Disability and Development Online Consultations March 8-28, 2013

Posted on 13 March 2013. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Announcements, Call for Comments or Information, Cross-Disability, Education, Employment, Events and Conferences, Health, Housing, Human Rights, Inclusion, indigenous people, Latin America & Caribbean, Middle East and North Africa, Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Networking Opportunities, Opportunities, Policy & Legislation, Poverty, South Asian Region, Sub-Saharan Africa Region, universal design, Women, youth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

These online consultations (from March 8 to 28th, ie RIGHT NOW) are an opportunity to influence important decisions about how people with disabilities will be included in efforts to reduce poverty around the world.

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have been profoundly influential in making decisions on how to prioritize foreign assistance and government funds in more than 100 developing countries. The global community is now working to identify what goals should replace them after 2015. This means that the next few months will be critical for ensuring that people with disabilities are not again forgotten.  It is important for the global disability community, our constituency organizations, and professionals in the fields of international development and human rights be engaged.

Read below and follow the links for more detail on how individuals can participate in this on-line dialogue.

Online Consultations
As part of the preparatory process for the United Nations General Assembly High-level Meeting on Disability and Development (HLMDD), the HLMDD Online Consultations (HOC) will be conducted from 8 to 28 March 2013. The consultations are co-organised by DESA and UNICEF under the existing platform of the World We Want 2015 (http://www.worldwewant2015.org/enable) in multiple languages.

Please register at: http://www.worldwewant2015.org/register.  If you have difficulty registering, then please email enable@worldwewant2015.org for assistance.

Simultaneous consultations will take place in English, Arabic, Chinese, French, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. The site is compatible with screen readers, however, if you are unable to access the site, please email your response to: enable@worldwewant2015.org. Please note that the forum is moderated, therefore your post will not appear immediately but will be posted within twenty-four hours.
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JOB Post: Education Specialist, Fast Track Initiative, World Bank

Posted on 24 February 2009. Filed under: Announcements, Children, Education, HIV/AIDS, Jobs & Internships, Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Opportunities, Poverty | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

ob # 090252
Job Title Education Spec.
Job Family Education
Location: Washington, DC
Appointment International Hire
Job Posted 17-Feb-2009
Closing Date 03-Mar-2009
Language Requirements
English [Essential]
Appointment Type Term (Duration: 2 yrs)
Background / General description
THIS IS A 2 YEAR TERM POSITION WITH POSSIBLE EXTENSION TO 3 YEARS.
To apply go to http://extjobs.worldbank.org/external/default/main?pagePK=64273552&piPK=64273556&theSitePK=1058433&JobNo=090252&order=descending&sortBy=job-req-num&location=ALL&menuPK=64262364

The Fast Track Initiative (FTI) is a global partnership launched in 2002 to accelerate progress toward the Millennium Development Goal of universal quality primary education by 2015. All low-income countries which demonstrate serious commitment to achieving universal primary completion can receive support from FTI. The FTI is a high visibility and politically sensitive aid platform which currently provides technical and financial support to over 50 countries, with the majority in Africa. The FTI provides direct financial support to countries with endorsed education sector plans through a multi-donor Catalytic Fund which currently has over $1,400 million in commitments through 2009, making it the second largest source of financing for basic education in low income countries. It will also provide support to conflict-affected and other fragile states through the recently created Education Transition Fund managed by UNICEF. The FTI Partnership is supported by a Secretariat housed in the World Bank in Washington, DC.

Duties and Accountabilities
The Education Specialist will provide support to countries developing education sector plans and programs to reach the most vulnerable populations who constitute the majority of out-of-school children. S/he will also work with FTI Secretariat Staff, FTI partners, country donors, civil society organizations and the World Bank to provide substantive input and technical support on a range of education and development topics such as improving quality/learning outcomes; fragile states; strengthening in-country processes; donor harmonization; improving gaps in policy, financing, data, and capacity development; and FTI’s response to HIV/AIDS, gender, and disability issues. S/he will report to the Head of the FTI Secretariat and support and collaborate with the FTI Secretariats’ Senior Education Specialists who lead FTI’s work on learning outcomes and country level processes. Specific responsibilities will include:
1. Out of School/Vulnerable Children Coordinate partnership planning and processes to address key constraints for vulnerable populations to achieving the education MDG.
• Assist in designing, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating a targeted outreach program to reach the populations most at risk of not benefiting from EFA/FTI programs.
• Develop a results framework for working with vulnerable populations. Develop and monitor indicators and activities linked to specific marginalized populations (gender, poverty, rural/urban, disability, and child labor).
• Provide background research on education and development policies as appropriate.
• Strengthen the policy dialogue within the FTI partnership by researching the donor partners’ statements on policy (user fees, language of instruction, disability, gender, etc.) and identifying common principles and shared understandings.
• Liaise with the Interagency Task Team on HIV/AIDS and education and strengthen mechanisms to ensure that this collaboration between education and HIV/AIDS is brought down to the country level.
• Represent the FTI Secretariat on the INEE Working Group on Education and Fragility

2. Country Focal Point Serve as focal point for a select number of FTI endorsed and potential countries.
• Act as first line of contact for all FTI communications with coordinating agency.
• Provide and seek information on ESP development and implementation, including FTI trust fund issues, application procedures, and key events such as joint annual reviews.
• Ensure tools such as the capacity development, inclusion/equity, HIV/AIDs, School Health are utilized when LDGs are developing their ESPs.
• Conduct the FTI Secretariat’s support and advice on ‘Light Touch’ review of ESPs prior to endorsement.
• Monitor and provide guidance to fragile states as they progress through the single entry process.

3. Learning Outcomes Support the FTI Secretariat and Partnership’s work to develop its work plan and activities on learning outcomes within the FTI partnership.
• Provide research and other support for the FTI task team on education quality.
• Provide support for the coordination of partnership planning and processes for measuring learning outcomes in FTI countries.
• Assist in communicating with country Local Education Groups/Coordinating agencies (CA) to gauge interest in their participating in international assessments of learning/quality.

Selection Criteria
• Education: An advanced degree in education or related fields.

• A minimum of 5 years of relevant experience working in the education sector.

• Strong knowledge of and commitment to the principles and procedures of the FTI.

• Knowledge of fragile states policies and financing mechanisms.

• Demonstrated knowledge of and experience in the use of education data, and social and institutional research analytical tools.

• Knowledge of education operations in the World Bank or other major donor or UN agencies.

• Experience with dialogue with government and other partners, including bilateral donors, multilateral organizations, and NGOs.

• Proven ability to work with peers, managers, and a diverse range of partners including donors, civil society groups, governments, and academic institutions.

• Ability to work well in a small team, operate under pressure, deliver high quality work within deadlines, and meet team objectives.

The World Bank Group is committed to achieving diversity in terms of gender, nationality, culture and educational background. Individuals with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence.

To apply go to http://extjobs.worldbank.org/external/default/main?pagePK=64273552&piPK=64273556&theSitePK=1058433&JobNo=090252&order=descending&sortBy=job-req-num&location=ALL&menuPK=64262364



I received this announcement via the Global Partnership on Disability and Development (GPDD) mailing list. For other jobs at the World Bank, consult the World Bank Employment page. Most jobs at the World Bank are not disability related, but a few are.

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

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

International conference 7-9 April 2009

[Note application deadline March 6, 2009.]

Dear colleagues!

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

Conference aims:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Participants will be selected before 20 March 2009.

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

For more information please contact:

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



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

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Pakistan Art Competition for Children With Disabilities

Posted on 15 February 2009. Filed under: Announcements, Arts, Call for Audio & Visual Materials, Children, Events and Conferences, Opportunities, South Asian Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

The Network of Organizations Working for People with Disabilities in Pakistan (NOWPDP) is sponsoring a national art competition for children with disabilities aged 12 to 16. The age limit is waived for participants with mental disabilities. All member and non-member schools are invited to participate. The competition will be held on the 1st of March 2009 in Karachi; and at a slightly later date in Lahore & Islamabad. However, names of children to compete should be submitted by February 19, 2009.

For further details about the competition, along with instructions for how to participate, please visit the NOWPDP web site at:

http://nowpdp.org/News/ArtCompitition.aspx



I learned about this competition via Ghulam Nabi Nizamani. All people who wish to make inquiries should please inquire directly with NOWPDP, according to the instructions on their web site, NOT with We Can Do. Thank you.

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Call for Papers: Poverty and Intellectual Disabilities

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

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

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

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



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

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Enabling Education Network Desires Feedback for Website Redesign

Posted on 5 February 2009. Filed under: Announcements, Call for Comments or Information, Children, Cross-Disability, Education, Inclusion, Opportunities | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

[Note to We Can Do readers: For years, people in the field of disability inclusive education have turned to the Enabling Education Network (EENET) for information, resources, and opportunities for debate. EENET has disseminated the following announcement, and is seeking responses by the end of February 2009.]

This year EENET is going to redesign its website. A very kind volunteer in EENET Asia has offered to do all the work for free. So, now we need to get some feedback from people who use the website, so that we can make sure we create a new website that is more useful and user-friendly.

The attached questions may help you give feedback. But please do tell us anything you want about the website — what is good, what is bad and what you would like to see on the website in future.

Please share this request for feedback with anyone else you know who uses the EENET website.

Thanks in advance for any feedback you can give.
Best wishes
Ingrid

EENET website redesign

In 2009 EENET’s website – www.eenet.org.uk –– is going to be redesigned and relaunched. This will be the first significant redesign since the website was created in 1997. So it’s important that we get it right!

The detailed evaluation of EENET in 2006 told us that there are various aspects of the website that are not user-friendly, and users sometimes find it difficult to locate the information they want from the huge selection available.

We now want to top up the evaluation results with some more recent feedback on what you like and don’t like, and what you want to see on the new website.

The following questions are of particular interest to us, but please feel free to send comments about other aspects of the website as well.

Thank you in advance for your help.

1) Organising documents
There are two main options for how we can organise the content on the website:

(a) we could list documents according to type of document (e.g. training manuals, short articles, long reports, etc). Under this option you would see a list of, for instance, all the training manuals available covering all aspects of inclusive education

(b) we could list documents according to inclusive education themes (e.g. gender, working children, disability, refugees, emergencies, etc). With this option you would see all the information available under that theme (you would see a list of all articles, reports, manuals, posters, links to other websites, etc on the theme of, for instance, ‘inclusive education and refugees’).

Which option would you prefer and why?
We could design the site so that both options are available, but before we take this more complicated route, we first want to know if one option is a lot more popular than the other!

2) Search facility
The current search facility within the EENET website is using outdated technology and isn’t very helpful. To help us improve the search facility, please tell us how you search for items on the EENET website. Do you mostly search for items according to:

  • subject area
  • a known document title
  • country
  • name of an organisation/NGO
  • a known author name
  • other (please specify)

3) Which website section(s) do you find most useful? Why?

4) Which website section(s) do you find least useful? Why?

5) Is there anything about the website that you find particularly confusing or frustrating? If so, how could we overcome this problem?

6) Documents in other languages
We currently have a separate section where users can go directly to a list of documents in other languages (it contains a random selection, as we rely on volunteers to do translations). Should we keep this separate section http://www.eenet.org.uk/other_langs/documents.shtml? Or should we remove this section and simply list any translations next to their English versions?

7) Word, PDF or html
Which format do you prefer / find most convenient for accessing and reading documents? Please explain why you prefer this format.

  • Html pages that you read online
  • PDF file downloads
  • Word file downloads

8) Please tell us about anything else that you think will help us make an EENET website that meets your needs!

If you are not already familiar with it, please explore the EENET website at www.eenet.org.uk. Then, send your responses to the above questions to EENET at info@eenet.org.uk by the end of February 2009.



I received this announcement via EENET’s Eastern Africa email discussion group, which focuses on discussion related to disability inclusion education in Eastern Africa.

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NEWS: Emergency Response for Bangladesh Disability Community Following Cyclone Sidr

Posted on 18 December 2008. Filed under: Disaster Planning & Mitigation, News, South Asian Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

SSDP’s Program Achievement Nov’07 – Oct’08
The Southern Socio-economic Development Program (SSDP) is a non profitable NGOs working for underprivileged rural community especially for people with disabilities (PWDs) in southern coastal area of Bangladesh. We are very proud of to extend our service to Cyclone SIDR affected people by the support of various donor.

A snapshot of our achievement of Emergency Response activities against SIDR 2007.

1 st phase:
1. Distributed survival package among 3750 household those who are with SIDR affected vulnerable people including PWDs in the area of Barguna District
2. Distributed 400 tents among the household those who were living under the open sky.
3. Distributed Food and hygiene kinds among 500 women.
4. Distributed milk (DANO) among 200 babies & Mother

Phase -2
1. Supported 2000 household through providing 20 kg rice by food for work
2. Supported 2000 household through providing 10kg paddy seeds.& 25gm vegetables seeds
3. Supported 4000 household through providing seeds for agricultural production.
4. Distributed 55000 plants among 5500 household
5. Providing boat, net and others materials to 300 nos fisherman for restoring live and livelihood
6. Installation of 45 nos Deep Tube well for 910 household.
7. Installation of 2184 nos sanitary latrine for the 2184 household.
8. Reconstruction of 75 nos DHTW platforms
9. Construction of 24 nos School sanitary latrine.
10. Distributed hygienic kits among 6000 household

Also:
• Disbursed a total amount of Tk.14,50,000/= among 250 PWDs HH for goat purchase
• Disbursed a total of Tk.11,50,000/= among 1000 PWDs HH in cash
• Distributed survival package among 1000 PWDs HH 3 rd phase:
• Provided 10 accessible house to PWDs and income generation support.
• Installation of 280 tin shed pacca sanitary latrine to 280 HHs
• Education support for 176 CWDs (children with disabilities)
• Facilitating IGA (Income Generating Activities) supports to 230 PWD HHs

During addressing emergency response activities SSDP also have some visitors from National and International donors.
1. Mr. Roger Bodary, National Director, Habitat for Humanity International Bangladesh
2. Mr. Oliver Broua, Rapid response Coordinator, Regional Support Office-South Asia from European Commission.
3. Mr. Norbert Nicoup, Mission chief , handicap International from France
4. Country Director-save the children –USA
5. Farrah Kabir, Country Director, Action aid Bangladesh
6. Dr. Malay Chandra Mirdha , ICCDDRB
7. Abdur Rashid, Executive Director NGO Forum for WSS
8. Mr.Jahid Hasan with MJF team and more

Core programmatic achievement of SSDP
With a view to sustainable development of underprivileged community especially people with disabilities (PWDs) SSDP is working since 1990 and supported the PWDs through inclusive education, IGAs for self-employment, assistive devise, medical support, PTR Self-help group (SHGs) formation, skill training, social mobilization advocacy and lobbing etc. With a view of capacity building also provide/ facilitate awareness raising program, different training like leadership, decision making, involvement in various social activities and curricular activities.

Some case of remarkable successful as well as achievement of SSDP can be present in following manner.
Case -1. Sarmin, a physically WWD girl passed her 16 years of life within a room with attached bath room. She never comes outside her room. SSDP discover her and provide an assistive device. It was a joyful day in her life when she sees the open sky and the socio-culture environment first during her 16 years life. She moved whole the Barguna District town by her wheel chair. She looked every thing with her surprising eyes every moment. Every body also enjoys this scenario.

Case -2. Jamal, a physically disabled person beneficiary is running a grocery shop taken support from SSDP through its IGA support program. He started the business with the capital of Tk.4000.00 and at present he is running with the capital of Tk20000.00. Now he is happy with his family with a monthly income of Tk.4000.00 – 5000.00 per month..

Present scope of work at the SSDP working area rehabilitation and sustainable development.
a. Accessible housing support for changing life’s of the PWDs families with sanitation facilities.
b. Livelihood support for Income generating.
c. School based forestation
d. Inclusive Educational for CWDs.
e. Self help Group promotional activities for social inclusion
f. Medical and Assistive Devise support for the PWDs
g. Primary health care support, and medical support for the PWDs
h. Psycho-social care support program
i. Home based gardening.
j. Long term agriculture rehabilitation program for food security. k. Climate change protection and disaster management program support.

Present supporters & Donors :
a. Action aid Bangladesh. ECHO.
b. Manusher Junnay Foundation ( MJF)
c. Stings Lillian Fonds through DRRA
d. Cristfel Blind Mission (CBM), GARMANY -Centre for Disability and Development ( CDD)
e. Nari Pakha.
f. Steps towards Development, Gender & Development Alliance
g. Bureau of Non-formal Education (BNFE), GOB and DAM
h Action on Disability and Development (ADD)
i. Health Link UK through SARPV-Bangladesh
j. Dark and Light Netherlands through CDD
k. Habitat for Humanity International – Bangladesh Country Office.
l. ADDIN Welfare Centre- HASAB Consortium

Additional cooperation requirement:
a. Program support for livelihood and food security for the fishermen community along with PWDs.
b. Disaster Risk reduction and management program.
c. Training center cum cyclone shelter establish organizational sustainability
d. Program support for the self-help group promotional activities for social inclusion for PWDs

If you have any queries please communicate with SSDP and /or visit their program area.
Md. Habibur Rahman
Executive Director
Southern Socio-economic Development Program (SSDP)
Amtali Natun Bazar
Amtali Barguna , Bangladesh
Phone: 04452-56136, Mobile: 01712-163604
E-mail: ssdp_2004@yahoo.com, habibssdp@gmail.com



Thank you to Ghulam Nabi Nizamani for circulating this report from the SSDP.

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Give One, Get One XO Laptop Per Child

Posted on 25 November 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Children, Education, News, Opportunities, Resources | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

They’re simple, rugged, and low-cost. And their more ardent fans think they can transform the world–one educated child at a time. Since the first XO laptops rolled off the assembly line in November 2006, hundreds of thousands of children in low-income countries have been using them in the classroom and at home. If you haven’t heard the hype yet, you can explore the website for the new, but increasingly famous One Laptop Per Child project at http://www.laptop.org/.

The latest news is:, people in the US, Canada, and Europe are now able to purchase an XO laptop for a child at home–if they will agree to also buy a laptop for a child they have never met somewhere abroad. From now until December 26, 2008, people in the US, Canada, and Europe may go to amazon.com/XO. A total of $399 in US dollars (or £275 in UK pounds) buys one XO laptop that can be shipped to your child and a second laptop to be shipped to a child in a developing country.

Because they are cheaper than most computers, XO laptops fit a little more easily into the education budgets of developing countries, especially if donors step in to help. Do they really enhance children’s learning experience as dramatically as the XO’s most earnest supporters believe? Some critics are not so sure. But others remain enthusiastic. I’ll let We Can Do readers google for more competing opinions at news.google.com and blogsearch.google.com on their own. But as a small sampling: various articles report that Microsoft and Intel don’t like the competition, and even some former employees of the One Laptop Per Child project are critics of the way the head of the company, Nicolas Negroponte, runs the business. But they seem to like the XO in Peru. And one US blogger with an XO shares his own thoughts on the subject.

What of children with disabilities? The XO is a bit of a mixed bag. Some features are good for some children with some disabilities (eg, built-in camera, good for signing deaf kids). But others are not so great for other children (eg, the interface is very visual–not so great for blind kids). I wrote some more thoughts on the topic last year at https://wecando.wordpress.com/2007/11/16/opinion-one-laptop-per-child—but-is-it-inclusive/.

I remain disappointed now, as I was then, that the people who developed the XO don’t seem to be as proactively inclusive of the needs of people with disabilities as I think they could be and should be. But some independent XO fans and programmers are working on solutions. If you want to join their on-line discussions on the topic, you can sign up for their free email-based discussion group at http://lists.laptop.org/listinfo/accessibility. Or, if you want to learn more about the accessibility issues for XO laptops, you can explore the online “Wiki” community on the topic at http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Accessibility.

What of adults who simply want a cheap, portable laptop for their own use? If you’re in the US, Canada, or Europe, then nothing would stop you from buying one for yourself. But be aware that the keyboard is designed for the small hands of primary school-aged children. If your hands are the same size as most adults, you will find it hard to touch type on the cramped keyboard. You might have to resort to two-fingered (or possibly four-fingered) typing. Also, the interface is geared toward young, creative children who might never have seen a computer before. An adult who has spent too many years using more boring, typical computers for “grown-ups” in developed countries might initially be confused about how to access its most basic programs.

Learn more about its software and hardware at http://www.laptop.org/en/laptop/index.shtml. There is an on-line forum where people who are bewildered by their XOs can ask for help from other users: http://en.forum.laptop.org/. People with more disability-specific questions will probably want to join the accessibility mailing list I mentioned above, at http://lists.laptop.org/listinfo/accessibility so they can exchange ideas, information, and solutions with other list members.

Or if all else fails, give your new XO to a young child you know and ask them to teach you how to use it. That is, if you decide to buy one.



I learned about this year’s “Give One, Get One” project through a mailing from the One Laptop Per Child project.

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UNESCO Flagship to Promote Education Access for Disabled Children

Posted on 12 November 2008. Filed under: Children, Education, Inclusion, Resources | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has created a Flagship devoted to improving the reach and quality of inclusive education for students with disabilities in developing countries. As many as 90 percent of children with disabilities in developing countries are denied the opportunity to obtain an education. The Flagship program works in partnership with other United Nations agencies, international and national disability organizations, and donors. It promotes the need for policy makers and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to work in partnership with organizations of, or representing, people with disabilities and their families. The Flagship also promotes the inclusion of education rights for people with disabilities in National Education Plans.

Read more about the Flagship at
http://www.unesco.org/education/efa/know_sharing/flagship_initiatives/disability_last_version.shtml

Read more about inclusive education at
http://portal.unesco.org/education/en/ev.php-URL_ID=56205&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html

Download a brochure on the Flagship program (PDF format, 432 Kb) at
http://www.unesco.org/education/efa/know_sharing/flagship_initiatives/depliant_flagship.pdf

People who are interested in promoting educational opportunities for people with disabilities in developing countries will also want to explore the web site for the Enabling Education Network (EENET), an information-sharing resource on inclusive education.

If you have a specific interest in Eastern Africa, then you might wish to learn about an on-line discussion group on inclusive education in Eastern Africa. Select the category education from the pull-down menu under “Categories” to see more We Can Do posts related to education for people with disabilities.



I first learned of the Flagship via the mailing list for the Centre for Services and Information on Disability.

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Events and Competitions for Sri Lanka Children with Disabilities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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News from Kyrgyzstan: Projects, Laws, Funding Opportunities

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

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

We are for equal possibilities and better future!
INFORMATIONAL BULLETIN

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

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

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

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Dear readers, colleagues and partners,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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New Website Links Parents of Disabled Children to Information, Resources

Posted on 14 July 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Children, Cross-Disability, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Resources, South Asian Region, youth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

June 27, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Julie Holmquist 952-838-9000

julie.holmquist@PACER.org

New PACER Web site offers information, resources for children with disabilities and their parents across the globe

Parents of children with disabilities living in India, Uzbekistan and across the globe can find a new resource on the Internet.

A new PACER Web site (www.PACER.org/international) acts as a link to resources, organizations, program ideas and practices that can improve the lives of children with disabilities.

The site was recently launched by the nonprofit PACER Center, a National Parent Center for families of children with disabilities located in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A.

The Web site provides information on the history of disability rights in the United States, as well as a list of links to resources and organizations in the U.S.A. and other countries that focus on helping children with disabilities.

The idea for the site developed from PACER’s collaboration with professionals and government officials in India. This special connection with India began in 2005 when PACER Executive Director Paula Goldberg visited families in India, met with government officials and toured programs for children with disabilities.

Since that time, PACER has co-sponsored India’s first National Conference on technology for children and adults with disabilities, along with India’s National Institute for the Mentally andicapped. PACER has also supported the creation of a new center on assistive technology for children and adults, scheduled to open September 13 at the Spastics Society of Karnatka(SSK) in Bangalore, India.

Creating a Web site was a way to exchange even more information, Goldberg says. Because of PACER’s close ties with India, the site has a wealth of information about disability organizations and laws in that country. In the future, Goldberg says PACER hopes to expand the amount of resources on the Web site specific to other countries.

PACER has a global reputation for helping families of children with disabilities. More than 130 guests from 15 foreign countries have visited PACER in recent years, and in 2007, PACER staff made presentations on disability issues during a satellite conference with Uzbekistan disability leaders. The conference was hosted by the U.S. Embassy.

“We’ve hosted many international guests at PACER who are eager to find additional resources for children with disabilities,” said Shauna McDonald, PACER’s director of community resource development. “The Web site is another way to collaborate and work toward the goal of improving the lives of children with disabilities around the world.”

PACER Center is a National Parent Center for families of children and youth with any disability or special health need. PACER is located at 8161 Normandale Blvd., Minneapolis, MN 55437-1044. For information, call 952-838-9000 (voice); 952-838-0190 (TTY) or 888-248-0822 (toll-free). PACER’s Web site is www.PACER.org and its e-mail address is PACER@PACER.org



This announcement was recently circulated on the AdHoc_IDC email discussion group.

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RESOURCE: Making Schools Inclusive: How Change Can Happen

Posted on 10 July 2008. Filed under: Case Studies, Children, Cross-Disability, Deaf, East Asia Pacific Region, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Education, Inclusion, Middle East and North Africa, Resources, South Asian Region, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Less than a decade ago, more than 100 million primary-school aged children still had never entered a classroom. Today, that number has dropped below 80 million, even though the world’s population has grown in that time. Clearly progress has been made. But children with disabilities are being left behind: one-third of the world’s children out of school are disabled. Many of the rest are excluded for other reasons that pose their own set of challenges: some are left behind because they are girls; or because they don’t speak the dominant language of their country; or because they experience discrimination on the basis of their ethnicity.

How can Disabled People’s Organizations (DPOs) and other Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) help schools in their country be more inclusive of students who have commonly been excluded? Save the Children UK has released a new report that offers guidance: “Making Schools Inclusive: How Change Can Happen: Save the Children’s Experience” (PDF format, 4.14 Mb). This report describes successful projects, and the lessons learned, from countries as diverse as Vietnam, Kyrgyzstan, Peru, Bangladesh, China, Somalia, Brazil, Western Balkans, Mongolia, Nepal, Tajikistan, Serbia, India, and Morocco. Children with disabilities are targeted for many of these projects.

The report begins by describing both the conditions that prevent inclusive education and the conditions that can help make it possible. It also analyzes projects that have made it possible for linguistic minority students–and Deaf students–to obtain a bilingual education. Teacher training programs have helped encourage teachers to create more inclusive classrooms for children with disabilities and other students who have historically been excluded. Several countries have used Community-based Education Management Information Systems (C-EMIS) to draw upon the knowledge and motivation of local community members in making education more inclusive. Each chapter ends by discussing what lessons other communities in other countries may find helpful in implementing their own projects.

Advocates who tire of hearing governments complain there isn’t enough money will especially wish to read the 6th chapter on “Addressing financial barriers to inclusive education.” Funding issues are also discussed briefly throughout earlier chapters of Making Schools Inclusive (PDF format, 4.14 Mb).

The 8th chapter points readers to further materials and resources that may be helpful to them in advocating for more inclusive education in their countries.

The full 64-page report can be downloaded in PDF format (4.14 Mb) at http://www.eenet.org.uk/downloads/Making%20schools%20inclusive%20SCUK.pdf.



We Can Do learned of this report through an announcement posted on the EENET Eastern Africa email discussion group. The discussion group is devoted to issues relating to inclusive education in Eastern Africa.

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LISTSERVE: On-line Discussion of Inclusive Education in Eastern Africa

Posted on 24 June 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Children, Cross-Disability, Education, Networking Opportunities, Opportunities, Sub-Saharan Africa Region, youth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Dear Colleagues,
 
To support the growing interest in the area of Inclusive Education throughout Eastern Africa, an Eastern Africa Discussion Group was set up to help facilitate discussions, networking and information sharing on this topic.  This discussion group is associated with EENET – The Enabling Education Network, which is a UK based information sharing network which promotes the inclusion of marginalized groups in education world wide.
 
The initial discussion group that was established was inundated with SPAM.  To overcome this problem the discussion group is now utilizing a Yahoo Group for discussion, which is free of SPAM.
 
If you would like to join the Eastern Africa Discussion Group, please send an email to eenet_eastern_africa-owner@yahoogroups.co.uk stating your interest to join the discussion group.   Or you may also join via the web at http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/eenet_eastern_africa/

If you join and decide later you do not want to be a part of the group any longer, you can unsubscribe at any time.
 
If you know any one else who you think might be interested in joining this group, please pass this message to them so as they have the information necessary to join.
 
Kind Regards,
 
Dimity Taylor
Coordinator
EENET Eastern Africa



Thank you to Dimity Taylor for submitting this announcement to We Can Do.

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Publication Seeks Stories by and about Children, Youth with Disabilities

Posted on 19 June 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Call for Audio & Visual Materials, Call for Papers, Children, Cross-Disability, Opportunities, youth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Disabled Peoples’ International (DPI) is collecting articles related to children with disabilities for its next issue of Disability International. Disability International is an on-line magazine focused on the international disability community that publishes one or two issues each year, in English, Spanish, and French. The following kinds of submissions are welcome:

  • Written pieces and art work by children and youth
  • Stories about what it is like to be a young person with a disability, told in their own words
  • Stories from groups or organizations about a successful project they have done involving children or youth with disabilities. Please include pictures.

Stories should be about 450 words long. The deadline for submissions is July 31, 2008.

Prior issues of Disability International, from 2002 through 2008, can be downloaded for free on-line at http://v1.dpi.org/lang-en/resources/details.php?page=116. Themes for past issues have included: independent living (PDF format, 554 Kb); human rights (PDF format, 463 Kb); invisible disabilities (PDF format, 506 Kb); HIV/AIDS in Africa (PDF format, 1.63 Mb); a special edition on the launch of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in December 2006 (PDF format, 2.5 Mb); another issue on implementing the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2007 (PDF format, 2 Mb); and, most recently, disability and the arts (PDF format, 1.5 Mb).

For inquiries, or to submit stories and pictures for the next issue, please contact Cassandra at Disabled Peoples’ International at info@dpi.org.



We Can Do first learned about DPI’s search for stories by or about children and youth with disabilities through the DPI weekly electronic newsletter. Thank you to Cassandra for supplying additional details about the guidelines for Disability International.

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EENET Recruiting Steering Group Members to Promote Inclusive Education

Posted on 10 June 2008. Filed under: Call for Nominations or Applications, Children, Cross-Disability, Education, Inclusion, Opportunities, Volunteer Opportunities, youth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Please note that applications should be directed to EENET, not to We Can Do; read carefully for links, email address, and instructions. The deadline is June 24, 2008.

EENET steering group: user group representatives

Background to EENET’s Steering Group
The Enabling Education Network (EENET) is a global information network that helps education practitioners and stakeholders to document and share their experiences of inclusive, child-friendly education. The network prioritises the information needs of southern countries. It aims to reach those who are often excluded from other international information systems or debates, or who cannot afford to buy information resources. EENET’s users include local and international Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), teachers, parents, students, government officials, academics, etc.

EENET has a very small co-ordination office in the UK, employing one staff member and a few volunteers, but still manages to support the information needs of thousands of people in 200 countries. Independent regional networks, based on EENET’s vision and mission, are also being developed in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

To find out more about EENET’s information sharing activities visit www.eenet.org.uk; email info@eenet.org.uk; or write to EENET, c/o ESI, School of Education, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL, UK

EENET’s role is to champion inclusive education. But it also seeks to challenge the status quo, to ask difficult questions and encourage debates on controversial topics. To ensure that EENET fulfils this role, and continues to meet the information needs of its diverse target audience, the network has a Steering Group which has not been very active for several years, but is now being reformed.

EENET Steering Group function and role of members

  • The Steering Group will monitor EENET’s activities and makes suggestions for changes.
  • Steering Group members will represent the views of EENET’s founders, its regional networking partners, international NGOs/donors, and, very importantly, its target users.
  • Steering Group members will assist EENET staff with taking action in key areas of EENET’s development (e.g. fundraising) if they have skills and experience in a relevant area.

User group representatives
Two or three Steering Group representatives will be appointed from among EENET’s ‘grassroots’ users. While they will not be able to represent the full diversity of EENET’s users, they will bring to the Steering Group a valuable ‘reality check’ on the needs, challenges and potential contributions of EENET’s users.

These ‘grassroots’ Steering Group representatives will be selected based on the following criteria:

Essential

  • Good communication skills, preferably in English.
  • Able to communicate by email, and also if possible by telephone or using internet phone or chat systems.
  • Able to travel to the UK and other countries (e.g. must have a passport, or be able to obtain a passport and travel visas without difficulties).
  • Enthusiasm about the aims, values and principles of EENET, and a commitment to contributing as fully as possible to the Steering Group.

One or more of the following are desired:

    Awareness of:
  • child rights
  • education issues
  • disability and/or other diversity issues
  • community development issues.
  • First hand experience of inclusive education (as a student, teacher, parent, local education official, teacher trainer, etc).
  • Experience of being an activist or in other ways representing a marginlised, discriminated against or excluded group (e.g. women/girls; disabled people; refugees; working children, etc).
  • Awareness of EENET and/or an active member of EENET’s network.
  • Awareness of and/or an active member of other south-based, south-focused information sharing and advocacy networks.
  • Financial issues
    Steering Group members are unpaid volunteers. There is no salary for being a Steering Group member. However, EENET will cover all costs relating to attending meetings (e.g. travel, accommodation, meals and other essential daily living expenses) and participating in telephone conferences or internet chats.

    Application to become an EENET Steering Group member

    Closing date for applications: 24th June 2008

    Personal details
    Name:
    Nationality:
    Postal address:
    Tel. no:
    Fax no:
    Mobile no:
    Email:
    Other, e.g. Skype name:

    Do you have a passport?

    Are you aware of any possible restrictions to your freedom to travel to other countries?

    Are you available 8-12 September 2008 (the dates for the next Steering Group meeting)?

    Supporting information
    Describe your involvement with EENET so far (e.g. when did you first learn about EENET; when did you first read the newsletter; what communication have you had with EENET; what other EENET activities have you been involved in?)

    Why are you interested in becoming a member of EENET’s Steering Group?

    Explain any experience you have with the following (this can be experience gained through your personal life or through work):

    • education/inclusive education
    • child rights/human rights
    • community development
    • equality and diversity issues.

    Explain what you think inclusive education means.

    Why do you think it is important for EENET to promote inclusive education and help people to share information on inclusive education?

    Please provide any other information you think will support your application.

    References
    Please supply the names and contact details of 2 people who can provide references for you. At least one referee should know you in a professional or work capacity or have direct experience of your involvement in inclusive education activities/advocacy.

    Referee 1
    Name:
    Address:
    Email:
    Tel:
    Fax:

    Referee 2
    Name:
    Address:
    Email:
    Tel:
    Fax:
    Please return your completed form to:
    Email: info@eenet.org.uk
    Address: EENET, c/o ESI, School of Education, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL, UK
    Fax: +44 (0)161 275 3548



    We Can Do received this announcement via the EENET Eastern Africa listserv. Again, applications should please be directed to EENET in accordance to the instructions above, NOT to We Can Do. Thank you.

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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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    RESOURCE: Child Disability Statistics

    Posted on 11 March 2008. Filed under: Children, Cross-Disability, Resources | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

    Researchers, advocates, and other individuals who share an interest in children with disabilities around the world can locate relevant data at a new UNICEF web site on Child Disability.

    In 2005, UNICEF impleneted a module in the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) to help countries identify children with congential and developmental disabilities. These results are being reported for the first time at the UNICEF Child Disability web site. Most results focus on children aged 2 to 9.

    Countries have identified as few as 2 percent of their children as having disabilities (in Uzbekistan) or as many as 35 percent (in Djibouti). An overview of statistics is available at the web site.

    DISABILITY ADVOCATES and community workers, take note! UNICEF says this: “Prevalence rates that fall significantly below 10 percent may indicate that severe and moderate disabilities are under-recognized or under-reported, which means that children with disabilities are missing in these statistics. They can also suggest high mortality both in utero and for children with disabilities who are under the age of five – deaths that are not captured in statistics.” (Quote taken from http://www.childinfo.org/disability_statistics.html)

    Why should grassroots advocates care about these two sentences? Think about the next time you go to foundations or governments to look for money to support a project you care about. Funders usually want to see proof that there are enough people with disabilities to be worth a targeted project. If your country has already done a study claiming that disability is rare, they might be reluctant to commit funds to large-scale projects for disabled people. In this case, you could try pointing out to funders that experts, including UNICEF, think that surveys resulting in very low estimates may be under-reporting or missing children with disabilities. Use the above quote, and be sure to include the citation.

    The web site also shares a listing of UNICEF publications on children with disabilities (under “Resources”); a list of relevant journal articles (under “References”); and a list of useful links.

    Start exploring UNICEF’s Child Disability web site at:

    http://www.childinfo.org/disability.html

    You may also wish to explore other information, resources, and materials related to children with disabilities in developing countries by clicking on children under categories (right-hand navigation bar). Or click on the page entitled Research, Reports, Papers, Statistics (top navigation bar) if you’re looking for more data in general.



    We Can Do learned about UNICEF’s Child Disability web site by exploring the World Bank’s Disability web site.

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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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    PUBLICATION: Promoting the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

    Posted on 26 February 2008. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Children, Cross-Disability, Education, Employment, Health, HIV/AIDS, Human Rights, Inclusion, Policy & Legislation, Rehabilitation | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    Rehabilitation International’s publication, International Rehabilitation Review, has published a special edition focused on promoting the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). People with disabilities, advocates, disability experts, and human rights experts, all contributed 20 articles to the December 2007, 48-page edition.

    The CRPD is the first comprehensive international legislation to focus on protecting the human rights of people with disabilities. It needs to be ratified by 20 countries before it will take full legal force; it has now been ratified by 17 countries.

    Several of these articles celebrate the heavy involvement of the disability community and various disability and human rights organizations in promoting the CRPD. Other articles discuss the relevance of the CRPD to themes such as promoting inclusive education; including people with disabilities in programs to prevent HIV/AIDS; the importance of habilitation and rehabilitation to empowerment; and how the CRPD may help countries bring more people with disabilities into the work force.

    Some more examples of articles included in the December 2007 issue of the International Rehabilitation Review include the following:

    An article entitled “A Unified Disability Community: The Key to Effective Implementation of the Convention” by Maria Veronica Reina and Stefan Tromel highlights the importance of people with disabilities themselves being actively involved in ensuring that the CRPD actively protects the human rights of disabled people around the world.

    Author Ann M. Veneman discusses the importance of children with disabilities in the CRPD in her article, “The UN Disability Rights Convention: Moving Children with Disabilities Center Stage.”

    Of particular relevance to We Can Do readers in the international development field is the article “Toward Inclusive Development: The Implementation Challenge,” by Charlotte McClain-Nhlapo. This article calls for country governments and development organizations to incorporate the principles of the CRPD into their plans, programs, and policies, including those that fight poverty.

    Anne Hawker and Sebenzile Matsebula discuss the importance of mobilizing women with disabilities to successfully implementing the CRPD in “Women with Disabilities: A Call to Action.”

    In some countries, people with certain disabilities are denied the right to open their own bank account, or to say “no” to medical treatment that they don’t want. Article 12 of the CRPD can help, says Tina Minkowitz in her article, “Legal Capacity: Fundamental to the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.”

    Once the CRPD takes legal force, then what? Governments will need people with disabilities themselves to monitor how well the CRPD is implemented in their countries. The article “Interational Monitoring: The Right to Inclusion, The Obligation to Participate” by Kirsten Young and Shantha Rau, discusses how.

    This special issue of Rehabiliation International’s International Rehabilitation Review can be downloaded in PDF format (1.8 Mb) at
    http://www.riglobal.org/publications/RI_Review_2007_Dec_web.pdf

    Or you can downlaod it in Word format (233 Kb) at
    http://www.riglobal.org/publications/RI_Review_2007_Dec_WORDversion.doc



    We Can Do learned about this special issue through RatifyNow.org‘s email discussion list. This article is cross-posted at the RatifyNow.org web site with permission of author. See the RatifyNow website for more information on the CRPD and the global movement to ratify and implement it.

    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. If you are reading this anywhere else, then you are most likely reading a web site that regularly plagiarizes the work of other people.

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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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    RESOURCE: Books for Healthier People, Happier Children

    Posted on 16 January 2008. Filed under: Blind, Children, Cross-Disability, Deaf, Health, Resources, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    [Originally published at wecando.wordpress.com (We Can Do) at http://tinyurl.com/2b23c5]

    If you’re sick, and you’re in an industrialized country with a health insurance system that meets your needs reasonably well, then you go to the doctor. Or if you are a parent who has just found out that your child is deaf or blind, you turn to professionals for advice and services.

    But sometimes there is no doctor. And there are no professionals. If you’re poor; if you have no medical insurance; if you’re in a remote rural area; if the nearest doctor, clinic, or rehabilitation center is three days away on the back of a donkey, then you’re on your own.

    Books cannot replace good-quality, affordable medical care from professionals. Nor can they replace blind adults who can teach your child Braille, or deaf adults who can teach your family sign language. But the right kind of books can still save lives. And books can guide parents and community members in helping integrate their disabled children into the family and community.

    That’s where the Hesperian Foundation comes in. The Hesperian Foundation is a non-profit organization that publishes books and educational materials. People in developing countries around the world use publications from the Hesperian Foundation to help them understand how to take better care of their own
    health and how to raise disabled children. These books are written in simple language with many pictures that can be understood by people with basic literacy skills. Some have been translated into Spanish. A few have also been translated into other languages, such as Chinese or Vietnamese.

    Their most famous book is Where There is No Doctor, also available in its Spanish edition, Donde no hay doctor.

    Many of their books can be downloaded for free, one chapter at a time, from Hesperian’s on-line library in PDF format. Other books can be purchased.

    Don’t have enough money to buy the books you need to save lives or guide parents in your community? Not satisfied with downloading books for free onto your computer? Discounts may be available, under certain conditions, for people in developing countries. A limited number of print books may be available, for free, to some health workers and community leaders in developing countries, through the Gratis Books program.

    Free books of particular interest to people with disabilities, their families, and the professionals who work with them, include: A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities; Helping Children Who are Deaf; Helping Children Who are Blind (in English); and the Spanish edition of the same book, Ayudar a los ninos ciegos. People can also purchase Disabled Village Children; or the Spanish edition of the same book, El nino campesino deshabilitado.

    If you wish to download a free book or book chapter, you can proceed to the Hesperian on-line library at http://www.hesperian.org/publications_download.php#wwd.

    If you wish to purchase a book or multiple publications, you can review the full list of products at http://www.hesperian.org/mm5/merchant.mvc?Store_Code=HB&Screen=PLST.

    Have any questions about how to order a book, or how to get a discount for people in developing countries? You may find it helpful to consult the book order FAQ at http://www.hesperian.org/publications_faq.php.

    Inquiries about ordering books or obtaining discount prices can be directed to the Hesperian Foundation store at bookorders@hesperian.org.



    The information provided in this post was gathered by exploring the Hesperian Foundation web site. Any inquiries should be directed to the Hesperian Foundation.



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    RESOURCE, NEWS: Making the XO Laptop Accessible

    Posted on 5 January 2008. Filed under: Children, Cross-Disability, Education, News, Resources | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    If you’ve seen the media hype about it, then you know that the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project wants to put a low-cost laptop into the hands of every child in primary schools in developing countries. The idea is to give children a tool for taking their own education into their own hands so they will learn more. Now people on an email list called “accessibility”, and people in the on-line wiki community, are working on ways to ensure that these laptops will be more accessible and usable for children with disabilities.

    In November, I wrote an opinion piece about the XO Laptop project. Basically I said I thought it was a great concept. And I still think that–in fact, I have now bought one of the XO laptops for myself through a short-term “Get one, Give one” program that ended in December 2007. One laptop is being shipped to me (meaning, no, it hasn’t arrived yet). Another laptop is being shipped to a child in a developing country somewhere. But I had, and still have, concerns about its accessibility for disabled children. And I find it disappointing that OLPC has not made it a stronger, and clearer, priority to make it usable by children with various vision, mobility, and other impairments.

    But the good news is that an on-line community exists for people who want to help make the XO laptop more accessible to children with disabilities in developing countries. Specifically, the Accessibility mailing list at:

    http://lists.laptop.org/listinfo/accessibility

    And there is also a “wiki” web site devoted to accessibility issues for the XO laptop. A “wiki” site enables people from around the world to collaborate with each other, via the web, on a common goal. In this case, the wiki laptop accessibility community enables people with the needed technical skills to work together to make the XO laptop more usable for users with disabilities. Start here to see a list of specific problems that have been identified with the XO for children with various disabilities:

    http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Accessibility

    Both on-line communities appear to be relatively small. But both would surely welcome new members with fresh energy and ideas. People with disabilities could share feedback about the features they need that would make the XO more accessible to them. If you have an XO of your own, you could play around with it to identify accessibility barriers that need more work. This is especially important if you discover that the barriers you identify, or the ideas you have for fixing it, have not already been listed at the wiki community page.

    Even better: if you have an XO, and you know a disabled child, you could watch them while they try out all the different features of the XO. Ask them for their reactions, and observe where they run into problems. Share the results with the on-line community.

    And, of course, if you have computer design, programming, or other relevant skills, then maybe you could help develop a way to improve the XO. And not just in terms of software. Also think about the needs of children with mobility impairments who might have trouble physically operating the XO as it is currently designed.

    Before becoming active in the on-line OLPC accessibility discussion/brainstorming groups, you may wish to browse through the archives of past discussions:

    http://lists.laptop.org/pipermail/accessibility/



    Thank you to the anonymous individual who left a comment at my opinion essay to alert me to the mailing list on XO accessibility.



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    OPINION: One Laptop per Child—But is it Inclusive?

    Posted on 16 November 2007. Filed under: Children, Cross-Disability, Education, Opinion, technology | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    The Issue
    Bringing laptops to children in developing countries. It’s a nifty concept, meant to help with an enormous challenge: improving the quality of education in developing countries. But is it inclusive of children with disabilities?

    Even relatively casual observers of the international development field quickly learn that 77 million children worldwide are not in primary school. And perhaps you also knew that a large portion of those children have disabilities. What we don’t hear about as often is that even the 2 billion children who are fortunate enough to be able to enter a classroom, in many cases, may not be that much better off. The push to put all children in school by 2015, as per the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), has led to more schools, more teachers, and more books—but not necessarily to a better-quality education. So how do we go beyond filling seats with bodies so we can start filling heads with knowledge?

    The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project thinks they have part of the answer. That’s to put a laptop into the hands of every child in school in developing nations. Not just any laptop, but the XO laptop. The XO is designed specifically for child learners. It has features that allow them to create—be it a picture, a poem, a game, or a computer program. And XO laptops can communicate directly with other XO laptops if they are close enough. That allows for collaborative projects among pairs or groups of students. The laptops are also designed to be used in rugged conditions. They can be used in places where classes might meet outside in bright sunlight, or where students may have no access to electricity.

    In developing countries, one of the largest barriers to obtaining resources—be it for disabled people or for their non-disabled peers—is cost. The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project has tackled this, at least part way, by producing a laptop that costs $200. That’s twice as much as their original goal—which was to design a $100 laptop. And that’s still out of reach for any family that lives on less than $1 a day. But it’s within reach for some country governments. Uruguay, for example, has purchased the first 100,000 XOs to come off the assembly line (see http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7068084.stm). And there may soon be other countries standing in line. The OLPC project has also introduced several ways that people in rich countries can help (see http://www.laptopgiving.org/en/index.php). If things grow quickly from here, we could soon see the day when millions of children are learning through XO laptops and any competitors that might later emerge.

    But for children with disabilities, the question of whether someone can and will send them a laptop in the first place is only the first half of the problem. The second half is whether the laptop is even accessible to them.

    XO Laptops: Are They Suitable for Young Disabled Students?
    I should note here that I have not yet seen an XO laptop for myself. Nor am I an expert in the types of adaptations that are available or most needed by people who are blind, or who have mobility impaired—or, indeed, any disability other than deafness. That means I can’t give an accurate evaluation of how usable an XO laptop is for disabled children. But I can speculate. And given how large the OLCP project hopes to become, I suggest that anyone with an interest in educating disabled children in developing countries should also be speculating. More importantly, they should be sharing their insights and ideas for remedies with the OLPC project.

    On the plus side, some disabled children may find that the laptops will be a tremendous boon for them. For example, the XO is sturdier and more durable than most standard, western computers. That could be an important feature for children whose disabilities affect their behavior. They might be less likely to damage the laptop if they throw it during a tantrum or a “meltdown”, for example. Or a child with mobility impairments or dyspraxia can worry less if they drop their laptop.

    Also, I like how the XO laptop allows for interactive communication with other laptop users. For children who have communication-related disabilities and who have learned to read and write, it might make communication with their non-disabled peers a little easier. Instead of being forced to talk or read lips in a modality that works poorly for them–if at all–they could have the option of typing back and forth with their classmates or the teacher. This could be especially helpful in situations where no sign language interpreter is available, which is frequently the case in developing countries. I don’t think the XO will ever be a substitute for more appropriate educational placements. (I believe that most deaf children should be in good quality, specialized schools for deaf children. But that’s a subject for another blog post.) But for deaf children who have been thrust into classrooms with no means of understanding their teacher, the laptop could potentially become a tool for teaching themselves, perhaps with the aid of their peers.

    But even deaf children, if they are learning alongside hearing peers, may feel left out when their classmates start playing around with the built-in microphone and other auditory-based features. And other disabled children may find the XO laptops to be so inaccessible as to be useless. I suspect that blind children and some children with low vision—as with most computers generally—may suffer the most significant barriers. From what I can gather from their web site, the XO seems to have a very visual interface. That’s great for sighted deaf children, but bad for blind children. There seems to be no provision for screen readers of any kind: a blind child could still type but would have no way to monitor what they are typing or to read it back later. And unless there is some audio feature that I didn’t read about, the heavy graphics would be meaningless to them. That might make it harder for a child with vision impairments to interact with other students in the class. If I understand correctly, a child who wants to work on a project with someone else through the XO needs to bring up an icon representing their classmate and click it.

    I also wonder about children with certain mobility impairments, particularly those that affect the use of their hands. As far as I can tell from the OLPC web site, there are no modified keyboards available. In other words, one design fits all—even when it doesn’t. And it’s not just the keyboard that might pose a problem. One of the ways to power up an XO is to either pull on a cord or operate a foot pump—either of which might be problematic for children with certain mobility impairments. What if a child could operate one type of battery re-charger but not the other? If a country buys all of its laptops in one variety, a child may not have the option of switching to equipment that is more usable for them.

    Why Inclusion Matters–From the Beginning
    Children with disabilities already face enormous barriers in even reaching the classroom. And many face even more barriers inside it. The XO laptop is meant to help bring the world of learning to poor children in developing nations. But for many children with disabilities, the XO laptop, as currently designed, may create new barriers to learning instead of removing them. What is especially worrying to me is that nowhere in their web site does OLPC even acknowledge the problem much less discuss what they’re doing to resolve it. (Or if they do and I missed it, tell me in the comments area below—their site is at www.laptop.org.)

    The usual excuse made when a new project excludes disabled people, is, “But we’re new. We’re just starting. We had to start somewhere. We’re not ready for doing anything more specialized right now.” There are two major problems with accepting this type of excuse. First is the issue of justice. People with disabilities have always been the last people to gain access to any new technology or service. As soon as one technology is finally made at least partly accessible, something new has become mainstream to everyone else—but, once again, not for disabled people. By the time innovative deaf people in rich countries finally managed to invent a way to access telephones, for example, all their hearing, middle-class neighbors had color television–while deaf people were, once again, waiting. The delay between the time a new technology or service becomes available to non-disabled people and the time it becomes available to disabled people, in and of itself, creates barriers that prevent people with disabilities from participating fully in society. There will always be something new. And, even with advancing medical technology, there will probably always be disabled people. We will only be fully included in society when new things, too, are accessible to us from the first day they become available to the public at wide. After all, aren’t we, too, supposed to be members of the public?

    The second problem with accepting the “but it’s new, give us time” excuse is that this is backwards thinking. It is PRECISELY BECAUSE a technology or project is new that the people designing it SHOULD be thinking from the start about the needs of people with disabilities. Suppose you construct a building with stairs and no ramps, then you tear part of it down in order to add the ramps years later, that’s expensive. If you remember the needs of people with disabilities while you’re still working in the blueprint stage then you can make sure it has ramps to begin with, and you can integrate the ramps into the design in a way that saves money. That’s very, very cheap. If you build 100,000 computers for Uruguay with no screen readers, and then belatedly construct a few separate devices to be attached to them later as needed, that’s expensive.

    But what if they had given consideration to the needs of blind or dyslexic students, or children with other disabilities, from the beginning? Yes, it probably would have been an enormous challenge to find a way to integrate their needs into the standard design of the XO laptop without significantly increasing its cost. But if they had at least tried—even if they had tried and failed—then if nothing else, we could have been a good five years of research and development closer to achieving an XO that does succeed in including disabled children. And not only that, but it might have been cheaper than whatever add-on fix they come up with now. Or, even if they hadn’t come up with a concept that could be integrated into the standard design, they might at least have come up with design elements that make it easier to add on a fix later. What if they come up with a nice, cheap screen reader, only to find that there isn’t a good way to plug it into the existing XO laptops?

    Or perhaps they could have come up with creative design elements that help, not only disabled students, but everyone. After all, curb cuts were implemented for wheelchair riders, but were quickly embraced by non-disabled parents with prams or baby carriages. Closed captions were invented to enable deaf people in rich countries to watch television, but have also been embraced by hearing immigrants learning the language of their new home. Speech recognition software for computers was invented, at least in part, for people who cannot type with their hands, but has been embraced by others as well. What kind of XO would we have had today if they hadn’t thrown away five years of opportunity to find out?

    Owning the Issue
    Two groups of people need take responsibility for ensuring that the built in exclusion of disabled children in developing countries does not last. First are the people operating the One Laptop Per Child project. If they’re serious about bringing laptops to all two billion children in school, then they would do well to remember that about 10 percent of the world’s population—including children in developing countries—have disabilities. They need to decide whether “all” will truly mean “all,” or if “all” really means “all except disabled children because they’re too difficult to include.”

    The obligation doesn’t end with the One Laptop Per Child project, but it does begin with them: they need to be proactive. To start with, they should reach out to organizations of disabled adults and children in developing countries to share the laptop with them and find out exactly what problems they face in using it. They can begin with some of the organizations listed in “Finding Local Disability Organizations” for possible contacts. They should be talking with disabled adults, because people who have already been adapting to their own disabilities for a whole lifetime often see obvious solutions that elude everybody else. And they should be talking with parents and teachers who may notice barriers that even disabled users miss. But most importantly of all, they should be talking with disabled children in developing countries—because the best person to tell us what a disabled child needs is a disabled child.

    Also, they should mention the problem of accessibility for children with disabilities throughout their web site, where appropriate. In particular, where they recruit volunteers, they should be specifically asking for people who can help make the laptop more usable for children with a wide range of disabilities. But even in other parts of their web site, for example where they talk about its design features and their future design plans, they can acknowledge its existing limitations and explain how they hope to overcome them. Possibly they could also have a separate page devoted to the topic of accessibility—but this is not a substitute for integration. “Add-on” issues rarely get the attention they deserve: if it’s important, then the organization’s concern for the issue should reverberate through everything they say and do.

    Second are people around the world who are already committed to bringing more disabled children in developing countries into the classroom and giving them a high-quality education. That means parents, educators, disabled advocates, non-government organizations (NGOs) and other interested parties. People who have direct experience with the XO laptop can give their feedback to the One Laptop Per Child project. Others can review their web site and offer their advice or consultation services.

    I think the One Laptop Per Child program is a good concept and a good cause worth supporting—even with its current flaws. That’s exactly why I urge them to become a more inclusive cause as well. I hope they listen—and take action.

    Nicholas Negroponte and the other staff at OLPC: it’s over to you, now.


    The facts, figures, and information behind the opinions expressed in this essay come from a range of sources. Most particularly I drew upon the OLPC web site, but you will also note that I link to a number of other sources throughout this article.

    Edited 17 Nov. ’07 to add: Eduardo Silva points out (thank you for alerting me) that interested readers can go to http://wiki.laptop.org to see some of the software work that is being done to improve the XO laptop. And as Eduardo Silva indicates, they are indeed working on a text-to-voice screen reader, which you can read about at http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Screen_Reader. However, I still have some concerns about this which I elaborate upon further in the comments area below.

    Edited 31 Dec. ’07 to add: I wonder if a Sightsaver’s Dolphin Pen would help blind children make better use of the XO. Is there anyone reading this who is familiar with BOTH the XO AND with the Dolphin Pen (a low-cost screen reader and screen magnifier designed for use in low-income countries)? If so, I would value your input. Please do comment in the comments area below.

    Edited 5 Jan. ’08 to add: THANK YOU to the anonymous contributer in the comments area below who led me to the accessibility mailing list for people who want to brainstorm ideas and solutions on how to make the XO more accessible.


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