optional Protocol, then they may register a complaint with the international Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.  The Committee is authorized to investigate human rights violations under the CRPD.

In addition to the countries that have ratified the CRPD and Optional Protocol so far, another 96 countries also have declared official interest in ratifying the CRPD in the future, and 51 of these countries also are officially interested in ratifying the Optional Protocol.  A country signals strong official interest in an international treaty by signing it.  Signing a treaty is the first step toward ratifying it.  A country that has signed a treaty is not yet obligated to obey it, but must still avoid taking actions that would violate it.  A country that has fully ratified a treaty must make its laws more consistent with the treaty by creating new laws as necessary, or by abolishing old laws that violate the treaty.

Read the full story on the history of disability rights in El Salvador, entitled “A Recent History of the Disability Rights Movement in El Salvador” at

http://upsidedownworld.org/main/content/view/1384/1/

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

Learn more about the CRPD and Optional Protocol by reading the RatifyNow FAQ.

Learn how you can become involved with the global campaign to promote the ratification and implementation of the CRPD and Optional Protocol in your country and elsewhere.

This blog post was first published at <a href=”http://www.RatifyNow.orgRatifyNow.org and is re-posted here with permission of author. RatifyNow is an organization working to promote the ratification and implementation of the CRPD around the world, and periodically posts links like this one to interesting news stories related to disability rights and the CRPD.

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

Other Resources at We Can Do
Catch up with the news; explore resources, toolkits, or funding and fellowship opportunities; find research, reports, papers, or statistics; or look up conferences, events, call for papers, or education/training opportunities.

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Our Rights: Disability Awareness Action Newsletter

Posted on 6 August 2008. Filed under: Cross-Disability, Human Rights, News | Tags: , , , , , , |

Thank you to Disability Awareness Action for giving its open permission to disseminate their newsletter. People who wish to receive future issues should contact them directly to inquire. 

Our Rights  –  issue 1, July 2008

  
text only version

DAA’s newsletter for Disability LIB.

In the interest of solidarity, this newsletter is send around by email to disabled people and their organisations across the world, and we invite you to forward it freely. We have provided links to internet sites, web pages, radio programmes and video clips, but understand that not all links are technically accessible to all users. From October Our Rights will be available in electronic format and on our website. For our contact details follow this link http://www.daa.org.uk/contact.htm

 

Contents

Welcome 

Hello from DAA

·                                Who we are

·                                What we do

·                                Our Rights e-bulletin 

·                                What we want to achieve

Thank you to Change and People First for use of their pictures to support the written information.

http://www.changepeople.co.uk 

http://www.peoplefirstltd.com/index.php 

         

Disability LIB partners

·                                Funding crisis

Building on our success – involvement sought

·                                   “A seed of change…”

The UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled People

·                                 UN Convention in Easy Read

·                                 “A new era” Kofi Annan

·                                  “Nothing about us without us.”

·                                 UN Convention Campaign Coalition

·                                 House of Lords discusses Convention

Disabled by society …. Our stories: Forced interventions

·                                   Article 11 forced interventions  

·                                   Forced Treatment even in your own home? 

·                                   Easy Read guide to compulsory treatment orders  

·                                   Mental Health Petition

 

International News

·                                   Easing life for disabled refugees

·                                   Who has signed the Convention and made it a law in    

their country?

·                                   Users and Survivors of Psychiatry

·                                   Ratify Now!

·                                   European Countries say how rights are progressing

 

Welcome! Our small team at Disability Awareness in Action (DAA) extends a very warm welcome to disabled people, organisations controlled and run by disabled people (DPOs) and their allies.

 

A very warm welcome to you all!

·                                 To all our new readers who are part of the Disability LIB family – the DPOs and individuals across the UK who are in the mighty struggle for rights and social change.

·                                 Welcome to all our old friends who used to read the Disability Tribune – we are delighted to be with you again.  We have the money for the Our Rights e-bulletins from our alliance with Disability LIB. 

Welcome to our first e-bulletin, which will introduce who we are, what we do and what we hope to achieve. We are always happy to hear from disabled people and their allies on the issues raised. Contact us by email or via the website.

Please contact: mysay4daa@live.co.uk

 

Who we are

We are a small team of disabled people working in collaboration with disabled people’s organisations and with partners of the Disability LIB project http://www.disabilitylib.org.uk/

 

What we do

DAA is committed to sharing information and resources on the human rights of disabled people.  Our aim is to give disabled people and their organisations information and resource links to help them take effective action for themselves.

 

We seek to inform and share concerns, we want to celebrate and share success. We are also aware of failures and shortfalls, and of examples where the law or government policy does not seem to work in our interest. We report on that as well!

Our Rights

Our Rights is a regular monthly e-bulletin. We provide information on human rights issues as they affect disabled people across the world, from diverse backgrounds and with a variety of different impairments. We give updates on policy and the law. We will give you evidence to support your rights – evidence of good and bad practice, evidence that comes from you. We want to build our strengths – together!

 

What we want to achieve

We are working towards fundamental social change and a better society for all.  DAA believes that disabled people can use the law and the framework of human rights as a tool. This means we want to use the ideas behind the law to argue for a better world, in which to live. “ A seed of information can lead to a groundswell of action.”

 

This action has to come from disabled people themselves. We can increase our impact on social change by joining together. We are very excited at being able to use DAA’s network with disabled people all over the world – to play a part in fulfilling our objectives towards the Disability LIB project (details below). Working in solidarity with each other we will achieve more and gain from the commonality of our experience.

   

Disability LIB partners

Funding Crisis

As many organisations have known all too well these past few years, a serious funding crisis has affected many activities aimed at realising better lives for disabled people.

Six organisations of disabled people and Scope have  formed an alliance and secured a £4.2million funding grant from the Big Lottery fund 
capacity build 200 Disabled People’s Organisations. The idea of this project is that the funding crisis can be reduced by increasing information, capacity and effectiveness and wants to go far beyond the 200 DPOs to make their materials and information available to all.
This alliance is called Disability LIB (Listen Include Build). The aim is to confront discrimination and disablism, and to secure the full and equal rights of disabled people. Disability LIB will provide disabled people’s organisations with information, advice and support that will enable them to be more effective, and to play a full part in achieving their aims .
The project has its own website and central office. www.disabilitylib.org.uk
Disability LIB
6 Market Road
London
N7 9PW
England UK

Telephone: 0844 800 4331
Email:
contact@disabilitylib.org.uk

Buiding on our success – Your involvement sought

This is an example of DAA success and how “ A seed of information can lead to a groundswell of action.”:

“Disability Tribune has had some real successes over the years, including the Global Rights Campaign where we asked you to tell us about your lives. We were inundated with your stories and once gathered together they made an extremely powerful document which we delivered personally to the UN Human Rights Commission on the 3rd December 2001. We are certain that this document influenced the decision to begin the elaboration process for a UN Convention protecting the rights and dignity of disabled people.”

DAA, 2005.

We need to keep the pressure on. Our personal stories are powerful.

Please contact us with your stories on the experiences of disabled people, of how society continues to discriminate and stories of unfair treatment or abuse of our human rights: mysay4daa@live.co.uk

 

UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled People

 

UN Convention in Easy Read
The full name of this agreement is the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. We call it the Convention on the Rights of Disabled People. It sets out what countries have

to do to make sure that disabled people have the same rights as other people. The basic ideas are that disabled people are free to make their own choices, to be included in society as everyone else and are to be respected for who they are. Governments must make sure it does things so that our rights are protected.
http://www.officefordisability.gov.uk/docs/international-agreement-rights-disabled-people.pdf

 

The dawn of a new era.

http://www.un.org/sg/annan.shtml   

  “Today promises to be the dawn of a new era, an era in which disabled people will no longer have to endure the discriminatory practices and attitudes that have been permitted to prevail for all too long.  This Convention is a remarkable and forward-looking document.” UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan

You can read his full speech at
http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2006/sgsm10797.doc.htm
 
A Celebration: Nothing about us without us! Disabled people have to be at the forefront of action. It is no longer acceptable to have other people speak or act for us. The Convention opens up further possibilities. Listen to disabled people celebrate this potential. A celebration and comments given about the Convention on the Rights of Disabled People. When you first use this service, you will be asked to register your name, email address, organisation details and country. Text version is also available.
http://www.unmultimedia.org/radio/english/detail/9606.html
More details about the celebration on the 12th May can be found here. There is even a video clip. http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?id=474 
 

 

UN Convention Campaign Coalition

Organisations have formed themselves into a coalition to bring political pressure and work to ensure early – and full – commitment from the UK government. They call for all interested groups to join together to campaign for ‘ratification without reservations’. Further information can be found at

http://www.un-convention.info/page3.html

House of Lords discusses Convention    We have on record, that disabled people’s organisations are crucial in realising rights, and will be involved when the government takes forward not only the  convention but the whole range of disability-related policies. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200708/ldhansrd/text/80709-0001.htm

Disabled by society …. Our stories: Forced interventions

Disabled people have long been undergoing a range of therapy, treatment and forms of interventions. I myself have enjoyed the benefits of an Australian Physiotherapist (who looked like he had  escaped from the set of a famous TV soap), have received emergency hospital interventions, and am pleased with latest developments in a range of pain management regimes. I chose and agreed to these interventions. They are provided not as a means to ‘correct’ impairment, but upon my request and in a way that leaves me in control. The picture is very different for many disabled people, people living in residential homes, survivors and users of Psychiatry, people with learning difficulties and older people who experience much reported systematic abuse or neglect.

The fact is, today, tomorrow and the next day, many interventions continue in the UK and world-wide, which are cruel or degrading, even torture to disabled people. Disabled people and their allies have been trying to close down a residential school that uses electric shock as a form of punishment for young people with Autism. This intervention is used to  punish or ‘correct’ the children. Young people with Autism were also forced to listen to loud static through a helmet. DAA collects and catalogues evidence of such treatment, and any human rights abuses experienced by disabled people. We invite you to contact us with your stories. Email: mysay4daa@live.co.uk

 

Article 11 forced interventions

A paper by Tina Minkowitz explains why disabled people argue so strongly against any form of forced interventions. The context within which ‘treatment’ or interventions that are meant to be ‘good for us’ takes place is often one of an imbalance of power between the professional or expert and the disabled person. This power disadvantage is in-built into the system of ‘treatment and care’, that assumes that our impairments are a deficit and need to be corrected. http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/enable/rights/art11suppl.htm 

 

Forced Treatment even in your own home?

The UK Government’s Mental Health Act 2007 introduced the idea of providing forced interventions not only in hospitals, but also in the community. These alarming measures extend forced treatment beyond hospital. They are called Compulsory Treatment Orders. This means that even more power is given to professionals. Far-reaching powers can specify a treatment regime even into the person’s own home. It

gives powers to decide on and limit their lifestyles, for example, forcing them to take certain medicine, or saying what time they have to be in at night. In Ireland campaigners want their law changed (see below).  

 

Easy Read guide to compulsory treatment orders is given in this link

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2007/09/03145057/11

Mental Health Petition
Activist Mary Maddock, psychiatric survivor and founder-member of  MindFreedom Ireland presented her petition to the European Union. She wants the law to be changed, because people with mental health issues can at the moment be forced to take medication. This is an example of a forced intervention. Her petition is entitled ‘The Illegality of Ireland’s Mental Health Act of 2001 as it Concerns the Forced Use of Mind AlteringDrugs on Unwilling patients.’ A copy of the petition text can be accessed at http://www.mindfreedom.org/as/act/inter/mfire/maddock-petitions-ireland

International news

Easing life for disabled refugees Abdi Salah fled the civil war in his native Somalia at the age of 11. Mr. Salah has polio and is among the estimated 3 million disabled people who have fled conflict, war, or natural disasters. Listen to his story (duration: 3’30”): http://www.unmultimedia.org/radio/english/detail/10056.html

Who has signed the Convention and made it a law in their country?

Here is a list of countries in alphabetical order that have completely agreed to (ratified) the Convention.

         Australia17 July 2008

         Bangladesh – 30 November 2007

         Croatia – 15 August 2007

         Cuba – 6 September 2007

         Ecuador – 3 April 2008

         Egypt – 14 April 2008

         El Salvador – 14 December 2007

         Gabon – 1 October 2007

         Guinea – 8 February 2008

         Honduras – 14 April 2008

         Hungary – 20 July 2007

         India – 1 October 2007

         Jamaica – 30 March 2007

         Jordan – 31 March 2008

         Kenya – 19 May 2008

         Mali – 7 April 2008

         Mexico – 17 December 2007

         Namibia – 4 December 2007 

         Nicaragua – 7 December 2007

         Niger 24 June 2008

         Panama – 7 August 2007

         Peru – 30 January 2008

         Philippines – 15 April 2008

         Qatar – 13 May 2008

         San Marino – 22 February 2008

         Saudi Arabia – 24 June 2008

         Slovenia – 24 April 2008

         South Africa – 30 November 2007

         Spain – 3 December 2007

         Tunisia – 2 April 2008

You can access updates on the progress around the world at http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?navid=18&pid=257

There are 5 regional groups of UN Member States:

·                                 African States

·                                 Asian States

·                                 Eastern European States

·                                 Latin American and Caribbean States

·                                 Western Europe and Other States Group

·                                 Eastern European States

 

To support the global campaign, go to Ratify Now!

http://ratifynow.org/ratifynow-faq/

 

Users and Survivors of Psychiatry

 “It is now the task of the world community to bring the ideals that are laid out in the Convention into reality.” says the World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry in February 2008.

European Countries say how rights are progressing

DAA is contributing to information gathering. On the question of how well the countries are doing in getting on with the Convention, government officials and organisations of disabled people often have conflicting views. A research centre for Human Rights of Disabled People in Finland (VIKE) is conducting a survey on the processes of ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Disabled People in seven European states. The chosen countries are Finland, Germany, Hungary, Serbia, Sweden, Ukraine and the United Kingdom. Further details at http://www.kynnys.fi/vike.html  

 

And Finally…

“I am disabled just like I’m female …
Just like I’m Korean
Just like I’m 20 years old
There are no ifs about it.
Yet non-disabled people enjoy summing this up as not having “hope”
(that’s their reasoning for why a lot of us are anti-stem cell)
But the thing is…
I have hope– lots of it. …

Hope for justice, pride, solidarity.
I just don’t waste my hope on silly things
Like wishing I could walk again.”

(extract from a poem by Ms Cripp Chick)

 

Dear Friends,

Thank you for your time. We look forward to hearing from you, do contact us at mysay4daa@live.co.uk We are proud and excited to be part of this struggle to make all our rights a reality.

The next edition will bring you further informationi and up-dates on the Convention. We also look at the issue of bio-ethics and will, of course, share your stories. Bye for now.


Thank you to DAA for giving open permission to people to disseminate their newsletter. People interested in subscribing should contact them directly, not We Can Do.

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We Can Do First Anniversary!

Posted on 24 July 2008. Filed under: Introduction to "We Can Do", News, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

It has now been one year since the very first We Can Do post went up a little after 9 p.m. (EST) on July 24, 2007. What has happened with this blog in that time?

In that time, thousands of individual people have browsed the pages at this blog, for a grand total of 100,000 page views. More than 200 of you subscribe to We Can Do so you know when to check the blog for the newest blog posts.

The geographical representation among the readers have fluctuated somewhat over time, but currently a little more than a quarter of you are from the United States; a little more than 10% are from India, and a little more than a quarter from East and South Asia as a whole; about 19% are from Africa; and 14% are from Europe. In other words, you come from around the globe. China and Latin America, however, are very much under-represented. I’d love to have more readers from these regions–suggestions for how to reach them are welcome!

The Most Popular We Can Do Pages
A few of the most popular blog posts and individual pages at We Can Do include the following:

Under-Rated Blog Posts
Some blog posts, at least in my humble opinion, might have been under-rated.

  • Only a few dozen people have looked at the blog post describing a resource that disability advocates can use to help schools in their country be more inclusive of students with disabilities–a publication entitled Making Schools Inclusive: How Change Can Happen. Follow the link to learn how to download the publication.
  • The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has a new web resource that may be helpful for actively people involved in advocating for human rights for people with disabilities. The post entitled UN Human Rights Disability Section describes, and links to, this resource.
  • One of my personal favorites is a blog post that has been read by fewer than 100 people: an essay I wrote a couple of months ago entitled “The Farmer, the Spoon, and the Plow,” an allegorical tale about why the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is worth celebrating–and why the work of disability advocates around the world.
  • I also hope that some of you will consider using the page on Resources, Toolkits, and Funding to help you find useful materials (and a few funding sources) that you can use to improve the lives of people with disabilities in your country, or in the countries where you work. Or look for Research, reports, papers, and statistics. Some of the items that I posted months ago may still be relevant and helpful today.

What Do YOU Think?
I hope some of you will take a few minutes to add a few thoughts of your own in the comments area below this blog post. What blog posts or links at We Can Do have been the most helpful for you? What resources did you discover through this blog? How have you been using those resources to improve the lives of people with disabilities? What resources would you particularly recommend for other We Can Do readers? What kind of content do you hope I will share at this blog during its second year of existence? Do you have suggestions for how I could make We Can Do more useful for you and other disability advocates in developing countries, or for mainstream international development professionals learning how to make their programs more inclusive?

Please let me hear your thoughts!

THANK YOU
I owe a big thank you to all the people who have given me feedback on this blog in the past year, or who have subscribed to this blog, or who simply come back to this site again and again to see the latest materials. We Can Do is entirely a volunteer effort that I work on in my free time outside of work, schooling, and volunteer activities. Your feedback helps motivate me to keep going.

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NEWS: Disability Advocate Venus Ilagan Appointed as New RI Secretary General

Posted on 16 July 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Human Rights, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Distinguished Disability Advocate Venus Ilagan Appointed as New RI Secretary General

(New York, New York, US, July 14, 2008)

Rehabilitation International
(RI) is pleased to announce the appointment of a new Secretary General, Venus Ilagan of the Philippines. As a woman with a disability from the South, Venus has worked tirelessly to advance the rights of persons with disabilities, particularly during the negotiations for the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Venus is expected to commence this important new role in September 2008, subject to resolution of visa and contractual arrangements, and Venus will be based at the RI headquarters in New York City, New York.

Venus is a well-known advocate for the rights of persons with disabilities for years. As a leader in the National Organization of Disabled Peoples’ of the Philippines (KAMPI) and the Differently-Abled Women’s Network (DAWN) of the Philippines, as well as holding various positions, including Chairperson, of Disabled Peoples’ International (DPI), Venus has promoted disability rights at the national, regional and international levels. Her vast experience with UN agencies and other international organizations includes her consultancy work with the Asian Development Bank and the World Health Organization.

As a representative of DPI, Venus has strong links within the International Disability Alliance (IDA), a coalition of 10 international and regional organizations of persons with disabilities, and served as IDA Chair from May 2004 -May 2005. She is well regarded within IDA and the newly created IDA CRPD Forum, of which RI serves as the Secretariat.

RI President Michael Fox remarked, “We are extremely pleased that Venus will be joining the RI team. She will be leading the RI Secretariat at a critical time in our growth, with the focus on implementation of the UN Convention and growth of the RI Foundation. We very much look forward to working with her and sharing her insights and experience.”

RI will formally welcome Venus as our new Secretary General during the RI World Congress, to be held in August 2008 in Quebec City, Canada. For more information about this event, please visit www.riquebec2008.org

RI also takes this opportunity to show our great appreciation to the current Secretary General, Tomas Lagerwall of Sweden. Since joining the RI Secretariat in 2001, Tomas has further developed excellent relations with RI membership in many countries, and has provided key support to the development of IDA. Tomas played an important role during the successful negotiations and coming into force of the CRPD. Tomas has demonstrated an enormous dedication to RI, and the RI Executive Committee and members most sincerely thank Tomas for his seven years of service to RI. 

About RI
Founded in 1922, RI is a global network of organizations of persons with disabilities, government agencies, service providers, researchers and advocates promoting and implementing the rights and inclusion of persons with disabilities. RI is currently composed of about 1,000 members and affiliated organizations in 93 nations, in all regions of the world.

For more information about RI, please visit their accessible website: http://www.riglobal.org.



The above announcement was circulated by Rehabilitation International. I retrieved it from the AdHoc_IDC email discussion group.

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Tourists with Disabilities Offer Opportunities to India, says Dr Scott Rains

Posted on 14 July 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Cross-Disability, News, South Asian Region | Tags: , , , , , |

For Immediate Release:
Experts on the Disability Tourism Market to Tour India
July 9, 2008

“India is amazing!,” says Dr. Scott Rains publisher of the travel industry Rolling Rains Report.

“It is poised to show the world a new face of tourism. It can do that if it has the wisdom and will to act on new international business data about the travel behavior of people with disabilities,” he encourages. “With major government and industry investment in new hotels, airports, rail and bus transport at a time when inbound tourism continues to rise India could create an accessible tourism infrastructure that is the envy of the world – and profit in the process of making life easier for its own citizens with disabilities.”

Dr. Rains will address these opportunities for the Indian tourism industry in a four-city workshop tour sponsored by ASTA-India. The workshops being in New Delhi at the Surya Crown Plaza on July 28 at 0930. Session will follow in Mumbai 30th July, Kochi 1st August, and Chennai 4th August. Further information is available from ASTA India Coordinator Deepika Chowdhry:

Phone: +91-11- 41652406
Fax: +91-11-41652410
Email: admin@astaindia.com
astaindiachapter@gmail.com

Craig Grimes, a tour operator and wheelchair user from the UK who is opening Central America to travelers with disabilities will speak. His most recent project incudes training Nicaraguan tour guides in American Sign Language. ( http://www.craiggrimes.com/ ) Also speaking is Jani Nayar, Executive Coordinator of SATH (Society for Accessible Travel & Hospitality).

Travel professionals worldwide recognize the burgeoning market of travelers with disabilities.

The 2002 biennial study of the travel behavior of the US travel market by Open Doors Organization and Harris Interactive revealed that the 42 million people in the US with disabilities spend on average $13.6 billion US on travel. As the trend continues, and the aging post-WW II population boom ages en masse, organizations such as ASTA-India have begun alerting their membership to the competitive edge available in providing competent service to this market sector.

India has seen a nearly 100% increase in tourism in the past five years – five million visitors last year according to government figures.

Between 1996 and 2006, the Indian outbound market expanded nearly 10% per year. In 1996, Indians made nearly 3.5 million trips. By 2006, the number of outbound trips topped 8.3 million. These outbound numbers combined with a double-digit growth rate in inbound last year to around 5 million make India “one of the shining stars” in Asia Pacific travel and tourism, according to PATA’s Strategic Intelligence Centre. (source: PATA News)

“With a potential market of 500 million domestic tourists and ambitious projects underway to upgrade train and air terminals India is poised to demonstrate world leadership in the social inclusion of its own citizens by targeting the disability travel niche if it follows the example of other countries and applies Universal Design in destination development,” notes Dr. Rains. Universal Design is a set of seven principles outlining, according to Adaptive Environments, “a framework for the design of places, things, information, communication and policy to be usable by the widest range of people operating in the widest range of situations without special or separate design. Most simply, Universal Design is human-centered design of everything with everyone in mind.”

“Pioneers like ASTA India show great foresight in emphasizing our community as a market,” says Rains.

“I am a quadriplegic and have used a wheelchair since I was 17 in 1972. I have recently returned from addressing the second international conference on Inclusive Tourism in Bangkok (ICAT 2007) sponsored by UNESCAP, a kayaking tour of Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska with the wheelchair-friendly yacht Sea Wolf organized by Waypoint Yacht Charter Services, and a site inspection of one of Brazil’s foremost adventure tourism resorts, Parque dos Sonhos in Socorro Brazil, where I rode a one kilometer long zipline from mountaintop to mountaintop. Tourism in our community is growing in size, wealth, and sophistication. Whether it is developing accessible heritage tourism in Agra, accessible water tours in Kerala, or accessible adventure tourism in Gujarat India is poised to become a leader in Inclusive Tourism and could become a destination of choice for a community that the UN estimates at 500 million persons.”

Organizations are rising to the challenge set out by Tourism Minister Ambika Soni. In the current global environment investors are aggressively seeking infrastructure projects as safe havens of profit. A campaign of Inclusive Destination Development in India gives investors what they are looking for plus the peace of mind of supporting a socially responsible initiative.
Already Indian organizations like Svayam, AccessAbility, the Disability Rights Initiative of the India Centre for Human Rights and Law, and Design for All – India have done the initial preparation.

“Their work can be applied to development of the twenty Indian mega-destination sites announced by Minister Soni at the Great Indian Travel Bazaar-2008. Minister Soni’s announcement of seven Indian tourism circuits of three destinations each will be enhanced by application of the concept known within the disability as “accessible paths of travel” as India adopts the path of Inclusive Destination Development that is grounded in Universal Design,” commented Rains. “One of the outcomes of my visit will be greater communication between Indian experts in the travel, destination development, and disability fields as Indian quickly develops its own contributions to the global growth of travel opportunities that tap into the purchasing power of the disability community.



Thank you to Dr. Scott Rains for submitting this press release for publication at We Can Do.

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NEWS: Namibian Government Criticized for Failing Disabled People

Posted on 26 June 2008. Filed under: Cross-Disability, News, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , |

The Chairperson of the National Federation of People with Disabilities in Namibia, Martin Tjivera, has criticized the government of Namibia for failing to meet the needs of people with disabilities, AllAfrica.com has reported. Tjivera said that the government has made “empty promises” to Namibians with disabilities. Policies and programs meant to improve the lives of people with disabilities have not been implemented, he said.

Read more about Tjivera’s remarks in the AllAfrica.com story entitled “Namibia: Government Under Attack” at http://allafrica.com/stories/200806110736.html



Thank you to Ghulam Nabi Nizamani for bringing attention to this news item.

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Disability Rights Fund Opens Grantmaking to DPOs in 7 Countries

Posted on 16 June 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Cross-Disability, Funding, Human Rights, Latin America & Caribbean, News, Opportunities, South Asian Region, Sub-Saharan Africa Region, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

En español

PRESS RELEASE
Disability Rights Fund Opens Grantmaking to DPOs in 7 Countries

JUNE 16, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BOSTON, MA – The Disability Rights Fund—a groundbreaking grantmaking collaborative supporting the human rights of people with disabilities—today announced its first grants competition.

The broad objective of the Fund — which was launched by the Open Society Institute, The Sigrid Rausing Trust, the United Kingdom Department for International Development, and an anonymous donor on the first anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) — is to empower disabled persons organizations in the developing world and Eastern Europe/former Soviet Union to effectively implement and monitor the CPRD.

In 2008, the Fund plans to give out a total of USD $700,000 in one-year grants ranging from USD $5000 – $50,000 and aimed at awareness-raising, strengthening coalitions and networks, and rights advocacy.

To be eligible for this year’s grants program, applicant organizations must be based in and conduct the majority of their activities in the following seven countries: in Africa, Ghana, Namibia and Uganda; in Latin America, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Peru; in Asia, Bangladesh. In these countries, the Fund will support Disabled Persons’ Organizations activities that advance the human rights of persons with disabilities at country-level.

Interested organizations are urged to review the full eligibility criteria and application details posted at the Fund’s website, www.disabilityrightsfund.org. Any questions on the proposal process should be directed to info@disabilityrightsfund.org by July 15. The deadline for applications is August 15.

Disability Rights Fund Steering Committee Co-Chair, William Rowland, President of the World Blind Union, stated “The Disability Rights Fund heralds an innovative partnership between donors and persons with disabilities. The flow of new resources to support our struggle for rights is a development of major significance.”

####

COMUNICADO DE PRENSA
El Fondo Sobre Derechos de Personas con Discapacidad abre su período de subvenciones a OPDs en 7 Países

16 de junio de 2008

PARA SU INMEDIATA PUBLICACIÓN

BOSTON, MA – El Fondo Sobre Derechos de Personas con Discapacidad, una iniciativa colaborativa que apoya los derechos humanos de las personas con discapacidad – anunció hoy su primera competición por subvenciones.

El objetivo amplio del Fondo – que fue lanzado por el Open Society Institute, el Sigrid Rausing Trust, el Departamento para el Desarrollo Internacional del gobierno británico, y un donante anónimo, en el primer aniversario de la Convención Sobre los Derechos de las Personas con Discapacidad (CDPD) de las Naciones Unidas – es el de empoderar a organizaciones de personas con discapacidad en el mundo en desarrollo y la Europa del Este/antigua Unión Soviética, para la implementación y monitoreo efectivos de la CDPD.

En el 2008, el Fondo tiene planificado otorgar un total de USD $700,000 (dólares estadounidenses) en subvenciones de un año de duración que varían desde los USD $5,000 hasta $50,000, dirigidos al aumento de la concientización, el fortalecimiento de alianzas y redes, y la defensa de derechos.

Para poder optar al programa de subvenciones de este año, las organizaciones aplicantes deben tener su sede y realizar la mayoría de sus actividades en alguno de los siguientes siete países: en África, Ghana, Namibia y Uganda; en América Latina, Ecuador, Nicaragua y Perú; en Asia, Bangladesh. En estos países, el Fondo apoyará actividades de las organizaciones de personas con discapacidad que contribuyan al avance de la CDPD a nivel de los países.

Se alienta a que las organizaciones interesadas revisen los criterios de eligibilidad y los detalles para aplicar que se encuentran en el sitio de Internet del Fondo: www.disabilityrightsfund.org. Cualquier pregunta acerca del proceso para realizar propuestas deberán dirigirse a: info@disabilityrightsfund.org a más tardar el 15 de julio de 2008. La última fecha para enviar aplicaciones es el 15 de agosto de 2008.

William Rowland, Co-Presidente del Comité Coordinador del Fondo Sobre Derechos de Personas con Discapacidad, quien también funge como Presidente de la Unión Mundial de Ciegos, declaró “El Fondo Sobre Derechos de Personas con Discapacidad ha constituído una asociación innovadora entre donantes y personas con discapacidad. La canalización de nuevos recursos hacia la lucha por reivindicar nuestros derechos, es un desarrollo de importancia significativa.”



Thank you to Diana Samarasan for submitting this press release for publication at We Can Do.

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NEWS: Sign Language Training Program Launches in Guyana

Posted on 11 June 2008. Filed under: Deaf, Education, Education and Training Opportunities, Inclusion, Latin America & Caribbean, News, Opportunities | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

The Guyana Ministry of Education, in partnership with the Guyana Community Based Rehabilitation Programme (GCBRP), has initiated a sign language training program targeted at improving the quality of education for deaf children, the Kaieteur News has reported. The program will provide sign language training to teachers so they can better accommodate the communicate need of deaf children in their classrooms. It is being offered through the St. Stanislaus College in Brickdam.

Read the original Kaieteur News story entitled “Education Ministry launches sign language training” for more detail at:

http://www.kaieteurnews.com/?p=782



Thank you to Monty Chester for alerting me to this news item.

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NEWS: Disability Rights Fund Launches Website

Posted on 2 June 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Cross-Disability, Funding, Human Rights, News, Resources | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Disability Rights Fund Launches Website

May 28, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Diana Samarasan, Director
Telephone: 617-261-4593
Email: dsamarasan@disabilityrightsfund.org

BOSTON, MA – The Disability Rights Fund, a groundbreaking collaborative supporting the human rights of people with disabilities, has launched its website at http://www.disabilityrightsfund.org

With a clear and easy to use design, the website provides information on the Fund’s history and strategy, governance, as well as its advisors and donors. In mid-June, the site will also publish information about the Fund’s first request for proposals.

A unique partnership between donors and the worldwide disability community, the broad objective of the Disability Rights Fund is to empower disabled persons organizations around the world to effectively implement and monitor the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The Fund’s structure reflects the international disability community’s slogan, “Nothing About Us Without Us.” A global advisory panel, made up of 12 individuals, most of whom are persons with disabilities, provides recommendations on grantmaking strategies for the Fund; four of the Panel members also serve on the Fund’s grantmaking decision body—the Steering Committee. The members of the panel come from five continents and reflect a broad cross-section of the disability community. The majority were nominated by international and regional disabled persons’ organizations. Detailed biographies of advisors are available on the website.

In 2008, the Disability Rights Fund will be seeking grant proposals from disabled persons’ organizations in seven countries. Grants will support the human rights work of disabled persons’ organizations in Bangladesh, Ecuador, Ghana, Namibia, Nicaragua, Peru, and Uganda.

“2008 is the Disability Rights Fund’s pilot grantmaking year,” stated DRF director Diana Samarasan, “as the Fund develops, the website will become a dynamic source of information on human rights grantmaking within the global disability community.”

For more information on the Disability Rights Fund, see www.disabilityrightsfund.org or write to info@disabilityrightsfund.org


____________________________________________

Thank you to Diana Samarasan for submitting this press release for publication at We Can Do.

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Global Partnership for Disability and Development (GPDD) Holds First Membership Meeting

Posted on 26 May 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Cross-Disability, News, Opportunities, Poverty, Resources | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Washington DC, 9 May 2008

First Membership Meeting of the GPDD in Eschborn, Germany

World leaders from Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America, and Oceania representing civil society organizations, governments, and multilateral agencies including the World Bank and UNESCO unanimously approved a Charter and elected the First Board of Directors for the Global Partnership for Disability and Development (GPDD). Meeting at the headquarters and as the guests of the German Technical Corporation (GTZ) in Eschborn, Germany, the assembled agencies and organizations made a core commitment to a world of inclusive communities where individuals with disabilities regardless of age, gender, or type of disability enjoy their rights and have access to opportunities on an equal basis with others.

With a commitment to partnership to combat the social and economic exclusion and impoverishment of people with disabilities and their families in developing countries worldwide, the GPDD represents an unprecedented alliance of agencies, organizations, and resources to accelerate change within and outside of government that targets development activities to include and promote social and economic rights of individuals with disabilities.

Four years of planning by a Coordinating Task Force culminated in the historical formalization of GPDD with the election of the First Board of Directors in Eschborn, Germany, last Wednesday. The 12 members elected to the Board of Directors are:

  • Mr. Khandaker Jahurul Alam, Asia Pacific Disability Forum
  • Ms. Tanya Barron, Leonard Cheshire Disability
  • Mr. A.K. Dube – African Decade Secretariat (Chair of the GPDD Interim Board)
  • Ms. Sangita Gairola, Representative of the Government of India
  • Ms. Celia Siphokazi Gcaza, African CBR Network (CAN)
  • Mr. Kalle Könkkölä, Disabled Peoples’ International
  • Mr. Rudiger Krech, GTZ
  • Ms. Euphrasia Mbewe, World Federation of the Deaf
  • Mr. James Mwandha, Commonwealth Disabled Peoples’ Forum
  • Mr. Andreas Pruisken, Christian Blind Mission
  • Ms. Indumathi Rao, CBR Network South Asia
  • Dr. William Rowland, World Blind Union

This unique Global Partnership will bring important world attention to the needs and aspirations of people with disabilities in developing countries. The assembled GPDD members agreed on a beginning plan of action to expand the membership base of GPDD, promote data collection and analysis that identifies more accurately the living conditions of and barriers faced by people with disabilities in developing countries; to facilitate information sharing on effective inclusive development policies and programs; to support the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in cooperation with partners and member organizations; and mobilize resources to build the capacity of the GPDD broad constituency through alliances and networks to become a reliable and effective expert disability and development platform.

With support from the World Bank and the governments of Italy, Finland, and Norway as donors to a Multi Donor Trust Fund, the GPDD will bring much needed attention to reduce poverty and eliminate barriers to full social and and economic participation.

For more information about GPDD and how you may become involved, please contact Maria Reina, Executive Director at mvreina@law.syr.edu

Individuals may also contact Maria Reina (mvreina@law.syr.edu) to inquire about subscribing to the free GPDD listserv.



This announcement is slightly modified from text that Maria Reina recently circulated on the GPDD listserv.

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NEWS: Kampala, Uganda, Declaration on Disability and HIV & AIDS

Posted on 25 May 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Cross-Disability, Health, HIV/AIDS, News, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

From: AfricaCampaign@webmail.co.za
Subject: Africa Campaign on Disability and HIV&AIDS update

******* version française dessous *************

It has been just over three-weeks since we converged for the 2nd General Meeting of the Africa Campaign on Disability and HIV & AIDS was held March 11 – 13, in beautiful Kampala, Uganda.

We would like to once again take this opportunity to express our gratitude to the National Union for Disabled People in Uganda (NUDIPU) and the Government of Uganda, through the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development for gracefully hosting our gathering. Our gratitude is also extended to The Secretariat of the African Decade, Handicap International and once again NUDIPU for supporting the event and last but not least to each and every member of the National Organizing Committee for their exceptional contribution prior to and during the meeting. It would not have been possible without your sterling efforts, long and hard hours and sleepless nights!!!

We were more that 170 delegates representing more that 20 African countries and 10 countries outside of Africa. We came from a wide variety of backgrounds, including civil society, government, academic and research institutions, international NGOs, funding agencies, international stakeholders in HIV/AIDS work and the media.

In addition to networking and rich exchange among groups and countries, the constitution of five working groups with plans of action to further Campaign objectives, a renewed steering committee, we also gave birth together to the Kampala Declaration on Disability and HIV&AIDS. (full text is enclosed in English. Portuguese and French will be forwarded ASAP)

The declaration calls on governments, HIV/AIDS service providers, the African Union, UN agencies, funding agencies, research and academic institutions and disabled people’s organizations to action toward

  • Equal access to HIV/AIDS prevention and services and
  • Full participation by persons with disabilities in the response to HIV/AIDS in every country and at every level.

We hereby encourage you to disseminate this declaration widely within your country, to persons with disabilities, governments, HIV/AIDS service providers, UN agencies, funding agencies, researchers and academic institutions. Please also use opportunities you have with media to highlight this important message. Feel free to add it onto your organisation’s website.

We would like to take this opportunity also to introduce our steering committee and at the same time extend our warmest welcome to the newer members of the committee. They are:

  • Mr. Tambo Camara (Pan African Federation of the Disabled (PAFOD) – Mauritania;
  • Ms. Farida Gulamo (Association of Disabled Mozambicans (ADEMO) – Mozambique;
  • Mr Martin Babu Mwesigwa (National Union of Disabled Persons of Uganda (NUDIPU) – Uganda;
  • Dr. Elly Macha (African Union of the Blind (AFUB) – Kenya;
  • Mrs. Rachel Kachaje (Southern African Federation of the Disabled (SAFOD) – Malawi
  • Mr. Obuya George Onyango (African Deaf Union (ADU) – Kenya;
  • Mr. Paul Tezanou (Chair of the Secretariat of the African Decade) – Cameroon;
  • Hon. Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu (Member of SA parliament, Disability respresentative of SA National AIDS council executive structure) – South Africa;
  • Ms. Fri Beatrice Bime (Global Fund) – Geneva NEW
  • Mr. Oumar Diop (Handicap FormEduC, Resource Centre for the promotion of the rights of persons with disabilities) – Senegal NEW
  • Mr. David O. Anyaele (Centre for citizens with disabilities) – Nigeria NEW

We would also like to bring your attention to changes in the campaign management. At the end our gathering we said goodbye to Dr. Susan Girois. She will no longer be actively involved in the work on the Campaign Management Team (CMT), although her expertise, experience, guidance and spontaneity will be sought more often than she expects. Her active participation will surely be missed however knowing she’s on call sets the rest of us at ease. In the same breath we would like to welcome two new additions to the CMT: Kevin Henderson who is the HIV&AIDS technical advisor at Handicap International’s Kenya program and Aïda Sarr, a programme manager for the Secretariat of the African Decade of Persons with Disabilities’ West, North and Central Africa regional programme.

We would like to encourage you to please keep us updated on the developments in your respective countries, regions and districts and we promise to share your experiences with the rest of the world.

Gouwah Samuels, Kevin Henderson, Aïda Sarr
Campaign Management Team

Kampala Declaration on Disability and HIV & AIDS

PREAMBLE:

We, the participants of the Second Meeting of the Africa Campaign on Disability and HIV&AIDS representing Disabled People’s Organizations (DPOs), Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) working with and for persons with disabilities, Funding and Development Agencies from 21 African countries and representatives from other parts of the world, a meeting hosted by the National Union of Disabled Persons of Uganda (NUDIPU) in conjunction with the Government of Uganda, with support from Handicap International and the African Decade Secretariat, in Kampala, Uganda, March 11-13, 2008;

NOTING the fact that the incidence of HIV is disproportionately high among groups that are excluded socially, culturally and economically, including persons with disabilities, and that these groups are disregarded in a majority of national and international HIV/AIDS programming initiatives in Africa. Further noting the importance of mainstreaming disability issues in relevant strategies to achieve sustainable development;

RECOGNIZING that national, regional, continental and international instruments on human rights, such as the United Nations Human Rights Bill and the International Covenants on Human Rights, have proclaimed and agreed that everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in these instruments, without distinction of any kind. Further recognizing the principles and objectives of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2006, the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS – adopted at the UN General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS in 2001 and the Millennium Development Goals (MDG);

CONSIDERING that despite these various instruments and undertakings to which many United Nations member states are signatories, persons with disabilities continue to face barriers in their participation as equal members of society and violations of their human rights in all parts of the world, including Africa. Persons with disabilities should have the opportunity to be actively involved in decision-making processes about policies and programmes, including those directly concerning them; and the importance of accessibility to the physical, social, economic and cultural environment, to health and education and to information and communication in enabling persons with disabilities to fully enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms. Further considering the fact that children and women with disabilities are often at greater risk, both within and outside the home, of violence, injury or abuse, neglect, maltreatment or exploitation;

We call on all African Governments to include disability in its diversity as a crosscutting issue in ALL poverty reduction strategies.

Mindful of the above preamble, the signatories to the Kampala Declaration on Disability and HIV & AIDS make the following call that:

African Governments shall ensure that:

National AIDS strategic plans recognize persons with disabilities as vulnerable to the impact of HIV and AIDS as well as valuable contributors in the response to HIV/AIDS.

National HIV/AIDS monitoring and evaluation systems and the existing population surveillance systems include disability specific and disaggregated indicators to be used for planning and programming purposes;

The National HIV/AIDS Commissions/Councils include active representation of persons with disabilities;

Information Education Communication (IEC) strategies at all levels ensure provision for IEC which is accessible to persons with intellectual, mental, physical and sensory disabilities;

HIV/AIDS is recognized as a cause of disability.

HIV/AIDS prevention specialists and service providers shall:

Develop targeted prevention messages and methods that are disability-specific, gender-specific, age-specific and adapted to local language and cultural variations;

Equip all HIV/AIDS care and support service centres to provide comprehensive information and confidential counselling to persons with intellectual, mental, physical and sensory disabilities;

Provide equal opportunity to persons with disabilities to train for and engage in counselling and care provision (i.e. Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT), Preventing Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) and adherence counsellors, and home based care providers;

Associations of people living with HIV and AIDS recognise the rights of persons with disabilities living with HIV and AIDS to ‘access for all’ and provide greater involvement of persons with disabilities in the issues that affect them.

African Union AIDS portfolio and Africa AIDS Watch shall:

Ensure that their strategies, programmes and monitoring systems include disability in its diversity as a cross-cutting issue.

UNAIDS and its composite UN agencies—UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, ILO, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank—shall:

Recognise disability in its diversity as a cross-cutting issue in all HIV/AIDS policies, guidelines and programmes;

Ensure that their monitoring mechanisms track the involvement of persons with disabilities as planners, implementers as well as beneficiaries of HIV/AIDS programmes.

Funding Agencies shall:

Ensure that their funding requirements include both disability and HIV/AIDS as cross cutting issues;

Provide all key documents related to funding opportunities in formats that are accessible to persons with different types of disabilities;

Ensure that their monitoring mechanisms track the involvement of persons with disabilities in planning and implementation as well as beneficiaries of recipient programmes;

Independent research agencies and academic institutions shall:

Include disability and HIV/AIDS as a priority area for research;

Include disability issues in protocols for designing research programmes;

Ensure that research methods capture data that is disability-specific, gender-specific, age-specific and adapted to local language and cultural variations;

Ensure that persons with disabilities are included as researchers, not only respondents or subjects.

Disabled People’s Organisations shall:

Seek accreditation for civil society representation at the UNGASS through UNAIDS;

Provide/give input into HIV/AIDS country reports through governments;

Solicit the Civil Society Task Force for the High Level HIV/AIDS Meetings for membership and active participation;

Implement measures for the protection and promotion of the rights, needs, confidentiality and dignity of persons with disabilities living with HIV and AIDS;

Raise awareness among persons with disabilities and build HIV/AIDS into their regular programmes;
Avail human resources/disability experts to support the HIV/AIDS response for disabled and non-disabled people at all level

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

Chers membres du Comité de Pilotage, Sympathisants et Amis de la Campagne Africaine,

Cela fait tout juste 3 semaines depuis que nous nous sommes retrouvés pour la seconde Assemblée Générale de la Campagne Africaine sur le Handicap et le VIH&SIDA. C’était dans la jolie ville de Kampala, Ouganda du 11 au 13 Avril 2008.

Nous aimerions encore une fois saisir cette opportunité pour exprimer notre gratitude à l’Union Nationale des Personnes Handicapées d’Ouganda, au Gouvernement Ougandais, par le biais du Ministère de Genre, du Travail et du Développement Social pour avoir généreusement abrité cette rencontre. Nos remerciements vont également au Secrétariat de la Décennie, Handicap International et encore une fois au NUDIPU pour son soutien sans
faille lors de cet événement. Et enfin, à tous les membres du Comité National d’Organisation pour leur contribution exceptionnelle et efforts considérables déployés avant et durant la réunion. Cela n’aurait pas été possible sans votre dure labeur et nuit sans sommeil !!!

Nous étions plus de 170 délégués venant de plus de 20 pays Africains et 10 hors du continent. Des représentants de la société civile, du gouvernement, d’Institutions académiques, d’ONG internationales, d’Agences de Financement, des partenaires internationaux travaillant dans le domaine du VIH/SIDA et des médias étaient également présents lors de ce grand
rendez-vous.

L’aboutissement de tous nos efforts comme vous le savez, est la Déclaration de Kampala sur le Handicap et le VIH&SIDA. A cela s’ajoute, les discussions fructueuses notées au sein des groupes, la mise en place de 5 groupes de travail avec des plans d’action sur les objectifs de la Campagne et l’entrée au sein du comité de pilotage de nouveaux membres. (ci-joint le texte intégral de la déclaration en Anglais, Portugais et Français, sera transféré ASAP
La Déclaration appelle les gouvernements, les prestataires de services, l’Union Africaine, les Agences des NU, les Agences de financement, les Institutions Académiques et les Organisations de Personnes Handicapées à entreprendre les actions suivantes :

  • L’accès égal à la prévention et aux services du VIH/SIDA et
  • La pleine participation des personnes handicapées à la réponse au VIH/SIDA dans chaque pays et à tous les niveaux.

Nous vous encourageons ainsi, à faire de cette Déclaration une large diffusion dans votre pays, auprès des personnes handicapées, des gouvernements, des prestataires de services, des Agences des NU, des Agences de Financement, des Institutions Académiques. Saisissez les opportunités que vous avez avec les médias pour relayer cet important message auprès du grand public et le publier sur le site web de votre organisation.

Permettez nous également, de vous présenter le comité de pilotage qui s’est élargit et d’accueillir chaleureusement les 3 nouveaux venus :

  • M. Tambo Camara (Panafricaine des Personnes Handicapées (PAFOD) – Mauritanie;
  • Mme. Farida Gulamo (Association des Mozambicains Handicapés (ADEMO) – Mozambique;
  • M. Martin Babu Mwesigwa (Union Nationale des Personnes Handicapées d’Ouganda (NUDIPU) – Ouganda;
  • Dr. Elly Macha (Union Africaine des Aveugles (AFUB) – Kenya;
  • Mme. Rachel Kachaje (Fédération des Personnes Handicapées d’Afrique Australe (SAFOD) – Malawi;
  • M. Obuya George Onyango (Union Africaine des Sourds (ADU) – Kenya;
  • M. Paul Tezanou (Membre du Conseil D’Administration du Secrétariat de la Décennie) – Cameroun ;
  • L’Honorable Député, Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu (Parlementaire Sud Africaine; Représentante de la structure exécutive du Conseil National de Lutte contre le Sida) Afrique du Sud) – Afrique du Sud;
  • Mme. Fri Beatrice Bime (Global Fund) – Genève NEW
  • M. Oumar Diop (Handicap FormEduC, Centre de Ressources pour la Promotion des Droits des Personnes Handicapées) – Sénégal NEW
  • M. David O. Anyaele (Centre des Citoyens Handicapés) – Nigéria NEW

Autre changement, le départ du Dr Susan Girois de l’Equipe de Gestion de la Campagne à qui nous disons aurevoir. Elle ne sera plus activement impliquée dans le travail de l’Equipe de Gestion de la Campagne (EGC), cependant son expertise sera toujours mise à contribution. Son expérience, ses conseils and sa spontanéité seront plus souvent sollicités qu’elle ne le pense. Sa participation active nous manquera mais la sachant sur répondeur nous rassure. Dans le même temps, nous aimerions souhaiter la bienvenue au sein de l’ECG à Kevin Henderson, Conseiller Technique en VIH&SIDA à Handicap International et Aïda Sarr Assistante du Programme Régional pour l’Afrique de l’Ouest, Central et du Nord, du Secrétariat de la Décennie Africaine des Personnes Handicapées.

Un rapport détaillé y compris la liste des participants vous sera transmis par email end -Avril. Si vous avez besoin d’une copie sur CD, envoyez nous un email à cette adresse : khenderson@handicap-international.or.ke.

Nous souhaitons que vous nous teniez informer des derniers développements dans vos pays respectifs, régions et districts et nous promettons de les partager avec le reste du monde.

Gouwah Samuels, Kevin Henderson, Aïda Sarr
Equipe de Gestion de la Campagne



We Can Do received the Kampala Declaration on Disability and HIV&AIDS via the Intl-Dev listserv on international development.

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TRAINING: New Ethiopian Sign Language & Deaf Culture University Degree

Posted on 25 May 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Deaf, Education and Training Opportunities, News, Opportunities, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , |

Press Release – Ethiopian Sign Language degree
No. 1/08

The Department of Linguistics, Addis Ababa University, organized and conducted a one day consultative workshop on a Draft syllabus of a BA program in Ethiopian Sign Language (ESL) and Deaf Culture on March 14, 2008 in Addis Ababa. The purpose of the workshop is to evaluate the draft syllabus with the presence of stakeholders who are working in the area of sign language and Deaf Education. The participants are mainly teachers of Deaf schools, Deaf Students, representatives from Deaf Association, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, NGOs, various relevant government offices and the university officials.

Ethiopia’s first BA program in ESL and Deaf Culture has the following main objectives:

  • Train Deaf teachers and Deaf sign linguists,
  • Promoting the growth and enrichment of the ESL and,
  • Promote collaborative research on ESL.

It was told by the participants that such initiatives taken by the university is encouraging to minimize the shortage of teachers of deaf students all over the country. This three years BA program is hopefully to be launched in October 2008. Besides, the department has a future plan to set up a Regional Sign Language Center. Therefore, the department invites professionals to support our effort in the improvement of Ethiopian Deaf Education and for the development of Ethiopian Sign Language.

Currently, the department gives a non-credit, free of charge, awareness raising course on ESL and Deaf Culture for the University community. There are about 250 students attending this course in six (6) classes and will be certified on June 2008.

Inquiry about the Sign Language Program in Addis Ababa University can be made to the following addresses:

Dr. Hirut WoldeMariam, Chairperson, Dep’t of Linguistics, AAU
Email- hirutwoldemariam@yahoo.com

Dr. Moges Yigezu, ESL and Deaf Culture Project Leader,
Email- mogesyigezu@yahoo.com.au

Eyasu Hailu, ESL and Deaf Culture Project Coordinator
Email- tusaye11@gmail.com

Department of Linguistics
Addis Ababa University

April 2008



We Can Do obtained this press release via the DeafStudies-Africa listserv. Please note that inquiries related to the Ethiopian Sign Language program should be directed to one of the three email addresses given above, not to We Can Do.

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Bangkok Event Marks Entry into Force of Disability Rights Treaty

Posted on 29 April 2008. Filed under: Announcements, East Asia Pacific Region, Human Rights, News, Opportunities | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

United Nations in Bangkok to Mark Entry into Force of Treaty on Disability Rights
Special Event to be Held on Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Bangkok (United Nations Information Services) – A ground-breaking new international treaty, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, will enter into force on 3 May 2008 – one month after it was ratified by the twentieth country.

In Asia and the Pacific, which is home to about 400 million persons with disabilities, Bangladesh, India and the Philippines are the three countries which have already ratified the Convention. Thailand is expected to do so soon.

The Convention is the first ever international treaty on the human rights of persons with disabilities. It was adopted by the UN General Assembly in December 2006, and it aims to ensure that people with disabilities enjoy human rights on an equal basis with others.

To celebrate the Convention’s entry into force, three UN bodies in Bangkok will organize a special event on Wednesday, 30 April 2008, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:15 a.m., at the United Nations Conference Centre.

It is being jointly organized by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the International Labour Organization (ILO).

Noeleen Heyzer, UN Under-Secretary-General and ESCAP’s Executive Secretary, will address the event, which will feature a keynote speech by Senator Monthian Buntan of Thailand – who is blind – on the impact of the entry into force of the Convention and the importance of its ratification for countries in the region. Ms. Syeda Saiyidain Hameed, a member of the
Government of India’s Planning Commission, will also speak.

A related photo exhibition, entitled “Decent Work for Persons with Disabilities,” will be on display featuring various prize-winning photographs. The special event will also include a live musical performance by a group from Thailand, “The Network of Music and Arts of Persons with Disabilities.”

About ten per cent of the world’s total population – around 650 million people – are estimated to be living with various forms of disabilities. The percentage is even higher among the world’s poorest people, around 20 per cent of them having some kind of disability. People with disabilities are mostly marginalized and among the poorest of the poor, with limited access to education, employment, housing, transportation and health services. They represent a significant, but generally overlooked, development challenge.

Ensuring equality of rights and access for all persons with disabilities would have a beneficial impact on the social and economic conditions of each country, by enhancing their participation in education, employment, cultural, social and political activities and increasing their consumer power.

The new Convention marks a significant step in this direction. It encourages States to stop viewing persons with disabilities as passive recipients of charity, medical treatment and social protection. Instead, it casts persons with disabilities as active members of society and “subjects” who have rights and are capable of claiming those rights, being also able to make key decisions based on their free and informed consent.

NOTE TO THE MEDIA: Media representatives are cordially invited to attend this special event on Wednesday, 30 April, 2008, at 11:00 a.m. at the Reception Hall, Ground Floor, United Nations Conference Centre, at ESCAP’s headquarters in Bangkok.

***

For further information, please contact:

Ms. Aiko Akiyama
Population and Social Integration Section
Emerging Social Issues Division
ESCAP
Bangkok
Tel: 662-2882315
Mobile: 66-81-8309176
Fax: 662-2881030 or 2881009

or

Mr. Ari Gaitanis
United Nations Information Services
ESCAP
Bangkok
Tel: 662-2881862
Fax: 662-288-1052
Email: unisbkk.unescap@un.org

Aiko Akiyama
Social Affairs Officer
Emerging Social Issues Division (ESID)
UNESCAP
RAJDAMNERN NOK AVENUE,
BANGKOK 10200
THAILAND
Tel: 66-2-288-2315
Fax: 66-2-288-1030
Cellular: 66-81-830-9176
Email akiyama@un.org
http://www.unescap.org/esid/psis/disability/index.asp



This announcement was recently circulated on the Global Partnership for Disability and Development listserv.

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NEWS: World Blind Union Right to Read Global Campaign

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

Blind people read books too!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The campaign will pursue three main objectives, namely:-

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

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

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

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



This press release has been circulated via several different listserves.

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NEWS: Disabled to Vote in Karnataka, India

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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NEWS: Disability Advocate, Gladys Charowa, Dies

Posted on 21 April 2008. Filed under: Children, Education, Human Rights, News, Sub-Saharan Africa Region, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The following email was recently circulated on the AdHoc_IDC listserv, an email discussion group devoted to disability rights and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), as a tribute to fellow listserv member and disability rights advocate, Gladys Charowa.

Hi folks,

The vast majority of you will have seen many posts here from Gladys Charowa from the DWSO. She was a great supporter of the Convention and worked hard to ensure that her group were not going to be excluded from the Convention nor from the process.

It is with great sadness to that I have to inform you of Gladys Charowa who was the Executive Director of Disabled Women Support Organisation (Zimbabwe). Gladys suffered a stroke on the 6th of March and her health subsequently deteriorated leading to her death on the 7th of March, 2008 in Harare, Zimbabwe.

Gladys Charowa was involved in the disability movement since February 2002 during her rehabilitation in Harare after breaking her back in a car crash in December 2001. She was released from hospital in April 2002 after experiencing the conditions tolerated by the women who were also being rehabilitated. She decided to set up the Disabled Women Support Organisation (DWSO) after helping some of the service users at the centre; for example, she successfully petitioned an education examination board to allow a student with disabilities additional time to sit her examinations. Gladys wanted to challenge the traditional view that there is nothing that can be done to support women and girls who are spinally injured.

DWSO works alongside hospitals, often in rural areas, to provide support for individuals and their families to become both physically and financially independent; this includes training to sensitise the community, peer group education and micro-finance projects. DWSO is one of the first disability organisations to have projects in each of the 10 provinces of Zimbabwe.

DWSO also works with schools, setting up Disability Clubs and projects to help children and parents to increase their understanding of the needs of disabled people. Since 2002, she worked tirelessly as a disability activist fighting for poverty reduction, particularly among disabled women. Gladys was an active disability activist at both national and international level, and contributed immensely to disability related literature. Gladys will be greatly missed in disability activism and may her soul rest in peace after working so hard for a good cause.

Some of Gladys Charowa’s publications

(i) Reply to a statememt for discussion: investing in education for children with disabilities is economically not interesting

March 1, 2006 – Published by: Dutch Coalition on Disability and Development (DCDD), Available at http://www.dcdd.nl/default.asp?2905

(ii) Body blows: in the thick of Zimbabwe’s current turmoil, women with disabilities face hellish prejudice, hunger and rape. Gladys Charowa bears witness.(POVERTY & GENDER)(Column) – Published in New Internationalist, November 1, 2005

Best wishes,

Frank

Frank Mulcahy



Thank you to Frank Mulcahy of Ireland for sharing this sad news with the AdHoc_IDC listserv.

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NEWS: First Malaysian Disability Lifestyles Magazine Launches

Posted on 20 April 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Cross-Disability, East Asia Pacific Region, News, Resources | Tags: , , , , , , |

The first and only known national magazine for the disability-related community in Malaysia, Challenges, was launched earlier this month, the New Straits Times Online has reported. It is targeted at people with all disabilities.

An early sneak preview of the Challenge magazine was released in December 2007 and, as of this writing, can still be downloaded in PDF format (850 Kb) at:

http://challengesmagazine.files.wordpress.com/2007/12/challenges-sample-pages.pdf

The sample issue includes a story about a young, talented autistic Malaysian artist; a story about a workshop for disabled journalists; a story about a six-day trip in South Korea geared at raising awareness about accessibility issues; a story on which shopping malls are accessible to shoppers with various disabilities; an independent living seminar; and more.

It seems that Challenge magazine is currently still working on their web site–but when it’s ready, it should be available at http://www.CHALLENGESmag.com

Until then, readers can browse what seems to be a temporary blog site on the magazine at http://challengesmagazine.wordpress.com/.

Readers can also Fax the magazine at 603-78737030 or send an email to inquire about Challenges to CHALLENGESquery@gmail.com.



We Can Do first learned about the Challenge magazine when Ghulam Nabi Nazimani pointed readers to the New Straits Times Online story about it. I found further information, including the blog site and the upcoming web site, by searching online.

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NEWS: Afghan Disabled Union Now Named Development & Ability Organization (DAO)

Posted on 17 April 2008. Filed under: Announcements, News, South Asian Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

The following notice is being circulated by the newly-renamed Development & Ability Organization (DAO), formerly named the Afghan Disabled Union

Dear All:

Hope that you will be in good health.

The Afghan Disabled Union ADU has been renamed to Development & Ability Organization (DAO). This was done to ensure that we are no longer using negative words for persons with disabilities such as “Disabled”, which in English language can also mean “unable” and Mayoub/Mayoubin in Afghanistan’s national languages.

DAO will present a copy of our new registration certificate with the Ministry of Economy to the donors and the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disabled with an official letter explaining the change of our name from Afghan Disabled Union ADU to Development & Ability Organization DAO.

However please note that our official emails will remain the same as before until 25/4/2008 and then it will be changed to director@daoafghanistan.org, admin@daoafghanistan.org and info@daoafghanistan.org.

For further information on DAO please refer to our website www.daoafghanistan.org although it is now under construction. Please also forgive me for any duplicate posting.

Kind regards,

Omara Khan Muneeb
Director DAO which was
Formerly Afghan Disabled Union ADU.



Thank you to Omara Khan Muneeb for submitting this notice to We Can Do.

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Informational RESOURCE: Disability Web Portal Launched in India

Posted on 14 April 2008. Filed under: Cross-Disability, Education and Training Opportunities, Employment, Jobs & Internships, News, Opportunities, Rehabilitation, Resources, South Asian Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

A new interactive web portal for people with disabilities in India, called Punarbhava, has launched. This initiative of the Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI) and Media Lab Asia is targeted not only at persons with disabilities but also non-government organizations (NGOs), policy makers, caregivers, service providers, people working in the disability sector, and the public at large who wish to learn more about disability and related issues.

Among other things, the portal provides census
information about disabilities in India
and other data; information about various national and international laws affecting disabled people in India; information on documentaries and films or publications about disabilities; assistance in locating vocational training centers in India; information for rehabilitation professionals; resources for people with disabilities who are job hunting in India; information on training programs for professionals who wish to work with people with disabilities; and more.

People may learn more about the purpose of the Punarbhava web portal by reading its FAQ. Or start exploring the portal by following the link to:

http://punarbhava.in/



We Can Do first learned about the Punarbhava web portal through the Disabled Peoples International e-newsletter. More detail was gathered at the Punarbhava web portal itself.

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Bonn Declaration on Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Emergency Situations

Posted on 8 April 2008. Filed under: Disaster Planning & Mitigation, Inclusion, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The following Declaration was published at a recent international conference in Bonn, focused on people with disabilities in humanitarian emergency situations.

International Conference: Disasters are always inclusive. Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Emergency Situations
Bonn, 7 – 8 November, 2007

BONN DECLARATION
Preface – Situation Analysis
In humanitarian emergency situations, persons with disabilities are amongst the most vulnerable groups of society and tend to be disproportionately affected by the impacts of disasters. At the same time, they often remain ‘invisible’, even though their number statically makes up approximately ten percent of any population. Persons with disabilities, be they of physical, sensory, intellectual or psychological nature, are most often not included in the various stages of disaster response and in disaster preparedness measures, neither as recipients of aid to meet their basic as well as specific needs, nor as active stakeholders and designers or planners of aid measures, voicing their own needs and opinions. In addition, the incidence of new disabilities created by disasters is often not sufficiently taken into account and not responded to in an adequate, long-term manner, neither by local Governments, local NGOs or Disabled Peoples’ Organizations (DPOs), nor by intervening international NGOs. This lack of long-term rehabilitation perspective can lead to detrimental or even fatal outcomes for injured disaster victims, even after the disaster has long since passed and is no longer present in public awareness. This includes the neglect of severe trauma symptoms, which, if not professionally dealt with, can result in permanent psychological disabilities.

As a basis for a change of mindsets as well as for concrete action, the UN Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities, adopted in December 2006, constitutes the crucial instrument of international law to claim and reinforce equality and full participation of persons with disabilities. Article 11 calls for State parties to undertake “all measures to ensure protection and safety for persons with disabilities in situations of risk, including situations of armed conflict, humanitarian emergencies and the occurrence of natural disasters”.

In humanitarian emergency situations, humanitarian aid agencies and other stakeholders are called to comply with minimum standards and indicators of humanitarian aid in order to secure and protect lives, especially of vulnerable groups such as women, children, elderly and persons with disabilities. These minimum standards and indicators can be valuable guidelines, but are not yet sufficiently explicit and practical with regard to inclusion of persons with disabilities (for example refer to the handbook of The Sphere Project, 2004 edition).

In conclusion to the international conference “Disasters are always inclusive! Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Emergency Situations”, held November 7 and 8, 2007, a number of recommendations for inclusive disaster preparedness and emergency response in the sense of “Humanitarian Aid for ALL” were deduced. It was the common understanding that the most important and at the same time most difficult requirement is to change mindsets in such a way that inclusion becomes a matter of course. From there to actual practical adjustments towards inclusiveness of disaster preparedness and response programs is a much easier step.

I. Recommendations for Inclusive Disaster Response in General
II. Recommendations for Inclusive Disaster Preparedness Planning
III. Recommendations for Inclusive Response in Acute Emergency Situations and Immediate Rehabilitation Measures
IV. Recommendations for Inclusive Post-Disaster Reconstruction and Development Measures

I. Recommendations for Inclusive Disaster Response in General
It is important to ensure inclusion of persons with disabilities, their families and communities as well as Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) at every stage of disaster response, from planning to implementation, in order to cater for basic as well as special needs of persons with disabilities in pre, acute and post disaster situations.

Recommendations instrumental for inclusion in all stages of disaster response are:
1) Enable full participation of persons with disabilities and their families as active stakeholders and advisors;
2) Guarantee full accessibility for persons with disabilities and their families to information and services in pre, acute and post disaster situations;
3) Strive for involvement and creation of ownership of local government structures with regard to inclusive disaster response measures;
4) Lobby for government action plans for inclusion / disability mainstreaming in disaster response;
5) Strive for cooperation and networking between humanitarian aid agencies and organisations specialising in disability issues, both on the national and international level;
6) Define and learn from “best practices” of inclusion / disability mainstreaming in disaster response;
7) Adapt existing disaster response guidelines to include criteria and practical indicators for inclusion of disability issues;
8) Provide easily applicable methodologies and tools for practical inclusive action in disaster response;
9) Establish (self-)evaluation mechanisms to monitor and improve the quality of inclusion measures in disaster response;
10) Allocate adequate funding for disability issues in disaster response budgets as well as in development aid budgets for disaster prone areas.

II. Recommendations for Inclusive Disaster Preparedness Planning
Special focus must be directed towards inclusive disaster preparedness planning to ensure effective inclusive disaster response when an emergency actually takes place (be prepared = best case scenario).

Since the emergency affects local people in situ on the level of local communities, disaster preparedness planning must be community-based. Tailor-made community based disaster preparedness planning can then respond adequately to the special situations and needs of ALL, including vulnerable groups such as persons with disabilities, in a given community.

Recommendations instrumental for inclusive disaster preparedness planning are:
1) Raise sensitivity and awareness that disaster preparedness is important for all members of a community;
2) Raise sensitivity and awareness that persons with disabilities have basic and special needs that require specific attention in an emergency situation;
3) Mobilize and strengthen the capacities of local human resources, in particular individuals with disabilities, their families (especially the parents of the intellectually disabled), their village communities, local government structures, existing local DPOs, local research institutes etc;
4) Provide theoretical and practical training on disability issues (knowledge and skills) for relief workers, volunteers, family members etc. – Possible training topics: understanding disability and related basic and special needs; understanding and overcoming barriers; acquiring and improving practical skills by exercising communication techniques and evacuation methods adapted to the needs of persons with disabilities etc;
5) Involve disabled people themselves, their families and local DPOs in local needs assessments (participatory vulnerability mapping of communities);
6) Involve and train disabled people themselves, their families and local DPOs for participation in local disaster response task forces;
7) Establish a system of accountability for all involved stakeholders (local NGOs, voluntary task forces, local government structures etc), based on a catalogue of criteria / indicators and easily applicable self-monitoring systems to determine the degree and quality of inclusive preparedness.

III. Recommendations for Inclusive Response in Acute Emergency Situations and Immediate Rehabilitation Measures
Most often the “best case scenario”, meaning that inclusive disaster preparedness planning has taken place and preparedness measures are implemented, is not given at the incidence of disaster. Nevertheless, it is possible to include persons with disabilities in relief and in immediate rehabilitation measures.

Recommendations instrumental for inclusive relief and immediate rehabilitation after an acute emergency are:
1) Include issues of disability in rapid assessments of aid relevant sectors;
2) As a tool for rapid assessments, use easy to handle (updated) checklists which comprise disability related questions;
3) Find and provide assistance for the ‘invisible’ persons with disabilities already living in the disaster affected communities, including those with intellectual and psychological disabilities;
4) Pay adequate professional medical attention to newly injured or disabled persons to avoid medical complications, secondary disabilities or even fatal outcomes;
5) Avoid aggravation of injuries or new disabilities by inadequate transportation of injured persons during evacuation;
6) Pay adequate attention to the emotional and social needs of disaster victims to help them overcome normal trauma symptoms;
7) Pay adequate professional psychological attention to disaster victims displaying severe traumatic symptoms to avoid long-term psychic disabilities;
8) Include local and international experts for special focuses in rapid assessment teams and advisory teams, such as disability experts, psycho-social trauma counsellors, experienced persons with disabilities etc;
9) Strive for coordination of intervening stakeholders on the spot, for example through cluster meetings of local and international NGOs representing different aid sectors, including disability specific organisations;
10) Build alliances with other vulnerable groups, because what you do for one group (persons with disabilities) is often also valuable for others (elderly persons, pregnant or nursing mothers, mothers with many children etc);
11) Incorporate tools for inclusion in the context of relief and immediate rehabilitation into the next revision of The Sphere Project handbook (knowing about these tools is also an aspect of preparedness);
12) Link relief and immediate rehabilitation activities with long-term rehabilitation and development by negotiation and cooperation with local Governments and authorities.

IV. Recommendations for Inclusive Post-Disaster Reconstruction and Development Measures
Inclusive reconstruction and development, focussing on participation and empowerment of all groups of society and especially of vulnerable groups, leads to better living conditions than before the disaster and at the same time to a higher level of preparedness and thus reduction of vulnerability in the face of a potential next disaster.

Recommendations instrumental for inclusive post-disaster reconstruction and inclusive development are:

1) Apply principles of universal accessibility for ALL, including flexibility for adaptations to various needs of persons with disabilities when implementing housing reconstruction projects;
2) Include universal accessibility features when involved in planning and reconstruction of infrastructure and public facilities;
3) Involve beneficiaries as active participants in every stage of the reconstruction project cycle;
4) Facilitate and monitor inclusive planning and reconstruction with the help of expert advice from skilled and specialized persons with disabilities;
5) Allocate sufficient time for sensitization, awareness raising, negotiation and cooperation with key (local) stakeholders, such as affected communities, persons with disabilities and their families, DPOs, local authorities (community and national levels), professionals (architects, engineers) etc;
6) Lobby for government policies and minimum standards for barrier-free reconstruction, including reconstruction of infrastructure and public facilities (refer to article 9 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities);
7) Raise awareness for cost efficiency of barrier-free reconstruction from the very beginning as compared to subsequent technical adjustments;
8) Further develop and apply tools (checklists, manuals) for barrier-free reconstruction and adapt them to local environments (adjustment of minimum standards to local context);
9) Strive for continuation of medical care and rehabilitation as well as psycho-social support for persons injured or disabled by the disaster through their integration into long-term local public health programs;
10) Support the development of a referral system linking existing facilities required in long-term rehabilitation;
11) Develop self-help capacities of persons with disabilities and their families through livelihood programs (professional training, income generating projects);
12) Monitor and evaluate long-term rehabilitation and development measures to make necessary changes for improved impact and sustainability;
13) Make disaster preparedness planning a crucial element of and a trigger for inclusive community development (refer to paragraph I. of this document).
_____________________________________________________________________

The Bonn Declaration was composed and published as result of the international conference “Disasters are always inclusive. Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Emergency Situations” which took place from 7 – 8 November, 2007, in Bonn/Germany.

The conference was organized by Disability & Development Cooperation (bezev), Kindernothilfe, Christian Blind Mission, Caritas Germany International Dptm., Handicap International and Der Paritätische Gesamtverband.

Further information and documents on ‘Humanitarian Aid for All’, Inclusive Disaster Preparedness and Response are available under: www.bezev.de

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NEWS: Commonwealth Disabled Peoples’ Forum Founded

Posted on 8 April 2008. Filed under: Human Rights, News, South Asian Region, Sub-Saharan Africa Region, youth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Ghulam Nabi Nizamani has asked that people circulate the following press release.

COMMONWEALTH DISABLED PEOPLES’ FORUM

Press Release

A New Voice Shouts to the Commonwealth –
Nothing About us Without Us.

Disabled youth and adult people from 16 Commonwealth countries came together from 15-17 March, 2008 in London to launch a unique Commonwealth Disabled Peoples’ Forum (1), the purposes of which will be to provide a link between disabled people’s organisations in all Commonwealth countries and all the political structures of the Commonwealth.

At the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in October 2007 the civil society challenge to CHOGM was to mainstream disability in sustainable development, to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability (CRPD) and to adopt disability inclusive policies. This cannot be achieved without a strong, democratic forum of disabled youth and adults to ensure implementation.

We had a vibrant and dynamic series of meetings to consolidate the vision, constitution and activities of the Forum (2). The youth met separately to devise their own creative methods of self representation and organisation. We came together in a final agreement of how to go forward together. It is essential that the voice of young disabled people is heard clearly in the work of the CDPF. They are the future leaders and builders of our shared vision of a Commonwealth built on equality, human rights and respect for diversity.

The major focus of our work in the next two years, including a major conference before CHOGM in 2009, will be to ensure that Commonwealth countries sign, ratify and implement the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability. As Rachel Kachaje said at the Launch of the CDPF, hosted by the Commonwealth Foundation at Marlborough House,
‘Disabled people see that hope springs out of the convention – hope for a new, inclusive world where disabled people can be seen as fully human’

We, All Sanghar Handicaps’ Association Pakistan are very proud to have part of this exciting new beginning and look forward to working with our disabled colleagues to ensure our full inclusion in all the nations of our shared Commonwealth.

For further information contact:
Ghulam Nabi Nizamani
South Asia /South East Asia Regional Representative
Bakhoro Road Sanghar-68100, Pakistan. (3)
Ph # +92-333-2916281
Email: ghulamnabi.nizamani@gmail.com (4)

(1) This meeting was funded by the Commonwealth Foundation, DFID, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and ADD.
(2) Officers elected were: Chair: James Mwanda (Uganda), Vice Chair: George Daniel (Tinidad & Tobago), Secretary: Javed Abidi (India), Treasurer: Richard Rieser (UK), Women’s Representative: Rachel Kachaje, (Malawi) Youth Representatives: Laura Kanusu (Uganda)
George Kasara (Kenya), Regional Representatives: Ghulam Nabi Nizaamani (Pakistan), Lesley Emmanuel (Antigua), Setareki Macanawai (Fiji), Steve Estey (Canada) Thomas Ongolo (South Africa).
(3) The registered office of the CDPF will be in India and there will be a liaison office in the UK to work directly with the Commonwealth Secretariat and Foundation.
(4) This email address can be changed after website of CDPF.



In addition to the above press release, Ghulam Nabi Nizamani also made the following note in mid March:

The following countries from South Asia and South East Asia are member countries of Commonwealth. These Countries are invited to submit application for Commonwealth Disabled Peoples’ Forum (CDPF) Country Focal Point.
Bangladesh
Brunei Darussalam
India
Malaysia
Maldives
Pakistan
Singapore
Sri Lanka

The Organization must be National Level Organization in respective country if in any country there will be no National Organization we will support to encourage to estabilish National organization in that country. Please also send establishment date of Organization, Network in the Country, Some credible work done in past. Please send information by mail or email before the first week of April 2008.

Cheers!
Ghulam Nabi Nizamani
Regional Representative CDPF
South and South East Asia

Note: We have no contact from Brunei Darussalam please help us for finding National organization there.



Thank you to Ghulam Nabi Nizamani for sharing the above press release. Any inquiries should please be emailed to him directly at ghulamnabi.nizamani@gmail.com.

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NEWS: Bangladesh Disability Forum Elects New National Executive Council

Posted on 7 April 2008. Filed under: News, South Asian Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

This notice was recently circulated by the Association for the Welfare of the Disabled People (AWDP) in Bangladesh.

Congratulations!

Association for the Welfare of the Disabled People AWDP warmly congratulates the newly elected National Executive Council (NEC) of National Disability Forum NFOWD in Bangladesh. The election was held on 29 March afternoon at Social Welfare Complex, Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Through this election a fifteen member NEC was elected comprising eight PWD (five are persons with visual impairment and three persons with physical challenges) members including a woman with disability for the duration of next two years. This is for the first time in the history of NFOWD majority number of people with disabilities from diverse background and approaches of intervention comprised the NEC.

AWDP Executive Council on behalf of all its members congratulates this newly elected NEC for taking a great challenge to promote rights, dignity and participation of people with disabilities in Bangladesh. AWDP will extend all its support and cooperation to this Council towards achieving an inclusive, rights-based society for all.

Thanking you.

Md. Mahbubul Ashraf
Coordinator, AWDP, Bangladesh
Convener, Self-help Initiative Thematic Group, NFOWD



Thank you to AWDP, Bangladesh, for passing this along.

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