Reports

Report: Pacific Sisters with Disabilities at the Intersection of Discrimination

Posted on 4 June 2009. Filed under: Announcements, East Asia Pacific Region, Education, Employment, Health, Human Rights, Inclusion, News, Policy & Legislation, Rehabilitation, Reports, Resources, signed languages, Violence, Women | Tags: , , , , |

Both people with disabilities and also women experience discrimination in countries around the world, including within the Pacific region. Women with disabilities experience a double dose of discrimination. A newly released report, entitled Pacific Sisters with Disabilities: at the Intersection of Discrimination (PDF format, 981 Kb), reviews the situation of women with disabilities in the Pacific region. It includes discussion on the challenges of discrimination against women with disabilities; laws among Pacific Island governments; and policies and programs within disabled people’s organizations (DPOs), women’s organizations, and mainstream international development partners. The report concludes with recommendations for improving the situation of women with disabilities in the Pacific region. This April 2009 report, by authors Daniel Stubbs and Sainimili Tawake, covers the situation of 22 Pacific countries and territories. It was published by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Pacific Center.

The research leading to this report found that a few helpful laws, policies, and systems of practice do exist in some countries. However, disabled women do still tend to fare more poorly compared to disabled men or compared to non-disabled women. Specifically, they are often less educated, experience more unemployment, face more violence and abuse, encounter more poverty, are more isolated, have less access to health care, and have lower social status. Women with disabilities also have less access to information about education, health care, their reproductive rights, recreation, politics, or even the weather.

Unfortunately, very limited documentation on the situation of women with disabilities exist in any region, including the Pacific. This report relies partly on extrapolation from what is known about women with disabilities in other regions. This information is supplemented, where possible, with local data, statistics, anecdotes, and other information specific to disabled women in the Pacific.

The full 90-page report can be downloaded for free, in PDF format (981 Kb) at: http://www.undppc.org.fj/_resources/article/files/Final%20PSWD%20BOOKLET.pdf.



I learned about this report via the Global Partnership on Disability and Development email discussion list.

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REPORT: Disability in 28 Asian-Pacific Countries

Posted on 28 January 2009. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Cross-Disability, East Asia Pacific Region, Policy & Legislation, Reports, South Asian Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Asian and Pacific Decade of Disabled Persons (2003-2012) was meant to promote a rights-based approach toward disability in the Asian-Pacific Region, in place of the older welfare-based approach. The “Biwako Millennium Framework for Action towards an Inclusive, Barrier-free and Rights-based Society for Persons with Disabilities in Asia and the Pacific (BMF)” was meant to provide countries in the Asian region with a set of principles to help them make the shift. How well has it succeeded?

In 2004, the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), a part of the United Nations system, conducted a survey to find out. The result is an 87-page publication entitled “Disability At a Glance: Profile of 28 Countries in Asia and the Pacific” (PDF format, 780 Kb), released in 2006. It is meant to provide disability-related data and policy information so that readers can compare definitions of disability; statistics; the implementation of the Biwako framework; and government commitments to disability issues across the Asian-Pacific region. The countries and regions covered in the publication include: China; Hong Kong; Japan; Mongolia; Republic of Korea; Cambodia; Indonesia; Lao People’s Democratic Republic; Malaysia; Philippines; Singapore; Thailand; Timor Leste; Vietnam; Afghanistan; Bangaldesh; Bhutan; India; Maldives; Nepal; Pakistan; Kazakhstan; Pacific Australia; Cook Islands; Fiji; Kiribati; and Solomon Islands.

Each country is represented with a one- or two-page table filled in with relevant statistics and one-paragraph summaries of disability-related legislation and policies in the country. This publication is not the place to seek out in-depth information about the complexities and nuances of daily life for people with disabilities in the Asian-Pacific region. But then, it is not meant to be. It’s strength is that it allows quick and easy comparison of certain specific types of information across many countries within the region. Or, people who wish to gain a broad sense of disability demographics, policies, and inclusion in the Asian-Pacific region as a whole will wish to read the section sub-headed “Key Findings,” starting near the bottom of page 9.

Download the full report (PDF format, 780 Kb) at http://www.unescap.org/esid/psis/disability/publications/glance/disability%20at%20a%20glance.pdf.

People interested in reading reports about disability in the Asian-Pacific region will also want to browse the Social Policy Papers on disability listed on the ESCAP web page at http://www.unescap.org/esid/psis/publications/index.asp. Two examples of additional reports and publications include Focus on Ability, Celebrate Diversity: Highlights of the Asian and Pacific Decade published in 2003, following the 1993 to 2002 decade; and Hidden Sisters: Women and Girls with Disabilities in the Asian-Pacific Region, 1995.

People also may wish to read the original Biwako framework on-line, or read the 2007 “Biwako Plus Five” update on progress since the Biwako framework was written.



I learned about this publication through the AsiaPacificDisability listserver, which people can subscribe to for free.

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RESOURCE: Young People Share Views on Inclusive Education

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

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

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

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



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

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Are Development Programs Achieving Disability Inclusion? If Not, What Next?

Posted on 4 September 2008. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Announcements, Cross-Disability, Inclusion, Reports, Resources | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

We cannot put all the world’s children into school, or eradicate global poverty and hunger, or stop the spread of HIV/AIDS, until and unless mainstream international development programs proactively include people with disabilities. The good news is that a slowly growing number of international agencies and organizations have written policies declaring their support for disability inclusion, otherwise known as disability mainstreaming. These include, as a few examples, the US Agency of International Development (USAID); the World Bank; The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD); and the UK Department for International Development (DFID).

But, how well do these nice-sounding policies translate into practice? Do these programs actually reach poor people with disabilities in developing countries, or improve the quality of their lives, any better than before they wrote these policies? One DisabilityKar publication explores this question: Has Disability Been Mainstreamed into Development Cooperation? (Word format, 921 Kb)

One of the conclusions of this report is that the question is harder to answer than you might think: even the definition of what makes a “policy” a “policy” is apparently not always as obvious as it might seem. Then there are even trickier concepts to define, such as “inclusion,” “mainstreaming,” and “disability.” But ultimately the answer is mostly disappointing. Apart from some limited progress, many policies fail to go beyond pretty words on a page into pragmatic action in the field. If they are implemented, it is more or less haphazardly.

This conclusion in itself will probably not be especially new to close observers of the development field. What makes this study interesting, however, is that it is one of the few attempts to formally document what it terms a “disconnect between promise and results.” More importantly, it makes an attempt to answer why this disconnect happens, and what committed organizations can do to ensure that disability-friendly policies are carried out in practice. The study was published in July 2005, so some information has changed since then. But many of the underlying challenges are likely still similar today. Organizations and agencies that are serious about disability inclusion may wish to review this study with their own policies and practices in mind and consider ways they can help close the gap.

Has Disability Been Mainstreamed into Development Cooperation? (Word format, 921 Kb) analyzes policies and practice at USAID, the World Bank, NORAD, and DFID. The most common reason why disability inclusion policies fail include: lack of institutional support; failure to communicate policies; failure to break down traditional attitudes toward disability; failure to provide practical guidance in how to implement the policies; and inadequate resources.

Download the full 107-page report in Word format (921 Kb) at:

http://handicap-international.fr/bibliographie-handicap/4PolitiqueHandicap/mainstreaming/MainstreamDevCoop.doc

People interested in the DisabilityKar report may also be interested in reading a study of US-based organizations with an international focus on the extent to which they proactively include the concerns of women and girls with disabilities in their programs. This study, entitled Gender And Disability: A Survey of InterAction Member Agencies: Findings And Recommendations on Inclusion of Women and Men with Disabilities in International Development Programs (PDF format, 286 Kb), explores both policies and practice in dozens of relief and international development agencies and organizations. It also includes recommendations for how mainstream organizations can move forward in promoting genuine disability inclusion. Published by Mobility International USA, it is a few years older than DisabilityKar’s study, but covers more organizations and includes a gender focus as well as a disability focus. It can be downloaded in PDF format (286 Kb) at:

http://www.miusa.org/publications/freeresources/media/genderdisabilityreport.PDF



I discovered DisabilityKar’s study by exploring Handicap International’s new, on-line, free CD on Disability Rights and Policies. I encourage readers to explore the on-line CD on their own to find more publications and resources of interest. I first learned of MIUSA’s publication when I took my first course in international development and disability a few years ago at Gallaudet University.

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Disabled Girls in the Classroom: Finding What We Don’t Know

Posted on 25 August 2008. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Children, Cross-Disability, Education, Reports, Violence, Women, youth | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

A report entitled Education for All: a gender and disability perspective (PDF format, 151 Kb) discusses what we don’t know about girls with disabilities in relation to education, and what ought to be done about it.

Readers familiar with gender issues within education know that, in many countries, girls are still more likely to drop out of school–if they ever attend at all. They may be needed at home to fetch the water; they may be afraid of being sexually assaulted on the way to school; or they may be embarrassed about managing their menustration at schools where there is no separate bathroom for girls–or perhaps no bathrooms at all.

Regular We Can Do readers and others familiar with the education field may also recall that about 77 million primary school-aged children today are not enrolled in school–and about one-third of them have disabilities. Schools are reluctant to enroll disabled students; parents may fear subjecting children with disabilities to bullying from the community and thus keep them at home; or decision makers may simply assume that disabled students either cannot learn or would be unable to use their educational degree later on because “no one wants to hire disabled workers.”

But what of girls with disabilities? Being a double minority does tend to come with a triple whammy. Disabled girls are excluded because they have disabilities; they are excluded because they are girls; and then they are excluded yet again when programs might target girls without including disabled girls, or when programs might target children with disabilities without considering the impact of gender.

This would seem to imply that girls with disabilities may face a unique set of barriers when pursuing an education–barriers that neither non-disabled girls nor disabled boys need to consider. If a unique set of barriers, then surely a unique set of solutions would also be needed to ensure that the push to put the last 77 million children into school does not leave behind girls with disabilities. But, how can we tackle these barriers if we don’t have a clear picture of what they are?

The 35-page paper, Education for All: a gender and disability perspective (PDF format, 151 Kb), is an attempt to pull together what is known about girls in education with what is known about disability in education, coupled with anecdotcal information about how girls with disabilities are affected differently. It provides recommendations for areas researchers should be focusing on and gives a few ideas for things that can help.

This paper was published in 2003. But, unfortunately, I doubt it is significantly dated. I don’t pretend to be intensively familiar with the literature on education among students with disabilities internationally. But a quick skim through a more recent report on disability in education, Education’s Missing Millions (PDF format, 1.2 Mb), suggests that advancements since 2003 have been far from dramatic.

Perhaps one of the most important purposes of Education for All: a gender and disability perspective (PDF format, 151 Kb) is to help remind gender specialists that girls with disabilities are first and foremost, girls–but will be inherently excluded if not consciously targeted. For We Can Do readers already working on disability issues in education, another purpose is to remind that barriers excluding women and girls from full participation in society impact disabled girls and women just as much–if not more so.

If issues impacting girls with disabilities interests you, then you might also be interested in some of the following We Can Do posts:

Equalizing Educational Opportunity for the Nigerian-Ghanaian Blind Girl Child
Violence Against Blind/VI Girls in Malawi
Report on Violence Against Disabled Children (which I include in this list because violence against girls is often cited as a reason why some girls quit school)
Education’s Missing Millions: Including Disabled Children
Report on Promoting the Rights of Children with Disabilities (the referenced report includes brief references throughout to girls, including in the context of education)
Online discussion of inclusive education in Eastern Africa

Advocates working to promote more educational opportunities for girls with disabilities also may wish to consult, and cite, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), with particular attention to Article 6 (Women with Disabilities); Article 7 (Children with Disabilities); and Article 24 (Education).



I found this report by browsing the AskSource.info database.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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RESOURCES: Making Sanitation and Water Accessible for Disabled People

Posted on 11 June 2008. Filed under: Mobility Impariments, Reports, Resources, Water and Sanitation | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

The World Bank tells us that 2.6 billion of the world’s population do not have access to basic sanitation and hygiene. In rural areas, that means people may defecate in open fields. In cities, they may defecate into plastic bags and throw them into street. The result? Disease and sometimes death. But access to sanitation isn’t only a health issue. It is also an education issue. When girls don’t have a sanitary, private place to take care of their needs during menustration they skip school.

The World Bank also tells us that a billion of the world’s population lack access to a clean source of water. This is again both a health issue and an education issue. Dirty water makes people sick. And children who must spend upwards of two hours a day simply fetching water from the nearest water source may have no time left to attend school or study.

Data on sanitation and water access for people with disabilities is hard to find. But the little literature I have seen on the topic suggests that their needs are often left out when projects strive to bring either to a new village or neighborhood. This means they are left more vulnerable to disease than their neighbors. This situation also unequally deprives disabled people of their right to dignity.

So what can be done?

No single answer will suit all cases. First of all, the facilities themselves vary widely: a toilet, for example, might be a Western-style seat in some countries but an Asian-style porcelain bowl in the ground in other countries. Second of all, a person who walks on crutches due to the after-effects of polio may have different needs than a person who walks without aid but who cannot bend easily. Both of these individuals may have different needs still from the person who uses a wheelchair due to spinal cord injury, whose needs will also differ from those of another wheelchair rider who has cerebral palsy. Creativity and resourcefulness will always need to be key components of any plan to make water and sanitation services accessible for all.

The Water, Engingeering, and Development Center at Loughborough University has gathered a list of links to articles and resources related to water and sanitation access for disabled people. Here, you can find a briefing note on why the East African water and sanitation sector needs to consider the needs of disabled people. Or scroll further down their web page to find links to reports about water and sanitation projects for people with disabilities in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Uganda, and elsewhere.

Start exploring at:

http://wedc.lboro.ac.uk/projects/new_projects3.php?id=60

Author Mahesh Chandrasekar in India has also written an article based on his own experience in making sanitation more accessible for himself, entitled “Water and Sanitation for All,” available at http://www.geocities.com/mahesh_mobility/water_sanitation.htm

People interested in on-going discussion about the topics of disability, water, and sanitation may be interested in joining the Disability, Water, and Sanitation listserv. More information is available on the listserv at http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/lists/DWS.html. You will note from a quick glance at the archives that discussion on this list seems to be somewhat slow and sporadic. But many lists do revive once new members join them, so it may be worth a try.

Another We Can Do post related to water and sanitation includes one about a handbook on how to make water ans sanitation accessible to disabled people, also from the Water, Engineering, and Development Centre of Loughborough University.



I learned about the literature at the Water, Engineering, and Development Centre of Loughborough University after browsing some links from the World Bank web page on rural development and disability. I learned about Mahesh Chandrasekar’s article through email correspondence with the author. We Can Do readers might be interested in browsing some of Mahesh Candrasekar’s other articles on disability and human rights; disability and discrimination; universal access/barrier free environment; disability and development; and access to education.

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Successful Projects–What Makes Them Work?

Posted on 2 June 2008. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Case Studies, Cognitive Impairments, Reports, Resources | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Ideas are easy. Any 10 disability advocates will have 100 ideas for projects to fight poverty or otherwise improve the lives of people with disabilities in developing countries. But knowing how to implement projects that actually do what advocates and funders hope they will do is much harder. So, what makes successful projects work? Why do they work? What lessons can other project leaders learn from them?

Inclusion International has released a 66-page study entitled “Successful Projects–What Makes Them Work?” (PDF format, 3.5 Mb). As it happens, their analysis focuses on projects for people with intellectual disabilities in India, Romania, Kenya, and South Africa. But its conclusions are broad enough that this guide may be useful across disability groups and regions.

Successful Projects by Anders Gustavsson and Johans Sandvin and Annika and Lennart Nilsson examines 13 different projects. Each project was chosen because it was interesting, successful, or outstanding in improving the lives of people with intellectual disabilities. Chapters 1 and 2 describe the research process and the national reports used. Chapters 3 to 7 provide a cross national analysis of the 13 projects, and chapter 8 presents conclusions and implications. The study aimed to answer the following questions (taken from page 8 of the report):

  • Which projects resulting in sustainable improvements of life conditions for adults and children with intellectual disabilities can be found in the four countries?
  • What are the most strategic change agents, internationally, nationally and locally?
  • Which methods are most effective at initiating and maintaining the processes of change?
  • What other factors, deliberate project interventions as well as contextual factors, are important to achieve a positive change?

Experienced leaders, advocates, and professionals may agree with some of Inclusion International’s conclusions but may disagree with others. The study’s conclusion suggests, for example, that any criteria used to measure improvement in the quality of life must be specific to the local culture. The rationale is that different cultures define “quality of life” very differently. This seems a valid point.

But then the study goes further to baldly assert, “the idea of developing a model of best practice to be applied across cultural contexts would never work” (p. 57). This seems too overgeneralized a conclusion from my view.

If by “a model of best practice” you mean “a rigidly prescribed, one-size-fits all project plan,” then I have no hesitation in agreeing. Projects that are too strict in emulating their original model adapt poorly to the unique needs of the people they serve. I also agree wholeheartedly with the study’s assertion that projects work best when they are generated by local people themselves, in response to their own ideas and passions. Projects imposed by outsiders rarely work as well, either because they are not responsive to actual local problems or because local leaders don’t support them as strongly.

But it is a dangerously false assumption to believe that projects originated in other cultural contexts can never offer lessons for leaders elsewhere. As one example (though not disability specific): some years ago, Mexico and Brazil each launched what is now called “conditional cash transfer” programs. Governments give the very poorest families cash. In exchange, parents must do certain things such as sending their children to school or bringing them to health clinics.

The original conditional cash transfer idea has now proliferated not only within Latin America but also to countries as culturally disparate as Kenya, Turkey, Indonesia, and even New York City in the United States. They help improve school attendance, child health, and family nutrition as well as helping families cope with poverty. Yes, each project does need to be carefully tailored for the local culture and conditions. But the broad concept of this program has survived the transition across cultures very well.

Surely there must be broad strategies for certain types of projects targeted at people with disabilities that could similarly survive the transition from one culture to another, even if the details must be dramatically altered.

I should hasten to point out I may be over-reacting to an admittedly superficial glance at the study’s conclusions and accompanying powerpoint programs. The flaw may well be in my reading rather than in the study.

These caveats aside, project leaders, disability advocates, and international development professionals all may find it interesting to read the common “story line” of how successful projects tend to get started. And, as mentioned further above, some of its conclusions do strike me as valid and interesting.

The 66-page report can be downloaded for free in PDF format (3.5 Mb) at:

http://www.inclusion-international.org/site_uploads/File/Inclusion%20International%20Study%20-%20A%20Cross-National%20Analysis%20-%20Final.pdf

An accompanying powerpoint program, and more detailed reports on individual countries, can be found at the Inclusion International web site at:

http://inclusion-international.org/en/projects/10.html



I first found this study by browsing the Inclusion International web site.

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International Conference: Inclusive Education, the Way of the Future

Posted on 2 June 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Children, Cross-Disability, Education, Events and Conferences, Inclusion, Opportunities, Reports, youth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The International Bureau of Education is holding its 48th session of the International Conference on Education (ICE) this 25 – 28 November 2008 in Geneva, Switzerland. The theme will be “Inclusive Education: the Way of the Future.”

The International Conference on Education is usually predominantly tailored for the needs of Ministers of Education who represent country governments around the world. However, other partners such as researchers, practitioners, representatives of intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations also participate in the ICE dialogue.

Debates at the November 2008 session of ICE are expected to focus on the following themes:

(i) approaches, scope and content (to broaden the understanding of the theory and the practice of inclusive education);
(ii) public policies (to demonstrate the role of governments in the development and the implementation of policies on inclusive education);
(iii) systems, links and transitions (to create inclusive education systems which offer opportunities for lifelong learning);
(iv) learners and teachers (to foster a learning environment where teachers are equipped to meet the learners’ diverse expectations and needs).

As of this writing (June 2, 2008), I could not locate registration information at the ICE conference web site. However, even for people unable to attend the November conference, the web site still offers an abundance of materials that may be of interest to people involved in the education field.

If you scroll down the page at the ICE conference site, you will see a listing of past Preparatory Meetings on Inclusive Education. Many of these include links to Executive Summaries or other reports based on the results of these past meetings. Further down the page, you will see links to reports from Working Groups of the International Bureau of Education Council regarding planning for the 48th ICE conference.

For further (or upcoming) details on the November 2008 conference on Inclusive Education, please consult their web site directly at

http://www.ibe.unesco.org/International/ICE48/English/index.html

Let me please amplify that We Can Do is unable to respond to individual inquiries about this or any other event, toolkit, funding source, or other resource publicized at this site. Instead, please follow the above link.



I first learned about this conference by browsing the Dutch Coalition on Disability and Development web site.

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REPORT Education’s Missing Millions: Including Disabled Children

Posted on 23 May 2008. Filed under: Children, Cross-Disability, Education, Inclusion, Reports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

There are 77 million children around the world who have never entered a primary school classroom. Most are from poor families in developing countries, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. And, according to a recent report (PDF format, 1.2 Mb), one-third of them have disabilities.

This is an enormous proportion when you consider that the World Health Organization estimates that only about 10 percent of the overall world population are people with disabilities. The World Bank has estimated that possibly as many as 15 to 20 percent of the world’s poorest people have disabilities. But even by this estimate, children with disabilities are still disproportionately represented among primary-school-aged children who are not in school.

So, what can be done to address this challenge? A recent 74-page report, Education’s Missing Millions: including disabled children in education through EFA FTI processes and national sector plans (PDF format, 1.2 Mb), explores this question. Education’s Missing Millions was funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) through a Partnership Programme Agreement with World Vision UK.

Country governments and international donors have been working together on the Education For All Fast Track Initiative (FTI) to put all primary-school aged children into a classroom by the year 2015. This goal cannot possibly be met until disabled children, too, are able to obtain an education. Education’s Missing Millions (PDF format, 1.2 Mb)
analyzes education sector plans that the FTI has endorsed in 28 countries to examine how well they include children with disabilities.

Some efforts have taken place to include disabled children in education in some of these countries. However, Education’s Missing Millions (PDF format, 1.2 Mb) still identifies many gaps that must be addressed. For example, many countries do not even have data on how many of their children have disabilities. Also, few countries have explored how they can use funding mechanisms or incentives to support the inclusion of children with disabilities. And countries often do not work as closely as they could with parents, communities, or non-government organizations (NGOs).

Education’s Missing Millions (PDF format, 1.2 Mb) calls upon FTI partners to actively target children with disabilities to ensure that they, too, can obtain a free, good-quality education. The report makes a series of recommendations for pragmatic ways in which country governments and donors can promote dialogue about policies and practices within the FTI Partnership; act as a “champion” for inclusion; and close gaps in data, policy, capacity, and financing that would otherwise exclude disabled children.

Both grassroots advocates and policy makers may be interested in the 8th chapter, on local community and NGO initiatives. This chapter presents examples of projects that helped promote the inclusion of a wider number of disabled children in the classroom and their communities.

You can download the full report, Education’s Missing Millions, in PDF format (1.2 Mb) at:

http://www.worldvision.org.uk/upload/pdf/Education%27s_Missing_Millions_-_Main_Report.pdf

People interested in education for children with disabilities in general may also be interested in reading about a report on the human rights approach to Education For All (EFA). Or you might be interested in joining a network on inclusive education in Eastern Africa; this is an email discussion group that allows you to exchange ideas and information with other people via email.



We Can Do found Education’s Missing Millions (PDF format, 1.2 Mb) by browsing the <a href=”http://www.AskSource.infoAskSource.info database on disability, health, and development.

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4th All Africa Wheelchair Congress Report Available Online

Posted on 14 May 2008. Filed under: Assistive Devices, Middle East and North Africa, Mobility Impariments, Reports, Resources, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

In low-income countries, the overwhelming majority people who need wheelchairs don’t have one. This has a profound impact on their ability to lead independent lives–or even leave their own homes. Participants in a recent conference in Africa exchanged ideas and knowledge on how to address this challenge.

The 4th All Africa Wheelchair Congress Report (PDF format, 446 Kb) can now be downloaded for free on-line. The report summarizes a series of remarks, panel discussions, and other conference sessions on how to promote appropriate wheelchair services across the African continent. The report also presents a list of resolutions made on the last day of the Congress. The 4th All Africa Wheelchair Congress was held in September 2007 in Tanzania.

The Pan Africa Wheelchair Builders Association (PAWBA) and the Tanzanian Training Centre for Orthopaedic Technologists (TATCOT) facilitated the congress. Co-funders included the World Health Organisation, ABILIS, Motivation Africa, Christoffel Blindenmission (CBM), and SINTEF. The 116 participating members came from Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Angola, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia, South Africa, UK, Norway and USA.

The previous three All Africa Wheelchair Congresses were held in Zambia (2003); Kenya (1998); and Zimbabwe (1995). Each congress was a landmark in developing appropriate and affordable wheelchair products and services in Africa in allowing participants to exchange knowledge across the continent. PAWBA was formed at the 2003 Congress.

You can download the full, 47-page 4th All Africa Wheelchair Congress report in PDF format (446 Kb) at:

http://www.independentliving.org/docs7/pawba-tatcot200709.pdf



We Can Do learned about this report by browsing the AskSource.info database on health, disability, and development. I gathered further detail by skimming the report itself.

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Report on RI=USCID Seminar on Implementation of Draft UN CRPD

Posted on 29 April 2008. Filed under: Human Rights, Reports, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Today, the international disability rights treaty, more commonly known as the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is on the verge of entering into force this May 3, 2008. But a mere year ago, in March 2007, the CRPD had only just been opened for countries to sign and ratify. And in August 2006, negotiations for the CRPD had just come to a conclusion.

Before the ink had dried on the latest agreed-upon text, Rehabilitation International and the United States International Council on Disabilities (USICD) convened a Seminar on Implementation of the Draft UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. A 20-page report from the seminar (PDF format, 144 Kb) summarizes the views presented there by government officials and members of civil society and academia on how to develop programs and policies that incorporate the CRPD. It identifies key goals, discusses best practice, and discusses how to ratify and implement the CRPD. Participants called upon people with disabilities to hold, not only individual governments, but also international organizations such as the World Bank accountable for being more inclusive.

The report presents a series of recommendations for how the United Nations, country governments, civil society organizations (especially disabled people organizations), and others can raise awareness for the CRPD, advocate for its ratification and implementation, and otherwise ensure that people with disabilities are able to enjoy their human rights in their daily lives.

The CRPD, as the first international, legally binding human rights instrument to protect the rights of people with disabilities, will help protect a wide range of rights such as access to education and health services; the right of people with disabilities to live in the community (not institutions); equal access to justice; the right to vote; and more. Learn more about the CRPD and how it is meant to help people with disabilities around the world by taking a few minutes to read the RatifyNow FAQ.

Download the full report in PDF format (144 Kb) at:

http://www.riglobal.org/meetings/Report_ImplementationSeminar_TxtOnly.pdf



We Can Do learned about the RI-USCID Seminar report by browsing the AskSource.info database on health, disability, and development.

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PUBLICATION of Emergency Management Research and People with Disabilities: A Resource Guide

Posted on 26 April 2008. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Disaster Planning & Mitigation, Reports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

From: Gracer, Bonnie
Sent: Friday, April 04, 2008 7:09 PM
Subject: NIDRR Announces New Document – Emergency Management Research
and People With Disabilities: A Resource Guide

The National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research is pleased to announce the release of a new online publication: Emergency Management Research and People With Disabilities: A Resource Guide.

This resource guide is the culmination of cooperative efforts by NIDRR, the Department of Education, the Research Subcommittee of the Interagency Coordinating Council on Emergency Preparedness and Individuals with Disabilities (ICC), and the New Freedom Initiative Subcommittee of the Interagency Committee on Disability Research.

The guide provides a listing and description of research projects funded by the US federal government and nonfederal entities, research recommendations that have come out of conferences on emergency management and disability, and a bibliography of relevant research publications. It is our hope that this guide will facilitate the development and implementation of a nationwide research agenda on emergency management and people with disabilities, so that we can develop a strong evidence base about the best ways to ensure the safety and security of people with disabilities in emergency and disaster situations.

This report is available on the U.S. Department of Education’s Web site at: http://www.ed.gov/rschstat/research/pubs, the National Center for the Dissemination of Disability Research Web site at http://www.ncddr.org/new/announcements.html the National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC) Web site at http://www.naric.com/public/pubs.cfm, and the Interagency Committee on Disability Research Web site at http://www.icdr.us/.

You can download the Emergency Management report in Word format (2.1 Mb), or you can downlaod the Emergency Management report in PDF format (813 Kb).

On request, this publication is available in alternative formats, such as Braille, large print, audiotape or computer diskette. For more information, contact the Department’s Alternate Format Center at 202-260-0852 or 202-260-0818.

Please feel free to spread the word.



Thank you to Bonnie Gracer for circulating this notice.

We Can Do readers will note that the publication described here is written in the United States and, accordingly, seems to be oriented more toward the needs of people in developed countries. But I share it here in case some of the content may be of use to people in developing countries or among international development and disaster preparedness professionals working on related issues. We Can Do readers will also want to see an earlier post on the World Disasters Report 2007 which focuses on how discrimination can put people’s lives at risk during disaster.

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REPORT: Violence Against Disabled Children

Posted on 8 March 2008. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Children, Cross-Disability, Human Rights, Reports, Resources, Violence | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

UNICEF has released a summary report entitled, “Violence Against Disabled Children” (PDF format 245 Kb), with the subtitle “UN Secretary Generals Report on Violence against Children, Thematic Group on Violence against Disabled Children, Findings and Recommendations.”

The first half of this report, released in July 2005, summarizes what is known about violence toward children with disabilities at home, in schools, in institutions, in the criminal justice system, within the broader community, and at work (in child labor situations). Children with disabilities are known to be at higher risk for abuse, partly because they may be perceived as “easy victims.” Also, abuse toward disabled children is less likely to be investigated or persecuted, which means abusers know it is easier to escape consequences even if the abuse is discovered.

Many children, with or without disabilities, may face adults who fail to listen or to believe them when they try to report abuse. But children with disabilities face additional barriers. As one example, some adults may mistakenly assume that a child with intellectual disabilities or psycho-social disabilities must surely be “confused,” or unable to tell right from wrong, or unable to make their own decisions about what is done to their bodies.

Disabled children may also be targeted for child murder, either because parents perceive them as bringing shame to the family or because adults may be convinced they will be “better off” dead than disabled. In countries where many men share the belief that sex with a virgin will “cleanse” them of HIV/AIDS, girls, boys, and adults with disabilities may be targeted for rape on the assumption that they do not have sex. Children with disabilities also may be forcibly sterilized, sometimes as early as the age of 8 or 9.

The report makes a series of 13 recommendations for families, communities, policy makers, governments, advocates, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) or Civil Society Organizations, United Nations agencies, and other stakeholders with an interest in preventing violence toward disabled children. These recommendations include, as a few examples: increasing public awareness; reforming legislation so that the laws can better protect children with disabilities; advocating change to improve inclusion of disabled people throughout society; improving reporting mechanisms so that people who become aware of abuse have a way to report it; closing down institutions and integrating disabled children into the community; but also improving government oversight of institutions for as long as they continue to exist.

The 33-page report can be downloaded in PDF format (245 Kb) at:

http://www.unicef.org/videoaudio/PDFs/UNICEF_Violence_Against_Disabled_Children_Report_Distributed_Version.pdf

People interested in the topic of violence against children may also wish to read an article on violence and disabled children in the 2003 issue of the joint Rehabilitation International and UNICEF newsletter, One in Ten:

http://riglobal.org/publications2/10_24.htm

Also of possible interest:

A recent report, Promoting the Rights of Children with Disabilities could give ideas to advocates and families for how they can use international human rights laws to protect the rights of children with disabilities.

Learn about a report on human rights abuses of disabled children and adults in Serbia, including the use of violence.

Read a paper on Violence Against Blind and Visually Impaired Girls in Malawi

Those interested in abuse and human rights violations in institutional settings may also wish to read the following first-hand accounts written by the same author, Amanda Baggs. These are well worth reading. Some talk about the more obvious kinds of violence that most people are used to thinking of as “abuse.” Some talk about forms of psychological manipulation that are so subtle that outside observers might miss them. But Amanda Baggs makes powerful arguments for why “outposts in our head,” or the uses of power nevertheless can be at least as important for anyone who cares about the well-being of children (and adults) with disabilities. Click on any title below to see Amanda Bagg’s post:

Why It’s So Hard to Write Directly About My Life
Outposts in Our Heads: The Intangible Horrors of Institutions that Must Not Be Forgotten
The Meaning of Power
Extreme Measures, and Then Some



We Can Do learned about the UNICEF report on violence against disabled children from the AskSource.info database. Asksource.info provides a library of information, resources, and toolkits related to people with disabilities and to health issues, particularly in developing countries.



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



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



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

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REPORT: Promoting the Rights of Children with Disabilities

Posted on 5 March 2008. Filed under: Children, Cross-Disability, Human Rights, Reports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Innocenti Research Center at UNICEF has released an Innocenti Digest on Promoting the Rights of Children with Disabilities (PDF format, 875 Kb). The 80-page publication examines the situation of 200 million children with disabilities around the world and identifies ways to promote their human rights.

The digest particularly focuses on two relevant international human rights treaties: the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). It is written from the social model perspective, which acknowledges that many of the barriers that prevent disabled people from participating in society are in the environment and not inherent to the impairment.

Promoting the Rights of Children with Disabilities (PDF format, 875 Kb) gives an overview of the difference between “inclusion” and “integration”; the social model of disability; the numbers of children with disabilities; disability and poverty.

A section on International Standards and Mechanisms explains the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC); UN Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities; and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The digest examines the specific implications of each of these instruments for protecting the rights of children with disabilities. It also briefly discusses the Millennium Development Goals.

The chapter on The Human Rights of Children with Disabilities Today describes the different ways that both direct and indirect discrimination and exclusion push children with disabilities away from health, rehabilitation, and educational services and into poverty and institutions. This chapter explains how the CRC and the CRPD can be used to improve access to the services children with disabilities need to stay out of poverty and stay with their own family in the community where they live. Special attention is given to violence, abuse, and exploitation, and to children with disabilities in conflict (war) and emergency situations.

The chapter on Foundations for Inclusion makes recommendations for how to promote the inclusion of children with disabilities within families, within communities, and at school.

The chapter, Ensuring a Supportive Environment, makes recommendations for relevant policy and legislation, budget allocation, monitoring, and international and regional partnerhsips. It emphasizes the need for working with people with disabilities, for raising public awareness, and changing attitudes toward people with disabilities.

The appendix lists international organizations involved with disability issues, either as their main focus or as one sub-specializalization. The full text of the CRPD is also provided.

The full report can be downloaded in PDF format (875 Kb) at:

http://www.unicef-irc.org/publications/pdf/digest13-disability.pdf



This blog article is cross-posted at both We Can Do and RatifyNow with permission of author.

We Can Do learned about this publication through browsing the World Bank disability page.

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



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



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

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REPORT: Human-Rights Approach to Education for All

Posted on 30 January 2008. Filed under: Children, Cross-Disability, Education, Human Rights, Reports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has released a report on a human rights based approach to making education accessible to all children, entitled A Human Rights-Based Approach to Education for All: A framework for the realization of children’s right to education and rights within education (PDF format, 812 Kb). The report discusses current thinking and practice on human rights based approaches in the education sector. It presents key issues and challenges in rights-based approaches and provides a framework for developing policies and programs at the school, local, national, or international levels. It is targeted particularly at governments, civil society organizations, United Nations and bilateral agencies, and other development partners.

This report touches briefly on issues affecting disabled children in education throughout. A search for the word “disabilities” finds multiple short references in the text. For example, there is a mention of such issues as the fact that the birth of some children–but particularly disabled children–may not be registered in some countries, making it more difficult to accurately estimate the need for schooling. And the report asserts that attention must be paid to the communication needs of children with sensory impairments (Braille for blind students; sign language for deaf students).

There are some disappointments here. For instance, the introduction has the usual discussion of the 77 million children who are currently out of school but misses an opportunity to point out that disabled children are disproportionately represented among them. But the integration of disability related concerns into a broader discussion of educational issues is itself an important step in the right direction. Especially positive is seeing disability issues integrated into a report like this one that emphasizes education as a human right for all children–including children with disabilities.

The report can be downloaded in PDF format (812 Kb) at:

http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0015/001548/154861E.pdf



We Can Do learned about this report via the Disabled People’s International on-line newsletter. DPI’s newsletter can be subscribed to, via email, for free.



Find more Research, reports, or papers, or find more blog posts like this one on children, education, or humanrights.

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REPORT: World Disasters Report 2007: Focus on Discrimination

Posted on 29 January 2008. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Children, Cross-Disability, Disaster Planning & Mitigation, Human Rights, Inclusion, Reports, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The World Disasters Report (2007) examines what happens to various vulnerable groups during disaster situations, particularly women, elderly people, minorities, and people with disabilities. This report from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies includes many stories of how discrimination and exclusion has made it harder for some people to survive or meet their needs during and after disaster situations. It also includes guidance and recommendations on how agencies, governments, and communities can improve efforts to ensure that emergency aid reaches the most vulnerable people. Discrimination can occur on the basis of ethnic or social origin, language, religion, gender, age, physical or mental disability, and sexual orientation.

The World Disasters Report points out that, although discrimination exists before disaster, an emergency can exacerbate it. However, that discrimination is often invisible because official data on older people, ethnic minorities or people with disabilities may not exist. Furthermore, aid agencies often do not even analyze the needs of vulnerable people when they carry out emergency assessments. And vulnerable groups are usually not included in the disaster planning process before, during, or after emergencies. This accummulative discrimination can be life-threatening during a crisis. Even after the crisis, people who have suffered discrimination may take longer to recover or to regain their livelihoods.

The World Disasters Report calls for agencies to do better in planning for the needs of vulnerable populations, saying bluntly, “One-size-fits-all relief planning is unhelpful in overcoming discrimination” (p. 15).

We Can Do readers will clearly have a particular interest in the chapter that focuses on the needs of people with disabilities during disasters. Information for this chapter was gathered from both industrialized and developing countries. Stories of discrimination are presented, including stories of how emergency shelters and emergency relief agencies have sometimes contributed to the problem. But you can also find stories highlighting the valuable contributions people with disabilities could make for everyone when they are included in disaster planning efforts. This chapter provides an overview of the barriers that can make it harder for people with disabilities to survive disasters or recover their lives afterwards. And it reviews how agencies and others can remove these barriers.

However, even people who wish to focus primarily on the needs of disabled people may still wish to read the full report. In particular, some of the needs of elderly people are similar to some of the needs of people with disabilities. Also, all the issues covered in this report are cross-cutting issues: any population of disabled people will clearly have people among them who are elderly, or women, or children, or gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender, or ethnic minorities, or other minorities. Disabled people who also belong to some other minority group may experience dual or triple discrimination that can create additional barriers during crisis situations.

Read chapter summaries, download individual chapters for free, or order print copies of the report at:

http://www.ifrc.org/publicat/wdr2007/summaries.asp

The full report can be downloaded in PDF format (4 Mb) at:

http://www.ifrc.org/Docs/pubs/disasters/wdr2007/WDR2007-English.pdf



We Can Do learned about the World Disasters Report through the Disabled People’s International newsletter. Further information was gathered from the report itself.

This article has been cross-posted, with some modifications, at the RatifyNow web site with permission of author.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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



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Finding Research, Reports, Papers, Statistics at We Can Do

Posted on 7 January 2008. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Announcements, Introduction to "We Can Do", Reports, Resources |

I have now created a new page for the top navigation bar entitled “Research, Reports, Papers, Statistics“. That page can point you to We Can Do posts that present academic papers written by authors from aroudn the world, or point to resources around the web that can help you find more reports, research, academic papers, and sources of statistics on your own.

These resources can help researchers find what information is already available about people with disabilities in developing countries. Some of these resources may also be helpful to disabled people’s organizations (DPOs) and grassroots advocates who are trying to raise funding for important projects or programs in their countries. Funding sources often want to know how many people with disabilities are in your country or region and what other services are already available to them before deciding whether to fund projects meant to serve this population. It can also be helpful to use documented sources to back up your assertations about the challenges that confront disabled people in your country and why existing resources and services may not be adequate to meet their needs.

Some of research, reports, and papers has been published in peer reviewed publications; or have been presented at international conferences; or they come from highly reputable sources such as the World Bank or the International Labour Organization. Some of the material listed does not any of the above criteria. Papers published at We Can Do usually indicate at the bottom whether it has been previously published or presented elsewhere. Researchers, students, and DPOs will want to use their own judgment about which reports or papers are appropriate sources of information for their own particular needs.



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RESOURCE: Listening to Poor People with Intellectual Disabilities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The DVD can be viewed at:

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

The report and DVD are also available in Spanish at:

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



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

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



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News at Your Fingertips

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

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

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

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



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RESOURCE: Atlas on Country Resources in Intellectual Disabilities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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



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

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

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

Skip introduction, go straight to the Table of Contents

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

Top of this page


Table of Contents

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About We Can Do

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

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

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

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

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The Five Most Popular We Can Do posts

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

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The Five Most Under-Rated We Can Do posts

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

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Finding Practical Resources and Case Studies or Helpful Organizations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    But for now, here are two case studies:

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    Other Helpful Resources

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

    Finding Useful Sources of Information and Research

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

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

    Table of Contents; Top of this page

    Funding Sources

    Table of Contents; Top of this page

    Academic Papers

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

    Table of Contents; Top of this page

    News

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

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

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

    October 2007

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

    November 2007

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

    Early December 2007

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

    Opinion Pieces

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

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

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    Call for Papers (for Conferences, Journals, Other)

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

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    International Conferences and Events

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

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

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    February 2008

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

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

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

    April 2008

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

    May 2008

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

    August 2008

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

    September 2008

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

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

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

    Jobs, Internships, Volunteer Opportunities

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

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    Education and Training Opportunities

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    Missed Opportunities

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

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

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

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

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    Missed Training Opportunities

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

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

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

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

    Missed Event and Conference Opportunities

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

    What’s Next for We Can Do?

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

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

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

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

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    ILO Report Says, Disabled People Deserve Jobs

    Posted on 5 December 2007. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Employment, News, Reports, Resources | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    ILO report calls for new efforts to support people with disabilities in the world of work

    Type Press release
    Date issued 03 December 2007
    Reference ILO/07/61
    Unit responsible Communication and Public Information
    Subjects disability benefits, employment accident benefits, disabilities, disabled workers

    GENEVA (ILO News) – Despite significant progress in recent years in improving their livelihoods, new efforts are needed to break down barriers that still prevent millions of people with disabilities from working and contributing to the economic growth of their societies, according to a new ILO report released for the International Day of Disabled Persons on 3 December.

    What’s more, the new report, entitled “The right to decent work of persons with disabilities”, says such significant and sustained efforts are vital, not only to promoting the inclusion of people with disabilities in employment, rural development and poverty reduction programmes, but also in moving toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for halving poverty by the year 2015.

    The ILO estimates that some 650 million people – or one out of every 10 people in the world – has a disability, and that of these, approximately 470 million are of working age. While many are successfully employed and fully integrated into society, people with disabilities as a group often face disproportionate levels of poverty and unemployment.

    The good news, according to the report, is that “countries around the world are increasingly recognizing that disabled people represent enormous potential, frequently untapped; that they have a valuable contribution to make to the national economy; that their employment reduces the cost of disability benefits and may reduce poverty; and that concerted action is needed to dismantle the barriers which prevent many disabled people from taking part in the economy and society” (Preface, p. vii).

    However, too many barriers remain that stop disabled people from realizing their full potential “There is a strong link between disability and poverty”, the new ILO report says, adding that an estimated 80 per cent of all people with disabilities in the world live in developing countries. Of these, it says some 426 million live below the poverty line and often represent the 15-to-20 per cent most vulnerable and marginalized poor in such countries (Note 1).

    “Decent work is the ILO’s primary goal for everyone, including people with disabilities”, says ILO Director-General Juan Somavia. “When we promote the rights and dignity of people with disabilities, we are empowering individuals, enriching societies and strengthening economies. We must intensify our efforts to step up the pace of change.”

    Citing World Bank studies estimating that social exclusion from the workplace costs the global economy between US$ 1.37 to US$ 1.94 trillion in estimated annual loss in GDP (Note 2), the ILO Skills and Employability Department added that “providing decent work for people with disabilities thus makes social as well as economic sense”.

    The new ILO report highlights many challenges faced by people with disabilities in the world of work, including: concentration in low-level, low-paid jobs; lack of adequate representation at higher levels; problems of access to workplace areas, transportation and housing; the risk of losing benefits on starting work; and prejudices among co-workers, employers and the general public. It also says people with disabilities in the world of work tend to experience higher unemployment and have lower earnings than persons without disabilities, or are often underemployed.

    “This is not to suggest that there has been no improvement”, the ILO report says. “The significant growth in domestic anti-discrimination legislation in recent years is encouraging, even though adoption of a law does not guarantee its enforcement. The persistent efforts of international agencies and in particular the ILO, in promoting equal opportunity and treatment in employment continue to make important inroads into the economic and social exclusion of persons with disabilities.”

    The ILO said the new UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) adopted in December of last year will reinforce national and international efforts and provide a renewed impetus in eliminating discrimination on the basis of disability and in positively promoting inclusion. The principles of the new UN Convention are in line with relevant ILO standards, including Convention No. 159 on Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (Disabled Persons).

    Convention No. 159 has been ratified by 80 countries. It requires that representative organizations of employers and workers, as well as those of disabled persons, be consulted on the implementation of national policy on vocational rehabilitation and employment for disabled people. This theme of consultation with key stakeholders is also emphasized in the new Convention.

    Besides anti-discrimination measures by governments, employers and trade unions play an important role in managing disability in the workplace, the report says.

    This year’s International Day marks a new effort by the ILO to promote the principle of decent work among people with disabilities. The ILO said it hopes the event would help foster greater understanding of issues affecting people with disabilities in the world of work and help mobilize new support for their rights at work.

    The new ILO report can be downloaded for free in PDF format in English (follow the link and scroll down the screen until you see the title, “The right to decent work of persons with disabilities“; 393 Kb). The report will eventually be made available in French (Le droit des personnes handicapees au travail decent), Spanish (El derecho al trabajo decente de las personas con discapacidades), Amharic, Arabic, Bahasa, German, Hindi, Japanese, Kiswahili, Mandarin, Mongolian, Portugese, Russian, Thai, and Vietnamese.

    Note 1 – The right to decent work of persons with disabilities, by Arthur O’Reilly. International Labour Office, Geneva, 2007. ISBN 9778-92-2-120144-1. To order a copy, please visit: http://www.ilo.org/publns.

    Note 2 – Robert L. Metts (2000) Disability Issues, Trends and Recommendations for the World Bank, World Bank Washington..


    Most of the text for this blog post is taken from an ILO press release. We Can Do has modified it slightly to add a quote from the report and to link to where you can download the report (when you reach the ILO page, scroll down a little to find the report). I first learned of this report via the “UN News by Email” distribution list.


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    PAPER; NEWS: World Bank Report on Disabled in India

    Posted on 1 December 2007. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Announcements, Cross-Disability, Education, Employment, Health, News, Reports, South Asian Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    New World Bank Report Finds People with Disabilities among the Most Excluded in Indian Society
    Disabled adults have far lower employment rates than others – reduced from 43 % in 1991 to 38% in 2002

    Contact : in New Delhi
    Kiran Negiknegi@worldbank.org

    New Delhi, November 20, 2007: A new World Bank report finds people with disabilities among the most excluded in Indian society Low literacy and employment rates and widespread social stigma are leaving disabled people behind. With better education and more access to jobs, India’s 40 to 90 million disabled people will generate higher growth which will benefit the country as a whole.

    The report entitled People with Disabilities in India: From Commitments to Outcomes, says that as the country makes economic progress, the incidence of communicable disease-induced disabilities such as polio are likely to fall, whereas age and lifestyle-related disabilities and those due to traffic accidents are expected to rise sharply. For example, internationally, the lowest reported disability rates are in sub-Saharan Africa while the highest are in the Organization for Economic Development (OECD) countries. The report therefore highlights the need for a multi-faceted approach so that disabled people realize their full individual potential and maximize their social and economic contribution to society.

    The report finds that people with disabilities are subject to multiple deprivations. Households with disabled members are significantly poorer than average, with lower consumption and fewer assets. Children living with disability are around 4 to 5 times less likely to be in school than Scheduled Tribe and Scheduled Caste children. Disabled adults also have far lower employment rates than the general population – and this fell from 43 % in 1991 to 38% in 2002, even in the midst of economic growth.

    Social attitudes and stigma play an important role in limiting the opportunities of disabled people for full participation in social and economic life, often even within their own families. For example, in surveys carried out for the report, around 50 percent of households saw the cause of disability as a “curse of God”. Women with disabilities face numerous additional challenges.

    “India has an impressive set of policy commitments to its citizens with disabilities”, said Isabel Guerrero, World Bank Country Director for India. “The challenge facing Indian society now is to translate those commitments into better lives for disabled people. This includes identifying disabilities in young children, getting more disabled children into school and preparing them for the workplace and family life, and most importantly working to reduce the social stigma which disabled people face”.

    Despite the many challenges, concerted efforts by the Government, civil society, the private sector, and disabled people themselves, the untapped potential of this large group of citizens can be released for their own benefit as well as for society at large.

    “Increasing the status and social and economic participation of people with disabilities would have positive effects on everyone, not just disabled people” said Philip O’Keefe, Lead Social Protection Specialist and main author of the report. “A simple example is increasing accessibility of public transport and buildings for disabled people – a measure which would benefit a wide range of people including the elderly, pregnant women and children. More broadly, people with disabilities who are better educated and more economically active will generate higher growth in which everyone will share,” he added.

    India’s implementation capacity is generally weak in a number of areas of service delivery which are most critical to improving the situation of disabled people. It is thus not realistic to expect that all the actions needed by many public and non-public actors can be taken all at once. The report highlights the need for prioritization of the most critical interventions to maximize the benefit for people living with disability:

    (i) Preventive care – both for mothers through nutritional interventions, and infants through nutrition and basic immunization coverage
    (ii) Identifying people with disabilities as soon as possible after onset – the system needs major improvements in this most basic function
    (iii) Major improvements in early intervention, which can cost-effectively transform the lives of disabled people, their families, and the communities they live and work in
    (iv) Getting all children with special needs into school and giving them the skills to participate fully in family and economic life
    (v) Expanding the under-developed efforts to improve societal attitudes to people with disabilities, relying on public-private partnerships that build on successful models already operating in India.

    The study points out that it is neither possible nor desirable for the public sector to “do it all”. Instead, partnerships with NGOs, civil society, and the private sector are critical to achieve effective and lasting results. The key step in such partnerships is brining disabled people themselves into the policymaking process along with public and non-governmental institutions.

    Some other findings of the report:

    • There are substantial differences in socio-economic outcomes, social stigma, and access to services by disability type, with those with mental illness and mental retardation in a particularly poor position. There are also major urban/rural differences in outcomes, Gender, class and regional variations are also significant in many cases
    • Estimates vary, there is growing evidence that people with disabilities comprise between 4 and 8 percent of the Indian population (around 40-90 million individuals)
    • Between 1990 and 2020, there is predicted to be a halving of disability due to communicable diseases, a doubling of disability due to injuries/accidents, and a more than 40 percent increase in the share of disability due to non-communicable diseases
    • Disabled people have much lower educational attainment rates, with 52 percent illiteracy against a 35 percent average for the general population.
    • Illiteracy is high among children across all categories, in even the best performing major states, a significant share of out of school children are those with disabilities – Kerala, 27 percent, in Tamil Nadu over 33 percent
    • Private sector employment incentives for hiring disabled people are few and piecemeal. In the late 1990s, employment of People with Disability (PWD) among large private firms was only 0.3 percent of their workforce. Among multinational companies, the situation was far worse, with only 0.05 percent being PWD
    • In early 2006, a National Policy on Persons with Disabilities was approved by Government of India. To date, the only states that have draft disability policies are Chhattisgarh and Karnataka. The Chhattisgarh draft state disability policy can be considered “best practice”, and could provide a model for future national and state-level policy development.

    People can follow this link to learn more about the report, or download individual chapters, at:
    http://go.worldbank.org/48NBTTBRJ0

    Individual chapters include: Socio-Economic Profile of Persons with Disabilities; Attitudes; Health; Education; Employment; Social Protection; Policies and Institutions; and Access

    Or follow this link to download the full report in PDF format (1.8Mb).


    The text for this blog post is taken from a press release from the World Bank.


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