Call for Applications to Receive Global Disability Rights Library

Posted on 12 January 2011. Filed under: Announcements, Call for Nominations or Applications, Capacity Building and Leadership, Cross-Disability, Human Rights, Opportunities, Resources, technology | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

MEDIA RELEASE

Call for Applications to Receive Global Disability Rights Library
January 7, 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Andrea Shettle, Program Manager: Global Disability Rights Library
Telephone: (877) 535-0506
Email: gdrl@usicd.org

Washington, DC – The Global Disability Rights Library project announces a call for organizations to apply to receive a free digital Global Disability Rights Library (GDRL).  Applications are open to disabled people’s organizations, universities, government agencies, and other organizations in developing countries.   Sixty organizations will receive the digital library to empower them to disseminate valuable disability rights knowledge and toolkits to their communities.

The goal of the GDRL project is to improve the lives of persons with disabilities in developing countries.  The project uses an innovative off-line digital storage technology to deliver digital resources to people beyond the reach of the internet.  The electronic library will be stored in a hard drive, called an “eGranary unit” that also contains an interface emulating the look and functioning of the web but without requiring actual internet connectivity.  Users will include disabled people’s organizations (DPOs), decision makers, government agencies, individual advocates, and others who cannot easily download information from the web.  Read more about the GDRL project at:

http://www.usicd.org/index.cfm/global-disability-rights-library

The GDRL is a collaborative effort between the U.S. International Council on Disabilities and the University of Iowa’s WiderNet Project with support from USAID to bring the best materials on disability rights and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to developing countries.

Ideal deployment site candidates will have a demonstrated commitment to promoting and facilitating disability rights.  Successful applicants will have the organizational capacity to become a hub for disseminating disability rights information and will be inclusive of a diverse disability community. Interested organizations are urged to review the application and full eligibility criteria posted on WiderNet’s website at:

http://www.widernet.org/digitallibrary/GDRLSiteSelection

Individuals and organizations with internet access are encouraged to please assist in reaching out to organizations with poor internet connectivity to assist them with the application process.  There will be several selection rounds.  Applicants not accepted in an early selection round will be immediately rolled over into subsequent selection rounds.  Candidates are encouraged to apply early.  Please do not wait until the final deadline.

Apply by March 1, 2011, to be considered for deployment by June 30, 2011
Apply by September 1, 2011, to be considered for deployment by December 31, 2011
Apply by May 1, 2012, to be considered for deployment by August 31, 2012

Questions about the application process or eligibility criteria should be directed to gdrl@usicd.org.  Applicants who cannot use email also may reach us by post mail at

Andrea Shettle, MSW, MA
Program Manager, Global Disability Rights Library
United States International Council on Disabilities (USICD)
1012-14th Street, NW, Suite 105
Washington, DC 20005
United States of America

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Training Opportunity: Disability and Development Module, November 23 to December 19, 2009, VU University, Netherlands

Posted on 23 April 2009. Filed under: Announcements, Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR), Education and Training Opportunities, HIV/AIDS, Human Rights, Opportunities, Poverty, Rehabilitation, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Disability and Development Module at the VU University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

The Athena Institute, Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences, VU University (Amsterdam), together with Enablement (Alphen aan den Rijn) and the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT, Amsterdam) are pleased to announce a 4-week module on Disability and Development to be held from November 23th to December 19th 2009 at the VU University. This course, a 4-week elective module, which is part of an academic Master degree programme, is open to external participants also. Students will learn in a highly participatory environment built around a problem-based learning approach. Lecturers have extensive international experience in disability and related fields. An overview of the course content can be found on the VU website: http://studiegids.vu.nl/ (type ‘disability’ as search term). The course was offered for the first time in 2008 and was very positively evaluated by the first batch of students.

The following topics will be covered in Module I:
Disability models and stereotypes, culture and disability, ICF conceptual framework, experience of having a disability, frequencies and distribution of disability, determinants of disability, including stigma and discrimination, poverty, gender and HIV/AIDS, rights of persons with disabilities, the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, measurement of disability, disability-relevant research methods, survey methods, examples of disability research and an introduction to community-based rehabilitation.

In 2010, a second elective module will be offered on the subject of Disability & Development. This module will have the same duration as Module I

Module II will cover the following additional topics:
Project planning and management, monitoring and evaluation of community-based rehabilitation (CBR) programmes, management information systems, CBR as a preferred strategy for rehabilitation, organisational and institutional development, Disabled People’s Organisations, educational and economic empowerment of disabled people, the role of specific rehabilitation services, and sports and disability.

Interested candidates should apply well in advance and contact Huib Cornielje as soon as possible.

TARGET GROUP: rehabilitation professionals and professionals with an interest in disability and development.

REQUIREMENTS: good comprehension of the English language; bachelor degree or equivalent (in terms of experience and thinking capacity)

COURSE FEES: Euro 1,000 (excluding board & lodging); students who wish to gain official study credits (ETCS) will have to register as external students at the VU University. This will cost an additional €1,200 for 4 weeks, approximately.

DATES: November 23 to December 18, 2009

FURTHER INFORMATION CAN BE OBTAINED FROM:

Huib Cornielje
Langenhorst 36
2402PX Alphen aan den Rijn
The Netherlands
Tel: 0031-172-436953
Fax: 0031-172-244976
E-mail: h.cornielje@enablement.nl



Thank you to Huib Cornielje for submitting this announcement for publication at We Can Do. All inquiries about this training opportunity should please be directed to Huib Cornielje at h.cornielje@enablement.nl, NOT to We Can Do. Thanks.

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JOB Post: Education Specialist, Fast Track Initiative, World Bank

Posted on 24 February 2009. Filed under: Announcements, Children, Education, HIV/AIDS, Jobs & Internships, Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Opportunities, Poverty | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

ob # 090252
Job Title Education Spec.
Job Family Education
Location: Washington, DC
Appointment International Hire
Job Posted 17-Feb-2009
Closing Date 03-Mar-2009
Language Requirements
English [Essential]
Appointment Type Term (Duration: 2 yrs)
Background / General description
THIS IS A 2 YEAR TERM POSITION WITH POSSIBLE EXTENSION TO 3 YEARS.
To apply go to http://extjobs.worldbank.org/external/default/main?pagePK=64273552&piPK=64273556&theSitePK=1058433&JobNo=090252&order=descending&sortBy=job-req-num&location=ALL&menuPK=64262364

The Fast Track Initiative (FTI) is a global partnership launched in 2002 to accelerate progress toward the Millennium Development Goal of universal quality primary education by 2015. All low-income countries which demonstrate serious commitment to achieving universal primary completion can receive support from FTI. The FTI is a high visibility and politically sensitive aid platform which currently provides technical and financial support to over 50 countries, with the majority in Africa. The FTI provides direct financial support to countries with endorsed education sector plans through a multi-donor Catalytic Fund which currently has over $1,400 million in commitments through 2009, making it the second largest source of financing for basic education in low income countries. It will also provide support to conflict-affected and other fragile states through the recently created Education Transition Fund managed by UNICEF. The FTI Partnership is supported by a Secretariat housed in the World Bank in Washington, DC.

Duties and Accountabilities
The Education Specialist will provide support to countries developing education sector plans and programs to reach the most vulnerable populations who constitute the majority of out-of-school children. S/he will also work with FTI Secretariat Staff, FTI partners, country donors, civil society organizations and the World Bank to provide substantive input and technical support on a range of education and development topics such as improving quality/learning outcomes; fragile states; strengthening in-country processes; donor harmonization; improving gaps in policy, financing, data, and capacity development; and FTI’s response to HIV/AIDS, gender, and disability issues. S/he will report to the Head of the FTI Secretariat and support and collaborate with the FTI Secretariats’ Senior Education Specialists who lead FTI’s work on learning outcomes and country level processes. Specific responsibilities will include:
1. Out of School/Vulnerable Children Coordinate partnership planning and processes to address key constraints for vulnerable populations to achieving the education MDG.
• Assist in designing, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating a targeted outreach program to reach the populations most at risk of not benefiting from EFA/FTI programs.
• Develop a results framework for working with vulnerable populations. Develop and monitor indicators and activities linked to specific marginalized populations (gender, poverty, rural/urban, disability, and child labor).
• Provide background research on education and development policies as appropriate.
• Strengthen the policy dialogue within the FTI partnership by researching the donor partners’ statements on policy (user fees, language of instruction, disability, gender, etc.) and identifying common principles and shared understandings.
• Liaise with the Interagency Task Team on HIV/AIDS and education and strengthen mechanisms to ensure that this collaboration between education and HIV/AIDS is brought down to the country level.
• Represent the FTI Secretariat on the INEE Working Group on Education and Fragility

2. Country Focal Point Serve as focal point for a select number of FTI endorsed and potential countries.
• Act as first line of contact for all FTI communications with coordinating agency.
• Provide and seek information on ESP development and implementation, including FTI trust fund issues, application procedures, and key events such as joint annual reviews.
• Ensure tools such as the capacity development, inclusion/equity, HIV/AIDs, School Health are utilized when LDGs are developing their ESPs.
• Conduct the FTI Secretariat’s support and advice on ‘Light Touch’ review of ESPs prior to endorsement.
• Monitor and provide guidance to fragile states as they progress through the single entry process.

3. Learning Outcomes Support the FTI Secretariat and Partnership’s work to develop its work plan and activities on learning outcomes within the FTI partnership.
• Provide research and other support for the FTI task team on education quality.
• Provide support for the coordination of partnership planning and processes for measuring learning outcomes in FTI countries.
• Assist in communicating with country Local Education Groups/Coordinating agencies (CA) to gauge interest in their participating in international assessments of learning/quality.

Selection Criteria
• Education: An advanced degree in education or related fields.

• A minimum of 5 years of relevant experience working in the education sector.

• Strong knowledge of and commitment to the principles and procedures of the FTI.

• Knowledge of fragile states policies and financing mechanisms.

• Demonstrated knowledge of and experience in the use of education data, and social and institutional research analytical tools.

• Knowledge of education operations in the World Bank or other major donor or UN agencies.

• Experience with dialogue with government and other partners, including bilateral donors, multilateral organizations, and NGOs.

• Proven ability to work with peers, managers, and a diverse range of partners including donors, civil society groups, governments, and academic institutions.

• Ability to work well in a small team, operate under pressure, deliver high quality work within deadlines, and meet team objectives.

The World Bank Group is committed to achieving diversity in terms of gender, nationality, culture and educational background. Individuals with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence.

To apply go to http://extjobs.worldbank.org/external/default/main?pagePK=64273552&piPK=64273556&theSitePK=1058433&JobNo=090252&order=descending&sortBy=job-req-num&location=ALL&menuPK=64262364



I received this announcement via the Global Partnership on Disability and Development (GPDD) mailing list. For other jobs at the World Bank, consult the World Bank Employment page. Most jobs at the World Bank are not disability related, but a few are.

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Call for Papers: Poverty and Intellectual Disabilities

Posted on 10 February 2009. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Announcements, Call for Papers, Children, Cognitive Impairments, Families, Inclusion, Opportunities, Poverty | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Journal of Intellectual & Developmental Disability is seeking submissions for a special issue of their publication that will examine poverty, deprivation, social exclusion and disadvantage. The particular focus of this issue will be on understanding the role that poverty and social deprivation play in shaping the life chances of children and adults with intellectual disabilities, and the role of policy in reducing inequalities and inequity for this population. The aim of this special issue is to explore issues of poverty and social disadvantage in the broadest terms. Papers that express the points of view of people with disabilities and/or their families are particularly welcome. This includes having those with disabilities and their families serve as researchers and/or co-authors as well as participants in the research. We would also particularly welcome papers addressing issues of poverty and deprivation from low and middle income countries. This topic is appropriate for both qualitative and quantitative methodologies.

The closing date for submission is 31st December 2009, although later submission dates may be possible with the agreement of the editors. The anticipated date for publication is 2011. If the special issue is oversubscribed papers will be selected by date of submission.

The Guest Editors, Eric Emerson and Susan Parish, will manage the editorial process. Enquiries and papers for consideration should be directed to Dr Eric Emerson (eric.emerson@lancaster.ac.uk) or Dr Susan Parish (parish@unc.edu) with a copy to JIDD’s Editorial Assistant, Penny Crino (pcrino@med.usyd.edu.au), clearly identified as a Special Issue submission. Electronic submission is preferred.



I received this announcement via the Global Partnership on Disability and Developing (GPDD) listserver.

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Networking Among People with Disabilities in Developing Countries and Allies

Posted on 30 January 2009. Filed under: Announcements, Cross-Disability, Networking Opportunities, Opportunities | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

If you’re reading this, then you probably share a passion for promoting human rights and fighting poverty among people with disabilities in developing countries. I know that some We Can Do readers are themselves people with disabilities in developing countries working as grassroots advocates. Other We Can Do readers are professionals, with and without disabilities, in the international development or disability fields.

We don’t all come from the same continent. We don’t all share the same disabilities. We don’t all work in the same sector or for the same cause (education? HIV/AIDS? signed languages? human rights? other?). Some readers are actively working with the disability community in a developing country. Others are far away in a comfortable office in a developed country.

We are all very different from each other. But we all want, ultimately, the same thing. We all believe that people with disabilities in developing countries should not have to confront barriers that exclude them from education, employment, health care services, life in the community, and even the most basic human rights–including the right simply to be alive.

I have now created a new Facebook group entitled Networking Among Disabled People in Developing Countries and Allies. This group is meant to facilitate friendly networking among like-minded people. If you already have a Facebook account, then you can join the group with the click of a button. If you are new to Facebook, then it only takes a few additional moments to create your own first, free Facebook account.

Once you join the group, you can write on the “Wall,” or write in one of the “discussion groups.” Introduce yourself … and find out who else in the group shares experiences, challenges, frustrations, and joys in common with yours. You might think that you only really want to meet people from your own country, or people in the same profession as you. But perhaps you will be surprised to find that someone with a different disability, in a different continent, working in a project completely different from yours, has interesting insights you could learn from.

I hope to meet a few We Can Do readers in the Facebook group! Please join by following the link to:

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=58529958419



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FUNDING for Innovative Sustainable Development Projects

Posted on 28 January 2009. Filed under: Announcements, Call for Nominations or Applications, Funding, Opportunities, Poverty | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Calling entrepreneurs for sustainable development:

SEED Awards 2009 is open for submissions (deadline 16 March 2009; funds up to $40,000)

Apply now if:

– you are finding new ways of simultaneously improving incomes and strengthening livelihoods; tackling poverty and marginalisation; and managing and conserving natural resources and ecosystems; and

– you are developing a new concept that brings together people and organizations from different backgrounds to work in partnership, and partners are pooling their commitment and human, financial, and natural resources; and

– your project or enterprise is in the early stages of development and keen to increase its impacts; and

– your project or enterprise is locally-led, with strong community engagement, and takes place in a country or countries with a developing economy or economy in transition; and

– your project or enterprise displays entrepreneurship in its broadest sense and shows a proven concept that has market potential; it must demonstrate financial sustainability in the long term and should have a draft business plan.

Detailed eligibility criteria are available at www.seedinit.org. Before submitting your application, you will be asked to complete an eligibility checklist.

Winners of the 2009 SEED Awards for entrepreneurship in sustainable development receive a tailored package of support services, worth up to $40,000, to help their venture to become established and to increase their impact. This includes access to relevant expertise and technical assistance, meeting new partners and building networks, developing business plans and identifying sources of finance.

The deadline for applications is 16 March 2009. Application forms can be filled in online or downloaded from the SEED Initiative website at www.seedinit.org.

The SEED Initiative was founded by IUCN, UNDP and UNEP to deliver concrete progress towards the internationally- agreed, aspirational goals in the UN’s Millennium Declaration and the commitments made at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in 2002.

Best regards,

Dr Helen Marquard
Executive Director
The SEED Initiative

For information about the SEED Awards:
www.seedinit.org
seedawards@seedinit.org
Tel: +49 30 89 00068 99
For any other queries about the SEED Initiative:
helen.marquard@seedinit.org
Tel: +44 1420 488 544

SEED Initiative
Supporting entrepreneurs for sustainable development
hosted by:
Division of Communications and Public Information (DCPI)
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
P.O. Box 30552
00100 Nairobi
Kenya

[Note to We Can Do readers: As you can see from the information provided above, this award is not restricted to disability-oriented initiatives. However, disability-run organizations and disability advocates could make the argument to them that people with disabilities would very much count as a population that faces “marginalization” and is at high risk of poverty. This funding competition could be an opportunity to build upon an idea for a project meant to reduce poverty among people with disabilities.]



I received this announcement via the Global Partnership on Disability and Development listserv, which people can subscribe to for free.

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Disability in Non-Western Societies: A Bibliography of Bibliographies

Posted on 18 January 2009. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Announcements, Cross-Disability, Deaf, Disability Studies, East Asia Pacific Region, Education, Middle East and North Africa, Poverty, Resources, signed languages, South Asian Region, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Researchers who need to locate journal articles and other publications about people with disabilities throughout history in developing countries face significant barriers. People with disabilities outside of North America and Europe tend to be invisible in much of the published literature and throughout history.

Researchers can consult a list of annotated bibliographies at the Center for International Rehabilitation Research Information and Exchange (CIRRIE) as a starting point in seeking out thousands of articles that may meet their needs.

These bibliographies do not directly link to the articles in question. In many cases, I suspect these articles may not exist on-line. But the bibliographies could be used to help researchers know what publications they should seek out through the inter-library loan program at their university library.

A few examples of annotated bibliographies include: Disability in the Middle East; Disability and Social Responses in Some Southern African Nations; Disability and Social Response in Afghanistan and Pakistan; Disability & Deafness in North East Africa; Disability and Deafness in East Asia: Social and Educational Responses, from Antiquity to Recent Times; Sign, Gesture, and Deafness in South Asia and South-West Asian Histories; Social Responses to Disability & Poverty in Economically Weaker Countries: Research, Trends, Critique, and Lessons Usually Not Learnt; and more.

Researchers may begin exploring the various bibliographies (by author M. Miles) at

http://cirrie.buffalo.edu/bibliography/index.php



I found the page listing M. Miles’ various bibliographies by browsing the CIRRIE web site.

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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.

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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. *

Sincerely,

*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.

* *

*Posters*

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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Information Wanted: Africans with Disabilities, Policies, Programs, Organizations

Posted on 23 November 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Call for Comments or Information, Cross-Disability, Human Rights, Middle East and North Africa, Opportunities, Policy & Legislation, Resources, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

**The Secretariat of the African Decade of Persons with Disabilities needs your Help**
The Secretariat is currently collecting and updating information on the situation faced by persons with disabilities in the 54 African countries. It will enter this information into the country folders on its website. The information collected relates to policies, programmes, contact details for organisations engaged in disability work, best practice in the inclusion of disability in mainstream programmes, etc. If you have such information to share, please write to info@africandecade.co.za.

We Can Do readers will want to explore the excellent web site for the Secretariat of the African Decade of Persons with Disabilities. As implied in the above paragraph, their web site has a section with information on the 54 individual countries of Africa. Your assistance can help them expand the information provided in these folders. Providing information to the Secretariat of the African Decade of Persons with Disabilities can also be an opportunity for you to help bring attention to policies, programs, organizations, and practices that have benefited people with disabilities in your country. Again, you can email relevant details to info@africandecade.co.za

It is also well worth exploring their collection of training materials for organizations of people with disabilities. Some of their training materials have been highlighted in past We Can Do posts, but not all of them. Training materials include a guidebook for journalists; material on lobbying and advocacy; resource mobilization and fund raising; evaluation; capacity building; and more.



The first paragraph of the above text is copy/pasted from a recent issue of the email newsletter for Disabled People’s International.

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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

http://www.cbm.org/en/general/CBM_EV_EN_general_article_36218.html

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.

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Including Everybody: Website on Disability and MDGs Launched

Posted on 26 September 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Children, Cross-Disability, Education, Health, HIV/AIDS, Inclusion, Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), News, Opinion, Policy & Legislation | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
End poverty and hunger. Put all children in school. Empower women. Stop children from dying. Keep pregnant and birthing mothers healthy. Fight AIDS, malaria, and other disease. Create a sustainable environment. And promote global cooperation. These are the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)–an important set of goals agreed upon by key leaders and heads of state from around the world in September 2000. No, they don’t mention people with disabilities at all–and I will come back to this point in a few paragraphs. Or you can ignore me and go straight to the new website on disability and the MDGs. But in theory, the MDGs are meant to help everyone.

Each goal has a set of specific targets to be achieved, most with the deadline set for 2015. For example, the poverty goal includes a target to cut the number of people living on less than $1 a day in half by 2015. And the goal on child mortality includes a target to cut the child mortality rate by two-thirds among children below age 5. Many country governments, multi-lateral development banks, international development organizations, and donors have invested billions of dollars into projects meant to help more countries and regions meet the Millennium Development Goals.

What has the results been? Mixed. Some of the goals, such as the targets for reducing poverty and hunger, or in putting all children in primary school, have been met–and exceeded in many countries particularly in eastern Asia. Progress in southern Asia has helped also. But many countries in sub-Saharan Africa lag far behind in meeting many of the MDGs.

You can read more about the overall progress–or lack of it–at http://www.undp.org/mdg/basics_ontrack.shtml. Or if you only want to look up the progress in the country where you live, work, or care about the most, go to http://www.undp.org/mdg/tracking_countryreports2.shtml.

People with Disabilities and the MDGs
But what about people with disabilities? Unfortunately, they have been so invisible that most programs and governments don’t even count them. That means it’s hard to find reliable numbers that measure whether people with disabilities are included–or left behind–in the haphazard progress that has been made toward the MDGs. But, we can make some educated guesses.

For example, what limited numbers do exist estimate that possibly as many as 98% of children with disabilities in some developing countries never go to school. Personally, I doubt this number is universally true. For one thing, there is a great deal of variation from country to country in how proactive they are about finding creative ways to include children with disabilities in school. Read Making Schools Inclusive: How Change Can Happen: Save the Children’s Experience (PDF format, 4.14 Mb) for examples of progress.

Then, there is probably some variation depending on the disability. A child with a relatively mild walking-related disability, for example, might have only minor difficulty reaching school if it is not too far. Or a child with undiagnosed and unaccommodated dyslexia might sometimes make it through a few years of school, and even learn a little, before they quit in frustration.

But if that 98% figure is anywhere close to the mark, then it is safe to say that the MDG target on universal primary education has failed disabled children miserably. We do know that they are very disproportionately left behind: the UK Department of International Development (DFID) says that one-third of the 72 million children who are out of school have disabilities, even though people with disabilities are only an estimated 10 percent of the world population in general. And this only covers the education-related target of the MDGs; the new website on disability and the MDGs points out gaps in all the rest.

Disability Inclusion is Everyone’s Business
So what’s the answer to this problem? A thorough response to this question would fill a book. One thing, however, is clear: It will not be resolved by any one government or organization working in isolation. And it certainly will not happen if resource-strapped disability-oriented organizations are left to tackle the problem alone. It will take many governments, agencies, and organizations working together–including those that do not normally specialize in disability issues. In short, everybody who is doing anything to address the MDGs needs to identify better ways to include people with disabilities in the work they’re already doing.

This begins by increasing everyone’s awareness of the complex relationship between disability and the MDGs. By “everyone” I mean both disability advocates (so they can help advocate the issue) and also mainstream international development professionals (so they can find ways to ensure their programs are not inadvertently leaving disabled people behind). Either way, you can start learning at the new website on disability and the Millennium Development Goals, Include Everybody, at:

http://www.includeeverybody.org/

What Do I Think of “Include Everybody”?
When you consider that this website is brand new, I think it makes an excellent start at covering the issues. In the long run, as with any new endeavor, I see room for them to expand. For example, their page on achieving universal primary school education or the page on promoting gender equality and empowering women could usefully link to publications such as Education for All: a gender and disability perspective (PDF format, 151 Kb). Or their page on combating HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases could link to the on-line global survey on disability and HIV/AIDS.

They also could consider eventually developing a one to two page, attractive looking, factsheet on disability and the MDGs that advocates could print out and disseminate when educating others about the topic. They also could consider developing a similarly attractive, one-page factsheet for each of the MDGs individually. The latter could be useful, for example, for passing along to a specialist who only wants to read the information on child mortality without also having to wade through a lot of detail on environmental sustainability. Or vice versa.

But, for now, this web site is a good place to start learning.

http://www.includeeverybody.org/links.php



The Include Everybody website has been publicized in several different locations by now, including the GPDD mailing list, the Intl-Dev mailing list, Joan Durocher’s mailing list, and others.

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Statement on the Millennium Development Goals and Disability, from the Africa Regional Conference

Posted on 26 September 2008. Filed under: Cross-Disability, Education, Health, HIV/AIDS, Human Rights, Inclusion, News, Poverty, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

THE STATEMENT OF THE MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS AND DISABILITY AFRICA REGIONAL CONFERENCE, HELD AT THE PANAFRIC HOTEL, NAIROBI, KENYA 15TH TO 17TH SEPTEMBER, 2008

We, the 200 delegates of the Millennium Development Goals and Disability Conference from the, Central, Eastern, Northern, Western and Southern sub regions of Africa met in Nairobi, Kenya, at the Panafric Hotel on 15th to 17th September 2008, to examine the status of MDGs in respect to the inclusion and mainstreaming of disability;

And further to enhance the capacity of leaders from the disability and development sectors on effective mainstreaming of disability in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in African countries;

Noting that MDGs have no specific reference to persons with disabilities and therefore their continued exclusion in the campaign processes, policies, planning, programmes and implementation;

Concerned also that disability has not been mentioned in the midway Millennium Development Goals Report;

Further acknowledging that the convention on the rights of PWDs has recently come into effect, to among other things strengthen the resolve for inclusion of people with disabilities;
We note with dismay the continued categorisation of people with disabilities as vulnerable which further marginalises us and consigns us to invisibility, we state that we wish to be recognised as actors in the development processes;

We Resolve As Delegates That We Shall;
• Communicate the outcome of this conference to our governments to review, prioritise and include issues of disability in their Country Statements during their high level meetings on MDGs in New York, in the September 2008 Summit
• Call on our Governments to move and support a motion during the UN General Assembly, calling for the establishment of a new UN Special Agency on Disability; to provide leadership, coordination, harmonisation and enhanced monitoring and reporting.
• Engage our Governments to ensure that People with Disabilities are protected from adverse effects from rising costs and related vulnerabilities and participate and benefit from existing social protection schemes
• Lobby Governments through the African Development Bank and related partners to establish an African Disability Equity Fund to support economic empowerment, entrepreneurship and business of people with disabilities
• Encourage the use of professional campaigners including goodwill ambassadors in promoting disability inclusion
• Recognise the efforts of parents, friends and guardians of people with disabilities and recognise them as part of the wider disability movement
• Uphold the principle of gender equity in disability
• Promote the use of positive language in reference to people with disabilities
We Urge The UN Through Member States;
• To establish a Specialist Agency on Disability in the league of UNICEF and UNIFEM to provide leadership and global accountability on matters related to the disabled people
• To prioritise include and partner with the disability movement in its entire millennium campaign initiatives and develop the strategies for doing so in the September summit
We Urge The AU And Related Bodies To;
• Set up a Disability Desk within all African regional bodies to monitor the implementation of both the convention and human rights violation of people with disabilities within the respective regions.
• Mainstream disability into their programmes and performance management systems
• Establish peer review mechanism and performance management system for disability in Africa
• Ensure political and social economic representation of people with disabilities in NEPAD and develop terms of reference for their participation.
• Work with DPOs to urgently review the structure and mandate of the African Rehabilitation Institute (ARI)
• Extend the African Decade of Persons with Disabilities for another ten years by means of a proclamation by the meeting of the African Heads of State planned for January 2009
• Facilitate self- representation of PWDs in all commissions, Pan Africa Parliament and other structures

We Call On The Secretariat Of African Decade Of Persons With Disability to;
• Establish a programme to develop human resource capacity for policy analysis to act as a watch dog in monitoring disability inclusion
• Allocate responsibilities, roles and duties to the regional federations and other partners in order to ensure effective, well – monitored follow up and implementation strategies
We urge all Government to;
• Ratify, domesticate and implement the UN convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)
• Work with DPOs in nominating the members of the panel of experts in convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
• Recognise DPOs as agents of change and therefore as partners in development planning and programmes
• Include people with disabilities and disability into their poverty reduction and development programmes
• Put into place affirmative action to enhance participation in political social and economic sectors
• Include disability data collection within the general national data collection systems recognising diversity in disability
• Use data to inform planning and service delivery and monitoring and evaluation
• Highlight and include disability in the existing MDG indicators in partnership with the disability movement.

We Call On Development Partners To;
• Prioritise disability as a tool for planning and analysis for development assistance and international cooperation in all their international cooperation and assistance (aid, debt relieve and trade)
• Include and consult people with disabilities and their respective organisations in planning, implementation, monitoring and reporting
• Include disability as a requirement / condition for funding development programmes

We Resolve That As Disabled Peoples Organisations We Shall;
• Advocate to ensure that disability issues are mainstreamed in all government, UN agencies and development partners policies, plans and programmes particularly those related to MDGs
• Endeavour to understand the structures of various government, UN agencies and development partners with a view to engaging with them more effectively for full inclusion of people with disabilities
• Advocate development partners to include disability as a requirement / condition for funding development programmes
• Engage and influence the social development process
• Participate in the Social Protection processes to ensure people with disabilities are included
• Advocate and lobby to be included in national poverty reduction strategies and other national development plans and initiatives
• Explore avenues of partnership with private sector in their economic empowerment programes
• Utilize our individual and collective capacity to cause the implementation of programmes related to the MDGs for the benefit of people with disabilities
• Build our own capacity to engage with our government on their commitments and agreement at national and international levels
• Ensure that whatever is agreed at regional or national workshops cascades downward to people with disabilities at the grassroots and rural areas
• Familiarise ourselves with the disability policies of different development agencies and ensure that they benefit us
• Strengthen our unity and common voice in planning, implementation and monitoring processes whilst at the same time recognising diversity in disability
• Restructure and reform our internal governance structures to adopt modern management and good governance systems and increase transparency and accountability to our members
• Nurture and mentor youth with disabilities into leadership succession plans and support them towards social economic empowerment
• Make a paradigm shift from the charity model to the human rights and social development model
• Strategically engage with media for both awareness and advocacy and built our capacity to engage with media
• Sensitise and capacitate the media to various disability needs and to urge them to be inclusive in their presentation and reporting
• Link with African Universities to promote evidence based disability research and to promote disability inclusive academic programmes
• Review through our Governments the Accra Development Plan of Action and cause its implementation for the benefit of PWDs in Africa

These resolutions are the outcomes of the conference, formulated and spoken by the delegates at this esteemed Millennium Development Goals and Disability Conference.



This statement from the Africa Regional Conference was recently circulated on the AdHoc_IDC email discussion group.

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RESOURCE: Global Partnership for Disability and Development Launches New Website

Posted on 25 September 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Capacity Building and Leadership, Cross-Disability, Inclusion, Poverty, Resources | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Regular readers who look closely may have noticed that one source I often credit for the information I share is the email distribution list for the Global Partnership for Disability and Development (GPDD).

If you didn’t know, the GPDD works to promote the inclusion of people with disabilities and their families in development policies and practices. They do this by facilitating collaboration among development agencies and organizations to reduce poverty among children, women, and men with disabilities living in poor countries.

One of its sponsors is the World Bank, which is why the GPDD used to have its electronic home at http://www.worldbank.org/disability/gpdd. But the GPDD now has a new website all to itself.

You can find updated information on GPDD’s work, background, and membership, as well as relevant news and events at:
http://www.GPDD-online.org.

And what about their mailing list? I’ll let GPDD describe its purpose: “The Global Partnership for Disability and Development (GPDD) mailing list facilitates interaction between stakeholders to advance the social, economic, and civic empowerment of people with disabilities, and the mainstreaming of disability issues in development.” If you have made a habit of examining my source credits at the bottom of each post, then you will have noticed that GPDD is a common avenue for distributing conference and job post announcements related to disability and international development, as well as announcements about new resources and publications.

But the people who participate on the list do sometimes exchange information that doesn’t necessarily make it to this blog site. (The same goes for any of the other sources I cite.) People also use the GPDD list for networking among people who share similar goals in reducing poverty among people with disabilities and sometimes turn to each other for advice and guidance on finding the information they need. If you think you’d like to subscribe to the GPDD mailing list directly, you can do that for free. You don’t have to become an official member of GPDD to join. More details at http://gpdd-online.org/mailinglist/

Or, if you think you might want your organization or agency to become a GPDD member, then read the GPDD membership page to decide if you are eligible. You can also check their list of links to see what organizations are already members.

Please send any feedback, comments, or concerns regarding the GPDD website to Kelly Hamel at kmhamel@law.syr.edu.



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Are Development Programs Achieving Disability Inclusion? If Not, What Next?

Posted on 4 September 2008. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Announcements, Cross-Disability, Inclusion, Reports, Resources | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

We cannot put all the world’s children into school, or eradicate global poverty and hunger, or stop the spread of HIV/AIDS, until and unless mainstream international development programs proactively include people with disabilities. The good news is that a slowly growing number of international agencies and organizations have written policies declaring their support for disability inclusion, otherwise known as disability mainstreaming. These include, as a few examples, the US Agency of International Development (USAID); the World Bank; The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD); and the UK Department for International Development (DFID).

But, how well do these nice-sounding policies translate into practice? Do these programs actually reach poor people with disabilities in developing countries, or improve the quality of their lives, any better than before they wrote these policies? One DisabilityKar publication explores this question: Has Disability Been Mainstreamed into Development Cooperation? (Word format, 921 Kb)

One of the conclusions of this report is that the question is harder to answer than you might think: even the definition of what makes a “policy” a “policy” is apparently not always as obvious as it might seem. Then there are even trickier concepts to define, such as “inclusion,” “mainstreaming,” and “disability.” But ultimately the answer is mostly disappointing. Apart from some limited progress, many policies fail to go beyond pretty words on a page into pragmatic action in the field. If they are implemented, it is more or less haphazardly.

This conclusion in itself will probably not be especially new to close observers of the development field. What makes this study interesting, however, is that it is one of the few attempts to formally document what it terms a “disconnect between promise and results.” More importantly, it makes an attempt to answer why this disconnect happens, and what committed organizations can do to ensure that disability-friendly policies are carried out in practice. The study was published in July 2005, so some information has changed since then. But many of the underlying challenges are likely still similar today. Organizations and agencies that are serious about disability inclusion may wish to review this study with their own policies and practices in mind and consider ways they can help close the gap.

Has Disability Been Mainstreamed into Development Cooperation? (Word format, 921 Kb) analyzes policies and practice at USAID, the World Bank, NORAD, and DFID. The most common reason why disability inclusion policies fail include: lack of institutional support; failure to communicate policies; failure to break down traditional attitudes toward disability; failure to provide practical guidance in how to implement the policies; and inadequate resources.

Download the full 107-page report in Word format (921 Kb) at:

http://handicap-international.fr/bibliographie-handicap/4PolitiqueHandicap/mainstreaming/MainstreamDevCoop.doc

People interested in the DisabilityKar report may also be interested in reading a study of US-based organizations with an international focus on the extent to which they proactively include the concerns of women and girls with disabilities in their programs. This study, entitled Gender And Disability: A Survey of InterAction Member Agencies: Findings And Recommendations on Inclusion of Women and Men with Disabilities in International Development Programs (PDF format, 286 Kb), explores both policies and practice in dozens of relief and international development agencies and organizations. It also includes recommendations for how mainstream organizations can move forward in promoting genuine disability inclusion. Published by Mobility International USA, it is a few years older than DisabilityKar’s study, but covers more organizations and includes a gender focus as well as a disability focus. It can be downloaded in PDF format (286 Kb) at:

http://www.miusa.org/publications/freeresources/media/genderdisabilityreport.PDF



I discovered DisabilityKar’s study by exploring Handicap International’s new, on-line, free CD on Disability Rights and Policies. I encourage readers to explore the on-line CD on their own to find more publications and resources of interest. I first learned of MIUSA’s publication when I took my first course in international development and disability a few years ago at Gallaudet University.

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Disabled, Poor–and Ignored: Results of Research in Zimbabwe and South Africa

Posted on 6 August 2008. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Cross-Disability, Inclusion, Poverty, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Research conducted in Zimbabwe and South Africa has confirmed what grassroots advocates have known all along: people with disabilities aren’t just at higher risk of poverty. People with disabilities are also more likely to be ignored by many donors who support programs to end poverty.

The 77-page study is entitled, “Are Disabled Peoples’ Voices from both South and North Being heard in the Development process? A Comparative analysis between the situation in South Africa, Zimbabwe, United Kingdom and Northern Europe.” Conducted in 2005, this research explores the extent to which Disabled Peoples’ Organizations (DPOs) in Zimbabwe and South Africa have access to funding, and the extent to which DPOs were able to explain to donors what kind of funding would help them best.

People with disabilities who were interviewed for this study said they wanted to be involved with disability programs, from the planning stage through implementation. However, they felt they were often excluded, both by the government and also by DPOs themselves. The study concludes that many DPOs lack the capacity to reach large numbers of people with disabilities at the grassroots level. As a result, many people with disabilities in South Africa and Zimbabwe are not part of any network. They also usually lacked awareness of policies and programs that were meant to benefit them, such as the African Decade on Persons with Disabilities or the Millennium Development Goals.

DPOs, too, said they lacked opportunity to contribute to dialogue about what kinds of projects would be most beneficial for them. DPOs in South Africa and Zimbabwe said that donors from developed countries often impose their own tailor-made programs on them without asking for their input. They wanted to be more involved with designing the programs that they implement. DPOs usually were more aware than grassroots individuals of programs such as the African Decade or the Millennium Development Goals, but even some DPOs were not aware of them.

Even in the UK and Northern Europe, DPOs felt that they were struggling for donations. DPOs also complained that non-disability oriented international non-governmental organizations used information about people with disabilities to obtain donations for themselves instead of for DPOs.

The study makes recommendations based on its findings, including the need for more capacity building for DPOs in developing countries; stronger partnerships among DPOs in developing and developed countries and donors; and closer involvement of people with disabilities and DPOs in planning, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating programs.

Learn more about the study; download the 6-page executive summary (Word format); or the full 770-page report (Word format) at:

http://www.disabilitykar.net/research/thematic_voices.html



We Can Do found this study on the DisabilityKar.net site after exploring links from the Heathlink Worldwide site.

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CONFERENCE: Africa Regional Conference on MDGs and Disability

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

Africa Regional Conference on MDGs and Disability
Regional Conference to be held on September 14th to 19th 2008, in Nairobi, Kenya
AFRICA REGIONAL CONFERENCE ON MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS AND DISABILITY
Pan Afric Hotel, Nairobi Kenya
14th to 19th September 2008.
Organizers:
ECUMENICAL DISABILITY ADVOCATES NETWORK (EDAN), SECRETARIAT OF THE AFRICAN DECADE FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES (SADPD), AFRICAN COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT FOUNDATION (ACDF) AND THE UN MDG CAMPAIGN OFFICE FOR AFRICA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AFRICA REGIONAL CONFERENCE ON MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS AND DISABILITY

Pan Afric Hotel, Nairobi Kenya

14th to 19th September 2008.

Organizers:
ECUMENICAL DISABILITY ADVOCATES NETWORK (EDAN), SECRETARIAT OF THE AFRICAN DECADE FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES (SADPD), AFRICAN COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT FOUNDATION (ACDF) AND THE UN MDG CAMPAIGN OFFICE FOR AFRICA
AIM: To enhance the capacity of leaders from disability and development sectors on effective mainstreaming of disability in MDGs in African countries and to provide knowledge, increase competence and strengthen organizational advocacy strategies and networking skills.

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

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

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

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

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

Send your registration to: Samuel Kabue
Executive Secretary
Ecumenical Disability Advocates Network (EDAN)
P.O. Box 22
00200 Nairobi
KENYA
Tel: +254-20-4445837
Fax: +254-20-4445835
E-mail: info@edan.or.ke



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

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CALL FOR ABSTRACTS: Disability and Inclusive Economic Development

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please send electronic copies of a 1-2 page abstract to both Daniel Mont at dmont@worldbank.org and Rosangela Berman Bieler at RBBieler@aol.com by August 1st.

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

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



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

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CALL FOR PAPERS: Disability and Inclusive Economic Development

Posted on 26 April 2008. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Announcements, Call for Papers, Education, Employment, Health, Opportunities, Poverty | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Call for Papers for the Review of Disability Studies

Special Issue on Disability and Inclusive Economic Development.

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

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

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

What is the relationship between disability and poverty?

How does the presence of a disability affect people’s access to education, training, and employment?

What is the relationship between health status, disability, and mortality?

What are the key barriers that prevent access to public services such as education, healthcare, transportation, water and sanitation, etc.?

What are some examples of programs or policy interventions aimed at including disabled people, and how effective have they been?

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

Please send electronic copies of a 1-2 page abstract to both Daniel Mont at dmont@worldbank.org and Rosangela Berman Bieler at RBBieler@aol.com by August 1, 2008.

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

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



Daniel Mont recently circulated this announcement on the Global Partnership for Disability and Development listserv.

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FUNDING: Small Grants for Projects for Deaf Children

Posted on 20 March 2008. Filed under: Children, Deaf, Funding, Health, HIV/AIDS, Latin America & Caribbean, Poverty, South Asian Region, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

[En español más abajo.]

The following email is being circulated by the UK-based international organization Deaf Child Worldwide (formerly known as International Deaf Child Society):

Dear colleagues,

If are in touch with local organisations that want to start new work with deaf children, then please forward the information below about the latest round of the Deaf Child Worldwide Small Grants Programme.

Thank you so much for your help with this.

English
Round 7 of Deaf Child Worldwide’s Small Grants Programme is now open. The deadline for completed concept notes is 30 May 2008.

The Small Grants Programme (SGP), aims to have an impact on the lives of deaf children, their families, service providers and policy makers by establishing quality partnerships with local organisations based in our priority countries within East Africa, South Asia or Latin America. We fund one to three year projects of up to £10,000 per year.

Go to www.deafchildworldwide.info/sgp for more information about how to apply.

If you applied to SGP in the past, then please note that in 2007, we carried out a strategic review and an evaluation of SGP. We have made some significant changes to the programme. These include:

  • Smaller geographic focus. Now only organisations based in East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda), South Asia (Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka), and Andean region of Latin America (Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru) can apply.
  • New strategic focus areas. We are only looking for projects which work towards these key areas.
  • Cross-cutting themes. All projects must consider poverty, gender, the social model of disability and sexual health and HIV/AIDS.
  • Longer projects. You can now apply for projects that are from one to three years long.

Please e-mail info@deafchildworldwide.org if you have any questions or would like to discuss your project idea.

Español
Se ha abierto la Ronda 7 del Programa de Pequeñas Subvenciones de Deaf Child Worldwide. El plazo final para la presentación de las notas conceptuales es el 30 de mayo del 2008.

El Programa de Pequeñas Subvenciones (PPS) busca tener un impacto en la vida de niños sordos, sus familias, proveedores de servicios y formuladores de política estableciendo para ello asociaciones de calidad con organizaciones locales con sede en nuestros países prioritarios en África Oriental, Asia del Sur o América Latina. Financiamos proyectos de uno a tres años de hasta £10,000 anuales.

Visiten www.deafchildworldwide.info/pps para mayor información sobre cómo postular.

Si ustedes postularon al PPS en el pasado, entonces tomen en cuenta que en el 2007 llevamos a cabo una revisión estratégica y una evaluación del PPS. Hemos hecho algunos cambios significativos al programa. Éstos son:

  • Foco geográfico más pequeño. Ahora sólo organizaciones con sede en África Oriental (Kenya, Tanzania y Uganda), Asia del Sur (Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistán y Sri Lanka) y la región andina de América Latina (Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador y Perú) pueden postular.
  • Nuevos ejes estratégicos. Estamos examinando sólo proyectos que trabajen en pro de estos ejes clave.
  • Temas transversales. Todos los proyectos deben considerar pobreza, género, el modelo social de la discapacidad y salud sexual y VIH/sida.
  • Proyectos más largos. Ahora ustedes pueden postular con proyectos que tengan de uno a tres años de duración.

Si tienen alguna pregunta escríbannos a info@deafchildworldwide.org. Trataremos de responder lo más pronto posible, aunque recién podremos responder a indagaciones en español después del 7 de abril del 2008.

Sírvanse reenviar este email a organizaciones o colegas que ustedes consideren estarían interesados en esta oportunidad.

Best wishes,

Kirsty

KIRSTY WILSON
Programmes Manager
Deaf Child Worldwide
www.deafchildworldwide.org

Deaf Child Worldwide is the only UK based international development agency dedicated to enabling deaf children to overcome poverty and isolation. We are the international development agency of The National Deaf Children’s Society in the UK. Registered Charity No 1016532.

Join our network – receive regular updates and share your experiences about work with deaf children and their families. Contact info@deafchildworldwide.org or add your details at www.deafchildworldwide.info/joinournetwork



We Can Do thanks Kirsty Wilson at Deaf Child Worldwide for passing along this announcement.

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CONFERENCE: International Seminar on CRPD with Special Focus on Disability in Development

Posted on 19 March 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Cross-Disability, Events and Conferences, Human Rights, Opportunities, Poverty | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

CRPD Added Value? -Seminar in Helsinki 20-21 May 2008

VIKE – The Center for Human Rights of Persons with Disabilities is organizing an International Seminar on the Implications of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities – with Special Focus on Disability in Development. The Seminar will be held in English and translation into Finnish will be available.

The seminar is open to all actors in the field. Especially persons with disabilities, organizations of persons with disabilities, government representatives, researchers, students, and other persons interested in the situation and rights of persons with disabilities, are warmly welcomed to participate.

The seminar registration will be handled through by receiving bookings via e-mail to seminar@vike.fi. Please submit your e-mail booking by 9th May 2008. In paying the registration fee – 40 € – each place for attending the seminar will be validated. Please note that the registration fee is non-refundable and that there is a limited amount of places. General assistance is available at the seminar location. Please inform the conference organizers if you have your own personal assistant as you book.

More information about this event is available at the VIKE website:
www.vike.fi

Juha-Pekka Konttinen
Lawyer, The Threshold Association,
The Center for Human Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Siltasaarenkatu 4, 5.floor
00530 Helsinki, Finland
tel. + 358 45 7731 0106
fax. + 358 9 6850 1199
email. juha-pekka.konttinen@kynnys.fi
internet. www.vike.fi



We Can Do learned about this conference through the AdHoc_IDC email discussion group, which focuses on the CRPD and disability rights.

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NEWS: Advocates urge UN Social Development Commission to Make Development Agenda Disability-Inclusive

Posted on 18 March 2008. Filed under: Cross-Disability, Inclusion, News, Poverty | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

In February 2008, delegates urged the United Nations Social Development Commission to help ensure that people with disabilities are included in efforts to reduce poverty and improve the quality of life in developing countries.

A panel of experts with disabilities pointed out that people who are poor are at higher risk for acquiring disabilities due to poor nutrition, health care, and living conditions. Meanwhile, people who have disabilities are at higher risk for poverty because they encounter barriers to education, employment, and public services.

The Commission also was reminded that people with disabilities have the same desire and rights as everyone else to feel needed and be part of society. This makes it critical to remove barriers to the participation of people with disabilities and mainstream their concern into overall development efforts in developing countries. Doing so improves the lives of people with disabilities and also improves society as a whole by increasing productivity.

A more detailed summary of each speaker’s remarks to the UN Social Development Commission, and the outcome, is available at

http://media-newswire.com/printer_friendly_1061037.html



The information given in this blog post is summarized from the Media-Newswire press release referenced above. We Can Do first learned about this link from the RatifyNow email discussion group.

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RESOURCE: Disability Survey Toolkit for Researchers

Posted on 10 March 2008. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Cross-Disability, Poverty, Resources | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Disability advocates who work in the field know first hand there is never enough money for the projects they want to run for disabled people. One reason is because society may undervalue people with disabilities. But another is lack of data. Policy makers and funders are reluctant to release valuable funds unless there is a clearly documented need.

Household surveys on disability can be immensely helpful in collecting the data needed to persuade policy makers to commit resources to programs that include, or target, disabled people. But such surveys can be highly variable in quality depending on the researchers’ familiarity with disability-specific research issues. For example, surveys that simply ask, “Are you or someone in your household disabled?” tend to significantly underestimate true disability prevalence.

Researchers who intend to conduct household surveys on disability can begin with a resource released from Handicap International, entitled “Conducting Surveys on Disability: A Comprehensive Toolkit” (PDF format, 1.1 Mb).

This toolkit offers guidance in designing, conducting, implementing, and analyzing household surveys meant to help understand disability within a specific social, political, cultural, and religious context. Researchers can learn appropriate methodologies for this type of research, including selecting samples, designing questionnaires, training interviewers,
conducting field operations to collect the data, and analyzing and disseminating the results.

The toolkit is targeted at anyone with an interest in data collection, surveys, disability, and development. It was inspired in part by a National Disability Survey that was conducted in Afghanistan from November 2004 to July 2005. The NDSA was carried out by Handicap International for the government of Afghanistan to obtain more accurate information on the
prevalence rates, living conditions, and coping strategies of people with disabilities.

This survey brought together researchers with prior experience with the particular challenges of researching disability and stimulated discussions about the sampling process and tools that should be used. The resulting document includes their recommendations and presents these debates.

People may download the full disability survey toolkit in PDF format (1.1 Mb) for free at:

http://www.handicap-international.fr/uploads/media/Final_pdf_for_Web__2__01.pdf




We Can Do learned about this resource from AskSource.info. AskSource is a comprehensive database on health, disability, and development.

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NEWS: Intl Deaf Children’s Society Becomes Deaf Child Worldwide

Posted on 6 March 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Children, Deaf, Human Rights, News, Poverty | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

What was formerly known as the International Deaf Children’s Society (IDCS) has recently circulated the following notice. People who already have turned to what is now known as Deaf Child Worldwide to learn from their database of project case studies and resources will be pleased to know that their organization is continuing to become stronger.



Dear friend ,

IDCS has come a long way since 2003 when we were founded by the National Deaf Children’s Society in the UK. We have learnt much about the situation for deaf children in developing countries and the role that we can play in creating change and supporting our partners.

Our knowledge, confidence and ambition has grown. The time is right to create a new, strong and separate identity for the next steps in our journey. From today 5 March 2008, we will become Deaf Child Worldwide.

(Deaf Child Worldwide logo: features the image of a child’s handprint over the phrase “deafchild worldwide”)

Deaf Child Worldwide is the only UK based international development agency dedicated to enabling deaf children to overcome poverty and isolation. We work with partners in the countries where need is greatest throughout the world and we are the international development agency of the National Deaf Children’s Society (www.ndcs.org.uk) in the UK.

What has changed?
We have a new name and logo which shows our ambition to defend the rights of deaf children around the world. We also have a new focus so that we can maximise our impact.

We will work towards the following six strategic focus areas over the next five years

  • Empowering families to improve communication with their deaf child
  • Ensuring the inclusion of deaf children in their communities
  • Building the capacity of local organisations to meet the needs of deaf children
  • Promoting the development of family led movements to defend the rights of deaf children
  • Ensuring local and national governments respect the rights of deaf children
  • Strengthening Deaf Child Worldwide

We will be working together with our partners to mainstream gender, HIV/AIDS and promote working from a social model of disability.

What is still the same?
We will continue to develop our country programme work in India and in East Africa alongside our Small Grants Programme and our information sharing network. We will also keep sending our newsletter Learning from Each Other to all our network members so you can expect a copy in your inbox soon!

How you can find out more?
Our website for practitioners is still packed with information on work with deaf children and their families in developing countries. You can find out more at www.deafchildworldwide.info



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



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PAPER: Disability and Poverty: A Survey of World Bank Poverty Assessments and Implications

Posted on 4 March 2008. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Cross-Disability, Poverty | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

The World Bank Group has released a new paper entitled “Disability and Poverty: A Survey of World Bank Poverty Assessments and Implications,” by Jeanine Braithwaite and Daniel Mont.

The paper surveys World Bank poverty assessment literature on the relationship between disability and poverty. It finds that it is difficult to accurately assess the link between disability and poverty because household surveys on consumption (used to assess consumption-based poverty) frequently don’t ask about the disability status of household members.

Also, it is difficult to define or measure “disability.” For example, simply asking if people are disabled misses many disabled people because they may wish to avoid the stigma of disability. Or,some people may assume that “disability” necessarily refers only to significant impairments. These people might not bother to report mild or moderate impairments.

Another complication in poverty and disability research is that many existing surveys do not account for the fact that people with disabilities have different consumption needs than other people. For example, they might need to spend income on Braille, wheelchairs, or other items that non-disabled people do not need. The money spent on these items diverts income from other consumption that could raise the living standards of the household. Thus, a disabled person with the same income as a non-disabled person may actually be poorer.

The authors suggest directions for further research into disability and poverty.

The full, 32-page paper can be downloaded in PDF format (250 Kb) at:

http://siteresources.worldbank.org/SOCIALPROTECTION/Resources/SP-Discussion-papers/Disability-DP/0805.pdf




We Can Do learned about this paper via contacts within the World Bank.

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



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

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PUBLICATION: Human Rights Africa Newsletter

Posted on 13 February 2008. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Announcements, Cross-Disability, Health, HIV/AIDS, Human Rights, Media & Journalism, Poverty, Sub-Saharan Africa Region, Violence, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Readers interested in human rights issues affecting Africans with disabilities can catch up with past issues of the newsletter Human Rights Africa. Issues are available in both English and French, and in both Word format and PDF format. This publication from the Secretariat of the African Decade of Persons with Disabilities was published four times in 2006 and two times in 2007.

All past issues may be worth browsing for people with a special interest in disabled Africans. But readers may particularly want to note the following (this is NOT a comprehensive list of articles):

The first issue of 2006 has an article that lists five challenges and seven opportunities for the Secretariat of the African Decade on Persons with Disabilities.

The second issue of 2006 focuses on HIV/AIDS among people with disabilties. This includes a story about how genocide helped spread HIV in Rwanda, and a story about efforts to prevent HIV/AIDS among women in Ethiopia. There is also a story about a new African Network of Women with Disabilities that is meant to help regional and national organizations share experiences in improving the lives of disabled women. Also see the article on how you can help influence development projects in your area so they will better include poor people with disabilities.

The third issue of 2006 has an article that lists practical tips for how you can approach journalists and persuade them to cover issues that matter to the disability community in your country. Another article discusses how sports can be used to help meet the Millennium Development Goals.

The fourth issue of 2006 has many articles about war and conflict in Africa with a focus on disability issues. Also see the article on how you can become involved in helping your country develop a Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) that is inclusive of people with disabilties.

The first issue of 2007 provides more information about the campaign against HIV/AIDS among people with disabilities in Africa and an article about violence against women.

The second issue of 2007 contains articles on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; a new African Federation of the Deafblind; and
lessons learned from lobbying in Uganda.

You can download copies of Human Rights Africa for free at:

http://www.africandecade.org/humanrightsafrica




We Can Do first learned about this newsletter after reading the Disabled People International (DPI) newsletter and exploring the web site for the Secretariat of the African Decade of Persons with Disabilities.

A modified version of this article has now been posted at RatifyNow with permission of author.



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



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RESOURCE: Listening to Poor People with Intellectual Disabilities

Posted on 5 January 2008. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Cognitive Impairments, Families, Inclusion, Poverty, Reports, Resources | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

In Their Own Words
A report from Inclusion International can help people better understand poverty among people with intellectual disabilities in developing countries.

Nobody knows more than a poor person what it means to live with poverty or what the biggest barriers are to escaping it. And nobody knows more than a person who is excluded how devastating it can be to be constantly pushed to the margins of society. And it is poor, excluded people who see most clearly exactly what needs to change to bring them out of poverty and into the mainstream.

It is the obligation of anyone who wants to improve the living conditions of the poor and the excluded to listen to their stories–and their proposed solutions–in their own words. If we fail to listen, we will inevitably fail to help.

Documented Information = A Tool for Advocates
For some We Can Do readers, listening to the poor and marginalized in developing countries can be as easy as stepping out their front door and talking to the people in their local communities. But even the most knowledgeable advocates may struggle to communicate what they know to non-disabled people in their country in a way that others will both understand and believe. In particular, they may need a way to strengthen their voices when educating funding agencies that have the power to support or turn away their organization. Advocates can use published research or reports to help others understand that poverty and exclusion among people with disabilities are not just “isolated cases” or “too few in number” to be worth targeted efforts.

A report entitled “Hear Our Voices: A Global Report: People with an Intellectual Disabilities and their Families Speak Out on Poverty and Exclusion,” published by Inclusion International in November 2006, helps share insights into how intellectual disability can lead to poverty and exclusion. “Hear Our Voices” also makes recommendations for action. The report was made possible with the partnership and financial support of the Norwegian Association for Persons with Developmental Disabilities, NFU, and the Atlas Alliance of Norway.

How “Hear Our Voices” Was Made
Inclusion International (II) is a global federation of family-based organizations advocating for the human rights of people with intellectual disabilities worldwide. It spoke with people with intellectual disabilities, their families, and supporters in more than 80 countries about the experience of intellectual disability and poverty. “Hear Our Voices” combines personal with secondary research sources to analyze how well each of the eight Millennium Development Goals for fighting poverty are being met for people with intellectual disabilities. The report makes recommendations for how civil society organizations, governments and donor and international agencies can each play a role in ending poverty and exclusion among people with intellectual disabilities.

In the acknowledgments page of their report, Inclusion International points out that people with intellectual disabilities “are too often invisible,” which means that “their stories are not influencing decisions that affect their lives.” Inclusion International explains, “We wanted to bring about change on a global scale – by convincing governments, multi-lateral institutions, and communities of the current injustice of exclusion. Where before our members’ voices were not being heard because they were isolated, we wanted to bring them together into a loud chorus. We wanted to link those local voices to bring about global change.” (p. viii)

What Next?
Here, Inclusion International’s focus is on people with intellectual disabilities. But people who are deaf, blind, have mobility impairments, autism, psycho-social disabilities, or other disabilities are also “invisible” in society—whether or not they are poor. And all poor people also are invisible–whether or not they have disabilities. Disabled poor people, their stories, and their ideas for how to solve their own problems, are too rarely heard when people with power make choices that affect their lives.

Perhaps Inclusion International’s report could inspire other global organizations to do the research for more reports like it. Advocates could then use these reports to help amplify the voices (and signs) of disabled (and deaf/Deaf) people living in poverty around the world.

Read the Report, Watch the Video
The full 79 page report can be downloaded for free in English in PDF format (500 Kb) at

http://www.inclusion-international.org/report/Hear_Our_Voices_English.pdf

The report is also available in a 10-minute DVD (video). This video is not captioned. There are many pictures and only an occasional line of text on the screen that is used to highlight key statistics or other information. I’m guessing there is also some kind of narration–but this is not accessible to deaf viewers. I’m not in a position to evaluate whether this DVD would be accessible or usable to hearing people with vision impairments. If you are, please do comment below.

The DVD can be viewed at:

http://s80.photobucket.com/albums/j194/raqueldejuan/?action=view&current=PhotoStory8.flv

The report and DVD are also available in Spanish at:

http://www.inclusion-international.org/sp/report/index.html



We Can Do learned about the “Hear Our Voices” report by browsing Inclusion International’s web site. The information for this blog post was gathered from their web site and particularly from the report itself.

Find more information about disabled poor people around the world by click on “reports” or “resources” under “categories” in the right-hand navigation bar on this page. Or consult the recent Retrospective post under “Finding sources of information.”



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Free Rice for the Hungry, Free Vocabulary Fun for You

Posted on 1 January 2008. Filed under: Poverty, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

URL for this page: http://tinyurl.com/255u9a
The Fun Part
You can give free rice to hungry people, play a free game, and improve your vocabulary, all in the same key stroke at a new web site called FreeRice.

234_60_banner2.jpg

If you’re one of my regular readers at We Can Do: my apologies. I know you usually come here to find new resources, information, news, or announcements related to poverty and human rights among disabled people in developing countries. Usually I do try to stay very tightly focused on issues of disability and international development at this blog. But this post IS still about poverty, even though it’s not specific to disabled people. And, more importantly, it IS still a holiday for most readers. So what the heck. I’ll indulge, this once. And I hope you’ll indulge with me.

(For those of you who have been paying attention to the last few posts at this blog: the holiday season in general is one reason why I have been posting fewer new resources and devoting more time in the past week to long-term improvements to this web site. For example, see the new pages on accessibility; announcements for conferences, events, call for papers, and training opportunities; navigating We Can Do to help new readers quickly find the resources they need at this blog site; and news. I WILL start posting more fresh content soon, so do stay tuned. And consider subscribing to We Can Do so you don’t miss anything.)

If you’ve been reading the right blogs lately, then the image near the top of this page might look familiar. For those of you who are not able to view this image, I’ll describe it: this is a horizontal “banner.” At the left-hand side is a brown wooden bowl with a few grains of white rice in it. (Hm. Wouldn’t brown rice be healthier?) At the right-hand side, the text says: “Free Rice” on the first line in large letters and “Play and Help!” on the second line in medium sized letters. The background on the left side is a medium/dark green; on the right side, it’s a lighter shade of green with what I think is supposed to be a blurry image of rice plants. FreeRice has a number of other similar-looking banners available. [Sorry–I’m describing the image here instead of using alt tags because I don’t have a clue how to use alt tags. If you do, please take a few moments to advise me in the comments area below and I’ll fix it.]

So how does FreeRice work? Simple. Go to www.freerice.com. You will see a vocabulary word at the top of the screen and four possible definitions or synonyms. Choose the one you think is the closest match. If you guess correctly, FreeRice will give 20 grains of rice to hungry people. Then, if you like, you can continue playing. If you’re sighted and able to view images with your computer equipment, then you’ll also see a picture of a bowl of rice filling up each time free rice is given.

This game is tailored to the vocabulary skill of each player who participates. If you answer three vocabulary questions in a row correctly then it gives you a more challenging word. If you continue to guess correctly, the words become harder and harder. If you miss one, it gives you an easier word. If you keep missing, the words become easier and easier. Until you start to answer correctly again. There are 50 vocabulary levels. So nearly all people should be able to find a level that is comfortable for them whether you’re learning English as a second language or whether you’re a vocabulary geek.

You might wonder: if this game is free, then where does the money come from to pay for all the rice that’s going to hungry people? It comes from advertisers. There is an advertisement banner at the bottom of the screen. The ad in this banner changes every time you guess a new word. The more you play, the more ads you see. And the advertisers are obviously hoping that more people playing FreeRice will translate into more sales for their products, or more donations to their charitable causes.

You can guess one word or guess a million. Play for just one day or play every day the rest of your life. Or anything in between. It’s all up to you. The more you play, the more rice you give–and, in theory, the more vocabulary you learn. I say “in theory” because I’ve read some criticism somewhere (sorry, don’t remember where) that says vocabulary games like this one may not be necessarily the best way to learn vocabulary. But I’m sure it can’t hurt. And if you’re serious about it, you could use the game to develop a vocabulary study list and find other ways to rehearse the words you see. (Hint: double check your understanding with a dictionary. And use it in a sentence.)

Accessibility for Blind People
I’m not able to evaluate whether the FreeRice site is accessible to people who use screen readers. If this is you, I would be curious to learn about your experience there. Since the game itself is text-based, I’m guessing there should not be any major problems with it. Though I’m also guessing that the ads won’t be very accessible, unless a given advertiser thinks to use the alt tag for their images. And you won’t see that rice bowl filling up.

The Serious Part
This blog post deviates from the usual We Can Do post in two ways. One, as noted above, it’s not about disability. (Though disabled people do certainly starve also. In fact, given that disabled people are more likely to experience poverty, it’s probably safe to assume that people with disabilities are also more likely to go hungry.) Two, my normal focus in this blog is on finding long-term solutions to long-standing problems. Thus, things like how to better include disabled people in large-scale, long-term poverty reduction strategies. Or how to ensure that disabled children in developing countries are not left behind when their governments try to bring more children into the classroom.

In this view: one criticism I do have for the FreeRice site is that it offers a temporary fix for something that is, for far too many people, a chronic problem. In the long run, it’s not enough to keep shipping free rice to hungry people. That feeds them today, but it doesn’t help them feed themselves tomorrow or next year. That means we also need to invest in more long-term strategies for fighting poverty. That means more schools so that the 77 million children out of school can enter the classroom for the first time. And we need more textbooks and better quality teachers–and possibly more computers–so that children already in the classroom will learn something while they’re there. Poor people who have entrepreneurial skills need small business loans so they can lift themselves out of poverty with their own hard work. And we need to give more aid dollars directly to organizations based in developing countries who are running great projects to fight HIV/AIDS, deliver clean drinking water, or abolish poverty.

But this is not a slam against FreeRice, per se. In fact, I sometimes play this game myself. Yes, more chronic forms of hunger do need a long-term fix. But hunger can also be a short-term emergency, such as during a time of war (though wars, unfortunately, can sometimes be long-term) or in the first few months after a natural disaster. And short-term emergencies, unfortunately, will always happen. Therefore, we will always, to some extent, actually need short-term fixes like FreeRice.

I just feel compelled to point out the need for long-term solutions because I worry that some people in industrialized countries are too quick to donate time (or money) to easy, “feel-good” causes that don’t actually solve problems. If you really want to help, then don’t just help. Instead, make it possible for people to help themselves.

But, there’s nothing wrong with also having a little fun at freerice.com.

In that spirit: Here’s wishing you a Happy New Year. May the year 2008 be delightful and fruitful for you. And for those of you who work to ensure that disabled people are not left out when governments and organizations fight poverty and speak out for human rights: I hope all your endeavors this year will be successful ones.




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