4th Annual International Shafallah Forum, April 20-22, 2009, in Doha, Qatar

Posted on 18 January 2009. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Announcements, Call for Papers, Children, Education, Employment, Events and Conferences, Inclusion, Middle East and North Africa, Opportunities | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Note that the deadline to submit abstracts is January 23, 2009, at 5 pm EST.

On behalf of the Shafallah Center for Children with Special Needs, I would like to extend a warm invitation for you to submit abstracts for the 4th Annual International Shafallah Forum in Doha, Qatar from April 20th – April 22nd , 2009. For the past three years our Center has been delighted to welcome more than 250 experts in the field and Wives of Heads of State from all over the world to our Forum and we anticipate that this year’s Forum will be no exception.

The 4th Annual International Forum will bring together advocates, family members, scholars, members of government, and professionals from a variety of perspectives to explore the theme of /Achieving Independence/. Together we will explore how to overcome factors that perpetuate disability marginalization, including widespread poverty due to lack of access to education, opportunity, and unfair labor practices. We look to our work, cutting-edge research and programs, to promote independence through universal access to education, inclusive societies, innovative technologies, and poverty-reduction strategies – including micro-enterprise and encouragement of the corporate sector to value and include the disabled in the workforce.

The Forum will feature keynote addresses by global leaders, roundtable discussions, symposia, paper presentations, and exhibits. We welcome the submission of such presentations and have included more detailed information on the following pages.

An accepted presentation to the Shafallah Forum includes complimentary airfare, meals, and accommodation. We hope that you will join us this April in Doha and participate in international dialogue among your peers. Please visit our website at www.shafallah.org.qa or http://www.shafallahforum2009.org

Abstracts are *due by 5pm EST January 23rd, 2009. *


*I. Modes of Presentation*

Delegates can present their programs and research in several different formats:

*Symposia *(1 hour – 3 x 15 minute presentations, plus 15 minutes discussion)

A collection of 3 papers presenting the results of different programs/studies/experiences relating to a common research theme. Each should be presented by a different person. The symposium coordinator should provide details for the three papers following the instructions below.

*Individual Papers *(15 minute presentation, plus 5 minutes discussion)

A paper presenting the results of a program/study/experience on a particular topic. Papers will be grouped into symposia according to an identified theme. Individuals should submit title and abstract details for each paper offered following the instructions below.

* *


Individuals may present their research on the form of a poster. Posters allow for more extended discussion with delegates interested in the content area of the poster. Posters should be attended by at least one author/director who can address questions related to the poster’s content. Individuals should submit title and abstract details for each poster presentation offered following the instructions below. Submission of poster collectives (related research) is encouraged.

* *

*Roundtable Discussions or Debates *

(1 hour)

Discussion about the interpretation of existing research, the state of knowledge in a particular area or the need for more or different kinds of research/programming/policies, can be as important as presenting the results of new studies. Individuals wishing to organize such roundtable discussions or debates should identify three or four speakers, who can each present a point of view. Where discussion and audience participation is the purpose, speakers’ presentations might be limited to 5 minutes. Where debate between the speakers is the purpose, presentations may be longer (10 minutes). Organizers should submit the details of the discussion or debate following the instructions below.

*Exhibit *

Individuals or groups that have a demonstration, specialized equipment, and/or materials that they would like to exhibit are invited to submit a proposal. Exhibits will be given a table with specific presentation time, where they will be asked to be present and are encouraged to leave materials/equipment out for attendees to peruse throughout the Forum.

*II. Abstracts*

Abstracts must be in English. Abstracts longer than permissible will be abridged at the discretion of the program planning committee.

*Theme & Topic:* The conference is to be organized into themes and include general and break-out sessions. Please specify which theme that best fits your session. All abstracts should be prepared using the following headings:

*Instructions for Submitting Paper/Poster Abstracts*

*Title: *Brief (no more than 100 characters)

*Author(s):* Give the name and affiliation of authors. Give the email address of person(s) presenting the paper

*Contact details:* Type an asterisk after the presenter’s name and give the affiliation address of the presenting author only

*Abstract:* This should be no more than 200 words and describe the /Aim, Method, Outcomes, and Conclusions/ of the study using these headings.

*Preferred mode: *State whether: (a) individual paper or (b) poster

*Type of presentation: *State whether (a) research-based paper with data or (b) review paper or (c) service description or (d) personal experience.

*Instructions for Submitting Symposia Abstracts*

*Title: *Brief (no more than 100 characters)

*List:* Authors, affiliations, e-mail addresses and titles of papers to be included in the symposium.

*Moderator: *Give the name and affiliation of the person who has agreed to moderate the symposium. Give the contact details for moderator (email, phone & address).

*Abstract:* Each paper should submit an abstract. This should be no more than 200 words and describe the /Aim, Method, Outcomes, and Conclusions/ of the study using these headings.

*Type of presentation: *State whether (a) research-based paper with data or (b) review paper or (c) service description or (d) personal experience.

* *

*Instructions for Submitting Roundtable Abstracts*

*Title: *Brief (no more than 100 characters)

*Author(s):* Give the name and affiliation of each participant noting the moderator with an asterisk.

*Contact details:* Give the full contact information (email, phone, & address) of all participants

*Abstract:* This should be no more than 400 words and describe the background behind the issue to be discussed or debated and the views to be put forth by each speaker.

* *

*Instructions for Submitting Exhibits*

*Title: *Brief (no more than 100 characters)

*Host: *Give the name, affiliation, e-mail, and phone of the person hosting the exhibit.

*Abstract:* Submit a description of the demonstration/exhibit, its intent, and space requirements

*III. Submission Deadline: 5pm EST, January 23, 2009*

Kindly submit abstracts to: Valerie Karr @ valeriek@brownlloydjames.com

Please label the subject line: _Shafallah Forum Abstract_. Failure to do so may result in abstract not being viewed.

Information about the Shafallah Center and Previous International Forums please visit:

http://www.shafallah.org.qa or http://www.shafallahforum2009.org

We Can Do received this announcement via the Intl-Dev email news list. All queries and applications should be emailed to Valerie Karr at the Shafallah Center, NOT to We Can Do.

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RESOURCE: Manual on Mainstreaming Disability in Development Projects

Posted on 2 October 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Cross-Disability, Inclusion, Poverty, Resources | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Christian Blind Mission announces the publication of a new manual on including persons with disabilities in development projects. The manual is part of the “Mainstreaming Disability in Development Cooperation” project funded by the European Commission. The purpose of the manual is to give guidance and practical tools to operational staff to include a disability
perspective in the Project Cycle Management. [Note from We Can Do: Although this manual is written from a European perspective for European-based international development agencies and organizations, some of its content seems broadly relevant to mainstream international development organizations based outside of Europe.]

The manual aims to support the inclusion of the perspectives of persons with disabilities throughout the project management cycle, from program planning through evaluation. It contains examples of projects which include the perspectives of persons with disabilities, many of which are financed by the EC partnership with NGOs, including CBM. The manual is
accompanied by a web-based toolbox, which is available in September 2008.

To download the manual go to


This manual comes in two parts. The first part, entitled Make Development Inclusive: Concepts and Guiding Principles (PDF format, 750 Kb), discusses what disability is; why all poverty reduction projects should include a disability perspective; the degree of disability inclusion needed for different types of projects; and the legal and policy framework in Europe and internationally. It also includes a discussion of the “twin-track approach” to development, which explores the difference between disability-inclusive mainstream projects and disability-targeted initiatives–and why we need both.

The second part of the manual, entitled Make Development Inclusive: A Pratical Guide (PDF format, 2.8 Mb) advises mainstream development organizations in how they can make their projects more inclusive to the benefit of everyone–without bankrupting themselves or consuming staff time that just isn’t available. Case examples are described that highlight how disability inclusion has been done at every stage of programming, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating projects around the world.

More information on the project Make Development Inclusive can be found online at www.make-development-inclusive.org

CBM is an international disability and development organization with 100 years of expertise whose purpose is to improve the quality of life of persons with disabilities and their families and prevent and treat those diseases which can lead to disability in the most marginalized societies
in the world. Working for and together with persons with disabilities, CBM advocates for meaningful and effective participation, equal opportunities and full inclusion in all spheres of society.

I learned of this resource from Joan Durocher, who learned about it from Karen Heinicke-Motsch. Most of the text in this blog post comes from an announcement from CBM; the text summarizing the content of the two parts of the manual is mine.

Subscribe to We Can Do
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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.

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RESOURCE, FUNDING: Network to Exchange Success Stories

Posted on 6 March 2008. Filed under: Case Studies, Funding, News, Opportunities, Poverty | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Organizations that have “success stories” to share now have a way to reach a wider audience. And organizations that wish to learn from other successful projects now have a resource to which they can turn.

A few of the very best, most innovative participating projects might also obtain funding. (If interested in funding, submit stories to IFAP by March 31, 2008.)

The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has launched an Information for All Programme (IFAP) whose purpose is to encourage communities to share their success stories with each other. All organizations are invited to submit their stories about successful projects to its online platform. Others can then read about these projects and perhaps replicate them or adapt them to their own local situations.

The IFAP is particularly interested in stories that involve using information to support development. The aim of IFAP is to promote good practices in using information for development in all parts of the world.

If you submit your story before March 31, 2008, then it may be considered for grant funding. IFAP will choose up to five of the most innovative success stories to receive funding support of $5,000.

Stories may be submitted at any time, including after March 31, to be shared with others. But late submissions cannot be considered for the grant funding competition. Instead, they will simply be made available for others to read and learn from. Submitting your stories, even if you do not win funding support, can be a way to help make more people aware about your organization and your projects.

IFAP wants stories in the following thematic areas:

  • Poverty reduction,
  • Health,
  • Education,
  • Disaster prevention,
  • Governance,
  • and Human Development.

IFAP asks that each story submitted to their database should include the following information (note that the last one specifically references people with disabilities):

  • identify the community that has benefitted from the use of information
  • explain what difference access to information has made for this community
  • focus on content and not on technology
  • describe how the initiative could be replicated
  • take account of any gender issues, noting that UNESCO’s priority focus is on women
  • identify any benefits for disadvantaged groups such as people with disabilities

IFAP also wants stories to follow a standard format:

  • Between 250 and 500 words in English or French
  • Respond to the questions: who, when, where, what, how and why?
  • Upload up to 3 photos of at least 300 dpi in .jpg format
  • Upload a short (5 minutes) video clip if available
  • Provide links to any related web sites

Learn more about the IFAP initiative at:


At the IFAP website, you can register your organization; submit your own story for the IFAP database (after registration); and read, rate, and comment on other people’s stories.

IFAP Accessibility for blind people
Blind people will need to note that, unfortunately, the IFAP site does not seem to be fully accessible. It might be possible to at least read their information, including the stories that other people have left there. However, in order to register your organization, submit a story, or contact IFAP through their contact form, you need to fill out a “visual captcha.” This means they want people to prove they are human beings (not automated robots) by reading a visual image and typing the letters they see in the image. The image is not accessible to screen readers.

If you are blind, you may need to recruit a sighted person to assist you in filling out the IFAP registration form. If you do this, you may also wish to ask the sighted person to help you submit an email to IFAP urging them to make their web site more accessible to you.

I have already submitted two complaints of my own (one using the “support” button and the “contact” button). But they might listen harder if they realize that there are actual blind people out there who are trying to use their site. (Yes. Blind people with ideas to offer. Imagine that. Please read this in a scarcastic tone of voice.) Unfortunately, both the “support” button and the “contact” button also use visual captchas, so those aren’t directly accessible to blind people either.

Further comments about accessibility at the <a href=”IFAP website“>IFAP web site are invited in the comments area below. I will try to pass along any additional concerns I receive here to IFAP, especially if you have trouble submitting your own comments to them.

We Can Do learned about the IFAP intiative through the Disabled People International (DPI) email newsletter.

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CALL FOR PAPERS: Human Security, Social Cohesion and Disability

Posted on 29 January 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Call for Papers, Cross-Disability, Disability Studies, Disaster Planning & Mitigation, Human Rights, Opportunities, Policy & Legislation, Poverty, technology, Violence | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Call for Papers – Review of Disability Studies: An International Journal (www.rds.hawaii.edu)

Human Security, Social Cohesion and Disability

Guest Editors: Gregor Wolbring, Program in Community Rehabilitation and Disability Studies, Dept of Community Health Sciences, University of Calgary;

Anita Ghai, Department of Psychology Jesus and Mary College, New Delhi;

Kirk Allison, Program in Human Rights and Health, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota;

Human security and social cohesion are two central requisites for the medical and social well being of disabled people. Science and technology (S&T) advances often seen as essential for disabled people also impact on human security and on social cohesion. Human security according to the Commission on Human Security is concerned with safeguarding and expanding people’s vital freedoms. It requires both shielding people from acute threats and empowering people to take charge of their own lives. The Commission identified economic security, food security, health security, environmental security, personal security, community security, political security, freedom from fear, and freedom from want as primary concerns.

Social cohesion in very general terms means: All that which brings people together (European New Towns Platform). In Canada the following description is in use: “Social cohesion is the ongoing process of developing a community of shared values, shared challenges and equal opportunity within Canada, based on a sense of trust, hope and reciprocity among all Canadians.” (Jeannotte and Sharon, 2001). This has also been articulated complementarily in terms of social capital which has been defined among others as “features of social organization such as networks, norms, and social trust that facilitate coordination and cooperation for mutual benefit” (Putnam 1995).

More about the concepts can be found in the below references:

  • Gregor Wolbring (2006). Human Security and NBICS http://www.innovationwatch.com/choiceisyours/choiceisyours.2006.12.30.htm
  • Gregor Wolbring (2007). NBICS and Social Cohesion http://www.innovationwatch.com/choiceisyours/choiceisyours-2007-01-15.htm
  • Caroline Beauvais and Jane Jenson.(2002) Social Cohesion: Updating the State of Research. Canadian Policy, Research Networks, Canadian Heritage, Ottawa. http://www.cprn.com/doc.cfm?doc=167&l=en
  • European New Towns Platform. (2005). “The Top 8 Specific Challenges for Social Cohesion in New Towns.” http://www.newtowns.net/themes
  • Definitions of Social Capital http://www.analytictech.com/networks/definitions_of_social_capital.htm
  • Social Captial Initiative, Working Paper 1, 1998, http://go.worldbank.org/W8FMEK6FR0
  • We are honored that the theme for an issue of The Review of Disability Studies: An International Journal will be human security, social cohesion and disability. This topic is chosen because the discourse around human security and social cohesion is of central importance for disability studies and for the well-being of persons with disabilities. At the same time discourses in disability studies can crucially clarify and test the discourses of human security and social cohesion.

    Thus, we urge potential contributors, regardless of their fields of training, to articulate their ideas about human security, social cohesion and disability. We especially encourage contributors to envision:

    • Future threats to human security and social cohesion including threats linked to new and emerging sciences and technologies processes and products and their impact on disabled people.
    • How disability studies discourses have generated tools and will continue to generate tools which can be used to minimize future threats to social cohesion and human security.
    • Other possible prevention strategies and fixes to possible future threat to human security and social cohesion.

    We encourage the submission of empirical case studies and theoretical models and we especially encourage contributions which cover the topic from a low income country background.

    Potential contributors to this Special Issue might consider:

    1. What is the “disability,” the discrimination angle of human security and social cohesion?
    2. What is the body image angle of human security and social cohesion?
    3. What is the importance of the disability studies angle on human security and social cohesion for other marginalized groups, for the marginalized majority of the world?
    4. What are potential future threats to human security and social cohesion and what would the impact be on disabled people?
    5. What are the cultural angles of human security and social cohesion?
    6. What is the role and potential of law?
    7. What empirical evidence and theoretical models illuminate the processes and effects?
    8. What is the impact of emerging social concepts such as transhumanism, which is?
    9. What is the impact of new and emerging sciences and technologies?
    10. What role does or could disability studies be playing in the interaction between new and emerging sciences and technologies and human security and social cohesion?
    11. How do or do not the human security and social cohesion discourses serve the needs of disabled people?
    12. What are the connections between human security and violent conflict?
    13. What are the relationships between development and poverty reduction, human security, and the prevention of violent conflict?
    14. What is the impact of natural disasters on those with disabilities in terms of security and cohesion
    15. How can social capital be discussed in context of disabled people, human security and social cohesion?

    Send via email 250-word abstracts, by March 31st, 2008 to Guest Editors Gregor Wolbring gwolbrin@ucalgary.ca ; Anita Ghai anita.satyapal@gmail.com and Kirk Allison alli0001@umn.edu. Please be sure to send abstracts to all editors. For those abstracts that are selected, we will request completed articles of approximately 3000-5000 words two months after the note of invitation to submit a full article was sent. Note that an invitation to submit an article based on an abstract does not guarantee publication of that article in The Review of Disability Studies.

    For more information about The Review of Disability Studies, please go to www.rds.hawaii.edu

    We Can Do received this announcement via the Global Partnership for Disability and Development (GPDD) email distribution list, which can be joined for free.

    The Review of Disability Studies journal has been featured before at We Can Do: see an earlier, more generic call for papers at RDS, or see a listing of previous RDS articles relevant to people with disabilities in developing countries, with abstracts.

    Check for other calls for papers.

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

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