WHO Disability and Rehabilitation Newsletter July 2008 Issue

Posted on 25 August 2008. Filed under: Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR), Cross-Disability, Events and Conferences, Human Rights, Mobility Impariments, News, Opportunities | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Text-only version of the WHO/DAR Newsletter
July 2008 Issue

The World Health Organization (WHO) disability and rehabilitation newsletter is produced three times a year and distributed via e-mail. Subscription/unsubscription requests should be sent to WHO’s Disability and Rehabilitation Team (DAR) at the following e-mail address: pedersenr@who.int


* WHO Task Force on Disability
* WRDR Regional Consultations
* RI World Congress
* Wheelchair Guidelines
* CBR Congress
* New faces at DAR

This month sees the halfway stage of development of the World Report, a moment to celebrate and take stock of how far we have come and how much more there is to do before we launch the document in eighteen months time. Another milestone has been the first meeting of the WHO Task Force on Disability, part of the Organizations’ response to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. These are exciting times for WHO’s work in disability and rehabilitation, and we have an expanded and enthusiastic team of staff working to deliver change. We are particularly grateful to all our collaborators and funders who have worked with us to help us achieve our ambitions to improve the lives of people with disabilities.

Alana Officer,
Disability and Rehabilitation

Task Force on Disability
WHO Director-General, Dr Margaret Chan, has set up a Task Force on Disability, chaired by Assistant Director-General Dr Ala Alwan, with representation from each regional office and from each cluster within HQ. This exciting initiative comes in the wake of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and will work to raise the profile of disability at WHO. Key tasks will include: conducting audits of WHO premises and making access improvements; reviewing websites and printed information to improve their accessibility; promoting employment opportunities for people with disabilities; and providing disability equality training for staff.

The Task Force will also work with the Technical Programmes of WHO to assist them to make their programs inclusive of and accessible to people with disabilities. For example, what about the needs of people with disabilities in disaster and emergencies? What about the needs of women with disabilities during pregnancy and childbirth?

Task Force focus: Information
So, what is WHO doing to ensure better access to all the information it produces? Ian Coltart of WHO Press, responsible for publishing guidelines and standards across WHO, writes…

“With a global audience and a mission to disseminate WHO’s information as widely as possible, WHO needs to ensure that it’s published information is accessible in appropriate formats for different audiences, including partially sighted and blind people, as well as people with learning difficulties.

WHO Press has developed and published a large print version of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF). The book is produced in A4 size with a clear page layout designed for partially sighted people. The book is available from the WHO online bookshop, at: http://bookorders.who.int/bookorders/anglais/detart1.jsp?sesslan=1&codlan=1&codcol=15&codcch=4088. WHO Press also plans to develop a Braille version of ICF for the blind.

WHO Press is working with WHO’s Disability and Rehabilitation Team (DAR) to develop publishing guidelines for WHO staff on producing specific formats such as large print and Braille, but also to improve the general design and layout of WHO’s mainstream printed products to accommodate partially sighted audiences.

World Report on Disability and Rehabilitation Regional Consultations
In May and June 2008, regional consultations on the preliminary draft of the World Report on Disability and Rehabilitation were held in San José, Costa Rica for the Americas Region; Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania for the African and Eastern Mediterranean Regions; Rome, Italy for the European Region; and Manila, the Philippines for the South-east Asian and Western Pacific Regions. Each consultation brought together a diverse group of experts with complementary knowledge and experience, including people with disabilities. Participants included editors of the Report, chapter authors, academics, service providers, policymakers, government officials, NGO representatives, and disability advocates.

Claudia Sánchez, a Columbian architect and participant in the consultation in San José, felt that the process was vital because “it brings into the report experiences from around the world that come from the real people”, i.e. those who have direct knowledge of the issues. While it was most helpful to gather constructive criticisms of the preliminary draft, it was also encouraging to witness how many participants were excited by the potential of the Report to advance work in disability and rehabilitation. As Kudakwashe Dube, CEO of the Secretariat of the Africa Decade of Persons with Disabilities remarked at the Dar-Es-Salaam event, “the report challenges countries to take serious steps to mainstream disability and capacitate all actors in order to achieve an improvement in the quality of life of persons with disabilities”.

The participants’ feedback, cultural perspectives on the draft and the sources of regional information they identified, will help ensure that the final document is relevant in diverse global contexts. They also proposed recommendations for action and generated ideas for regional dissemination of the Report and related events. The comments and suggestions from the four consultations will be collated and reviewed by the Editorial Committee. Lead authors will then use the input to help guide development of the next draft.

Wheelchair Guidelines
The wheelchair is one of the most commonly used assistive devices for enhancing personal mobility. For many people, an appropriate, well-designed and well-fitted wheelchair can be the first step towards inclusion and participation in society.

The United Nations Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and World Health Assembly Resolution WHA58.23 all point to the importance of wheelchairs and other assistive devices for the developing world, where few of those who need wheelchairs have them, insufficient production facilities exist, and all too often wheelchairs are donated without the necessary related services.

When the need is not met, people with disabilities are isolated and do not have access to the same opportunities as others within their own communities. Providing wheelchairs with related services not only enhances mobility but begins a process of opening up a world of education, work and social life. The development of national policies and increased training opportunities in the design, production and supply of wheelchairs are essential next steps.

In the light of the realities of the developing world and the immediate need to develop functioning systems of wheelchair provision in less-resourced parts of the world, the World Health Organization (WHO), the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics (ISPO) and Disabled Peoples’ International (DPI), in partnership with the Centre for International Rehabilitation, the Motivation Charitable Trust and Whirlwind Wheelchair International, have developed the Guidelines on the provision of manual wheelchairs in less-resourced settings. These will assist WHO Member States to develop a local wheelchair provision system and thereby implement Articles 4, 20 and 26 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Update from the WHO Ghana Country Office
As part of measures to strengthen the capacity of the Rehabilitation Services in Ghana, a joint WHO and International Society of Prosthesis and Orthotics (ISPO) mission was carried out. Details of the mission were provided in the fourth Newsletter (http://www.who.int/disabilities/publications/newsletter/en/index.html). In response to the mission’s recommendations, the Ghana Health Service, the Ministry of Health and the WHO Ghana Country office selected two candidates for certificate level training in prosthetics and two candidates for certificate level training in orthotics. The training will be carried out in the WHO collaborating Centre: Tanzania Training Centre for Orthopaedic Technologies (TATCOT), Moshi, Tanzania. The certificate courses, each of one year duration, comprise theoretical, laboratory and clinical practice to prescribe and deliver the appropriate lower limb prosthesis or orthotic in consultation with the intended user. This is an important step towards developing prosthetics and orthotics service provision in Ghana. The training has been made possible through support from ISPO and full scholarships from the Leahy War Victim Fund of USAID .

RI World Congress
Rehabilitation International (RI), a partner of WHO, is a global organization bringing together expertise from all sectors in the disability field advancing the rights and inclusion of persons with disabilities. RI is organizing its 21st World Congress in Quebec City from 25 -28 August 2008, attended by more than 1000 participants, including people with disabilities and their organizations, human rights activists, experts, rehabilitation professionals, government representatives, service providers and leaders of civil society. The vision statement of the Congress is “Disability Rights and Social Participation: Ensuring a Society for all” and the key areas of discussion are: Human Rights, Independent Living and Social Participation and Implementation of the UN Convention.

WHO will be launching the new Wheelchair Guidelines during the plenary session of the first day of the Congress. Additionally, WHO is hosting three sessions during the event and will be supporting the ICF conference, a dedicated two-day track, within the RI conference:

1. CBR Guidelines — 25 August (Block 63 – 2:10 pm) with Barbara Murray (ILO), Karen H. Motsch (CBM), Venus Ilagan (RI), Tomas Lagerwall (RI), Alana Officer (WHO) and Chapal Khasnabis (WHO).

2. World Report on Disability and Rehabilitation — 25 August (Bloc 62 – 4:20 pm) with Anne Hawker (RI); Charlotte McClain-Nhlapo (World Bank); Sebenzile Matsebula (RI); Kicki Nordstrom (WBU) and Alana Officer (WHO).

3. 3. Wheelchair Guidelines — 27 August
(Bloc 72 – 10:30 am) with David Constantine (Motivation); Dan Blocka (ISPO); Rob Horvath (USAID); Anna Lindstrom (Swedish Institute of Assistive Technology – SIAT); Venus Ilagan (RI) and Chapal Khasnabis (WHO).

4. International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) — August 26 and 27.
The 14th annual North American Collaborating Center (NACC) Conference on the ICF will be hosted by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), Statistics Canada and the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) in collaboration with Rehabilitation International. The theme is Evaluating Social Participation: Applications of the ICF and ICF-CY.

Conference website: www.riquebec2008.org/

1st CBR Asia-Pacific Congress
This event, taking place on 9-11 December 2008 at the United Nations Conference Centre (UNCC), Bangkok, Thailand, will be the first meeting of CBR practitioners from countries in Asia and the Pacific. The Asia-Pacific Decade of Disabled Persons, promoted by ESCAP, has given an impetus for Governments and NGOs to create an inclusive, barrier free and rights-based society. A regional policy guideline, the Biwako Millennium Framework (BMF) for Action and its supplement, the BMF +5, promoted a paradigm shift from charity to a rights-based approach to disability. Meanwhile, the CRPD heralds a new era of state recognition of the human rights of people with disabilities.

The Congress will bring together key stakeholders to share resources and to be updated on CBR as an effective multi-sectoral strategy for rehabilitation, equalization of opportunity, poverty reduction and social inclusion of people with disabilities. It will promote research and evidence based practice related to CBR, and facilitate the development of an alliance and resource base for the Asia-Pacific region – comprising UN, Governments, NGOs, DPOs and others.

Satellite workshops pre- and post-conference will be held on CBR and mental health; CBR, human rights and the CPRD; CBR and Leprosy for up to 45 participants each.

The Congress is jointly organized by WHO, UNESCAP and the Government of Thailand and supported by ILO, UNESCO, JICA, CBM, HI, AIFO, NAD, ILEP and others.

Conference Website: www.cbr-asiapacific.org/
E-mail: secretariat@cbr-asiapacific.org

New faces at DAR

Three short term staff have brought their wit and wisdom to bear on WHO’s projects on disability and rehabilitation. Bliss Temple is a trainee physician from North Carolina, USA, and she has been supporting the development of the World Report. Tom Shakespeare is a disability studies academic from Newcastle, UK, and has been working for the Task Force on Disability. Veronica Umeasiegbu is a physical therapist from Nigeria, currently studying Rehabilitation Counselling at the University of Pittsburgh, USA and has been working on CBR. As well as their solid academic and professional credentials, as people with disabilities they bring personal experience of the issues.

We Can Do discovered this newsletter when it was forwarded to the AsiaPacificDisability email discussion group and the AdHoc_IDC email discussion group, both of which can be subscribed to for free.

If you wish to receive future issues of the WHO Rehabilitation Newsletter directly via email, then please inquire with pedersenr@who.int. You may also download past issues of the newsletter in PDF format at http://www.who.int/disabilities/publications/newsletter/en/index.html

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JOB POST: Secretary General, Rehabilitation International

Posted on 20 February 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Cross-Disability, Human Rights, Inclusion, Jobs & Internships | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Michael Fox, president of Rehabilitation International, has been circulating the following announcement; note that the application deadline is March 28, 2008:

As advised at the RI 2007 Assembly in Djerba, Tunisia – our Secretary General Tomas Lagerwall has decided to leave RI later this year – and return to Sweden after a seven year term with RI.

Accordingly, and on behalf of the RI Selection Committee, I am pleased to invite submissions from applicants worldwide for this important role of RI Secretary General – as following details and information.


Michael Fox
RI President
Sydney phone 612 6552 9333

4 February 2008

RI Secretary General – New York

RI was established in 1922, and is a well recognised and respected international disability and rehabilitation advocacy organisation. RI is a global cross-disability and cross-disciplinary NGO providing a unique meeting ground for participants in a field that has disciplinary and ideological opinions and differences. RI has well-established partnerships with the UN and its agencies as well as other international and regional organisations in the field of disability. Further information on RI and our UN and global networks are available at www.riglobal.org.

RI is a democratic organisation governed by an Assembly – representing RI member organisations in almost 100 countries. The RI Annual Assembly is a global forum to discuss developments in disability issues and general policies and programs of the organisation. The RI Executive Committee provides strategic direction, formulates and considers policies and oversees the budget of the organisation. The RI EC consists of 22 members composed of the RI President, President-elect or Past President, Treasurer and representatives of RI Regions and expert Commissions.

RI is a matrix organisation, with regional leadership in Africa, the Arab Region, Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America as well as thematic Commissions in particular fields of expertise, to assist in developing and expanding program activities in accordance with RI strategic goals. The RI Foundation was established in 2006 and provides the basis for significant growth and development of the RI agenda worldwide.

RI and its members are involved in a range of advocacy projects and activities to promote the RI goal of advancing and achieving the rights and inclusion of persons with disabilities worldwide. The next RI World Congress is scheduled in Quebec City, Canada during August 2008. RI also works toward increasing international collaboration and advocates for policies and legislation recognising the rights of people with disabilities and their families, including the ratification and implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

RI Secretary General
RI is managed by a full time Secretariat in our New York City head office. The Secretary General is the CEO of the organisation and our current incumbent has successfully managed this role since 2001.

We now require the services of a resourceful, experienced and dynamic candidate for the role of RI Secretary General. There will be a suitable and agreed transition period for the successful candidate.


DUTY STATION New York, United States of America

ACCESSIBILITY RI New York offices are ADA accessible

Responsibilities and Competencies of Secretary General
The responsibilities and competencies of the successful applicant will include

* Implementation of RI policies, strategies and programs as determined by the RI General Assembly and RI EC – and as agreed with, and in close consultation with, the President, Executive Committee and RI Foundation Board

* Effective management and implementation of the RI Strategic Plan – with balanced commitment to RI Global activities and development of the RI Foundation

* Demonstrate professionalism, judgement, technical awareness and leadership

* Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to operate effectively across organisational boundaries – with ability to establish and maintain effective working relations with people of different national and cultural backgrounds

* Solicit input by genuinely valuing other peoples ideas and expertise – and willing to learn from others

* Ability to operate in a changing environment with innovation and professionalism

* Take the lead with respect to the preparation and implementation of the work program, ensuring that resources are utilised effectively and prudently to implement activities in accordance with the RI Mission, budget and available human and financial resources

* Monitor and review the work program and budget by conducting regular analysis to assess progress of actual work versus the program

* Define requirements and work with system units with respect to improving budget reporting systems and cost effective utilisation of program resources

* Supervise and provide guidance on financial administration and management information issues and practices to Board members, in conjunction with the Finance Committee

* Support, manage, travel and organise RI events as required

* Supervise staff at RI New York and other locations as required

* Provide guidance and leadership to RI staff

* Promote RI membership growth in conjunction with the Membership Committee

* Oversee work related to billing and receipt of income from various services, monitoring and evaluation of individual contractors for services

* Represent RI at international, regional and national meetings related to disability rights and related issues – including IDA, the International Disability Alliance

* Collaborate with relevant organisations including United Nations, World Bank, DPOs, foundations, the private sector, NGOs and civil society at large

* Participate in inter-agency consultations, meetings, and conferences related to disability rights and services issues

* Organise and participate in expert group meetings, workshops and seminars on disability rights and services as required

* Provide advisory services to and collaborate with UN agencies, governments, DPOs, NGOs, regional groups, private sector groups and other stakeholders on disability rights, services and related issues


Education – A minimum of first level university degree with a relevant combination of academic qualifications and experience.

Work Experience – A minimum of 5 years progressively responsible experience in change management, human resources and financial / budget operations, with relevant professional experience in international, governmental and non-governmental organisations.

The RI Secretary General role calls for very good administrative, diplomacy and management skills. First hand disability related experience is preferred.

Languages – Fluency in oral and written English is required. Fluency and / or working knowledge of other languages is desirable.

Other Skills – Ability to use relevant computer technology and software.

A competitive compensation and benefits package is offered – subject to professional experience, family situation and other criteria as may be applicable. Immigration procedures can be negotiated as required.

Selection Process
Applicants will be short listed on the basis of academic credentials, experience, availability and other relevant factors. Additional information may be requested from candidates.

Short listed applicants will be invited to come to New York or elsewhere as appropriate, for an interview with representatives of the RI Selection Committee. Candidates will be interviewed on various criteria including related knowledge, skills, abilities, personality and availability.

The intention is for the new RI Secretary General to be appointed by June 2008.

How To Apply
Interested persons from any nationality worldwide are invited to apply for this important position. This invitation to apply for the role of RI Secretary General is open to everyone.

Detailed responses including Resumes / CVs, and a minimum of two written references, are to be submitted by Friday 28 March 2008. Submissions can be sent by email, post of fax to

Marca Bristo, RI North America Vice President

c/o Access Living
115 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60610 USA

Email mbristo@aol.com or
Fax 1 312 640 2140

All applications will be confidential to the Selection Committee and RI Executive Committee, until the successful candidate is announced.

We look forward to your application


Michael Fox AM
RI President
Sydney Australia

We Can Do retrieved this announcement from the email discussion list for the Global Partnership for Disability and Development (GPDD). Individuals may join their mailing list for free. Please note that interested parties should contact Rehabilitation International directly, not We Can Do.

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

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

This blog post is copyrighted to We Can Do (https://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. If you are reading this anywhere OTHER THAN We Can Do, BlogAfrica, or RatifyNow, then you are most likely reading a web site that regularly plagiarizes the work of other people without their permission.

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