SCHOLARSHIPS for Deaf Students in Applied Sign Language Studies, New Delhi, India

Posted on 29 May 2009. Filed under: Announcements, Deaf, Education and Training Opportunities, Fellowships & Scholarships, Opportunities, signed languages, South Asian Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR DEAF STUDENTS
in BA (Hons) Applied Sign Language Studies

An initiative by:

International Centre for Sign Languages and Deaf Studies, Preston, UK
Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi, India
Deaf Empowerment Foundation, The Netherlands

Program information

1. THE COURSE

Applied Sign Language Studies brings together the study of sign language and deaf communities with areas of study in applied linguistics, such as first and second language acquisition, bilingualism, language planning and policy, and language pedagogy. Graduates will work as sign language teachers, professionals in the field of language support for deaf people, teaching assistants in deaf education, and interpreter trainers.

The course is designed specifically to be accessible for deaf students and is taught through sign language. “Learning by doing” is included in work placements, lab work, and experiential modules. Deaf students without standard secondary school qualifications can take a one-year preparatory course (“Foundation Entry”) and continue with the BA course afterwards.

The BA in Applied Sign Language Studies is a joint international initiative. The course was developed at the International Centre for Sign Languages and Deaf Studies in the UK and will be taught at the Indira Gandhi National Open University in New Delhi, India. The beginning of the programme in 2009 is subject to validation.

2. THE SCHOLARSHIPS

The Deaf Empowerment Foundation is providing scholarships for deaf students in the preparatory Foundation Entry course in the 2009/2010 academic year.

Scholarships for Indian students
These cover one year of tuition fees at Rs. 10,000 and are available to Indian nationals. Students from other developing countries may also be eligible and should confirm their status when applying.

Scholarships for international students
These cover one year of tuition fees at ₤1,500 and are available to non-Indian students. This includes all students from industrialised countries and certain categories of students from developing countries other than India. The latter should confirm their status when applying.

Scholarships are for tuition fees only and do not cover travel, accommodation or living expenses.

CONTACT: scholarship@def-intl.org

From: http://www.def-intl.org/?q=node/20



I received this announcement via the Deaf Studies Africa email discussion group. All inquiries about this opportunity should please be directed to scholarship@def-intl.org, NOT to We Can Do. Thank you.

Subscribe to We Can Do
Learn how to receive an email alert when new material is posted at We Can Do (wecando.wordpress.com). You also can follow We Can Do via Facebook.

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

[Published at wecando.wordpress.com (We Can Do)]

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 23 so far )

Scholarships, BA in Applied Sign Language Studies, India

Posted on 22 February 2009. Filed under: Announcements, Deaf, Education and Training Opportunities, Fellowships & Scholarships, Opportunities, signed languages, South Asian Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS

The Deaf Empowerment Foundation is offering scholarships for students in the 2009/2010 academic year for study in the newly launched 4-year BA (Hons) Applied Sign Language Studies.

This course is a joint international initiative. It was developed at the International Centre for Sign Languages and Deaf Studies in the UK and will be taught at the Indira Gandhi National Open University in New Delhi, India. The beginning of the programme in 2009 is subject to validation.

The 2009/2010 scholarships cover tuition fees for one year full-time study in the Foundation Entry programme, which is a preparatory “Year Zero” of study. The Foundation Entry course focuses on English literacy and other academic skills, including:

English for deaf learners in HE
English reading skills for deaf learners
Text composition skills for deaf learners
Study skills and Personal Development Planning
Information Technology and Numeracy in HE

For further information about the Foundation Entry and the BA in Applied Sign Language Studies, and for further details on scholarship applications, please contact Sibaji Panda at spanda@uclan.ac.uk and click here to read the information sheet, or click here to download the application form (Word format, 144 Kb). See also www.def-intl.org and www.uclan.ac.uk/islands

Deaf students of all nationalities who fulfill the scholarship criteria are eligible. To apply, please email Claire Perdomo at CLPerdomo1@uclan.ac.uk and ask for an application pack to be sent to you. You may also email to request an information sheet to be posted on departmental notice boards etc.

THE APPLICATION DEADLINE IS 29 MAY 2009.

— Please distribute widely as you see fit —



I received this announcement through the Intl-Dev listserver. All inquiries and applications should please be directed to the Deaf Empowerment Foundation, NOT We Can Do. Thank you.

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

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

[Published at wecando.wordpress.com (We Can Do)]

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )

REPORT: Disability in 28 Asian-Pacific Countries

Posted on 28 January 2009. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Cross-Disability, East Asia Pacific Region, Policy & Legislation, Reports, South Asian Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Asian and Pacific Decade of Disabled Persons (2003-2012) was meant to promote a rights-based approach toward disability in the Asian-Pacific Region, in place of the older welfare-based approach. The “Biwako Millennium Framework for Action towards an Inclusive, Barrier-free and Rights-based Society for Persons with Disabilities in Asia and the Pacific (BMF)” was meant to provide countries in the Asian region with a set of principles to help them make the shift. How well has it succeeded?

In 2004, the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), a part of the United Nations system, conducted a survey to find out. The result is an 87-page publication entitled “Disability At a Glance: Profile of 28 Countries in Asia and the Pacific” (PDF format, 780 Kb), released in 2006. It is meant to provide disability-related data and policy information so that readers can compare definitions of disability; statistics; the implementation of the Biwako framework; and government commitments to disability issues across the Asian-Pacific region. The countries and regions covered in the publication include: China; Hong Kong; Japan; Mongolia; Republic of Korea; Cambodia; Indonesia; Lao People’s Democratic Republic; Malaysia; Philippines; Singapore; Thailand; Timor Leste; Vietnam; Afghanistan; Bangaldesh; Bhutan; India; Maldives; Nepal; Pakistan; Kazakhstan; Pacific Australia; Cook Islands; Fiji; Kiribati; and Solomon Islands.

Each country is represented with a one- or two-page table filled in with relevant statistics and one-paragraph summaries of disability-related legislation and policies in the country. This publication is not the place to seek out in-depth information about the complexities and nuances of daily life for people with disabilities in the Asian-Pacific region. But then, it is not meant to be. It’s strength is that it allows quick and easy comparison of certain specific types of information across many countries within the region. Or, people who wish to gain a broad sense of disability demographics, policies, and inclusion in the Asian-Pacific region as a whole will wish to read the section sub-headed “Key Findings,” starting near the bottom of page 9.

Download the full report (PDF format, 780 Kb) at http://www.unescap.org/esid/psis/disability/publications/glance/disability%20at%20a%20glance.pdf.

People interested in reading reports about disability in the Asian-Pacific region will also want to browse the Social Policy Papers on disability listed on the ESCAP web page at http://www.unescap.org/esid/psis/publications/index.asp. Two examples of additional reports and publications include Focus on Ability, Celebrate Diversity: Highlights of the Asian and Pacific Decade published in 2003, following the 1993 to 2002 decade; and Hidden Sisters: Women and Girls with Disabilities in the Asian-Pacific Region, 1995.

People also may wish to read the original Biwako framework on-line, or read the 2007 “Biwako Plus Five” update on progress since the Biwako framework was written.



I learned about this publication through the AsiaPacificDisability listserver, which people can subscribe to for free.

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

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

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

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )

NEWS: PACER, IBM partner to open model center in India for people with disabilities

Posted on 2 October 2008. Filed under: Cross-Disability, News, South Asian Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

PACER, IBM partner to open model center in India for people with disabilities

The first comprehensive assistive technology center serving people with disabilities in India opened on Sept. 13, thanks to a partnership between PACER Center, IBM Corporation, and the Spastics Society of Karnataka (SSK) in Bangalore, India.

“This center will be a model for the rest of the country,” said Paula F. Goldberg, executive director of PACER Center, a national parent center in the U.S. “We’re very excited about this tremendous opportunity, and we appreciate the support of corporations in India and the U.S. to make this center a reality.”

More than 350 people attended the Sept. 13 inauguration of the Spastics Society of Karnataka Assistive Technology Centre for Education and Life Skills Training on the campus of the SSK, a nonprofit agency serving children and young adults with disabilities. The new center will give
people with disabilities in India the opportunity to learn, communicate, and participate more fully in many work and life activities.

Through a collaborative effort involving parents, professionals, and consumers, the center will provide numerous services, including technology consultations, workshops on technology-related topics, individual training, and library facilities. The new center was modeled after PACER’s Simon Technology Center in Minneapolis, Minn.

The opening of the center “is a milestone in international cooperation,” said inauguration keynote speaker Paul Ackerman, Ph.D., an international consultant on disability and a noted author. He was formerly with the United States Department of Education, providing assistance to projects aiding children and adults with disabilities in India.

Shanker Annaswamy, Manager Director, IBM India Pvt. Ltd, also spoke at the inauguration. “IBM is committed to enable differently challenged people with technology and expertise. Our volunteers and consultants are engaged in supporting this centre,” he said. “It’s heartening to see how quickly children are adapting and growing when they get access to these types of assistive technologies.”

The inauguration’s guest of honor was Shri. P.M.Narendra Swamy, Honorable Minister for Women and Child Development, Government of Karnataka. The ceremony was also attended by Mrs. Rukmini Krishnaswamy, executive director of SSK, Bridget Ames, coordinator of PACER’s Simon
Technology Center (STC) in the U.S., and others.

PACER Center provided training for the SSK staff and solicited corporate donors and assistive technology vendors to contribute technology, financial gifts, and volunteer time to help build and support the center. IBM donated the hardware and Accessibility Works software. IBM
consultants and volunteers will also help support this center.

About Assistive Technology
Assistive technology (AT) is a device or technology that helps a person with disabilities perform tasks they were unable to accomplish or had great difficulty doing.

About Spastic Society of Karnataka
Spastics Society of Karnataka is a Non-Government Organization (NGO) dedicated to the welfare of persons with neuro-muscular disorders and developmental disabilities.

For more information, visit: http://spasticssocietyofkarnataka.org/

About PACER
A national organization based in Minnesota, PACER works to expand opportunities and enhance the quality of life of children and young adults with disabilities and their families, based on the concept of parents helping parents Learn more at www.PACER.org.

About IBM
For more information about IBM, visit http://www.ibm.com



I received this press release when it was passed along by Joan Durocher via her email distribution list.

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

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

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )

Stories of People with Disabilities in Developing Countries from Around the World

Posted on 15 September 2008. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Announcements, Cross-Disability, Democratic Participation, Education, Human Rights, Inclusion, Latin America & Caribbean, Mobility Impariments, South Asian Region, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Too often, the voices of people with disabilities are simply not heard–within their country, within their community, or sometimes even within families. The voices of disabled people in developing countries are even more suppressed.

One special issue of the New Internationalist, released in 2005, brings us the voices of people with disabilities from India … Zimbabwe … Sri Lanka … Colombia … Bangladesh … and elsewhere.

The stories and interviews published in their magazine, available for free on-line, share the experiences of people with disabilities in developing countries in their struggle for sexual expression … the harrowing experience of rape … the push to achieve recognition for their human rights … the battle against severe poverty and starvation … success at becoming a blind teacher … getting involved with politics … and overcoming discrimination in the work force.

Browse the stories at the New Internationalist website at:

http://www.newint.org/issue384/index.htm

Each story can be read on-line in html format; they do not need to be downloaded.



I learned of this magazine issue when several of its stories were recently circulated via email on the Disability Information Dissemination Network, which is managed by the Centre for Services and Information on Disability (CSID), Bangladesh, and currently sponsored by Handicap International. People may subscribe directly to the CSID mailing list by sending an email to csid@bdmail.net, csid@bdonline.com, or info@csididnet.org, with the word “join” in the subject line.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )

Disability Awareness Action newsletter, Our Rights, Issue 2, August 2008

Posted on 3 September 2008. Filed under: Children, Cognitive Impairments, Health, HIV/AIDS, Human Rights, Latin America & Caribbean, News, South Asian Region, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Our Rights – issue 2, August 2008

DAA’s newsletter for Disability Lib.

In the interest of solidarity, this newsletter is sent around by email to disabled people and their organisations across the world, and we invite you to forward it freely. We have provided links to internet sites, web pages and video clips, but understand that not all links are technically accessible to all users. From October Our Rights will be available in electronic format and on our website. For our contact details follow this link http://www.daa.org.uk/

Contents
Welcome Hello from DAA
Disability LIB partners
• Central Office
ALLFIE Tara Flood recognised for Inclusion Now campaign work
Disabled by Society … Our Stories: Body Politics
Excluded because of crooked teeth
Disabled by Society …. Our stories: Mind Politics
Stigma
Disabled by Society … Our Stories: Your Say
Being an Un-Person
Sceptical about The UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled People
60 years of UN Convention on Human Rights
Inclusion means … being given a £50 token?
International News
Canada says ‘go home’ to disabled child
Sex in the City, and world wide
From Mexico to India: Disability and HIV
A short recent history of the Disability Rights Movement in El Salvador
Sit-in at Nursing Home
And Finally …

Top of page; Contents; Bottom of page
******************
Welcome Hello from DAA
Thank you to all of you who took the time to respond to our first issue. We are delighted to be back! We have had replies from around the world.

“I am very happy indeed to get the DAA Newsletter – this is one newsletter that I eagerly look forward to. The articles provided me with new insights and sharpen my understanding.”
“Great newsletter!”
“I access DAA website regularly and will disseminate DAA newsletter to all my contacts.”
“Have just read your first bulletin and I am impressed with its coverage.”
“thanks a lot for your nice news letter. Hope it can help my people in bangladesh.”

Thank you for all your comments. We have improved our technical set-up, so fewer newsletters should land in Junk or Spam email boxes. From October you can access the newsletter on our website. You can request picture supported and word versions. We continue to strive to make our articles interesting, relevant and accessible. Please let us know how we are doing. This edition has two main themes: the body politics of bio-ethics and inclusion. We will also tell you again who we are and what we hope to achieve. Enjoy!
Email: mysay4daa@live.co.uk

Top of page; Contents; Bottom of page

Disability LIB partners
The project has its own website and central office. www.disabilitylib.org.uk
Disability LIB
6 Market Road
London
N7 9PW
England UK
Telephone: 0844 800 4331
Email: contact@disabilitylib.org.uk

Top of page; Contents; Bottom of page

ALLFIE Tara Flood recognised for Inclusion Now campaign work
The Social Inclusion Campaign Award from the Sheila McKechnie Foundation was given to the director of ALLFIE, Tara Flood. Tara is also chair of DAA. Tara and the Alliance run a campaign ‘We know inclusion works’. This is in response to the negative reporting in the media. You are invited to send your stories about how inclusion works to info@allfie.org.uk

“Inclusion for me is about society, which respects the humanity of its people.” says a disabled young person in Nottinghamshire. “Inclusion happens when everyone feels appreciated and welcome to participate.”
Centre for Studies on Inclusive Education.

Inclusion is going to school with your friends. “I kept asking myself what words a mother would use to explain to her daughter why they did not want her at her school. Except that she was disabled. If my daughter had only been black, and not disabled too, would the school have been able to do the same?”
Preethi Manuel mother of Zahrah.

Top of page; Contents; Bottom of page

Disabled by Society …. Our stories: Body Politics
Excluded because of crooked teeth

The media reported that a nine-year-old girl called Lin was moving her lips, but did not actually sing at the opening of the Olympic Games in China. The beautiful voice we all heard was from a different girl, the seven year-old Yang Peiyi. Apparently Yang was not shown on stage nor on television, because she has crooked teeth. Her face and her smile were regarded as not photogenic enough, so she was hidden to avoid damaging China’s international image.

Top of page; Contents; Bottom of page

Often we find disabled people are hidden, out-of-sight and at the margins of society. Society’s underlying cultural preferences in terms of the body and mind is for a particular image of beauty and health: a superficial one.

Our impairment difference is treated like a ‘stigma’, a characteristic that is deeply discredited within one’s society and for which we are rejected. Our difference, it seems, is challenging.

“I experienced a nervous breakdown 20 years ago. Despite recovering from that, then going on to achieve academically and build a good marriage, my family remain wary of me. My sister is bringing up her child to refer to me as “crazy”. She even considers it funny to do so. I have tried to express how hurtful I find this, but my feelings have been overlooked.”
7th August 2008, Guardian ‘Stigmatised by my own family’

In a unique research called ‘Shout’ almost 4,000 mental health service users were involved. The charity Rethink found that 87% of people said they had direct personal experience of stigma and discrimination and reported the negative impact of stigma on their lives.

The damage caused was wide-ranging; the areas affected include employment, family, friendships, neighbours, accessing education, reporting crime, relationships with health professionals, and feeling confident enough to visit the shops, go to the pub or take part in activities in the community, it says.
The Stigma Shout report can be found at http://www.rethink.org/how_we_can_help/campaigning_for_change/moving_people/stigma_shout.html

But this problem goes deeper. If a girl can be excluded for crooked teeth, where does it end? Our society allows science and law to de-select disabled lives.
For impairment reasons they tamper with genetics in an attempt to screen out difference. We have laws that allow late abortion because of so called ‘defects’.We allow bio-ethics to de-select impairment.

In 2004, UKCPD (formerly the British Council of Disabled People) asked “Can human rights apply if we select children or value people’s quality of life on the basis of their genetic make-up or impairment?” http://www.bcodp.org.uk/library/genetics/3disabhr.pdf
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2008/aug/06/mentalhealth
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2008/aug/07/mentalhealth.familyandrelationships

Top of page; Contents; Bottom of page

Disabled by Society … Our Stories: Your Say
on last month’s theme: Forced Interventions
Being an Un-Person… (8’47’’)
“This is from a handout I gave while speaking at training for staff who work with people who have developmental disabilities. It is about what it means to be dehumanized and it applies to a far greater group of people than the original audience. It is, to make it clear, something that is done to us by other people, not something intrinsic to who we are.

Being an Un-person means that people talk in front of you as if you aren’t there… It means that your existence seems to fill people with disgust and fear. … If you communicate with behaviour, you will be punished, restrained, drugged or put in a behaviour program.”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4c5_3wqZ3Lk

Top of page; Contents; Bottom of page

Sceptical
A sceptical view was expressed about the usefulness of the Convention. How does it protect the rights of people with mental health issues?

“My organization are skeptical on the UN Convention re Legal Intervention for people with mental health issues and the sense of disabled people being able to join the armed forces.”

For a discussion of how different Articles in the Convention can work together, go to page 47 in this 2007 publication: http://www.riglobal.org/publications/RI_Review_2007_Dec_WORDversion.doc
The text of Article 12 can be accessed at http://www.mindfreedom.org/kb/mental-health-global/united-nations/article-12-un

Top of page; Contents; Bottom of page

The UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled People
This year (2008) we celebrate 60 years of the United Nations Convention on Human Rights, the first international commitment on human rights.

A web campaign http://www.everyhumanhasrights.org/ urges us to embrace the values and goals of the Declaration. To protect the rights of our fellow global villagers and to encourage others to do the same in our communities, workplaces and schools. We are asked to affirm these principles:

“Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, lanaguage, relition, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.” Every Human has Rights

However, our rights as disabled people are not spelled out specifically. It makes no specific mention of the meaning of rights as disabled people. Our experience is that we are often invisible, excluded or forgotten. We are not always included into the general phrase of ‘human’ inhuman rights.

That is why we needed a specific convention and why we are campaigning for our countries to ratify the Convention of the Rights of Disabled Persons.

UN Convention text resources:
Details of the Convention on the Rights of Disabled People can be found at
http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?navid=12&pid=150
http://www.un.org/disabilities/convention/conventionfull.shtml
Easy Read version of the Convention
http://www.officefordisability.gov.uk/docs/international-agreement-rights-disabled-people.pdf
For Easy Read versions of the Convention’s extra agreements (Optional Protocols) go to
http://www.hreoc.gov.au/disability_rights/convention/nz.htm
A child-friendly text of the Convention can be accessed at
http://www.unicef.org/Child_friendly_CRPD.pdf

Top of page; Contents; Bottom of page

Inclusion means … being given a £50 gift token?
A grammar school in Lincolnshire, England, did not listen to a boy with Autism when planning and arranging the 11-plus entrance exam. Under the Disability Discrimination Act any barriers to learning have to be removed, for example by making alternative arrangements or providing reasonable adjustments.

His mother said: “We knew he would struggle with the change in surroundings. Our primary school head teacher suggested we ask if he could sit the test there, or at least in a room on his own. But when I went to the school I was told, ‘No, we don’t make any allowances’.”

As the barriers of unfamiliar surroundings, a crowded room full with unfamiliar people were not removed, the boy was extremely distressed and failed the exam.

The ombudsman Anne Seex said the school had not considered its duties under the Disability Discrimination Act.

The boy was admitted to another grammar school on the basis of his exam results at the end of primary school (called SATs) and his junior school’s recommendation.

The school has apologised, has given the boy a £50 gift token and agreed to handle future cases differently.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/lincolnshire/7542948.stm
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/education/article4460621.ece

International News

Top of page; Contents; Bottom of page

Canada
Paul and Barbara-Anne Chapman had sold their home in Britain and bought a farmhouse in Nova Scotia, Canada. The local authorities supported and welcomed them.

However, when the family arrived at the airport a border guard refused them entry. Several questions were raised about their work permit, clearance for their black Labrador and about their daughter Lucy, who has Angelman syndrome.

The family claim they were told by a border guard that because Lucy is disabled she would never be allowed into the country, and that she had a lifetime ban.

Mrs Chapman said: “My dog was allowed to stay. My dog has a higher status than my daughter in Canada, just because she is disabled.”

Canada’s immigration rules in section 38 do have a clause that states that you are not eligible for immigration if you would make an excessive demand on health and social services. Presently, “excessive demand” is usually defined as exceeding $15,000 of publicly funded health care costs over the next 5 years. However, in certain family applications, children are exempt from this rule of no entry due to health care costs.

The Convention on the Rights of Disabled People places obligations on countries to protect disabled people’s rights and freedoms. This includes the right to free movement and residency.

Entry to one’s own country is specifically mentioned in Article 18 of the Convention: “Are not deprived, arbitrarily or on the basis of disability, of the right to enter their own country.”

Entry into another country is protected in Article 18, where it says that disabled people should “not be deprived, on the basis of disability, of their ability to obtain, possess and utilize … relevant processes such as immigration proceedings, that may be needed to facilitate exercise of the right to liberty of movement.”

Mr and Mrs Chapman hired a Canadian lawyer to fight the decision.

http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?id=278
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/canada/2519496/Canada-refuses-entry-to-disabled-girl.html

Top of page; Contents; Bottom of page

Sex in the City… and world-wide.
Research has shown that disabled people are being denied the choice to full sexual relationships.

“I want to meet a girl I can become friends with, take to the pub and the cinema and then after a couple of months see where it goes,” Joseph Greene, 23.

The national charity Family Planning Association FPA has organised an information and poster campaign about the right to have sex and relationships. FPA gives people information and advice about sexual health. This is particularly important in view of the continuing rise and impact of HIV (see reports below).

Easy Read, posters and campaign info at
http://www.fpa.org.uk/news/campaigns/current%5Fcampaigns/detail.cfm?contentid=1021
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7540103.stm
http://www.fpa.org.uk/products/learning_disabilities_publications/detail.cfm?contentid=1037

‘Let’s talk About Sex’ was launched in June 2008 for young people with life-limiting health conditions, in a bid to open up a taboo subject and to better support these young people to have the opportunity to experience relationships and explore their sexuality, in a safe, supportive and empathetic environment.
http://www.act.org.uk/content/view/153/1/

Our rights and dignity in connection with these personal areas are protected in the Convention. Article 23 of the Convention on the Rights of Disabled People specifically refers to forming relationships and accessing age-appropriate information, reproductive and family planning education.

As part of their obligations, countries who have ratified the Convention, have a duty to develop and change customs or practices. This includes working towards a change in attitude towards disabled people and sex.

Article 4 of the Convention asks governments to develop or change customs and practices which contradict the rights. Community norms, customs and practices of what people believe or how professionals deal with disabled people may go against the ideals laid down in the Convention.

“What is acceptable in the community is for a disabled person to marry another disabled person so that together they share their curse”, says a disabled local councillor in Uganda.
http://www.disabilitykar.net/docs/stories_women.doc

Top of page; Contents; Bottom of page

From Mexico to India: Disability and HIV
On August 6th a very important international panel discussion took place. ‘Beyond Barriers: Disability and HIV/AIDS’ gave information about studies from across the world – Brazil, South Africa, Cameroon, and Canada.

Disabled people were found to be consistently more vulnerable to infection. People with learning difficulties and disabled women are often exposed to riskier situations; women in particular experience more unprotected sex than the general population, often as a result of sexual violence.

A researcher in Kwa Zulu-Natal, where there is no disability-specific sex education, encountered a “let sleeping dogs lie” attitude in schools. As a result, she found that disabled children had little access to education or legal protection and were more vulnerable to abuse and infection.

n Cameroon, a study focused on a young deaf population, found that sexual debut was on the whole earlier and riskier than in the general population.
http://eliminateaids.blogspot.com/2008/08/beyond-barriers-disability-and-hivaids.html

The Kampala Declaration on Disability and HIV/AIDS is an advocacy tool for all Campaign partners and supporters. We invite you to download this printer-ready version in English, French and Portuguese to disseminate at your various meetings and conferences!
http://www.africacampaign.info/a-nos-lecteurs-francais/index.html
http://www.africacampaign.info/recent-publication/index.html
http://www.dcdd.nl/data/1208782834413_Kampala%20Declaration%20on%20Disability%20and%20HIVAIDS.pdf

Top of page; Contents; Bottom of page

A short recent history of the Disability Rights Movement in El Salvador
This article argues that despite national laws and certain improvements towards disability rights, El Salvador has only made nominal progress in implementing disability legislation and awareness.

In the context of El Salvador’s twelve-year armed conflict, 70,000 individuals were killed and another 300,000 people were disabled as a result of war.

However, this estimate conflicts with official statistics released by the Ministry of Economy in August 2008. Jesus Martinez, Director of the Landmine Survivors Network-El Salvador is extremely uncomfortable with the results of this 2008 Census.

“It should include accurate and trustworthy statistics about all of the disabled individuals living in this country.” he says.

Disabled people need to be counted in order to be visible in policy action, planning and prioritisation. Article 31 asks countries to find out about disabled people. State parties need collect appropriate information, including statistical and research data, to enable them to formulate and implement policies, which make a reality of the rights in the Convention.

If the Convention marks “a paradigm shift” in attitudes and approaches, then disabled people are not objects that are being counted, but subjects, who have rights and freedoms. As a result of this shift in thinking, ratification of the Convention should also mark a shift in creating a more inclusive society in El Salvador.
http://upsidedownworld.org/main/content/view/1384/74/

Top of page; Contents; Bottom of page

Sit-in at Nursing Home
Demonstrators organised a sit-in and called for closure of a nursing home in Philadelphia. “There is no justice for someone in a nursing home,” read a sign held by one of the demonstrators.

The group’s goal was to persuade Mayor Nutter to help find homes for 50 or so disabled residents over the next six months, then get out of the nursing-home business. They were successful! Details at:
http://www.adapt.org/ http://www.philly.com/philly/hp/news_update/20080818_Protesters_seek_to_close_Phila__nursing_home.html

Top of page; Contents; Bottom of page

And Finally …
Discrimination is a putrid shade of yellow
It tastes like stale vomit
It smells like rancid fish
Discrimination reminds me of corruption, anger and despair
And sounds like a hooded coward running scared
Discrimination feels like nobody cares …
Extract from Bipolar works blog, 2007

Thank you for your time.
We are pleased to hear from you.
Email: mysay4daa@live.co.uk

Supported by the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund.



Thank you to Disability Awareness Action for giving open permission to disseminate and re-publish their newsletter.

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

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

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

CBR Forum India Website

Posted on 14 July 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR), Cross-Disability, Human Rights, South Asian Region | Tags: , , , , , , |

Learn more about Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) programs in India at the CBR Forum website.

This website periodically posts news items related to human rights among people with disabilities. You can also find a listing of publications and powerpoint programs on CBR, human rights, universal access and other topics, as well as all past CBR Forum Annual Reports. Their resource section has links to laws and regulations relevant to people with disabilities in India; information about employment opportunities; links to government ministries and departments in India; links to disability-oriented organizations; and other resources around the web.

Start exploring the CBR Forum website at:

http://www.cbrforum.in/



Thank you to Ghulam Nabi Nizimani for bringing attention to this website.

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

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

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

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 4 so far )

New Website Links Parents of Disabled Children to Information, Resources

Posted on 14 July 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Children, Cross-Disability, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Resources, South Asian Region, youth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

June 27, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Julie Holmquist 952-838-9000

julie.holmquist@PACER.org

New PACER Web site offers information, resources for children with disabilities and their parents across the globe

Parents of children with disabilities living in India, Uzbekistan and across the globe can find a new resource on the Internet.

A new PACER Web site (www.PACER.org/international) acts as a link to resources, organizations, program ideas and practices that can improve the lives of children with disabilities.

The site was recently launched by the nonprofit PACER Center, a National Parent Center for families of children with disabilities located in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A.

The Web site provides information on the history of disability rights in the United States, as well as a list of links to resources and organizations in the U.S.A. and other countries that focus on helping children with disabilities.

The idea for the site developed from PACER’s collaboration with professionals and government officials in India. This special connection with India began in 2005 when PACER Executive Director Paula Goldberg visited families in India, met with government officials and toured programs for children with disabilities.

Since that time, PACER has co-sponsored India’s first National Conference on technology for children and adults with disabilities, along with India’s National Institute for the Mentally andicapped. PACER has also supported the creation of a new center on assistive technology for children and adults, scheduled to open September 13 at the Spastics Society of Karnatka(SSK) in Bangalore, India.

Creating a Web site was a way to exchange even more information, Goldberg says. Because of PACER’s close ties with India, the site has a wealth of information about disability organizations and laws in that country. In the future, Goldberg says PACER hopes to expand the amount of resources on the Web site specific to other countries.

PACER has a global reputation for helping families of children with disabilities. More than 130 guests from 15 foreign countries have visited PACER in recent years, and in 2007, PACER staff made presentations on disability issues during a satellite conference with Uzbekistan disability leaders. The conference was hosted by the U.S. Embassy.

“We’ve hosted many international guests at PACER who are eager to find additional resources for children with disabilities,” said Shauna McDonald, PACER’s director of community resource development. “The Web site is another way to collaborate and work toward the goal of improving the lives of children with disabilities around the world.”

PACER Center is a National Parent Center for families of children and youth with any disability or special health need. PACER is located at 8161 Normandale Blvd., Minneapolis, MN 55437-1044. For information, call 952-838-9000 (voice); 952-838-0190 (TTY) or 888-248-0822 (toll-free). PACER’s Web site is www.PACER.org and its e-mail address is PACER@PACER.org



This announcement was recently circulated on the AdHoc_IDC email discussion group.

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

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

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )

Tourists with Disabilities Offer Opportunities to India, says Dr Scott Rains

Posted on 14 July 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Cross-Disability, News, South Asian Region | Tags: , , , , , |

For Immediate Release:
Experts on the Disability Tourism Market to Tour India
July 9, 2008

“India is amazing!,” says Dr. Scott Rains publisher of the travel industry Rolling Rains Report.

“It is poised to show the world a new face of tourism. It can do that if it has the wisdom and will to act on new international business data about the travel behavior of people with disabilities,” he encourages. “With major government and industry investment in new hotels, airports, rail and bus transport at a time when inbound tourism continues to rise India could create an accessible tourism infrastructure that is the envy of the world – and profit in the process of making life easier for its own citizens with disabilities.”

Dr. Rains will address these opportunities for the Indian tourism industry in a four-city workshop tour sponsored by ASTA-India. The workshops being in New Delhi at the Surya Crown Plaza on July 28 at 0930. Session will follow in Mumbai 30th July, Kochi 1st August, and Chennai 4th August. Further information is available from ASTA India Coordinator Deepika Chowdhry:

Phone: +91-11- 41652406
Fax: +91-11-41652410
Email: admin@astaindia.com
astaindiachapter@gmail.com

Craig Grimes, a tour operator and wheelchair user from the UK who is opening Central America to travelers with disabilities will speak. His most recent project incudes training Nicaraguan tour guides in American Sign Language. ( http://www.craiggrimes.com/ ) Also speaking is Jani Nayar, Executive Coordinator of SATH (Society for Accessible Travel & Hospitality).

Travel professionals worldwide recognize the burgeoning market of travelers with disabilities.

The 2002 biennial study of the travel behavior of the US travel market by Open Doors Organization and Harris Interactive revealed that the 42 million people in the US with disabilities spend on average $13.6 billion US on travel. As the trend continues, and the aging post-WW II population boom ages en masse, organizations such as ASTA-India have begun alerting their membership to the competitive edge available in providing competent service to this market sector.

India has seen a nearly 100% increase in tourism in the past five years – five million visitors last year according to government figures.

Between 1996 and 2006, the Indian outbound market expanded nearly 10% per year. In 1996, Indians made nearly 3.5 million trips. By 2006, the number of outbound trips topped 8.3 million. These outbound numbers combined with a double-digit growth rate in inbound last year to around 5 million make India “one of the shining stars” in Asia Pacific travel and tourism, according to PATA’s Strategic Intelligence Centre. (source: PATA News)

“With a potential market of 500 million domestic tourists and ambitious projects underway to upgrade train and air terminals India is poised to demonstrate world leadership in the social inclusion of its own citizens by targeting the disability travel niche if it follows the example of other countries and applies Universal Design in destination development,” notes Dr. Rains. Universal Design is a set of seven principles outlining, according to Adaptive Environments, “a framework for the design of places, things, information, communication and policy to be usable by the widest range of people operating in the widest range of situations without special or separate design. Most simply, Universal Design is human-centered design of everything with everyone in mind.”

“Pioneers like ASTA India show great foresight in emphasizing our community as a market,” says Rains.

“I am a quadriplegic and have used a wheelchair since I was 17 in 1972. I have recently returned from addressing the second international conference on Inclusive Tourism in Bangkok (ICAT 2007) sponsored by UNESCAP, a kayaking tour of Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska with the wheelchair-friendly yacht Sea Wolf organized by Waypoint Yacht Charter Services, and a site inspection of one of Brazil’s foremost adventure tourism resorts, Parque dos Sonhos in Socorro Brazil, where I rode a one kilometer long zipline from mountaintop to mountaintop. Tourism in our community is growing in size, wealth, and sophistication. Whether it is developing accessible heritage tourism in Agra, accessible water tours in Kerala, or accessible adventure tourism in Gujarat India is poised to become a leader in Inclusive Tourism and could become a destination of choice for a community that the UN estimates at 500 million persons.”

Organizations are rising to the challenge set out by Tourism Minister Ambika Soni. In the current global environment investors are aggressively seeking infrastructure projects as safe havens of profit. A campaign of Inclusive Destination Development in India gives investors what they are looking for plus the peace of mind of supporting a socially responsible initiative.
Already Indian organizations like Svayam, AccessAbility, the Disability Rights Initiative of the India Centre for Human Rights and Law, and Design for All – India have done the initial preparation.

“Their work can be applied to development of the twenty Indian mega-destination sites announced by Minister Soni at the Great Indian Travel Bazaar-2008. Minister Soni’s announcement of seven Indian tourism circuits of three destinations each will be enhanced by application of the concept known within the disability as “accessible paths of travel” as India adopts the path of Inclusive Destination Development that is grounded in Universal Design,” commented Rains. “One of the outcomes of my visit will be greater communication between Indian experts in the travel, destination development, and disability fields as Indian quickly develops its own contributions to the global growth of travel opportunities that tap into the purchasing power of the disability community.



Thank you to Dr. Scott Rains for submitting this press release for publication at We Can Do.

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

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

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )

RESOURCE: Making Schools Inclusive: How Change Can Happen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 3 so far )

Successful Projects–What Makes Them Work?

Posted on 2 June 2008. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Case Studies, Cognitive Impairments, Reports, Resources | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Ideas are easy. Any 10 disability advocates will have 100 ideas for projects to fight poverty or otherwise improve the lives of people with disabilities in developing countries. But knowing how to implement projects that actually do what advocates and funders hope they will do is much harder. So, what makes successful projects work? Why do they work? What lessons can other project leaders learn from them?

Inclusion International has released a 66-page study entitled “Successful Projects–What Makes Them Work?” (PDF format, 3.5 Mb). As it happens, their analysis focuses on projects for people with intellectual disabilities in India, Romania, Kenya, and South Africa. But its conclusions are broad enough that this guide may be useful across disability groups and regions.

Successful Projects by Anders Gustavsson and Johans Sandvin and Annika and Lennart Nilsson examines 13 different projects. Each project was chosen because it was interesting, successful, or outstanding in improving the lives of people with intellectual disabilities. Chapters 1 and 2 describe the research process and the national reports used. Chapters 3 to 7 provide a cross national analysis of the 13 projects, and chapter 8 presents conclusions and implications. The study aimed to answer the following questions (taken from page 8 of the report):

  • Which projects resulting in sustainable improvements of life conditions for adults and children with intellectual disabilities can be found in the four countries?
  • What are the most strategic change agents, internationally, nationally and locally?
  • Which methods are most effective at initiating and maintaining the processes of change?
  • What other factors, deliberate project interventions as well as contextual factors, are important to achieve a positive change?

Experienced leaders, advocates, and professionals may agree with some of Inclusion International’s conclusions but may disagree with others. The study’s conclusion suggests, for example, that any criteria used to measure improvement in the quality of life must be specific to the local culture. The rationale is that different cultures define “quality of life” very differently. This seems a valid point.

But then the study goes further to baldly assert, “the idea of developing a model of best practice to be applied across cultural contexts would never work” (p. 57). This seems too overgeneralized a conclusion from my view.

If by “a model of best practice” you mean “a rigidly prescribed, one-size-fits all project plan,” then I have no hesitation in agreeing. Projects that are too strict in emulating their original model adapt poorly to the unique needs of the people they serve. I also agree wholeheartedly with the study’s assertion that projects work best when they are generated by local people themselves, in response to their own ideas and passions. Projects imposed by outsiders rarely work as well, either because they are not responsive to actual local problems or because local leaders don’t support them as strongly.

But it is a dangerously false assumption to believe that projects originated in other cultural contexts can never offer lessons for leaders elsewhere. As one example (though not disability specific): some years ago, Mexico and Brazil each launched what is now called “conditional cash transfer” programs. Governments give the very poorest families cash. In exchange, parents must do certain things such as sending their children to school or bringing them to health clinics.

The original conditional cash transfer idea has now proliferated not only within Latin America but also to countries as culturally disparate as Kenya, Turkey, Indonesia, and even New York City in the United States. They help improve school attendance, child health, and family nutrition as well as helping families cope with poverty. Yes, each project does need to be carefully tailored for the local culture and conditions. But the broad concept of this program has survived the transition across cultures very well.

Surely there must be broad strategies for certain types of projects targeted at people with disabilities that could similarly survive the transition from one culture to another, even if the details must be dramatically altered.

I should hasten to point out I may be over-reacting to an admittedly superficial glance at the study’s conclusions and accompanying powerpoint programs. The flaw may well be in my reading rather than in the study.

These caveats aside, project leaders, disability advocates, and international development professionals all may find it interesting to read the common “story line” of how successful projects tend to get started. And, as mentioned further above, some of its conclusions do strike me as valid and interesting.

The 66-page report can be downloaded for free in PDF format (3.5 Mb) at:

http://www.inclusion-international.org/site_uploads/File/Inclusion%20International%20Study%20-%20A%20Cross-National%20Analysis%20-%20Final.pdf

An accompanying powerpoint program, and more detailed reports on individual countries, can be found at the Inclusion International web site at:

http://inclusion-international.org/en/projects/10.html



I first found this study by browsing the Inclusion International web site.

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

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

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

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )

Australian Leadership Awards Scholarship for Masters or Doctorate

Posted on 25 May 2008. Filed under: Announcements, East Asia Pacific Region, Education and Training Opportunities, Fellowships & Scholarships, Opportunities | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Australian Leadership Awards Scholarship for Masters or Doctorate
[The application deadline for this scholarship for people in the Asia-Pacific region is June 30, 2008.]

The Australian Leadership Awards (ALA) Scholarships are a component of the Australian Leadership Awards, a regional program under the Australian Scholarships initiative. Australian Leadership Awards aim to develop leadership, build partnerships and linkages within the Asia-Pacific.

They are intended for those who are already leaders or have the potential to assume leadership roles that can influence social and economic policy reform and development outcomes, both in their own countries and in the Asia-Pacific region. The ALA program comprises of Scholarships and Fellowships.

ALA Scholarships are academically elite awards offered to high achievers from the Asia-Pacific region each year to undertake postgraduate study (Masters or Doctorate) and a Leadership Development Program in Australia.

Selection for ALA Scholarships is highly competitive, based on leadership qualities and on academic excellence.

ALA Scholarships are an investment in the future of the Asia-Pacific region. In this regard, ALA scholars are required to return to their home country or the region for two years after they have completed their studies.

In future years, ALA scholars will belong to a unique group – the Australian Scholarships Alumni Network (ASAN) – that will maintain strong and enduring links to Australia. Managed by AusAID as part of Australia’s overseas aid program, ALA Scholarships are open only to citizens of countries in the Asia-Pacific region with which Australia has a significant aid program.

Objectives of ALA Scholarships
ALA Scholarships aim to:

  • develop a cadre of leaders advancing regional reform, development and governance
  • increase exchange of knowledge and information within the region
  • build common purpose and understanding between Australia and the region
  • build capacity to address priority regional issues
  • build effective networks between Australia and the region
  • demonstrate the benefits of Australian education through the provision of high quality education.

Fields of study
Awards are open to all fields of study, however, study programs that relate to the priority themes of international trade, pandemics, security and climate change (including clean energy) are encouraged. Scholarships are not available for military training, or training in areas related to nuclear technology and flying aircraft.

Levels of study
An ALA Scholarship enables candidates to undertake studies leading to a Masters or Doctorate degree in Australia. It does not include Graduate Diplomas, with the exception of those Masters courses that require the completion of a Graduate Diploma as part of the Masters degree.

Who should apply
Outstanding applicants with:

  • a very high level of academic achievement at undergraduate and/or postgraduate level
  • a high level of English language proficiency
  • demonstrated leadership potential and good prospects to influence social and economic policy reform and development outcomes in their home country and in the Asia-Pacific region
  • a commitment to participate ASAN on their return home.

Scholarship benefits
An ALA Scholarship has a total value of up to A$110,000 for Masters degrees and A$220,000 for Doctoral programs, not including provisions for the leadership development program.

Benefits include:

  • return air travel
  • visa support
  • establishment allowance
  • full tuition fees
  • =

  • contribution to living expenses
  • Introductory Academic program (IAP)
  • Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for the duration of the award (for award holder only).

Eligibility
To be eligible for an Australian Leadership Award (ALA) Scholarship, applicants must satisfy the eligibility requirements outlined below.

Applicants must be a citizen of one of the participating countries listed below.
Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Kiribati, Laos, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Nauru, Nepal, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Timor-Leste, Vanuatu, Viet Nam, Wallis & Futuna.

Applicants must not have Australian or New Zealand citizenship or permanent residence status, nor be in the process of applying.

Application information
<a href=”Read the following information at the scholarship web site before you apply:

Frequently asked questions
Timeline for applicants
Eligibility
Selection criteria
Terms and conditions of the scholarship
How to apply
Further information

If the material found on http://www.ausaid.gov.au/scholar/ala.cfmthe website for the Australian Leadership Awards Scholarship does not provide the necessary help, please direct enquiries by email to: ala@ausaid.gov.au

More information is available at the Australian Leadership Awards Scholarship web site at: http://www.ausaid.gov.au/scholar/ala.cfm



We Can Do received this announcement via the AdHoc_IDC listserv. People interested in the program should please consult the web site for the Australian Leadership Awards Scholarship (click on this link). Any remaining questions not cleared up by their web site can please be directed to the parties involved with the scholarship at ala@ausaid.gov.au, NOT We Can Do.

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

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

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 9 so far )

Bangkok Event Marks Entry into Force of Disability Rights Treaty

Posted on 29 April 2008. Filed under: Announcements, East Asia Pacific Region, Human Rights, News, Opportunities | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

United Nations in Bangkok to Mark Entry into Force of Treaty on Disability Rights
Special Event to be Held on Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Bangkok (United Nations Information Services) – A ground-breaking new international treaty, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, will enter into force on 3 May 2008 – one month after it was ratified by the twentieth country.

In Asia and the Pacific, which is home to about 400 million persons with disabilities, Bangladesh, India and the Philippines are the three countries which have already ratified the Convention. Thailand is expected to do so soon.

The Convention is the first ever international treaty on the human rights of persons with disabilities. It was adopted by the UN General Assembly in December 2006, and it aims to ensure that people with disabilities enjoy human rights on an equal basis with others.

To celebrate the Convention’s entry into force, three UN bodies in Bangkok will organize a special event on Wednesday, 30 April 2008, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:15 a.m., at the United Nations Conference Centre.

It is being jointly organized by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the International Labour Organization (ILO).

Noeleen Heyzer, UN Under-Secretary-General and ESCAP’s Executive Secretary, will address the event, which will feature a keynote speech by Senator Monthian Buntan of Thailand – who is blind – on the impact of the entry into force of the Convention and the importance of its ratification for countries in the region. Ms. Syeda Saiyidain Hameed, a member of the
Government of India’s Planning Commission, will also speak.

A related photo exhibition, entitled “Decent Work for Persons with Disabilities,” will be on display featuring various prize-winning photographs. The special event will also include a live musical performance by a group from Thailand, “The Network of Music and Arts of Persons with Disabilities.”

About ten per cent of the world’s total population – around 650 million people – are estimated to be living with various forms of disabilities. The percentage is even higher among the world’s poorest people, around 20 per cent of them having some kind of disability. People with disabilities are mostly marginalized and among the poorest of the poor, with limited access to education, employment, housing, transportation and health services. They represent a significant, but generally overlooked, development challenge.

Ensuring equality of rights and access for all persons with disabilities would have a beneficial impact on the social and economic conditions of each country, by enhancing their participation in education, employment, cultural, social and political activities and increasing their consumer power.

The new Convention marks a significant step in this direction. It encourages States to stop viewing persons with disabilities as passive recipients of charity, medical treatment and social protection. Instead, it casts persons with disabilities as active members of society and “subjects” who have rights and are capable of claiming those rights, being also able to make key decisions based on their free and informed consent.

NOTE TO THE MEDIA: Media representatives are cordially invited to attend this special event on Wednesday, 30 April, 2008, at 11:00 a.m. at the Reception Hall, Ground Floor, United Nations Conference Centre, at ESCAP’s headquarters in Bangkok.

***

For further information, please contact:

Ms. Aiko Akiyama
Population and Social Integration Section
Emerging Social Issues Division
ESCAP
Bangkok
Tel: 662-2882315
Mobile: 66-81-8309176
Fax: 662-2881030 or 2881009

or

Mr. Ari Gaitanis
United Nations Information Services
ESCAP
Bangkok
Tel: 662-2881862
Fax: 662-288-1052
Email: unisbkk.unescap@un.org

Aiko Akiyama
Social Affairs Officer
Emerging Social Issues Division (ESID)
UNESCAP
RAJDAMNERN NOK AVENUE,
BANGKOK 10200
THAILAND
Tel: 66-2-288-2315
Fax: 66-2-288-1030
Cellular: 66-81-830-9176
Email akiyama@un.org
http://www.unescap.org/esid/psis/disability/index.asp



This announcement was recently circulated on the Global Partnership for Disability and Development listserv.

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

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

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

HANDBOOK: Employing the Disabled

Posted on 29 April 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Employment, Inclusion, Resources | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

The following email was recently circulated by Shivani Gupta, Director of AccessAbility, an organization in India that specializes in issues related to universal design and employment for people with disabilities.

Hi All,

Greetings from AccessAbility!

Over the last few years, the issue of employment of persons with disabilities in the private sector has been on top of many minds, but it has mostly been perceived as a social issue needing a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) approach instead of being looked upon as a business case needing the regular Human Resources (HR) approach. With our association with the Indian Tobacco Company (ITC)-Welcomgroup as access consultants, we were able to closely observe its evolution in employment of persons with disabilities, from being a CSR concern to an HR practice and have tried to document (in the form of a handbook) the learning that came out of it.

The handbook, “Employing the Disabled” is a step by step guide to demystify the perceived complexities around employing persons with disabilities, and can be downloaded in PDF format at http://www.accessability.co.in/files/Employing-the-Disabled.pdf (369 Kb).

I hope you find the handbook useful and will really appreciate if you can provide your feedback on how this handbook can be improved further.

Warm Regards,
Shivani Gupta
Director
AccessAbility

EmployAbility | AbilityForum

D8/8073, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi -110070 | Tel Work: + 91 11 3266 0862 | Fax: + 91 11 2613 0862 | Mob: + 91 93102 45745



Thank you to Shivani Gupta for circulating this announcement. People who wish to share feedback or make inquiries about the handbook should please contact AccessAbility directly.

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

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

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )

NEWS: Disabled to Vote in Karnataka, India

Posted on 22 April 2008. Filed under: Blind, Democratic Participation, Human Rights, Mobility Impariments, News, South Asian Region, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

People with disabilities in Karnataka, India, have now won the right to accessible polling locations in the upcoming May 10, 2008, assembly elections, Action Aid India has reported.  All officials involved with the upcoming election have been alerted to the requirement to install ramps and Braille voting booths so that people with mobility and vision impairments will be able to vote.

Delegates, including people who use wheelchairs or have vision impairments, visited political party officies to raise demands for access to voting polls.  However, the offices themselves were not accessible to the delegates because they had no ramps. 

Read the full story on the successful fight to achieve voting rights for disabled people in Karnataka, India, at:

http://actionaidindia.org/People_with_disability_Karnataka%20fight_to_make_election_count.htm

Are you working to achieve voting rights for disabled people in your own country?  If so, you might wish to review a letter written to Chief Electoral Officers in India  (PDF format, 2.29 Mb) last fall as part of the campaign to advocate for more accessible voting locations; unfortunately, the second part of the PDF file seems to be an image, which may be inaccessible to people using screen readers:

http://actionaidindia.org/download/disabled_right_group.pdf

While you are at the Action Aid India web site, you may wish to also browse among some of the other resources linked there related to disability rights.



We Can Do first learned about this news from Ghulam Nabi Nizamani.

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

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

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

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )

CALL FOR PAPERS: Community Based Rehabilitation, Concept and Cases

Posted on 14 April 2008. Filed under: Call for Papers, Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR), Opportunities, South Asian Region | Tags: , , , , , , , |

[Edited 6 November 2008 to add this note: This book has now been published and can be purchased at http://www.books.iupindia.org/newarticle.asp?isbn=978-81-314-1479-8&bookid=IB1101859]

The following email was recently circulated on the Global Partnership for Disability and Development (GPDD) email discussion group.

Dear All

This is Dr. Kishor Bhanushali from India. I have recently completed my doctorate in the area of vocational rehabilitation. I am looking for professionals who can contribute articles for my forthcoming edited book on Community Based Rehabilitation: Concept and Cases. Those interested can contact me at kishorkisu@rediffmail.com, Kishor@ibsindia.org

Thanks,
Dr. Kishor Bhanushali

Please note that people with inquiries should contact Dr. Kishor Banushali directly via the email addresses given above.



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

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

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )

TRAINING: International Diploma in Mental Health Law, Human Rights

Posted on 8 April 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Capacity Building and Leadership, Education and Training Opportunities, Human Rights, Opportunities, Psychiatric Disabilities | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently announced the first ever one-year International Diploma in Mental Health Law and Human Rights. The new academic program will launch in October 2008 in Pune, India, and is the result of a collaborative effort between the Indian Law Society Law College and WHO Mental Health Improvements for Nations Development (MIND). Based on WHO materials and tools, the program is meant to enhance student understanding of international human rights standards and mechanisms to protect the rights of people with mental disabilities and provide them with the skills to apply this knowledge in their own national contexts.

This program is particularly relevant in light of the new international disability rights treaty–the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)–that will be entering into force on May 3, 2008.

To be eligible for the new International Diploma in Mental Health Law and Human Rights, students should have a degree from any recognized university in any of the following subjects: law, medicine, psychiatry, nursing, psychology, social work, other social sciences, or other natural sciences.

Alternately, people who use mental health services, and caretakers, are also encouraged to pursue the diploma program so they can become effective advocates for change. These candidates can be eligible with graduate qualification in any discipline from a recognized university.

The application deadline is June 15, 2008 in order to be considered for entering with the first class of students in October 2008.

UPDATE, July 2, 2008: it has been confirmed that another course will be offered in the year 2009. People who have missed the deadline to apply for the 2008 course should monitor the website for the International Diploma in Mental Health Law and Human Rights directly for updates, deadlines, and other details relating to subsequent courses.

Students may apply on line. Tuition for international students will be $7000 in US dollars. Prospective students should follow the link to the website for the diploma program for information on the availability of scholarship options. As of July 2008, their website indicates that limited scholarships are available primarily for people in India.

Learn more about the program via their web site at:

http://www.mentalhealthlaw.in/index.html

Inquiries about the program should please be directed to the Indian Law Society College, not to We Can Do.



We Can Do first learned about this program via the Disabled Peoples International e-newsletter. Further details was collected at the web site for the Diploma program.

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

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

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 6 so far )

NEWS: Commonwealth Disabled Peoples’ Forum Founded

Posted on 8 April 2008. Filed under: Human Rights, News, South Asian Region, Sub-Saharan Africa Region, youth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Ghulam Nabi Nizamani has asked that people circulate the following press release.

COMMONWEALTH DISABLED PEOPLES’ FORUM

Press Release

A New Voice Shouts to the Commonwealth –
Nothing About us Without Us.

Disabled youth and adult people from 16 Commonwealth countries came together from 15-17 March, 2008 in London to launch a unique Commonwealth Disabled Peoples’ Forum (1), the purposes of which will be to provide a link between disabled people’s organisations in all Commonwealth countries and all the political structures of the Commonwealth.

At the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in October 2007 the civil society challenge to CHOGM was to mainstream disability in sustainable development, to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability (CRPD) and to adopt disability inclusive policies. This cannot be achieved without a strong, democratic forum of disabled youth and adults to ensure implementation.

We had a vibrant and dynamic series of meetings to consolidate the vision, constitution and activities of the Forum (2). The youth met separately to devise their own creative methods of self representation and organisation. We came together in a final agreement of how to go forward together. It is essential that the voice of young disabled people is heard clearly in the work of the CDPF. They are the future leaders and builders of our shared vision of a Commonwealth built on equality, human rights and respect for diversity.

The major focus of our work in the next two years, including a major conference before CHOGM in 2009, will be to ensure that Commonwealth countries sign, ratify and implement the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability. As Rachel Kachaje said at the Launch of the CDPF, hosted by the Commonwealth Foundation at Marlborough House,
‘Disabled people see that hope springs out of the convention – hope for a new, inclusive world where disabled people can be seen as fully human’

We, All Sanghar Handicaps’ Association Pakistan are very proud to have part of this exciting new beginning and look forward to working with our disabled colleagues to ensure our full inclusion in all the nations of our shared Commonwealth.

For further information contact:
Ghulam Nabi Nizamani
South Asia /South East Asia Regional Representative
Bakhoro Road Sanghar-68100, Pakistan. (3)
Ph # +92-333-2916281
Email: ghulamnabi.nizamani@gmail.com (4)

(1) This meeting was funded by the Commonwealth Foundation, DFID, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and ADD.
(2) Officers elected were: Chair: James Mwanda (Uganda), Vice Chair: George Daniel (Tinidad & Tobago), Secretary: Javed Abidi (India), Treasurer: Richard Rieser (UK), Women’s Representative: Rachel Kachaje, (Malawi) Youth Representatives: Laura Kanusu (Uganda)
George Kasara (Kenya), Regional Representatives: Ghulam Nabi Nizaamani (Pakistan), Lesley Emmanuel (Antigua), Setareki Macanawai (Fiji), Steve Estey (Canada) Thomas Ongolo (South Africa).
(3) The registered office of the CDPF will be in India and there will be a liaison office in the UK to work directly with the Commonwealth Secretariat and Foundation.
(4) This email address can be changed after website of CDPF.



In addition to the above press release, Ghulam Nabi Nizamani also made the following note in mid March:

The following countries from South Asia and South East Asia are member countries of Commonwealth. These Countries are invited to submit application for Commonwealth Disabled Peoples’ Forum (CDPF) Country Focal Point.
Bangladesh
Brunei Darussalam
India
Malaysia
Maldives
Pakistan
Singapore
Sri Lanka

The Organization must be National Level Organization in respective country if in any country there will be no National Organization we will support to encourage to estabilish National organization in that country. Please also send establishment date of Organization, Network in the Country, Some credible work done in past. Please send information by mail or email before the first week of April 2008.

Cheers!
Ghulam Nabi Nizamani
Regional Representative CDPF
South and South East Asia

Note: We have no contact from Brunei Darussalam please help us for finding National organization there.



Thank you to Ghulam Nabi Nizamani for sharing the above press release. Any inquiries should please be emailed to him directly at ghulamnabi.nizamani@gmail.com.

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

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

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 5 so far )

RESOURCE: Disabled Women’s Organizations in Pacific-Asia

Posted on 7 April 2008. Filed under: Cross-Disability, East Asia Pacific Region, Resources, South Asian Region, Sub-Saharan Africa Region, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The following list of Disabled Women’s Organizations, Groups, and Committees in the Asia/Pacific Region (plus a few in Africa) was developed at the International Labour Organisation in Bangkok in December 2007. We Can Do readers should note that contact information can change quickly. If you try contacting an organization and cannot seem to reach them with the contact information given here, try googling the name of the contact person, or the name of the organization, or both. You can also consult other resources that can help you find more disability-oriented organizations around the world.

List of Disabled Women’ Organizations/Groups/Committee
Date: 19-12-2007

Annie Parkinson
President of Women with Disabilities Australia (WWDA)
Post Office Box 605 Rosny Park, Tasmania 7018 Australia
Tel: + 61 3 62448288
Fax: + 61 3 62448255
E-mail: wwda@wwda.org.au
Web: http://www.wwda.org.au

Sabina Hossain Kochi
Chair Person of
Women with Disabilities Development Foundation BPKS complex, Dhakkhinkhan, Uttara, Dhaka 1230. Bangladesh
Tel: + 880-8923915,8960077
E-mail: bpks@citechco.net

Ashrafun Nahar Misti
Deputy coordinator of Women with Disabilities Development Network
BPKS complex, Dhakkhinkhan, Uttara, Dhaka 1230, Bangladesh
Tel: +880-8923915,8960077
E-mail: cotoed@bpksbd.org
Champa Dash
Chairperson of
Disabled Women’ Development Committee
PSID center Narail
Moheshkhola Narail PSID Center
Post: Narail, Upzilla & dist: Narail, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Mob: +880-8901713196017

Shucithra Rani Shaha
Chairperson of Disabled Women ‘s Development Committee,
Nagarpur Disabled Peoples Organizations Tangail Bangladesh
Vill & Post : Mamud Nagar
Upazilla: Nagarpur, District: Tangail
Bangladesh
Mob: +880-01711`512295, 01712078249

Mah,uda Khatun
Chairperson of Disabled Women Committee Narshindi
Narshindi Disabled People Organization to Development
Vill: Ashrafpur (Near Sub registry Office )
Upazilla: Shibpur, District : Narshingdi
Bangladesh
Mob: +880-01712078247, 01713196024

Hafsa Akter
Chairperson of
Disabled Women Development Committee
Chandpur
Chandpur Disabled People Organizations to Development
Vill: Charbashanto, Upazilla: Faridgonj
District Chandpur, Bangladesh
Mob: +8801712o78245

Soyada Shahina
Disabled Women’s Development Committee
NDDS Protibandhi Kallayan Society (PKS)
24, R K Mission Road, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Mob:+880-01712069686
e-mail: pks-bd@agnionline.com

Naznin Nahar
Coordinator of
Disabled Women’s Development Committee, Meherpur
SPD Complex, Post: Mujibnagar
Dist: Meherpur-7100
Bangladesh
Tel:+880-2-07923-74011
Fax: +880-2-8332924
e-mail:spd@bdonline.com

Nasima khatun
Chairperson of Disabled Women’s Development Committee, Disabled People Organizations to Development Moulovibazar, Bangladesh
Vill: natissar, Post: Giash Nagar ,
Upazilla & Dist: Moulovibazar , Bangladesh
Mob: +880-01712078248

Lovely akter Shapla
Chairperson of Disabled Women’s Development Committee, Monmanshingh Disabled Peoples Organizations to Development
Vill: Voradoba Klab bazaar, Upazilla: Valuka
Dist: Moimanshingh, Bangladesh
Mob: +880-01713196029

Women with Disabilities Project Centre for Services and Information on Disability (CSID)
House # 715, Road # 10,
Baitul Aman Housing Society
Adabor
Dhaka- 1207 Bangladesh
Tel: 9129727, 8143882
Fax: 8125669
E-mail: csid@bdonline.com, csid@bdmail.net
Web: www.csidnetwork.org

Disabled Women’s Committee
Fiji Disabled People Association 355 Waimanu Road, Suva G.P.O. Box 15178, Suva, Fiji
Phone: +679- 331-1203
Fax: +679- 330-1161.

Association of Women with Disabilities Hong Kong
Room 11-12, G/F, Wang Cho House
Wang Tau Hom Estate Kowloon,
Hong Kong, China
Fax: +852-2337-1549
Email: women@awdhk_conf.org
For all disabilities.

Miss Berhane Daba
President of Ethiopian Women with Disabilities National Association (EWDNA)
P.o. Box 43128
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Tel: + 252-1-0911-451717
Email address berhanedaba@yahoo.com

Regina
Secretary of Sadhana Women with Disabilities Association Tamil Nadu
ADD India
Kallukadai Steet, Sathyamoorthy Nagar
Keeranur Pudukottai District
Tamil Nadu, India
Email: addindiatn@rediffmail.com
All disabilities

Kuhu Das,
Director of Association of Women with Disabilities 6/J, Surah 2nd Lane, Phoolbagan, Kolkata-700010, India
Tel: +91-64535802
Fax: +91-23639115
Mobile: +91-9830226718
E-mail: sawwd@vsnl.net

Shampa Sengupta
Representative of Women with Disability, Sruti Disability Rights Centre
Sruti disAbility Rights centre
5A R.K. Ghosal Road
Kolkata 700 042, India
Tel: +91- 9433174978

Sobhagya Goyal
Vice President of National Forum for Visually Impaired Women
All India Confederation of the Blind Ghasety Bazar Ajmer
Rajasthan, India
Tel. : +91- 0145-2621185
Mob. : +91 – 9414708018

Ms. Lidya Miranita
Indonesian Association of Women with Disabilities (HWPCI)
Jl. Cempaka Putih raya No. 1, Jakarta – Pusat
Jakarta – 10510 – Indonesia
Tel/Fax : +62-21-42879844
E-mail : ariani_0704@yahoo.com
website : www.hwpci.org

Indonesian Blind Women Union (PERTUNI)
Gedung Inkoppol, Gd II, lt. 2
Jl. Tambak No. 2, Jakarta – Pusat
Jakarta – 10320, Indonesia
Tel/fax : +62-21-31931704
email : pertuni_dpp@yahoo.co.id

Ms. Kimie Nagumo
President of DPI Women with Disabilities Network Japan
Japan
nagumo-kimie@mwe.biglobe.ne.jp

Kim, Mi Joo
Representative of Women with Disabilities Arts and Culture and Network
Seoul Women’s Plaza 3F NGO Center 345-1
Daebang-dong Dongjak-gu Seoul 156-808 Korea
Tel: +82-02-823-8360
Cell: 011-746-2196
Email: kim_mijoo@yahoo.com
Web: http://www.kkipan.com

Koo Gwi Hoi
Coordinator of Organizing Committee for the Global Summit of Women with Disabilities
Swon Bdg, IF, 877-13, Shinjeong5-dong, Yangcheon-gu,
Seoul, Korea
Tel: +82-2-2692-2293
Mobile: +82-19-285-5447
Email: koohj19@hanmail.net

Lee Ye-ja
Korean Differently Abled Women United Organization
Rm 811, Chritian Building
136-46 Yonci-dong, Chongno-Ku, Seoul
Korea (110-736)
Tel: +82-2-3675-9935
Email: kdawu@hanmail.com
leeyeja@shinburo.com
Web: http://www.kdawu.org

Catherine Mwayoga
Women’s Committee
United Disabled Persons of Kenya (UDPK) Waiyaki Way; P.O. box 13488; Nairobi, Kenya
Tel.: +254-2-443915
Fax: +254-2-446065,
E-mail: disability@wananchi.com

Ms. Daloonny Souvannavong
Director of Lao Disabled Women Development Center
Ban Dongphosy, Hatsayfong District Vientiane
PO Box 6751, Thadeua Rd, Hatsayfong District
Vientiane Capital, Lao
Tel : +21 812282
Fax : +21 812282
Email : ldwdc@laotel.com

Shusila Poudel
President of Nepal Disabled Women Society (NDWS)
Pulchowk, Lalitpur:3; PO Box 5445, Nepal
Tel: +997-1- 535770, 531324
Fax: +997-1- 535770, 535142
E-Mail: sushila@coho.wlink.np
ndws@coho.wlink.com.np

Indira Chapagain
President of Nepal Disabled Women Association (NDWA)
NPC 8973,00560
Kathmandu, Putalisadak, Nepal
Tel: +977-1-6635926
Email: ndwa_ndwa@hotmail.com
Nara Kumari Karki
President of National Association for Disabled Women-Nepal (NADW-Nepal)
P.O. Box 7268 Koteshwor
Kathmandu Nepal
Tel: +977-14496664
E-mail: nadw@hotmail.com

Shrijana Singh
President of Deaf Women Development Committee (DWDC)
P.O. Box 4601 Putalisadak Kathmandu
Tel: +977-1-415-568
Fax: +977-1-416-200 Deaf and hard of hearing

Ola Abu Alghaib
Stars Of Hope Center ‘Empowerment of women with Disabilities’ Palestine
Palestine-Mamalloh-Al Elsal-Bazar Commercial Center-4th Floor
Tel: +972-2-2972345
Mobile: +972-599-026260
Email: starofhope2007@gmail.com

Miss N.G. Kamalawathie,
President of Association of Women with Disabilities (AKASA)
Pahalagama Road , Kongollewa,
Talawa, Sri Lanka
Tel: +94 25 5670329
Fax : +94 25 2275022
Mobile :+94 773121062
E-mail : akasa7@sltnet.lk

Savina Nongebatu
Member of Disabled Women’s Committee Solomon
Disabled People Organization Solomon DPASI(DPO) Solomon
Tel: +677- 24863, 677- 36062
savina_nongebatu@yahoo.com.au
cbr@moh.gov.sb

Association of Blind Women Thailand 94/4 Moo 13 Sihaburanukit Road
Minburi, Bangkok, 10510, Thailand
Tel: +66-2-233-6079
Email: abwt@tab.or.th

Ms. Supattraporn Tanatikom
Disabled Peoples’ International Asia Pacific Regional Office
92 Phaholyothin 5 Road, Samsennai, Phayathai Bangkok 10400 THAILAND
Telephone numbers: (662) 271 2123
Fax : (662) 2712124
E-mail: sarahmaithai@gmail.com,
supattraporn@dpiap.org
Website: www.dpiap.org

Ms. Hellen Asamo
African Women with Disabilities
P.O. Box 8567, Kampala, Uganda
Tel.: +256-41-540179
Fax: +256-41-540178
E-Mail: nudipu@starcom.co.ug

Ms. Duong Thi Van
Women’s Committee of Bright Future Group for People with Disabilities
124 A Dai La Street, Hanoi, Vietnam
Tel: +844 628-0527
E-mail: van@netnam.com

Ms. Nguyen Hong Oanh
Director of Hanoi Women with Disabilities Club 112B5, 46B Pham Ngoc Thach alley, Hanoi (the front gate), Vietnam
Tel: +84-4-8522 778
Email: phunuthudo@nguoikhuyettat.org
lananhdf@gmail.com



Thank you to Bishnu Maya Dhungana for passing along this list.

Do YOU have a list of disability-oriented organizations in developing nations or regions? Please share with We Can Do readers by submitting it to me at ashettle [at] patriot.net.

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

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

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 7 so far )

NEWS: New Delhi, India, Aims to Improve Accessibility

Posted on 19 February 2008. Filed under: Inclusion, Mobility Impariments, News, South Asian Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

People with mobility impairments who live in, or plan to visit, New Delhi, India, are hoping the capital city will soon be easier for them to navigate.

The Rajiv Gandhi Foundation and the Samarthya National Centre for Promotion of Barrier Free Environment for Disabled Persons are collaborating with the aim of making Delhi more accessible for everyone. They have identified 20 sites and services, including 225 Delhi Transport Corporation bus queue shelters and the New Delhi railway station, that they plan to make “barrier free.” Their target is to make all of these sites accessible within two years.

The Rajiv Gandhi Foundation works in areas that were of deep concern to Rajiv Gandhi by promoting “effective, practical and sustainable programmes in areas of national development.” One of its several areas of focus includes helping people with disabilities become more self-reliant, including gaining equal opportunities for employment or self-employment. Their web site is at http://www.rgfindia.com

The mission of the Samarthya National Centre is to promote an “inclusive environment and universal design in the built environment and transportation,” including a focus on barrier-free tourism. Their web site is at http://www.samarthyam.org

A newspaper article about the New Delhi accessibility project was published in The Hindu last month; read the full story at:

http://www.hindu.com/2008/01/26/stories/2008012656540400.htm

More information about the New Delhi project can be found at the following web pages:

http://www.samarthyam.org/node/19
http://www.samarthyam.org/node/27

You can also download a PDF file about the project (232 Kb) at

http://www.samarthyam.org/files/Current%20projects%20of%20Samarthya.pdf

Please note that only the third page is in English. I was unable to read the other three pages on my screen. I am assuming that the rest of this document may be in Hindi, which I guess my computer isn’t able to handle in PDF. If someone can confirm or verify this, please post a comment in the comments area below. This would be helpful information for others to have. Thank you.



Thank you to Sanjeev Sachdeva at Samarthya for circulating the news article through which I learned of this project. We Can Do found additional information about the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation and Samarthya through their web sites.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 3 so far )

TRAINING: Planning and Management of CBR Programs, Bangalore, India

Posted on 10 February 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR), Cross-Disability, Education and Training Opportunities, Rehabilitation, South Asian Region | Tags: , , , , , , , |

The training program will be April 7 to April 17th, 2008, in Bangalore, India. Read below for further details, then inquire directly with the organizers at cbrnet@airtelbroadband.in.

CBR NETWORK (South Asia)
— (A NGO Movement Bridging the Gaps ……

* UN ECOSOC Special Consultative Status since 2007
* Associate Member of Rehabilitation International (Advancing the rights and inclusion of persons with disabilities worldwide)

Human Resource Development (HRD) Programmes in Community Based Rehabilitation

Training Programme for CBR Managers

CBR Network (South Asia) is an international NGO (Non-Government Organisation) actively involved in Training, Research, Consultancy, Information exchange, Advocacy and Publishing activities in the field of Disability and Rehabilitation. Started in 1993 to break the isolation of NGOs, CBR Network believes in the holistic union of human needs and capacities, through Community Based Rehabilitation and focuses on meeting the needs of persons with disabilities, without disintegrating and isolating them from their families and communities. CBR Network has been very active in accomplishing the snowballing effect through Dissemination of information, Technical support, Training, Planning and Management of CBR programs as well as Research and Publications.

Rationale:
The needs of persons with disabilities are the same as their able bodied peers. Such needs cut across all sectors. Moreover, as the community represents disabled persons of all ages and different stages of life, different sectors come into play. No one sector on its own can respond to the comprehensive needs involved in the rehabilitation process. CBR programmes should seek to meet the needs of disabled persons of various aetiologies and of all ages with a cost-effective approach without underestimating how people and existing services within the communities can contribute.

UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is throwing new challenges .CBR has to change and will change to meet the millennium challenges. The proposed training for CBR managers helps to understand and develop strategies for the implementation using CBR philosophy.

In order to meet the challenge of establishing cross-disability CBR programs with Multi-sectoral approach the personnel involved should know how to develop a more comprehensive approach to rehabilitation making use of all the available human, material and infrastructure resources. Its philosophy is rooted in a realistic understanding of existing institutions, holding the middle ground between overloading and under-utilizing the communities, between horizontal and vertical, between purely center-based and home-based. There are no particular formulae for CBR. Such programmes require creative Managers with knowledge and vision on the true face of ‘disability’ and of ‘rehabilitation’ in their own country or region.

The Training Sessions for CBR Managers wish to promote this approach to CBR, incorporating Management and Social Work Principles and techniques alongside protecting the Rights of every individual in the society.

Course title: Planning and Management of CBR Programs

Date: 7th – 17 April 2008
The 10 day programme sessions and field visits in an urban as well as in a rural CBR program.

Venue: CBR Network, Bangalore, India

Language of the Course: English.

Target Group: Priority is given to CBR Managers, Coordinators, Staff & Representatives of CBR-Donor Organizations, Government Staff, Managers of other disability-related programs, UN Personnel and Members of Service Clubs. (Maximum 20 participants, Registration on a first-come-first served basis).

Cost and Fees:

Accommodation & costs for food: Rs.1000/- per day
Training & Materials: Rs.10000/- per person
No stipend is being paid to the participants

For further details please contact:

CBR NETWORK (South Asia)
134,1st Block,6th Main, BSK III Stage
Bangalore-560085
India
Email: cbrnet@airtelbroadband.in

Web: http\\www.cbrnetworksouthasia.org

Phone-91(India)-80(Bangalore)-26724273, 26724221

Registration Form:
I hereby confirm my participation for the training programme
My profile:
Name: ………………………………………………
Address: ………………………………………………
.…………………………………
………………………………………………
City: ……………………………..
State: …………………………………..

Email: ………………………………………………
Phone no. ……………………………..
Mobile: …………………………………
Accommodation required: YES / NO

Date of arrival: …………………………..
Date of departure: ………………………….



We Can Do learned about this opportunity through the Intl-Dev mailing list; people can subscribe to Intl-Dev via email for free.



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



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

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )

JOURNAL: The Review of Disability Studies: An International Journal

Posted on 17 January 2008. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Children, Cross-Disability, Disability Studies, East Asia Pacific Region, Education, HIV/AIDS, Human Rights, Middle East and North Africa, Rehabilitation, South Asian Region, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

[Originally published at wecando.wordpress.com (We Can Do) at http://tinyurl.com/2gkrzx]

Skip to list of articles

Researchers and students, but especially people new to their field, can find it challenging to locate research, essays, and other academic literature about people with disabilities in developing countries. This may be in part because there are few international, disability-oriented journals available to publish such literature. One of the few exceptions is The Review of Disability Studies: An International Journal (RDS).

The RDS journal publishes research articles, essays, and bibliographies on the culture of disability and people with disabilities. On occasion, it also publishes poetry, short stories, creative essays, photographs, and art work related to disability. It publishes four times a year, with approximately 50 pages in each issue. People can subscribe to RDS for a fee, or people can download past issues of RDS for free. Issues from 2006 onward are available in either Word format or PDF format; older issues are available in text-only format.

This publication is not focused solely on developing countries. In fact, many of its articles are written by researchers and writers in industrialized countries, particularly the United States. But some of its articles may be of interest to We Can Do readers. Some examples are listed further below. I chose some of these articles because they deal specifically with disabled people in developing countries; I list others because they deal with broader themes, such as exclusion, that transcend national and income boundaries.

Please note that it is not possible to download separate articles. To read a specific article that interests you, you will need to download the full issue it is in and then skip ahead to the correct page. Page numbers given are based on the PDF version where applicable. Page numbers will be slightly different in the Word version. Or click on the hyperlink within the Word file to be taken directly to the article you select.

Please also note that this is not a comprehensive listing of all articles in past issues of RDS. For example, I usually skipped over book reviews–but I did see a few for books that would be relevant to disabled people in developing countries. You may wish to explore the RDS on your own by following this link.

Selected RDS Articles

A Little Story to Share

A Little Story to Share” by Lee-chin Heng, Volume 1, Issue 2, 2004, page 109-111. Abstract: An autobiographical story of a person from Malaysia with physical disabilities who possesses an associate diploma in music. Download in text-only format (2.1 Mb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/pdf/RDSissue012004.pdf .

Who is Disabled?

Who is Disabled? Who is Not? Teachers Perceptions of Disability in Lesotho” by Christopher Johnstone, Ph.D. Candidate Educational Policy and Administration University of Minnesota, Volume 1, Issue 3, 2005, starting on page 13. Abstract: This paper reports on educational research conducted in Lesotho, Southern Africa. Mixed methods of research were used to elicit and describe teachers’ attitudes toward children they perceived as disabled. The study took place in a country where discussions on ‘the Continuum’ of services, specialist diagnoses, and Western notions of assistive technology are largely irrelevant. Over-arching themes are compared to themes that have emerged from special education and Disability Studies literature over the past decade. Download in text-only format (715 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/pdf/RDS01032005.pdf

Evaluation of MA Program in Rehabilitation Counseling

Evaluation of Master of Arts Program in Rehabilitation Counseling and Guidance Service for Persons with Disabilities in Thailand” by Tavee Cheausuwantavee, M.Sc. Ratchasuda College, Mahidol University, Thailand, Volume 1, Issue 3, 2005, starting on page 66. Abstract: This research examines the positive and negative aspects of the Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling and Guidance for persons with disabilities in Thailand, since it began in 1997. A CIPP model was utilized for the program evaluation. Multiple methods were used to collect the data, and both retrospective and prospective data collection were undertaken. The research results indicated many positive outcomes. They also indicated certain features of rehabilitation within the Thai context differed significantly from traditional rehabilitation counseling programs in Western countries. Download in text-only format (1.4 Mb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/pdf/RDS01032005.pdf

Leprosy in South India
Leprosy in South India: The Paradox of Disablement as Enablement” by James Staples, Ph.D., School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, Volume 1, Issue 4, 2005, starting on page 13. Abstract: Rooted in ethnographic fieldwork with people affected by leprosy in India, this article argues that certain impairments, in certain social contexts, are simultaneously disabling and enabling. This paradox poses difficult challenges, not only for those working with individuals affected with leprosy, but for disability activists
andpolicy-makers. Download in text-only format (3 Mb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/pdf/RDS01042005.pdf

Social and Economic Stress Related to HIV/AIDS Epidemic in Botswana
Social and Economic Stress Related to the HIV/AIDS Epidemic in Botswana” by Thabo T. Fako, Ph.D. & Dolly Ntseane, Department of Sociology,University of Botswana & J. Gary Linn, Ph.D. & Lorna Kendrick, R.N., Ph.D. School of Nursing Tennessee State University, Volume 2, Issue 1, 2006, starting on p. 33. Abstract: The paper describes the consequences of HIV/AIDS in Botswana; the country with the highest HIV prevalence rate in Africa. In addition to frequently experienced trauma due to sickness and death, many households experience rising health expenditures and a sharp deterioration of incomes. High levels of morbidity and mortality among workers result in depressed returns on investment, reduced productivity and increased expenditure on training and replacement of workers. As the health care system finds it increasingly difficult to cope, home-based care provides an inadequate solution since the home infrastructure of many households is inadequate for proper care of seriously ill patients. The stigma associated with AIDS often isolates fragile households and provides an environment in which abuse of infected individuals and of orphans whose parents have died of AIDS is not uncommon. The quality of education also suffers, resulting in an ill prepared skilled manpower, with adverse consequences for social, economic, and political development as well as for good future governance of the country. Download in PDF format (3 Mb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/pdf/RDS02012006.pdf or in Word format (800 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/doc/RDS02012006.doc

Toward a Global History of Inclusive Travel
Toward a Global History of Inclusive Travel” by Laurel Van Horn, M.A., Open Doors Organization, USA; José Isola, President, Peruvian Polio Society, Peru, Volume 2, Issue 2, 2006, starting on page 5. Abstract: This paper provides an overview of the development of inclusive travel and tourism, from its origins in the United States and Europe following World War I and II to its current status as an increasingly important and viable movement worldwide. The paper investigates the key roles played by disability organizations, disability rights legislation, technological change, international organizations and pioneers within the travel and tourism industry. Developments are described sector by sector for air travel, ground transport, the cruise lines and the hospitality industry. While the primary historical focus is the U.S., the paper also highlights advances taking place in Dubai, Egypt, India, Japan, South Africa, Thailand and other countries. It concludes with a case study by José Isola of the development of inclusive travel in Peru. Mr. Isola also describes disability conferences that took place in South America in 2004. It is hoped others will begin to investigate the development of inclusive travel in their own countries and regions and contribute to a truly global history. Download in PDF format (1.4 Mb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/pdf/RDS020206.pdf or in Word format (700 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/doc/RDS020206.doc

Ethnobotany on a Roll!
Ethnobotany on a Roll! Access to Vietnam by My Lien T. Nguyen, Ph.D., Department of Botany, University of Hawai’i, at Mānoa, Volume 2, Issue 2, 2006, starting on page 36. Abstract: This article describes the research and experiences of an ethnobotanist with a physical disability working in Vietnam. Due to a spinal cord injury, the ethnobotanist uses a wheelchair and walking canes to explore the bustling food markets of Vietnam. Information and recommendations are provided for equipment and traveling to and in Vietnam, particularly for those interested in conducting scientific research and for travelers with physical disabilities. Success is largely due to the mutual respect and kindness shared by people along the way, and by accepting and accommodating to given situations. Appendices of resources for travel in Vietnam and educational granting sources for people with disabilities provided. Download in PDF format (1.4 Mb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/pdf/RDS020206.pdf or in Word format (700 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/doc/RDS020206.doc

The Benefits of Studying Abroad
Making an Impact: The Benefits of Studying Abroad” Michele Scheib, M.A., Project Initiatives Specialist, National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange, Volume 2, Issue 2, 2006, starting page 50. Abstract: Qualitative interviews with ten individuals with disabilities who participated in a study abroad program within the past eight years, compared equally to long-term outcomes cited in studies with the general study abroad alumni population. Students reported increased self-confidence, independence and career or educational gains related to their study abroad experiences. Download in PDF format (1.4 Mb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/pdf/RDS020206.pdf or in Word format (700 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/doc/RDS020206.doc

Esau’s Mission
Esau’s Mission, or Trauma as Propaganda: Disability after the Intifada” by Marcy Epstein, University of Michigan, Volume 2, Issue 3, 2006, starting on page 12. Abstract: Israelis and Palestinians, while sharing an I/Abrahamic root, many chapters of Semitic history, and common values of resourcefulness and valor, both have defended their cultural boundaries through the exchange of mutilating, annihilative blows upon the other. The intifada (an Arabic word meaning to shake off or shiver because of illness, fear, or weakness) of the millennium signify a trope of body and status among the fragmented population in the region; specifically, the propagandizing of traumatic events that suggest victimization and invalidation. The discursive nature of “unnatural” catastrophe–devastation of Palestinian communities by Israeli Defense Forces, blitzing of Israeli civilians in planned attacks–substitutes the propaganda of trauma for the reality of disability experienced in both cultures. Reflecting the duality of rhetorical positions seen in I/Abraham’s disposition of both Isaac and Esau, this essay links the root of trauma propaganda to the ideology of religious fitness and righteousness. Download in PDF format (1.4 Mb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/pdf/RDS02032006.pdf or in Word format (600 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/doc/RDS02032006.doc

Natural Hazards
Natural Hazards, Human Vulnerability and Disabling Societies: A Disaster for Disabled People?” by Laura Hemingway & Mark Priestley, Centre for Disability Studies, University of Leeds (UK), Volume 2, Issue 3, 2006, starting on page 57. Abstract: The policy and research literature on disaster management constructs disabled people as a particularly “vulnerable group.” In this paper we combine concepts from disaster theory and disability theory to examine this assumption critically. Drawing on primary, secondary and tertiary sources, we assess the vulnerability of disabled people in two globally significant disasters: Hurricane Katrina in August 2005 and the Asian tsunami of December 2004. In both cases, disabled people were adversely affected in terms of their physical safety and access to immediate aid, shelter, evacuation and relief. Using a social model analysis we contest the view that this vulnerability arises from the physical, sensory or cognitive limitations of the individual and show how it may be attributed to forms of disadvantage and exclusion that are socially created. The paper concludes that “natural hazards” are realized disproportionately as “human disasters” for disabled people, and most notably for disabled people in poor communities. Social model approaches and strong disabled people’s organisations are key to building greater resilience to disaster amongst “vulnerable” communities in both high-income and low-income countries. Download in PDF format (1.4 Mb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/pdf/RDS02032006.pdf or in Word format (600 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/doc/RDS02032006.doc

Politics and the Pandemic
Politics and the Pandemic: HIV/AIDS, Africa, and the Discourse of Disability” by Laura L. Behling, Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, Minnesota, Volume 2, Issue 3, 2006, starting page 97. First Paragraph: In 2004, Africa News filed a report on then 12-year old William Msechu, a young African who lost both of his parents to AIDS in 1999. He, too, was HIV positive. Msechu is characterized as a “very bright boy,” although, the article reports, he is “yet to come to terms with his HIV status.” “I was told that I have tuberculosis and I am getting better,” the article quotes William as saying to journalists (“HIV-AIDS and STDs” 2004). William Msechu’s disbelief at having contracted HIV is unremarkable; persons diagnosed with severe diseases, including HIV/AIDS, often work through denial and incredulity.1 Just as unremarkable, however, is Msechu’s contention that he had not tested positive for HIV, but rather, had contracted tuberculosis, another widespread disease but not nearly as stigmatizing as HIV/AIDS. Substituting “tuberculosis” for “HIV” may be an affirming measure for Msechu, but it also provides one more example of the rhetorical slipperiness that historically, and still continues to accompany, the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Download in PDF format (1.4 Mb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/pdf/RDS02032006.pdf or in Word format (600 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/doc/RDS02032006.doc

Seeing Through the Veil
Seeing Through the Veil: Auto-Ethnographic Reflections on Disabilities” by Heng-hao Chang PhD., Nanhua University, Chia-Yi, Taiwan, Volume 2, Issue 4, 2006, starting page 6. Abstract: This article is an auto-ethnography reflecting the interactions among society, my family and my brother who has Cerebral Palsy. The experiences of me and my family show the visible and invisible veils that segregate people with disabilities and their families from mainstream Taiwanese society.” Download in PDF format (1 Mb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/pdf/RDSv02iss04.pdf or in Word format (630 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/doc/RDSv02iss04.doc

Building Familial Spaces
Building Familial Spaces for Transition and Work: From the Fantastic to the Normal” by Joakim Peter, MA, College of Micronesia—Federated States of Micronesia, Chuuk Campus, Volume 2, Issue 4, 2006, starts page 14. Abstract: Transition for persons with disability is a process of negotiating difficult situations and barriers set by others and by systems. My strategies to overcome those barriers in my personal transitions through education systems and employment included the creations of familiar spaces in which group support plays a major role. This paper tracks my process through the familiar spaces and gives examples of encounters with barriers along my transition through hospital treatments to schools and then work.” Download in PDF format (1 Mb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/pdf/RDSv02iss04.pdf or in Word format (630 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/doc/RDSv02iss04.doc

A Model for Learning from Children
Family Focused Learning: A Model for Learning from Children with Disabilities and Their Families via Technologies for Voice” by James R. Skouge, Kathy Ratliffe, Martha Guinan, & Marie Iding University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, Volume 2, Issue 4, 2006, starting page 63 Abstract: In this paper, we describe a collaborative multidisciplinary model for faculty and students learning about culture and children with disabilities and their families in Pacific Island contexts. The model, Family Focused Learning, incorporates aspects of case-based and problem-based learning within the context of “consumer” and “professional” partnerships (Ratliffe, Stodden, & Robinson, 2000; Robinson, 1999).Children with disabilities and their families share the daily challenges and successes of their lives with graduate students and faculty at the University of Hawai‘i, via video letters, video mapping, cultural brokering and satellite videoconferencing. To illustrate this process, we present the story of “Tomasi,” a child with cerebral palsy in American Samoa, a US territory. Tomasi and his family are “given voice” and act as teachers for an interdisciplinary team of faculty and students from public health, social work, physical therapy, speech pathology, nursing, special education, nutrition, medicine, political science and law.” Download in PDF format (1 Mb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/pdf/RDSv02iss04.pdf or in Word format (630 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/doc/RDSv02iss04.doc

Social Change and the Disability Rights Movement
Social Change and the Disability Rights Movement in Taiwan 1981-2002” by Chang, Heng-hao. Ph.D., Department of Sociology, Nanhua University of Chia-Yi, Volume 3, Issues 1 & 2, 2007, starting on page 3. Abstract: This paper provides a historical overview of the disability rights movement in Taiwan from 1981 to 2002. It shows the major events in Taiwanese disability history, legislation, and development of disability rights organizations, with a focus on two influential advocacy associations: the Parents’ Association for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities (PAPID) and the League of Enabling Associations (LEAs). It also demonstrates that the disability movement has developed in concert with Taiwan’s democratic transition.” Download in PDF format (780 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/pdf/RDSv03iss01.pdf or in Word format (770 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/doc/RDSv03iss01.doc

Disability and Youth Suicide
Disability and Youth Suicide: A Focus Group Study of Disabled University Students” by Esra Burcu, Ph.D., Hacettepe University, Department of Sociology, Volume 3, Issues 1 & 2, 2007, starting page 33. Abstract: For young people thoughts of suicide are based on various social factors. The research literature in this area reveals that there are two important interrelated factors that correlate with suicide rates: being young and being disabled. This study was undertaken in order to explore possible reasons for this increased tendency for young disabled people to commit suicide. The study was carried out at a university in Turkey with a group of disabled students. All the members of the focus group had thoughts of suicide and felt that their disability played an important role in creating these thoughts. The basic premise of the research was that physical disability increases the young person’s isolation and social loneliness and this can generate ideas of suicide in the young person’s mind that may be acted upon.” Download in PDF format (780 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/pdf/RDSv03iss01.pdf or in Word format (770 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/doc/RDSv03iss01.doc

Impact of the South Asian Earthquake
Impact of the South Asian Earthquake on Disabled People in the State of Jammu and Kashmir” by Parvinder Singh, Ph.D. Candidate, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Volume 3, Issue 3, starting page 36. Abstract: On the morning of October 8, 2005, a devastating earthquake, measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale, struck the Kashmir region with its epicentre near Muzzafarabad in Pakistan-administrated Kashmir. It took a while for both India and Pakistan to comprehend the scale of destruction that the quake had unleashed. In the two weeks following, the quake had left over 50,000 dead on the Pakistani side of the India-Pakistan border and claimed 1,300 lives on the Indian side. A second wave of deaths was expected with the onset of the region’s notorious winter. Download in PDF format (600 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/pdf/RDSv03iss03.pdf or in Word format (380 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/doc/RDSv03iss03.doc. Or, this article has also been published at We Can Do with permission of the author and RDS.

The Scale of Attitudes Toward Disabled Persons
The Scale of Attitudes Towards Disabled Persons (SADP): Cross-cultural Validation in a Middle Income Arab Country, Jordan” by Kozue Kay Nagata, Senior Economic Affairs Officer of the Development Cooperation Branch, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Volume 3, Issue 4, 2007, starting page 4. Abstract: The purpose of this pilot study was to assess the level of the existing attitudinal barriers towards disabled persons in four communities of Jordan. Jordan is a middle income Arab country, with a PPP-adjusted GDP/capita of US$ 4320. The study attempted to determine the present level as a baseline of prejudice against people with a disability in Jordan, and to examine the relationship between the randomly selected participants’ attitudes and their previous exposure to and experience with disability. The Scale of Attitudes towards Disabled Persons (SADP) was selected as the instrument. An Arabic translated version of the Scale was used for 191 participants. The respondents showed overall negative attitudes towards disabled persons, as illustrated by previous documented materials. The result of this survey was highly correlated with the collective opinion expressed by the focus group that was conducted by the author in Amman in January, 2005. Thus, the cross-cultural validity of this instrument has been confirmed, and the major findings of this pilot study could inform future policy directions and public awareness raising strategies to foster positive public attitudes. Download in PDF format (530 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/pdf/RDSv03iss04.pdf or in Word format (410 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/doc/RDSv03iss04.doc

Barriers to Education
Barriers to Education for People with Disabilities in Bekaa, Lebanon” by Samantha Wehbi, MSW, Ph.D., School of Social Work, Ryerson University, Volume 3, Issue 4, starting page 10. Abstract: This paper presents the findings of a recent study on the educational situation of people with disabilities in Lebanon. The main findings of a survey conducted with 200 participants in the impoverished rural Bekaa region illustrate the inadequate educational situation of people with disabilities. The focus of the paper is on a discussion of the barriers that people with disabilities face in pursuing their education. Participants identified the following difficulties in pursuing their education: educational system barriers, inadequate finances, health issues, transportation difficulties, and family pressures. Although the focus of the article is not on factors that can facilitate educational achievement, some of these supports are identified, including family support and personal motivation. The article concludes with a discussion of current and planned community responses such as the development of an interdisciplinary community action network (The Inclusion Network), the provision of literacy courses, and a pilot project to foster the inclusion of children with disabilities in mainstream schools. Download in PDF format (530 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/pdf/RDSv03iss04.pdf or in Word format (410 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/doc/RDSv03iss04.doc

Jordan and Disability Rights
Jordan and Disability Rights: A Pioneering Leader in the Arab World” by Kenneth R. Rutherford, PhD, MBA, Missouri State University, Volume 3, Issue 4, 2007, starting page 23. Abstract: This article investigates Jordan’s rationale for assuming a leadership role on the disability rights issue in the Arab World. Tens of millions of people, including over ten percent of Arab families, are impacted and impoverished because of disability. To address this substantial challenge, the Jordan Royal family has leveraged Jordan’s tradition of openness and generosity coupled with one of the best educational systems in the Arab World to promote disability issues. As a result, Jordan is recognized by the international community as leading the Arab World in promoting disability rights. Jordan’s international and regional leadership on disability rights was recognized in 2005 when Jordan received the Franklin Delano Roosevelt International Disability Award. Download in PDF format (530 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/pdf/RDSv03iss04.pdf or in Word format (410 Kb) at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/doc/RDSv03iss04.doc

You can browse and download past issues of the Review of Disability Studies: An International Journal at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/.

Or you can learn more about the RDS at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/about/.

The RDS is always looking for new authors to submit materials for publication.



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

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 3 so far )

NEWS: 12 Countries Ratify International Disability Rights Treaty (CRPD)

Posted on 17 December 2007. Filed under: Human Rights, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The United Nations (UN) has announced that 12 countries have now ratified the international Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Six of these countries also have ratified the optional protocol.

This international disability rights treaty is meant to “promote, protect, and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights by persons with disabilities,” including self-determination, physical and programmatic access, personal mobility, health, education, employment, habilitation and rehabilitation, participation in political life, and equality and non-discrimination. (Source: RatifyNow.) The CRPD will become legally binding after 20 countries have ratified it. The optional protocol is a separate document that would allow individuals to seek redress (justice or compensation) for treaty violations internationally after they have exhausted everything that can be done at the national level. The optional protocol will be legally binding after 10 countries have ratified it.

The most recent four countries to ratify the convention (treaty) are: Bangladesh (November 30); Spain, for both the convention and the optional protocol (December 3); Namibia, for both the convention and the optional protocol (December 4); and Nicaragua (December 7). The other eight ratifying countries are Croatia, Cuba, Gabon, Hungary, India, Jamaica, Panama, and South Africa; of these, Croatia, Hungary, Panama, and South Africa also ratified the optional protocol.

A total of 118 countries have signed the convention, and 67 countries have signed the optional protocol. Signing the convention and optional protocol does not legally bind a country to obey them. However, signing these documents does commit the country to take no action that would conflict with the goals of the CRPD.

If you are sighted, you can view a global map that shows visually which countries have signed or ratified the CRPD or the optional protocol. I am not sure if this map is accessible to people with visual impairments. If not, then please consult the UN Enable web site accessibility statement, which encourages people to contact them regarding accessibility issues at their web site.

More information on the CRPD is available in the RatifyNow factsheet and the RatifyNow FAQ. More information on the optional protocol is also available at the RatifyNow website.



We Can Do learned about these ratifications in part through the AdHoc_IDC (International Disability Caucus) email list. This on-line, email-based news and discussion service can be joined for free. I also gathered additional background information from the RatifyNow and UN Enable web sites.



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

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 3 so far )

TRAINING for Women with Disabilities in South Asia

Posted on 13 December 2007. Filed under: Announcements, Education and Training Opportunities, Opportunities, South Asian Region, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Project: Creating Space for Women With Disabilities to Communicate & Advocate for their Rights
Project Partners: AWWD (India), SARPV (Bangladesh), AKASA (Sri Lanka), HLWW (UK), Supported by: DFID, UK

REGIONAL LEADERSHIP TRAINING FOR WOMEN WITH DISABILITIES

“Currently our rights are not understood or heard. We need to mobilize our girls and women to take the challenge and responsibility to make our presence felt. A new generation of leaders is essential to make change happen”
Kuhu Das, Director, Association of Women with Disabilities – India

OBJECTIVE
The initial ‘master’ training will facilitate a group of 25 Women with Disabilities (WWD) from the South Asia region including India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Maldives in leadership & advocacy skills within a rights based framework. Those attending will in turn be supported to organize and run national level leadership and advocacy trainings when they return home. They will also develop country strategic advocacy plans, and be offered small seed grants to enable the implementation.

The participants will engage in a 7 day training process which will enable them to:

  • Share their country level situations
  • Deepen their understanding of a rights based approach to issues affecting WWD
  • Design & plan their adapted leadership and advocacy training at national level based on the initial ‘master’ training
  • Form a regional network of WWDs
  • Design & plan national advocacy and communication strategies for the rights of WWDs
  • Develop WWD leadership training modules including a resource base of materials

PARTICIPANTS (Criteria for selection):
The training is open to WWDs and organizations, who will be able to carry out the national level trainings in their respective countries after this initial workshop. They should be well networked and able to mobilize people and resources. They will need some experience of leadership and an ability to motivate others. A working knowledge of English is required, as is the ability to organize and host training events.

Priority will be given to WWD themselves and organizations working to further the rights of WWD

CONTENT OF TRAINING:

Regional Leadership Training: (TOT): 7 days.

  1. Sharing of project and training objectives, finalizing draft schedule and participatory agenda setting
  2. Leadership
    • Meaning, Necessity
    • Quality of a leader
  3. Communication – Advocacy – Lobbying
    • Meaning/Importance/Necessity
    • Good / effective communication
    • Communication tools
    • Development of Advocacy frameworks
    • Advocacy & lobbying – what, why & how
  4. Social Mobilisation
    • Understanding rights, including human rights, rights of women, rights of disabled
    • Significance of human rights instruments (national & international) – CEDAW, UNCRPD, BMF etc.
    • Use and limitations of these instruments
    • Social mobilization to achieve rights
    • Analysis of legislation and policies
  5. Group Mobilisation
    • Meaning/Importance/Necessity
    • Organizing people in groups
    • Mobilizing and managing groups
    • Strengthening group dynamics
    • Setting targets for group
  6. Networking
    • Why? The benefits and challenges
    • Making it effective & sustainable
    • Setting vision and target activities
  7. Planning & designing training
    • Adapting ‘master’ training to national level
    • Content development / modification
    • Quality assurance – M&E
  8. Facilitation skills
    • Participatory approaches
    • Skills development
  9. Working with the Media
    • How to engage with media
    • How to promote issues
    • Media literacy
  10. Action planning for national level training and advocacy activities
    • Strategy development
    • Integrating into existing national and local initiatives
    • Monitoring and Evaluation

TRAINING STYLE
The training will be highly participatory, drawing on the experience of the participants to develop and improve our collective knowledge base. Trainers will be from a variety of backgrounds and specialisms including advocacy expertise, network strengthening, media, project planning and management and leadership skills development.

COSTS
25 places will be fully supported including travel, food, accommodation and a small allowance.

Workshop Venue – Kolkota (to be confirmed)
Dates – mid February 2008 (to be confirmed)

APPLICATION PROCEDURE:
If you are interested to attend this workshop please email a one page letter outlining:
your interest in this field of work
your experience in disability activism and rights based approaches
your experience and capacity to take the work forward at national level
to:
Ms Kuhu Das: info@awwdindia.org (Regional coordinator – AWWD India)
and Mr David Curtis: curtis.d@healthlink.org.uk (Head of Programme and Capacity Development, Healthlink Worldwide, UK)

Closing date for applications: January 5th 2008.

A selection committee comprising members from the four lead organizations will assess each application. Please remember that after the initial ‘master’ training, there will be national level trainings in each of the countries in the region so there will be further opportunities to engage at national level.

This workshop is part of the ‘Creating Spaces – for women with disabilities (WWD) to communicate and advocate for their rights’ project – a collaborative initiative from Association of Women with Disabilities (AWWD) – India, Association for Women with Disabilities (Akasa), Sri Lanka, Social Assistance for the Rehabilitation of the Physically Vulnerable (SARPV) Bangladesh and Healthlink Worldwide, UK

The project is funded by UK Department for International Development (DfID)


We Can Do received this announcement via the Intl-Dev email distribution list; subscriptions to Intl-Dev are free.


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

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

FUNDING for South Asian Projects on HIV/AIDS Stigma and Discrimination

Posted on 12 December 2007. Filed under: Announcements, Funding, Health, HIV/AIDS, South Asian Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Reach this page at http://tinyurl.com/yv79vu

South Asia Regional Development Marketplace: Tackling HIV/AIDS Stigma and Discrimination
For further information please go to:
http://www.worldbank.org/sardm2008

On November 26, 2007 the South Asia Development Marketplace on AIDS related stigma and discrimination was launched. Proposals for innovative ideas to tackle stigma can be submitted until January 31, 2008 by community based organizations (CBOs), non-government organizations (NGOs), foundations, private sector groups, universities and schools, local municipal bodies and government institutions – in collaboration with (other) NGOs and CBOs. The 75 candidates who will be selected from India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Sri Lanka, will be invited to the regional Development Marketplace in Mumbai 15 May, 2008, and there 25 winners will be selected and awarded up to US$40,000 each for an 18 month implementation period.

To know about the South Asia Regional Development Marketplace: Tackling HIV/AIDS Stigma and Discrimination, please visit the website http://www.worldbank.org/sardm2008.


This annoucement was recently distributed on both the GPDD and the Intl-Dev email distribution lists.


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

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 3 so far )

NEWS: Disabled in India Celebrate World Disability Day

Posted on 11 December 2007. Filed under: Employment, News, South Asian Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

People in India recently celebrated World Disability Day. An article about their celebrations talks about the challenges that disabled people still face in finding employment. The story also quotes a blind man who works as a teacher and a deaf woman who works as a lab assistant in India:

http://in.news.yahoo.com/071203/43/6nzl1.html

Individuals interested in disabled people in India may also wish to read about a recent report from the World Bank on employment, education, health, social protection, and other issues related to people with disabilities in India.

For still more posts about disabled people in India or other South Asian countries, click on “South Asian Region” under “categories” in the right-hand navigation bar.


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

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )

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
Kiran Negiknegi@worldbank.org

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:
http://go.worldbank.org/48NBTTBRJ0

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.


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

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 3 so far )

RESOURCE: India’s Disability Awareness Week Website Launched

Posted on 26 November 2007. Filed under: Announcements, Employment, News, Resources, South Asian Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Launch of Disability Awareness Week Website

Announcing National Disability Awareness Week: Let’s Celebrate Diversity!

www.wdd.co.in

Diversity & Equal Opportunity Centre (DEOC) is happy to announce the launch of National Disability Awareness Week (DAW) and the Disability Awareness Week Website www.wdd.co.in to create awareness on the issue of disability in the corporate sector, to commemorate the World Disability Day 2007!

3rd December, World Disability Day (WDD), proclaimed by the United Nations, is to celebrate and acknowledge the experience and capabilities of people with disabilities. The theme for the World Disability Day this year, as announced by the United Nations, is ‘Decent Work for Persons with Disabilities’

We would like to appeal to all corporates to observe Disability Awareness Week from 3rd – 8th December, to create awareness amongst their employees on disability and to make their workplace more inclusive!

There are 100 million people with disabilities in India, majority of whose talents remain untapped due to physical and mental barriers that exist in the society. Let’s use the World Disability Day as an occasion to LEARN, to get INVOLVED and to TAKE ACTION to promote inclusion in our workplace.

Disability Awareness Week Website (www.wdd.co.in), provides information and significance of WDD; information on the common theme; activities that corporates can do during the Week; downloadable awareness & promotional materials; checklists, online Awareness / Training Module, etc.! Sign up at www.wdd.co.in to get regular notification regarding the various updates during the Disability Awareness Week (DAW).

The interested Companies will be provided with necessary information and support from DEOC to conduct awareness activities. The companies can also upload their events for the DAW. We see this as a common platform for creating awareness and for sharing experiences.

Please share this appeal with all the companies that you are working with and encorage them to observe Disability Awareness Week. Also, please do share this with other contacts of yours (DPOs, NGOs, people with disabilities, etc.) for further dissemination.

For any further information / queries please contact the undersigned at 98805 83277 / 080 – 23217588.

We look forward to your active participation in creating an inclusive world that offers equal space for all of us to achieve our potential and that which celebrates diversity.

Warm regards,

Rama Chari
Director
Diversity & Equal Opportunity Centre (DEOC)


The above text is taken from an announcement circulated via email by Rama Chari. Their new website (http://www.wdd.co.in) has information about the employability of people with disabilities and how employers can better include disabled workers.

What is YOUR developing country doing to acknowledge World Disability Day this December 3? I would be happy to share your press release with We Can Do readers. Press releases or other material can be sent to me at

ashettle [at] patriot [dot] net

Or you can ask for help in the comments area below (be sure to include your email address in the space that asks for it) and I’ll get in touch with you.


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

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

PAPER: Impact of South Asian Earthquake on Disabled People

Posted on 27 October 2007. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Disaster Planning & Mitigation, South Asian Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Impact of the South Asian Earthquake on Disabled People in the State of Jammu and Kashmir
Parvinder Singh, Ph.D. Candidate
Jawaharlal Nehru University

Abstract: On the morning of October 8, 2005, a devastating earthquake, measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale, struck the Kashmir region with its epicentre near Muzzafarabad in Pakistan-administrated Kashmir. It took a while for both India and Pakistan to comprehend the scale of destruction that the quake had unleashed. In the two weeks following, the quake had left over 50,000 dead on the Pakistani side of the India-Pakistan border and claimed 1,300 lives on the Indian side. A second wave of deaths was expected with the onset of the region’s notorious winter.
Our thoughts immediately went to what may be happening to disabled people in the State of Jammu and Kashmir, though we knew the answer, based on our bitter experiences of seeing disabled people being neglected even in the so-called normal scenarios. Our National Disability Network partner in the mountainous and violence ravaged State confirmed our fears of the “general neglect” being compounded in the wake of this calamity.
With information gained from the Asian Tsunami and impending legislation on Disaster Management on the floor of Indian Parliament, we decided it was imperative to draw up the difficulties that disabled people face during natural disasters to facilitate some churning of our national consciousness and possibly a policy intervention. What follows is an account of a fact-finding mission, its findings and recommendations, on the impact of the Kashmir quake. It is a story of persistent neglect, which turns grave when calamities strike.

Key Words: disaster, Kashmir earthquake, disability

Introduction

Late last year, a devastating earthquake shook the Himalayan region of the Indian subcontinent. The two rival nations, India and Pakistan, were united in grief as the scene of death and destruction unfolded. But as this event showed, just like Hurricane Katrina almost halfway across the globe, those who are collectively consigned to the margins of policy focus and safety plans are not only the worst sufferers of disasters, but also the least attended. India did not have a disaster management policy when the South Asian Earthquake took place. It was in a phase of finalisation. But the policy makers once again failed to focus on the needs of over 700 million disabled and aged people, as the final draft of this plan did not make even a single mention of these sections of the population.

Impact of South Asian Earthquake on Disabled People

On the morning of October 8, 2005, a devastating earthquake, measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale, struck the Kashmir region with its epicentre near Muzzafarabad in Pakistan-administrated Kashmir. However, it took a while for both India and Pakistan to wake up to the scale of destruction that the quake had unleashed. In just the two weeks since, the quake had left over 50,000 dead on the Pakistani side and taken 1,300 lives in India. The toll rose substantially by the second wave of deaths with the onset of the region’s winter.

Immediately after the quake, the National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP), Disabled Peoples’ International – India (DPI – India), and the National Disability Network (NDN) contacted the NDN State Partner, Javed Ahmad Tak of Helpline, a Non-Government Organization (NGO) working for the rights of disabled people in the remote parts of Jammu and Kashmir. Through him we came to know stories that went beyond what the newspaper headlines could capture, particularly with regards to the status of people with disabilities. Their plight was multiplied manifold due to the reported lack of coordination and inaccessibility.

With these concerns in mind, a team consisting of myself, Senior Project Coordinator with NCPEDP and Mukhtar Ahmad and Muzzamil Yakub, both from a local disabled peoples’ NGO Helpline, visited quake affected areas in Kashmir from October 18th to 20th to take first hand stock of the status of the rescue, relief, and rehabilitation process with a specific focus on people with disabilities. The objective was to get disability included in the long-term rehabilitation plans being mooted by sensitising the State’s polity and the civil administration. Further, we also wanted to understand the disability scenario in the region: the administrative framework, implementation of the Disability Act, and the existence of disability NGOs–including their functioning, reach, and awareness levels that will help in planning their work for the future.

We visited hospitals, relief camps, and villages in Baramulla, Uri, Tangdhar, and Salamabad. During the course of our visit, we contacted the Honourable Governor, Lieutenant General Shri S.K. Sinha, State Social Welfare Minister Shri Mula Ram, and the State Human Rights Commissioner Justice A. Mir. We also spoke to other personnel, including several local officials, medical staff, and doctors, as well as quake-affected people. But before detailing our first-hand experience of the chaos and ordeal of people in the State, it is important to conceptualise the unique and not so-unique aspects of the State, particularly its status as a conflict zone.

Kashmir: Disaster and Disability in a Conflict Zone

The State of Jammu and Kashmir has had a history of violence and political turmoil ever since India and Pakistan attained political independence from British rule in 1947. The two neighbours have fought full-scale wars in 1947 and 1971, besides a near-war like conflict in 1999 called the Kargil War, over the region. The bone of contention between the two nations has been the treaty of accession that was signed by the then ruler of Jammu and Kashmir and Lord Mountbatten in 1947 through which the state was ceded to India. Pakistan has refused to accept this fact.

The State was thrown into turmoil in the 1990’s as Islamic militancy grew roots in the region and enlisted thousands of local youth into the vortex of violence. Today the State has the largest deployment of soldiers and para-military in any single region in India. This conflict combined with political discontent among the locals has given birth to an extremely complex sociophysiological situation in the State. Deaths, gunfire, blasts, disabilities, and unaccounted disappearances have subjected the local population to trauma associated with a conflict zone for several years. The impact on vulnerable groups has been severe, particularly women and disabled people. A number of civil society groups are engaged in providing support to a wide social group undergoing mental health issues, including widows, rape victims, and orphaned children.

The State dubbed by many past rulers as “a heaven on the earth” for its breathtaking mountainous beauty, offers difficult living conditions due to its severe winters and inaccessible terrain that is compounded by poor infrastructure. The people here are predominantly Muslim and have a strong ethnic identity. A large part of the State formed a very volatile border with Pakistan until a recent cease-fire agreement came into force. The cross-border shelling and heavy artillery fire has been a constant feature for people living in the bordering villages. This shelling and artillery fire has been a major cause of physical disability, along with insurgency related causes.

It needs to be underlined here that, at least so far as our Indian experience is concerned, disabled people and issues related to them are way down the list of social and administrative concerns as the so-called pressing issues that confront a much larger or visible vote-bank are given a precedence. This situation holds true for Jammu and Kashmir as well. However, what makes it worse here is that the agenda of development has found a very myopic interpretation here, as this unending violence has not allowed any sustained growth.

Various institutions like schools and hospitals reflect a lack of even basic accessibility features. Javed, our local disability NGO partner, has been fighting for years now to get some disability-friendly changes initiated in the Kashmir University. After each incident of violence that gets noticed nationally, authorities almost spontaneously issue token compensation and artificial limbs to disabled people. This effort, however, is never sustained to make those affected economically and socially independent. Curfews are an order of the day in the streets of the Kashmir Valley and incidents abound of people being shot in the dark of the night because they were too slow in responding to a call by troops to move away or step into the light. Problems of sanitation, portable water, and transport make life for disabled and aged people very tough.

Relief Distribution Left Disabled People Unattended

After the earthquake, it was a clear display of the Darwinian theory of the survival of the fittest when it came to relief distribution, which for the most part was a hit-and-run drill of dumping relief materials by NGOs, political parties, and charitable trusts. This scene was apparent all along the National Highway No. 1/A from Baramulla onwards. Though there was plenty of aid, the takers of the relief material distributed through this method were ironically very limited in number. These were largely young boys who could slug it out in the jostling crowd. We saw this at least at a dozen points starting from the outskirts of Uri.
As we spoke to persons with disabilities who received aid, we were astonished by their stories. One said:

“I have walked here with great difficulty. My braces are my only mode of travel as the artificial limb that was given to me by the Indian Army at the Bone and Joint Hospital in Srinagar (winter capital of India-administered Kashmir) has cracked and I will need a new one…There is a mad rush when relief is being distributed. People are desperate. My father is very old and I have five sisters. This makes me the only one in the family who can come out and hunt for relief. My house has got destroyed completely and we have been camping in the open for past eleven days.”

The 22-year-old man had lost his right limb a few years ago when a shell landed on his house. He was trapped in the ensuing fire. He had been trekking over seven kilometres each day, since his house was destroyed in the quake, to the District Medical Centre in Uri to try his luck and get some blankets.

This experience is indicative of why a targeted approach is needed for people with disabilities, who face unimaginable difficulty in accessing relief in times of disasters. This problem was compounded in the case of Kashmir due to its mountainous terrain and the general inaccessibility of the region. The small settlements in the area defy the usual conception of a village and might be no more than a set of six to eight houses far from the navigable road. As I moved around the fringes of the highway that led to the neighbouring Pakistan border, I kept hearing of families stuck near their destroyed dwellings in the hills as the able-bodied male members came out to get in touch with lower-level government employees who almost always double as relief workers in case of calamity.

The Uri region has been a focal area for projects run by state power and construction companies. They were one of the first institutions, after the Indian Army, who had set up relief and first aid centers. I spoke to some of the officials manning these and was told that they had not seen any disabled person coming over from the villages in the hills. “It is unlikely that a disabled person would trek so far in these circumstances. We have sent teams out on foot, but in my knowledge they have not reported having met any in this area (Salamabad),” said an official manning a small centre set up by Hindustan Construction Company.

My personal observation revealed three disabled people slugging it out in the crowds that had gathered at relief distribution points. This struggle for relief material brought to my mind the general neglect that disabled people face in the country on account of lack of policy focus, which in turn is fostered by lack of empowerment and awareness among people with disabilities.

Lack of Coordination and an Existing System with Specific Focus on Disabled People

According to an estimate of the disability sector, there are over a million people with disabilities in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. A large number of these people have been disabled due to incidents relating to mine explosions, shelling along the Line of Control, and militancy-related violence. In view of the above situation, the lack of attention that the civil administration and its officials displayed in terms of attending to people with disabilities came as a surprise.

As happens after every disaster in the sub-continent, the employees of Union and State governments are rushed to these areas to open rather ill-equipped so-called relief centres. These junior-level employees are not trained to deal with such scenarios. “There is no specific brief to be kept in mind so far as disabled people are concerned. I will definitely help them on account of humanity. We know things can be tough for them,” said an official at a point set up by the National Hydro Power Corporation.

We visited an Information Centre set up by the State Administration outside the Sub Divisional Magistrate’s office in Uri to find out if any disabled people had approached them for help. The officials on duty told us in general that those approaching them were NGO workers, and not victims. “Can you tell me what villages we can go to? I have been waiting to find an area where we can help victims affected by the quake…it has been two days,” said David Martin from US-based charity called Helping Hands. “All of us have been affected by the quake. Why are you enquiring only about people with disabilities? They will ultimately receive some help,” said an official outside the District Hospital in Uri.

My interaction clearly brought out the general lack of coordination. People from affected villages blamed politics or apathy as the reason for the lack of timely relief. It also highlighted the absence of orientation towards the needs of disabled people.

Quake Injuries Indicate A Likely Rise in Disabilities

During our visit to hospitals in Baramulla, Uri, and Srinagar we attempted to take stock of the kind of treatment people with disabilities needed, the assistive or orthopaedic devices they needed, and the nature of the injuries that were being reported. Dr. S.A. Rashid, Medical Superintendent of the Bone and Joint Hospital in Srinagar stated:

“The true picture of rehabilitation that these victims will need would emerge only in the coming months. Most of these injuries were caused by dislodged objects. Quite a few of these people would not be able to function as before. There are cases of compound fracture that may get complicated, and some of them may even need amputation.”

The office of Medical Superintendent at Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences voiced the same opinion. Doctors on duty said that the majority of the 211 cases related to the earthquake were of injuries to the limbs and head. Dr. Samina of Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences added that:

“Three amputations have taken place so far (till 20th October). These include two men and one girl. They have been referred for surgery. In fact the girl’s amputation was done today itself.”

I also observed reluctance on the part of doctors and hospital medical staff in sharing information, possibly because of heavy politicisation that saw leaders of all hue frequenting these hospitals.

Dr. Jatinder Singh of the Bone and Joint Hospital in Srinagar told us of three amputations in his hospital. He also mentioned that several other cases could end up with amputations. For instance, he added a seven-month-old infant had suffered multiple fractures and was brought in 12 days after the earthquake and there was a great chance that he could end up with a disability. He also informed us about one patient, Khalid, who had a disability on account of severe dislocation of a knee and was now on the verge of amputation, even as the doctors were trying to save him from it. These visits clearly highlighted the need for both immediate and long-term intervention for providing aids and appliances, apart from medical intervention to avoid or minimise instances of disabilities.

I was also told about a team of doctors from the National Institute for the Orthopaedically Handicapped, Kolkata [Calcutta], having visited these hospitals and meeting some of the victims who have undergone amputations. But as highlighted by the doctors, there is a need for more organized and exhaustive undertakings.

I came across some NGO workers who were engaged in counselling of victims suffering from trauma. One such group, from Delhi, was manning a small centre beyond Salamabad, barely 5 kilometres from the Line of Control (unofficial India-Pakistan). “In a single day we have received about 120 people coming in for the first time since the quake. Most of these people have very minor problems and are here more because this is their first touch with compassion, after being shocked and traumatized by the destruction and death around them,” said an NGO worker.

The valley has had a known prevalence of trauma cases since the time insurgency took root, and with the quake it is going to increase. We felt that the people need a greater engagement by the way of easy and accessible counselling, as short-term/temporary measures would not help.

Rehabilitation Must Take A Macro-Approach to Integrating the Needs of Disabled People

Moreover, Commanding Officer of 56 Rashtriya Rifle, an elite anti-terrorist unit of the Indian Army that operates in the Uri sector stated that:

“As our men were close to the area of impact and are well-versed with the topography here, we reacted immediately to carry out rescue operations. We continue to coordinate with the administration and civilians in getting across the relief. But our role cannot be long-term or stretched beyond a point. The civil administration will have to step in and rehabilitate the people affected by the quake.”

This quotation sums up the challenge with which the civil administration is confronted. This phase of rehabilitation in Kashmir is going to be as important as that of relief, as the availability of a cover over the head would mean a difference between life and death.
“Our homes have got destroyed by the wrath of nature. As it is, the life is difficult here. We are among the lucky few who are putting up in the tent city. But we will have to return to pick up pieces and rebuild our lives,” said Noor Mohammad who is putting up at the tent camp near Tangdhar, an area which has sustained the greatest damage on the Indian side of Line of Control, in terms of property. While some families in Tangdhar and Uri districts have decided to reconstruct the damaged houses using re-usable material, the state government is providing each of them with financial assistance of Rs. 100,000 [100,000 rupees] for reconstruction work. In addition, 450 engineers of the state government are being trained in two batches to guide families in rebuilding their damaged houses. Building demonstration centers are also being set up in six places in the two districts.

Almost 26 villages have been adopted by various agencies including the Army, Air Force, Border Security Force, the National Hydro Power Corporation (NHPC) and the Delhi Government. But on the projected requirement of 30,000 tents, the Government has managed to procure just over half that number.

Despite two major disasters in recent years, the Asian tsunami and the Kashmir earthquake, governments have failed to wake up to the need for placing an administrative system in place to make special provisions to ensure expeditious rescue and relief for disabled people. The long term policy measures that have been announced since then also do not reflect any learning on the part of the governments on the devastating impact that disasters have on disabled people who are not only worst hit, but also last to get any rehabilitation. An explanation for the complete neglect of disabled people by policy makers can be found in the corresponding lack of awareness and political rights of disabled people in this part of the world. A society and polity attuned to the rights of its marginalised sections is the only solution for an effective and inclusive disaster policy.

Another issue that will have to be addressed is that of the lack of a technical knowledge-base that impedes a systematic response to these disasters. The chaos that follows these disasters is also responsible for overlooking marginalized sections of the population. The training of disaster response teams and civil and administrative coordination in such situations would have to be addressed and while doing so the needs of vulnerable sections would have to be prioritized.

Recommendations

Following this visit, we made following broad recommendations to the Government of India:

  1. There is an urgent need to collect data on disabled people who have been affected by the earthquake. Not only should we look at the data of those who have been rendered disabled, also that of those with a disability who have survived but are affected and people with psychosocial problems compounded or caused by the disaster.
  2. Concrete and time-bound plans must be made to address disability concerns in revival of livelihoods, achieving convergence among all on-going programs of sustainable development, and reconstruction.
  3. Disabled-friendly and inclusive built environments must be considered when reconstruction of shelters (temporary or permanent), schools, health centres, housing facilities, water and sanitation facilities, etc. takes place.
  4. International and other N.G.O.s supporting the Government in relief/rehabilitation/reconstruction work should include disability on their agenda.
  5. Disability should be a priority area for any policy that is being formulated for preparedness, mitigation and management and other efforts to prepare us to face similar challenges with confidence, and competence in the future.
  6. This is a good opportunity to correct the mistakes. The Disability Act should be enforced in the State.

Parvinder Singh is a Senior Project Coordinator with the National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People in Delhi, India. He has worked as a journalist and social science researcher, and is currently working on his Ph.D. in Modern Indian History at the Jawaharlal Nehru University.


This paper was originally published in The Review of Disability Studies: An International Journal (RDS), a peer-reviewed, multidisciplinary, international journal, published by the Center on Disability Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. It was published in Volume 3, Issue 3, 2007 (376 Kb in Word doc format). The main page of the journal is at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/. Thank you to Parvinder Singh and the editors of RDS for their permission to publish this paper at We Can Do.


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

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 3 so far )

Disability Movement from Charity to Empowerment, by Kishor Bhanushali

Posted on 22 October 2007. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Disability Studies, Guest Blogger, South Asian Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Probably every wheelchair rider–or at least, the wheelchair users who I know–have had the experience of strangers in the street adamantly insisting on giving them their loose change. Even well-dressed people in three-piece pin-striped suits on their way to white collar jobs in industrialized countries have had strangers simply assume that they must be panhandling–and that they would be thrilled to receive a piece of currency so tiny that it can purchase absolutely nothing in the local economy.

This event is so ordinary and common in their lives that some disabled people may not even think to mention it until and unless an astonished companion witnesses an incident and asks about it. The attitude reflected by these would-be benefactors can be instantly be recognized by the familiar as the “charity model” of disability described further below in Kishor Bhanushali’s essay.

For someone new to disability studies, certain terms can seem as bewildering as international development jargon can seem to a grassroots disability (or Deaf/deaf) rights advocate. Concepts such as the distinctions between the “social model” and the “medical model” of disability can initially seem remote from the concerns of someone unfamiliar with disabilities struggling to ensure that disabled people have equal access to the mainstream transportation infrastructure program, or to the HIV/AIDS education outreach project, that they are trying to implement.

But the attitudes and perspectives of non-disabled people toward people with disabilities can, and do, have a profound impact on our daily lives. Even for a disabled person who has never before heard the phrase “moral model” or “human rights model,” the descriptions of the real-world attitudes upon which these phrases are based are intimately familiar and highly relevant to our lives. They are familiar because we confront them, for better or for worse, in the people we meet–including in our families. And they are relevant because when certain attitudes are pervasive throughout all society, they directly and pragmatically affect what services or human rights are–or are not–available to us.

This holds as true in developing nations as it does in rich nations. Disabled people have unequal access to resources in their environment not only because they are disabled, or because their country is poor, but also because people and programs following the moral, medical, or charity models (rather than the social or human rights models) may create barriers that prevent their equal participation in society.

Whether or not you knew it, you are already operating from the perspectives and attitudes described in at least one of the existing “disability models,” as described in the essay below and elsewhere. And so are the programs that you run, support, or work for–even if these projects are not intended to be targeted specifically at people with disabilities. Being aware of the various models and the distinctions among them can be a helpful start in evaluating whether your program is productive and empowering for disabled people–or if your program, entirely without your intent or will, reinforces barriers already present in their environment.

The author of the paper presented here, Kishor Bhanushali, recently circulated it on the email distribution list for the Global Partnership on Disability and Development (GPDD). He was kind enough to grant permission for it to be posted at We Can Do. I wanted to post this paper so that readers new to the various disability models can receive a brief introduction here. This paper also shares Bhanushali’s observations of the status of people with disabilities in Indian society.

Kishor Bhanushali is currently working on a book titled “Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities” that will contain articles on various rehabilitation strategies. He invites submissions. Interested parties should contact him directly.


Changing Face of Disability Movement: From Charity to Empowerment

By Kishor Bhanushali
Faculty Member – ICFAI Business School
Ahmedabad
kishorkisu@rediffmail.com

National Seminar On
“Revisiting Social Work in the field of Health – A Journey from Welfare to Empowerment-
(20-21 February 2007)

Organised by Faculty of Social Work,
The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda Vadodara

Over 600 million people, or approximately 10 per cent of the world’s population, have a disability of one form or another. Over two thirds of them live in developing countries. Only 2 per cent of disabled children in the developing world receive any education or rehabilitation. The link between disability and poverty and social exclusion is direct and strong throughout the world” – Human Rights and Disability (United Nations)

Introduction:
The problem of disability and movement for disability is as old as mankind. Holy epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata have reference the issue of disability in terms of negative characters of Mnthara, Dhutrastra, and Sakuni. This has created negative impact on the mindset of people about persons with disabilities. During ancient times, persons with disabilities were seen as sin or punishment by God for wrong thing done in last life. This perception has changed over a period of time and persons with disabilities were looked at with pity and charity. But today they have proved themselves as normal citizens. It has been proved that disability lies in the social system and not within persons with disabilities themselves. They need their rights and equal opportunities instead of pity and charity. Disability movement worldwide and within India has a greater role to play in this transformation. This needs to strengthen further. Paper focuses on the changing face of disability movement from looking at persons with disability as a sin to charity mode and towards giving them their rights and equal opportunities. Attempt here is on understand the path of disability movement and its relevance for Indian social work. This will provide an important input for voluntary organizations, government, and the social work professionals working in the area of disability.

Disability Models:
Different people conceptualize the phenomenon of disability differently. Accordingly each person will have different meaning for the term disability and rehabilitation strategy to be followed. Accordingly conceptions regarding disability have undergone changes from time to time, from place to place, and from person to person. The meaning of disability for a doctor is different from that of psychologist, economists, and social worker. Accordingly we have different models of disability evolving from disability movement worldwide.

1. Moral Model
The oldest model of disability was moral model. Under this model person with disability were seen as sin. Disability was considered as punishment from God for the wrong Karma done in the past. Thus persons with disabilities were treated as alien. They have no right to live in the mainstream society. They are not entitled for any right to education, social life and employment available other members of the society. They themselves are responsible for what they are. The family with disabled member was seen with suspicious. To avoid this disabled member were generally hided by their family. Neither government nor society was concerned with the problems faced by them.

2. Charity Model
Charity model is driven largely by the emotive appeals of charity. This model treats people with disabilities as helpless victims needing care and protections. This model relies heavily on the charity and benevolence rather than justice and equality. This model accepts the act of exclusion of persons with disabilities from social arrangements and services in public domain. Charity model justifies the exclusion of persons with disabilities from the mainstream education and employment. Entitlement rights are substituted by relief measures creating an army of powerless individuals, without any control or bargaining power, depending either on the state allocated fund or benevolent individuals. This model asks for social support mechanism for the benefit of person with disability. Initial efforts of the government and individuals were based on this model. Government was allocating large chunk of fund for the welfare of persons with disabilities as direct benefit or support to voluntary organizations. At the same time army of non-governmental organisations working for the benefit of persons with disabilities also relies on the donations and government grants.

3. Medical Model
Medical model of disability is based on the postulate that the problems and difficulties experienced by person with disabilities are directly related to their physical, sensory or intellectual impairments. This model defines disability in the clinical framework as diseases state, thus providing for major role for the medical and paramedical professionals to cure this problems in such a way as to make them as normal as possible. Medical model support the postulate that persons with disabilities are biologically and psychologically inferior to other able bodied counterparts. So they are not treated as fully human bacause they lack the competence to decide for themselves. This model reduces disability to impairment and sought to locate it within the body or mind of the individual while the power to define, control and treat disabled individual was located within the medical and paramedical professionals. This model restricts the rehabilitation efforts to medical treatment in terms of protection and cure.

4. Social Model
In contrast to medical model, which locates disability within the person with disabilities, social model postulates that persons is disabled because of architectural, attitudinal and social barriers created by the society. The social model presents disability as a consequence of oppression, prejudice and discrimination by the society against disabled people. It is the society, which constructs economic, social, health, architectural, legal, and cultural and other barriers in order to deliberately prevent people with impairments enjoying full benefits of social life. The social model shifts the emphasis from a disabled individual to the society and its disabling attitudes and environment. People who believe on social model are of he view that handicap is made and not acquired. So the solution lies in social management by all necessary environmental modification.

5. Economic Model
The economic model tries to establish the linkages between the individual and society in term of their contribution to productive capabilities of the society. The emphasis here is on health related limitations on the amount and kind of work performed by person with disabilities. This approach suggests that the employment problems of person with disabilities stem from faulty economic system and deficiencies on the part of such disadvantage individuals. The vocational rehabilitation programmes or income generation programmes are principle solutions to the problems faced by persons with disabilities. Existing policies plays a greater role in condemning the disabled man and women to a life of perpetual dependency thus providing low pay work ad limited opportunities for all around development. Unlike other models, economic model suggest that the modifications in the persons in the form of education, training and employability, rather than changing the environment and worksite changes or changes in the perception of employees is the most desirable means of fulfilling the social and economic needs of the disadvantages strata of the society.

6. Human Rights Model
Over the past two decades, dramatic shift in the perspective has taken place from an approach motivated by charity towards persons with disabilities to one based on rights. Disability is positioned as an important dimension of human culture by human rights model. According to human rights model all human beings irrespective of their disabilities have certain rights, which are unchallengeable. By emphasizing that the disabled are equally entitled to rights as others, this model builds upon the spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948, according to which, ‘all human beings are born free and equal in rights and dignity”. This model emphasis on viewing persons with disabilities as subjects and not as objects thus locating the problem outside the disabled persons and addresses the manners in which the economic and social processes accommodate the differences of disability or not, as the case may be.

Indian Scenario
In all countries of the world, persons with disabilities are the largest minority group starved of services and facilities available to their non-disabled counterparts. As a result they are least nourished, least healthy, least educated and least employed. They are subject to the long history of neglect, isolation, poverty, deprivation, charity and pity. The situation of persons with disabilities in India is not significantly different. The responsibility of care of persons with disabilities is generally left to their families and few institutions managed by voluntary organisations and government. Disabled in India is mostly ignored by the society because they do not have economic, political or media power. Census of India, for the first time, enumerated persons with disabilities in 2001 according to which more than 2 crore people are facing the problem of disability. In comparison to United Nations figure of 10 percent, Census of India figure is very small. The reason lies in the different approaches and definitions. Within India results of National Sample Survey Organisation and Census of India shows contradictory results. This speaks about the lack of sensitivity on the issue of disability.

The legal framework adequately addresses the issue of disability. Constitution of India, guarantees a right of justice, liberty of thought, expression, belief and worship and equality of status and of opportunities for all citizens including person with disabilities. Apart form constitutional provisions the collective struggle of all disabled and their advocates resulted in ‘Persons with Disabilities (Equal opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Bill, passed in 1995. This Act is a comprehensive and farreaching legislation with promise of liberating mankind of its prejudices and of removing barriers that have crippled the disabled for centuries. By granting full equality, independence and freedom, act has opened doors to people with disabilities so that the can become an integral part of the mainstream society. Apart from PWD Act, we have other legislative provisions like The Mental Health Act 1987, Rehabilitation Council of India Act 1992, and The National Trust for Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disability Act 1999 are also available to safeguard the interest of person with Disabilities. Government of Gujarat has passed Gujarat Physically Handicapped Persons (Employment in Factories) Act 1982 which provide for the reservation for person with disabilities in private sector factories. The fruits of these legislative provisions are not percolating to persons with disabilities because of lack of awareness. Even voluntary organisations working for persons with disabilities themselves are not aware about the legal provisions. Overlapping of functions of judicial machinery makes things more complicated.

Large numbers of voluntary organisations are operating in India, especially for the welfare of person with disabilities. Sincere and dedicated efforts on the part of government and voluntary organisations have resulted in high level of literacy among person with disabilities and increased awareness among persons with disabilities and their parents about their rights and capabilities. But the dark side is that, many of voluntary organisations believe on charity model. These organisations are not professionally managed. They are depending on government and other donors for financial support. Only a few of them are providing vocational training and employment services for person with disabilities. Vocational trainings provided by voluntary organisations are not professionally designed lacking in marketability and employability. So even after getting training person with disabilities are not suitably employed. Secondly more than 75 percent of persons with disabilities are living in rural areas where as voluntary efforts are concentrated in urban locations. Very few organisations are working for rural disabled. Voluntary organisations have to extend their operations in rural areas as well.

Employment is really a problem for person with disabilities. Unemployment rate among person with disabilities is more than double the unemployment rate among their nondisabled counterparts. The reasons lie in the suspicions of the employers who believe on medical model and consider them inferior to their non-disabled counterparts. They prefer to donate for the welfare of persons with disabilities rather than giving them employment opportunities. Physical and mental impairment is more visible to them compared to their abilities. A Three percent reservation as provided by PWD Act has remained on paper even after more than a decade of passage of legislation.

The policies and schemes of government are guided by medical model rather than human rights model. Major efforts on the part of government are limited to physical rehabilitation in the form of preventive action, provision for aids and appliances etc. Efforts in the direction of human rights model has remain on paper because of the ignorance on the part of persons with disabilities, and voluntary organisations.

Conclusion:
Disability movement in India has succeeded in changing the approach towards disability from moral model to charity model but limited has been achieved in the direction of human rights model. Collective efforts on the part of person with disabilities, their advocates, voluntary organisations, government and society at large are required to create real world where abilities and disabilities are not seen on the basis of physical or mental impairment but disability is seen as diverse abilities.

References:
1. The Census of India 2001, Government of India
2. The National Sample Survey Organisations, 58 th Round 2002, Government of India
3. Disability Status in India: Retrospect and Prospects, by G.N. Karna, Gyan Publishing house, New Delhi.
4. Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948, United Nations
5. Persons with Disabilities (Equal opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act 1995, Government of India
6. The Mental Health Act 1987, Government of India
7. Rehabilitation Council of India Act 1992, Government of India
8. The National Trust for Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disability Act 1999, Government of India.
9. National Human Rights Commission, www.nhrc.nic.in
10. Identifying Disability Issues Related to Poverty Reduction: India Country Study, Asian Development Bank


I will likely post more materials (or links to same) on the various models of disability, and how they relate to the international development field, in future blog posts at We Can Do. But for now, let me quickly link to two essays that discuss particularly the “medical” and “social” models in further depth. Both are posted by a British blogger who dubs herself “Lady Bracknell”: “Impairment versus disability” and “The social model of disability.”

Please note that Lady Bracknell’s use of terminology such as the distinction between “disabled” and “impaired” is a very British usage and differs from the usage of similar terminology by writers from other countries.


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

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 5 so far )

Gabon and India Ratify, Cambodia Signs UN CRPD

Posted on 2 October 2007. Filed under: Announcements, East Asia Pacific Region, Human Rights, News, South Asian Region, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

This press release was put out yesterday by Rehabilitation International (RI); We Can Do has made some modifications to RI’s text.

Gabon and India Ratify, Cambodia Signs the UN Disability Rights Convention:

Rehabilitation International (RI) Urges Governments to Continue Momentum Toward first 20 Ratifications

(New York , United States , October 1, 2007): RI applauds the Governments of Gabon and India for ratifying, and Cambodia for signing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), as part of the UN Treaty Event that began last week. In addition, Cambodia also signed the Optional Protocol to the Convention.

“The ratifications by Gabon and India further build momentum toward the 20 ratifications required for the treaty to become international law. It is estimated that in India alone there are over 100 million people with disabilities — the fact that India has ratified has an enormous impact on the world’s disability community,” said RI President Michael Fox.

After receiving this press release, We Can Do received word that Japan was to have signed the CRPD; however, I have not yet seen a press release (in a language I can read) or any other official confirmation. I will make an announcement here when I know more.

As part of its Global Advocacy Campaign, RI continues to urge all countries to ratify the CRPD and its Optional Protocol as soon as possible and without reservations, understandings or declarations.

“I am very pleased that there has been so much interest in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol during the UN Treaty Event. Several countries have come forward to sign the treaty, and I am especially pleased that two States — Gabon and India — deposited their instruments of ratification today. I very much look forward to the rapid entry into force of both the Convention and its Optional Protocol,” said Mr. Nicolas Michel, UN Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs.

Shantha Rau, RI Senior Program Officer, said, “RI recognizes the hard work of NGOs at the national level, who continue to work tirelessly to promote the equality and inclusion of persons with disabilities. In fact, RI is set to launch a new initiative to implement the Convention in India , together with Shanta Memorial Rehabilitation Centre. This project seeks to empower women with disabilities in eastern India through training in disability rights and assistance with micro-credit enterprises.”

The CRPD was open for signature on March 30, 2007 and to date, 117 countries have signed the Convention, 66 have signed the Optional Protocol, seven states have ratified the treaty and three states has ratified the Protocol. CRPD signatories form the majority of the 192 United Nations member countries. The CRPD is the first human rights treaty of the 21st century and prohibits 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. The Optional Protocol concerns how individuals or groups can seek redress for violations of the CRPD once national remedies are exhausted.

You can read the original text of the convention in English, Spanish, French, Arabic, Russian, or Chinese at http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/enable/rights/convtexte.htm. A “plain language” version of the convention is availabe at We Can Do at http://tinyurl.com/36ofsl. The plain language version rewrites the official version of the convention into easier English for use with people who have difficulty understanding legal language, or for people who wish to use it as a resource in translating the convention to other languages. You can find out if your country is among the signatories at http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/enable/convbycountry.htm.

If you wish to become involved in encouraging your country to sign, ratify, and implement the CRPD then you may find it helpful to consult the ratification and implementation toolkits developed by DPI) at http://www.icrpd.net. Both toolkits are available in English, Spanish, and French and can either be read on-line or downloaded in Word document format. The ratification toolkit explains why it is important for countries to not only sign but also fully ratify the CRPD. It guides advocates through the process of persuading their governments to both sign and ratify the CRPD. After your country has ratified the CRPD, the implementation toolkit guides advocates through the process of helping your governments put the CRPD into real-life practice.

About RI

Founded in 1922, RI is a global network of organizations of persons with disabilities, government agencies, service providers, researchers and advocates promoting and implementing the rights and inclusion of persons with disabilities. RI is currently composed of over 700 members and affiliated organizations in 96 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 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.


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

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

IDCS Newsletter: Deaf Children, Families, and Schools

Posted on 1 October 2007. Filed under: Case Studies, Children, Deaf, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Education, Families, South Asian Region, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Thank you to the International Deaf Children’s Society (IDCS) for granting their permission to repost their newsletter at We Can Do. This newsletter contains information about a range of programs targeted at deaf children and their families and schools in Burkino Faso; Zimbabwe; Somaliland; Kazakhstan; Afghanistan; and India.

Note that IDCS would like to receive stories about your experiences in supporting families in improving their ability to communicate with their deaf children for possible use in their next newsletter. Their deadline is October 10, 2007; see the bottom of this post for more detail.

August 29, 2007
Learning from Each Other: An Update from the IDCS Network
The International Deaf Children’s Society (IDCS) is the international development wing of The National Deaf Children’s Society in the UK.

Families and schools

In this issue of Learning from Each Other you can find out more about how schools can involve families and communities in their work.

Education is central in promoting every child’s development. It is a Millennium Development Goal to achieve universal primary education, because it is recognised that education broadens opportunities and choices for young people and helps to fight poverty. As one third of the out-of-school children are disabled – it will be impossible to meet this goal without deaf children getting into school. IDCS believes that this will be impossible without family and community involvement.

Research by academics like Desforges in the UK have shown that the support children receive from their family makes a big difference to their success at school. The case studies in this newsletter highlight the role that families play globally. Over 90% of deaf children are born into families who are not deaf and who may have little understanding of how they can support their child. That’s why it’s important for schools and families to work together. Read on for some brilliant examples of how this can work in practice!

For example, you can read a case study from Burkina Faso showing how schools can help families learn the skills they need to support their children more effectively. In addition, parental involvement can really benefit the school by using parents’ unique knowledge, skills and motivation – both in the classroom like in the example from Afghanistan, and at school management and policy level like the project for families in Kazakhstan.

As so many deaf children are out of school, it’s essential that schools consider how they can reach those parents in the community whose children are not in school. Again, with the right support, other parents whose deaf children have been to school can be the best people to reach out, like the inspiring parent trainers in Zimbabwe.

Later this year, IDCS will publish Family Friendly! a book of case studies and practical tips about involving families and communities in work with deaf children. Some of the case studies in this newsletter are also featured in the book – so look out for our email publicising the book later in the year! Some existing resources to help you think about how you can improve the way you work with families and communities are featured below.

Teachers training parents in Burkina Faso

In order for deaf children to do well at school, it really helps if families are actively involved in their education, and are able to communicate, play or help their children with homework. However it’s not always easy for parents to know what to do.

After asking parents what they needed, IDCS’s partner CEFISE, a mainstream school where lots of deaf children study, trained a group of teachers to carry out workshops for parents at three other schools for the deaf. During these workshops, teachers provide parents with information about deafness and lots of creative ideas to make learning fun. Using creative techniques proved to be a great way to provide parents with practical skills and motivation to spend more time with their child!

Follow the link to find out more about this Burkina Faso project, as well as great examples of games and activities.

Parents outreaching to other parents in Zimbabwe

Nyadire Primary School is located in a rural area of Zimbabwe where there is little awareness of deafness. With support from IDCS and the NZEVE centre for deaf children, Nyadire School trained two parents to be outreach workers.

Being visited at home was a great way for parents of out-of-school deaf children to find out more about deafness and their children’s potential. The parent trainers encouraged parents to send their deaf child to school and provided them with information about how they could support learning in the home. The families felt comfortable discussing personal issues with someone who had faced similar challenges and the parent trainers became a real community resource. The school also organised workshops to provide parents with more information and training to help them communicate with their deaf child.

Follow the link to find out more about this innovative approach to working with parents

Establishing a parents’ group in Somaliland

In Somaliland there are only two schools for the deaf. The Hargeisa School for the Deaf is working with parents to support them to advocate for the rights of their child. Getting parents together is also an effective and sustainable way of establishing support networks and a forum to share ideas and experiences.

The Hargeisa School found that, in order for parents to have an impact, it was important to set up a formal organisation. They provided a group of parents with the necessary skills to organise and register a parents’ group. This group now meets regularly and, together with the school and a group of young deaf people, has carried out advocacy and awareness raising activities.

Find out more about the process of setting up a parents group

Working together for children’s rights in Kazakhstan

Children living in institutions in Kazakhstan are often denied their rights. In addition, many find that communicating with their families is very difficult. With limited parental involvement, professionals have a lot of power over children’s lives. To create change in such a context meant that everyone needed to be involved – that’s why the project working to improve the lives of deaf children in institutions was called Rights for All.

Using the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child as a tool, this project tried to involve teachers, children and parents. An important achievement was the establishment of an ongoing parents’ group which have quarterly meetings with school directors and are working with the Deaf People’s Association to lobby for policy changes. A resource room staffed by a parent volunteer also helps to provide parents with practical support when they visit the school.

Read more about how this project aimed to make Rights For All a reality

A father’s story – getting involved in education in Afghanistan

Getting involved in their children’s education can radically change parents’ attitudes towards their child’s deafness. As they witness first-hand their child’s capacity for learning and educational success, they can become advocates for other children’s rights.

Abdul Ghani is the father of six children, four of whom are deaf. He worked for an inclusive education project run by the International Rescue Committee in Afghanistan which helped deaf children, previously denied access to education, to stay in school. His valuable contribution and change of attitude towards his deaf children’s potential shows how parent involvement benefits both schools and families!

Find out more about our work in Afghanistan.

Real inclusion requires a supportive family

In India, the Persons with Disabilities Act says that every disabled child should be able to study in a regular school if that is their choice. Snigdha talks about how she fought to make the act a reality for her deaf daughter, Sneha. This would not have been possible without the support she received in the early days from a family-focused organisation in West Bengal. Snigdha’s story shows why IDCS’s focus on parent-support is so important and gives practical tips for regular schools wishing to include deaf children.

Read Snigdha’s story to find out more about parenting a deaf child in India and why family support is so important.

Member spotlight

IDCS Network member the Loto Taumafai Society in Samoa worked with UNESCO to pilot the Toolkit for Creating Inclusive, Learning Friendly Environments. The second chapter focuses on involving families and communities. It is a very useful tool for any school. However, IDCS thinks that as deaf children have less opportunity than other children to learn incidentally in their community, the ideas presented in this UNESCO publication are even more important for schools where deaf children learn!

You can read an extract and download the booklet

More resources

EENET, the Enabling Education Network is an international information sharing network which promotes the inclusion of marginalised groups in education. Membership is open to all.

The EENET website contains resources about working with parents including the Family Action for Inclusion book. This tells the stories of family-based advocacy organisations which have contributed to transform education systems in southern Africa, South Asia, Europe and Australia. It has been written for family and community members who may feel isolated and want to form a support group, advocacy organisation, or want to challenge exclusion. It will also be of relevant to those interested in promoting inclusive practices in education, such as teachers, teacher educators and policy makers.

Find out more about EENET

Improving family communication

For our next issue of Learning from Each Other, we would like to focus on family communication. As the articles presented here have shown, communicating with a deaf child at home is extremely important for his or her emotional and educational development. We would be delighted to hear of your experiences of supporting families to improve their ability to communicate with their deaf child.

What challenges do you face in communicating with deaf children? Have you received support from an organisation or parents of deaf children? Are there any games or exercises that you have found particularly useful? Are you involving deaf adults in family communication exercises?

As always, please do not worry if you don’t have much experience of writing about your work, just get in touch with any contribution, long or short. We will do our best to include it in the newsletter or publish on our website to share with The IDCS Network.

Please send us your stories by 10 October 2007 by email, post or fax

The IDCS Network
15 Dufferin Street
London, EC1Y 8UR
United Kingdom
idcs@idcs.info
Fax + 44 (0)20 7251 5020

http://www.idcs.info


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

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )

Dying for Employment

Posted on 1 August 2007. Filed under: Employment, News | Tags: , , , , |

Some people want jobs so badly they’re willing to die for them. Literally.

When I have had the opportunity to talk with Deaf or disabled people from developing countries, I usually seize the chance to ask what they think Deaf or disabled people in their country need the most. For a large number of them, the first word out of their mouth (or the first sign on their hands) is: JOBS. In other words, what most Deaf people and people with disabilities want is a way to earn their own living. To put food on the table, keep a roof over their heads, and clothes on their back, for themselves and their families. All by their own labor. They don’t want handouts or charity. They want JOBS.

Jobs, however, are rather thin on the ground when you have a disability. Even in rich countries, studies have repeatedly found that unemployment rates among people with disabilities are high. Yes, that’s people who CAN work and WANT to work. Although some disabled people genuinely cannot work, many others would love to have a job — if only they had both the right skills and training and also an employer willing to hire them. And if only the social welfare system that made it easier for them to transition to paid employment without worrying about losing their health insurance. Or if they didn’t need to worry about being cut off from benefits if the job doesn’t pay enough or doesn’t work out.

In some developing countries, finding a decent-paying job may be tough even for non-disabled people. For people with disabilities who must overcome stigma, it can be even tougher. Too many employers–in any country–simply assume that a disabled person will not be productive at all. Or they assume that a disabled person can only appropriately work in certain, limited occupations. Or if the current job description requires a person to spend a few minutes of the day on the phone, then instead of looking at ways to trade off job responsibilities with someone else in the office, an employer may assume that a deaf applicant cannot or should not take the job.

Earlier today, I learned via Lady Bracknell’s post at BBC Ouch that a group of 12 men with disabilities in Varanasi, India, were so desperate to retain their one source of livelihood that they drank pesticide as a form of public protest. It seems their shops had been taken from them. When they tried to speak out in protest, they weren’t heard. So they swallowed pesticide. And five of them have died–so far. It remains to be seen whether the other seven will join them.

When people with disabilities are able to work for a living, everyone wins. Disabled people gain more economic control over their lives. Employers gain talented, ambitious, loyal and productive workers. Governments take in more taxes–which can then be used to invest more in education and health clinics for everyone. People shouldn’t have to kill themselves for a job.

See the links above for the information that is known as of now about the situation in India. If anyone knows more detail about this situation, please post your links or information in the comments area.


Guest bloggers are welcome to submit essays, announcements, resources, articles, case studies, and opinion pieces of their own to “We Can Do.” I encourage you to first read the Introduction to We Can Do.

I don’t have a written set of guidelines for guest bloggers–yet. But I’m working on them. In the meantime, if you’re interested, please contact me at ashettle [at] patriot.net. (Replace [at] with the at sign @ and type the email address as one word with no spaces. Sorry to present my email address in such a cumbersome way. I’m trying to prevent my email address from being hijacked by even more spam harvesters than the five million who have already been flooding my email box.)


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

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )

    About

    Ending poverty among and oppression toward disabled people in developing countries.

    RSS

    Subscribe Via RSS

    • Subscribe with Bloglines
    • Add your feed to Newsburst from CNET News.com
    • Subscribe in Google Reader
    • Add to My Yahoo!
    • Subscribe in NewsGator Online
    • The latest comments to all posts in RSS

    Meta

  • Subscribe!

  • Translate!

  • Connect to Andrea Shettle via Linked In

  • Archives

  • Topic Categories

  • Stumble Upon It!

    Stumble It! Share this blog with other readers via "Stumble Upon"!
  • We Can Do is in the GDRL!

  • Blog Stats

    • 740,712 hits
  • Meta

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...

%d bloggers like this: