JOB POSTS: Research Programme Director; Information and Communication Manager; Botswana

Posted on 1 February 2009. Filed under: Announcements, Jobs & Internships, Opportunities, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

[Please note that this blog post advertises two different job posts, both located in Francistown, Botswana with the same organization. Read carefully before applying.]

The Southern Africa Federation Of the Disabled (SAFOD) is seeking to engage the services of dynamic, qualified and experienced professionals for the positions of Research Programme Director and Information and Communication Manager. Both positions will be based in the SAFOD Research Centre in Francistown, Botswana. The following are the new positions that need to be filled in the SRP as soon as possible; see Application details at the bottom for instructions in how to apply:

1.RESEARCH PROGRAMME DIRECTOR:
Reporting to the SAFOD Director General, the Research Programme Director will have overall responsibility for the management of the SAFOD Research Programme.This would include all aspects of the professional, financial and administrative management of the programme. The Research director will also be accountable to DFID Central Research Department.

Management Responsibilities:
·Co-ordination of the Research Programme with the SAFOD member DPOs and with other disability programmes in the region to avoid duplication and to promote synergies;
·Ensuring gender dimensions are mainstreamed into research themes;
·Terminating unsuccessful activities;
·Act asan ex-officio member of the SRP Technical Advisory Board (TAB);
·Ensuring timely delivery of the activities of the SRP;
·Reviewing the progress of the SRP in terms of potential impact on disability policy and practice;
·Disseminating and promoting the use of SRP-generated knowledge for the benefit of disabled people in SAFOD member countries;
·Line management of SRP staff, which includes a Research Programme Manager and a Communictions Officer;
·Financial management of the budget and expenditure of the SRP;
·Safe-guarding any database of knowledge generated by the SRP so that it remains accessible after the research programme ends;
·Safeguarding any work that may be commissioned to contribute to the achievement of the purposes established for the SRP.
SRP Implementation:
Overall responsibility for implementing the SRP programme.
Development of the SRP will include the following tasks:
·Identification of future research activities;
·Identifying the stakeholders for research outputs within and beyond the SRP,
·With the advice of the Communications Manager, establish the means by which these outputs may be used and how they should be packaged and promoted;
·Establishing strategic relationships with SRP partners and with other collaborating research institutions in target countries to promote the transfer of knowledge to stakeholders;
·Development of new consortium milestones for agreement with DFID.
The Research Director may identify and commission work to achieve the outputs within the annual budgets and the financial limit set by the contract.
General
Taking into consideration the views of the Technical Advisory Board, establish all necessary arrangements to achieve the SRP outputs in a cost-effective way and to achieve best value for money in the commissioning of activities;
Establish and maintain liaison with relevant DFID advisers and with local institutions in SAFOD-member countries in which research activities are to be implemented;
Set up criteria for commissioning research and ensure research proposals are fully appraised to ensure that quality, developmental relevance and demand criteria are met;
Monitor progress against the outputs and milestones, and producing regular financial, operational and technical reports within prescribed deadlines;
Monitor SRP expenditure against the approved annual budget allocation and the financial limit with accurate forecasting of expenditure and submit quarterly and annual financial reports in the format prescribed by DFID. Provide additional financial information as required.
Prepare, for submission to DFID and with TAB endorsement, annual work plans and annual reports in the format prescribed and participate as required in SAFOD monitoring and review activities;
Facilitate access to the SRP for the Mid-Term Review of the programme mid-way through the programme cycle.

2.INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION MANAGER
The Communications Manager will be an expert in communicating research. The post will be full-time and the post-holder will report to the Research Programme Director.
The Communications Manager will have overall responsibility for planning and implementing a communications strategy. The post will involve close engagement with the research work, people, debates and partners across a range of countries, especially those where SAFOD is operating. This post will be crucial in helping the programme to develop policy-influencing strategies linked to research results. The postholder will need to combine strong interpersonal and communications skills with the vision, networking skills and entrepreneurial ability to develop and implement a communications strategy which promotes research to a wide audience.
Responsibilities include the following:
Take the lead to identify and establish the means by which research products will be packaged, promoted and adopted, inter alia:
·Planning and implementing a communications strategy for the SRP in consultation with research and management staff;
·Undertaking a communications assessment for the entire programme, including the capacity and needs of the SRP partners to collaborate and deliver communications components;
·Undertaking stakeholder analyses, in collaboration with research staff, to identify key audiences for research findings at different stages of research;
·Ensuring the identification and establishment of effective dissemination of research findings to key stakeholders;
·Packaging of research in a form appropriate for use by stakeholders, including disabled people;
·Working with research staff to produce outputs, mostly in print and electronic formats, such as policy briefings, resource guides, comments and opinion pieces, drawing on research findings as they emerge;
·Maintaining the SRP website, including monitoring of use and establishing subscription mechanisms for interested parties;
·Producing SRP newsletters, periodically;
·Promotion of research products to target institutions and beneficiaries;
·Syntheses of knowledge and lesson-learning on specific themes;
·Maintain effective relationships with SRP partners and with other collaborating research institutions in target countries to promote the transfer of knowledge to stakeholders;
·Ensure effective design and implementation of all research projects being conducted under the programme;
·Advise the Research Director on all matters relating to the implementation of the research programme and standard operating procedures and project management;
·Ensure that good relations are maintained in all the communities in which research is being conducted through regular and scheduled community meetings;
·Represent the programme at community functions and fora as required to provide information to community leaders /DPOs and partners about the programme and research conduct;
·Liaise with Director General to ensure local capacity building throughout SAFOD via sharing of experience in research management and, where appropriate, dissemination of key findings.
Person Specifications:
a)Experienced communications expert with a solid understanding of the processes for achieving evidence based research and targeted outputs for policy change;
b)Strong interpersonal communication skills to work and communicate with a variety of stakeholders including people of varied disabilities, academic research community; international development donors, disabled peoples’ organisations and so on;
c)Strong background and commitment to community based research and knowledge and skills of participatory learning and action research;
d)A social science degree or equivalent in communications and experience in the research field;
e)Excellent oral and/or written communications skills to work and communicate with people of varied disabilities, and capacity to edit and draft research reports and written out puts;
f)Computer literacy and Internet experience;
g)Knowledge in website and data base design;
h)Knowledge of a non-discriminatory society and that disability does not mean inability.
Key Result Areas:
·Development of a Communications Strategy to ensure the efficient and effective systems of dissemination and communication of SRP research products and findings to key stakeholders;
·Development of a capacity building programme to strengthen SRP member capacity to undertake disability research and disseminate findings;
·Establishment of outreach and mobilization programmes on disability research and related advocacy activities to effect change on the basis of key findings;
·Establishment and maintenance of a resource center holding documentation and information regarding disability policy and practice, as well as housing SRP programme research products;
·Maintenance of a database of SRP stakeholders as part of the communications strategy.

Application Details
Interested in these highly rewarding positions ?
Please send your applications, together with CVs, to the Personnel Assistant at:

Southern Africa Federation of the Disabled (SAFOD)
No. 19 Lobengula Street
Box 2247 Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
Tel: 263-9-69356; Fax: 263-9-62944
E: safod@netconnect.co.zw OR info@safod.org
Website: www.safod.org
SAFOD Regional Headquarters Botswana
Plot Number 6230 Tati River Plots
P. O. Box 3236 Nswazwi Complex
Francistown, Botswana
Tel/fax: +267 240 5156
Tel:+ 267 240 5164
E-mail: safod@botsnet.bw



I received both of these job announcements via the Global Partnership on Disability and Development email discussion group, which people can subscribe to for free.

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Networking Among People with Disabilities in Developing Countries and Allies

Posted on 30 January 2009. Filed under: Announcements, Cross-Disability, Networking Opportunities, Opportunities | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

If you’re reading this, then you probably share a passion for promoting human rights and fighting poverty among people with disabilities in developing countries. I know that some We Can Do readers are themselves people with disabilities in developing countries working as grassroots advocates. Other We Can Do readers are professionals, with and without disabilities, in the international development or disability fields.

We don’t all come from the same continent. We don’t all share the same disabilities. We don’t all work in the same sector or for the same cause (education? HIV/AIDS? signed languages? human rights? other?). Some readers are actively working with the disability community in a developing country. Others are far away in a comfortable office in a developed country.

We are all very different from each other. But we all want, ultimately, the same thing. We all believe that people with disabilities in developing countries should not have to confront barriers that exclude them from education, employment, health care services, life in the community, and even the most basic human rights–including the right simply to be alive.

I have now created a new Facebook group entitled Networking Among Disabled People in Developing Countries and Allies. This group is meant to facilitate friendly networking among like-minded people. If you already have a Facebook account, then you can join the group with the click of a button. If you are new to Facebook, then it only takes a few additional moments to create your own first, free Facebook account.

Once you join the group, you can write on the “Wall,” or write in one of the “discussion groups.” Introduce yourself … and find out who else in the group shares experiences, challenges, frustrations, and joys in common with yours. You might think that you only really want to meet people from your own country, or people in the same profession as you. But perhaps you will be surprised to find that someone with a different disability, in a different continent, working in a project completely different from yours, has interesting insights you could learn from.

I hope to meet a few We Can Do readers in the Facebook group! Please join by following the link to:

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=58529958419



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Disability in the Middle East, a bibliography

Posted on 18 January 2009. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Announcements, Middle East and North Africa | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

by M. Miles

The partly annotated open online “Disability in the Middle East, a
bibliography”, first web published in 2002, was much revised, extended and updated to June 2008, and now lists about 1,750 items, at:

http://cirrie.buffalo.edu/bibliography/mideast/index.html (also .pdf)

It aims to record the cumulative formal knowledge base in the disability field in countries of the Middle East, especially Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, and some smaller neighbours.

Around 45% of the items in the bibliography, listed in the last two sections with a brief introduction, comprise historical materials of the Middle East from 1751 to 1970 and from Antiquity to 1750, as an essential part of the cultural background. This earlier material has more annotation (and so takes about 60% of the total word-count), to enable potential readers to find the disability-related parts that are sometimes hidden in odd corners or footnotes, and also to indicate some cultural features that might be less easily understood nowadays.

No sensible explanation exists for how I [M. Miles] came to put this stuff together. There was already far too much material when it went online in 2002. Planning to spend a few weeks on a short update, I had a swing at disability and deafness in Egyptology, Assyriology, and the Hittite Kingdom in Anatolia,
which actually took six months. Of course, the material is utterly fascinating.

The past 30 years of “disability studies” in North America and Western Europe can look like a few buckets of water compared with the rolling 5000-year ocean of Middle Eastern disability. But just because of that contrast, I guess the majority of western students of disability won’t dip a toe into this ocean. The bibliog and annotations give a basic map for the adventurous minority… Also, of course, for the millions of non-western people who
might be happy to know something about disability before The West was invented.

best, miles

[Note to We Can Do readers: people interested in researching people with disabilities in the Middle East, African, East Asian, South Asian, and South-West Asian regions regions may find it helpful to begin with M. Miles’ collection of annotated bibliographies, of which this is only one.



This email was circulated by the author, M. Miles, on the Disability-Research email discussion list.

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IntraHealth Seeks Information on Access to Sexual Reproductive Health in Developing Countries

Posted on 16 December 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Call for Comments or Information, Health, Opportunities, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

IntraHealth International is seeking both facts and personal stories on access to Sexual Reproductive Health in developing countries.

IntraHealth International, a global health organization, wants to increase awareness about the importance of inclusion of people with disabilities in sexual and reproductive health programs in developing countries. They need:

— Facts on what is being done currently to increase access to health care services,
— Information on local disability organizations in developing countries
— What are the specific barriers and problems that limit access to health care services in general and to SRH in particular
— Any relevant data
— Personal stories about disabled persons and their experiences accessing, or trying to access, sexual and reproductive health care services in developing countries

Please send any info or resources you may have to Cornelia Kip Lee, or to Jim McMahan at:

Cornelia Lee: corneliakip@mac.com U.S. phone: 919-428-3335
Jim McMahan: jmcmahan@intrahealth.org



I received this notice via the Global Partnership for Disability and Development mailing list.

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Disabled People Must Not Pay for Crisis, Says European Disability Forum

Posted on 27 November 2008. Filed under: Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Employment, Human Rights, News, Poverty | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

français

EDF Statement on the Economic Crisis: Disabled People Must Not Pay for the Crisis

Paris, 16 Novembre 2008 – The European Disability Forum, which is the voice of more than 50 million European people with disabilities, calls on the European Council, Commission and Parliament and other European institutions and all the governments of Europe to ensure disabled people and their families do not pay for the worldwide economic crisis by the reduction in their income, benefits, employment opportunities or in cuts in support to our representative organisations.

The crisis was caused by the irresponsible lending and unacceptable negligence by those in charge of the financial institutions and regulatory bodies of the world. Governments’ response to the ‘credit crunch’ has been to create financial resources to bail out the banks. Now as this lack of confidence feeds its way into the general economic system it is vital that poor, elderly and disabled people and their families of Europe do not pay for this crisis. We already in a precarious position prior to the crisis, therefore call for a reflationary approach to spend more on investment in accessible infra structure, on benefits and the provision of tax relief, so that these groups can buy goods and services so improving the economic situation.

The world through the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities has only just recognised the urgent need to extend the international human rights law framework to disabled people. Society cannot afford to dilute its commitment to human rights including the right to employment and family life. Traditionally disabled people have been the ‘reserve army of labour’, ’the last to be hired the first to be fired’, seen as expendable at times of economic crisis. Disabled People, their families, the unemployed and the poor cannot become the scapegoat for a crisis not of their making. Already the worsening economic position has led to attempts to cut benefits in many countries such as Ireland, Hungary, Sweden and Italy.

The lesson of this crisis – the value of investing in people – is far more important than speculative investment and it benefits the whole of society and strengthens its resistance to such crisis driven changes. If the gap between the disadvantaged and the wealthy widens, it will cost society more in the long run. The EDF will ensure the equality and rights of disabled people come to the top of the political agenda in the forthcoming European Elections.

Cutbacks and mass unemployment will develop a fertile ground for violence, hate crime, undermine solidarity and produce dangerous attitudes for democracy. We call on all those with political and economic decision making responsibility to do all they can to ensure that disabled and poor people are treated with equality and their economic well being is assured by the measures they take at this time. Now is the time for strong action so that in 2010-European Anti Poverty Year- disabled people and other disadvantaged groups do not again come to the top of the agenda.

The European Disability Forum (EDF) is the European umbrella organisation representing the interests of 50 million disabled citizens in Europe. EDF membership includes national umbrella organisations of disabled people from all EU/EEA countries, as well as European NGOs representing the different types of disabilities, organisations and individuals committed to disability issues. The mission of the European Disability Forum is to ensure disabled people full access to fundamental and human rights through their active involvement in policy development and implementation in Europe.

Forum européen des personnes handicapées
>>> Communiqué de presse

Déclaration du Forum Européen des personnes handicapées à propos de la crise financière: Les personnes handicapées ne doivent pas payer la crise

Paris, le 16 novembre 2008 – Représentant 50 millions d’européens en situation de handicap, le Forum Européen des Personnes Handicapées appelle le Conseil Europeén la Commission Européenne et le Parlement Européen, les Institutions Européennes et tous les Gouvernements des pays européens à s’assurer que les personnes handicapées et leurs familles n’aient pas à payer les conséquences de la crise financière internationale par une réduction de leurs revenus, de leurs accès à l’emploi, de leurs moyens de compensation ou par une réduction des moyens attribués à leurs organisations représentatives.

La crise financière a été causée par des accords de prêts irresponsables et des négligences inacceptables de la part des responsables d’Institutions financières et de régulation financières. La réponse des Gouvernements à cette déroute bancaire a été la création de ressources financières pour sauver les banques. Maintenant que la perte de confiance gagne l’économie réelle, il est essentiel que les européens exposés à la pauvreté, à la maladie et aux situations handicap n’aient pas à faire les frais de cette crise. Déjà affectée par la précarité avant cette crise, nous pensons au contraire qu’une politique de relance devrait augmenter les allocations, investir dans l’accessibilité et accorder des avantages fiscaux pour que ces groupes puissent consommer des biens et des services et ainsi soutenir le développement économique.

Avec l’adoption par les Nations Unies de la Convention Internationale pour le droit des personnes handicapées le monde vient juste de reconnaître le besoin urgent d’un élargissement du cadre des Droits de l’Homme aux personnes handicapées. La société ne peut pas se permettre maintenant de d’affaiblir son engagement pour les Droits de la Personne et notamment le droit à l’emploi et le droit à fonder une famille.

Il est depuis longtemps d’usage que la réponse aux besoins des personnes handicapées représente une « réserve d’emploi », ce sont les dernières à être engagées et les premières à être licenciées, perçues comme quantité négligeable. La dégradation de la situation économique a déjà conduit plusieurs pays à vouloir supprimer des avantages acquis, comme en Irlande, en Hongrie, en Suède et en Italie.

La leçon de cette crise est que l’investissement sur le développement des personnes est beaucoup plus essentiel que les investissements spéculatifs, qu’il bénéficie à l’ensemble de la collectivité et qu’il renforce les capacités de réponse collective à ce type de crise. Si le fossé entre les riches et les pauvres s’élargit encore la crise coûtera plus cher et durera plus longtemps. Le Forum Européen des Personnes Handicapées veillera à ce que l’égalité et les droits des personnes handicapes devienne une priorité de l’agenda politique européen lors des prochaines élection européennes.

Les restrictions et l’augmentation du chômage vont créer un terrain propice au développement de la violence, d’attitudes dangereuses pour la démocratie et constituent une menace pour la solidarité. Nous appelons les responsables politiques et économiques à faire face à leur responsabilité et à prendre immédiatement les décisions nécessaires pour que les personnes handicapées, leurs familles et les personnes pauvres soient traitées avec équité et leur avenir économique assuré.

Le Forum européen des personnes handicapées (FEPH) est la plateforme européenne qui représente les intérêts de 50 millions de citoyens handicapés au sein de l’Union européenne. Les organisations membres du FEPH incluent les plateformes nationales des personnes handicapées de tous les Etats membres de l’UE et de l’Espace économique européen, ainsi que les ONG européennes représentant les différents types de handicap. La mission du FEPH est de garantir le respect total des droits fondamentaux et humains des personnes handicapées par le biais d’une implication active dans le développement et application des politiques européennes.



This press release was circulated on the AsiaPacificDisability listserver.

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Information Wanted: Africans with Disabilities, Policies, Programs, Organizations

Posted on 23 November 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Call for Comments or Information, Cross-Disability, Human Rights, Middle East and North Africa, Opportunities, Policy & Legislation, Resources, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

**The Secretariat of the African Decade of Persons with Disabilities needs your Help**
The Secretariat is currently collecting and updating information on the situation faced by persons with disabilities in the 54 African countries. It will enter this information into the country folders on its website. The information collected relates to policies, programmes, contact details for organisations engaged in disability work, best practice in the inclusion of disability in mainstream programmes, etc. If you have such information to share, please write to info@africandecade.co.za.

We Can Do readers will want to explore the excellent web site for the Secretariat of the African Decade of Persons with Disabilities. As implied in the above paragraph, their web site has a section with information on the 54 individual countries of Africa. Your assistance can help them expand the information provided in these folders. Providing information to the Secretariat of the African Decade of Persons with Disabilities can also be an opportunity for you to help bring attention to policies, programs, organizations, and practices that have benefited people with disabilities in your country. Again, you can email relevant details to info@africandecade.co.za

It is also well worth exploring their collection of training materials for organizations of people with disabilities. Some of their training materials have been highlighted in past We Can Do posts, but not all of them. Training materials include a guidebook for journalists; material on lobbying and advocacy; resource mobilization and fund raising; evaluation; capacity building; and more.



The first paragraph of the above text is copy/pasted from a recent issue of the email newsletter for Disabled People’s International.

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Change for People with Disabilities: Time to Email Obama!

Posted on 7 November 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Call for Comments or Information, Cross-Disability, Human Rights, Inclusion, News, Opportunities | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Change for People with Disabilities: Time to Email Obama!

[Addendum, 21 January 2009: Please note that this blog site has no association with the Obama administration or the US government. This means that comments left here will NOT be passed along to the White House.  People who wish to contact Obama’s administration will wish to try the White House web site, or you may wish to communicate with the White House Office of Public Liaison.]

On November 4, 2008, millions of people with disabilities across the United States and around the world joined our non-disabled peers in watching the United States election results. Obama supporters cheered or wept to learn that the next US president would be Obama. Then we cheered or wept again when Obama mentioned people with disabilities in his acceptance speech. History was made–not only for America, not only for Black people, not only for Kenya and all of Africa, not only for Indigenous peoples, but also for people with disabilities.

But we cannot afford to allow the moment to end here. Whether we supported Obama, McCain, or another candidate, we all know there is far too much work ahead before we can say, “Yes, we have made real change for people with disabilities.”

It is time for people with disabilities, our loved ones, our neighbors, and colleagues to join together, across ideological divides, to reach out to Obama. We should all send an email to Kareem Dale, Obama’s National Disability Vote Director (at kdale@barackobama.com), WITH COPIES TO Anne Hayes, a volunteer on the Obama Disability Policy Committee (at ahayesku@hotmail.com).

First, we should thank Obama — and also Kareem Dale — for mentioning people with disabilities in Obama’s acceptance speech on November 4. Ensure that they understand how much it matters simply for us to be included. How did you feel when Obama mentioned us? Share your story.

Second, we should tell Obama and Kareem Dale that we are aware of Obama’s disability platform. He promised to increase educational opportunities; end discrimination; increase employment opportunities; and support independent, community-based living for Americans with disabilities. And he promised to sign the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), the first international, legally-binding human rights treaty for people with disabilities. Tell Obama and Kareem Dale that we are ready to call Obama to account if he fails us. But more importantly, we are ready to work with him for change for people with disabilities.

It is important to send your disability-related emails to BOTH Kareem Dale AND Anne Hayes (kdale@barackobama.com AND ahayesku@hotmail.com) between now and inauguration day. Kareem Dale’s email address may change between now and January 20, 2009. Anne Hayes can help ensure that emails sent to Kareem Dale are not lost during this time of transition.

Both Kareem Dale and others who have worked on disability issues within the Obama campaign are ready to receive YOUR emails on disability-related issues for US President-elect Obama. Emails are welcome from across the United States and around the world. If you are a US citizen, then please say so in your email.

Learn more about Obama’s plan for people with disabilities at: http://origin.barackobama.com/issues/disabilities/

Yes, the video is captioned. And if you scroll down to the bottom of the page, you can download Obama’s Full Plan for people with disabilities in PDF format (62 Kb).

Read Obama’s acceptance speech at: http://www.barackobama.com/2008/11/04/remarks_of_presidentelect_bara.php

Want to read someone else’s letter to Obama before you write your own? Some links to a few letters to Obama are posted at: http://reunifygally.wordpress.com/2008/11/13/emails-to-obama-creating-change-for-people-with-disabilities/

Learn more about the CRPD at http://ratifynow.org/ratifynow-faq/

If you wish to contact Obama’s staff on some topic other than disability, then you can send an email via his web page at http://www.change.gov/page/s/ofthepeople

Please circulate this email freely, or post this at your own blog, web site, or Facebook page.

This text was first posted at https://wecando.wordpress.com/2008/11/07/disabilities-email-obama/ The most updated version will be here, so please consult before cross-posting.

“It is the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, DISABLED and not disabled — Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been a collection of Red States and Blue States: we are, and always will be, the United States of America.”
–President-Elect Barack Obama
Acceptance speech, November 4, 2008; emphasis added

The above text, with some alterations, is also available in this slide show:


_________________
The above text was written by me, Andrea Shettle. Please do copy/paste and circulate the text above the line among other people. Let’s send as many letters as we can to Obama and his staff to ensure they know that people with disabilities around the world are looking to him to stand by us during his tenure as US president.

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NEWS: African Decade of Persons with Disabilities Extended to 2019

Posted on 2 November 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Cross-Disability, Human Rights, News, Poverty, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

ANNOUNCEMENT:

AFRICAN DECADE OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES EXTENDED TO DECEMBER 2019

A. CONGRATULATIONS AND GOOD NEWS!

We are ecstatic!

This is to announce that the AU Continental Decade of Persons with Disabilities has been extended to December 2019.

The Windhoek Declaration on Social Development adopted by Ministers in Charge of Social Development on 31 October 2008, adopted Resolution 6, which reads as follows:

‘6. ADOPT the extension of the Continental Decade of Persons with Disabilities for the period 2010-2019; CALL for the evaluation of the existing Decade and its Plan of Action (1999-2009) and the speedy conclusion of the evaluation and restructuring of the African Rehabilitation Institute (ARI)’

In addition to the resolution extending the Decade, the Windhoek Declaration also adopted resolution 5(x) which reads as follows:

‘5. Further commit ourselves to implement the priority strategies under the key thematic social issues spelt out in the Social Policy Framework for Africa, through the following:

(x) Empowering and providing persons with disabilities with equal opportunities, safeguarding their rights and enlisting their participation and mainstreaming them in all development programmes’

The new Social Development Policy adopted by the Ministers in Windhoek Namibia has detailed coverage of disability work. We encourage organisations to get a copy of this policy and apply its contents in your programming processes.

We would like to thank all organisations (notably Pan African Federation Of the Disabled (PAFOD), African Union of the Blind (AFUB), and others), Secretariat of the African Decade of Persons with Disabilities (SADPD) Staff and leaders, Panel of Experts/Parliamentarians, Pan African Parliament, African Rehabilitation Institute (ARI), the African Union Social Affairs Commission, our Development Partners (Disabled Persons Organizations Denmark [DPOD], Sida, UK Department for International Development [DFID], and Southern Africa Trust), Christian Blind Mission (CBM) and those that supported our down-line networks and DPOs for their support during the first Decade and the campaign towards extension.

We look forward to hard work during the next ten years. We now have the benefit of learning from the mistakes that we made and the experience of managing an initiative of this nature.

B. MORE INFORMATION ON THE FIRST DECADE

The African Union declared the first decade of the new millennium (1999-2009) as the African Decade for Persons with Disabilities. In 2001 the African Union’s Labour and Social Affairs Commission along with its African Rehabilitation Institute (ARI) and the ILO held a meeting in Addis Ababa. In this meeting they designed a Continental Plan of Action (CPOA) to guide the member states of the African Union on how to implement the African Decade. The adoption of the African Decade of Disabled Persons (ADDP) placed responsibility on African States to implement Decade Programme activities.

With this declaration, the African Union adopted a Continental Plan of Action (CPOA) with twelve objectives that African States were to implement over the period.

The twelve objectives cover a wide range of themes that are of critical importance to improvement in the lives of persons with disabilities in Africa. These themes include ideas and strategies to:
1. Formulate and implement national policies, programmes and legislation to promote the full and equal participation of persons with disabilities.
2. Promote the participation of persons with disabilities in the process of economic and social development
3. Promote the self-representation of people with disabilities in all public decision-making structures.
4. To enhance support services for disabled persons.
5. Promote special measures for children, youth, women and elderly persons with disabilities.
6. Ensure and improve access to rehabilitation, education, training, employment, sports, the cultural and physical environment.
7. To promote and protect disability rights as human rights
8. To support the development of and strengthen Disabled Persons’ Organizations
9. Mobilize resources

These objectives where meant to be implemented by Africa States, with the cooperation of civil society organisations.
Prepared By:

Kudakwashe A.K. Dube, CEO
SADPD



This announcement is being circulated by The Secretariat of the African Decade of Persons with Disabilities (SADPD). Their website is at http://www.africandecade.org.za and is worth exploring for anyone with an interest in human rights or social and economic development for people with disabilities in Africa. I modified this announcement to spell out most of the acronyms.

I received this announcement via the mailing list for the Global Partnership for Disability and Development.

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RESOURCE: The BIAS FREE Framework: A practical tool for identifying and eliminating social biases

Posted on 1 October 2008. Filed under: Cross-Disability, Health, Inclusion, Resources | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The worst myth that most good people have about bias, prejudice, discrimination, and exclusion is that only bad people do these things. If only bad people or bad organizations excluded others on the basis of disability status, gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, or socio-economic class, then the world would be in pretty good shape. And people with disabilities would no longer face frustration when persuading mainstream international development organizations to include their needs and concerns. After all, most of us (or so most of us hope) are good people.

Unfortunately, in the real world, most exclusion is done by good people who don’t even realize that they might be creating barriers simply by carrying on with business as usual. This is because many people simply don’t know enough about the lives, challenges, and strengths of the people in their communities who happen to be different from them. This ignorance is perhaps particularly problematic for people with disabilities because disability is often so profoundly invisible and ignored in many societies. (Did you know, for example, that doorknobs, flourescent lights, and pictures can all create barriers for people with certain disabilities?)

Exclusion caused by good people is often the hardest kind of exclusion to overcome because it first means helping people to understand that “being a good person” and “being a person who excludes others” are not mutually exclusive concepts. Then comes the next big challenge: we can only remove sources of bias in our research, policies, programs, services, and practices if we first learn how to see the bias. So how do we learn to see the biases that are so deeply buried in our environment, in our policies, in our programs, in ourselves?

One possible starting point is a 64-page publication entitled The BIAS FREE Framework: A practical tool for identifying and eliminating social biases in health research. The framework is available in PDF format in English, French, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish, and Vietnamese; and it looks like they plan a Chinese translation as well (the button is there but doesn’t lead anywhere yet).

This framework is not specific to international development. In fact, it’s focus is on eliminating bias in health research. But the manual is meant to be used more broadly by, not only researchers, but also students and policy makers, and could also be used by program directors and service providers. It is also meant for use in both high-income and low-income countries. It does not cover every possible area of bias. But it does include a focus on bias related to disability; to gender; and to race. And some of the broad concepts could be carried over to other types of bias, across many of the different sectors of international development.

The BIAS FREE Framework discusses how bias creeps in and serves to perpetuate social hierachies; how we tend to both overlook differences and also to exagerate them; how many of us forget to account for the complex social hierachies within gender, race, and disability issues, as well as across them. It discusses how people can identify and minimize these biases.

Learn more about the publication, or download it in your preferred language, at:

http://www.globalforumhealth.org/Site/002__What%20we%20do/005__Publications/010__BIAS%20FREE.php

Or, if you are looking for shorter, more accessible essays that may help stretch your thinking about disability issues, and why good people may still do bad things even when trying very hard to do only good things, consider a few samples from an excellent blogger named Amanda Baggs:

No Good Guys or Bad Guys Here

The Vehement Defense of Prejudicial Behavior

And this next one should be read by anyone and everyone who thinks their most important mission is to “help” people–whether by “helping” people they mean disabled people; poor people; people in developing countries; or all three. Do be sure to follow all the links and read those as well. It’s well worth your time to work through all of it. Then set aside some more time to think through all the implications. Are you a “Do-Gooder”? Are you sure?

Do-gooderism: Links, quotes, and discussion

Amanda Baggs has influenced my thinking in all kinds of subtle ways I couldn’t even begin to identify. I have read every single post in her entire blog, including all of the comments and most of her links. And it has been time very well spent.

No, Amanda Baggs doesn’t write about international development. Her focus is on disability rights and a broad spectrum of other issues. But she thinks deeply about power imbalances, power structures, and why oppression happens, in all kinds of ways that most people never think about. Much of it could be extended broadly not only to relationships between disabled people and non-disabled people but also to relationships between poor people and the people who deliver services.

If you have time to explore, I encourage you to go to her blog and do so: http://ballastexistenz.autistics.org



I first learned about The BIAS FREE Framework via the AdHoc_IDC email discussion list.

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CALL FOR PAPERS: Impact of Nanoscale Science on Disability

Posted on 29 September 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Call for Papers, Cross-Disability, Disability Studies, Health, Inclusion, Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Opportunities, Poverty, technology, Water and Sanitation | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Call for papers On the impact of nanoscale science and technology on disability, community and rehabilitation.
[NOTE from We Can Do editor: The deadline for abstracts is October 30, 2008; full articles can be submitted later, for authors whose abstracts are selected. We Can Do readers will note that the areas of suggested possible focus may include the impact of nanotechnology on people with disabilities in low-income countries; on international development; and on relevant topics such as water and sanitation, the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, and others. Inquiries and abstracts should be directed to the journal, NOT We Can Do.]

For a special issue of the International Journal on Disability, Community & Rehabilitation (IJDCR) (http://www.ijdcr.ca/copyright.shtml)

Guest Editor: Gregor Wolbring, Community Rehabilitation and Disability Studies Program, Dept of Community Health Sciences, University of Calgary. <gwolbrin@ucalgary.ca>

Invitation
Nanoscale science and technology, while still in its infancy, describes a rapidly growing sphere of enquiry, with many and varied implications for the disability field. To establish a ‘benchmark’ of the current state of knowledge and conceptual understanding, the Editors of IJDCR decided a special issue should be devoted to the topic. Background information and potential topics are presented below.

We invite potential contributors, regardless of fields of study (discipline), to submit 250-word Abstracts that articulate the conceptual arguments and knowledge base to be covered in a critical analysis on some aspect of the impact of nanoscale science and technology on disability, community and/or rehabilitation. Please submit abstracts to the Guest Editor via e-mail by 30 October, 2008.

From selected abstracts, we will request full articles of 3000-5000 words (excluding figures and tables) of original research and scholarship on a range of topics. Note that an invitation to submit an article does not guarantee its publication. Every submitted article will be subject to blind peer review and recommendations arising.

Background
Nanotechnology in all its meanings allows for, among other things, the manipulation of materials on an atomic or molecular scale and enables a new paradigm of science and technology that sees different technologies converging at the nanoscale namely:

  • nanoscience and nanotechnology,
  • biotechnology and biomedicine, including genetic engineering,
  • information technology, including advanced computing and communications,
  • cognitive science (neuro-engineering),
  • synthetic biology;

hence, the designation “NBICS” (nano-bio-info-cogno-synbio).

Many lists of anticipated nanoproducts exist (Institute of Nanotechnology 2005;Kostoff et al. 2006). Applications for NBICS products are envisioned in areas such as the environment, energy, water, weapons and other military applications, globalization, agriculture, and health (e.g., more efficient diagnostics and genetic testing, cognitive enhancement; life extension and enhancing human performance in general) (M.Roco 2003). Many believe that advances in NBICS hold the key for extreme life extension to the level of immortality and the achievement of morphological (Anders Sandberg 2001) and genomic freedom(Wolbring 2003). NBICS-medicine is envisioned by some to have the answer to global problems of disease and ill medical and social health. Others argue for the pursuit of ‘morphological freedom’ (Anders Sandberg 2001)–allowing the human body to move beyond typical functioning of the species. Disabled people are often highlighted as the beneficiaries of NBICS-medicine products. NBICS applications and the selling of NBICS health products focuses mostly on offering disabled people medical solutions (prevention or cure/normative adaptation) and might move towards transhumanist solutions (augmentation, enhancement of the human body) but rarely offers social solutions (adaptation of the environment, acceptance, societal cures of equal rights and respect). Many NBICS applications/products for disabled people are envisioned and are under development(Wolbring 2005).

We chose this topic for an issue of IJDCR because of how the discourses around these new and emerging nanoscale science and technologies are emerging and their potential impact on people with disabilities, the communities linked to them and/or practitioners as well as others. Consumers and researchers linked to the disability discourse are involved will shape the positive or negative consequences for everyone involved.

Nanotechnology and NBICS have an impact on disabled people in at least four main ways.

Impact of NBICS on disabled people (Wolbring 2006)

NBICS may develop tools to adapt the environment in which disabled people live and to give disabled people tools that would allow them to deal with environmental challenges. This side of S&T would make the life of disabled people more liveable without changing the identity and biological reality of the disabled person

NBICS may develop tools that would diagnose the part of disabled people’s biological reality seen by others as deficient, defect, impaired and ‘disabled’ thus allowing for preventative measures

NBICS may develop tools that would eliminate that portion of disabled people’s biological reality seen by others as deficient, defect, impaired and ‘disabled’.

NBICS may be a target for – and an influence upon – the discourses, concepts, trends and areas of action that impact disabled persons.

Discourses:

  • The discourse around the term human security
  • The religious discourse
  • The politics of biodiversity
  • The politics of inequity
  • The politics of the ethics discourse.
  • The politics of law:
  • The politics of raising the acceptance level for a given technology
  • The politics of setting goals and priorities
  • The politics of language
  • The politics of self perception and identity (Body politics)
  • The politics of red herrings
  • The politics of interpreting International treaties
  • The politics of governance
  • The Politics of evaluation, measuring, analysis, and outcome tools

Concepts:

  • Self identity security
  • Ability security
  • Cultural identity/diversity
  • Morphological freedom and morphological judgement(Anders Sandberg 2001)
  • Freedom of choice and tyranny of choice
  • Duty to fix oneself
  • Duty to know
  • Parental responsibility
  • Societal responsibility

Trends:

  • Change in the concepts of health, disease and ‘disability’/’impairment’
  • The appearance of enhancement medicine and the acceptance of beyond species-typical functioning
  • Moving from curative to enhancement medicine; decrease in curative medicine and the appearance of the transhumanist/enhancement burden of disease
  • Moving from human rights to sentient rights
  • Moving from morphological freedom to morphological judgement
  • The appearance of the techno poor disabled and impaired
  • Moving from freedom of choice to tyranny of choice judgement

Areas of Action:

  • Nanotechnology/NBIC for development
  • Nanotechnology/NBIC and the UN Millennium Development Goals
  • Nanotechnology/NBIC and global medical and social health
  • Nanotechnology/NBIC and accessibility
  • Nanotechnology/NBIC and law
  • Nanotechnology/NBIC and water and sanitation
  • Nanotechnology/NBIC and disaster management
  • Nanotechnology/NBIC and weapons/war
  • Nanotechnology/NBIC and ethics/philosophy
  • Nanotechnology/NBIC and social science/anthropology
  • Nanotechnology/NBIC and community
  • Nanotechnology/NBIC and networking

All of the above discourses, concepts, trends and areas of actions impact on disabled people[1] and others.

Potential contributors to this Special Issue might consider areas from the above table or one of the following topics:

1. What are the potential positive and negative impacts of envisioned nanoscale science and technology products and research and development on:

  • disabled people,
  • the community around them
  • practitioners, consumers and researchers linked to the disability discourse
  • community rehabilitation and the rehabilitation field in general
  • inclusive education and the education of disabled people in general
  • employability of disabled people
  • citizenship of disabled people
  • body image of disabled people
  • medical and social health policies and their impact on disabled people
  • health care for disabled people
  • the elderly
  • disabled people in low income countries
  • laws related to disabled people such as the UN Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities
  • the concept of personhood
  • concept of health and health care
  • the measure of disability adjusted life years and other measurements used to guide health care dollar allocation
  • quality of life assessment

2. What are the potential positive and negative impacts of the new social philosophy of transhumanism that is seen as being enabled by nanoscale science and technology products and research and development?
3. What impacts of potential nanoscale science and technology products and research and development onto disabled people will impact other marginalized groups?

For more information about the International Journal of Disability, Community & Rehabilitation (IJDCR) please go to http://www.ijdcr.ca.

References
Anders Sandberg. Morphological Freedom — Why We not just Want it, but Need it. 2001. <http://www.nada.kth.se/~asa/Texts/MorphologicalFreedom.htm>

Institute of Nanotechnology (2005). Research Applications And Markets In Nanotechnology In Europe 2005 <http://www.researchandmarkets.com/reportinfo.asp?report_id=302091&t=t&cat_id=4>

Kostoff, Ronald et al. “The seminal literature of nanotechnology research.” Journal of Nanoparticle Research (2006): 1-21. <http://www.springerlink.com/openurl.asp?genre=article&id=doi:10.1007/s11051-005-9034-9>

M.Roco, W. Bainbridge eds. Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance: Nanotechnology, Biotechnology, Information Technology and Cognitive Science. 2003. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht Hardbound. <http://www.wtec.org/ConvergingTechnologies/Report/NBIC_report.pdf> [PDF format]

Wolbring, G. “SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY AND THE TRIPLE D (DISEASE, DISABILITY, DEFECT).” Ed. William Sims Bainbridge Mihail C.Roco National. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic, 2003. 232-43<http://www.wtec.org/ConvergingTechnologies/> <http://www.bioethicsanddisability.org/nbic.html>

Wolbring, G (2005). HTA Initiative #23 The triangle of enhancement medicine, disabled people, and the concept of health: a new challenge for HTA, health research, and health policy Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research, Health Technology Assessment Unit, Edmonton, Alberta Canada <http://www.ihe.ca/documents/hta/HTA-FR23.pdf> [PDF format]

Wolbring, G (2006). Scoping paper on Nanotechnology and disabled people. Center for Nanotechnology in Society Arizona State University [On-line]. <http://cns.asu.edu/cns-library/documents/wolbring-scoping%20CD%20final%20edit.doc> [Word format]

——————————————————————————–
[1] The term ‘disabled people’, as used here, reflects the way in which environmental factors impact on the ability of individuals with sensory, motor, cognitive or other variations to participate in society, consistent with its usage by Disabled Peoples’ International.



Thank you to Gregor Wolbring for submitting this announcement for publication at We Can Do.

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NEWS: Disabled People of Pakistan to Receive Wheelchairs, Hearing Aids, Personal Attendants

Posted on 20 August 2008. Filed under: Assistive Devices, Deaf, Mobility Impariments, News, Opportunities, South Asian Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

The Milestone National Network of DPOs (Disabled People’s Organizations) in Pakistan recently circulated the following email:

Dear Leaders of disabillity movement

Milestone National Network of DPOs has achieved a big target.

1- Disabled persons of Pakistan can get 1000 Rs every month directlly from the provicial government.

2- Severe disabled persons can get 2000 Rs as BENAZIR SOCIAL SECUTRITY FUND FOR INDEPENDENT LIVING, So its mean that now the severe disabled persons could use Personal attendent services.

3- All assesstive devices are by the Pakistan Bait ul Mall and the federal government. For devices you can send the application in milestone office or in Pakistan Bait ul Mall. An apllication with the copy of Nation ID card.
Disabled persons of Pakistan can get their own wheelchair due to their requirement of disabillity from government ( first 120 wheelchairs allready distributed on 14th Augest by the Zumard Khan sahab and Dr.Israr shah sahab with collaboration of Milestone.
Hearing Aid also available free of coast by the federal Government. 500
white can also distributed on 14th Augest.

4- If a familly have 2 or more the 2 disabled persons in a same familly that familly will declared a special respected familly and will supported by the government.

Dear friend we did this and implementation is also started and if you will not take responsiabillity to make it social movement it will be failed. Share this information with your collegue organizations and members with disabillities.

Lot of Love

Shafiq Ur Rehman
President
MILESTONE
479-omer block Allama Iqbal Town Lahore, Pakistan
MILESTONE H8/4 street NO 7 Next to Pakistan Bait ul Mall, Islamabad Pakistan

More detail about this program has been reported in the Pakistan publication, The News, at

http://www.thenews.com.pk/print1.asp?id=130062



Thank you to Shafiq Ur Rehman and to Ghulam Nabi Nizamani for circulating this notice.

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Disabled, Poor–and Ignored: Results of Research in Zimbabwe and South Africa

Posted on 6 August 2008. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Cross-Disability, Inclusion, Poverty, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Research conducted in Zimbabwe and South Africa has confirmed what grassroots advocates have known all along: people with disabilities aren’t just at higher risk of poverty. People with disabilities are also more likely to be ignored by many donors who support programs to end poverty.

The 77-page study is entitled, “Are Disabled Peoples’ Voices from both South and North Being heard in the Development process? A Comparative analysis between the situation in South Africa, Zimbabwe, United Kingdom and Northern Europe.” Conducted in 2005, this research explores the extent to which Disabled Peoples’ Organizations (DPOs) in Zimbabwe and South Africa have access to funding, and the extent to which DPOs were able to explain to donors what kind of funding would help them best.

People with disabilities who were interviewed for this study said they wanted to be involved with disability programs, from the planning stage through implementation. However, they felt they were often excluded, both by the government and also by DPOs themselves. The study concludes that many DPOs lack the capacity to reach large numbers of people with disabilities at the grassroots level. As a result, many people with disabilities in South Africa and Zimbabwe are not part of any network. They also usually lacked awareness of policies and programs that were meant to benefit them, such as the African Decade on Persons with Disabilities or the Millennium Development Goals.

DPOs, too, said they lacked opportunity to contribute to dialogue about what kinds of projects would be most beneficial for them. DPOs in South Africa and Zimbabwe said that donors from developed countries often impose their own tailor-made programs on them without asking for their input. They wanted to be more involved with designing the programs that they implement. DPOs usually were more aware than grassroots individuals of programs such as the African Decade or the Millennium Development Goals, but even some DPOs were not aware of them.

Even in the UK and Northern Europe, DPOs felt that they were struggling for donations. DPOs also complained that non-disability oriented international non-governmental organizations used information about people with disabilities to obtain donations for themselves instead of for DPOs.

The study makes recommendations based on its findings, including the need for more capacity building for DPOs in developing countries; stronger partnerships among DPOs in developing and developed countries and donors; and closer involvement of people with disabilities and DPOs in planning, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating programs.

Learn more about the study; download the 6-page executive summary (Word format); or the full 770-page report (Word format) at:

http://www.disabilitykar.net/research/thematic_voices.html



We Can Do found this study on the DisabilityKar.net site after exploring links from the Heathlink Worldwide site.

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RESOURCE: Making Schools Inclusive: How Change Can Happen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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NEWS: Namibian Government Criticized for Failing Disabled People

Posted on 26 June 2008. Filed under: Cross-Disability, News, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , |

The Chairperson of the National Federation of People with Disabilities in Namibia, Martin Tjivera, has criticized the government of Namibia for failing to meet the needs of people with disabilities, AllAfrica.com has reported. Tjivera said that the government has made “empty promises” to Namibians with disabilities. Policies and programs meant to improve the lives of people with disabilities have not been implemented, he said.

Read more about Tjivera’s remarks in the AllAfrica.com story entitled “Namibia: Government Under Attack” at http://allafrica.com/stories/200806110736.html



Thank you to Ghulam Nabi Nizamani for bringing attention to this news item.

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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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Feedback Sought for United Nations Study on Disability Rights

Posted on 16 June 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Cross-Disability, Human Rights | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The following email has been circulated by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

En español; En français

4 June 2008

Dear Sir/Madam

I am writing to seek your contribution to a study being undertaken by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in relation to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol.

The Human Rights Council, in its resolution 7/9, decided to request “the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner to prepare a thematic study to enhance awareness and understanding of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, focusing on legal measures key for the ratification and effective implementation of the Convention, such as those relating to equality and non-discrimination, in consultation with States, civil society organizations, including organizations of persons with disabilities, and national human rights institutions” (para.16).

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights would be grateful to receive any relevant information for the preparation of this study. In particular, views and information would be welcome on:

a) Legal measures for ratification of the Convention and Optional Protocol;
b) Legal measures for implementation of the Convention and Optional Protocol;
c) Legal measures on national monitoring, particularly in relation to article 33 of the Convention;
d) Any other information relating to paragraph 16 of the resolution.

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights would be grateful if any information could be sent to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (United Nations Office at Geneva, CH 1211 Geneva 10; Fax. +41 22 917 90 08; E-mail: registry@ohchr.org) by 15 August 2008. Please indicate whether the information provided could be made available on the OHCHR website. I thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Yours sincerely,

Ibrahim Wani
Chief,
Development, Economic and Social Issues Branch


4 de junio de 2008

Estimado Señor, estimada Señora,

Tengo el honor de escribirle para pedir la contribución de su organización en relación con un estudio de la Oficina del Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos sobre la Convención de los derechos humanos de las personas con discapacidad.

En su resolución 7/9, el Consejo de Derechos Humanos decidió pedir “a la Oficina del Alto Comisionado que prepare un estudio temático para mejorar el conocimiento y la comprensión de la Convención sobre los derechos de las personas con discapacidad centrado en las medidas jurídicas esenciales para la ratificación y la aplicación efectiva de la Convención, como las relativas a la igualdad y la no discriminación, en consulta con los Estados, las organizaciones de la sociedad civil, incluidas las organizaciones de personas con discapacidad, y las instituciones nacionales de derechos humanos” (párrafo 16).

La Oficina del Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos estaría muy agradecida de recibir información concerniente a la mencionada decisión. En particular, se agradecería información y opiniones referentes a los siguientes aspectos:

a) Medidas jurídicas esenciales para la ratificación de la Convención y el Protocolo Facultativo;
b) Medidas jurídicas esenciales para la aplicación efectiva de la Convención y el Protocolo Facultativo;
c) Medidas jurídicas esenciales para la aplicación y el seguimiento nacionales en relación con el artículo 33 de la Convención;
d) Cualquier otra información relacionada con le párrafo 16 de la resolución.

La Oficina del Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos agradecería que toda la información en respuesta a la presente nota verbal sea enviada a la Oficina del Alto Comisionado para los Derechos Humanos (Oficina de las Naciones Unidas en Ginebra, CH 1211 Ginebra 10; Fax. +41 22 917 90 08; E-mail: registry@ohchr.org) antes del
15 de agosto de 2008.

Reciban un cordial saludo,

Ibrahim Wani
Jefe,
Servicio de Desarrollo y Cuestiones Económicas y Sociales


4 juin 2008

Madame/Monsieur,

J’ai l’honneur de vous écrire afin de solliciter votre contribution pour l’élaboration d’un rapport du Haut-Commissariat aux Droits de l’Homme sur la Convention relative aux droits des personnes handicapées et son protocole facultatif.

Dans sa résolution 7/9, le Conseil des droits de l’homme prie «le Haut-Commissariat de réaliser une étude thématique visant à faire mieux connaître et comprendre la Convention relative aux droits des personnes handicapées, en insistant sur les principales mesures juridiques nécessaires à la ratification et à la mise en œuvre effective de la Convention, telles que les mesures ayant trait à l’égalité et à la non-discrimination, en consultation avec les Etats, les organisations de la société civile, notamment les organisations de personnes handicapées, et les institutions nationales des droits de l’homme» (paragraphe 16).

Le Haut-Commissariat des Nations Unies aux droits de l’homme serait reconnaissant de recevoir tout renseignement relatif à l’étude, notamment sur les questions suivantes :

a) des mesures juridiques nécessaires à la ratification de la Convention et Protocole Facultative;
b) des mesures juridiques nécessaires à la mise en œuvre de la Convention et Protocole Facultative;
c) des mesures juridiques nécessaires à l’application et au suivi au niveau national (article 33 de la Convention);
d) ainsi que toute autre information se rattachant au paragraphe 16 de la résolution.

Merci de bien vouloir communiquer votre information au Haut-Commissariat des Nations Unies aux droits de l’homme, Office des Nations Unies à Genève, CH – 1211 Genève 10 ;
Fax. +41 22 917 90 08 ; E-mail: registry@ohchr.org, avant le 15 août 2008 et de nous indiquer si vous souhaitez que cette dernière soit placée sur le site Internet du Haut Commissariat.

Je vous prie d’agréer, Madame/Monsieur, l’expression de mes salutations distinguées.

Ibrahim Wani
Chef,
Service du développement et des questions économiques et sociales



We Can Do received this email via the AdHoc_IDC listserv and also via the Global Partnership for Disability and Development listserv.

Readers unfamiliar with the CRPD may wish to review a brief “FAQ” at the RatifyNow.org website. More detail on the CRPD can also be found at the United Nation’s official web page on the topic at www.un.org/disabilities.

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RESOURCES: Making Sanitation and Water Accessible for Disabled People

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

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

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

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

So what can be done?

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

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

Start exploring at:

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

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

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

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



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

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UN Launches Blog-Based Discussion on Inclusion and Development

Posted on 9 June 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Events and Conferences, Human Rights, Inclusion, Opportunities, Poverty | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Please direct inquiries to the email addresses provided in the announcement below, not to We Can Do. Dirija por favor las preguntas a los correos electronicos abajo, no a We Can Do. Veuillez diriger les questions vers les email address fournis ci-dessous, pas a We Can Do.

Version française; Versión español

Dear Colleagues and Partners,

The adoption of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities marks a renewed commitment of the United Nations to improving the situation of people with disabilities, wherever they are. A man, a woman, or a child suffering from any kind of disability is much more likely to be poor, unemployed or discriminated against than a person without a disability. The disparity is even starker in developing countries.

More than 50 United Nations Development Program (UNDP) country offices in recent years have implemented programmes to recognize and respect the rights of persons living with disabilities, to provide them with training to help navigate better in life and to stand a better chance to be employed, to improve their participation in decision-making, to address the needs of millions of people who became disabled because of devastating conflicts and disasters. This year, UNDP made a commitment at the highest level to consolidate and strengthen our work to support persons with disabilities. On the other hand we are also looking at UNDP as employer and are decided to make our organization more accessible for employees, partners, and guests living with a disability.

In that context, we invite you to a blog-based discussion on Inclusion and Disability, to be held from 9 June to 9 July 2008. The blog-based discussion departs from traditional discussion methods. It is hosted on an interactive collaborative space hosted by UNDP Bratislava Regional Centre and enables each participant to share their views and resources. The lead
moderators will be:

  • Lance Clark, UNDP Resident Representative and UN Resident Coordinator, UNDP Serbia
  • Milena Isakovic, Programme Officer, UNDP Serbia
  • Marielza Oliveira, Programme Advisor, Regional Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Louise Nylin, Human Rights Advisor, Bratislava Regional Centre
  • Susanne Milcher, Social Inclusion Advisor, Bratislava Regional Centre
  • Ronald Wiman, author of the Manual on Inclusive Planning, Senior Social Development Advisor, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and STAKES, Finland
  • Geraldine Glassman, HR Associate, BOM/OHR/Staff Wellbeing Unit

To enrich the discussion, we encourage you to invite your colleagues and partners from UN agencies, the civil society, governments and media.

The outcomes of this discussion will help develop a UNDP policy and programming guidance document, as well as help formulate a more inclusive human resource strategy of UNDP.

To participate or contribute to the discussion, please notify by sending an e-mail to pr-net@groups.undp.org or to martin.santiago@undp.org

The specific details on how to participate will be shared on Monday 9 June.

We look forward to your participation.

Best regards,

Selim Jahan
Martin Santiago
Director, Poverty Practice
Director, Office of Human Resources

Co-chairs of UNDP’s Task Force on Disability

Version française
Chers Collègues et Partenaires,

L’ adoption de la Convention sur les Droits des Personnes Handicapées marque le renouvellement de l’engagement des Nations Unies à améliorer les conditions de vie des personnes handicapées, où qu’ils soient. Un homme, une femme ou un enfant affecté par une forme d’handicap court plus que d’autres, en pleine possession de leurs moyens, le risque d’être pauvre, sans emploi ou victime de discrimination. La différence est encore plus frappante dans les pays en développement.

Au cours des dernières années, plus de 50 bureaux de pays du PNUD ont mis en œuvre des programmes visant à reconnaître et respecter les droits des personnes handicapées, à leur fournir la formation nécessaire à pouvoir mieux se diriger dans la vie et être plus en mesure d’être recruté pour emploi, à augmenter leur participation dans la prise de décision, à répondre aux besoins de millions de personnes qui sont devenues victimes d’un handicap à la suite de conflits et catastrophes dévastateurs. Cette année, c’est à l’échelon le plus élevé que le PNUD s’est engagé à consolider et renforcer notre travail d’appui aux personnes handicapées. En outre, c’est aussi en tant qu’employeur que nous examinons le rôle du PNUD et nous sommes déterminés à faire en sorte que notre organisation soit plus accessible aux employés, partenaires et hôtes souffrant d’un handicap.

Dans ce contexte, nous vous invitons à une discussion sur le thème de L’Intégration et le Handicap hébergée sur un blog et prévue du 9 Juin au 9 Juillet 2008. Une discussion à partir d’un blog se démarque de méthodes traditionnelles de discussion. Elle sera hébergée sur un espace collaboratif interactif aménagé par le Centre Régional de Bratislava du PNUD et donne à chaque participant l’occasion de partager son point de vue et ses ressources. Les principaux modérateurs seront:

  • Lance Clark, Représentant Résident PNUD et Coordonateur Résident de l’ONU, PNUD Serbie
  • Milena Isakovic, Administrateur de Programme, PNUD Serbie
  • Marielza Oliveira, Conseiller pour les Programmes, Bureau régional d’Amérique Latine et des Caraïbes
  • Louise Nylin, Conseiller pour les Droits de l’Homme, Centre Régional de Bratislava
  • Susanne Milcher, Conseiller en matière d’Intégration Sociale, Centre Régional de Bratislava
  • Ronald Wiman, auteur du Manual on Inclusive Planning, (Manuel de Planification de l’Intégration) Conseiller principal en matière de Développement Social, Ministère des Affaires Etrangères et STAKES, Finlande
  • Geraldine Glassman, Associé RH, BOM/OHR/Staff Wellbeing Unit (cellule de bien-être du personnel)

Nous vous encourageons à enrichir la discussion en invitant vos collègues et partenaires d’agences onusiennes, de la société civile, des gouvernements et des médias.

Les résultats de cette discussion contribueront tant à l’élaboration d’un document d’orientation de politique et de programmation du PNUD, qu’à la formulation d’une stratégie de ressources humaines plus intégrante au sein du PNUD.

Pour participer ou contribuer à la discussion, prière de nous en avertir en envoyant un mail à pr-net@groups.undp.org ou à martin.santiago@undp.org.

Les détails spécifiques sur les modalités de participation seront communiqués le lundi 9 Juin.

Dans l’attente de votre participation.

Meilleures salutations,

Selim Jahan
Martin Santiago
Directeur, Pratique de la Lutte contre la Pauvreté
Directeur, Bureau des Ressources Humaines

Co-présidents de l’équipe spéciale duPNUD œuvrant sur les personnes handicapées

Version Español
Estimados colegas y socios,

La adopción de la Convención sobre los Derechos de Personas con Discapacidad marca un compromiso renovado de las Naciones Unidas a mejorar la situación de las personas con alguna discapacidad, sean de donde sean. Es mucho más probable que un hombre, mujer o niño que padezca cualquiera discapacidad sea pobre, desempleado o discriminando que una persona sin ninguna discapacidad. La disparidad es incluso más dura en los países en vías de desarrollo.

Durante los últimos años más de 50 oficinas de la UNDP en diferentes países han implementado programas para reconocer y respetar los derechos de las personas con alguna discapacidad, para suministrarles la formación necesaria para ayudarles a navegar por la vida con más facilidad y para que tengan más oportunidades de empleo, para su mejor participación en la toma de decisiones, y además los programas tratan de dirigirse a las necesidades de los miles de personas que son discapacitadas por causa de conflictos y desastres devastadores.

Este año la UNDP se está comprometido al nivel más alto, para consolidar y reforzar nuestro trabajo de apoyo a personas discapacitadas. Por otro lado, estamos también viendo a la UNDP como empleador y estamos decididos en hacer que nuestra organización sea más accesible a empleados, socios e invitados con discapacidades.

En este contexto, os invitamos a una discusión basada en un blog sobre Inclusión y Discapacidad, que tendrá lugar desde el 9 de junio hasta el 9 de julio de 2008. La discusión en un blog se desvía de los métodos tradicionales de discusión. Se encuentra en un espacio interactivo colaborativo presentado por el Centro Regional de la UNDP en Bratislava y permite que cada participante pueda compartir sus puntos de vista y sus recursos. Los moderadores clave serán:

  • Lance Clark, UNDP Representante Residente y Coordinador Residente, UNDPSerbia
  • Milena Isakovic, Oficial de Programa, UNDP Serbia
  • Marielza Oliveira, Asesor de Programa, Agencia Regional para América Latina y el Caribe
  • Louise Nylin, Asesor Derechos Humanos, Centro Regional de Bratislava
  • Susanne Milcher, Asesor de Inclusión Social, Centro Regional de Bratislava
  • Ronald Wiman, autor delManual on Inclusive Planning, Asesor Superior de Desarrollo Social, Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores y STAKES, Finlandia
  • Geraldine Glassman, Asociada de Recursos Humanos, BOM/OHR/Unidad del Bienestar de Empleados

Para enriquecer la discusión, os animamos a invitar a vuestros colegas y socios de las agencias de la ONU, la sociedad civil, los gobiernos y la prensa.

Los resultados de esta discusión ayudarán a desarrollar un documento de orientación de política y programación además de ayudar a formular una estrategia de recursos humanos de la UNDP más inclusiva.

Para participar o contribuir a la discusión, por favor, notificarnos con un correo electrónico a pr-net@groups.undp.org o responder a martin.santiago@undp.org.

Los detalles específicos de cómo participar estarán disponibles el lunes 9 de junio.

Esperamos vuestra participación.

Saludos

Selim Jahan
Martin Santiago
Director, Poverty Practice
Director, Office of Human Resources
Co-chairs of UNDP’s Task Force on Disability



We Can Do first learned about the UNDP blog-based discussion on Inclusion and Development via the Global Partnership on Disability and Development listserv.

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CALL FOR FILMS on Disabled People for International Disability Film Festival

Posted on 14 May 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Call for Audio & Visual Materials, Call for Nominations or Applications, Latin America & Caribbean, Opportunities | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Brazil’s International Disability Film Festival is licensing films to be screened on a new TV program about disability for Brazil’s Public TV (TV Brasil). They are searching for short films on this issue. These can be either documentary, fiction or animation films as long as there is a disabled person as the main character. The running time cannot exceed 25 minutes. If you have or know of a film with these characteristics that may interest Brazil’s International Disability Film Festival, please contact them at the following email addresses:

programa@assimvivemos.com.br
lara@lavoroproducoes.com.br
acioli@lavoroproducoes.com.br

Introduction: We are the producers of Brazil’s International Disability Film Festival. www.assimvivemos.com.br After three editions the festival will become a weekly TV program on Brazil’s Public TV. www.tvbrasil.org.br Brazil’s Public TV Broadcast covers the whole Brazilian territory. The Brazilian population is about 200 million people (98% are TV viewers).

Hoping to here from you soon,
Sincerely,
Lara Pozzobon & Gustavo Acioli
Producers



This post is slightly modified from an announcement circulated on the Global Partnership on Disability and Development (GPDD) listserv.

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RESOURCE: Disability Rights Advocacy Workbook

Posted on 24 April 2008. Filed under: Cross-Disability, Human Rights, Resources | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

How can disability advocates explain to others the difference between the “charity,” “medical,” “social,” and “rights” model of disability? How can communities and allies educate themselves about the challenges faced by people with disabilities in their countries? How can people with disabilities learn about laws in their country that affect their lives? How can advocates teach other people about human rights for people with disabilities and the importance of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)?

People seeking answers to these questions can turn to the Disability Rights Advocacy Workbook (PDF format, 421 Kb), published by Survivors Corps (formerly known as Landmine Survivors Network).

Section 1, entitled “Advocacy for People with Disabilities,” explains why the charity and medical models of disability are often disempowering and how the social and rights model can help. It shares advice on prioritizing among the many challenges experienced by people with disabilities and how to choose the most effective strategies for advocating for long-lasting change. The section also encourages strong collaboration among like-minded organizations and offers ideas for locating useful information and statistics. A set of exercises can guide advocates and allies through brainstorming exercises to help them examine the advocacy work they are already doing and how they can improve.

Section two, entitled “How Does Human Rights Advocacy Work?”, explains what human rights are and how various human rights documents helps protect them. The exercises makes recommendations for the kind of information that advocates should know about and how advocates can locate this information.

Section three, entitled “How Do You Use International Human Rights Treaties for Advocacy?”, discusses how existing human rights instruments can help people with disabilities–including, but not limited to, the new international disability rights treaty, called the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). It offers advice on how people can advocate for their country to ratify and then implement the CRPD.

Download the full 30 page workbook in PDF format (421 Kb) at:

http://www.handicap-international.fr/kit-pedagogique/documents/ressourcesdocumentaires/apadoption/DisabilityRightsAdvocacyWorkbook2007.pdf

Find more resources related to the CRPD at:

https://wecando.wordpress.com/resources-toolkits-and-funding/#CRPD resources

And at the RatifyNow web site:

http://www.RatifyNow.org



We Can Do learned about the Disability Rights Advocacy Handbook (PDF format, 421 Kb) by browsing the AskSource.info database on health, disability, and development.

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NEWS: Afghan Disabled Union Now Named Development & Ability Organization (DAO)

Posted on 17 April 2008. Filed under: Announcements, News, South Asian Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

The following notice is being circulated by the newly-renamed Development & Ability Organization (DAO), formerly named the Afghan Disabled Union

Dear All:

Hope that you will be in good health.

The Afghan Disabled Union ADU has been renamed to Development & Ability Organization (DAO). This was done to ensure that we are no longer using negative words for persons with disabilities such as “Disabled”, which in English language can also mean “unable” and Mayoub/Mayoubin in Afghanistan’s national languages.

DAO will present a copy of our new registration certificate with the Ministry of Economy to the donors and the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disabled with an official letter explaining the change of our name from Afghan Disabled Union ADU to Development & Ability Organization DAO.

However please note that our official emails will remain the same as before until 25/4/2008 and then it will be changed to director@daoafghanistan.org, admin@daoafghanistan.org and info@daoafghanistan.org.

For further information on DAO please refer to our website www.daoafghanistan.org although it is now under construction. Please also forgive me for any duplicate posting.

Kind regards,

Omara Khan Muneeb
Director DAO which was
Formerly Afghan Disabled Union ADU.



Thank you to Omara Khan Muneeb for submitting this notice to We Can Do.

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FREE Websites for Disabled People Organizations (DPOs)

Posted on 16 April 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Funding, Human Rights, Opportunities, Resources, South Asian Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The following notice is being circulated by DANISHKADAH.

Greeting from DANISHKADAH (an organization for empowerment of Persons with Disabilities and Deafness)!

We at DANISHKADAH pleased to offer FREE websites for Disabled People Organizations (DPOs), this include hosting, domain, and development of accessible Web Pages. (Initially for Pakistani DPOs, but request from DPOs from other country may be entertained)

The aim of this project is to;

1. give exposure to least developed DPOs, who do not have resources to build and maintain their websites. And bring them up to be introduced.
2. making an accessible web based network of local / national DPOs and join that with international organizations.
3. keep everyone update about the activities of these DPOs, and promote collaboration among DPOs.
4. motivate and support DPOs for building pressure for ratification and implementation of UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), and monitor the changes.

By this letter we are inviting all of the DPOs to send their request for website, on predefined form. Please fill the form and email us at danishkadah@gmail.com, those who do not have access to internet can post filled form on given address.

Offer Detail:
FREE webhosting
FREE domain 1
FREE website (4-6 pages) 2
Added advantage:
– website will be built according to the web accessibility standards
– Possibility of having website in local language as well in English
– Get indexed on search engines and have better visibility of your organization on Internet
– More exposure in disability movement at national and international level
– build a better image of your organization, for donors and volunteers.

1 Sub-domain
2 you have to provide text and image (photos, logo) for your website

Regards
Muhammad Akram
Founder & Chairman
DANISHKADAH
http://www.danishkadah.org.pk/Projects/NetworkingDPO/index.html

WEB BASED NETWORKING OF DPOs
A project of DANISHKADAH
( FREE Accessible Web hosting and developing for DPOs )
REQUEST FORM

Our organization ____________________________________________________
(organization’s name)
would like to request DANISHKADAH for FREE hosting and development of accessible website for our DPOs.

From our side the contact person will be _________________________________
(name)
__________________________________, and he/she will provide the content for the website.

We understand that this offer is purely on voluntarily basis from DANISHKADAH and may be terminated, modified at anytime without any prior notice. We also understand that DANISHKADAH may add any link or content in our web pages, however the content provided by us may not be amended without our permission. And we affirm that we shall not hold or blame DANISHKADAH for any error or other reasons whatsoever.

_____________________ DPOs’ STAMP _____________________
Signature President General Secretary
Send to – danishkadah@gmail.com or post to

M. Arkram
Founder & Chairman
DANISHKADAH
Address: D-63, Blcok 8, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Karachi-75300
Fax : ___________________

HOME | INTRODUCTION | PROJECTS | ACTIVITIES ARCHIVE | CONTACT
HOME: you can post recent news, invitation for your programs, and etc.
1. INTRODUCTION
1.1. Introduction
1.2. Vision, Mission, Objectives
1.3. Services (i.e special education, public awareness rising, rehabilitation, etc.)
1.4. Governing body (i.e. board of trustee, managing committee, whatever)
1.5. Membership (procedure detail and membership form if any)
1.6. Facts sheet
1.1.1. Established in _______
1.1.2. Registered with ______________ or non-registered NGO
1.1.3. Organization type – exclusively of / for deaf/blind/physically challenged, or mixed for all PWDs, or inclusive organization for PWDs and Non-PWDs
1.1.4. Total members, Male members, Female members, youth members (male / Female)
1.2. Wish list (if any)
2. PROJECTS (if any)
2.1. Existing project
2.1.1. Project 1, detail etc
2.1.2. Project 2, detail etc
2.2. Future project (planned)
2.2.1. Project 1 detail etc
2.2.2. Project 2 detail etc
3. ACTIVITIES AND NEWS ARCHIVE
3.1. 2008 Date wise activities such as;
3.1.1. December 3, 2007,
Celebrating International Day of Persons with Disabilities
a very brief one paragraph report and a
PHOTO.
3.2. 2007
3.2.1. December 3, 2007,
Celebrating International Day of Persons with Disabilities
a very brief one paragraph report and a
PHOTO.
3.2.2. September 11, 2007
Walk for the cause on International Day of Deaf Persons
a very brief on paragraph report and a
PHOTO
4. CONTACT
4.1. Address: _________________________________________
Phone: ____________________Fax: __________________
Mobile: __________________________________________
Email: ___________________________________________
Web: ____________________________________________

EXAMPLE
INTRODUCTION
Danishkadah is an NGO with a difference. Danishkadah means a place to learn / where wisdom excels. Danishkadah was established to empower persons with disabilities and deafness, and to work as a think-tank on disability related issues.

Danishkadah is not an ordinary Disabled People Organization (DPO) to chant slogans, or protest without proposing solutions. It is a non-political organization, which concentrates on issues and solutions. Our approach is inclusive working with all segments of the society.

We at Danishkadah believe in inclusion and collaboration with all the segments of society, i.e. Persons with Disabilities & Deafness (PWDDs), government, universities, media, corporate sector and general society. Without such collaboration, the ultimate goal of “accessible, barriers-free, and right base society” cannot be achieved.
Vision, Mission, Objectives
Our Vision
In our vision “knowledge is power”
Our Mission
Our mission is to empower Persons with Disabilities and Deafness (PWDD), so they can live better and independent lives. And our ultimate goal is “inclusive, barrier-free, and right based society” (Biwako Millennium framework – UNSCAPE)
Objective
1. Empower persons with Disabilities
2. Enhance technical skill in PWDs
3. Etc etc.
Services (i.e special education, public awareness rising, rehabilitation, etc.)
We offer following ;
• Basic literacy
• English Language
• Computer literacy
• Counseling
Governing body
Board or Trustee
• Mr. Muhammad Akram – Founder & Chairman
• Mr. Imranullah Shairrf – Member
• Mr. Muhammad Ashraf Member
Executive Committee
Mr. abc Secretary
…… …….
Membership (procedure detail and membership form if any)
Any one can become member by filling the given form and paying annual fee of Rs.10/-per year.
Facts sheet
Established in 2006
Registered with Registrar South Karachi
Organization type – an inclusive organization that welcome PWD and non-PWD alike
Total members 200, 150 Male , 50 Female, youth 100 male, 20 Female)
Wish list (if any)
– Computer laboratory
– Books
– etc
Note: You can attach a photo of your organization or group photo of your team to be displayed at top of introduction, and individual photo of your governing body to be displayed with each name.



Thank you to DANISHKADAH for circulating this notice. Please remember that applications or inquiries related to this opportunity should all be directed to DANISHKADAH at danishkadah@gmail.com, not We Can Do.

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Informational RESOURCE: Disability Web Portal Launched in India

Posted on 14 April 2008. Filed under: Cross-Disability, Education and Training Opportunities, Employment, Jobs & Internships, News, Opportunities, Rehabilitation, Resources, South Asian Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

A new interactive web portal for people with disabilities in India, called Punarbhava, has launched. This initiative of the Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI) and Media Lab Asia is targeted not only at persons with disabilities but also non-government organizations (NGOs), policy makers, caregivers, service providers, people working in the disability sector, and the public at large who wish to learn more about disability and related issues.

Among other things, the portal provides census
information about disabilities in India
and other data; information about various national and international laws affecting disabled people in India; information on documentaries and films or publications about disabilities; assistance in locating vocational training centers in India; information for rehabilitation professionals; resources for people with disabilities who are job hunting in India; information on training programs for professionals who wish to work with people with disabilities; and more.

People may learn more about the purpose of the Punarbhava web portal by reading its FAQ. Or start exploring the portal by following the link to:

http://punarbhava.in/



We Can Do first learned about the Punarbhava web portal through the Disabled Peoples International e-newsletter. More detail was gathered at the Punarbhava web portal itself.

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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 in full: BlogAfrica.com and www.RatifyNow.org. Other sites are most likely plagiarizing this post without permission.

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Bonn Declaration on Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Emergency Situations

Posted on 8 April 2008. Filed under: Disaster Planning & Mitigation, Inclusion, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The following Declaration was published at a recent international conference in Bonn, focused on people with disabilities in humanitarian emergency situations.

International Conference: Disasters are always inclusive. Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Emergency Situations
Bonn, 7 – 8 November, 2007

BONN DECLARATION
Preface – Situation Analysis
In humanitarian emergency situations, persons with disabilities are amongst the most vulnerable groups of society and tend to be disproportionately affected by the impacts of disasters. At the same time, they often remain ‘invisible’, even though their number statically makes up approximately ten percent of any population. Persons with disabilities, be they of physical, sensory, intellectual or psychological nature, are most often not included in the various stages of disaster response and in disaster preparedness measures, neither as recipients of aid to meet their basic as well as specific needs, nor as active stakeholders and designers or planners of aid measures, voicing their own needs and opinions. In addition, the incidence of new disabilities created by disasters is often not sufficiently taken into account and not responded to in an adequate, long-term manner, neither by local Governments, local NGOs or Disabled Peoples’ Organizations (DPOs), nor by intervening international NGOs. This lack of long-term rehabilitation perspective can lead to detrimental or even fatal outcomes for injured disaster victims, even after the disaster has long since passed and is no longer present in public awareness. This includes the neglect of severe trauma symptoms, which, if not professionally dealt with, can result in permanent psychological disabilities.

As a basis for a change of mindsets as well as for concrete action, the UN Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities, adopted in December 2006, constitutes the crucial instrument of international law to claim and reinforce equality and full participation of persons with disabilities. Article 11 calls for State parties to undertake “all measures to ensure protection and safety for persons with disabilities in situations of risk, including situations of armed conflict, humanitarian emergencies and the occurrence of natural disasters”.

In humanitarian emergency situations, humanitarian aid agencies and other stakeholders are called to comply with minimum standards and indicators of humanitarian aid in order to secure and protect lives, especially of vulnerable groups such as women, children, elderly and persons with disabilities. These minimum standards and indicators can be valuable guidelines, but are not yet sufficiently explicit and practical with regard to inclusion of persons with disabilities (for example refer to the handbook of The Sphere Project, 2004 edition).

In conclusion to the international conference “Disasters are always inclusive! Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Emergency Situations”, held November 7 and 8, 2007, a number of recommendations for inclusive disaster preparedness and emergency response in the sense of “Humanitarian Aid for ALL” were deduced. It was the common understanding that the most important and at the same time most difficult requirement is to change mindsets in such a way that inclusion becomes a matter of course. From there to actual practical adjustments towards inclusiveness of disaster preparedness and response programs is a much easier step.

I. Recommendations for Inclusive Disaster Response in General
II. Recommendations for Inclusive Disaster Preparedness Planning
III. Recommendations for Inclusive Response in Acute Emergency Situations and Immediate Rehabilitation Measures
IV. Recommendations for Inclusive Post-Disaster Reconstruction and Development Measures

I. Recommendations for Inclusive Disaster Response in General
It is important to ensure inclusion of persons with disabilities, their families and communities as well as Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) at every stage of disaster response, from planning to implementation, in order to cater for basic as well as special needs of persons with disabilities in pre, acute and post disaster situations.

Recommendations instrumental for inclusion in all stages of disaster response are:
1) Enable full participation of persons with disabilities and their families as active stakeholders and advisors;
2) Guarantee full accessibility for persons with disabilities and their families to information and services in pre, acute and post disaster situations;
3) Strive for involvement and creation of ownership of local government structures with regard to inclusive disaster response measures;
4) Lobby for government action plans for inclusion / disability mainstreaming in disaster response;
5) Strive for cooperation and networking between humanitarian aid agencies and organisations specialising in disability issues, both on the national and international level;
6) Define and learn from “best practices” of inclusion / disability mainstreaming in disaster response;
7) Adapt existing disaster response guidelines to include criteria and practical indicators for inclusion of disability issues;
8) Provide easily applicable methodologies and tools for practical inclusive action in disaster response;
9) Establish (self-)evaluation mechanisms to monitor and improve the quality of inclusion measures in disaster response;
10) Allocate adequate funding for disability issues in disaster response budgets as well as in development aid budgets for disaster prone areas.

II. Recommendations for Inclusive Disaster Preparedness Planning
Special focus must be directed towards inclusive disaster preparedness planning to ensure effective inclusive disaster response when an emergency actually takes place (be prepared = best case scenario).

Since the emergency affects local people in situ on the level of local communities, disaster preparedness planning must be community-based. Tailor-made community based disaster preparedness planning can then respond adequately to the special situations and needs of ALL, including vulnerable groups such as persons with disabilities, in a given community.

Recommendations instrumental for inclusive disaster preparedness planning are:
1) Raise sensitivity and awareness that disaster preparedness is important for all members of a community;
2) Raise sensitivity and awareness that persons with disabilities have basic and special needs that require specific attention in an emergency situation;
3) Mobilize and strengthen the capacities of local human resources, in particular individuals with disabilities, their families (especially the parents of the intellectually disabled), their village communities, local government structures, existing local DPOs, local research institutes etc;
4) Provide theoretical and practical training on disability issues (knowledge and skills) for relief workers, volunteers, family members etc. – Possible training topics: understanding disability and related basic and special needs; understanding and overcoming barriers; acquiring and improving practical skills by exercising communication techniques and evacuation methods adapted to the needs of persons with disabilities etc;
5) Involve disabled people themselves, their families and local DPOs in local needs assessments (participatory vulnerability mapping of communities);
6) Involve and train disabled people themselves, their families and local DPOs for participation in local disaster response task forces;
7) Establish a system of accountability for all involved stakeholders (local NGOs, voluntary task forces, local government structures etc), based on a catalogue of criteria / indicators and easily applicable self-monitoring systems to determine the degree and quality of inclusive preparedness.

III. Recommendations for Inclusive Response in Acute Emergency Situations and Immediate Rehabilitation Measures
Most often the “best case scenario”, meaning that inclusive disaster preparedness planning has taken place and preparedness measures are implemented, is not given at the incidence of disaster. Nevertheless, it is possible to include persons with disabilities in relief and in immediate rehabilitation measures.

Recommendations instrumental for inclusive relief and immediate rehabilitation after an acute emergency are:
1) Include issues of disability in rapid assessments of aid relevant sectors;
2) As a tool for rapid assessments, use easy to handle (updated) checklists which comprise disability related questions;
3) Find and provide assistance for the ‘invisible’ persons with disabilities already living in the disaster affected communities, including those with intellectual and psychological disabilities;
4) Pay adequate professional medical attention to newly injured or disabled persons to avoid medical complications, secondary disabilities or even fatal outcomes;
5) Avoid aggravation of injuries or new disabilities by inadequate transportation of injured persons during evacuation;
6) Pay adequate attention to the emotional and social needs of disaster victims to help them overcome normal trauma symptoms;
7) Pay adequate professional psychological attention to disaster victims displaying severe traumatic symptoms to avoid long-term psychic disabilities;
8) Include local and international experts for special focuses in rapid assessment teams and advisory teams, such as disability experts, psycho-social trauma counsellors, experienced persons with disabilities etc;
9) Strive for coordination of intervening stakeholders on the spot, for example through cluster meetings of local and international NGOs representing different aid sectors, including disability specific organisations;
10) Build alliances with other vulnerable groups, because what you do for one group (persons with disabilities) is often also valuable for others (elderly persons, pregnant or nursing mothers, mothers with many children etc);
11) Incorporate tools for inclusion in the context of relief and immediate rehabilitation into the next revision of The Sphere Project handbook (knowing about these tools is also an aspect of preparedness);
12) Link relief and immediate rehabilitation activities with long-term rehabilitation and development by negotiation and cooperation with local Governments and authorities.

IV. Recommendations for Inclusive Post-Disaster Reconstruction and Development Measures
Inclusive reconstruction and development, focussing on participation and empowerment of all groups of society and especially of vulnerable groups, leads to better living conditions than before the disaster and at the same time to a higher level of preparedness and thus reduction of vulnerability in the face of a potential next disaster.

Recommendations instrumental for inclusive post-disaster reconstruction and inclusive development are:

1) Apply principles of universal accessibility for ALL, including flexibility for adaptations to various needs of persons with disabilities when implementing housing reconstruction projects;
2) Include universal accessibility features when involved in planning and reconstruction of infrastructure and public facilities;
3) Involve beneficiaries as active participants in every stage of the reconstruction project cycle;
4) Facilitate and monitor inclusive planning and reconstruction with the help of expert advice from skilled and specialized persons with disabilities;
5) Allocate sufficient time for sensitization, awareness raising, negotiation and cooperation with key (local) stakeholders, such as affected communities, persons with disabilities and their families, DPOs, local authorities (community and national levels), professionals (architects, engineers) etc;
6) Lobby for government policies and minimum standards for barrier-free reconstruction, including reconstruction of infrastructure and public facilities (refer to article 9 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities);
7) Raise awareness for cost efficiency of barrier-free reconstruction from the very beginning as compared to subsequent technical adjustments;
8) Further develop and apply tools (checklists, manuals) for barrier-free reconstruction and adapt them to local environments (adjustment of minimum standards to local context);
9) Strive for continuation of medical care and rehabilitation as well as psycho-social support for persons injured or disabled by the disaster through their integration into long-term local public health programs;
10) Support the development of a referral system linking existing facilities required in long-term rehabilitation;
11) Develop self-help capacities of persons with disabilities and their families through livelihood programs (professional training, income generating projects);
12) Monitor and evaluate long-term rehabilitation and development measures to make necessary changes for improved impact and sustainability;
13) Make disaster preparedness planning a crucial element of and a trigger for inclusive community development (refer to paragraph I. of this document).
_____________________________________________________________________

The Bonn Declaration was composed and published as result of the international conference “Disasters are always inclusive. Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Emergency Situations” which took place from 7 – 8 November, 2007, in Bonn/Germany.

The conference was organized by Disability & Development Cooperation (bezev), Kindernothilfe, Christian Blind Mission, Caritas Germany International Dptm., Handicap International and Der Paritätische Gesamtverband.

Further information and documents on ‘Humanitarian Aid for All’, Inclusive Disaster Preparedness and Response are available under: www.bezev.de

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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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OPINION: The Farmer, the Spoon, and the Plow

Posted on 29 March 2008. Filed under: Human Rights, Opinion | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

The Farmer, the Spoon, and the Plow: Why the International Disability Rights Treaty (CRPD) is Worth Celebrating

This allegorical tale is meant to highlight why the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is well worth celebrating—and why our work isn’t done just because it’s about to enter into force.

Historical Note: The CRPD is an international treaty intended to protect a wide range of human rights for people with disabilities, including the right to live in the community (not an institution), to have access to public services, to be free of discrimination, and more. It does not create new rights. Rather, it is meant to ensure that people with disabilities are able to access the same rights that other people in their country already enjoy. This tale was written a month before the CRPD first entered into force on May 3, 2008, with 20 ratifying countries. Today, in October 2009, more than 70 countries have ratified the CRPD and more than 140 countries have signed it. The full text of the CRPD, and a full list of countries signing or ratifying the CRPD, is available at http://www.un.org/disabilities. A country is not fully obligated to obey the treaty until after it not only signs but also ratifies the CRPD.

Before the CRPD Was Created
Once upon a time, there were 650 million farmers who tended to thousands of fields in 200 nations. Some of the fields were more fertile than other fields. Some received more rain and sun than others. Some fields were filled with rocks and other obstacles that made it very hard for farmers to plant and harvest food. In order to do any plowing, the farmers first had to remove the stones. All the fields were very large: it could easily take a farmer many years to finish plowing or harvesting even the smallest field. But even in size, the fields varied greatly.

It was not only the fields that were so dramatically different from each other. Each farmer also had a different set of tools. Some farmers had only tiny teaspoons, some of which were broken and not even working properly. Some farmers had table spoons or even large stirring spoons. A few farmers had been taught how to make shovels and were able to use those.

Farmers with shovels were usually able to plow their fields more quickly than farmers with teaspoons. But sometimes a farmer with a shovel had to clear away so many stones from her field that she would finish far less plowing than a farmer with only a teaspoon but an easier field.

But all the farmers were frustrated. No matter how easy their field was to plow, or how fertile it was, or how much dirt their spoons could hold, all their fields were simply too large to complete with the tools they had. Some farmers despaired of their task, gave up completely, and starved. Some farmers continued to work in grim determination and were able to grow a little food for their trouble. But it was never enough—not because they were lazy or greedy but simply because their tools weren’t powerful enough.

Creating the CRPD; Signing it; Ratifying it
Some of the farmers decided to do something about their deplorable living conditions. These farmers worked together to build a set of plows and agreed to make all the plows available to any farmer who needed them. They named their set of plows the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Sometimes they referred to them more informally as the international disability rights treaty. Or they refered to them as the CRPD for short.

Some of the farmers lived in governments that usually did little to invest in the needs of their farmers. Consequently, these governments choose not to allow their farmers to use the new plows at all. Some of the farmers who had been forbidden to use the plows banded together into various national and international organizations, such as RatifyNow, to pressure their governments to deliver the plows to them. In some cases, the farmers have had success and can now use the CRPD. In other cases, the farmers are still fighting but are experiencing progress.

Some governments made promises to buy these new plows for their farmers. But then they locked the plows into a shed and never got around to allowing the farmers to actually use them. In some cases, farmers in these countries decided the plows were useless for them. After all, their government had bought the plows, but the plows accomplished nothing for them.

In other cases, the farmers realized that the plows themselves were not flawed–the real problem was in the fact that the plows were not being used. They, too, organized themselves to put pressure on their governments to make better use of the plows. After many years of hard work, they convinced their governments to unlock the plows so they could be used.

Now We Have the CRPD, Our Work is Done. Or is it?
Some farmers were allowed to use the plows but did not understand why they would want to. “Look, we already have tools for plowing our fields,” they said. “And what good have they done for us? They still take forever to use. Why would a plow be any better?” They ignored the plows and continued using the tools they knew. They continued to have all the same troubles they had before the plows were built.

Other farmers, at first, were thrilled to have the plows. They allowed the plow to sit in their fields and immediately stopped working. “The plow will take care of all our problems now,” they said. “After, that’s what it’s meant to do, isn’t it? It will fight our poverty and starvation for us. When our governments try to oppress us with harmful laws and regulations, it will fight back for us. When schools deny our children the right to enter the classroom, or when clinics refuse to provide us with health services, then the plows will tell them to stop discriminating against us. The schools and clinics will immediately obey the plows and give us our rights. It’s as simple as that.”

After a few years of allowing their plows to sit untended in their fields, these farmers realized that their fields were still unplowed. The farmers, for their part, were still poor and hungry, their children were still uneducated, and their families were still sick.

They became angry and blamed the plows for being faulty. They sneered at the plows and at the people who had built them. “These plows sure look pretty, but what good are they?” These farmers said. “What do they actually accomplish? If these plows are so wonderful then why are we still poor, hungry, uneducated, and sick?” They abandoned the plows, and so the plows did nothing for them.

Why Do We Need to Learn About the CRPD?
Another group of farmers started using the plows, but they didn’t read the instruction manual that came with them. They did the best they could without the instruction manual. Sometimes they found that they did accomplish more with the plows than they ever had with their spoons and shovels. But still, they were severely disappointed. The plows were not nearly as productive for them as they had initially hoped. They continued using the plows because it was what they had, but they became angry that the plows accomplished so little for them.

Fully Implementing the CRPD
Yet another group of farmers were careful to read the instruction manual thoroughly. They used every feature the plows had in every situation for which these features were helpful.

Farming still did not become magically easy for any of the farmers. They still had to work very hard. Some farmers still had far larger fields than other farmers, and thus took longer to finish their work. Some farmers had to work very slowly because they had to spend so much time clearing away stones before they could use their plows at all. These farmers, too, took longer than other farmers to finish their work.

But all the farmers found that their plows were a vast improvement over the tools they had used before. They were thrilled with the plows and decided to celebrate them.

The Moral of the Tale
So what’s the moral of this allegorical tale?

First, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is potentially a very powerful tool that could accomplish a great deal for people with disabilities around the world. That’s a good thing because the world’s 650 million disabled people are far more likely to live in poverty, or be targeted for violence, or be left behind during natural disasters and wars. The CRPD, if properly understood and properly used, could help with all of these challenges.

But, second, it is only a tool and nothing more. It’s not a magic wand or an instant cure for all that ails. A plow cannot help a farmer if the farmer has no access to it; similarly, the CRPD will be of limited help to people with disabilities if not enough countries ratify it. 

A plow continues to be useless if it is locked up in a shed. Similarly, even a ratified human rights treaty is useless if governments fail to take responsibility for implementing it. Governments must not merely ratify the CRPD but also create and pass laws that are consistent with the CRPD. Governments must abolish laws that are inconsistent with its intent and spirit. And governments must enforce its laws by taking action when they are violated.

The Importance of Grassroots Action
But it is not only governments that must take responsibility for the success of the CRPD. Ordinary citizens, with or without disabilities, must take responsibility for reading the instruction manual—in other words, educating themselves about the CRPD. Then they must learn how to use the CRPD to its maximum potential.

For example, if they realize that disabled people in their country are being denied the chance to go to school, they can go to their government and to the schools and teachers themselves to argue, “The CRPD requires that disabled people have the right to an education. This country has ratified the CRPD. Therefore, if disabled people still face barriers to obtaining an education, then the government and schools are failing in their legal obligations.” This argument could help persuade governments to create better laws, persuade schools to create better policies, and teachers to reconsider their teaching practices.

But organizations can only use these arguments if they first understand that the CRPD addresses the right to an education (see article 24 in the CRPD).

Removing Stones From the Field
Furthermore, people must be prepared to identify and remove obstacles that make it harder to fully implement the CRPD. In other words, they still need to find and remove the stones from their field. The CRPD cannot do this for them.

For example, attitudes and beliefs about disabled people are often a barrier to the full achievement of human rights even after good-quality laws might be put in place. If too many people mistakenly believe that people with disabilities cannot be productive, then few employers will give jobs to disabled people no matter what the law says. This is an obstacle that must be removed before the CRPD can be fully effective.

Article 8 of the CRPD, in fact, clearly acknowledges the importance of attitudes as a potential barrier to the success of the CRPD. This article calls upon ratifying governments to raise awareness in general society about the rights of persons with disabilities.

But the best teachers about the true capability of people with disabilities are people with disabilities themselves. The government can only support the work of educating the public and provide the resources to help make it happen. The disability community still needs to take the lead.

Achieving Human Rights
Just like farmers could still tend to their fields without a plow, disability advocates could still advocate for their rights without the CRPD. But in both cases, their work will be much harder without the proper tools.

Farmers who fail to use their plows will fail to accomplish anything with them. And farmers who fail to remove the stones from their fields will not get very far either. Similarly, disability advocates will not benefit from the CRPD if they do not learn how to use it, or if they neglect to remove the barriers that are blocking the CRPD from success.

But once they do these things, they will start to unleash the true power of the CRPD. It will still take many long years of hard work to realize the full potential of the CRPD. But during these years of sweat and tears, disability advocates can potentially accomplish far more with the CRPD than they could without it.

That’s why it’s worth celebrating the CRPD.



This blog post was written as a contribution for the RatifyNow CRPD Blog Swarm 2008, which was organized to help celebrate and promote the CRPD. A blog swarm is an event in which multiple bloggers or writers agree to write about the same topic at about the same time—in this case, about the CRPD. Please follow the link to read the other entries in the blog swarm.

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

You can also educate yourself about the CRPD by reading the RatifyNow FAQ.

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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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Catch up with the news; explore resources, toolkits, or funding and fellowship opportunities; find research, reports, papers, or statistics; or look up conferences, events, call for papers, or education/training opportunities.

We Can Do Copyright
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 in full: BlogAfrica.com and www.RatifyNow.org. Other sites are most likely plagiarizing this post without permission.

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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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RESOURCE, FUNDING: Network to Exchange Success Stories

Posted on 6 March 2008. Filed under: Case Studies, Funding, News, Opportunities, Poverty | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Organizations that have “success stories” to share now have a way to reach a wider audience. And organizations that wish to learn from other successful projects now have a resource to which they can turn.

A few of the very best, most innovative participating projects might also obtain funding. (If interested in funding, submit stories to IFAP by March 31, 2008.)

The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has launched an Information for All Programme (IFAP) whose purpose is to encourage communities to share their success stories with each other. All organizations are invited to submit their stories about successful projects to its online platform. Others can then read about these projects and perhaps replicate them or adapt them to their own local situations.

The IFAP is particularly interested in stories that involve using information to support development. The aim of IFAP is to promote good practices in using information for development in all parts of the world.

If you submit your story before March 31, 2008, then it may be considered for grant funding. IFAP will choose up to five of the most innovative success stories to receive funding support of $5,000.

Stories may be submitted at any time, including after March 31, to be shared with others. But late submissions cannot be considered for the grant funding competition. Instead, they will simply be made available for others to read and learn from. Submitting your stories, even if you do not win funding support, can be a way to help make more people aware about your organization and your projects.

IFAP wants stories in the following thematic areas:

  • Poverty reduction,
  • Health,
  • Education,
  • Disaster prevention,
  • Governance,
  • and Human Development.

IFAP asks that each story submitted to their database should include the following information (note that the last one specifically references people with disabilities):

  • identify the community that has benefitted from the use of information
  • explain what difference access to information has made for this community
  • focus on content and not on technology
  • describe how the initiative could be replicated
  • take account of any gender issues, noting that UNESCO’s priority focus is on women
  • identify any benefits for disadvantaged groups such as people with disabilities

IFAP also wants stories to follow a standard format:

  • Between 250 and 500 words in English or French
  • Respond to the questions: who, when, where, what, how and why?
  • Upload up to 3 photos of at least 300 dpi in .jpg format
  • Upload a short (5 minutes) video clip if available
  • Provide links to any related web sites

Learn more about the IFAP initiative at:

http://www.unesco-ci.org/cgi-bin/ifapstories/page.cgi?g=;d=1

At the IFAP website, you can register your organization; submit your own story for the IFAP database (after registration); and read, rate, and comment on other people’s stories.

IFAP Accessibility for blind people
Blind people will need to note that, unfortunately, the IFAP site does not seem to be fully accessible. It might be possible to at least read their information, including the stories that other people have left there. However, in order to register your organization, submit a story, or contact IFAP through their contact form, you need to fill out a “visual captcha.” This means they want people to prove they are human beings (not automated robots) by reading a visual image and typing the letters they see in the image. The image is not accessible to screen readers.

If you are blind, you may need to recruit a sighted person to assist you in filling out the IFAP registration form. If you do this, you may also wish to ask the sighted person to help you submit an email to IFAP urging them to make their web site more accessible to you.

I have already submitted two complaints of my own (one using the “support” button and the “contact” button). But they might listen harder if they realize that there are actual blind people out there who are trying to use their site. (Yes. Blind people with ideas to offer. Imagine that. Please read this in a scarcastic tone of voice.) Unfortunately, both the “support” button and the “contact” button also use visual captchas, so those aren’t directly accessible to blind people either.

Further comments about accessibility at the <a href=”IFAP website“>IFAP web site are invited in the comments area below. I will try to pass along any additional concerns I receive here to IFAP, especially if you have trouble submitting your own comments to them.



We Can Do learned about the IFAP intiative through the Disabled People International (DPI) email newsletter.

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PAPER: Disability and Poverty: A Survey of World Bank Poverty Assessments and Implications

Posted on 4 March 2008. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Cross-Disability, Poverty | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

The World Bank Group has released a new paper entitled “Disability and Poverty: A Survey of World Bank Poverty Assessments and Implications,” by Jeanine Braithwaite and Daniel Mont.

The paper surveys World Bank poverty assessment literature on the relationship between disability and poverty. It finds that it is difficult to accurately assess the link between disability and poverty because household surveys on consumption (used to assess consumption-based poverty) frequently don’t ask about the disability status of household members.

Also, it is difficult to define or measure “disability.” For example, simply asking if people are disabled misses many disabled people because they may wish to avoid the stigma of disability. Or,some people may assume that “disability” necessarily refers only to significant impairments. These people might not bother to report mild or moderate impairments.

Another complication in poverty and disability research is that many existing surveys do not account for the fact that people with disabilities have different consumption needs than other people. For example, they might need to spend income on Braille, wheelchairs, or other items that non-disabled people do not need. The money spent on these items diverts income from other consumption that could raise the living standards of the household. Thus, a disabled person with the same income as a non-disabled person may actually be poorer.

The authors suggest directions for further research into disability and poverty.

The full, 32-page paper can be downloaded in PDF format (250 Kb) at:

http://siteresources.worldbank.org/SOCIALPROTECTION/Resources/SP-Discussion-papers/Disability-DP/0805.pdf



We Can Do learned about this paper via contacts within the World Bank.

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



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



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

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PUBLICATION: Feb Issue UN Enable Newsletter

Posted on 28 February 2008. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Cross-Disability, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Human Rights, News, Psychiatric Disabilities, South Asian Region, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The second monthly issue of United Nation’s Enable Newsletter has now been released. The initial launch of this newsletter was announced at We Can Do last month.

A sampling of headlines for the February issue is listed below, except that I have modified them to spell out most acronyms. To read the full stories (usually one or two paragraphs each), consult the February issue of the Enable Newsletter at http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?id=312

  • UN Commission Renews Mandate for Special Rapporteur and Agrees on Mainstreaming Disability in Development.
  • United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator Makes New Commitment to Disability
  • World Bank and Organizaiton for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Conduct Joint Effort for the Achievement of Millennium Development Goals 2 & 3. [We Can Do note, for those new to international development: the Millennium Development Goals are a set of targets agreed upon by country governments and development agencies for reducing global poverty and improving global health; more information at http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/
  • World Bank Psycho-Social Listserv is Open for Sign-Up at http://go.worldbank.org/SIP5GYWK00
  • International Labour Organization (ILO) to Produce Advocacy Kit on Decent Work for Persons with Disabilities
  • Ratification Talk in Serbia
  • Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Raises Awareness in the Maldives
  • Sharing Experiences on Best Practices in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Services for Persons with Disabilities
  • Identifying Concrete Actions in Mozambique Towards Implementation of the Convention
  • Atlas: Global Resources for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities (Atlas-ID) (We Can Do note: The launch of this Atlas also was announced at We Can Do).
  • United Nations Information Center (UNIC) Moscow Hosts Discussion on Persons with Disabilities

The February issue of the Enable Newsletter also lists several publications and upcoming events. You can read the January or February issue for free. Or you can sign up for a free subscription to receive each month’s newsletter via email, for free. All available at:

http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?id=312



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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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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NEWS: San Marino to Ratify Intl Disability Rights Treaty

Posted on 23 February 2008. Filed under: Human Rights, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The RatifyNow web site reports that the small, Southern European country of San Marino may be ratifying the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) as early as today, February 22, 2008. This means that the CRPD would now require only three more countries before it can go into full legal force. Watch the RatifyNow web site for official confirmation of San Marino’s ratification. Read the RatifyNow FAQ to learn more about the process for ratifying the CRPD and what the CRPD means for disabled people around the world.

San Marino, with its population of 29,000 people, is in a small enclave within Italy.

RatifyNow is an organization working to maximize the number of countries that sign, ratify, and implement the CRPD.



Most of the text in this post is taken from RatifyNow.org with permission of author.

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 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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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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NETWORK on Emergency and Disability

Posted on 18 February 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Cross-Disability, Disaster Planning & Mitigation, Resources | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

*Call For Participation In New Network On Emergency And Disability*

Deadline: No deadline and no charges

An informal network is being set up with the objective of providing a platform for dialogue and exchange of information amongst stakeholders interested in issues relating to disability and disaster.

The creation of this network was established as part of the European Union (EU)’s “Rescuing Injured Disabled Persons in Case of Disaster” and “Flooding: Response and Simulation Schemes for Safety of Disabled” projects. Building a solid network of stakeholders in Europe and strengthening the dialogue between experts, researchers and existing networks on the subject will establish a foundation for the sustainability of these projects and its achievements.

For information, please email madamoli@ulss20.verona.it



We Can Do first learned about this network through the Disabled People International 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.



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



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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SURVEY: HIV/AIDS Among Jamaicans with Disabilities

Posted on 13 February 2008. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Announcements, Cross-Disability, Health, HIV/AIDS, Latin America & Caribbean | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Graduate student Nalini Asha Reyes at San Diego State University in California, USA, is conducting a survey about HIV/AIDS among people with disability in Jamaica. Her survey is based on an earlier, similar global survey by researcher Dr. Nora Groce at Yale University.

Nalini Asha Reyes is looking for people to participate in her survey. She is particularly looking for people in or from Jamaica but will also welcome survey results from elsewhere in the Caribbean. If interested in participating, please read her letter below then contact her at naliniasha@gmail.com to request a copy of the survey. She can send it to you in Word document or PDF format.

HIV/AIDS and Disability in Jamaica Survey

Please help:

Today, little is known about HIV/AIDS among people with disability. We would like to know how the epidemic is affecting individuals and groups with all types of disability in Jamaica and we ask you to help. We are interested in disabled people of all ages, and disabled people living with their families, on their, own, or in institutions.

We send this survey with the request that you fill it out on behalf of the organization or advocacy group you work with. (If you think someone else in your organization would know more about these questions, please give it to them to fill out). Your information has been provided either through the public website of the National Aids Committee of Jamaica, or by an Internet search using the words, “HIV/AIDS,” “Jamaica,” and “Disability.”

We are interested in hearing both from organizations that are working on HIV/AIDS issues and from organizations that are not currently involved in HIV/AIDS issues.

We will be looking for information about programs that provide HIV/AIDS education, interventions and services to disabled people and communities. We would also welcome stories from Disability advocates about attempts to get help for HIV/AIDS in one’s community, examples about not being able to get help for one’s community, stories about governments and HIV/AIDS voluntary organizations that have tried to reach disabled people and so forth.

You must be over the age of 18 to complete and return this survey.

This survey should require less than 30 minutes of your time, and can be saved and emailed back as a PDF or MS Word document. Please note that there are no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answers to any of these questions. Also, feel free to leave blank any questions for which you may not know the answer or which you may not feel comfortable answering. However, keep in mind we realize there is often little information available on this topic and so we are also interested in people’s ideas, impressions, knowledge, practices and attitudes. All information submitted will be kept completely confidential and will never be linked to your organization or team. Also, please note that we are not asking (and do not want) personal information or names of individuals who might have HIV/AIDS – we feel it is very important that we do not invade anyone’s privacy.

If you already have information about HIV/AIDS and Disability from your own organization or educational materials, information on training, studies, meetings, newspaper articles, or other materials relating to HIV/AIDS that you would like to share with us, we would appreciate it. If you know of a program or project that you think we should learn more about, please let us know. Finally, if you know of other Disability organizations, advocates, or government agencies who might have information about HIV/AIDS and Disability, we would appreciate it if you would forward this announcement on to them.

Language: If it is easier for you to write in a language other than English, please fill out the form in whatever language is easiest for you.

Sincerest thanks,

Nalini Asha Reyes
Graduate Student and Special Education Teacher
San Diego State University, 5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 92182-1170, USA
Phone: + 858.531.0847
e-mail: naliniasha@gmail.com

John R. Johnson, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
San Diego State University
College of Education; Department of Special Education
5500 Campanile Dr., San Diego, CA 92182-1170
Phone: +619.594.3841; Fax: +619.594.6628
Email: johnson7@mail.sdsu.edu

Again, people interested in participating in the survey should send an email to Nalini Asha Reyes at naliniasha@gmail.com to request a copy of the survey.



Thank you to Nalini Asha Reyes for alerting me to this survey. I hope to be able to eventually post or link to the results of this survey.



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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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.



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

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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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