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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NEWS: World Blind Union Right to Read Global Campaign

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

Blind people read books too!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The campaign will pursue three main objectives, namely:-

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

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

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

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



This press release has been circulated via several different listserves.

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NEWS: Disabled to Vote in Karnataka, India

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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NEWS: AIR Foundation Committed to Making Web Universally Accessible for Blind, Low-Vision People

Posted on 19 February 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Blind, News, technology | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Nonprofit Launched to Bring Free Accessibility Worldwide

The AIR Foundation committed to ‘accessibility is a right’

Orlando, Florida – January 31, 2008 – The AIR Foundation, a nonprofit organization headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA was announced today at a press conference held during the Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) 2008 National Conference at the Caribe Royale Resort in Orlando, Florida. The mission of the foundation is to promote universal accessibility so that every blind and low-vision person in the world has access to digital information over the Internet and Worldwide Web.

The foundation’s executive director, Art Schreiber, also announced that the organization’s first offering will be free usage of a Web 2.0 accessible screen reader. The product is provided through an exclusive license in perpetuity granted to The AIR Foundation from Serotek Corporation, the leading provider of Internet and digital information accessibility software and services. The screen reader is called SA To Go and is powered by Serotek’s award-winning System Access software which provides immediate text to speech, magnified visual, and Braille access to digital information presented through the Web or other means, while the user is directly connected to the Internet. The software does not remain resident on the user’s computer when the connection to the Internet is interrupted or terminated. Users can obtain access to the free software by calling 877-369-0101 or visiting www.AccessibilityIsaRight.org http://www.accessibilityisaright.org/

“The basic tenet of The AIR Foundation is that accessibility is a fundamental human right, regardless of financial or geographic constraints” said Art Schreiber, executive director of The AIR Foundation, “by allowing the blind and visually impaired to have equal access to computer and Internet information through the free use of an advanced screen reader like SA To Go, we have already taken great strides toward our mission.”

The AIR Foundation will solicit funds and contract development of product enhancements including availability in other languages. The organization’s first priority is to make SA To Go available in Mandarin Chinese.

“SA To Go is highly intuitive and requires minimal training to use,” said Serotek CEO, Mike Calvo, “the user not only has access to information displayed on Web pages, but to Web-based applications such as Internet telephone service, and to applications resident on the host computer. The user can also access PDF files, fill out forms, and otherwise interact with information with the same facility as a sighted person.”

The AIR Foundation will operate through the generosity of organizations donating their time, expertise, and funds. It invites other nonprofits, assistive technology vendors, mainstream hardware and software companies and anyone interested in promoting accessibility as every person’s right, to align with the AIR team.

The AIR Foundation
The AIR Foundation is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to advocate, teach, and deliver information accessibility tools. We focus on the accessibility needs of blind and low-vision people. Our mantra is “accessibility is a right” and we work with corporations and agencies worldwide to deliver free accessibility to all. For more information, call 877-369-0101 or visit http://www.accessibilityisaright.org/

Serotek Corporation
Serotek Corporation is a leading technology company that develops software and manufactures accessibility solutions. Committed to the mission of providing accessibility anywhere, Serotek launched the first online community specifically designed to meet the needs of people with disabilities. Since then, Serotek has introduced several powerful, affordable solutions that require minimal training and investment. For more information, visit http://www.serotek.com/.



This press release was first posted at the Air Foundation web site. It has also been circulated on several on-line newsletters and mailing lists, incluing AdHoc_IDC, the DPI newsletter, and Intl-Dev.

People interested in technology for people with vision impairments may also wish to learn more about the Sightsaver’s Dolphin Pen, which is a low-cost screenreader targeted at people in developing countries, or in information about low-cost, mechanical Braille writers.



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