E-Discussion on Women with Disabilities in Development, March 10-24

Posted on 4 March 2009. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, accessibility, Announcements, Disaster Planning & Mitigation, Education, Employment, Events and Conferences, Health, Human Rights, Inclusion, Networking Opportunities, Opportunities, Violence, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

People from around the world are invited to participate in an e-discussion on women with disabilities in development, to be conducted on-line from March 10 to 24, 2009. The email-based discussion is meant to involve aid agencies; government officials dealing with gender and disability; non-governmental organizations (NGOs); Disabled People Organizations (DPOs); and World Bank operational and technical staff.

The intent of this e-discussion is to collect experiences, problems, solutions, and unresolved issues related to the inclusion of women with disabilities in development. Participants will also be encouraged to provide references to analytical work (studies, books, articles, reports, etc.) on women with disabilities and their situation and inclusion in economic and social life. These references will be gathered into a bibliography.

The e-discussion will cover the following topics: framing the issue of women with disabilities in development; reproductive health of women with disabilities; violence against women with disabilities and access to justice; education of women with disabilities; women with disabilities and the environment; women with disabilities and employment; issues of specific concern to women with disabilities that are missing from the development agenda and what can be done to ensure that these issues receive appropriate attention; and, what concrete actions can be taken to enable women with disabilities to claim their place in the development agenda.

Participation is free, and will be in English.

If you are interested in joining the two-week e-discussion on women with disabilities in development, then you may register by following these steps:

1. Send an email to listserv@listserv.syr.edu

2. Put the following command in the SUBJECT LINE of your email:

Subject: EDISCWWD [Your First Name, Your Last Name, Your Country]

FOR EXAMPLE:
EDISCWWD Jane Smith Australia

3. In the SAME EMAIL, please put the following command in the MESSAGE BODY of your email to listserv@listserv.syr.edu:

Subscribe EDISCWWD [Your First Name, Your Last Name]

FOR EXAMPLE:

Subscribe EDISCWWD Sita Lal

If you have any questions regarding registering for the E-Discussion, please contact Kelly Hamel at kmhamel@law.syr.edu

This e-discussion is brought to you by the Disability & Development Team (HDNSP); the Office of Diversity Programs; and the Gender and Development Group at the World Bank; and the Global Partnership for Disability & Development (GPDD)

Please feel free to forward this invitation to others who might be interested in participating in the E-Discussion.

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CONFERENCE: Global Alliance for ICT and Development, Oct 21-24, 2008, Yerevan, Armenia

Posted on 11 September 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Events and Conferences, Opportunities, technology | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

[Note: this is not a disability-specific conference. However, it could be an opportunity to introduce a disability perspective to non-disabled participants. Inquire directly with the conference organizers, NOT We Can Do, regarding options for making the conference accessible to people with disabilities or other inquiries.]

Title: Global Innovation Forum for Education and Development
Organized by: UN GAID, UN e-Leaders Committee, Athgo International, Ministry of Economy – the Republic of Armenia

Location: Yerevan, Armenia

Focus: ICT innovation in the areas of access, connectivity, and relevant local content development

Dates: October 21-24, 2008

SUMMARY
The Global Innovation Forum for Education and Development provides a platform for several hundred young people across the globe to advance their causes toward achieving the MDGs through ICT. Area experts from the private and public sectors and selected young participants are invited to showcase their successful ICT practices and highlight new innovations and new ground-breaking business models and methods that successfully address the development needs in different societies.

The forum is set to encourage young people to get engaged in, and develop and propose new ICT initiatives that innovatively advance local communities in various emerging regions.

First, the forum will concentrate on the basic tools that facilitate the creation of innovative solutions, particularly, systematic and quality educational opportunities. Currently, proper education is not widely available in developing regions, thus slowing innovation and hampering the implementation of existing ICT. Consequently, the forum will focus on ways to improve educational opportunities and quality through ICT, specifically focusing on building ICT skills among young people. To this end the impact of access, connectivity and relevant local content in meeting educational and analytical needs will be examined and methods to overcome the obstacles discussed and presented.

The second part of the forum will highlight some of the best practices in the areas of ICT access and connectivity with a special attention on the impact of appropriate local content to ensure sustainable development.

Each participant will have the opportunity to engage policy makers, experts and his/her peers to draft innovative solutions to ICT development and implementation challenges. On the final day, the young participants will showcase their plans in innovation panels. The proposals will be evaluated by leaders in government, the private sector, and civil society, and will be showcased at the conference closing ceremonies.

Panel focus and objectives
Panels will focus on three ICT elements (access, connectivity and local content) in two different contexts:
1. Education for Innovation in the 3 ICT elements
2. Innovation for Development in the 3 ICT elements
The panels will also include discussions about innovative financing for new innovations and demonstrate creative ways of including young people in the process of innovation and implementation.

Expert Panels: in each of the panels, the discussions should include and highlight the benefits that ICT brings to the educational sector (examples: access to global databases for new ideas and existing best practices, complex problem solving, group project collaborations, extensive teacher training through simulations, education system management, etc.), which in return heightens the innovation (more talented ICT professionals, increased demand, modernization) that ultimately leads to sustainable development (ICT adaptation and systematic usage, simplification of economic complexities, diffusion of new tools in various sectors of economy, new partnerships, entrepreneurial developments)
1. Access: Education – Innovation – Development
2. Connectivity: Education – Innovation – Development
3. Local Content: Education – Innovation – Development

Broad questions to address:
Education
• What are the biggest challenges to building capacity in LDCs, especially for young people?
• How do you encourage human capital investment in ICT, without guaranteeing job growth?
• How can we ensure that ICT education is continual and does not become obsolete in a world where technology changes weekly?
• How is the educational process improved by ensuring access/connectivity/local content to ICT? Is the efficiency element the biggest winner or is it the enhancement in knowledge sharing that takes the prize home?
Innovation
• How do we bring the richness of Web 2.0 to LDCs in a cost effective way?
• What are the missing resources to translating innovation in access, content and connectivity into results?
• How best developed integrated ICT networks in areas that lack the basic infrastructure, namely power resources and skilled human capital?
• How can we, using existing and already deployed hardware in LDCs, SIDS, and rural areas, improve ICT access?
• What are the latest developments in ICT connectivity that allow for wider areas of coverage?
• In areas impacted by natural disasters, how does content help the recovery process?
• How can we improve access and connectivity in areas where infrastructure has been damaged by disaster?
Development
• How does devoting more resources to ICT4D help solve development issues such as governance, health, and climate change?
• How does advancement in ICT translate into development progress in the above areas?
• How do we encourage and promote innovation in LDCs, especially where the benefits of education are diminished by brain drain?
• How do we address problems like brain drain and other barriers to encouraging and supporting human capital investment in ICT fields?
• How do we increase absorption capacity, especially in LDCs where other development challenges have yet to be resolved?

GLOBAL ALLIANCE FOR ICT AND DEVELOPMENT SECRETARIAT
Room DC1-1464, One United Nations Plaza, New York, N.Y., 10017
Telephone: (1-212) 963-5796 Fax: (1-917) 367-4340
e-mail address: gaid@un-gaid.org Website address: www.un-gaid.org



We Can Do received this conference announcement via the Global Partnership for Disability and Development email discussion list.

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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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We Can Do Copyright
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