International Conference on Accessible Tourism, 22-24 April 2009, Singapore

Posted on 24 November 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Cross-Disability, East Asia Pacific Region, Events and Conferences, Opportunities | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

International Conference on Accessible Tourism 2009
April 22 – 24, 2009
YWCA Fort Canning Lodge, Singapore

Singapore welcomes you with open arms to ‘Tourism Unlimited: Access for All’. The Disabled People’s Association or DPI-Singapore, in line with its mission to be the Voice of People with Disabilities, will host the Third International Conference for Accessible Tourism (ICAT) 2009.

More than just a platform for advocating accessibility for all, ICAT 2009 also serves as a profitable avenue for the travel and tourism sector to explore the many possibilities of expanding their businesses by being inclusive.

Understanding the promising business ventures of Accessible Tourism in a growing market will benefit not only the travel and tourism sector but also greatly enhance the way of life of all residents the host country.

ICAT 2009 opens the doors to a Uniquely Singapore, A Global City for All!

For more information, please visit http://www.icat2009.com.sg



This announcement was circulated on the AsiaPacificDisability mailing list; inquiries related to this conference should please be directed to the conference organizers, NOT We Can Do. Please consult the <a href=”conference web site for contact information.

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NEWS: Disability Advocate Venus Ilagan Appointed as New RI Secretary General

Posted on 16 July 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Human Rights, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Distinguished Disability Advocate Venus Ilagan Appointed as New RI Secretary General

(New York, New York, US, July 14, 2008)

Rehabilitation International
(RI) is pleased to announce the appointment of a new Secretary General, Venus Ilagan of the Philippines. As a woman with a disability from the South, Venus has worked tirelessly to advance the rights of persons with disabilities, particularly during the negotiations for the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Venus is expected to commence this important new role in September 2008, subject to resolution of visa and contractual arrangements, and Venus will be based at the RI headquarters in New York City, New York.

Venus is a well-known advocate for the rights of persons with disabilities for years. As a leader in the National Organization of Disabled Peoples’ of the Philippines (KAMPI) and the Differently-Abled Women’s Network (DAWN) of the Philippines, as well as holding various positions, including Chairperson, of Disabled Peoples’ International (DPI), Venus has promoted disability rights at the national, regional and international levels. Her vast experience with UN agencies and other international organizations includes her consultancy work with the Asian Development Bank and the World Health Organization.

As a representative of DPI, Venus has strong links within the International Disability Alliance (IDA), a coalition of 10 international and regional organizations of persons with disabilities, and served as IDA Chair from May 2004 -May 2005. She is well regarded within IDA and the newly created IDA CRPD Forum, of which RI serves as the Secretariat.

RI President Michael Fox remarked, “We are extremely pleased that Venus will be joining the RI team. She will be leading the RI Secretariat at a critical time in our growth, with the focus on implementation of the UN Convention and growth of the RI Foundation. We very much look forward to working with her and sharing her insights and experience.”

RI will formally welcome Venus as our new Secretary General during the RI World Congress, to be held in August 2008 in Quebec City, Canada. For more information about this event, please visit www.riquebec2008.org

RI also takes this opportunity to show our great appreciation to the current Secretary General, Tomas Lagerwall of Sweden. Since joining the RI Secretariat in 2001, Tomas has further developed excellent relations with RI membership in many countries, and has provided key support to the development of IDA. Tomas played an important role during the successful negotiations and coming into force of the CRPD. Tomas has demonstrated an enormous dedication to RI, and the RI Executive Committee and members most sincerely thank Tomas for his seven years of service to RI. 

About RI
Founded in 1922, RI is a global network of organizations of persons with disabilities, government agencies, service providers, researchers and advocates promoting and implementing the rights and inclusion of persons with disabilities. RI is currently composed of about 1,000 members and affiliated organizations in 93 nations, in all regions of the world.

For more information about RI, please visit their accessible website: http://www.riglobal.org.



The above announcement was circulated by Rehabilitation International. I retrieved it from the AdHoc_IDC email discussion group.

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Publication Seeks Stories by and about Children, Youth with Disabilities

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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Equal Opportunity for All: Teaching Disability Rights in the Caribbean

Posted on 2 June 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Cross-Disability, Education, Employment, Human Rights, Inclusion, Latin America & Caribbean, Resources | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Disabled Peoples’ International (DPI) North America and the Caribbean (NAC) has released a guide that can be used to educate the general public about disability etiquette and the disability rights movement. The 33-page booklet, entitled Equal Opportunities for All: Respecting the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (PDF format 551 Kb), is targeted at people in the North American and Caribbean regions who are new to disability. But most of its information is broad enough that it may be useful for people in other regions as well.

International development professionals new to disability issues may find this guide helpful in answering questions they were too embarassed to ask disability advocates directly. Disability advocates may find the booklet’s simple, accessible language and clear information helpful in their public outreach campaigns.

The booklet defines “disability”; describes what a “barrier free” world would look like; and recommends appropriate language to use when referring to people with disabilities. It also shares basic advice for etiquette useful for people who have little to no prior experience interacting with disabled people. For example, it encourages readers to speak directly to a person with disabilities–not to their friend, aide, or interpreter. It also shares more specific advice for interacting with people who are blind; deaf; have specific learning disabilities; have intellectual disabilities; use a wheelchair; or who have psycho-social (psychiatric) disabilities.

Subsequent sections of the booklet tackle topics such as mainstreaming in education; how to make schools, places of employment, and the community more accessible; and the new Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The guide presents arguments for why everyone (not just people with disabilities) should care about accessibility.

People unfamiliar with the disability-oriented resources available in the Caribbean region will want to turn to this booklet’s listing of organizations and schools in Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago. (Want to find more disability-related organizations? Try checking other We Can Do posts that point to specific organizations or to resources for finding them.)

A glossary in the back helps people new to disability issues understand basic terminology such as “accommodation.”

You can download the booklet (PDF format, 551 Kb) at:

http://caribbean.dpi.org/Equal%20Opportunities%20for%20All%20-%20May%2008%20Update.pdf



I first learned about this handbook via the Disabled Peoples’ International electronic newsletter. I gathered further detail by skimming the guide itself.

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RESOURCE: AIFO, DPI Release Training Manual on Human Rights for Persons with Disabilities

Posted on 4 April 2008. Filed under: Human Rights, Resources | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

In recent months, many new training manuals have been released targeted at those who wish to train themselves or others in the human rights of people with disabilities, with a particular focus on the new international disability rights treaty, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The latest of these, entitled “The Training Manual on Human Rights for Persons with Disabilities,” (PDF format, 617 Kb) was launched in March by AIFO (Italian Association Amici di Raoul Follereau) and DPI (Disabled Peoples International) Italy in collaboration with the Mongolian National Federation of Organizations of Persons with Disabilities, with financial contributions from the United Nations.

The new training manual, available in both English and Mongolian, is meant to promote the participation of people with disabilities and their families in ratifying and implementing the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). AIFO and DPI also are supervising the translation of the manual into French, Spanish, and Portuguese. (I was unable to find the Mongolian text on-line; if someone knows of a link, please let me know using the comments area below.)

Some of the front material (foreword, introduction, etc.), to my mind at least, is marred by clumsy writing. Either the foreword or the introduction or both should, for example, clarify precisely the intended audience for the training manual. Yes, the description given by Disabled People International states that the manual is meant to help people with disabilities and their families. But are they meant to read the training manual directly? Or is the manual meant to be read by trainers who then use the manual as a guide in training the target audience? From reading the main body of the manual I would guess the latter. But this information is not made immediately clear for the casual reader.

However, The Training Manual on Human Rights for Persons with Disabilities (PDF format, 617 Kb) does have some redeeming content. For example, it begins with a brief history of the United Nations and other international institutions related to disability and human rights. It then reviews why human rights conventions matter and in what ways they can help create change. It provides a history of people with disabilities and explains how the more modern human rights perspective differs from older attitudes. This kind of information provides helpful background content for the reader that can help in understanding the relevance and importance of the CRPD. It then guides the reader through a summary of the 50 articles of the CRPD with suggested teaching points for each. Perhaps the most helpful part of the manual are its extensive appendices, which point readers at a rich collection of documents and web sites on human rights, including disability rights.

Some of the guidance this manual offers for would-be trainers is very broad. For example, one passage says this, “Underline the importance of statistics concerning disability [….] Illustrate the condition of the people with disabilities of the country in various areas related to rights using the available data, publications and reports.” (Section 2.4.1) However, the manual does not–at least in my admittedly superficial review–point readers to resources that could help them locate statistics relevant to their country. Nor does it suggest how trainers might improvise if relevant statistics for their country are either non-existent or of poor quality.

The vagueness of its advice suggests that this training manual may be most helpful to people who are already very knowledgeable about disability and disability rights, including how to locate additional information relevant to the training they wish to provide. It is probably also most helpful to individuals who already have prior experience in independently designing their own lectures and workshop activities with minimal guidance. Because minimal guidance is all it provides.

Would-be trainers who need concretely detailed teaching content, a suggested training schedule, or other structured guidance may be better off consulting some of the other materials that have become available within the past year. (See further below for suggested links.)

The Training Manual on Human Rights for Persons with Disabilities (617 Kb) can be downloaded for free in PDF format at:

http://www.aifo.it/english/resources/online/books/cbr/manual_human_rights-disability-eng07.pdf

Those of you who prefer to draw upon more structured lesson plans, or who have too little time to develop your own handouts or power point programs, may wish to consider linking to one or both of these (click on the relevant title that you want):

Training Manual in Disability Human Rights
Teaching Kit on International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Also consult the guide to

Resources and Toolkits on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)



We Can Do learned about the AIFO/DPI Training Manual on Human Rights for Persons with Disabilities (PDF format, 617 Kb) via the Disabled Peoples International electronic newsletter, which is available for free.

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