REPORT: Disability in 28 Asian-Pacific Countries

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

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

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

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

Download the full report (PDF format, 780 Kb) at

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

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

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

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International Conference on Accessible Tourism, 22-24 April 2009, Singapore

Posted on 24 November 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Cross-Disability, East Asia Pacific Region, Events and Conferences, Opportunities | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

International Conference on Accessible Tourism 2009
April 22 – 24, 2009
YWCA Fort Canning Lodge, Singapore

Singapore welcomes you with open arms to ‘Tourism Unlimited: Access for All’. The Disabled People’s Association or DPI-Singapore, in line with its mission to be the Voice of People with Disabilities, will host the Third International Conference for Accessible Tourism (ICAT) 2009.

More than just a platform for advocating accessibility for all, ICAT 2009 also serves as a profitable avenue for the travel and tourism sector to explore the many possibilities of expanding their businesses by being inclusive.

Understanding the promising business ventures of Accessible Tourism in a growing market will benefit not only the travel and tourism sector but also greatly enhance the way of life of all residents the host country.

ICAT 2009 opens the doors to a Uniquely Singapore, A Global City for All!

For more information, please visit

This announcement was circulated on the AsiaPacificDisability mailing list; inquiries related to this conference should please be directed to the conference organizers, NOT We Can Do. Please consult the <a href=”conference web site for contact information.

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Asia Pacific CONFERENCE on Scientific Study of Intellectual Disabilities, Singapore, June 24-27, 2009

Posted on 31 October 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Call for Papers, Cognitive Impairments, Events and Conferences, Opportunities | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

IASSID 2nd Asia Pacific Conference Singapore
June 24 to 27, 2009
Furama Riverfront Hotel

The International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual Disabilities (IASSID) would like to invite you to the 2nd IASSID Asia Pacific Conference.

The conference will be held at Singapore, 24 to 27 June 2009, at the Furama Riverfront Hotel.

The conference theme is: “Creating possibilities for an inclusive society”

The conference details and the abstract submission system are now on-line:

Abstracts need to be submitted by the end of November 2008. Individual papers, symposia, workshops and posters are all welcome. All abstracts will be peer-reviewed and those accepted for the conference will be published in the Journal of Policy & Practice in Intellectual Disabilities.

The on-line registration system is now on line. Please proceed to the IASSID website for details (

There are a number of organisations partnering with IASSID to make this a significant event on the international scientific calender. These include the International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (ISAAC), the Asia Pacific Down Syndrome Federation and the Australian Association of Doctors in Developmental Disability Medicine. There are also many regional and local service providers working together, as part of our efforts to ensure that the conference provides a mechanism to promote ‘research to practice’ and that practice issues inform and influence the research agenda of the scientific community.

As part of our efforts to promote dialogue between researchers, practitioners and people with disability, the conference will include the inaugural meeting of the Asian Research to Practice Roundtable. This event will take place across the 4 days of the conference; bringing together scientists, practitioners and people with disability to establish and implement a research to practice agenda for the region.

The IASSID Academy on Education, Teaching & Research will host accredited workshops prior to and following the conference. The workshops will take place at Singapore and in neighbouring countries. If you are interested in hosting such a workshop, you can contact the Academy Chair, Professor Roy Brown for details and to discuss your proposal:

Theme: “Creating Possibilities for an Inclusive Society”.

Confirmed key note speakers are:
Prof. Rune J. Simeonsson, University of North Carolina, USA
Assoc Prof Levan Lim, National Institute of Education, Singapore
Prof. Shigeru Suemitsu, Kawasaki University of Medical Welfare, Japan
Prof. Glynis Murphy, University of Kent, UK
Prof Matthew Janicki, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA
Dr Monica Cuskelly, University of Queensland, Australia
Dr Henny van Schrojenstein Lantman-de Valk, Maastricht University, The Netherlands

Dr Kenneth Poon will host the ‘Asian Research to Practice Roundtable’
Prof. Roy Brown & the IASSID Academy will facilitate accredited workshops prior to and following the conference.

See the IASSID website for more details of the conference. Please feel free to circulate this information among your colleagues and networks and to include details in your various organisational newsletters, etc.

We hope to see you at Singapore.

Kind regards,

Dr Keith McVilly & Professor Lisa Wang, IASSID Conference Co-ordination Committee
Dr Balbir Singh, Chair of the Local Organising Committee
Professor Libby Cohen and Dr Kenneth Poon, Co-Chairs of the Scientific Programme Committee

Dr Keith R. McVilly
B.A., Grad. Dip. Psych., M. Psych. (Clinical), PhD
MAPS & Member of the College of Clinical Psychologists
Senior Lecturer in Disability Studies & Clinical Psychologists

Division of Disability Studies
School of Health Sciences
RMIT University
P.O. Box 71
Bundoora, 3083.

Tel.: +61 (0)3 9925 7362
Fac.: +61 (0)3 9925 7303

IASSID World Congress, Cape Town: 25 to 30 August 2008 –

ASSID Australasian Conference, Melbourne: 24 to 26 November 2008 –

ASSID DSW Conference, Melbourne: 27 to 28 November 2008 –

IASSID Asia Pacific Conference, Singapore: 24 to 27 June 2009 –

Thank you to Keith McVilly at MIT for circulating this announcement. Most of the text of this blog post is taken from that announcement, with slight modifications.

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NEWS: Commonwealth Disabled Peoples’ Forum Founded

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

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


Press Release

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ghulam Nabi Nizamani
Regional Representative CDPF
South and South East Asia

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

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

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