NEWS: First Committee of Disability Rights Convention Experts Elected

Posted on 23 November 2008. Filed under: Cross-Disability, Human Rights, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

First Committee of Experts on Disability Rights Convention Elected

(New York, United Nations, November 3, 2008): Today, the first Conference of States Parties on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) elected the new Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which will be in charge of monitoring the implementation of the CRPD. The Committee comprises seven men and five women, of which nine are persons with disabilities. The twelve Committee members elected are:

Monsur Ahmed Choudhuri (Bangladesh) (4-year term)
Amna Ali Al Suweidi (Qatar) (4-year term)
György Könczei (Hungary) (2-year term)
Ana Peláez Narváez (Spain) (4-year term)
Cveto Uršič (Slovenia) (2-year term)
Jia Yang (China) (4-year term)
Mohamed Al-Tarawneh (Jordan) (4-year term)
Ron McCallum (Australia) (2-year term)
Maria Soledad Cisternas Reyes (Chile) (4-year term)
Germán Xavier Torres Correa (Ecuador) (2-year term)
Lotfi Ben Lallohom (Tunisia) (2-year term)
Edah Wangechi Maina (Kenya) (2-year term)

By drawing lots, six Committee members listed above will serve for a two-year mandate, while the other six members have a four-year mandate.

William Rowland, Chair of the International Disability Alliance CRPD Forum: “We congratulate the members of the Committee for their election and look forward to very close interaction with the Committee. We encourage all Committee members to support Rules of Procedure for the new Committee that will ensure meaningful participation from representative organisations of persons with disabilities (DPOs) in all stages of their work. The Committee should consider the IDA CRPD Forum not only as the network that represents the key stakeholders of the CRPD, but also as a source of expertise.”

The Committee will hold its first one-week meeting in Geneva in February 2009. The Conference of States Parties decided to hold its next meet in 2009, which confirms the substantive nature of the Conference.

For more information on the IDA CRPD Forum, please visit the website:

or send an email to:

The IDA CRPD Forum is the network of international and regional organisations of persons with disabilities, which has been established to promote the swift and proper ratification and implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and its Optional Protocol.

This press release was circulated on the AdHoc_IDC mailing list and the IDA CRPD Forum mailing list.

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International Conference: Inclusive Education, the Way of the Future

Posted on 2 June 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Children, Cross-Disability, Education, Events and Conferences, Inclusion, Opportunities, Reports, youth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The International Bureau of Education is holding its 48th session of the International Conference on Education (ICE) this 25 – 28 November 2008 in Geneva, Switzerland. The theme will be “Inclusive Education: the Way of the Future.”

The International Conference on Education is usually predominantly tailored for the needs of Ministers of Education who represent country governments around the world. However, other partners such as researchers, practitioners, representatives of intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations also participate in the ICE dialogue.

Debates at the November 2008 session of ICE are expected to focus on the following themes:

(i) approaches, scope and content (to broaden the understanding of the theory and the practice of inclusive education);
(ii) public policies (to demonstrate the role of governments in the development and the implementation of policies on inclusive education);
(iii) systems, links and transitions (to create inclusive education systems which offer opportunities for lifelong learning);
(iv) learners and teachers (to foster a learning environment where teachers are equipped to meet the learners’ diverse expectations and needs).

As of this writing (June 2, 2008), I could not locate registration information at the ICE conference web site. However, even for people unable to attend the November conference, the web site still offers an abundance of materials that may be of interest to people involved in the education field.

If you scroll down the page at the ICE conference site, you will see a listing of past Preparatory Meetings on Inclusive Education. Many of these include links to Executive Summaries or other reports based on the results of these past meetings. Further down the page, you will see links to reports from Working Groups of the International Bureau of Education Council regarding planning for the 48th ICE conference.

For further (or upcoming) details on the November 2008 conference on Inclusive Education, please consult their web site directly at

Let me please amplify that We Can Do is unable to respond to individual inquiries about this or any other event, toolkit, funding source, or other resource publicized at this site. Instead, please follow the above link.

I first learned about this conference by browsing the Dutch Coalition on Disability and Development web site.

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Advanced Geneva Training Course on Human Rights, in French

Posted on 20 April 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Education and Training Opportunities, Human Rights, Opportunities | Tags: , , , , |

Texte français ci-dessous

Dear friends,

The International Service for Human Rights (ISHR) in Geneva has
announced that they will be running an “Advanced Geneva Training
Course on Human Rights” in French (for french speaking activists) from
8-26 September 2008. ISHR’s announcement of the course in French is below.

For those of you who are interested to apply for this training you can
obtain more information by contacting the ISHR at or
visit their site for more information

In solidarity,
IWRAW Asia Pacific
80-B Jalan Bangsar
59200 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: (603) 2282 2255; Fax: (603) 2283 2552

From: Training Courses <>
Date: Apr 16, 2008 12:43 AM
Subject: Ouverture de candidature pour AGTC Francais 2008


Le Service International pour les Droits de l’Homme( SIDH) vousinforme de l’ouverture de candidatures pour le Cours de formation avancé de Genève sur le système universel des droits humains et le plaidoyer.

Le cours se tiendra du 08 au 26 septembre 2008 à Genève.

Veuillez trouver en pièces jointes, l’appel à candidature ainsi que le formulaire d’inscription. Toutes ces informations sont également disponibles le site web du SIDH au

La date limite de dépôt de candidatures est fixée au 15 mai 2008. Vous êtes libres de partager l’information avec vos réseaux et autres défenseurs de droits humains autour de vous.

Meilleures salutations,

L’équipe de formation

International Service for Human Rights
Rue de Varembé 1
1211 Geneva, Switzerland
Tel: +41 22 919 71 00
Fax: +41 22 919 71 25

This notice was recently circulated on the Global Partnership for Disability and Development (GPDD) listserv.

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FORUM: Disability Rights Treaty and ICT Standards

Posted on 15 April 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Events and Conferences, Human Rights, Opportunities, technology | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies
An Advocacy Initiative of the United Nations Global Alliance for ICT and Development

In conjunction with the



Joint ITU and G3ict Forum 2008
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Challenges and Opportunities for ICT Standards

Monday, April 21, 2008
ITU Headquarters, Geneva

Please find a detailed agenda for the Forum on the subsequent pages of this invitation.

For further information, please contact:
Francesca Cesa Bianchi, Director of External Relations, G3ict
By Phone: +1 404-446-4160 By E-mail:

Advanced registration kindly requested

The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is one of the fastest human rights treaties ever adopted. It was developed with the active participation of country delegations and NGOs representing persons with disabilities, and includes a number of detailed mandates related to accessible and assistive Information and Communication and Information Technologies (ICTs).

Today, ICT devices such as personal computers, fixed and mobile telephones and television are widespread, with over one billion people, globally, having access to the Internet. An increasing number of applications and services for e-commerce, e-government, transportation, public services, health services, cultural life and leisure are delivered electronically. However many of these services are developed without consideration of the needs of the 10 per cent of the world population with disabilities. This directly impacts the rights of these persons. The Forum will explore the likely impact of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on the evolution of ICT standards with the active participation of industry, Standards Development Organizations (SDOs), NGOs, and other interested parties. It is addressed to leaders overseeing accessibility standards issues, representatives from the industry, SDOs, NGOs representing persons with disabilities, research institutions, assistive technology developers, governments and academia.

* Review existing and in-progress technology standards and standardization of product development methodologies.
* Discuss the role of public policy and procurement in support of standardization and the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
* Identify follow-up actions to facilitate the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Expected Outcome of Meeting
Review and document the areas of standardization which match the mandates of the Convention and explore critical gaps. Receive feedback and suggestions from industry, policymakers and NGOs to explore how they can best support the work of SDOs in fostering greater accessibility of ICTs.

Information and Documentation
Registration for this event will be carried out exclusively online at the following URL:

ITU-T Web site for the event:

G3ict Web site:

ITU Headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland (Rue de VarembÈ 2)


8:30 ñ 9:00 Registration
9:00 ñ 10:00 Opening Session

Session Chair: Pierre-AndrÈ Probst, Chairman ITU-T Study Group 16

* Welcome address, Malcolm Johnson, Director, ITU Telecommunication Standardization Sector
* Remarks, Yury Grin, Deputy to the Director, Telecommunication Development Sector (BDT)
* Importance of accessible ICTs to developing countries, ITU Standardization Development Sector (TBC)
* Greetings from G3ict supporting organizations
* The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the context of global market demographics, Axel Leblois, Executive Director, G3ict
* Latest developments in harmonization and standardization of accessible and assistive ICTs and the SWG-A standards inventory, JosÈe Auber and Alex Li, ISO/IEC SWG-A

10:00 ñ 11:00 Session 1 – Human interfaces: design for accessible ICTs.
Recent evolution of accessibility features and standards, standards supporting assistive technologies, gaps, and opportunities.

Session Chair: Whitney Quesenbery, President, Usability Professionalsí Association
* ISO work on Ergonomics for accessible ICTs, Tom Stewart, Chairman, TC 159/ SC†4, “Ergonomics of human-system interaction”

* Pluggable user interfaces and virtual AT and RTF initiative: a new approach to user interface, Gregg Vanderheiden, Ph.D., Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Chair, INCITS/V2 and Vice-chair, ISO/IEC, JTC 1/SC35
* ETSI Human Factor activities in the European context, Stephen Furner, Chairman, ETSI Technical Committee Human Factors
* Designing for universal accessibility, Bill Curtis-Davidson, Business Development and Solutions Leader, IBM Worldwide Human Ability and Accessibility Center

11:00 ñ 11:15 Coffee break

11:15 ñ 12:30 Session 2 – Accessible contents and services: addressing information deprivation
W3C initiatives, globalization of web standardization efforts, issues in ensuring compliance with accessibility standards (lack of awareness, speed of technology development, lack of training of web developers etc.); digital television and digital radio opportunities.

Session Chair: Eric Velleman, Director, BartimÈus Accessibility Foundation

* An analysis of the effects of content deprivation, Martin Gould, Director of Research and Technology, National Council on Disability
* DAISY Consortium, Hiroshi Kawamura, President, DAISY Consortium
* Web Accessibility Initiative, WAI/W3C, Judy Brewer, Director, Web Accessibility Initiative, World Wide Web Consortium (WAI/W3C) (via Web cast from Beijing, P.R. China)
* IPTV standardization, features and gaps, Clive Miller, Technical Broadcasting and Engineering Consultant, RNIB

12:30 ñ 14:00 Lunch break and knowledge fair

14:00 ñ 15:00 Session 3 – Mobility: Wireless Devices and Phones, accessibility and assistive functionalities.

Session Chair: Jim Tobias, President, Inclusive Technologies

* A mobile operatorís perspective in Japan, Yoshinobu Nakamura, NTT DoCoMo
* Windows Mobile, Sean Hayes, Incubation Lab Accessibility Business Unit, Microsoft
* Open source opportunities for accessibility and assistive functionalities – Android, Clayton Lewis, Ph..D., Professor of Computer Science, Scientist in Residence, Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities, University of Colorado
* Perspectives from hand-sets manufacturer (TBC)

15:00 ñ 16:00 Session 4 – Product development methodologies.
Ensuring that products are designed with accessibility features at an early stage, use of universal design methodologies.

Session Chair: Chiara Giovannini, Program Manager, European Association Representing Consumers in Standardization (ANEC)

* ITU-T SG 16 work on accessibility guidelines in standards, Gunnar Hellstrˆm, ITU
* Good practices perspective: development methodologies can take into account accessibility, Roman Longoria, Vice President, Computer Associates
* Extension of ISO 9000 product quality standards for accessibility in products, Sean McCurtain, Head, Conformity Assessment, ISO

16:00 ñ 16:15 Coffee break

16:15 ñ 17:15 Session 5 – The role of government in supporting accessibility standards.
Public procurement, regulations, and incentives in support of accessibility standards for ICTs.

Session Chair: Kevin Carey, Director, humanITy, and Vice Chair, Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB)

* Survey of government actions in supporting accessibility, Cynthia D. Waddell, Executive Director, International Center for Disability Resources on the Internet (ICDRI)
* U.S. Telecommunications and Electronic and Information Technology Advisory Committee (TEITAC) work on accessibility standards, Jim Tobias, Co-chair, TEITAC and President, Inclusive Technologies
* EU work on accessibility standards, Inmaculada Placencia Porrero and Martina Sindelar, European Commission Directorate General Employment, Social Affairs, and Equal Opportunities

17:15 ñ 18:00 Conclusions, recommendations and suggested follow-up

Session Chair: His Excellency Luis Gallegos, Ambassador of Ecuador to the United States; Past Chair of the UN General Assembly Ad-hoc Preparatory Committee for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and Chair, G3ict

1) Conclusions by session chairs
2) Feedback from Industry, Frances West, IBM Human Ability and Accessibility Center
3) NGOs, Standards Development Organizations and Government leaders on follow-up steps

Summary of conclusions and recommendations, His Excellency Luis Gallegos, Ambassador of Ecuador to the United States and Chair, G3ict

G3ict is a Flagship Advocacy Initiative of the
United Nations Global Alliance for ICT and Development
led by the Wireless Internet Institute
50 Hurt Plaza SE, Suite 806 Atlanta, GA 30303, U.S.A.
Tel: +1 404 446-4160 Fax: +1 404 446 4173
Web site:

The above announcement is taken in full from a notice circulated recently on the <a href=” Partnership for Disability and Development (GPDD) listserv.

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JOB POST, WHO: Technical Officer: Injuries, Violence Prevention, Disabilities, Rehabilitation

Posted on 13 November 2007. Filed under: Announcements, Jobs & Internships, Opportunities, Rehabilitation, Violence | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

The World Health Organization (WHO) is recruiting candidates for a one-year fixed-term appointment as a Technical Officer. The person chosen to serve will work to develop normative guidelines and capacity building material to strengthen rehabilitation policies and services. Interested parties should apply following the standard channels at WHO. We Can Do is not associated with WHO and cannot assist job applicants. The job description can be accessed at:

The home website for WHO employment is

Vacancy Notice No: HQ/07/VIP/FT1136
Title: Technical Officer
Grade: P4
Contract type: Fixed-term appointment
Duration of contract: 1 year (time-limited duration)

Date: 30 October 2007
Deadline for application : 27 November 2007
Duty Station: GENEVA Switzerland
Organization unit: Injuries and Violence Prevention and Disabilities (VIP) / Disability and Rehabilitation (DAR)

The Department’s objective is to spearhead global action to address disability and to prevent violence and injury using advocacy, datacollection, training, monitoring evaluation and dissemination of best practices.

The aims of the Disability and Rehabilitation Team (DAR) are to:
(1) Promote strategies to improve living conditions and equalizations of opportunities for persons with disabilities;
(2) Support policy development in disability and rehabilitation;
(3) Strengthen rehabilitation services; and
(4) Integrate rehabilitation into primary health care through CBR services.

Description of duties:
– Prepare normative guidelines on rehabilitation in collaboration with other UN organizations/ Specialized Agencies/ International Nongovernmental Organizations and Disabled People’s Organizations.
– Develop capacity building materials for health and rehabilitation service providers.
– Support Member States to develop, implement and monitor rehabilitation programmes.
– Develop a network of implementers and promoters of rehabilitation and habilitation.
– Assist in fundraising for the promotion of rehabilitation services.
– Other duties as may be assigned.

Masters degree in Occupational Therapy, Prosthetics and Orthotics, Physiotherapy, Community Based Rehabilitation, Public Health, other related allied health disciplines or an equivalent level of experience.

– Excellent skills in design, management and evaluation of rehabilitation programmes.
– Extensive knowledge and experience of rehabilitation (community based and institutional).
– Good knowledge of science and technology in the field of rehabilitation including assistive/ mobility devices.
– Experience in developing technical documents and capacity building materials.
– Excellent writing skills.
– Ability to work in multicultural and multidisciplinary settings and excellent inter-personal skills.

Minimum 7 years of experience in the design and management of programmes focused on rehabilitation including at least 3 years at the international level. Practical experience in the development of such programmes in developing countries.

Experience of working with disabled peoples organizations and various professional bodies in the field of disability and rehabilitation.
Experience of working with a UN organization.
Persons with disabilities are particularly encouraged to apply.

Excellent knowledge of English with working knowledge of French.
Knowledge of other UN languages would be an asset.

Additional Information:
Other posts may be filled from this vacancy.

Annual salary: (Net of tax)
US$ 61834 at single rate
US$ 66401 with primary dependants
Post Adjustment: 72.5 % of the above figure(s). This percentage is to be considered as indicative since variations may occur each month either upwards or downwards due to currency exchange rate fluctuations or inflation.

A written test and interviews may be used as a form of screening

Online applications are strongly encouraged to enable WHO to store your profile in a permanent database.

Please visit WHO’s e-Recruitment website at: The system provides instructions for online application procedures. All applicants are encouraged to apply online as soon as possible after the vacancy has been posted and well before the deadline stated in the vacancy announcement.

Applications from women and from nationals of non- and under-represented member states are particularly encouraged.

Any appointment/extension of appointment is subject to WHO Staff Regulations, Staff Rules and Manual. Only candidates under serious consideration will be contacted.
Currently accepting applications
WHO has a smoke-free environment and does not recruit smokers or other tobacco users.

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