HIV and Disability Policy Brief Released

Posted on 29 May 2009. Filed under: Announcements, Health, HIV/AIDS, News, Resources | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Disability advocates have long known from observation that people with disabilities around the world are often at higher risk for HIV/AIDS. The difficulty has been in persuading mainstream educators and service providers of this fact. A new policy brief on disability and HIV can help advocates educate governments, mainstream organizations, and agencies about the need to include people with disabilities in HIV-related programs and services.

Disabled people are routinely excluded, sometimes by accident and sometimes on purpose, from mainstream education outreach programs on HIV and from health care services meant for people with AIDS. But a growing body of evidence shows that people with disabilities have an active sex life and are as likely as anyone else in engage in risky behaviors. They also are far more likely to be targeted for sexual assault, particularly from men who have HIV. The United Nations AIDS (UNAIDS), World Health Organization (WHO), and the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) have jointly released a new, 8-page policy brief on disability and HIV. This policy brief summarizes what is known about disabled people and their high risk level for being infected with HIV. It also summarizes some of the reasons why they have been excluded from mainstream programs meant to prevent HIV transmission. For example, many workers in the field mistakenly assume that people with disabilities don’t have sex or never abuse drugs. Or they may simply neglect to consider the needs of deaf people who need information delivered in sign language or highly visual materials; blind people who need materials in audio or Braille formats; people with intellectual disabilities who need information in plain language; or people with mobility impairments who may need to attend training workshops held in wheelchair accessible buildings.

The Disability and HIV Policy Brief includes a set of recommendations for governments, including suggestions such as ratifying the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD); providing HIV information in different formats tailored for different disability groups; providing people with disabilities with the same range of HIV, sexual, and reproductive health services as the rest of the population; ensuring that people with disabilities are trained to provide HIV-related education and care; and more. The policy brief also includes a few recommendations for civil society (for example, Non-Governmental Organizations) as well as for international agencies. The last section of the policy brief describes an example of AIDS-related activities in South Africa.

Learn more about the new policy brief at http://www.unaids.org/en/KnowledgeCentre/Resources/FeatureStories/archive/2009/20090409_Disability_HIV.asp. Or download the 8-page policy brief in PDF format (207 Kb) at http://data.unaids.org/pub/Manual/2009/jc1632_policy_brief_disability_en.pdf.



We Can Do learned about this policy brief via a notice posted to the IDA CRPD Forum email discussion group. I then gathered additional information about the UNAIDS web site and from the policy brief in PDF format (207 Kb).

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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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Forum of Women with Disabilities in Pakistan

Posted on 19 January 2009. Filed under: Announcements, Cross-Disability, Human Rights, Inclusion, Networking Opportunities, Opportunities, South Asian Region, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Pakistan Disabled People’s Organization

Subject: Forum of Women with Disabilities in Pakistan

Respected All,

Greetings from Pakistan Disabled Peoples’ Organization (PDPO/DPI – Pakistan),

The issue of disability is gaining more and more importance all over the world as well as in Pakistan due the disability movement for a “rights based society” initiated by organizations of PWDs themselves since almost two decades. World Bank, World Health Organization and other donor and development agencies have included this issue in their mandates. Governments have framed various policies for PWDs including reservation of jobs, concession facilities in travelling, special training institutions etc. The Government of Pakistan has made efforts to support the rights of Persons with Disabilities in the view of BMF and National Policy on disability and now Alhamdurillah Pakistan has signed the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

However, despite these efforts, the sad fact is that most people with disabilities especially women with disabilities and their families remain completely un-served by government, NGOs and even DPOs.

Women with disabilities are disadvantaged in several key areas when compared with other women, men with disabilities, and the society as a whole. These women face a triple handicap and discrimination due to their disability, gender and developing world status. At the same time, Stigma remains in society at large, within communities, and even, in many cases of uneducated segments of society, within families who see disabled women as a loss of productive potential and a drain on family resources. So, while on the one hand, the strong cultural family network ensures their financial security, on the other, the stigma often results in their remaining invisible members of society.

The major barrier to employment and other socio-economic benefits for Women with Disabilities in our society continues to be attitudinal barriers; stereotypical thinking and assumption about what women with disabilities can and can’t do.

The truth is that, the range of abilities of persons within any disabilities group is enormous, we have a large number of women with disabilities in Pakistan who are taking part in the activities of daily life with courage, there is dire need to involve that women as a role model or highlight their efforts to understand the social and economic realities and possibilities with regards to disability.

We need to get rid of our stereotypical images and view each “individual” as just that “an individual”. Access to and sharing of information resources can build the capacity of local and national disability organizations, promote advocacy by and for people with disability and improve the quality of life experienced by women with disabilities.

The fist humble step of this forum is to bridge the information and communication gap between all the leading women with disabilities in Pakistan.

On behalf of PDPO/DPI – Pakistan, I would like to request you all to share your short profile with us by the end of this week, after the completion of selection process of forum members, we will decide the date for Coordination Meeting.

Your feedback and coordination will assist us to make it successful

Looking forward to hear from you,

Regards,

Abia Akram,
Women Coordinator – PDPO/DPI, Pakistan
Abia.m.ilc@gmail.com
92-321-5278021



This email from Abia Akram came to me via Ghulam Nabi Nizamani. People or organizations who wish to network with the Forum of Women with Disabilities in Pakistan should communicate directly with Abia Akram, NOT We Can Do.

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RESOURCE: Training Manual on HIV/AIDS Awareness and Disability Rights

Posted on 13 February 2008. Filed under: Cross-Disability, HIV/AIDS, Human Rights, Resources, Sub-Saharan Africa Region, youth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Young people with disabilities in Africa can now use a free training manual to learn how to become leaders in preventing HIV/AIDS in their country.

The manual, entitled “HIV/AIDS Awareness and Disability Rights Training Manual” (Word format, 800 Kb), is targeted at: people in the disability community; government officials involved in disability and HIV; community leaders; and people working for HIV organizations. The manual is written in simple language to meet the needs of people who have little or no basic literacy skills.

The first chapter clarifies the definition of disability; explains some of the barriers people with disabilities experience in gaining access to information that could save their life; and offers guidance on meeting the communication needs of disabled people.

The second chapter explains what “HIV” and “AIDS” are and clarifies some common, incorrect beliefs about HIV/AIDS. It explains the common ways in which HIV/AIDS is transmitted (how people are infected) and why disabled people are at high risk for getting or spreading HIV. The chapter also provides information about the importance of being tested for HIV/AIDS; suggests how to deal with being HIV-positive; and how to prevent HIV/AIDS.

The third chapter discusses the stigma and discrimination that people with disabilities experience and the causes and effects of stigma. It suggests possible strategies and solutions for addressing stigma and discrimination against persons with disabilities living with HIV/AIDS.

The fourth chapter provides an overview of important international disability rights laws, including the new international Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). It advises new leaders on how they can take steps to advocate for the rights of people with disabilities living with HIV/AIDS.

The fifth chapter discusses how emerging leaders can continue to strengthen their leadership skills and learn the principles of good governance.

The manual, “HIV/AIDS Awareness and Disability Rights Training Manual” (Word format, 800 Kb), was prepared by Rehabilitation International (RI), Disabled Organization for Legal Affairs and Social Economic Development (DOLASED), and Miracles in Mozambique, with support from the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida).

It is available in two versions: one version is targeted at trainers whoplan to use the manual for leading activities to train others. The other version is targeted at people who plan to participate in training activities.

The manual for training participants can be downloaded at:

http://riglobal.org/advocacy/projects/RI_HIV-AIDS_PARTICIPANTS-MANUAL_10Dec07_FINAL.doc (Word, 700 Kb)

The manual targeted at trainers can be downloaded at:

http://riglobal.org/advocacy/projects/RI_HIV-AIDS_TRAINING-MANUAL_10Dec07_FINAL.doc (Word, 800 Kb)



We Can Do learned about these manuals by browsing the Rehabilitation International web site.



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PAPER; NEWS: World Bank Report on Disabled in India

Posted on 1 December 2007. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Announcements, Cross-Disability, Education, Employment, Health, News, Reports, South Asian Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

New World Bank Report Finds People with Disabilities among the Most Excluded in Indian Society
Disabled adults have far lower employment rates than others – reduced from 43 % in 1991 to 38% in 2002

Contact : in New Delhi
Kiran Negiknegi@worldbank.org

New Delhi, November 20, 2007: A new World Bank report finds people with disabilities among the most excluded in Indian society Low literacy and employment rates and widespread social stigma are leaving disabled people behind. With better education and more access to jobs, India’s 40 to 90 million disabled people will generate higher growth which will benefit the country as a whole.

The report entitled People with Disabilities in India: From Commitments to Outcomes, says that as the country makes economic progress, the incidence of communicable disease-induced disabilities such as polio are likely to fall, whereas age and lifestyle-related disabilities and those due to traffic accidents are expected to rise sharply. For example, internationally, the lowest reported disability rates are in sub-Saharan Africa while the highest are in the Organization for Economic Development (OECD) countries. The report therefore highlights the need for a multi-faceted approach so that disabled people realize their full individual potential and maximize their social and economic contribution to society.

The report finds that people with disabilities are subject to multiple deprivations. Households with disabled members are significantly poorer than average, with lower consumption and fewer assets. Children living with disability are around 4 to 5 times less likely to be in school than Scheduled Tribe and Scheduled Caste children. Disabled adults also have far lower employment rates than the general population – and this fell from 43 % in 1991 to 38% in 2002, even in the midst of economic growth.

Social attitudes and stigma play an important role in limiting the opportunities of disabled people for full participation in social and economic life, often even within their own families. For example, in surveys carried out for the report, around 50 percent of households saw the cause of disability as a “curse of God”. Women with disabilities face numerous additional challenges.

“India has an impressive set of policy commitments to its citizens with disabilities”, said Isabel Guerrero, World Bank Country Director for India. “The challenge facing Indian society now is to translate those commitments into better lives for disabled people. This includes identifying disabilities in young children, getting more disabled children into school and preparing them for the workplace and family life, and most importantly working to reduce the social stigma which disabled people face”.

Despite the many challenges, concerted efforts by the Government, civil society, the private sector, and disabled people themselves, the untapped potential of this large group of citizens can be released for their own benefit as well as for society at large.

“Increasing the status and social and economic participation of people with disabilities would have positive effects on everyone, not just disabled people” said Philip O’Keefe, Lead Social Protection Specialist and main author of the report. “A simple example is increasing accessibility of public transport and buildings for disabled people – a measure which would benefit a wide range of people including the elderly, pregnant women and children. More broadly, people with disabilities who are better educated and more economically active will generate higher growth in which everyone will share,” he added.

India’s implementation capacity is generally weak in a number of areas of service delivery which are most critical to improving the situation of disabled people. It is thus not realistic to expect that all the actions needed by many public and non-public actors can be taken all at once. The report highlights the need for prioritization of the most critical interventions to maximize the benefit for people living with disability:

(i) Preventive care – both for mothers through nutritional interventions, and infants through nutrition and basic immunization coverage
(ii) Identifying people with disabilities as soon as possible after onset – the system needs major improvements in this most basic function
(iii) Major improvements in early intervention, which can cost-effectively transform the lives of disabled people, their families, and the communities they live and work in
(iv) Getting all children with special needs into school and giving them the skills to participate fully in family and economic life
(v) Expanding the under-developed efforts to improve societal attitudes to people with disabilities, relying on public-private partnerships that build on successful models already operating in India.

The study points out that it is neither possible nor desirable for the public sector to “do it all”. Instead, partnerships with NGOs, civil society, and the private sector are critical to achieve effective and lasting results. The key step in such partnerships is brining disabled people themselves into the policymaking process along with public and non-governmental institutions.

Some other findings of the report:

  • There are substantial differences in socio-economic outcomes, social stigma, and access to services by disability type, with those with mental illness and mental retardation in a particularly poor position. There are also major urban/rural differences in outcomes, Gender, class and regional variations are also significant in many cases
  • Estimates vary, there is growing evidence that people with disabilities comprise between 4 and 8 percent of the Indian population (around 40-90 million individuals)
  • Between 1990 and 2020, there is predicted to be a halving of disability due to communicable diseases, a doubling of disability due to injuries/accidents, and a more than 40 percent increase in the share of disability due to non-communicable diseases
  • Disabled people have much lower educational attainment rates, with 52 percent illiteracy against a 35 percent average for the general population.
  • Illiteracy is high among children across all categories, in even the best performing major states, a significant share of out of school children are those with disabilities – Kerala, 27 percent, in Tamil Nadu over 33 percent
  • Private sector employment incentives for hiring disabled people are few and piecemeal. In the late 1990s, employment of People with Disability (PWD) among large private firms was only 0.3 percent of their workforce. Among multinational companies, the situation was far worse, with only 0.05 percent being PWD
  • In early 2006, a National Policy on Persons with Disabilities was approved by Government of India. To date, the only states that have draft disability policies are Chhattisgarh and Karnataka. The Chhattisgarh draft state disability policy can be considered “best practice”, and could provide a model for future national and state-level policy development.

People can follow this link to learn more about the report, or download individual chapters, at:
http://go.worldbank.org/48NBTTBRJ0

Individual chapters include: Socio-Economic Profile of Persons with Disabilities; Attitudes; Health; Education; Employment; Social Protection; Policies and Institutions; and Access

Or follow this link to download the full report in PDF format (1.8Mb).


The text for this blog post is taken from a press release from the World Bank.


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