Training Opportunity: Digital Storytelling Project, June 8-12, 2009, for African Youth with Disabilities and Allies

Posted on 16 April 2009. Filed under: Announcements, Arts, Call for Nominations or Applications, Capacity Building and Leadership, Children, Education and Training Opportunities, Families, Funding, Media & Journalism, Opportunities, Sub-Saharan Africa Region, technology, Women, youth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Secretariat of the African Decade for Persons with Disabilities (SADPD)
APC-Africa-Women and Women’sNet
invite you to
Submit an application to participate in a Digital Storytelling Project
Application DUE 3 May 2009
Workshop dates 8 -12 June 2009

“It’s in the telling of our stories that we discover how much of our experiences and learning we have in common with others. Stories make our connection with others and with the world real. They weave together our individual experiences to reveal a picture of a community, a group and a country.”


The Secretariat of the African Decade for Persons with Disabilities (SADPD) in partnership with APC-Africa-Women and Women’sNet, invite you to submit an application to participate in a digital storytelling workshop. We are inviting people living and working in Africa who would like to empower others and affect change by documenting their journey and telling their story. Applicants must be:

(1) parents/carers of children with disabilities and youth
(2) young people with disabilities
(3) people working in organizations to promote the rights of children and youth with disabilities e.g. Advocates, students, CBR workers, teachers, journalists, information activists, content developers, programme officer/managers,

Participants will develop short videos reflecting the experiences of parents and youth with disabilities in particular with regards to challenges and successes in accessing inclusive education, health, employment and acceptance in their communities and country. Participants will also examine the power dimensions of story-telling and how we retain the authenticity of our own voice, as well as the voices of the people whose stories we document, preserve or disseminate.

Parents, youth and individuals working in the field have many stories to tell, but never have the time, knowledge, equipment and space to reflect, understand and tell their own stories, share their responses, understandings and experiences.

There is a large amount of information on the internet but very little that reflects the lived realities of those affected and people working in the field of disability in Africa.

The workshop aims to:
• document real-life stories of a cross-section of parents and youth with disabilities as well as those working in the field
• empower people to tell their own stories, while at the same time create a powerful advocacy tool that can be used in their country and beyond.
• develop Information and Communication Technology (ICT) skills,
• enable parents and youth with disabilities to share and network amongst each other.

More about the workshop

In the workshop we will explore people’s own stories and learn how to develop a story line, use photo’s, video clips, and drawings to tell your story in an effective way.

There is space for twelve applicants who will participate in a five day digital storytelling workshop, 8 -12 June 2009.

In the month before the workshop delegates will need to join an online study group, collect content for their story (pictures etc) and begin to learn some of the software.

At the workshop participants will learn to use computer software and other equipment necessary for making a short (3-5 minutes) multimedia digital story.

The digital storytelling workshop is hands-on and computer intensive, requiring commitment and willingness to develop a short, personal story; learn new software and edit a short digital video of five minutes in length.

Digital storytelling is not like writing a formal document; it’s more like creative, autobiographical writing. To see an example, check out the website

In order to be eligible to participate, you must be able to attend all five days of the workshop, and be able to travel to South Africa to arrive by 7 June, departing 13 June 2009. Travel and accommodation will be sponsored by the SADPD. You must be willing to allow your story, or part of it, to be used in advocacy by SADPD and APC WNSP’s Take Back the Tech campaign. The workshop will be conducted in ENGLISH so other language speakers must have a good proficiency in English. Sign language and French / Portugese interpretation will be provided if necessary (Please motivate for this in application form).

This workshop is a chance to learn new skills and tell your story in a creative and visual format. It’s a lot of work . . . AND a lot of fun.

All stories are owned by the person who made them. The story is your story and will be licensed under a Creative Commons license. We are open to discussing a formula that respects your privacy and confidentiality should you be uncomfortable with the widespread sharing and dissemination of some parts of your story. We would like your stories to be part of a public effort promote the rights and quality of life for children and youth with disabilities and their families.

Who Should Apply?
• We are looking for stories told by parent, youth and individuals working in the field of Disability.
• Applicants must be living and working in Africa (preference will be given to women)
• Applicants must preferably be based in an organisation, institution or network, but individuals will also be considered.
• Youth should between the ages of 18 – 35
• The training is in English. Participants must speak and understand English but are welcome to produce their story in any language they choose. If however you require translation into French and Portuguese please motivate in your application.
• The story you tell has to be about you and your experiences. It can be about situations or events but it must be a personal story told in the first person
• The workshop requires a basic level of computer literacy.
• Applicants must be willing to avail themselves for future advocacy work or training in digital stories in their country.

Please complete the form below and email it as a file attachment to Nafisa Baboo
DEADLINE FOR SUBMITTING APPLICATIONS is 3 May 2009. If you have any questions, feel free to email or Skype Nafisa on nafisababoo. Incomplete forms will not be considered for selection.


Date of birth:
Support needs (Enlarge print, Braille, translation etc)

Please describe in a few sentences the main point of the story you would like to tell.

What issues does your story address?

What do you hope to get out of the digital storytelling workshop?

Have you talked to anyone about the story you’d like to share, or is this the first time you’ll be talking about it in a group?

If this is your first time talking about it, what do you think it’ll be like for you to share the story with a group of people ?

Please write a draft of the story you’d like to share, below. It should be no more than 500 words (about one and ½ pages, double-spaced, typed). Your story should be written in the first-person. Note: If you’d like to see examples of other people’s digital stories, you can go to or or

Please briefly describe to us what you use computers for.

What is your familiarity with the following Software Programs and Processes? Please put an “x” to the right of the statements that most apply.

Using a PC (Windows Operating System) or a Macintosh Computer
I know nothing
I know next to nothing
I can get around fairly easily
I’m really comfortable
I know a lot

Scanning Photos or Other Images
I know nothing
I know next to nothing
I can get around fairly easily
I’m really comfortable
I know a lot

Adobe Photoshop
I know nothing
I know next to nothing
I can get around fairly easily
I’m really comfortable
I know a lot

Adobe Premiere
I know nothing
I know next to nothing
I can get around fairly easily
I’m really comfortable
I know a lot

Do you know how to (please mark YES or NO)
Open software applications YES/NO
Save documents and find them again YES/NO
How to use a mouse, cut and paste, drag and drop. YES/NO

It would be useful to know the following applications – Microsoft office or Open office, and using web browsers such as Internet Explorer or Firefox.

There are a limited number of spaces in the workshop. So please note that the submission of an application is no guarantee that APC-Africa-Women will be able to support you to attend. Successful applicants will be notified 5th May 2009.

Thank You!


About the Secretariat of the African Decade for Persons with Disabilities
The African Decade of Persons with Disabilities was proclaimed by the African Union for the period 1999 – 2009. The main goals of the African Decade are to raise awareness about the situation of the estimated 60-80 million persons with disabilities in the region and to identify solutions tailored to the African Experience that enhance participation, equality and empowerment of Africans with Disabilities. The overall aims and priorities of the Decade are stipulated in an AU- Continental Plan of Action. A Secretariat was established to facilitate the realization of these objectives.
The Secretariat is an international Non Governmental Organisation, established in 2004 by all the major Regional Disabled People’s Organisations to give a new dynamism to the implementation of the Continental Plan of Action. It is hosted, at the request of African Union by South Africa in Cape-Town where its headquarters are located. The mission of the Secretariat of the African Decade is to empower Governments, DPO´s, Decade steering committee’s (DSC) and development organizations to work in partnership to include disability and persons with disabilities into policies and programs in all sectors of society. The strategy of action of the Secretariat is to
• Build the capacities of DPOs, persons with disabilities who are most vulnerable and the Decade Steering Committees to enable them to advocate and lobby their respective government so that they integrate disability into all their development processes.
• Advocate and lobby for mainstreaming of disability in the policies and programmes.
• Raise awareness around the main issues related to persons with disabilities in society.

About APC-Africa-Women

APC-Africa-women is the African regional network of the Association for Progressive Communications Women’s Networking Support Programme (APC WNSP). APC WNSP is a global network of women who support women networking for social change and women’s empowerment, through the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). We promote gender equality in the design, development, implementation, access to and use of ICTs and in the policy decisions and frameworks that regulate them. We have a special focus on redressing inequities based on women’s social or ethnic background – through the provision of research, training, information, and support activities in the field of ICT policy, skills-sharing in the access and use of ICT, and women’s network-building.

APC-Africa-Women hosts Women’s Electronic Network Training (WENT) workshops every two years. WENT workshops aim to build the skills and capacities of women and their organisations to utilise ICTs in women’s empowerment, social development work and policy advocacy. In 2003 participants at WENT Africa developed skills in the repackaging of information through the convergence of old and new technologies using radio and in building websites using a Content Management System. Weaving through the training were sessions on gender and ICT policy issues. In 2005 WENT Africa was hosted in Kampala and using a two-track system, trained women technicians in the use of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) and women managers of NGOs in technology planning. More information can be viewed at

About Women’sNet
Women’sNet works to advance gender equality and justice in South Africa through the use of ICTs by providing training and facilitating content dissemination and creation that supports women, girls, and women’s and gender organisations and networks to take control of their own content and ICT use. The organisation is one of the few working on technology for social change in South Africa, and the first to do this from a gender perspective our work has focused on technology for purpose – strengthening women’s organisations specifically and civil society in general – to use ICTs for achieving gender justice.

This announcement was disseminated on the EENET Eastern Africa listserver. All applications and inquiries should please be directed to Nafisa Baboo , NOT to We Can Do.

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25th Annual Pacific Rim International Conference on Disabilities, Honolulu, Hawaii, 4-5 May 2009

Posted on 2 November 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Call for Papers, Cross-Disability, East Asia Pacific Region, Events and Conferences, Opportunities, Poverty | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Call for Proposals
25th Annual Pacific Rim International Conference on Disabilities

May 4-5, 2009
Honolulu, Hawai‘i
Hawai‘i Convention Center
Note that proposals for workshops need to be submitted by December 12, 2008.

Working toward a brighter future

The Center on Disability Studies ( at the University of Hawai‘i cordially invites you to the 25th Annual Pacific Rim International Conference on Disabilities on May 4-5, 2009 in Honolulu, Hawai‘i. Celebrate the collective achievements of the past and look forward to create an inclusive vision for the 21st century. As we face economic uncertainty and global challenges, it is even more important to honor tradition, and use this foundation to navigate our futures.

In the tradition of PacRim, the 2009 conference will revisit familiar themes and explore new directions through scholarship, best practice, and international networking. Join us, and continue this extraordinary journey. We will have several pre and post conference sessions,
including an accessible sports Sunday at the beach; an international film festival; and the 2nd Annual International Forum: Securing the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Eradicating Poverty.

Envisioning the Future

· To achieve human and social progress we will address poverty.

· To maximize human potential we will highlight indigenous/native peoples; girls and women; and veterans with disabilities.

· To realize our dreams for inclusion and self-determination, we will ensure all people have access to services and opportunities: transition to adulthood, employment, family support, independent living.

· To create an accessible world, we will showcase Universal Design for Learning and Living and feature products and design elements for home, school, play and office.

· To ensure our future we will prepare our youth to take responsibility for the future by bringing them together to dialogue about experiences, visions, insights, and futures.

· To support your attendance PacRim 2009 will provide an early acceptance notice within 2-3 weeks of your submission. Conference rates are very reasonable and we have secured room blocks for under $160 per night. We will also help facilitate room-shares if you are trying to
keep your costs low. We all need to be together!

If you are only able to attend one conference this year, choose PacRim 2009 in Waikiki, Hawaii at the beautiful Hawaii Convention Center.

Traditionally this conference is one of the most exciting for attendees and presenters – providing a unique balance of cultures, and issues of local, national and international importance. This year’s conference will seek to better these efforts and provide you with a most unique and exceptional experience – we hope to be seeing you in Honolulu in

Robert Stodden
Director, the Center on Disability Studies

Charmaine Crockett
Co-Chair, PacRim 2009

Valerie Shearer
Co-Chair, PacRim 2009

People interested in learning more about the conference should please follow the web links listed below. Any inquiries regarding the conference should please be directed to the people organizing PacRim 2009, NOT to We Can Do.

Web Site Links
Text Only version of the Call for Papers:
About PacRim:
PacRim Themes:
About the Convention Center:

I received this conference announcement via the AsiaPacificDisability email discussion group. Again, all official information on the conference is on their web site, including information on how to contact the organizers as needed.

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JOB POST: Director, Perkins International Program, in Watertown, Massachusetts, USA

Posted on 11 May 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Blind, Children, Deaf, Education, Jobs & Internships, Multiple Disabilities, Opportunities | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Perkins School for the Blind
Job Description

Job Title: Director
Program: Perkins International Program
Supervisor: President
Location: Watertown Campus and Frequent Traveling

The following statements describe the principal duties to be performed. It is not intended to be a complete description of all the requirements of the position.


Provides leadership, collegial supervision and oversight of programs and services for children who are deafblind or blind with multiple disabilities and their families. Coordinate the national and the international work of the Hilton/Perkins Program and other international initiatives. Serve as a member of the Perkins senior management team.

The mission of Perkins International is to improve the quality of life for children who are blind, deafblind or blind with multiple disabilities throughout the world. We collaborate with hundreds of local partners to provide direct services to children and their families, create innovative education programs, expand local and regional expertise, augment leadership skills in teachers and professionals, and promote Braille literacy. We also advocate for policies and programs that impact the lives of children with visual and other disabilities at local, national and international levels. (


  • Regularly visit international program partners to support regional staff in meeting program goals and objectives.
  • Work with government and non-government organizations to develop programs and services, to improve and expand the quantity and quality of services for children who are deafblind or blind with multiple disabilities.
  • Recruit, supervise and manage the work of all national and international program staff, including the oversight of work assignments.
  • Supervise the activities of the Educational Leadership Program.
  • Supervise the activities of on campus projects including research library and information services, DBLINK, and other projects as appropriate to meet national objectives of program.
  • In collaboration with program staff, identify program priorities and additional funding needs for project development. Liaison between program staff and Trust Office for new and ongoing project development and identifying and securing financial and material support with existing and new supporters and donors.
  • Communicate effectively with all staff, trainers and partners.
  • Provide leadership and collegial supervision to insure that all program goals and objectives are being addressed and evaluated, including but not limited to:
  • Working with local personnel to assess the future needs of all Hilton/Perkins and other international projects in the region and arrange for appropriate training, consultation and technical support.
  • Working with colleges, universities and other entities internationally to maintain and establish formal training programs of pre-service training for teachers of the target population.
  • Arranging for the production, translation and dissemination of appropriate literature for parents and professionals in print and on-line formats.
  • Supporting parents and agencies to establish improved services to parents and family members, including the establishment of parent organizations.
  • Supporting the content, logistics and other arrangements for trainings provided by the Program
  • Prepare and manage an annual program budget. Oversee the financial resources allocated to projects. Work with regional staff to draft grant agreements to sub-grantees, and define and monitor a reporting system for each project.
  • Prepare regular narrative reports on activities for inclusion in the Program’s reports to donors.
  • Function as liaison between Perkins management team and international and national program staff. Work collaboratively with personnel on the campus, to plan jointly for training and experiences provided to international visitors to Perkins School for the Blind.
  • Function as the focal point for planning, communication and collaboration between the Perkins International Program and other national and international non-profit organizations, multi-lateral organizations and key governmental agencies to further enhance program’s mission.
  • Coordinate the work with all other Perkins offices including the on-campus programs, the Business Office, Howe Press, Trust office, Communications Office and other Perkins departments.
  • Provide oversight of program office staff and support service operations to ensure facilitation of program objectives.
  • Represent Perkins International at international events which include international development, education, and disability conferences.

To perform the job successfully, an individual should demonstrate the following competencies:

Problem Solving – Identifies and resolves problems in a timely manner; Gathers and analyzes information skillfully; Develops alternative solutions. Able to deal with frequent change, delays, or unexpected events

Oral and Written Communication – Speaks and writes clearly and persuasively, listens and gets clarification; responds well to questions. Knowledge of technology for communicating.

Leadership – Effectively influences actions and opinions. Inspires and motivates others to perform well.

Diversity – Demonstrates knowledge of EEO policy; Shows respect and sensitivity for cultural differences; promotes a harassment-free environment.

Ethics – Treats people with respect; Keeps commitments. Works with integrity and ethically.

Organizational Support – Follows policies and procedures; Completes administrative tasks correctly and on time.

Judgment – Displays willingness to make decisions; Exhibits sound and accurate judgment. Includes appropriate people in decision-making process and delegates appropriately.

Professionalism – Approaches others in a tactful manner; Reacts well under pressure; Treats others with respect and consideration regardless of their status or position; Accepts responsibility for own actions; Maintains a positive attitude regarding required duties and changes in routines and assignments.

Quality – Demonstrates accuracy and thoroughness; Looks for ways to improve and promote quality; Applies feedback to improve performance.


Master’s Degree in Special Education with a preference on education of children who are deafblind, or with multiple disabilities or relevant work experience.

A minimum of 7-10 years of experience in a position of increasing management experience and responsibility for consultation to and training of other teachers and personnel. Preference will be given to work in the fields of blindness, deafblindess or multiple disabilities with international work experience.

Extensive knowledge of educational techniques for children who are deafblind and/or blind with additional disabilities.

Understand and appreciate the cultural diversity of the programs and areas in with which Perkins works and the implications for program support and development.


Ability to travel independently and frequently to international destinations.


Prior experience in international work as a trainer of teachers within the specific field of blind or deafblind education.

Candidates with Masters in deafblind or multi-handicap education, or the equivalent job experience in working with this same population

Prior experience, whether paid or voluntary, in working for other international governmental or non-governmental organizations.

Perkins School for the Blind is an Affirmative Action Employer. Candidates from diverse background are strongly encouraged to apply.

For more information contact Charles Pimlott at 617-972-7235 or send resumes to Human Resources, Perkins School for the Blind, 175 North Beacon Street, Watertown, MA 02472 or email

May 2008

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REPORT: Violence Against Disabled Children

Posted on 8 March 2008. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Children, Cross-Disability, Human Rights, Reports, Resources, Violence | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

UNICEF has released a summary report entitled, “Violence Against Disabled Children” (PDF format 245 Kb), with the subtitle “UN Secretary Generals Report on Violence against Children, Thematic Group on Violence against Disabled Children, Findings and Recommendations.”

The first half of this report, released in July 2005, summarizes what is known about violence toward children with disabilities at home, in schools, in institutions, in the criminal justice system, within the broader community, and at work (in child labor situations). Children with disabilities are known to be at higher risk for abuse, partly because they may be perceived as “easy victims.” Also, abuse toward disabled children is less likely to be investigated or persecuted, which means abusers know it is easier to escape consequences even if the abuse is discovered.

Many children, with or without disabilities, may face adults who fail to listen or to believe them when they try to report abuse. But children with disabilities face additional barriers. As one example, some adults may mistakenly assume that a child with intellectual disabilities or psycho-social disabilities must surely be “confused,” or unable to tell right from wrong, or unable to make their own decisions about what is done to their bodies.

Disabled children may also be targeted for child murder, either because parents perceive them as bringing shame to the family or because adults may be convinced they will be “better off” dead than disabled. In countries where many men share the belief that sex with a virgin will “cleanse” them of HIV/AIDS, girls, boys, and adults with disabilities may be targeted for rape on the assumption that they do not have sex. Children with disabilities also may be forcibly sterilized, sometimes as early as the age of 8 or 9.

The report makes a series of 13 recommendations for families, communities, policy makers, governments, advocates, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) or Civil Society Organizations, United Nations agencies, and other stakeholders with an interest in preventing violence toward disabled children. These recommendations include, as a few examples: increasing public awareness; reforming legislation so that the laws can better protect children with disabilities; advocating change to improve inclusion of disabled people throughout society; improving reporting mechanisms so that people who become aware of abuse have a way to report it; closing down institutions and integrating disabled children into the community; but also improving government oversight of institutions for as long as they continue to exist.

The 33-page report can be downloaded in PDF format (245 Kb) at:

People interested in the topic of violence against children may also wish to read an article on violence and disabled children in the 2003 issue of the joint Rehabilitation International and UNICEF newsletter, One in Ten:

Also of possible interest:

A recent report, Promoting the Rights of Children with Disabilities could give ideas to advocates and families for how they can use international human rights laws to protect the rights of children with disabilities.

Learn about a report on human rights abuses of disabled children and adults in Serbia, including the use of violence.

Read a paper on Violence Against Blind and Visually Impaired Girls in Malawi

Those interested in abuse and human rights violations in institutional settings may also wish to read the following first-hand accounts written by the same author, Amanda Baggs. These are well worth reading. Some talk about the more obvious kinds of violence that most people are used to thinking of as “abuse.” Some talk about forms of psychological manipulation that are so subtle that outside observers might miss them. But Amanda Baggs makes powerful arguments for why “outposts in our head,” or the uses of power nevertheless can be at least as important for anyone who cares about the well-being of children (and adults) with disabilities. Click on any title below to see Amanda Bagg’s post:

Why It’s So Hard to Write Directly About My Life
Outposts in Our Heads: The Intangible Horrors of Institutions that Must Not Be Forgotten
The Meaning of Power
Extreme Measures, and Then Some

We Can Do learned about the UNICEF report on violence against disabled children from the database. provides a library of information, resources, and toolkits related to people with disabilities and to health issues, particularly in developing countries.

Learn how to receive an email alert when new material is posted at We Can Do (

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 ( Currently, only two web sites have on-going permission to syndicate (re-post) We Can Do blog posts: and Other sites are most likely plagiarizing this post without permission.

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Rubinstein Taybi Syndrome: Support for Families

Posted on 3 October 2007. Filed under: Announcements, Cognitive Impairments, Families, Latin America & Caribbean, Resources | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

For many parents of disabled children, their own child may be the first person they have ever met who has a disability. Any of us may feel frightened when we are first exposed to something unfamiliar simply because we cannot be sure what to expect. It can be even more frightening when the unfamiliar affects your own child–especially if you had always assumed until then that disabled people necessarily lead tragic lives of deprivation and suffering.

Support groups and networks can be invaluable in helping reassure families that a happy and fulfilled life is still possible after a diagnosis. It may be a very different life, with a very different daily routine than they had planned upon when starting their family. But it can be just as rewarding.

But what if the affected child has a rare disability–so rare that your child might be the only person with that disability in your entire city? Even if your city has as many as 100 to 300 thousand people? And what if you are also in a developing nation where resources of any kind for people with disabilities are rare and hard to find? Such is the case for families of people with Rubinstein Taybi syndrome.

Rubinstein Taybi syndrome generally involves some degree of cognitive impairment and an assortment of medical problems that might include feeding problems, respiratory infections, ear and eye infections, cataracts or glaucoma, and heart problems.

One American organization for families of people with Rubinstein Taybi syndrome has established a web site that has links to similar organizations around the world. Not surprisingly, most of these organizations are in high-income countries, particularly in Europe. However the web site indicates that sometimes smaller, more informal support networks may still exist in some countries even if there is no official organization there. It is also possible for family members to join a mailing list (via email) that currently has 180 members from two dozen different countries.

The full list of organizations, and instructions for joining the email discussion group, can be consulted at:

Official organizations appear to exist–or at least have web sites in–only two middle-income countries and no low-income countries.

The Argentina page (in Spanish) can be found at:

The Brazil page (in Portuguese) can be found at:

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