CALL FOR PAPERS: Situation of Persons with Disabilities in Post-War and Post-Conflict Situations

Posted on 23 June 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Call for Papers, Cross-Disability, Opportunities, Violence | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

ZEITSCHRIFT BEHINDERUNG UND DRITTE WELT
GERMAN JOURNAL FOR DISABILITY AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

[Note:As of September 2008, I have been notified that the deadline for this specific call for papers has already passed. Interested authors, however, may wish to monitor http://www.zbdw.dethe German Journal for Disability and International Development website to learn about their publication and in anticipation of future calls for papers on other topics.]

Topic:
Situation of Persons with Disabilities in Post-War and Post-Conflict Situations

This issue of the journal deals with living conditions and situations of people with disabilities after periods of war and/or conflict. As already stated by UN Special Rapporteur Leandro Despouy in 1993 wars and armed conflicts are causing long-term disabilities in large groups of the population and – at the same time – are situations of high vulnerability for PWD. Since strategies of war as well as weapons have changed over the last decades and differ from conflict to conflict, the situation of PWD afterwards might be disparate but disastrous in any way. The challenges that arise are manifold for PWD as well as aid organisations and governments. In most situations of conflict victims have no legal basis to claim their rights. At the same time they have to cope with insufficient rehabilitation services. With this issue, the German Journal for Disability and International Development wants to raise a topic that is not often heard but reality for many people. It will ask about:

  • traumatisation of large parts of population
  • legal rights of victims of wars/conflicts and compensation
  • availability of and access to rehabilitation services
  • specific challenges for PWD and war veterans concerning resettlement and generating income
  • the problem of unfair distribution of aids between war veterans and disabled civilians
  • changes in perceptions of disability through conflict and war

Suggestions for contributions:

  • Introductory article
  • Articles reflecting and analysing the situation in specific countries
  • Impact studies/Surveys/Case Studies/Reviews
  • Reports from best practice projects
  • Autobiographical reports
  • And others

Contact:
Gabriele Weigt – gabi.weigt@t-online.de
Doris Graeber – doris.graeber@arcor.de

About us:
The Journal for Disability and International Development is published by the Forum Disability and International Development. Since 1990 it is published three times a year. The target groups of the journal are scientists, professionals and interested people from all over the world.

It aims to be a forum for an international exchange about the topic. Beside this it creates professional discussions on educational, social, developmental and intercultural issues in the context of disability and development. Each issue of the journal has a leading topic consisting of diverse articles.

The editors and the advisory board try to win experts from all continents to contribute to the journal. The journal is published in German and English and available in a printed and online version http://www.zbdw.de

Information for authors can be downloaded in RTF format (26 Kb) at: http://zbdw.de/projekt01/media/zbdw_author_info_engl.rtf



We Can Do first learned about this call for papers when it was circulated on the Global Partnership for Disability and Development listserv. People interested in submitting articles or in making inquiries should contact the German Journal for Disability and Development directly, not We Can Do. Please follow the relevant links or email contacts in the announcement above.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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NEWS: Bangladesh Disability Forum Elects New National Executive Council

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

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

Congratulations!

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

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

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

Thanking you.

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



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

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Read the RatifyNow CRPD Blog Swarm 2008 on the International Disability Rights Treaty!

Posted on 29 March 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Cognitive Impairments, Cross-Disability, Human Rights, Mobility Impariments, Psychiatric Disabilities | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

From Australia … from the USA … from India … from New Zealand … from Fiji … from the Philippines …

Writers and bloggers from around the world joined together to help celebrate and promote the first legally binding international human rights instrument to protect the rights of people with disabilities — the international disability rights treaty, called the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

They celebrated by writing blog posts for the RatifyNow CRPD Blog Swarm 2008, which can now be read at
http://ratifynow.org/2008/03/29/ratifynow-crpd-blog-swarm-2008/

What did they write about? Some of the topics include …

… The story of one advocate who watched the birth of the CRPD among grassroots advocates with disabilities and others in the 1990s …
… How the CRPD could deliver new hope for people in India with mental disabilities …
… How the CRPD represents an evolution from the charity/medical model of disability to the social or human rights-based model …
… How the CRPD could make travel go a little more smoothly for tourists with disabilities …
… Why the CRPD matters for people who use personal assistance services or who are seeking the freedom to explore their own sexual expression …
… An allegorical tale about farmers, spoons, and plows: Why the CRPD is well worth celebrating and why our work isn’t done just because the CRPD is about to take full legal force …
… And more …

All at the RatifyNow CRPD Blog Swarm 2008, and all available by following the link to:

http://ratifynow.org/2008/03/29/ratifynow-crpd-blog-swarm-2008/

Celebrate and learn about the CRPD through the RatifyNow CRPD Blog Swarm 2008.

Then invite other people to do the same. Please circulate this notice or post it at your blog or web site — with, of course, a link to the blog swarm at

http://ratifynow.org/2008/03/29/ratifynow-crpd-blog-swarm-2008/

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RESOURCE: African Union of the Blind Web Site

Posted on 22 March 2008. Filed under: Blind, Democratic Participation, Health, HIV/AIDS, Inclusion, Resources, Sub-Saharan Africa Region, youth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Individuals who share an interest in the self-empowerment of blind people in Africa can turn to the African Union of the Blind (AFUB) web site for a range of information, publications, and helpful resources. The materials at this site will be particularly for people with an interest in HIV/AIDS; women; and youth.

The AFUB website is meant to mobilize, empower, and disseminate information for individuals and organizations supporting people with visual impairments across Africa. AFUB is a pan-African umbrella non-government organization (NGO).

On the page for AFUB publications, readers may download past issues of AFUB news in English or French. Issues of the news letter, Women’s Voices, contain a range of news, advice for independent living, and advocacy tips related to blind African women. Or readers may download manuals on training HIV/AIDS trainers; including blind people in HIV/AIDS education programs; training blind people to advocate and lobby for their rights at the local and national level; and empowering visually impaired youth. Some of these manuals could probably be usefully adapted for use outside of Africa as well.

On the projects page, people may learn about AFUB’s HIV and AIDS Awareness and Training Project; its Gender And Youth Development; and its National Civic Education Program.

The Reports and Policy page offers copies of AFUB’s annual reports and many reports from AFUB’s various training activities and other projects, particularly in the areas of HIV/AIDS awareness and in gender and youth development.

Or, download reports from
past conferences
on HIV/AIDS and on Democracy and Development training.

Begin exploring AFUB’s web site from their home page at:

http://www.afub-uafa.org



We Can Do first found the AFUB web site through the AskSource.info database. Further
details about its contents were found by exploring the AFUB web site
itself. I especially encourage the AFUB
publications
page for anyone seeking pragmatic materials they can use
in the field.

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CONFERENCE: International Seminar on CRPD with Special Focus on Disability in Development

Posted on 19 March 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Cross-Disability, Events and Conferences, Human Rights, Opportunities, Poverty | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

CRPD Added Value? -Seminar in Helsinki 20-21 May 2008

VIKE – The Center for Human Rights of Persons with Disabilities is organizing an International Seminar on the Implications of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities – with Special Focus on Disability in Development. The Seminar will be held in English and translation into Finnish will be available.

The seminar is open to all actors in the field. Especially persons with disabilities, organizations of persons with disabilities, government representatives, researchers, students, and other persons interested in the situation and rights of persons with disabilities, are warmly welcomed to participate.

The seminar registration will be handled through by receiving bookings via e-mail to seminar@vike.fi. Please submit your e-mail booking by 9th May 2008. In paying the registration fee – 40 € – each place for attending the seminar will be validated. Please note that the registration fee is non-refundable and that there is a limited amount of places. General assistance is available at the seminar location. Please inform the conference organizers if you have your own personal assistant as you book.

More information about this event is available at the VIKE website:
www.vike.fi

Juha-Pekka Konttinen
Lawyer, The Threshold Association,
The Center for Human Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Siltasaarenkatu 4, 5.floor
00530 Helsinki, Finland
tel. + 358 45 7731 0106
fax. + 358 9 6850 1199
email. juha-pekka.konttinen@kynnys.fi
internet. www.vike.fi



We Can Do learned about this conference through the AdHoc_IDC email discussion group, which focuses on the CRPD and disability rights.

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NEWS: Advocates urge UN Social Development Commission to Make Development Agenda Disability-Inclusive

Posted on 18 March 2008. Filed under: Cross-Disability, Inclusion, News, Poverty | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

In February 2008, delegates urged the United Nations Social Development Commission to help ensure that people with disabilities are included in efforts to reduce poverty and improve the quality of life in developing countries.

A panel of experts with disabilities pointed out that people who are poor are at higher risk for acquiring disabilities due to poor nutrition, health care, and living conditions. Meanwhile, people who have disabilities are at higher risk for poverty because they encounter barriers to education, employment, and public services.

The Commission also was reminded that people with disabilities have the same desire and rights as everyone else to feel needed and be part of society. This makes it critical to remove barriers to the participation of people with disabilities and mainstream their concern into overall development efforts in developing countries. Doing so improves the lives of people with disabilities and also improves society as a whole by increasing productivity.

A more detailed summary of each speaker’s remarks to the UN Social Development Commission, and the outcome, is available at

http://media-newswire.com/printer_friendly_1061037.html



The information given in this blog post is summarized from the Media-Newswire press release referenced above. We Can Do first learned about this link from the RatifyNow email discussion group.

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RESOURCE: Learning about the International Disability Rights Treaty (CRPD)

Posted on 18 March 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Cross-Disability, Human Rights, Resources | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

If you have been watching this space then you know that the organization RatifyNow will be celebrating the first anniversary of the international disability rights treaty (CRPD) on March 30 with the RatifyNow CRPD Blog Swarm 2008. That means bloggers and writers from around the world are being invited to write blog posts about the treaty, which is called the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). RatifyNow will help readers find all the blog posts on March 30, 2008, by gathering all the links in one location at its web site.

But some writers may be hesitant to participate because they aren’t sure that they know enough about the CRPD to write about it. Others may simply want to learn more about the CRPD for their own personal knowledge. Mainstream international development professionals may want to better understand how the CRPD will affect their own work in helping all people–with or without disabilities–fight poverty in developing countries. Or, disability advocates may wish to learn how they can use the CRPD to help disabled people in their country achieve their human rights.

RatifyNow has assembled a list of resources that can help people learn more about the CRPD–whether you have only five minutes to spare or more than 30. Follow the link to:

http://ratifynow.org/2008/03/17/researching-the-crpd-on-line/



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RESOURCE: Disability Kenya Web Site

Posted on 7 March 2008. Filed under: Cross-Disability, Health, HIV/AIDS, Human Rights, Inclusion, News, Resources, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

People with disabilities in Kenya and other interested individuals can turn to an on-line web site, Disability Kenya, to learn more about life for disabled people in Kenya.

At Disability Kenya, you can find news, opinion pieces and feature articles, and sometimes information about resources. Here are just a few examples:

If you are currently working on a funding proposal and aren’t sure how to write one, you can consult a model at

http://www.disabilitykenya.org/codeke%20projects.htm

The proposal at the above link successfully obtained grants to support a project using computers to help deaf students overcome barriers in education and communication. That project helped lead to the Disability Kenya web site.

The health page at Disability Kenya has links to information about HIV/AIDS in Kenya, projects targeted at the Deaf community there, and other health-related information (e.g., rape, violence toward disabled children, accessibility issues at a local hospital, etc.).

The Inclusion page at Disability Kenya, and particularly the Projects page, both share information about projects targeted at people with disabilities in Kenya.

Learn about disability-related laws in Kenya, and other policy issues and news, at the Disability Kenya Policy Page.

Or learn about issues related to the education of disabled Kenyan children at the Education page.

Start exploring Disability Kenya at:

http://www.disabilitykenya.org/

Disability Kenya is updated regularly, so people with a strong interest may wish to check their site periodically for new materials.



We Can Do was first alerted to Disability Kenya some months ago when someone involved with their web site tried to contact me. My apologies for taking so long to put up a post related to it. I was also reminded about this web site more recently when I saw a link to it from the AskSource.info web site, which has a very large and rapidly growing data base of resources and links related to people with disabilities in developing countries, as well as resources related to health issues in general.



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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NEWS: Intl Deaf Children’s Society Becomes Deaf Child Worldwide

Posted on 6 March 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Children, Deaf, Human Rights, News, Poverty | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

What was formerly known as the International Deaf Children’s Society (IDCS) has recently circulated the following notice. People who already have turned to what is now known as Deaf Child Worldwide to learn from their database of project case studies and resources will be pleased to know that their organization is continuing to become stronger.



Dear friend ,

IDCS has come a long way since 2003 when we were founded by the National Deaf Children’s Society in the UK. We have learnt much about the situation for deaf children in developing countries and the role that we can play in creating change and supporting our partners.

Our knowledge, confidence and ambition has grown. The time is right to create a new, strong and separate identity for the next steps in our journey. From today 5 March 2008, we will become Deaf Child Worldwide.

(Deaf Child Worldwide logo: features the image of a child’s handprint over the phrase “deafchild worldwide”)

Deaf Child Worldwide is the only UK based international development agency dedicated to enabling deaf children to overcome poverty and isolation. We work with partners in the countries where need is greatest throughout the world and we are the international development agency of the National Deaf Children’s Society (www.ndcs.org.uk) in the UK.

What has changed?
We have a new name and logo which shows our ambition to defend the rights of deaf children around the world. We also have a new focus so that we can maximise our impact.

We will work towards the following six strategic focus areas over the next five years

  • Empowering families to improve communication with their deaf child
  • Ensuring the inclusion of deaf children in their communities
  • Building the capacity of local organisations to meet the needs of deaf children
  • Promoting the development of family led movements to defend the rights of deaf children
  • Ensuring local and national governments respect the rights of deaf children
  • Strengthening Deaf Child Worldwide

We will be working together with our partners to mainstream gender, HIV/AIDS and promote working from a social model of disability.

What is still the same?
We will continue to develop our country programme work in India and in East Africa alongside our Small Grants Programme and our information sharing network. We will also keep sending our newsletter Learning from Each Other to all our network members so you can expect a copy in your inbox soon!

How you can find out more?
Our website for practitioners is still packed with information on work with deaf children and their families in developing countries. You can find out more at www.deafchildworldwide.info



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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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JOB POST: Secretary General, Rehabilitation International

Posted on 20 February 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Cross-Disability, Human Rights, Inclusion, Jobs & Internships | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Michael Fox, president of Rehabilitation International, has been circulating the following announcement; note that the application deadline is March 28, 2008:

As advised at the RI 2007 Assembly in Djerba, Tunisia – our Secretary General Tomas Lagerwall has decided to leave RI later this year – and return to Sweden after a seven year term with RI.

Accordingly, and on behalf of the RI Selection Committee, I am pleased to invite submissions from applicants worldwide for this important role of RI Secretary General – as following details and information.

Regards

Michael Fox
RI President
www.riglobal.org
Sydney phone 612 6552 9333

4 February 2008

RI Secretary General – New York

RI was established in 1922, and is a well recognised and respected international disability and rehabilitation advocacy organisation. RI is a global cross-disability and cross-disciplinary NGO providing a unique meeting ground for participants in a field that has disciplinary and ideological opinions and differences. RI has well-established partnerships with the UN and its agencies as well as other international and regional organisations in the field of disability. Further information on RI and our UN and global networks are available at www.riglobal.org.

RI is a democratic organisation governed by an Assembly – representing RI member organisations in almost 100 countries. The RI Annual Assembly is a global forum to discuss developments in disability issues and general policies and programs of the organisation. The RI Executive Committee provides strategic direction, formulates and considers policies and oversees the budget of the organisation. The RI EC consists of 22 members composed of the RI President, President-elect or Past President, Treasurer and representatives of RI Regions and expert Commissions.

RI is a matrix organisation, with regional leadership in Africa, the Arab Region, Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America as well as thematic Commissions in particular fields of expertise, to assist in developing and expanding program activities in accordance with RI strategic goals. The RI Foundation was established in 2006 and provides the basis for significant growth and development of the RI agenda worldwide.

RI and its members are involved in a range of advocacy projects and activities to promote the RI goal of advancing and achieving the rights and inclusion of persons with disabilities worldwide. The next RI World Congress is scheduled in Quebec City, Canada during August 2008. RI also works toward increasing international collaboration and advocates for policies and legislation recognising the rights of people with disabilities and their families, including the ratification and implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

RI Secretary General
RI is managed by a full time Secretariat in our New York City head office. The Secretary General is the CEO of the organisation and our current incumbent has successfully managed this role since 2001.

We now require the services of a resourceful, experienced and dynamic candidate for the role of RI Secretary General. There will be a suitable and agreed transition period for the successful candidate.

CLOSING DATE FOR APPLICATIONS Friday 28 March 2008

DUTY STATION New York, United States of America

ACCESSIBILITY RI New York offices are ADA accessible

Responsibilities and Competencies of Secretary General
The responsibilities and competencies of the successful applicant will include

* Implementation of RI policies, strategies and programs as determined by the RI General Assembly and RI EC – and as agreed with, and in close consultation with, the President, Executive Committee and RI Foundation Board

* Effective management and implementation of the RI Strategic Plan – with balanced commitment to RI Global activities and development of the RI Foundation

* Demonstrate professionalism, judgement, technical awareness and leadership

* Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to operate effectively across organisational boundaries – with ability to establish and maintain effective working relations with people of different national and cultural backgrounds

* Solicit input by genuinely valuing other peoples ideas and expertise – and willing to learn from others

* Ability to operate in a changing environment with innovation and professionalism

* Take the lead with respect to the preparation and implementation of the work program, ensuring that resources are utilised effectively and prudently to implement activities in accordance with the RI Mission, budget and available human and financial resources

* Monitor and review the work program and budget by conducting regular analysis to assess progress of actual work versus the program

* Define requirements and work with system units with respect to improving budget reporting systems and cost effective utilisation of program resources

* Supervise and provide guidance on financial administration and management information issues and practices to Board members, in conjunction with the Finance Committee

* Support, manage, travel and organise RI events as required

* Supervise staff at RI New York and other locations as required

* Provide guidance and leadership to RI staff

* Promote RI membership growth in conjunction with the Membership Committee

* Oversee work related to billing and receipt of income from various services, monitoring and evaluation of individual contractors for services

* Represent RI at international, regional and national meetings related to disability rights and related issues – including IDA, the International Disability Alliance

* Collaborate with relevant organisations including United Nations, World Bank, DPOs, foundations, the private sector, NGOs and civil society at large

* Participate in inter-agency consultations, meetings, and conferences related to disability rights and services issues

* Organise and participate in expert group meetings, workshops and seminars on disability rights and services as required

* Provide advisory services to and collaborate with UN agencies, governments, DPOs, NGOs, regional groups, private sector groups and other stakeholders on disability rights, services and related issues

Qualifications

Education – A minimum of first level university degree with a relevant combination of academic qualifications and experience.

Work Experience – A minimum of 5 years progressively responsible experience in change management, human resources and financial / budget operations, with relevant professional experience in international, governmental and non-governmental organisations.

The RI Secretary General role calls for very good administrative, diplomacy and management skills. First hand disability related experience is preferred.

Languages – Fluency in oral and written English is required. Fluency and / or working knowledge of other languages is desirable.

Other Skills – Ability to use relevant computer technology and software.

Remuneration
A competitive compensation and benefits package is offered – subject to professional experience, family situation and other criteria as may be applicable. Immigration procedures can be negotiated as required.

Selection Process
Applicants will be short listed on the basis of academic credentials, experience, availability and other relevant factors. Additional information may be requested from candidates.

Short listed applicants will be invited to come to New York or elsewhere as appropriate, for an interview with representatives of the RI Selection Committee. Candidates will be interviewed on various criteria including related knowledge, skills, abilities, personality and availability.

The intention is for the new RI Secretary General to be appointed by June 2008.

How To Apply
Interested persons from any nationality worldwide are invited to apply for this important position. This invitation to apply for the role of RI Secretary General is open to everyone.

Detailed responses including Resumes / CVs, and a minimum of two written references, are to be submitted by Friday 28 March 2008. Submissions can be sent by email, post of fax to

Marca Bristo, RI North America Vice President

c/o Access Living
115 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60610 USA

Email mbristo@aol.com or
Fax 1 312 640 2140

All applications will be confidential to the Selection Committee and RI Executive Committee, until the successful candidate is announced.

We look forward to your application

Regards

Michael Fox AM
RI President
Sydney Australia



We Can Do retrieved this announcement from the email discussion list for the Global Partnership for Disability and Development (GPDD). Individuals may join their mailing list for free. Please note that interested parties should contact Rehabilitation International directly, not We Can Do.



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This blog post is copyrighted to We Can Do (https://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 OTHER THAN We Can Do, BlogAfrica, or RatifyNow, then you are most likely reading a web site that regularly plagiarizes the work of other people without their permission.

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NEWS: New Delhi, India, Aims to Improve Accessibility

Posted on 19 February 2008. Filed under: Inclusion, Mobility Impariments, News, South Asian Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

People with mobility impairments who live in, or plan to visit, New Delhi, India, are hoping the capital city will soon be easier for them to navigate.

The Rajiv Gandhi Foundation and the Samarthya National Centre for Promotion of Barrier Free Environment for Disabled Persons are collaborating with the aim of making Delhi more accessible for everyone. They have identified 20 sites and services, including 225 Delhi Transport Corporation bus queue shelters and the New Delhi railway station, that they plan to make “barrier free.” Their target is to make all of these sites accessible within two years.

The Rajiv Gandhi Foundation works in areas that were of deep concern to Rajiv Gandhi by promoting “effective, practical and sustainable programmes in areas of national development.” One of its several areas of focus includes helping people with disabilities become more self-reliant, including gaining equal opportunities for employment or self-employment. Their web site is at http://www.rgfindia.com

The mission of the Samarthya National Centre is to promote an “inclusive environment and universal design in the built environment and transportation,” including a focus on barrier-free tourism. Their web site is at http://www.samarthyam.org

A newspaper article about the New Delhi accessibility project was published in The Hindu last month; read the full story at:

http://www.hindu.com/2008/01/26/stories/2008012656540400.htm

More information about the New Delhi project can be found at the following web pages:

http://www.samarthyam.org/node/19
http://www.samarthyam.org/node/27

You can also download a PDF file about the project (232 Kb) at

http://www.samarthyam.org/files/Current%20projects%20of%20Samarthya.pdf

Please note that only the third page is in English. I was unable to read the other three pages on my screen. I am assuming that the rest of this document may be in Hindi, which I guess my computer isn’t able to handle in PDF. If someone can confirm or verify this, please post a comment in the comments area below. This would be helpful information for others to have. Thank you.



Thank you to Sanjeev Sachdeva at Samarthya for circulating the news article through which I learned of this project. We Can Do found additional information about the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation and Samarthya through their web sites.

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PUBLICATION: Human Rights Africa Newsletter

Posted on 13 February 2008. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Announcements, Cross-Disability, Health, HIV/AIDS, Human Rights, Media & Journalism, Poverty, Sub-Saharan Africa Region, Violence, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Readers interested in human rights issues affecting Africans with disabilities can catch up with past issues of the newsletter Human Rights Africa. Issues are available in both English and French, and in both Word format and PDF format. This publication from the Secretariat of the African Decade of Persons with Disabilities was published four times in 2006 and two times in 2007.

All past issues may be worth browsing for people with a special interest in disabled Africans. But readers may particularly want to note the following (this is NOT a comprehensive list of articles):

The first issue of 2006 has an article that lists five challenges and seven opportunities for the Secretariat of the African Decade on Persons with Disabilities.

The second issue of 2006 focuses on HIV/AIDS among people with disabilties. This includes a story about how genocide helped spread HIV in Rwanda, and a story about efforts to prevent HIV/AIDS among women in Ethiopia. There is also a story about a new African Network of Women with Disabilities that is meant to help regional and national organizations share experiences in improving the lives of disabled women. Also see the article on how you can help influence development projects in your area so they will better include poor people with disabilities.

The third issue of 2006 has an article that lists practical tips for how you can approach journalists and persuade them to cover issues that matter to the disability community in your country. Another article discusses how sports can be used to help meet the Millennium Development Goals.

The fourth issue of 2006 has many articles about war and conflict in Africa with a focus on disability issues. Also see the article on how you can become involved in helping your country develop a Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) that is inclusive of people with disabilties.

The first issue of 2007 provides more information about the campaign against HIV/AIDS among people with disabilities in Africa and an article about violence against women.

The second issue of 2007 contains articles on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; a new African Federation of the Deafblind; and
lessons learned from lobbying in Uganda.

You can download copies of Human Rights Africa for free at:

http://www.africandecade.org/humanrightsafrica



We Can Do first learned about this newsletter after reading the Disabled People International (DPI) newsletter and exploring the web site for the Secretariat of the African Decade of Persons with Disabilities.

A modified version of this article has now been posted at RatifyNow with permission of author.



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.



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NEWS: The Law Has Been Instrument of Our Oppression, Says Disability Advocate

Posted on 13 February 2008. Filed under: Human Rights, News, Psychiatric Disabilities, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

People with psychosocial disabilities have been quick to embrace the international Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). One of them is David Stolper, a South African advocate for the human rights of people with psychosocial disabilities.

Stolper, says, “The whole world looks at our constitution in South Africa and sees it as the most progressive one for the rights of all people, but we in mental health have been totally marginalized.” Stolper, who has been institutionalized in both the United Kingdom and also in South Africa, terms himself a “psychiatric survivor.”

Of the CRPD, he says, “I think it gives us a legal framework and something on paper that will be binding that is a dramatic shift from what we have had before. There has always seemed to be some kind of barbaric tool to control us. The law has been an instrument of our oppression. The convention says that it is time that the government and people around us drop this notion that we cannot think for ourselves.”

We Can Do readers can read a full-length interview with David Stolper about his perspectives on the CRPD at the web site for the Secretariat of the African Decade of Persons with Disabilities:

http://www.africandecade.org/reads/articles/legalcapacityarticle/view

The interview also was published in the newsletter Human Rights Africa, 2007, Issue 2 (PDF format, 1.8 Mb). Human Rights Africa focuses on issues relevant to human rights for persons with disabilities in Africa.

Past issues of Human Rights Africa are available in both English and French in both PDF and Word format at:

http://www.africandecade.org/humanrightsafrica



We Can Do learned of this article through the Disabled People International (DPI) newsletter.



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.



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NEWS: Guinea Ratifies CRPD and Optional Protocol; Benin and UAE Sign

Posted on 11 February 2008. Filed under: Cross-Disability, Human Rights, Middle East and North Africa, News, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The disability communities in three countries have reason to celebrate: Guinea, Benin, and United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Guinea has now ratified both the international Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the accompanying Optional Protocol. This brings the total number of countries ratifying the CRPD to 16 and the total number of countries ratifying the Optional Protocol to 10. The CRPD needs to be ratified by 20 countries before it and the Optional Protocol can take full legal force.

In addition, Benin has signed both the CRPD and the Optional Protocol. United Arab Emirates also signed the CRPD, but not the Optional Protocol. Guinea, Benin, and UAE all ratified or signed these international treaties on February 8, 2008. These newest signatures brings the total number of signatories for the CRPD to 125 countries, and the total number of signatories for the Optional Protocol to 70 countries.

The CRPD is an international disability rights treaty. A few of the rights it is meant to protect include the right to education; health; work; respect for privacy; freedom from exploitation, violence, and abuse; and the right to an adequate standard of living. The Optional Protocol gives disabled people in ratifying countries another option for pursuing redress if they feel their rights under the CRPD have been violated. Specifically, it allows disabled people to bring their case to an international Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The CRPD was first opened for countries to sign or ratify on March 30, 2007. A full list of the countries that have ratified the CRPD or the treaty is at the United Nations disabilities web site at http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?id=257.

Signing an international treaty, such as the CRPD and the Optional Protocol, is an intermediary step toward ratification. Merely signing a treaty does not legally obligate a country to follow the treaty. It does, however, indicate interest in ratifying the treaty in the future. It also commits the country to avoid doing anything that would directly violate the spirit of the treaty. For example, a country that signs the CRPD should not pass any further new laws that actively discriminate against people with disabilities.

More background information on the CRPD and the Optional Protocol, and the global movement to ratify and implement both, is available at www.RatifyNow.org.



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

We Can Do learned about these newest signatures and ratification at the United Nations “Enable” web site.



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.



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NEWS: Kosovan People with Intellectual Disabilities Vote for First Time

Posted on 7 February 2008. Filed under: Cognitive Impairments, Democratic Participation, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Human Rights, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

This press release comes from Mental Disability Rights International (MDRI).

People with Intellectual Disabilities Vote for the First Time in Kosovo
Washington, DC – February 6, 2008

In an effort to build upon the self-advocacy movement of persons with disabilities in Kosovo, Kosovo Mental Disability Rights Initiative (K-MDRI) recently assisted “Ne Per Ne” peer support group members in fully understanding and participating in Kosovo’s historic winter elections to choose national and municipal assembly members and mayors. “Ne Per Ne,” which means “We for Ourselves,” is Eastern Europe’s largest peer support group for persons with intellectual disabilities, started by MDRI.

In preparation for Kosovo’s November elections, the peer support groups invited and welcomed representatives of the major political parties to discuss the importance of the elections, the work of the parties, and the issues that would affect them. Participants were able to ask questions of the candidates such as “what are you going to do regarding jobs for people with disabilities?”

For the first time in their lives, approximately 90% of the peer support group members voted in Kosovo’s elections.

My vote made a difference. I thought it wouldn’t count, but it obviously counted; I’m very happy MDRI helped me realize that.” – Avni (Kacaniku Peer Support Group)

I thought I couldn’t vote because I don’t know how to read; I didn’t know I could bring people with me who could help me.” – Laura (Peja Peer Support Group)

I would get so upset at my peers during the peer support group meetings when they would say that they don’t know how to go to the voting place; it’s very easy, think ahead and plan transportation before hand. I asked my father to take me and he was happy to do that. They could ask someone too – ‘I don’t know how’ is not a valid excuse.” – Gazi (Kamenica Peer Support Group)

Kosovo Mental Disability Rights Initiative (K-MDRI) is an initiative of Mental Disability Rights International as a result of our 2002 report, “Not on the Agenda: Human Rights of People with Mental Disabilities in Kosovo.” To find out more about the work in Kosovo or to read more about MDRI, please visit our website.

MDRI is an international human rights and advocacy organization dedicated to the full participation in society of people with mental disabilities worldwide. For more information, visit their website at www.mdri.org.



This press release was first distributed on the MDRI newsletter. You can receive this newsletter for free via email; sign up at http://visitor.constantcontact.com/email.jsp?m=1101730023584&lang=en.

This item also was distributed on the email list for RatifyNow.org, which also can be joined for free.



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.

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NEWS: European Union, Africa Cooperate in Support of Disabled People Living in Poverty

Posted on 6 February 2008. Filed under: Agriculture and Rural Development, Announcements, Cross-Disability, Inclusion, News, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The EU-Africa strategy – working to support the rights and needs of persons with disabilities living in chronic poverty

PRESS RELEASE – DATE 24 DECEMBER 2007
THE AFRICA-EU STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP – A Joint Africa-EU Strategy

The Secretariat of the Africa Decade of Persons with Disabilities (SADPD) notes with appreciation the inclusion of disability in the Africa-EU Strategic Partnership: A Joint Africa-EU Strategy (the Strategy).

The context, shared vision, principles and objectives of the Strategy offer unprecedented opportunities to address the needs, human rights and aspirations of disabled people in both Europe and Africa. The new approaches and strategies outlined in the declaration are all relevant to the needs and priorities of disabled people in Africa. We would like to urge African governments to take primary responsibility to ensure that all the provisions on the Strategy mainstream disability at all levels of planning, implementation and evaluation of programmes.

Disabled people in Africa can play a useful role in promoting peace and stability, strengthening the principles of democracy and human rights and contributing to the objectives for trade and regional integration. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) cannot be attained without the active participation of disabled people on the African continent.

We believe that development cooperation must ensure that disability is mainstreamed in all programmes and that specific support should be provided to organisations, government departments and other entities with disability programmes and projects. We welcome the inclusion of gender equality and issues related to the environment and climate change. The latter issues have a negative impact on the quality of life of disabled people all over Africa and disabled people’s role in promoting the required changes should be recognised and supported.

Issues related to migration and agriculture/ food security are top priorities as disabled people are caught in various unfavourable situations that threaten their ability to survive. We pledge our support to initiatives that promote the active involvement of disabled people, not just as consumers of agricultural produce, but also as producers within all the essential processes of the food value-chain.

We would like to thank our partners, DSI/ Danida, Sida, DFID, ODG, Southern Africa Trust, and CBM for their support to the Secretariat’s programmes and initiatives.

We extend our thanks and gratitude to the African Union (AU), ARI and African Parliamentarians/ leaders for their support for disability inclusion in Africa and within the Strategy.

END OF STATEMENT from the Secretariat of the African Decade of Persons with Disabilities

The above statement was taken from the web site for the Secretariat of the African Decade of Persons with Disabilities; you can view the same statement at http://www.africandecade.org/reads/Press/the-eu-africa-strategy-working-to-support-the-rights-and-needs-of-persons-with-disabilities-living-in-chronic-poverty.

We Can Do readers who are interested in the EU/Africa partnership may also wish to read a letter to the African Union chair titled “Working to support the rights and needs of persons with disabilities living in chronic poverty”, available in PDF format (73 Kb) at:

http://www.africandecade.org/document-repository/Letterto%20AU%20chair.pdf

A draft discussion of the strategy to be used in the EU/Africa partnership can be downloaded in PDF format (1.5 Mb) at:

http://www.africandecade.org/document-repository/Joint%20Africa-EU%20Strategy_2007.pdf

There is also a web page about the join EU/Africa strategy:

http://europafrica.org/2007/01/01/about-the-eu-africa-consultation-web-site/



We Can Do found this press release by exploring the web site for the Secretariat of the African Decade of Persons with Disabilities. I recommend that We Can Do readers may wish to explore their training materials on disability-related issues.

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.



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FELLOWSHIP: Intl Fellowship Program for West Africa for 2009/10 Academic Year

Posted on 6 February 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Cross-Disability, Education and Training Opportunities, Fellowships & Scholarships, Opportunities, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

[Addendum, Feb. 17, 2009: Please note that this blog post is more than one year old and advertises the 2008 application round for the 2009/10 academic year. However, this is an annual opportunity. The application deadline for the 2010/11 academic year is February 27, 2009. Please consult the International Fellowship program site directly for updated information at either http://www.aau.org/ifp/ or at http://www.pathfind.org/ifp]

***************OLD INFORMATION FOLLOWS BELOW THIS LINE, Consult http://www.aau.org/ifp for updated details************



The International Fellowship Program invites all people in certain West African countries, including people with disabilities, to apply for a scholarship. The deadline is February 29, 2008 for the 2009/2010 academic year.

This paragraph is taken from the IFP web site: The International Fellowships Program (IFP) is a program supported by the Ford Foundation, and coordinated in West Africa by the Association of African Universities (AAU) in collaboration with Pathfinder International in Nigeria and the West African Research Center (WARC) in Senegal. IFP provides fellowships for advanced study to exceptional individuals who will use their education to further development in their own countries and greater social and economic justice worldwide. IFP fellowships will be awarded to applicants from diverse backgrounds, including social groups and communities that lack systematic access to higher education.

IFP is planning to award 37 fellowships in West Africa for the 2009/10 academic school year. These fellowships are meant for students who have already completed one degree and are ready to attend graduate school anywhere in the world.

People who wish to learn more about this opportunity should read about it at the IFP web site at:

www.pathfind.org/ifp

Inquiries about the scholarship program can also be directed to the following contact:

Pathfinder International Nigeria Country Office
35 Justice Sowemimo St., Asokoro
Abuja FCT
Tel: 09-314 7378
Email: ifpnigeria@pathfind.org

The Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities of Nigeria (JONPWD) also has further information about the scholarship program. JONPWD can be reached at duhkb@yahoo.com.


We Can Do first learned about this scholarship opportunity through the Disabled People International (DPI) on-line newsletter. People can subscribe to the DPI newsletter for free, or read it online, by following the link. (Any text at We Can Do that is underlined or presented in a different color is a hypertext link to an appropriate web page.)

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.


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NEWS: World Bank, Syracuse U. Join Forces Against Poverty Among Disabled People

Posted on 2 February 2008. Filed under: Cross-Disability, News, Poverty | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2008

Contact: Jaime Winne Alvarez
Phone: (315) 443-3784
jlwinne@syr.edu
World Bank: Phillip Hay
Phone: (202) 473-1796
Email:phay@worldbank.org

Global disability and poverty efforts get key boost from agreement between SU’s Burton Blatt Institute and World Bank

A promising new collaboration between the World Bank and Syracuse University could spur global efforts to reduce poverty for an estimated 400 million people with disabilities living in developing countries. The Burton Blatt Institute: Centers of Innovation on Disability at Syracuse University (BBI) and the World Bank have signed an agreement to support activities of the Global Partnership on Disability and Development (GPDD), an international disability network initiated by the World Bank and committed to promoting inclusive development as a means to achievement of Millennium Development Goals.

Established in 2006 with assistance from the World Bank and set up by a multi-stakeholder task force, the GPDD brings together organizations, government agencies, multinational lenders and research centers focused on reducing the link between disability and poverty, and promoting inclusive development activities. BBI will receive $350,000 from the World Bank’s Development Grant Facility (DGF)—with another $350,000 likely in 2009—to support the growth and organizational development of the GPDD. In turn, the GPDD will share information, expand knowledge, improve public policies and practices, and foster collaboration to improve education and economic opportunity for individuals with disabilities and their families worldwide.

“This is a great honor and unique opportunity for BBI and Syracuse University,” says Peter Blanck, BBI chairman and SU University Professor. “Both BBI and the GPDD share the same mission of advancing the civic, economic and social participation of people with disabilities worldwide. This collaboration and support system will help further accelerate the inclusion of people with disabilities into the social and economic mainstream.”

“This new collaboration will connect the expertise and resources of our Burton Blatt Institute to the GPDD and the World Bank in ways that will promote inclusive economic and social development across the globe,” says SU Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor.

“Given that people living with disabilities are among the poorest of the poor worldwide, we welcome this agreement with BBI and Syracuse University as another step forward in dismantling the link between poverty and disability,” says Joy Phumaphi, vice president of the World Bank’s Human Development Network. “The social and economic exclusion of people with disabilities in developing countries requires the attention and investment of resources by development institutions, government and nongovernmental organizations.”

Maria Reina has been jointly selected by BBI and GPDD leadership to serve as executive director of the leadership network in an open, international competitive process. Reina, director of international projects at BBI’s Washington, D.C., office since 2006, has diverse experiences working on disability research, advocacy and development work, including an intensive dedication to the United Nations Ad Hoc Committee for the Disability Convention. She previously worked for the Center for International Rehabilitation; the Institute for International Disability Advocacy; the Institute for International Cooperation and Development; the Argentinean Disabled People Organization, Cilsa; and the University Institute San Martin in Rosario, Argentina, where she was an adjunct professor.

“As a person with a disability from Argentina, I have traveled to developing countries and witnessed the physical and attitudinal barriers that diminish full participation and contributions of people with disabilities,” says Reina.

During the next six months, BBI and the GPDD will mobilize disability-led organizations worldwide—in cooperation with governmental and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and the private sector—to identify best practice strategies that promote inclusion in economic and social development. Through research, training and community development activities, the GPDD will increase participation of people with disabilities in national poverty reduction efforts in developing countries.

“Improved access to education, health care, technology and transportation are needed to reduce the barriers of stigma and discrimination,” says Kalle Könkkölä, GPDD task force chair.

The World Bank provides critically needed financial and technical assistance to developing countries, and is composed of a number of development institutions owned by 185 member countries, including the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA). The mission of both institutions is to reduce global poverty and to improve living standards of developing countries around the world.

While IBRD focuses on middle income and credit-worthy poor countries, IDA focuses on the poorest countries in the world. The World Bank Group provides loans, interest-free credit and grants to developing countries, and is a knowledge leader in development. For more information, visit http://worldbank.org.

BBI fosters public-private dialogue to advance civic, economic and social participation of persons with disabilities in a global society. BBI takes its name from Burton Blatt (1927–85), a pioneer in humanizing services for people with mental retardation, a staunch advocate of deinstitutionalization, and a national leader in special education. The institute currently has offices in Syracuse, New York City, Washington, D.C., Atlanta and Tel Aviv. For more information, visit http://bbi.syr.edu.

For more information on GPDD, contact Reina at (202) 296-2042 or mvreina@law.syr.edu.



We Can Do received this press release via the mailing list for the Global Partnership for Disability and Development (GPDD). Individuals can sign up for the GPDD email distribution list for free; follow the link for more details.



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CONFERENCE: Dubai Rehabilitation International Forum

Posted on 1 February 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Cross-Disability, Events and Conferences, Human Rights, Middle East and North Africa, Opportunities, Rehabilitation, technology | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Taken from the Rehab Dubai 2008 web site:

The 6th edition of Dubai International Rehabilitation Forum – REHAB Dubai 2008 will be held from 10-12 March 2008 at the prestigious Dubai international Exhibition Center – one of the best exhibition venues in the world.

The first five editions of REHAB Dubai have raised the profile of disability and rehabilitation issues in the Arab region. This is witnessed in the growing number of conferences, institution of university courses, standardization of rehabilitation services, creation of infra-structural facilities for the disabled, promotion of tourism for the disabled and greater coverage by the media of disabled persons and issues concerning them.

The exhibition will showcase the latest rehabilitation products and services from different parts of the world. REHAB DUBAI is the only platform in the Middle East that will match both investors, suppliers /providers and consumers under one roof to help them arranging B2B meetings and direct face to face contacts which will result in emerging new markets & close long term deals.

The conference will include speakers and workshops on topics such as the rights of people with disabilities; alternative medicine for rehabilitation; psychological support for people with special needs; assistive technology; employment of people with special needs; inclusive education; sports rehabilitation; and art therapy.

There will also be a job fair meant to showcase employment opportunities for people with disabilities in United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Learn more about the conference at the Rehab Dubai 2008 web site.



We Can Do first learned of this conference by browsing the World Bank page on News, Events and Disability. Most of the text for this blog post is taken from the Rehab Dubai 2008 web site.



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NEWS: Peru Ratifies Disability Rights Treaty, Optional Protocol

Posted on 1 February 2008. Filed under: Cross-Disability, Human Rights, Latin America & Caribbean, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Yesterday, Peru became the 15th country to ratify the international Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the 9th country to ratify the accompanying Optional Protocol.

The CRPD is an international human rights treaty focused on protecting the rights of people with disabilities. Some of the rights it is meant to protect include: equality before the law without discrimination; freedom from torture; right to live in the community; respect for home and the family; right to education; right to health; right to work; right to an adequate standard of living; right to participate in political and public life. The CRPD needs to be ratified by 20 countries before it can take full legal force.

For citizens who feel their rights have been violated under the CRPD, the Optional Protocol will give them one more way to obtain redress. If national-level channels of justice (e.g., court systems) fail to protect the rights of disabled people, then disabled people in countries that have ratified the Optional Protocol would be able to bring petitions to an international Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The Committee is a body of independent experts that will review how different countries implement the CRPD.

There are several other international instruments that are used to help protect the rights of people with disabilities. These include the Declaration on the Rights of Disabled Persons; the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons; the Principles for the Protection of Persons with Mental Illness and the Improvement of Mental Health Care (1991); and the Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities (1993). However, the CRPD and the Optional Protocol are the first instruments for disability rights that would be legally binding.

More information on the CRPD and the Optional Protocol is available at United Nation’s Enable website. Another web site, www.RatifyNow.org has information, toolkits, and resources that advocates and organizations can use to encourage their country governments to ratify and implement the CRPD and Optional Protocol.



We Can Do first learned about Peru’s ratification of the CRPD through the RatifyNow mailing list. People may join the mailing list, or become a member of RatifyNow, for free.

A modified version of this blog post is also available at the RatifyNow web site’s news page.



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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.



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REPORT: World Disasters Report 2007: Focus on Discrimination

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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CASE STUDY: Strengthening Disabled Women Organizations in Nicaragua

Posted on 26 January 2008. Filed under: Capacity Building and Leadership, Case Studies, Cross-Disability, Latin America & Caribbean, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

A publication entitled “Learning from experience: strengthening organisations of women with disabilities” (PDF format, 1.3 Mb) shares lessons learned about organizing, personal empowerment, awareness raising, and incorporating a gender perspective. The publication focuses on work done by a Nicaraguan non-governmental organization (NGO), Solidez, that works to strengthen the capacity of local disabled women’s organizations and integrate women with disabilities into society. Solidez aims to help independent organizations improve their ability to manage their own decisions and self development.

In particular, this profile about Solidez is meant to analyze the lessons they have learned in organizational work and projects, empowerment and personal growth, awareness raising, and advocacy. It describes some of the barriers that Solidez has encountered in its work, for example in overcoming negative, religion-based attitudes toward gender or disabilities. Solidez also explains some of the strategies they used and their results: for example, they attribute part of their success to the use of home visits and meetings in women’s homes. The publication offers frank discussion of some of the challenges Solidez has confronted, such as finding ways to support groups in resolving sometimes very emotional inter-personal conflicts. It concludes with recommendations for how Solidez could further improve upon its efforts.

The publication is available from One World Action, an NGO based in the United Kingdom that works to create opportunities for the world’s poorest people.

You can download “Learning from experience: strengthening organisations of women with disabilities” in PDF format (1.3 Mb) at

http://www.oneworldaction.org/Resources/One%20World%20Action/Documents/Disability%20Rights/solidezreport6.pdf



We Can Do learned about this case study through contacts at Mobility International USA and from the Siyanda database of resources on gender and development.



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RESOURCE: Handbook for Making Water and Sanitation Accessible to Disabled People

Posted on 26 January 2008. Filed under: Health, Inclusion, Mobility Impariments, Poverty, Resources, Water and Sanitation | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

A book is available that can help water specialists, disabled advocates, and family members learn how to make water supply and sanitation services more accessible for people with disabilities and other vulnerable populations.

According to the World Bank, more than one billion poor people lack access to clean drinking water, and more than two billion people lack access to clean sanitation facilities such as toilets. Dirty water and lack of a clean place to defecate can make poor people sick. And sick people may die more easily, or become even poorer than they were before.

People with disabilities, particularly mobility impairments, may face even more barriers in accessing clean water or sanitation. Water pumps might be poorly designed for people who have difficulty using one or both hands, or toilets may not be appropriately designed for people who have difficulty squatting. Many other individuals who are not ordinarly thought of as “disabled” may also face similar barriers, including frail elderly people; pregnant women; people carrying or taking care of babies and young children; and other individuals.

The book, Water and Sanitation for Disabled People and Other Vulnerable Groups, was written particularly for planners and service providers in the water supply and sanitation sector. Disabled people’s organizations, and service organizations targeted at disabled people and their familieis, may also find some of the information useful to their work. It provides practical information, ideas, and guidance about how to meet the needs of people in “real communities”–meaning, places where people “come with a wide range of shapes, sizes, abilities, and needs.”

This book is written so that users can skip over the chapters they don’t need and focus on the chapters they want. The first, introductory chapter may be useful for all readers. The second chapter answers the question, “Why should the water and sanitation sector consider disabled people”: it is written primarily for people who have little contact with disability issues but might also be helpful for some advocates. For example, the pictures on page 10 could be useful in educating others about the multiple types of barriers that disabled people face in society–not only in water and sanitation.

Chapter 3 helps explain the water and sanitation sector to disabled people, disability service providers, and advocates. Chapter 4 helps explain disability issues to water and sanitation professionals, engineers, public health workers, and community development workers.

Chapters 5, 6, and 7 provide practical ideas for how to make physical facilities more inclusive: these can be useful both for professionals and also for disabled people and their families.

Chapter 8 offers ideas for planning and implementing services with disabled people in mind. Section 8.2 is particularly meant for water and sanitation service providers, while section 8.3 is mainly meant for the disability sector.

Chapter 9 presents case studies that illustrate how disabled people and their families have benefitted from improved access to water and sanitation facilities. Case studies are shared from Bangladesh, Cambodia, Uganda, and Tibet.

The appendices point readers to further resources that can help them learn more about either water and sanitation issues or disability issues.

A print version of the book can be purchased from the Water, Engingeering, and Development Centre (WEDC) of Loughborough University; or a PDF version can be downloaded for free. For more information about the book and how to obtain it, go to

http://wedc.lboro.ac.uk/publications/details.php?book=1%2084380%20079%209.

People with visual impairments should note that, in order to download the PDF file, you would need to enter a visual image “captcha.” I did not see any clear instructions for alternate means for people with visual impairments to download the file. (If they exist and I missed them, please alert me in the comments area below.) You can contact WEDC by email to either share your concerns/feedback or to request assistance at: WEDC@lboro.ac.uk. I would be interested in knowing about the experiences of anyone with a visual impairment who tries to obtain this (or any other) book from WEDC.

When I downloaded my own copy, I left a comment encouraging WEDC to offer auditory captcha in addition to visual captcha and to also give people the means of contacting them to ask for assistance in downloading or receiving PDF files. I haven’t heard back from them yet. If I do, I’ll try to remember to come back here and share what they say.



We Can Do learned about this resource by browsing the Siyanda on-line database of gender and development materials. Try entering key words such as “disabilities” into the Siyanda search engine.



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RESOURCE: How to Include Disabled Women in Your Organizations

Posted on 23 January 2008. Filed under: Case Studies, Cross-Disability, Inclusion, Resources, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

[Originally published at wecando.wordpress.com (We Can Do) at http://tinyurl.com/yv5ouo]

Certain resources can help women’s organizations and international development agencies better include disabled women in their program activities. Skip to the resource list.

Women with disabilities confront many of the same challenges that other women in developing countries face, such as gender-based discrimination. But they also face some additional challenges, such as discrimination based on their disability. Some women’s organizations would like to advocate for the needs of disabled women in the same way that they advocate for all women. And international development agencies also want to ensure that they meet the needs of disabled women in the same way that they strive to meet the needs of all the poor people in the countries where they work.

But sometimes mainstream organizations aren’t sure how to begin. What barriers might they unknowingly create that make it harder for disabled women to participate in their programs’ activities or to make their needs known to their organization? What further barriers exist in society that may need to be overcome before an organization can more effectively serve women with disabilities? How can women’s organizations and international development agencies remove these barriers?

Several resources, listed below, can help. Mainstream organizations may wish to use these as guides to make their programs more accessible. Disabled People’s Organizations (DPOs) may wish to use these when communicating with mainstream organizations to persuade them to make change.

MIUSA’s “Checklist for Inclusion”
Mobility International USA (MIUSA) has a free checklist available (PDF format, 10 Mb). This 19-page self-assessment guide is written for mainstream international development agencies. It provides a series of questions that women’s organizations and international development agencies can use to help them identify what they’re already doing right and what things could be improved upon. For example: when you choose a meeting location, do you make sure that it is wheelchair accessible (ground-floor location with doors wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs, etc.)? Does your organization make its print materials available in non-print (Braille; diskette) and also large-print versions? Does your organization make qualified sign language interpreters available for its training, conference, and other program activities?

MIUSA’s International Development and Disability (IDD) Program
MIUSA’s International Development and Disability (IDD) program strives to bridge the disability community and the international development community in promoting the inclusion of people with disabilities as leaders and participants in development. It provides technical assistance and advice to both disabled people’s organizations and development agencies on gender and disability inclusion. In addition to their Checklist for Inclusion, organizations may wish to learn more about MIUSA activities, publications, videos, and other resources at MIUSA’s IDD web site:

http://www.miusa.org/idd/index_html

In particular, note that the checklist on inclusion was originally written as part of a more comprehensive guidebook on disability inclusion entitled Building an Inclusive Development Community: A Manual on Including People with Disabilities in International Development Programs.

Can’t afford the book? Or want to supplement it with free resources? Consult MIUSA’s page of links to free resources:

http://www.miusa.org/idd/keyresources

Also, read some “best practice” stories (case studies) of other organizations that have successfully promoted disability inclusion in their activities:

http://www.miusa.org/publications/freeresources/mti

Another item that might be of interest is an article written by Sarah Rosenhek at the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID) about her experience learning about gender and disability through participating in MIUSA’s August 2006 Gender Disability and Development Institute (GDDI). Her article, entitled “Strengthening Women’s Rights Organizations through Inclusion: Lessons Learned from the Gender, Disability and Development Institute,” includes pragmatic advice for other women’s organizations that Rosenhek learned at the institute.

VSO’s Handbook on Mainstreaming Disability
Volunteer Service Overseas has a publication available on-line for free entitled A Handbook on Mainstreaming Disability (PDF format, 2 Mb). This handbook guides mainstream international development organizations in finding ways to overcome the stigma that can be associated with disability; how to actively integrate more disabled workers in the workplace; how to integrate more disabled participants in program activities; and how to integrate disability into organizational policy. Each chapter has case studies that describe how other organizations have implemented the advice given in this handbook. Download the handbook itself at

http://www.asksource.info/pdf/33903_vsomainstreamingdisability_2006.pdf (PDF format, 2 Mb)

The VSO’s Handbook on Mainstreaming Disability was previously featured at We Can Do, with an overview of its contents.

Siyanda On-line Database of Gender and Development Materials
Siyanda is targeted at development specialists who want to integrate gender equality issues into their work,whether or not they specialize in gender issues. This database makes iteasy to search for, and locate, full-length materials, that can bedownloaded for free. Its library of documents includes items in multiple languages including English, Spanish, Arabic, Portuguese, and others. Try a key word search for “disabilities.”



We Can Do learned about the MIUSA resources and the Siyanda on-line database through contacts at MIUSA.



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RESOURCE: Researching Companies’ Impact on Disability Rights

Posted on 18 January 2008. Filed under: Cross-Disability, Human Rights, Resources | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

[Originally published at wecando.wordpress.com (We Can Do) at http://tinyurl.com/2cv43v]

When many people think about human rights, we may often think about governments and their legal obligations in protecting those rights. But it is not only governments who share responsibility for respecting human rights–for both disabled and non-disabled people. Businesses and companies, too, must understand human rights and must understand how they must behave in order to respect these rights.

Some companies may do very well in upholding human rights–while others might do more poorly. Some companies might behave in an acceptable way toward some people but may still violate the human rights of others, including disabled people.

A database, run by the Business and Human Rights Resource Center, can help advocates find information about the human rights impact of companies around the world. This database links to articles and reports on more than 3600 companies in more than 180 developed and developing countries. The linked material is published by a wide range of entities including non-governmental organizations; companies and business organizations; the United Nations; the International Labour Organization; other intergovernmental organizations; governments and courts; policy experts and academics; social investment analysts; journalists; and others.

Some of the topics covered by the database include discrimination, the environment, poverty and development, labor, access to medicines, health and safety, security, and trade. The database links to both positive and negative reports about companies and their record in human rights. Companies have the opportunity to respond to any record in this database written about them.

One section of the Business and Human Rights Resource Center focuses on companies and disabled people. Readers can narrow down their search further by country or by company. This resource can help advocates gather more detailed information about how various companies in their countries treat disabled people. They can use this information to decide what companies they want to target for disability human rights education campaigns or other activities to protect the rights of disabled people. Database items are availabe in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese and German. More non-English content may become available in the future.

Learn how to use the site to find the information you want at http://www.business-humanrights.org/Gettingstarted/Howtousethesite.

Learn what the Business and Human Rights Resource Center has done to make their site accessible to users with disabilities, including vision impairments.

The Business and Human Rights Resource Center encourages individuals and organizations to contact them with comments and with suggestions for items they should add to their database. Has your organization published a report about how a company or business in your country has treated disabled people? If so, you may wish to consider contacting the Business and Human Rights Resource Center to encourage them to link to your report on-line.



We Can Do learned about the existence of the Business and Human Rights Resource Center through a notice in Disabled People International (DPI)’s electronic newsletter. Further information and detail was gathered from the Business and Human Rights Resource Center web site.



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NEWS: Azerbaijan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic sign CRPD

Posted on 17 January 2008. Filed under: Cross-Disability, East Asia Pacific Region, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Human Rights, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

[Originally published at wecando.wordpress.com (We Can Do) at http://tinyurl.com/yr26xf]

The countries of Azerbaijan and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic recently signed the international disability rights treaty, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Azerbaijan also signed the accompanying Optional Protocol for the CRPD. This brings the total number of signatories for the CRPD to 123 countries. Among these 123 countries, 69 have also signed the Optional Protocol.

The CRPD declares that all people with all types of disabilities must enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms. It clarifies the ways in which human rights apply to people with disabilities and it identifies areas in which adaptations must be made so that people with disabilities can effectively exercise those rights. Some examples of human rights covered by the CRPD includes: right to life, liberty, and security; freedom from exploitation, violence, and abuse; right to live in the community; freedom of expression and opinion; respect for privacy; right to education; right to health; right to work; and others.

If a disabled person feels their human rights under the CRPD have been violated, they can pursue justice within the usual channels within their own country. However, if all of these channels fail to bring redress, then people living in countries that have ratified the Optional Protocol can then bring complaints to the international Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Signing the CRPD and the Optional Protocol is the first step a country must take toward fully ratifying these treaties. Signing an international treaty, such as the CRPD, commits a country to avoid doing anything that would actively violate that treaty. However, merely signing a treaty does not, by itself, legally bind a country to obeying that treaty. Before a country can be legally obligated to follow a treaty, it must fully ratify it. Also, a treaty cannot take full legal force until and unless enough countries fully ratify (not just sign) the treaty. Twenty countries need to ratify the CRPD before it can take full legal force; 10 countries need to ratify the Optional Protocol before it, too, can take full legal force.

So far, 14 countries have ratified the CRPD and 8 countries have ratified the Optional Protocol. Countries ratifying the CRPD include: Bangladesh, Croatia, Cuba, El Salvador, Gabon, Hungary, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Namibia, Nicaragua, Panama, South Africa, and Spain. Countries ratifying the Optional Protocol include: Croatia, El Salvador, Hungary, Mexico, Namibia, Panama, South Africa, and Spain.

More information about the CRPD and the optional protocol is available at the UN Enable web site and at the RatifyNow web site. The RatifyNow web site also has resources that advocates can use to help persuade their country governments to both sign and also ratify the CRPD and Optional Protocol.



We Can Do learned about Azerbaijan and the Laos People’s Democratic Republic from the UN Enable web site. Information relating to the background of the CRPD and Optional protocol was also gathered from their web site, as well as the RatifyNow web site.

This article has been cross-posted, with slight modifications, both here and at the RatifyNow web site, with permission of author.



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JOURNAL: The Review of Disability Studies: An International Journal

Posted on 17 January 2008. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Children, Cross-Disability, Disability Studies, East Asia Pacific Region, Education, HIV/AIDS, Human Rights, Middle East and North Africa, Rehabilitation, South Asian Region, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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

Skip to list of articles

Researchers and students, but especially people new to their field, can find it challenging to locate research, essays, and other academic literature about people with disabilities in developing countries. This may be in part because there are few international, disability-oriented journals available to publish such literature. One of the few exceptions is The Review of Disability Studies: An International Journal (RDS).

The RDS journal publishes research articles, essays, and bibliographies on the culture of disability and people with disabilities. On occasion, it also publishes poetry, short stories, creative essays, photographs, and art work related to disability. It publishes four times a year, with approximately 50 pages in each issue. People can subscribe to RDS for a fee, or people can download past issues of RDS for free. Issues from 2006 onward are available in either Word format or PDF format; older issues are available in text-only format.

This publication is not focused solely on developing countries. In fact, many of its articles are written by researchers and writers in industrialized countries, particularly the United States. But some of its articles may be of interest to We Can Do readers. Some examples are listed further below. I chose some of these articles because they deal specifically with disabled people in developing countries; I list others because they deal with broader themes, such as exclusion, that transcend national and income boundaries.

Please note that it is not possible to download separate articles. To read a specific article that interests you, you will need to download the full issue it is in and then skip ahead to the correct page. Page numbers given are based on the PDF version where applicable. Page numbers will be slightly different in the Word version. Or click on the hyperlink within the Word file to be taken directly to the article you select.

Please also note that this is not a comprehensive listing of all articles in past issues of RDS. For example, I usually skipped over book reviews–but I did see a few for books that would be relevant to disabled people in developing countries. You may wish to explore the RDS on your own by following this link.

Selected RDS Articles

A Little Story to Share

A Little Story to Share” by Lee-chin Heng, Volume 1, Issue 2, 2004, page 109-111. Abstract: An autobiographical story of a person from Malaysia with physical disabilities who possesses an associate diploma in music. Download in text-only format (2.1 Mb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/pdf/RDSissue012004.pdf .

Who is Disabled?

Who is Disabled? Who is Not? Teachers Perceptions of Disability in Lesotho” by Christopher Johnstone, Ph.D. Candidate Educational Policy and Administration University of Minnesota, Volume 1, Issue 3, 2005, starting on page 13. Abstract: This paper reports on educational research conducted in Lesotho, Southern Africa. Mixed methods of research were used to elicit and describe teachers’ attitudes toward children they perceived as disabled. The study took place in a country where discussions on ‘the Continuum’ of services, specialist diagnoses, and Western notions of assistive technology are largely irrelevant. Over-arching themes are compared to themes that have emerged from special education and Disability Studies literature over the past decade. Download in text-only format (715 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/pdf/RDS01032005.pdf

Evaluation of MA Program in Rehabilitation Counseling

Evaluation of Master of Arts Program in Rehabilitation Counseling and Guidance Service for Persons with Disabilities in Thailand” by Tavee Cheausuwantavee, M.Sc. Ratchasuda College, Mahidol University, Thailand, Volume 1, Issue 3, 2005, starting on page 66. Abstract: This research examines the positive and negative aspects of the Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling and Guidance for persons with disabilities in Thailand, since it began in 1997. A CIPP model was utilized for the program evaluation. Multiple methods were used to collect the data, and both retrospective and prospective data collection were undertaken. The research results indicated many positive outcomes. They also indicated certain features of rehabilitation within the Thai context differed significantly from traditional rehabilitation counseling programs in Western countries. Download in text-only format (1.4 Mb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/pdf/RDS01032005.pdf

Leprosy in South India
Leprosy in South India: The Paradox of Disablement as Enablement” by James Staples, Ph.D., School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, Volume 1, Issue 4, 2005, starting on page 13. Abstract: Rooted in ethnographic fieldwork with people affected by leprosy in India, this article argues that certain impairments, in certain social contexts, are simultaneously disabling and enabling. This paradox poses difficult challenges, not only for those working with individuals affected with leprosy, but for disability activists
andpolicy-makers. Download in text-only format (3 Mb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/pdf/RDS01042005.pdf

Social and Economic Stress Related to HIV/AIDS Epidemic in Botswana
Social and Economic Stress Related to the HIV/AIDS Epidemic in Botswana” by Thabo T. Fako, Ph.D. & Dolly Ntseane, Department of Sociology,University of Botswana & J. Gary Linn, Ph.D. & Lorna Kendrick, R.N., Ph.D. School of Nursing Tennessee State University, Volume 2, Issue 1, 2006, starting on p. 33. Abstract: The paper describes the consequences of HIV/AIDS in Botswana; the country with the highest HIV prevalence rate in Africa. In addition to frequently experienced trauma due to sickness and death, many households experience rising health expenditures and a sharp deterioration of incomes. High levels of morbidity and mortality among workers result in depressed returns on investment, reduced productivity and increased expenditure on training and replacement of workers. As the health care system finds it increasingly difficult to cope, home-based care provides an inadequate solution since the home infrastructure of many households is inadequate for proper care of seriously ill patients. The stigma associated with AIDS often isolates fragile households and provides an environment in which abuse of infected individuals and of orphans whose parents have died of AIDS is not uncommon. The quality of education also suffers, resulting in an ill prepared skilled manpower, with adverse consequences for social, economic, and political development as well as for good future governance of the country. Download in PDF format (3 Mb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/pdf/RDS02012006.pdf or in Word format (800 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/doc/RDS02012006.doc

Toward a Global History of Inclusive Travel
Toward a Global History of Inclusive Travel” by Laurel Van Horn, M.A., Open Doors Organization, USA; José Isola, President, Peruvian Polio Society, Peru, Volume 2, Issue 2, 2006, starting on page 5. Abstract: This paper provides an overview of the development of inclusive travel and tourism, from its origins in the United States and Europe following World War I and II to its current status as an increasingly important and viable movement worldwide. The paper investigates the key roles played by disability organizations, disability rights legislation, technological change, international organizations and pioneers within the travel and tourism industry. Developments are described sector by sector for air travel, ground transport, the cruise lines and the hospitality industry. While the primary historical focus is the U.S., the paper also highlights advances taking place in Dubai, Egypt, India, Japan, South Africa, Thailand and other countries. It concludes with a case study by José Isola of the development of inclusive travel in Peru. Mr. Isola also describes disability conferences that took place in South America in 2004. It is hoped others will begin to investigate the development of inclusive travel in their own countries and regions and contribute to a truly global history. Download in PDF format (1.4 Mb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/pdf/RDS020206.pdf or in Word format (700 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/doc/RDS020206.doc

Ethnobotany on a Roll!
Ethnobotany on a Roll! Access to Vietnam by My Lien T. Nguyen, Ph.D., Department of Botany, University of Hawai’i, at Mānoa, Volume 2, Issue 2, 2006, starting on page 36. Abstract: This article describes the research and experiences of an ethnobotanist with a physical disability working in Vietnam. Due to a spinal cord injury, the ethnobotanist uses a wheelchair and walking canes to explore the bustling food markets of Vietnam. Information and recommendations are provided for equipment and traveling to and in Vietnam, particularly for those interested in conducting scientific research and for travelers with physical disabilities. Success is largely due to the mutual respect and kindness shared by people along the way, and by accepting and accommodating to given situations. Appendices of resources for travel in Vietnam and educational granting sources for people with disabilities provided. Download in PDF format (1.4 Mb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/pdf/RDS020206.pdf or in Word format (700 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/doc/RDS020206.doc

The Benefits of Studying Abroad
Making an Impact: The Benefits of Studying Abroad” Michele Scheib, M.A., Project Initiatives Specialist, National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange, Volume 2, Issue 2, 2006, starting page 50. Abstract: Qualitative interviews with ten individuals with disabilities who participated in a study abroad program within the past eight years, compared equally to long-term outcomes cited in studies with the general study abroad alumni population. Students reported increased self-confidence, independence and career or educational gains related to their study abroad experiences. Download in PDF format (1.4 Mb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/pdf/RDS020206.pdf or in Word format (700 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/doc/RDS020206.doc

Esau’s Mission
Esau’s Mission, or Trauma as Propaganda: Disability after the Intifada” by Marcy Epstein, University of Michigan, Volume 2, Issue 3, 2006, starting on page 12. Abstract: Israelis and Palestinians, while sharing an I/Abrahamic root, many chapters of Semitic history, and common values of resourcefulness and valor, both have defended their cultural boundaries through the exchange of mutilating, annihilative blows upon the other. The intifada (an Arabic word meaning to shake off or shiver because of illness, fear, or weakness) of the millennium signify a trope of body and status among the fragmented population in the region; specifically, the propagandizing of traumatic events that suggest victimization and invalidation. The discursive nature of “unnatural” catastrophe–devastation of Palestinian communities by Israeli Defense Forces, blitzing of Israeli civilians in planned attacks–substitutes the propaganda of trauma for the reality of disability experienced in both cultures. Reflecting the duality of rhetorical positions seen in I/Abraham’s disposition of both Isaac and Esau, this essay links the root of trauma propaganda to the ideology of religious fitness and righteousness. Download in PDF format (1.4 Mb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/pdf/RDS02032006.pdf or in Word format (600 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/doc/RDS02032006.doc

Natural Hazards
Natural Hazards, Human Vulnerability and Disabling Societies: A Disaster for Disabled People?” by Laura Hemingway & Mark Priestley, Centre for Disability Studies, University of Leeds (UK), Volume 2, Issue 3, 2006, starting on page 57. Abstract: The policy and research literature on disaster management constructs disabled people as a particularly “vulnerable group.” In this paper we combine concepts from disaster theory and disability theory to examine this assumption critically. Drawing on primary, secondary and tertiary sources, we assess the vulnerability of disabled people in two globally significant disasters: Hurricane Katrina in August 2005 and the Asian tsunami of December 2004. In both cases, disabled people were adversely affected in terms of their physical safety and access to immediate aid, shelter, evacuation and relief. Using a social model analysis we contest the view that this vulnerability arises from the physical, sensory or cognitive limitations of the individual and show how it may be attributed to forms of disadvantage and exclusion that are socially created. The paper concludes that “natural hazards” are realized disproportionately as “human disasters” for disabled people, and most notably for disabled people in poor communities. Social model approaches and strong disabled people’s organisations are key to building greater resilience to disaster amongst “vulnerable” communities in both high-income and low-income countries. Download in PDF format (1.4 Mb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/pdf/RDS02032006.pdf or in Word format (600 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/doc/RDS02032006.doc

Politics and the Pandemic
Politics and the Pandemic: HIV/AIDS, Africa, and the Discourse of Disability” by Laura L. Behling, Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, Minnesota, Volume 2, Issue 3, 2006, starting page 97. First Paragraph: In 2004, Africa News filed a report on then 12-year old William Msechu, a young African who lost both of his parents to AIDS in 1999. He, too, was HIV positive. Msechu is characterized as a “very bright boy,” although, the article reports, he is “yet to come to terms with his HIV status.” “I was told that I have tuberculosis and I am getting better,” the article quotes William as saying to journalists (“HIV-AIDS and STDs” 2004). William Msechu’s disbelief at having contracted HIV is unremarkable; persons diagnosed with severe diseases, including HIV/AIDS, often work through denial and incredulity.1 Just as unremarkable, however, is Msechu’s contention that he had not tested positive for HIV, but rather, had contracted tuberculosis, another widespread disease but not nearly as stigmatizing as HIV/AIDS. Substituting “tuberculosis” for “HIV” may be an affirming measure for Msechu, but it also provides one more example of the rhetorical slipperiness that historically, and still continues to accompany, the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Download in PDF format (1.4 Mb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/pdf/RDS02032006.pdf or in Word format (600 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/doc/RDS02032006.doc

Seeing Through the Veil
Seeing Through the Veil: Auto-Ethnographic Reflections on Disabilities” by Heng-hao Chang PhD., Nanhua University, Chia-Yi, Taiwan, Volume 2, Issue 4, 2006, starting page 6. Abstract: This article is an auto-ethnography reflecting the interactions among society, my family and my brother who has Cerebral Palsy. The experiences of me and my family show the visible and invisible veils that segregate people with disabilities and their families from mainstream Taiwanese society.” Download in PDF format (1 Mb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/pdf/RDSv02iss04.pdf or in Word format (630 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/doc/RDSv02iss04.doc

Building Familial Spaces
Building Familial Spaces for Transition and Work: From the Fantastic to the Normal” by Joakim Peter, MA, College of Micronesia—Federated States of Micronesia, Chuuk Campus, Volume 2, Issue 4, 2006, starts page 14. Abstract: Transition for persons with disability is a process of negotiating difficult situations and barriers set by others and by systems. My strategies to overcome those barriers in my personal transitions through education systems and employment included the creations of familiar spaces in which group support plays a major role. This paper tracks my process through the familiar spaces and gives examples of encounters with barriers along my transition through hospital treatments to schools and then work.” Download in PDF format (1 Mb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/pdf/RDSv02iss04.pdf or in Word format (630 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/doc/RDSv02iss04.doc

A Model for Learning from Children
Family Focused Learning: A Model for Learning from Children with Disabilities and Their Families via Technologies for Voice” by James R. Skouge, Kathy Ratliffe, Martha Guinan, & Marie Iding University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, Volume 2, Issue 4, 2006, starting page 63 Abstract: In this paper, we describe a collaborative multidisciplinary model for faculty and students learning about culture and children with disabilities and their families in Pacific Island contexts. The model, Family Focused Learning, incorporates aspects of case-based and problem-based learning within the context of “consumer” and “professional” partnerships (Ratliffe, Stodden, & Robinson, 2000; Robinson, 1999).Children with disabilities and their families share the daily challenges and successes of their lives with graduate students and faculty at the University of Hawai‘i, via video letters, video mapping, cultural brokering and satellite videoconferencing. To illustrate this process, we present the story of “Tomasi,” a child with cerebral palsy in American Samoa, a US territory. Tomasi and his family are “given voice” and act as teachers for an interdisciplinary team of faculty and students from public health, social work, physical therapy, speech pathology, nursing, special education, nutrition, medicine, political science and law.” Download in PDF format (1 Mb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/pdf/RDSv02iss04.pdf or in Word format (630 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/doc/RDSv02iss04.doc

Social Change and the Disability Rights Movement
Social Change and the Disability Rights Movement in Taiwan 1981-2002” by Chang, Heng-hao. Ph.D., Department of Sociology, Nanhua University of Chia-Yi, Volume 3, Issues 1 & 2, 2007, starting on page 3. Abstract: This paper provides a historical overview of the disability rights movement in Taiwan from 1981 to 2002. It shows the major events in Taiwanese disability history, legislation, and development of disability rights organizations, with a focus on two influential advocacy associations: the Parents’ Association for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities (PAPID) and the League of Enabling Associations (LEAs). It also demonstrates that the disability movement has developed in concert with Taiwan’s democratic transition.” Download in PDF format (780 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/pdf/RDSv03iss01.pdf or in Word format (770 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/doc/RDSv03iss01.doc

Disability and Youth Suicide
Disability and Youth Suicide: A Focus Group Study of Disabled University Students” by Esra Burcu, Ph.D., Hacettepe University, Department of Sociology, Volume 3, Issues 1 & 2, 2007, starting page 33. Abstract: For young people thoughts of suicide are based on various social factors. The research literature in this area reveals that there are two important interrelated factors that correlate with suicide rates: being young and being disabled. This study was undertaken in order to explore possible reasons for this increased tendency for young disabled people to commit suicide. The study was carried out at a university in Turkey with a group of disabled students. All the members of the focus group had thoughts of suicide and felt that their disability played an important role in creating these thoughts. The basic premise of the research was that physical disability increases the young person’s isolation and social loneliness and this can generate ideas of suicide in the young person’s mind that may be acted upon.” Download in PDF format (780 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/pdf/RDSv03iss01.pdf or in Word format (770 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/doc/RDSv03iss01.doc

Impact of the South Asian Earthquake
Impact of the South Asian Earthquake on Disabled People in the State of Jammu and Kashmir” by Parvinder Singh, Ph.D. Candidate, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Volume 3, Issue 3, starting page 36. Abstract: On the morning of October 8, 2005, a devastating earthquake, measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale, struck the Kashmir region with its epicentre near Muzzafarabad in Pakistan-administrated Kashmir. It took a while for both India and Pakistan to comprehend the scale of destruction that the quake had unleashed. In the two weeks following, the quake had left over 50,000 dead on the Pakistani side of the India-Pakistan border and claimed 1,300 lives on the Indian side. A second wave of deaths was expected with the onset of the region’s notorious winter. Download in PDF format (600 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/pdf/RDSv03iss03.pdf or in Word format (380 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/doc/RDSv03iss03.doc. Or, this article has also been published at We Can Do with permission of the author and RDS.

The Scale of Attitudes Toward Disabled Persons
The Scale of Attitudes Towards Disabled Persons (SADP): Cross-cultural Validation in a Middle Income Arab Country, Jordan” by Kozue Kay Nagata, Senior Economic Affairs Officer of the Development Cooperation Branch, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Volume 3, Issue 4, 2007, starting page 4. Abstract: The purpose of this pilot study was to assess the level of the existing attitudinal barriers towards disabled persons in four communities of Jordan. Jordan is a middle income Arab country, with a PPP-adjusted GDP/capita of US$ 4320. The study attempted to determine the present level as a baseline of prejudice against people with a disability in Jordan, and to examine the relationship between the randomly selected participants’ attitudes and their previous exposure to and experience with disability. The Scale of Attitudes towards Disabled Persons (SADP) was selected as the instrument. An Arabic translated version of the Scale was used for 191 participants. The respondents showed overall negative attitudes towards disabled persons, as illustrated by previous documented materials. The result of this survey was highly correlated with the collective opinion expressed by the focus group that was conducted by the author in Amman in January, 2005. Thus, the cross-cultural validity of this instrument has been confirmed, and the major findings of this pilot study could inform future policy directions and public awareness raising strategies to foster positive public attitudes. Download in PDF format (530 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/pdf/RDSv03iss04.pdf or in Word format (410 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/doc/RDSv03iss04.doc

Barriers to Education
Barriers to Education for People with Disabilities in Bekaa, Lebanon” by Samantha Wehbi, MSW, Ph.D., School of Social Work, Ryerson University, Volume 3, Issue 4, starting page 10. Abstract: This paper presents the findings of a recent study on the educational situation of people with disabilities in Lebanon. The main findings of a survey conducted with 200 participants in the impoverished rural Bekaa region illustrate the inadequate educational situation of people with disabilities. The focus of the paper is on a discussion of the barriers that people with disabilities face in pursuing their education. Participants identified the following difficulties in pursuing their education: educational system barriers, inadequate finances, health issues, transportation difficulties, and family pressures. Although the focus of the article is not on factors that can facilitate educational achievement, some of these supports are identified, including family support and personal motivation. The article concludes with a discussion of current and planned community responses such as the development of an interdisciplinary community action network (The Inclusion Network), the provision of literacy courses, and a pilot project to foster the inclusion of children with disabilities in mainstream schools. Download in PDF format (530 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/pdf/RDSv03iss04.pdf or in Word format (410 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/doc/RDSv03iss04.doc

Jordan and Disability Rights
Jordan and Disability Rights: A Pioneering Leader in the Arab World” by Kenneth R. Rutherford, PhD, MBA, Missouri State University, Volume 3, Issue 4, 2007, starting page 23. Abstract: This article investigates Jordan’s rationale for assuming a leadership role on the disability rights issue in the Arab World. Tens of millions of people, including over ten percent of Arab families, are impacted and impoverished because of disability. To address this substantial challenge, the Jordan Royal family has leveraged Jordan’s tradition of openness and generosity coupled with one of the best educational systems in the Arab World to promote disability issues. As a result, Jordan is recognized by the international community as leading the Arab World in promoting disability rights. Jordan’s international and regional leadership on disability rights was recognized in 2005 when Jordan received the Franklin Delano Roosevelt International Disability Award. Download in PDF format (530 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/pdf/RDSv03iss04.pdf or in Word format (410 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/doc/RDSv03iss04.doc

You can browse and download past issues of the Review of Disability Studies: An International Journal at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/.

Or you can learn more about the RDS at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/about/.

The RDS is always looking for new authors to submit materials for publication.



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CALL FOR JOURNAL SUBMISSIONS: The Review of Disability Studies an International Journal

Posted on 16 January 2008. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Announcements, Call for Papers, Cross-Disability, Disability Studies, Opportunities | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

[Original publication at wecando.wordpress.com (We Can Do) at http://tinyurl.com/2z68p8]

Call for Journal Submissions:
The Review of Disability Studies an International Journal
, www.rds.hawaii.edu

In order to address the need for an internationally-focused academic journal in the field of Disability Studies, in 2003 the late David Pfeiffer and the Center on Disability Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa founded, “The Review of Disability Studies: An International Journal” (RDS).

The journal contains research articles, essays, and bibliographies relating to the culture of disability and people with disabilities. It also publishes forums on disability topics brought together by forum editors of international stature. Poetry, short stories, creative essays, photographs, and art work related to disability are also welcome. The journal is published four times a year, and each issue runs approximately 50 pages. The Journal is free online, but a subscription is needed to receive the print version.

We would like to invite you and people from around the world to subscribe to the journal, and we also welcome correspondence from those who would like to advertise, evaluate manuscripts, serve as anonymous peer reviewers, and contribute manuscripts. The Journal is open to all perspectives, approaches, views, and paradigms relevant to the study and experience of disability.



Thank you to Dr. Megan Conway for sending me this call for journal submissions to be posted at We Can Do. Any one wishing to know more about RDS should consult their web site directly at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/. Inquiries similarly should be directed to the staff of RDS.

See a sample listing of RDS articles.



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Finding Resources, Toolkits, and Funding Sources

Posted on 15 January 2008. Filed under: Case Studies, Cross-Disability, Funding, Introduction to "We Can Do", Resources | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

[Original publication at wecando.wordpress.com (We Can Do) at http://tinyurl.com/28hh6h.]

I have now created a new page, linked from the top navigation bar, entitled “Resources, Toolkits, and Funding. In this page, you can find the following types of materials:

I added this page to help readers quickly locate pragmatic resources, announced or linked from We Can Do, that you can use to help disability communities in developing countries access human rights and public services or escape poverty.

I want to continue improving this page. Please do share your feedback or suggestions in the comments area, either here or at the Resources, Toolkits, and Funding Sources page.

This new page joins other pages in the navigation bar that can help you

Still not sure how to find the materials you are looking for? See if the Navigating We Can Do page can help. I have recently revised and updated this page. I will probably continue to make further improvements in the Navigation page to make it easier to use. Please feel free to make suggestions or feedback.

Want to make sure you don’t miss any upcoming resources, toolkits, funding sources, or other informative posts at We Can Do? Consider subscribing to We Can Do so you can receive an email alert when new material is posted here.



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NEWS: Nepal signs disability rights treaty and protocol

Posted on 10 January 2008. Filed under: Cross-Disability, Human Rights, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Latest Development: Nepal signs the CRPD
Nepal became the most recent signatory to the international Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the accompanying optional protocol on January 3, 2008. A total of 121 countries have now signed the CRPD and 68 have signed the optional protocol. Most of these countries, however, have not yet ratified either.

Ratifying versus Signing a Treaty
Signing a treaty is not the same as ratifying it. A signatory country is not required to obey the treaty: it only needs to avoid actively violating it. A country does not become a “states party” to a treaty until they fully ratify it. Becoming a states party (ratifying a treaty) means the country agrees to be legally bound by the treaty.

The CRPD needs to be ratified by 20 countries before it can take full force; it has now been ratified by 14, including Bangladesh, Croatia, Cuba, El Salvador, Gabon, Hungary, India, Jamaica, Mexcio, Namibia, Nicaragua, Panama, South Africa, and Spain. The Optional Protocol needs to be ratified by 10 countries before it becomes enforceable; it has now been ratified by 7, including Croatia, Hungary, Mexico, Namibia, Panama, South Africa, and Spain.

Both the full list of ratifications and the full list of signatories are available on the web.

The Background: The CRPD and the Optional Protocol
The CRPD is an international human rights treaty meant to protect a range of rights for people with disabilties. A few examples include the right to liberty; to freedom from torture, violent exploitation, and abuse; to healthcare; to education; to privacy; to sign contracts; to accessible public transit and public accommodations.

Although several other international human rights treaties are already in force–most famously, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights–many of these treaties do not mention disabled people at all. The few that do usually do not cover their right to full participation in society.

The Optional Protocol gives people who have suffered human rights violations another option for pursuing justice. In countries that only ratify the CRPD without the Optional Protocol, a person who feels their rights under the treaty have been violated can use the appropriate channels within their country to correct that violation. For example, they may be able to file a complaint with local or national legal authorities or bring a lawsuit through the courts. But if all national-level systems fail to achieve justice, then the Optional Protocol allows a person to pursue redress by applying to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

For more background on the CRPD, consult a FAQ written by the organization RatifyNow. More information about the CRPD is also available at the United Nations web site on disabilities.

Individuals and organizations seeking to join the global movement to maximize the number of countries ratifying the CRPD and the Optional Protocols may wish to join the organization RatifyNow. Individuals may also participate in email-based discussions on the global movement by joining the RatifyNow Listserve.



We Can Do learned about Nepal becoming a signatory via an announcement sent out by Ghulam Nabi Nazimani.

Catch up on the latest news about the CRPD and other topics.

This blog post is cross-posted both here and at RatifyNow with permission of the author.



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RESOURCE: Network for Inclusive Education in Eastern Africa

Posted on 9 January 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Children, Cross-Disability, Education, Inclusion, News, Opportunities, Resources, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

To support the growing interest in the area of Inclusive Education throughout Eastern Africa, an Eastern Africa Discussion Group has been 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 promote the inclusion of marginalised groups in education world wide.

If you would like to join the Eastern Africa Discussion Group, please send a blank email to eenet_eastern_africa-subscribe@yahoogroups.co.uk 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.

Learn more about the group and how to join, leave, or communicate with the listowner at:

http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/eenet_eastern_africa/

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
Eastern Africa Email Coordinator
EENET Eastern Africa – The Enabling Education Network

To send an email to the email coordinator (Dimity Taylor) please send it to easternafrica@eenet.org.uk.

EENET UK (Main Office)
c/o Educational Support and Inclusion
School of Education
University of Manchester
Oxford Road
Manchester M13 9PL
UK
Office tel: +44 (0) 161 275 3711
Mobile: +44 (0)7929 326 564
Office fax: +44 (0) 161 275 3548
General enquiries email: info@eenet.org.uk
Website: www.eenet.org.uk
To obtain printed copies of the “Enabling Education” newsletter, contact EENET at the above address or visit their website.

EENET is an information-sharing network which promotes the inclusion of marginalised groups in education worldwide.



[Edited 27 January 2008 to correct the above email address to easternafrica@eenet.org.uk] [Edited 21 August 2008 to update instructions for subscribing.]

We Can Do learned about this mailing list when Dimity Taylor posted the above announcement on the mailing list for the Global Partnership on Disability and Development (GPDD). The GPDD email discussion list can be joined for free.



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TRAINING: Community-Based Rehabilitation Training and Management

Posted on 9 January 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR), Cross-Disability, Education and Training Opportunities, Opportunities, Rehabilitation | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Please note that this blog post contains two separate announcements for two separate training opportunities from the same Community-Based Rehabilitation (CBR) training program in the Netherlands. Read carefully to determine which is best suited to your needs. Inquiries should be made directly to Huib Cornielje.

Two week Training of Trainers in CBR programme in The Netherlands
Enablement (Alphen aan den Rijn) in collaboration with a number of training experts are in currently developing a new course: TOT in CBR. The course is scheduled for the 25th of August to the 5th of September. This course is of particular importance if you want to know more about training and education with a special focus on training staff in CBR. Besides some theoretical background the course in particular will focus on practical applications; participatory methodologies; case study writing; group dynamics and facilitation skills.
More information will follow. If you do have an interest to participate please do contact Huib Cornielje at h.cornielje@enablement.nl

Announcement of the 2008 CBR Management course in The Netherlands
Enablement is pleased to inform you that in 2008 (from September 15 to October 10) again a 4-week International Course in Management of Disability and Rehabilitation is being offered to rehabilitation professionals and disability and development workers and activists. Serious candidates should apply well in advance and if you intend to attend this course or intend to send someone to this course please fill out the online application form at www.enablement.nl

Participants who attended the 2007 course came from a number of interesting projects in the following countries: Malawi, Rwanda, China, Japan, Germany, Nicaragua, The Philippines, Mexico, Cambodia, Indonesia and The Netherlands.

The courses are conducted under the leadership of Huib Cornielje and Roelie Wolting. Besides, a number of Dutch trainers and international experts will play an important role in the training. The following international disability and CBR experts and trainers are on a regular basis involved in the course:

  • Prof. Patrick. Devlieger, University of Leuven, Belgium
  • Dr. M. Miles, Birmingham, UK
  • Dr Maya Thomas, senior consultant, India
  • Mr David Werner, CBR expert, USA
  • Mr Peter Coleridge, consultant, UK
  • Mrs Susie Miles, specialist in special needs education, UK
  • Mr Nick Heeren, CIEDEL, France

Huib Cornielje
Enablement
h.cornielje@enablement.nl



We Can Do learned about this opportunity through the “Disability Information Dissemination Network,” which is managed by the”Centre for Services and Information on Disability”(CSID),Bangladesh and currently sponsored by Sightsavers International. Individuals may receive announcements like this one via the CSID mailing list for free by sending an email to csid@bdmail.net, csid@bdonline.com, or info@csididnet.org with the word “join” in the subject line.



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CALL FOR NOMINATIONS: Successful Disabled Women Entrepreneurs

Posted on 8 January 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Cross-Disability, Employment, News, Opportunities, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Do you know of a successful disabled woman enterpreneur in a developing country? A World Bank annual publication, Doing Business would like to learn more about her, what has made her business successful, and what legal, regulatory, and practical barriers she has encountered along the way. Doing Business is published by the World Bank Group’s private sector arm, the International Finance Corporation.

The Doing Business project is currently doing research in 178 countries to identify what legal and regulatory barriers make it harder for businesswomen to become successful. As part of this two-year research project, the Doing Business team is collecting stories about women entrepreneurs that describe why they are successful and highlight what obstacles they have needed to overcome. Gathering these case studies will help the team understand what strategies are needed to remove these barriers for all businesswomen. This will help them make better recommendations to country governments that want to encourage more women to start and expand their own businesses. A few of the case studies may be featured in a future Doing Business publication. Nominations need to be submitted by January 22, 2008, in order to be considered.

Each year, Doing Business evaluates 178 countries in terms of how their laws and regulations help, or prevent, enterpreneurs from starting and expanding businesses. Many countries use the Doing Business guide to identify where their strengths and weaknesses are in promoting private sector growth. They make reforms based on its recommendations, which has helped more entrepreneurs start businesses, create jobs, and escape poverty.

Each candidate for nominations should be the founder or owner of a business; active in her community; and have an experience that can offer lessons that can inform reform efforts. When submitting nominations, please send the following information:

  • Full name of Nominee
  • Name and type of business
  • Business address, phone number, and e-mail
  • Month and year business was started
  • A brief biography of the nominated entrepreneur
  • A brief description of the business
  • A brief summary of the obstacles overcome, discoveries made, and outcomes

Read more about the desired criteria and how to nominate business women to be profiled at:

http://www.doingbusiness.org/features/womenentrepreneurs.aspx

Individuals may make inquiries or nominate women entrepreneurs they know in developing countries, with or without disabilities, by sending an email to:

doingbusiness@worldbank.org
snarsiah@worldbank.org

Read more information about this project at: http://blog.doingbusiness.org/2008/01/women-entrepren.html

The Doing Business project will select women from among the nominations, contact them, and prepare profiles on each woman. The chosen profiles will be published in Doing Business 2009.



We Can Do learned about this call for nominations through the World Bank Doing Business blog. Please note that We Can Do is not associated with the Doing Business project. Any inquiries, as requested above, should be directed to doingbusiness@worldbank.org or to snarsiah@worldbank.org.



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NEWS: Christian Blind Mission Now for All Disabilities

Posted on 6 January 2008. Filed under: Blind, Cross-Disability, Deaf, Education, Mobility Impariments, News, Psychiatric Disabilities, Rehabilitation | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

The Christian Blind Mission has announced that they will now serve people with all disabilities, not only people with vision impairments. Until now, the century-old organization also known as Christoffel Blinden Mission and now officially named cbm, has focused its efforts on preventing and treating blindness and on providing education and rehabilitation services for people with vision impairment.

“The organization has decided that its purpose and work is to improve the quality of life of all persons with disability, which includes those with hearing or physical impairment and mental ill health as well as those with visual loss,” says CBM president, Prof. Allen Foster.

CBM has also issued a new motto: “Together we can do more.” The word “together” is meant to emphasize the importance of partnership, particularly with organizations in low-income countries and with mainstream development organizations. The phrase “we can” is meant to emphasize ability over disability. And “do more” is meant to challenge the fact that the majority of people with disabilities in developing nations do not receive the medical, educational, and rehabilitation services they need.

CBM works with more than 700 partners in more than 100 countries to serve more than 18 million people with disabilities.

More detail can be found at:

http://www.cbmicanada.org/news_viewer.asp?news_id=138



Thank you to Ghulam Nabi Nazimani for helping alert me to this news.



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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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RESOURCE: Listening to Poor People with Intellectual Disabilities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The DVD can be viewed at:

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

The report and DVD are also available in Spanish at:

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



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

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



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CONFERENCE: Africa Campaign on Disability and HIV & AIDS

Posted on 5 January 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Cross-Disability, Events and Conferences, Health, HIV/AIDS, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

2nd General Meeting
Africa Campaign on Disability and HIV & AIDS

Kampala, Uganda
March 11-13, 2008

Preliminary agenda for the 3 days:

  • Overview of progress toward Campaign goals
  • Tools and Resources Exchange Fair : “Marketplace” for display and exchange of Guidelines, Toolkits, and experiences
  • Launching of Working Groups
    1. Communications Working Group
    2. Research Working Group
    3. International Conference Accessibility Working Group
    4. Access to HIV Services Working Group

More detailed information about the Africa Campaign and the Kampala meeting will soon be available on the Africa Campaign website (www.africacampaign.info) on the News page.



We Can Do first learned about this conference through the Disabled People International email newsletter. Thank you to the conference organizers at Africa Campaign for sending the details posted above.



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