Intl Leadership Forum for Young Leaders, 1-9 August 2009

Posted on 22 February 2009. Filed under: Announcements, Capacity Building and Leadership, Children, Education and Training Opportunities, Events and Conferences, HIV/AIDS, Human Rights, Opportunities, Women, youth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

International Leadership Forum Announcement – Call for Applications

[Note to We Can Do readers: This opportunity is not targeted at disability advocates, but young leaders with an interest in disability-related advocacy may wish to read the criteria below and consider whether their interests may usefully intersect.]

The UNESCO Chair & Institute of Comparative Human Rights at the University of Connecticut invites applications for the fifth annual International Leadership Programme: A Global Intergenerational Forum, to be held August 1 – 9, 2009 in Storrs, Connecticut, USA. Applications must be received by February 27, 2009.

The Forum seeks to empower young leaders by involving them in finding solutions to emerging human rights problems, and nurturing individuals to be effective leaders in the field of human rights.

To this end, the Forum will:

• Introduce participants to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
• Build a network of solidarity among human rights leaders
• Expand the knowledge relevant to human rights practice
• Provide tools and a platform for open debates
• Provide programmes, activities and processes necessary for human rights leadership
• Promote the sharing of experiences and understanding
• Showcase speakers on such topics as: health and human rights, education, the environment, the plight of child soldiers, the use of media, fundraising, conflict resolution and transformation; litigation and advocacy

The UNESCO Chair will provide all conference participants with dormitory housing, meals, ground transportation in Connecticut, resource materials and a certificate of participation.

Young people between the ages of 18-30, with community service experience, and with demonstrated ability to work on solutions to human rights problems, should apply. Relevant issues include, but are not limited to, human trafficking, the plight of children, refugees, hunger, HIV/AIDs, gender discrimination, racism, classism, the environment and peace education.

Conference will be held in English only. Fluency in English is required. Applicants will be selected based on the strength of their application essay, demonstrated commitment to human rights (practical/hands-on experience), potential impact on the individual and their potential contribution to the Forum, regional and gender representation.

Programme details and application materials can be accessed by linking to or

Nana Amos
Program Manager
University of Connecticut
UNESCO Chair & Institute of Comparative Human Rights
UConn-ANC Partnership
233 Glenbrook Road, Unit 4124
Storrs, CT 06269-4124
860.486.3054 Phone
860.486.2545 Fax
Scholarship and Job are posted at

I received this announcement via the AsiaPacificDisability listserver. If you have inquiries about this opportunity or wish to apply for it, then please follow the relevant web links provided above and follow the instructions at the official web site. We Can Do is NOT able to assist you with your questions about this event–please contact the people organizing the forum directly. Thank you.

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World Bank International Essay Competition 2009: Climate Change (with Photo and Video Competitions)

Posted on 19 January 2009. Filed under: Announcements, Call for Audio & Visual Materials, Call for Nominations or Applications, Call for Papers, Disaster Planning & Mitigation, Events and Conferences, Fellowships & Scholarships, Funding, Opportunities, youth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The World Bank International Essay Competition 2009: Climate Change
[Also video competition and photo competition, with smaller prizes.]

[Note to We Can do readers: although this competition is not targeted specifically at disability issues per se, it could be an opportunity for talented young people with disabilities to consider competing. It also could be an opportunity for any young person with an interest in disability issues to consider how people with disabilities might be impacted differently from other people by climate change and how these challenges can be addressed.]

Open to youth ages of 18 and 25, from all countries of the world. Prizes range from US$200-US$3,000 for winning entries. Deadline to enter: February 22, 2009.

WANTED: The Next Generation of ‘Green’ Entrepreneurs

Climate change has been identified as one of the biggest global threats of our time. Scientists agree that global warming and extreme climate phenomena can be increasingly attributed to human activity – in particular, heavy emission of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, resulting from industrial processes.

Solutions to those pressing problems could lie in the rapidly growing ‘green economy’: environmentally sustainable enterprises, technological innovations (new sources of clean, renewable energy), energy efficiency measures, economic incentives for low-carbon choices, etc. How can youth contribute?

The Essay Competition 2009 invites youth to share ideas on:

How does climate change affect you?
How can you tackle climate change through youth-led solutions?

Please answer both questions:

1. How does climate change affect you, your country, town or local community? How do you think it will affect you in the future? Think about the consequences for employment, health, security and other areas of your life.

2. What can you do, working together with your peers, to address the problem of climate change in your country, town or local community? Think specifically about the role of youth-led initiatives in the ‘green economy’.

The International Essay Competition is open to all young people, students and non-students alike, between the ages of 18 and 25, from all countries of the world.

If you are older than 18 and younger than 25 on June 15, 2009, you are eligible to participate.

This year for the first time the Essay Competition also invites the submission of short videos and photos!

SUBMIT your entry.

February 22 – Deadline for submissions


1. Essay
Eight finalists will participate in the Final Jury in Seoul, South Korea, in June 2009, and attend the Annual Bank Conference on Development Economics (ABCDE).
Money awards:
1st prize: 3,000 USD
2nd prize: 2,000 USD
3rd prize: 1,000 USD

2. Video
Author of the winning video will be invited for a screening at the occasion of the Annual Bank Conference on Development Economics (ABCDE), held in Seoul, South Korea, in June 2009.
Money awards:
1st prize: 2,000 USD
2nd prize: 1,000 USD
3rd prize: 500 USD

3. Photo

Money awards:
1st prize: 500 USD
2nd prize: 300 USD
3rd prize: 200 USD
Winners of the photo competition do not travel to the ABCDE Conference in South Korea, but will have their photos featured in the Essay Competition Summary Report, on the website of the Essay Competition and partner organizations’.

More details, including how to submit essays, at the official web site for the World Bank 2009 Essay Competition at

I received this announcement via the Intl-Dev email news distribution list.

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JOB POST: CBR Officer, Dadaab Refugee Camp, Garissa, Kenya

Posted on 19 December 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Assistive Devices, Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR), Disaster Planning & Mitigation, Health, HIV/AIDS, Jobs & Internships, Opportunities, Rehabilitation, Sub-Saharan Africa Region, Violence, Water and Sanitation | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |


*_Position_** : CBR Officer ( Prosthesis & Orthotic) _Responsible to _: CBR Coordinator*

*_Location_** : Dadaab Refugee Camp (Garissa) _Family Status_ : Non Family duty Station*

*_Closing Date_** : Open *


HI began its operations in 1992 as an emergency support programme in Garissa (North Eastern Province). Currently, HI is operating a medical referral project for refugees in this region in partnership with the UNHCR. HIV and AIDS activities are also being provided for the local community.

In 1994, HI launched another emergency support programme for internal displaced persons (IDPs) following inter-ethnic clashes, in Trans Nzoia District (Kitale town). Today, we are running in Kitale the most comprehensive HI Programme on HIV and AIDS in Kenya.

In 2002, in Nairobi we began disability activities with local partners (community-based organisations) focusing on support to networking, inclusive education and access to resources.

In April 2005, we have started a Mine Risk Education (MRE) project for the refugees living in the Kakuma Refugee Camp (near the Sudan border).

*_Rehabilitation project in Dadaab refugee camp:_*

Dadaab Refugee Camps, located in Garissa district, are the main settlement for Somali refugees, with a total population of 170,000 refugees, with a recent new influx^^[1] ^ due to the latest political events and severe drought in the southern parts of Somalia. To date some basic services have been developed to meet the refugees with disability needs. UNHCR, CARE International and other implementing partners working in Dadaab refugee camps raised a concern about the critical situation of the refugees with disability and scarce services provided to them. Therefore, UNHCR solicited Handicap International to support and contribute to develop initiatives towards disabled refugees in Dadaab camps.

An assessment carried out by HI from in February 2007 defined HI intervention with focus in two main areas:

(i) */To develop access to adequate rehabilitation services for persons with disability/*, with particular attention to be paid to technical aids and prosthetic production and rehabilitation and counselling services for children with intellectual disability and/or cerebral palsy; and

(ii) */To facilitate access to humanitarian aid and community development for persons with disability/*, through information sharing, counselling and sensitization of staff and agencies in charge of food distribution, sheltering, health, watsan and construction works, education, community development services and livelihood, etc.

The Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) Project Team will consist of 1 x Project Manager, 1 x CBR Coordinator , 1 x Mainstreaming Officer, 3 x CBR Officers (with technical expertise in differing but complimentary areas), 6 x rehabilitation workers, 6 x technical aids workers (leather work/shoe making and carpentry), and 30 x CBR workers.

* *


Under the responsibility of CBR Coordinator, the CBR Officer (Prosthesis & Orthotic) will offer technical support to the CBR team in ensuring quality production and fitting of prosthetics, esthetics, & other orthopedic devices to persons with disability among refugees and host communities. She/he will also build capacity of the local technicians and rehabilitation staff and take lead in the referrals and follow ups of patients.

*S\he will be responsible for :-*

*1) Supervision and management of mobility aids workshops*

· Supervise operations in all mobility aids workshops present in all the three camps including Dadaab workshop.

· Closely monitor and arrange procurement of equipment and materials as required for workshop – production.

· Provide advice on installation of equipment in the workshops including workshop planning and utilization of workshop consumables

· Ensure P&O workshops’ set up are all up to standards and accepted specifications

· Ensure mobility aids workshops are barrier-free for the easy access to persons with disabilities.

· Ensure all safety measures are observed within the workshops to reduce hazards in the operation of various machinery and equipment.

· Develop proper workshop management systems to ensure effective and efficient P&O workshop management.

· Carry out regular monitoring of workshop activities, technicians’ performance and manufacture of devices.

*2) Capacity Building*

· Identify and provide on-the-job training to local technicians in Prosthetics and Orthotics.

· Develop training curriculum for on-the-job training of local technicians.

· Conduct regular evaluation of the on-job training.

· Provide basic orientation to community CBR workers on the maintenance and repair of devices in the field.

· Train P&O Assistants in Workshop Management and information systems.

*3) Supervision of P&O Assistants*

· Develop job descriptions for the P&O Assistants/Technicians.

· Together with the team, develop weekly work plan for the P&O Assistants/Technicians.

· Carry out induction and appraisal for the P&O Assistants/Technicians.

· Monitor P&O Assistants/Technicians performance and production.

* *

*4) Referrals and Physical rehabilitation*

· Ensure persons with disabilities receive good quality and appropriate prosthetic and orthotic devices and services from the workshops as well as in the field and from Garissa/Kangemi.

· Develop a good and effective patient’s follow up mechanism for patients who are fitted with P&O devices from Garissa general hospital and Kangemi.

· Maintain individual file for each person with disability receiving P&O devices and carry out regular follow up as per the requirement of the particular person.

· Maintain all records pertaining to service delivery.

· Ensure required gait training is provided to the clients after prosthetic and orthotic fitments.

· Ensure that the clients receive rehabilitation therapy as required, e.g. release of contracture and healing of stump edema before fitting devices.

*5) Coordination and networking *

· Maintain necessary coordination with Rehabilitation Therapists.

· Work closely with the Physiotherapist and Occupational therapist for patient treatment, follow-up and evaluation.

· Liaise with Technical Advisors for various technical matters and training programs as necessary.

· Represent the organization at forums, workshops and conferences in the areas of Prosthetics and Orthotics as may be required.

*6) Reporting*

· Produce updated reports at regular intervals as required by the project in terms of donor and organizational requirements.

*7) Others*

· Advice Management on various costs related to P&O materials, equipment, maintenance, training and service delivery.

· Capitalize on new areas of learning in P&O or any specific case histories for internal learning and for external dissemination when required.

*/ /*

*Qualifications and experience required:-*

· Diploma in Orthopaedics with 2 years of experience

· Knowledge of CBR implementation and management

· Ability to work in and lead a team

· Good report writing, presentation, communication and interpersonal skills

· Demonstrated ability to transfer knowledge through informal and formal trainings

· Computer literate with Knowledge of Word, Excel and Internet

· Experience with an International NGO is an added advantage


Living conditions in Dadaab camp may be challenging (remote area, climate very hot), although facilities are offering minimum of comfort.

R&R leave of 7 days will be provided every 8 weeks of continuous accommodation within Dadaab.

If you feel you are the right candidate for this position, kindly send your application along with an up-to-date CV(including 3 referees) by email to the Human Resources Officer :

*NB: Applications will be processed as they are received and interviews conducted until the appropriate candidate is selected.*

*The email subject line should be marked: “Application for CBR Officer – Dadaab position”*

* *

*Please do not send your academic certificates and other testimonials they will be requested at a later stage.*

Only short listed candidates will be contacted.

*Handicap International is an Equal Opportunity Employer – Females and Persons with Disability are encouraged to apply ***

This job post was recently distributed on the Intl-Dev mailing list. As with all job posts and other opportunities announced at We Can Do, any applications or inquiries should please be directed to the sponsors, NOT to We Can Do.

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JOB POST: Coordinator, Regional Diabetes Project, East Africa, Handicap International

Posted on 25 November 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Health, Jobs & Internships, Opportunities, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Handicap International is seeking a Coordinator for its Regional Diabetes Projecct. The application deadline for this job post is November 30, 2008.

Handicap International is an international organisation specialised in the field of disability. Non-governmental, non-religious, non-political and non-profit-making, we work alongside people with disabilities, whatever the context, in response to humanitarian crises and the effects of extreme poverty. We implement programmes of assistance to individual people and to local organisations, as well as inclusion programmes and programmes focusing on the fight against the main causes of disability. We run projects in almost 60 countries, with the support of a network of 8 national associations ( Germany, Belgium, Canada, United-States, Luxembourg, United Kingdom and Switzerland) Handicap International employs almost 3300 people worldwide, with 330 staff in France and our European and North American sections. For more information on our organisation :

The project’s activities will be concentrated in the rural communities where Handicap International has long-standing relations with the health authorities and other local partners. The project will work alongside the international community and the International Diabetes Federation, as well as with existing regional groups and organisations with expertise in the field of diabetes. The project’s initial objective is to strengthen the health system in order to make primary and secondary health care accessible to the rural population, and to diabetics in particular, and find ways of overcoming the main obstacles to access to health services. Local, national and international awareness-raising campaigns will be used to inform the population about the disease, the risks and means of prevention. The project will aim to demonstrate that the integrated management of diabetes (prevention, care and rehabilitation) should be a priority at both local and regional level. A network will be developed to help ensure the effective coordination of actions implemented locally.
Support to awareness-raising activities will contribute towards :

Challenges and objectives :
The project coordinator will work with a regional team in Burundi, Kenya and Tanzania. He/she will be line-managed by the East Africa Desk Officer. In Burundi and Kenya, the project teams, managed by a national project manager, will work with previously identified local partners. In Tanzania, the project will be directly implemented by our local partner, the Tanzania Diabetes Association. The regional coordinator will therefore closely monitor this partner’s activities and financial reporting.

The geographical scope and wide diversity of human resources involved in the implementation of activities is a new and fundamental aspect of this project and confers a high level of responsibility on the regional coordinator.

Missions and responsibilities :
With regard to the regional dimension of the project, the coordinator is responsible for implementing various activities that will have a regional impact, whilst ensuring the project’s overall coherency.

In each target country, he/she will work closely with the field programme director and national project teams, and with our partner in Tanzania, to establish the planning and monitoring of activities at national level. He/she is also responsible for the operational and financial decisions essential for moving activities forward in a coherent manner and in line with the project’s overall objectives.

He/she is specifically responsible for :
y Implementing policy on information, communication, knowledge-management and lesson-learning in the areas developed by the project. This is a fundamental aspect of the project. He/she will therefore be expected to ensure that work carried out in the different target countries becomes part of a global reflection and that information and knowledge is exchanged between the three countries concerned (e.g. via networking, mobilisation of expertise).
y Relations with partner institutions and stakeholders at regional level y Seeking co-financing in liaison with Desk Officers and Field Programme Directors (relations with regional funding agencies). y Ensuring the implementation of specific training for the national teams as outlined in the project document. y Follow up of capacity-building activities carried out with the diabetes-control associations and of the staff involved in the project. y Support and advice to national teams on diabetes and the methodology specific to the project’s implementation, in consultation with the technical advisers concerned.
y Writing narrative and financial reports and introducing financial and control mechanisms + relations with the EU (in particular the delegation in Nairobi), in liaison with the Desk Officer and Field Programme Director for Kenya.

PROFILE SOUGHT : Essential :
A minimum of four years’ experience of management-coordination and/or support to health projects in a developing country, preferably in Africa.
At least three years’ positive experience of managing senior-level teams and of working in partnership with local associations.
General knowledge of the prevention and global care-management of disabling diseases
Competence in the field of managing and planning multi-country projects
Pedagogical skills ( training experience would be an advantage).
Writing skills (reports, capitalisation documents, research)
Communication skills (ability to listen and express oneself clearly and concisely)
Adaptability and diplomacy
Computer literacy

Additional :
General knowledge of disability issues (Handicap Creation Process, UN convention …)
Qualifications :
Diploma in health or social sciences, with additional training in public health.

WORKING LANGUAGES : French / English compulsory
SPECIFICITIES OF THE POST : The need for regular monitoring missions in the three target countries mean frequent travelling. Education, health and leisure facilities are all available in Nairobi, but the city’s crime rate is high.

CONDITIONS : Depending on experience
Volunteer status : Expatriation allowance of €750 to €850 a month + local allowance + accommodation + 100% health cover and medical repatriation insurance. For more information click here. Salaried status : €2200 to €2500 gross salary according to experience + expatriation allowance of €457 + 100% health cover and medical repatriation insurance + “family policy”. For more information click here.
Please send a CV and covering letter quoting the reference given above.

HANDICAP INTERNATIONAL -14, avenue Berthelot -69361 LYON CEDEX 07 Or by Email :
Please do not telephone
Candidates from Canada or the United States and nationals of these countries should send their application to the following address :

HANDICAP INTERNATIONAL CANADA 1819 Boulevard René Lévesque, bureau 401 -MONTRÉAL, QUÉBEC -H3H 2P5 Or by email : or fax : 514-937-6685
Please do not telephone

I received this announcement via the <a href=” Partnership for Disability and Development mailing list.

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CONFERENCE: Africa Regional Conference on MDGs and Disability

Posted on 21 July 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Cross-Disability, Education, Events and Conferences, Health, HIV/AIDS, Human Rights, Poverty, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Africa Regional Conference on MDGs and Disability
Regional Conference to be held on September 14th to 19th 2008, in Nairobi, Kenya
Pan Afric Hotel, Nairobi Kenya
14th to 19th September 2008.

AIM: To enhance the capacity of leaders from disability and development sectors on effective mainstreaming of disability in MDGs in African countries and to provide knowledge, increase competence and strengthen organizational advocacy strategies and networking skills.

We would like to announce and to invite participants to the above Conference which will bring together leaders of the disability movement, professionals and service providers together to interact in discussion on the MDG campaign, implementation and the implication to persons with Disabilities. The Conference is organized on the backdrop of the fact that 2007-2008 marks the halfway point to 2015, the year set for the achievement of the MDGs and the observation that the campaign and implementation work going on is yet to recognize Disability as a sector that need specific attention.

2007-2008 also marks the coming into force of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). It has been widely acknowledged that one of the shortcomings of the MDGs has been the exclusion of persons with disabilities. Taking this into account, the UNCRPD was drafted to ensure the inclusion of persons with disabilities into the development agenda. In the light of this, there are consistent referrals to the combating of conditions of poverty affecting persons with disabilities and especially their situation in the context of developing countries. Over 80%% of the 650 million persons with disabilities live in the poorest parts of the world. This means that over 20% of the poorest people globally are persons with disabilities.

For the MDGs to have real significance, they cannot ignore those living with disabilities. As James Wolfensohn, the former president of the World Bank has pointed out: “Unless disabled people are brought into the development mainstream, it will be impossible to cut poverty in half by 2015 or to give every girl and boy the chance to achieve a primary education by the same date.

Although persons with disabilities have organized groups which are involved in disability advocacy, awareness and lobbying on other pertinent issues of concern to them, there has been very little interaction with the MDGs campaign and many of them are not aware of it. They are not a consideration in the regional strategies as currently spelt out and implemented. They have continued to be left out of the Campaign relegating them further to marginalization. They therefore cannot engage their governments in this regard. It is necessary that they get involved.

This reality has brought about the need for the Secretariat of African Decade of Persons with Disability (SADPD), Ecumenical disability advocates network EDAN, African Community Development Foundation (ACDF) and UN Millennium Campaign office to partner in a project to facilitate an engagement to bring about the disability factor in all aspects of the MDG Work. This project has among other things the purpose to set in motion capacity building as well as inclusion and participation of persons with disabilities and their organizations in the mainstream campaign activities. The ultimate purpose is to facilitate a process to build a strong disabled person’s organisation DPOs to ensure that the voice of disabled persons will be heard and taken into account in all sectors of national MDG development.

The continental conference was originally expected to bring together a limited number of disability leaders from all over Africa associated with the work of the Secretariat of the African Decade for Persons with Disabilities and the Ecumenical Disability Advocates Network. The number was limited due to resources but we have received recommendations that the conference should be opened up for a wider participation. This announcement is therefore an invitation to persons with disabilities, DPO’s, Service providers and professionals especially those involved in development and issues of MDGs in various Regional Network to this conference. It is also an appeal to individuals and all regional organizations to sponsor those in their networks who can ably take the information back to their countries. Anticipated expenses within Kenya including airport transfers, Conference facilities, accommodation and full board for five days per person is 1,000 US Dollars. This figure does not include the air fare from the port of departure to Nairobi.

The organizing Committee has very limited scholarships to go to a few leaders in the Disability movement as this will facilitate key leadership meetings that will take place alongside and after the MDG Conference. Those in this category are requested to make their applications which will be considered on need basis and early application.

The Conference is as indicated above planned to take place at the Pan Afric Hotel Nairobi, Kenya between 14th and 19th September 2008. The first three business days programme beginning in the morning of Monday, 15th September will be devoted to knowledge dissemination, interactive discussions through workshops and development of advocacy strategies for inclusion in the MDG campaigns and implementation. The last two days will be devoted to the work of the Decade for persons with Disabilities and its relationship to development in the Region. A programme and other information materials will be sent later but those interested are requested to fill in the attached registration form and send it back to facilitate further planning.

Participants who are not in the Decade network and would like to experience a little of the Kenya tourism including group organized game drive may take this option provided there will be enough of them to make a group and that they will have informed us in good time. These arrangements are not part of the conference and their expenses are not included in the figures given for acommodation and board during the conference. Those interested may request for separate information in that connection.


Pan Afric Hotel, Nairobi Kenya

14th to 19th September 2008.

AIM: To enhance the capacity of leaders from disability and development sectors on effective mainstreaming of disability in MDGs in African countries and to provide knowledge, increase competence and strengthen organizational advocacy strategies and networking skills.

Please type or write clearly in English. Complete registration form may be sent by e-mail (to or printed and sent by fax. Deadline: August 11th 2008

Surname(s)(as in passport)………………………………………………………………………….
First name(s) (as in passport)…..…………………………………………………………………..
Address …………………………..…………………………………..……………………………
Postal Code …………………………………… Town ………………………………………….
Country …………………………………………………………………………………………..
Home telephone……………………………. Office telephone ………………………………
(Country code/area code/number) (Country code/area code/number)
Fax ……………………………………………. E-mail …………………………………………
(Please provide at least one fax number or one e-mail address for quick communication)
Gender […..] Male […..] Female
Date of birth (day/month/year) …………………………………………………………………..
Your Disability ……………………………………………………………………………………
Profession or occupation .………………………………………………………………………
Organization ……………………………………………………………………………………..
Position in the organisation ……………………………………………………………………
Nationality (country issuing your passport) ……………… Passport number ……………………
Date and place of issue of the passport ……………… Passport valid until ………………..
(day/month/year) (day/month/year)
Sponsoring organization…………………………………………………………………….…..
Special need……………………………………………………………………………………….

Give details of your travel Itinerary:
The Conference Planning Committee will organize accommodation and board and meet the airfare expenses from the port of departure to Nairobi for those it will sponsor. Any other personal expenses, including passport costs, local travel related expenses such as vaccinations, luggage insurance or telecommunication costs are the participants own responsibility.

The planning Committee will organize hotel accommodation and airport pick up on request for the self sponsored participants.

Place……………………….Date…………………………. Signature …………………………

Send your registration to: Samuel Kabue
Executive Secretary
Ecumenical Disability Advocates Network (EDAN)
P.O. Box 22
00200 Nairobi
Tel: +254-20-4445837
Fax: +254-20-4445835

We Can Do received this announcement via the Secretariat of the African Decade of Persons with Disabilities email news distribution list. Please note that any inquires relating to this conference should please be directed to, or to the contact information given above, NOT to We Can Do.

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CALL FOR ABSTRACTS: Disability and Inclusive Economic Development

Posted on 16 July 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Call for Papers, Cross-Disability, Education, Employment, Health, HIV/AIDS, Inclusion, Opportunities, Policy & Legislation, Poverty, Water and Sanitation | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Note that, although abstracts are due by August 1, 2008, completed papers will not be due until 2009. This same announcement was posted at We Can Do in April, but the editors are circulating this notice again in an attempt to collect more abstracts for them to choose among.

Call for Papers for the Review of Disability Studies
Special Issue on Disability and Inclusive Economic Development.

The Review of Disability Studies is requesting papers for an upcoming special issue on Disability and Inclusive Development, to be edited by Rosangela Berman Bieler of the Inter-American Institute on Disability and Inclusive Development and Daniel Mont of The World Bank.

This issue is intended to highlight recent research on the links between disability and socio-economic outcomes in developing countries, as well as evaluate attempts to move towards a more inclusive model of development

In particular, we are soliciting papers about the developing world that answer questions such as:

  • What is the relationship between disability and poverty?
  • How does the presence of a disability affect people’s access to education, training, and employment?
  • What is the relationship between health status, disability, and mortality?
  • What are the key barriers that prevent access to public services such as education, healthcare, transportation, water and sanitation, etc.?
  • What are some examples of programs or policy interventions aimed at including disabled people, and how effective have they been?

We particularly encourage submissions from authors from developing countries. We also encourage submissions across all disciplines, as long as they are aimed at helping to build more effective inclusive policies.

Please send electronic copies of a 1-2 page abstract to both Daniel Mont at and Rosangela Berman Bieler at by August 1st.

Completed articles should be approximately 3000-5000 words and should follow all RDS formatting guidelines found at Note that an invitation to (submit an abstract or) participate in the forum does not guarantee publication of that article in The Review of Disability Studies.

For more information about The Review of Disability Studies, please go to

This announcement was circulated by Daniel Mont via email. Any inquiries and abstracts should please be directed to Daniel Mont or to Rosangela Berman Bieler as instructed above, NOT to We Can Do.

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Africa Campaign on Disability and HIV/AIDS Seeks Health Care Stories

Posted on 16 June 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Call for Audio & Visual Materials, Call for Papers, Case Studies, Cross-Disability, Health, HIV/AIDS, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

This email was recently circulated by Gouwah Samuels.

version française dessous

Dear friends, colleagues and supporters

The time has come! As promised during our last meeting in Kampala the Communications Working Group is working on compiling the inaugural newsletter for the Africa Campaign on Disability and HIV/AIDS. We are hoping to get all submissions this month in order to distribute it via email in July.

The first issues will focus on access to health care. We invite each of you to read through the following questions and send back answers to Myroslava Tataryn: by Friday, 27th June at the latest.

Questions for this edition are as follows:

1. How have you involved health care workers in your disability and AIDS initiatives?

2. Have you and/or your organizations engaged in any activities or initiatives promoting Disability and AIDS at local health care centres or hospitals? Please explain.

3. Do you have an statistics regarding people with disabilities accessing HIV/AIDS and/or reproductive health care services? If you do, please share them with us.

Please share your stories and pictures with us! Even though we may not be able to use all of the stories/pictures collected for this first edition of the newsletter. We will be keeping them on our Africa Campaign Databank! Also, please make sure you have secured necessary permission of people in the photos you are sharing.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact one of us:
Gouwah Samuels:
Grace Musoke:
Myroslava Tataryn:

Looking forward to hearing from you soon!

With warm regards,
Myroslava Tataryn: and Gouwah Samuels
For the Africa Campaign Communications Working Group

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

Cheres amis, collegues et patrons,

Finalement, comme etait promis a la derniere reunion a Kampala, la group de travail de communication est en train d’assembler le premier bulletin pour la Campagne Africaine du VIH/SIDA et les handicaps. Nous esperons d’obtenir tous vous contributions ce mois-ci enfin de nous permetre de distribuer le bulletin final par email au mois de juillet.

La premier numero de notre bulletin est consacre aux questions concernant l’access aux soins medicaux. Nous vous invitons de lire les questions qui suivent et de repondre a Myroslava Tataryn ( avec vos reponses par vendredi, le 27 juin, au plus tard.

Questions pour ce numero:

1. Comment est ce que vous avez implique les travailleurs medicaux dans vous activites du SIDA et l’incapacite?

2. Est ce que vous ou vos organismes sont engages dans des activites ou initiatives qui font la promotion des questions du SIDA et l’incapacites dans des hopitaux ou des centres medicaux dans vos localites? Expliquez s’il vous plait.

3. st ce que vous avez des statistiques selons les persons avec incapacites qui accessent les services de VIH/SIDA ou la sante reproductif? Si oui, s’il vous plait, partagez-les avec nous.

S’il vous plait, partagez vos histoires et vos photos avec nous! Meme si nous ne serons pas capable de publier chacun dans cet premier numro du bulletin nous allons les garder dans la base de donnees de la campagne. Aussi, s’il vous plait, assurez-vous que vous avez les propres authorizations des personnes dans les photos que vous nous envoyez.

Si vous avez n’emporte quelles questions, n’hesitez pas a nous contacter:

Gouwah Samuels:
Grace Musoke:
Myroslava Tataryn:

Nous esperons vous reponses bientot!

Avec sinceres salutations,
Myroslava Tataryn: and Gouwah Samuels
Pour la groupe de travialle de la communication pour la Campagne Africaine

Thank you to Gouwah Samuels for submitting this announcement for publication at We Can Do.

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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:

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

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 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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RESOURCE: African Union of the Blind Web Site

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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

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:

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 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 (

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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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:;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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SCHOLARSHIP: Women’s Leadership Scholarship

Posted on 12 February 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Fellowships & Scholarships, Health, Human Rights, Opportunities, Poverty | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Women’s Leadership Scholarship

Application Deadline: 14 March 2008

The Women’s Leadership Scholarship programme creates educational opportunities for women activists, grassroots leaders and organisers from the Global South and/or from indigenous groups. This scholarship supports study, research and leadership training to assist women in their pursuit of solutions to the critical social, environmental, health and economic problems facing their countries and communities. The selection committee awards four to eight scholarships a year and recipients may enroll in programmes of study at accredited institutions worldwide that cover a range of human rights and development issues at the non-doctoral graduate level including gender, reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, child exploitation, human trafficking, infant and maternal mortality, conflict resolution, environmental justice, global fair trade, agro-ecology and sustainable development.

For more information, follow the link to:

I encourage We Can Do readers to think of women with disabilities you know in developing countries who might qualify for this scholarship. Please encourage them to apply. They should learn how at the web site for the Women’s Leadership Scholarship.

We Can Do learned of this opportunity through contacts at Mobility International USA (MIUSA).

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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RESOURCE: Atlas on Country Resources in Intellectual Disabilities

Posted on 27 December 2007. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Cognitive Impairments, Education, Employment, Families, Health, Human Rights, News, Reports, Resources | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Montreal PAHO/WHO Collaborating Centre for Research and Training in Mental Health have released an atlas that presents global data on intellectual disabilities. The Atlas: Global Resources for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities: 2007 (PDF format, 5.6 Mb) was launched during the Second International Conference on Intellectual Disabilities held in November 2007 in Bangkok, Thailand.

WHO initiated the Atlas in recognition that “global data collection in the field of intellectual disabilities has long been neglected” (Preface, p. 11). The Atlas gives an overview of the extent to which resources and services for children, adolescents, and adults with intellectual disabilities are available throughout all the member states of WHO. This includes information on health services; education; services specific to intellectual disabilities; work-related services such as sheltered or supported employment and vocational training; services to families; and other types of services such as leisure activities, transportation, assistive technology, rights or advocacy support, or food/meal supplies. Data is also given for how these resources and services are distributed by region and by income level.

This information was gathered in the hope that it can be used to help stimulate advocacy and planning efforts in support of people with intellectual disabilities and their families. Specifically, it helps identify specific gaps and needs in the resources and services available for people with intellectual disabilities and their families throughout the world. This information could be used to advocate with governments or foundations for the resources needed to fill these gaps. The Atlas also has developed two instruments that can be used at the country or the regional level to help map where intellectual disability services are available (in Appendix III and IV of the Atlas). Furthermore, the Atlas has helped produce a network of contacts in the intellectual disability field (in Appendix II of the Atlas).

The Atlas also was developed in acknowledgment that disability is increasingly recognized as a human rights issue. Health and other public services for people with intellectual disabilities are a human right, as recognized by the new international disabilities rights treaty. The Atlas was enabled by a new linkage between WHO and the intellectual disability field, via the Montreal PAHO/WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research in Mental Health and its associated partners, the Lisette-Dupras and the West Montreal Readaptation centres for persons with intellectual disabilities.

This new resource is primarily targeted at individuals and agencies responsible for planning health and social policy and services within countries. However, it also is meant for those who provide services to people with intellectual disabilities; for international and national NGOs active in the intellectual disability field; human rights advocates and activists; public health professionals and students; and for civil society in general.

The entire Atlas is available for free in PDF format (5.6 Mb). You can download it by clicking on the link to:

You can also read more background information on the Atlas, including the contact person at WHO, at:

We Can Do first learned of this resource through the web site for the International Conference on Intellectual Disabilities/Mental Retardation. The information in this blog post was gathered partly from

What other resources are available via We Can Do that you might have overlooked? See the We Can Do Retrospective: The First 100 Posts (and Then Some) for an overview.

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

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NEWS: El Salvador, Mexico Ratify Disability Rights Treaty

Posted on 21 December 2007. Filed under: Human Rights, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Press Release from Rehabilitation International (RI)
Mexico, El Salvador and Nicaragua Ratify the UN Disability Rights Convention
RI Calls on Governments to Recognize the Human Rights of All by Ratifying the CRPD

(United Nations, New York, USA, 17 December 2007): RI congratulates the Governments of Mexico, El Salvador and Nicaragua for ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), bringing the number to 14 States Parties. Mexico also ratified the Optional Protocol. RI calls on all governments which have not yet ratified the CRPD and its Optional Protocol to do so as a matter of priority and without reservations and declarations. Furthermore, RI urges all States Parties to begin the process of implementation by developing laws, programs and policies to ensure that ALL persons with disabilities, regardless of the type of disability, enjoy all of the rights in the Convention.

Libre Acceso President Federico Fleischmann said, “We recognize the great efforts of the Government of Mexico for being a leader in promoting the human rights of persons with disabilities, as embodied in the Convention. RI and its member in Mexico, Libre Acceso, are committed to working within its broad network to ensure that Mexican laws are strengthened to comply with the high standards set by the Convention.”

As part of its Global Advocacy Campaign, RI partnered with Libre Acceso, representatives of the Mexican government, the Mexican law firm Barrera, Siqueiros y Torres Landa, S.C., the international law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP and local disability experts to develop recommendations on how Mexico’s National Disability Law can comply with the Convention. These recommendations, presented to the Mexican Government on October 18, 2007, were formally adopted by Partido Accion Nacional (PAN), the political party of the Mexican President, as the official proposed amendments to this national law. The Senate and Chamber of Deputies will now discuss the amendments, which may be adopted as early as next year. This RI project has been made possible because of the generous support of an anonymous donor and Irish Aid.

“We are very happy today to deposit the instrument of ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Setting up the legal framework is only the first step. The real challenge is to build a culture where the human rights of every person are fully respected,” said Senator Guillermo Tamborrel, President of the Commission on Vulnerable

Groups and a member of PAN. Senator Tamborrel, together with Senator Maria los Angeles Moreno Uriegas of Partido Revolucionario Institutional (PRI), were present when Mexico deposited its ratification instrument today.

The CRPD, the first human rights treaty of the 21st century, represents an essential legal instrument prohibiting discrimination against persons with disabilities in all areas of life, and includes specific provisions related to rehabilitation, habilitation, education, employment, health and access to information, public facilities and services, among others. The Optional Protocol concerns how individuals or groups can seek redress for violations of the CRPD once national remedies are exhausted. The Convention will become international law after 20 ratifications.

For more information, also consult the recent We Can Do post entitled “12 Countries Ratify International Disability Rights Treaty. Background information on the CRPD, a list of signatories, and a visual map of ratifying countries, can also be found at the United Nations Enable web site. Resources and ideas for how to become involved with the global campaign to ratify the treaty can be found at the RatifyNow organization web site.

# # #

For more information on the UN Convention and contact details of experts within the RI membership, please contact Tomas Lagerwall (, RI Secretary General, or Shantha Rau (, Senior Program Officer, at +1-212-420-1500.

About RI
Founded in 1922, RI is a global and diverse organization bringing together expertise from different sectors in the disability field, to advance and implement the rights and inclusion of persons with disabilities. RI is currently composed of over 700 members and affiliated organizations in 93 nations, in all regions of the world.

RI works closely with other disability organizations, actively participating in the International Disability Alliance (IDA) – a network of eight global, democratic organizations of persons with disabilities – and was an active member of the International Disability Caucus (IDC) – a coalition of disability organizations and NGOs that participated in the negotiations toward the Convention. RI also maintains official relations with the United Nations and its agencies and institutions as well as with other international organizations, NGOs and universities.

For more information about RI, please visit their accessible website:

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PAPER; NEWS: World Bank Report on Disabled in India

Posted on 1 December 2007. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Announcements, Cross-Disability, Education, Employment, Health, News, Reports, South Asian Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

New World Bank Report Finds People with Disabilities among the Most Excluded in Indian Society
Disabled adults have far lower employment rates than others – reduced from 43 % in 1991 to 38% in 2002

Contact : in New Delhi

New Delhi, November 20, 2007: A new World Bank report finds people with disabilities among the most excluded in Indian society Low literacy and employment rates and widespread social stigma are leaving disabled people behind. With better education and more access to jobs, India’s 40 to 90 million disabled people will generate higher growth which will benefit the country as a whole.

The report entitled People with Disabilities in India: From Commitments to Outcomes, says that as the country makes economic progress, the incidence of communicable disease-induced disabilities such as polio are likely to fall, whereas age and lifestyle-related disabilities and those due to traffic accidents are expected to rise sharply. For example, internationally, the lowest reported disability rates are in sub-Saharan Africa while the highest are in the Organization for Economic Development (OECD) countries. The report therefore highlights the need for a multi-faceted approach so that disabled people realize their full individual potential and maximize their social and economic contribution to society.

The report finds that people with disabilities are subject to multiple deprivations. Households with disabled members are significantly poorer than average, with lower consumption and fewer assets. Children living with disability are around 4 to 5 times less likely to be in school than Scheduled Tribe and Scheduled Caste children. Disabled adults also have far lower employment rates than the general population – and this fell from 43 % in 1991 to 38% in 2002, even in the midst of economic growth.

Social attitudes and stigma play an important role in limiting the opportunities of disabled people for full participation in social and economic life, often even within their own families. For example, in surveys carried out for the report, around 50 percent of households saw the cause of disability as a “curse of God”. Women with disabilities face numerous additional challenges.

“India has an impressive set of policy commitments to its citizens with disabilities”, said Isabel Guerrero, World Bank Country Director for India. “The challenge facing Indian society now is to translate those commitments into better lives for disabled people. This includes identifying disabilities in young children, getting more disabled children into school and preparing them for the workplace and family life, and most importantly working to reduce the social stigma which disabled people face”.

Despite the many challenges, concerted efforts by the Government, civil society, the private sector, and disabled people themselves, the untapped potential of this large group of citizens can be released for their own benefit as well as for society at large.

“Increasing the status and social and economic participation of people with disabilities would have positive effects on everyone, not just disabled people” said Philip O’Keefe, Lead Social Protection Specialist and main author of the report. “A simple example is increasing accessibility of public transport and buildings for disabled people – a measure which would benefit a wide range of people including the elderly, pregnant women and children. More broadly, people with disabilities who are better educated and more economically active will generate higher growth in which everyone will share,” he added.

India’s implementation capacity is generally weak in a number of areas of service delivery which are most critical to improving the situation of disabled people. It is thus not realistic to expect that all the actions needed by many public and non-public actors can be taken all at once. The report highlights the need for prioritization of the most critical interventions to maximize the benefit for people living with disability:

(i) Preventive care – both for mothers through nutritional interventions, and infants through nutrition and basic immunization coverage
(ii) Identifying people with disabilities as soon as possible after onset – the system needs major improvements in this most basic function
(iii) Major improvements in early intervention, which can cost-effectively transform the lives of disabled people, their families, and the communities they live and work in
(iv) Getting all children with special needs into school and giving them the skills to participate fully in family and economic life
(v) Expanding the under-developed efforts to improve societal attitudes to people with disabilities, relying on public-private partnerships that build on successful models already operating in India.

The study points out that it is neither possible nor desirable for the public sector to “do it all”. Instead, partnerships with NGOs, civil society, and the private sector are critical to achieve effective and lasting results. The key step in such partnerships is brining disabled people themselves into the policymaking process along with public and non-governmental institutions.

Some other findings of the report:

  • There are substantial differences in socio-economic outcomes, social stigma, and access to services by disability type, with those with mental illness and mental retardation in a particularly poor position. There are also major urban/rural differences in outcomes, Gender, class and regional variations are also significant in many cases
  • Estimates vary, there is growing evidence that people with disabilities comprise between 4 and 8 percent of the Indian population (around 40-90 million individuals)
  • Between 1990 and 2020, there is predicted to be a halving of disability due to communicable diseases, a doubling of disability due to injuries/accidents, and a more than 40 percent increase in the share of disability due to non-communicable diseases
  • Disabled people have much lower educational attainment rates, with 52 percent illiteracy against a 35 percent average for the general population.
  • Illiteracy is high among children across all categories, in even the best performing major states, a significant share of out of school children are those with disabilities – Kerala, 27 percent, in Tamil Nadu over 33 percent
  • Private sector employment incentives for hiring disabled people are few and piecemeal. In the late 1990s, employment of People with Disability (PWD) among large private firms was only 0.3 percent of their workforce. Among multinational companies, the situation was far worse, with only 0.05 percent being PWD
  • In early 2006, a National Policy on Persons with Disabilities was approved by Government of India. To date, the only states that have draft disability policies are Chhattisgarh and Karnataka. The Chhattisgarh draft state disability policy can be considered “best practice”, and could provide a model for future national and state-level policy development.

People can follow this link to learn more about the report, or download individual chapters, at:

Individual chapters include: Socio-Economic Profile of Persons with Disabilities; Attitudes; Health; Education; Employment; Social Protection; Policies and Institutions; and Access

Or follow this link to download the full report in PDF format (1.8Mb).

The text for this blog post is taken from a press release from the World Bank.

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  • The Mwanza Computer Literacy Project

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    The Tusaidiane Disabilities Resources and Charity Organization of Tanzania (TDRCT) would like to improve computer literacy and self-employment opportunities for people with disabilities in Mwanza, Tanzania, and promote their empowerment.

    This organization is run by people who themselves have disabilities. I have known the man who founded this organization for some years. If his organization can quickly raise $5000 from 40 donors within a few days, then GlobalGiving will feature their organization on its website. This will enable them to attract more prospective funders. I have made a donation to them, I hope others will consider doing the same.
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