Challenges Implementing Disability Rights Treaty?

Posted on 17 May 2009. Filed under: Announcements, Call for Comments or Information, Human Rights, Networking Opportunities, Opinion, Psychiatric Disabilities, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Abdul-Jeff Maalik Makana, the Executive Director of MindFreedom Kenya, wants to learn more about the challenges that other countries experience in implementing the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Below is his appeal for information. Please respond directly to him at

Dear All,

Greetings from non sunny Nairobi day today!

We have a challenge here in Kenya advocating for the implementation of the UN CRPD. Are other states experiencing similar challenges? What are the challenges?

I recently on a media appearence to create awareness about the work of MindFreedom Kenya & advocating for the implementation of the UN CRPD… one caller to the show reinforced the general view that persons with psychosocial disabilities have no capacity at any time to make decision (Legal capacity) though the UN CRPD guarantees legal capacity(article 12) or even supported decision making.

To quote Daniel Hazen—Human Rights and Advocacy “cease the practice of exceptionalism when it comes to human rights” meaning we cannot downplay the CRPD which is a very important rallying point for our movement.

Mental Health (MH) policies cannot be written in a vacuum…. State parties and other stakeholders should get direction that adopting certain articles of the CRPD versus the CRPD in its entirety has far reaching consequences more so article 12 (right to legal capacity) a big part of the user/survivor movement advocacy.

Lastly, why was the term psychosocial disabled adopted in the UN CRPD versus the term mentally disabled or mentally ill? Here in Africa many don’t see mental illness as a disability? Can you please help me understand how to advocate better for psychosocial disabled term to be adopted and accepted locally.

What are your views:

I am doing a Survey on supporting signing/ratification and implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities by state parties without reservations.

This obligation would require that the States both refrain from actions that undermine the principles and initiate efforts which would promote them. You can also e-mail your comments directly to

As a user, a survivor. mental health worker, or human rights activist in mental health do you support the position that the CRPD is non negotiable, and that the nature of this commitment obligates state parties to completely review MH policies and legislation which relied on flawed WHO MI Principles? *

A few sampling of responses collected regarding the above question:

This obligation would require that the States both refrain from actions that undermine the principles and initiate efforts which would promote them.(MH Policy, legislation’s, new MH laws, civic education, more access to mental services at the community level, empowering of persons with psychosocial disabilities to participate equally in society without being discriminated based on disabilities).

Absolutely I support it!! Recently there have been reports that they are opening “behavioral” units in nursing homes in New York State–a way to lock us up again quietly so there won’t be too many complaints. Fortunately we noticed and… Read More now there’s a lawsuit. Good thing so many of us “suffer” from hypervigelance!! Anyway, so good to see that we’re coming together internationally. We can and will find our power no matter how hard the system tried to hold us down.

I am not sure that I can ask for the UN treaty to become nationalized, but I do agree with many of the tenets. I think that I can see where some conflicts of interest might be involved. So better person by person, not this group or that. That is what I think….

With kind regards,

Abdul-Jeff Maalik Makana

Abdul Maalik bin Ali formerly,
Jeff Makana

Executive Director,
MindFreedom Kenya(MF-K)
Follow me on twitter@

Thank you to Abdul Maalik bin Ali for submitting this announcement for publication at We Can Do.

Subscribe to We Can Do
Learn how to receive an email alert when new material is posted at We Can Do ( You also can follow We Can Do via Facebook.

Other Resources at We Can Do
Catch up with the news; explore resources, toolkits, or funding and fellowship opportunities; find research, reports, papers, or statistics; or look up conferences, events, call for papers, or education/training opportunities.

[Published at (We Can Do)]

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )

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: (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


Huib Cornielje
Langenhorst 36
2402PX Alphen aan den Rijn
The Netherlands
Tel: 0031-172-436953
Fax: 0031-172-244976

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, NOT to We Can Do. Thanks.

Subscribe to We Can Do
Learn how to receive an email alert when new material is posted at We Can Do ( You also can follow We Can Do via Facebook.

Other Resources at We Can Do
Catch up with the news; explore resources, toolkits, or funding and fellowship opportunities; find research, reports, papers, or statistics; or look up conferences, events, call for papers, or education/training opportunities.

[Published at (We Can Do)]

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 10 so far )

JOB POST: Project Coordinator, Republic of the Maldives

Posted on 6 August 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Cross-Disability, East Asia Pacific Region, Jobs & Internships, Opportunities | Tags: , , , , , |

Position/Title: Project Coordinator
Location: Male, the Republic of Maldives

Handicap International-Belgium is seeking a highly motivated individual with survey and epidemiological experience to fill the position of Project Coordinator.  This is a one-year position starting in September 2008, in order to oversee and help implement a nationally-representative survey on disability in the Maldives.

Handicap International-Belgium (HIB) is an international organization headquartered in Brussels whose aim is ensure the full rehabilitation and integration of persons with disabilities.  It currently operates programs in 13 Asian, African, and Latin American countries and works across a wide spectrum, with prevention projects (in maternal and child health, road safety, and disabling illnesses such as HIV/AIDS), rehabilitation and inclusion projects (community-based rehabilitation, physical rehabilitation centers, inclusive education, and socio-economic integration), and human rights (through support to disabled people’s associations).  In addition, HIB has mine awareness and action projects, and is currently responding to crises in China, Burma, and the DRC.  Finally, HIB is an international advocate on various issues including the global cluster munitions ban. 

The Maldives is a Muslim nation composed of close to 1200 islands in the Indian Ocean, 200 of which are inhabited.  It has a total population of 300 000.  According to the 2003 “Report on Survey of People with Disabilities”, published by the Ministry of Gender and Family, an estimated 3.4% of the population is disabled, although this is likely an under-representation due to the methods used.  Handicap International Belgium’s Maldives program was initiated in response to the December 2004 tsunami, which washed over all but 9 of the islands.  Current projects include supporting the government in its development of a national policy on disability, and, on selected islands, disability awareness and empowerment campaigns and community-based rehabilitation activities.  The Project Coordinator will be responsible for managing all aspects relating to the design and implementation of a nationally representative survey on disability, which is one of the Maldives program’s key activities.    



This position will be focused on coordinating, from start to finish, the design and implementation of a nationally-representative survey on disability.  This survey is intended to provide information on the impact of disability in people’s lives, through the lens of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which entered into force on May 3, 2008.  The responsibilities of the Project Coordinator will be to initially analyze existing data, identifying gaps, and then coordinate the design of a survey that includes both quantitative and qualitative components on islands that have not previously been surveyed.  This will include selecting several remote islands and assessing the situation of persons with disabilities, prevailing attitudes, and inclusion/participation in society.  This will also include surveying service providers. The Project Coordinator will work closely with the relevant government ministries.

 Responsibilities include:

  • Perform an initial thorough analysis, and reformulation, of existing information and data
  • Coordinate and manage the survey process with the research and survey teams, and with the Maldives- and Brussels-based staff
  • Supervise all  stages in the survey design and implementation (including defining aims and objectives; choosing the appropriate theoretical framework for the definition of “disability”; choosing the methodology; choosing the most appropriate tool for detecting disability; training the survey team; analysis and reporting phases, etc.)
  • Organize and supervise the field organization (including recruitment and management of the survey team; arranging transportation and accommodation; creation of survey tools; preparing supplies and materials, etc.)
  • Design and implement survey trainings
  • Maintain regular contact with the research consultants
  • Set up and coordinate the survey advisory group
  • Ensure the quality of the data collected
  • Submit periodic progress reports to the advisory group and to HIB
  • Analyze preliminary data
  • Organize the end-of-survey workshop to share preliminary results
  • Manage the survey budget
  • Synthesize and compile all tools and materials into a comprehensive toolkit
  • Prepare final report


Skills/Experience required:

  • MPH, MHS, MS, MA or PhD
  • Previous survey experience, including hands-on experience with the survey design process in low-resource settings
  • Preferred background in public health and/or medical anthropology
  • Preferred knowledge of epidemiology
  • Knowledge of sampling techniques and mixed method data collection strategies
  • Experience working with consultants and institutional partners (government ministries)
  • Experience in substantive search, review and analysis of existing literature and data
  • Excellent quantitative and qualitative skills
  • Preferred knowledge of international human rights law and norms, especially as applied to people with disabilities
  • Strong problem solving skills and analytical capabilities
  • Ability to multi-task and to be effective in time-sensitive situations
  • Excellent English communication skills – both written and oral
  • Ability to work effectively in a team
  • Willingness to live overseas
  • Willingness to travel
  • Strong statistical analysis skills desired
  • Software experience (Excel, and either Stata, SAS, S-PLUS, SPSS, Epi-Info) desired
  • Previous budget management experience desired
  • Previous experience working with disabled populations desired

Deadline: ASAP


TO APPLY: Please email letter of interest, resume and names of three references to: In the subject field of the email, please type: “Maldives Project Coordinator”.

This announcement was recently circulated on the email discussion group for the Global Partnership on Disability and Development.

Subscribe to We Can Do
Learn how to receive an email alert when new material is posted at We Can Do (

Other Resources at We Can Do
Catch up with the news; explore resources, toolkits, or funding and fellowship opportunities; find research, reports, papers, or statistics; or look up conferences, events, call for papers, or education/training opportunities.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

SURVEY: HIV/AIDS Among Jamaicans with Disabilities

Posted on 13 February 2008. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Announcements, Cross-Disability, Health, HIV/AIDS, Latin America & Caribbean | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Graduate student Nalini Asha Reyes at San Diego State University in California, USA, is conducting a survey about HIV/AIDS among people with disability in Jamaica. Her survey is based on an earlier, similar global survey by researcher Dr. Nora Groce at Yale University.

Nalini Asha Reyes is looking for people to participate in her survey. She is particularly looking for people in or from Jamaica but will also welcome survey results from elsewhere in the Caribbean. If interested in participating, please read her letter below then contact her at to request a copy of the survey. She can send it to you in Word document or PDF format.

HIV/AIDS and Disability in Jamaica Survey

Please help:

Today, little is known about HIV/AIDS among people with disability. We would like to know how the epidemic is affecting individuals and groups with all types of disability in Jamaica and we ask you to help. We are interested in disabled people of all ages, and disabled people living with their families, on their, own, or in institutions.

We send this survey with the request that you fill it out on behalf of the organization or advocacy group you work with. (If you think someone else in your organization would know more about these questions, please give it to them to fill out). Your information has been provided either through the public website of the National Aids Committee of Jamaica, or by an Internet search using the words, “HIV/AIDS,” “Jamaica,” and “Disability.”

We are interested in hearing both from organizations that are working on HIV/AIDS issues and from organizations that are not currently involved in HIV/AIDS issues.

We will be looking for information about programs that provide HIV/AIDS education, interventions and services to disabled people and communities. We would also welcome stories from Disability advocates about attempts to get help for HIV/AIDS in one’s community, examples about not being able to get help for one’s community, stories about governments and HIV/AIDS voluntary organizations that have tried to reach disabled people and so forth.

You must be over the age of 18 to complete and return this survey.

This survey should require less than 30 minutes of your time, and can be saved and emailed back as a PDF or MS Word document. Please note that there are no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answers to any of these questions. Also, feel free to leave blank any questions for which you may not know the answer or which you may not feel comfortable answering. However, keep in mind we realize there is often little information available on this topic and so we are also interested in people’s ideas, impressions, knowledge, practices and attitudes. All information submitted will be kept completely confidential and will never be linked to your organization or team. Also, please note that we are not asking (and do not want) personal information or names of individuals who might have HIV/AIDS – we feel it is very important that we do not invade anyone’s privacy.

If you already have information about HIV/AIDS and Disability from your own organization or educational materials, information on training, studies, meetings, newspaper articles, or other materials relating to HIV/AIDS that you would like to share with us, we would appreciate it. If you know of a program or project that you think we should learn more about, please let us know. Finally, if you know of other Disability organizations, advocates, or government agencies who might have information about HIV/AIDS and Disability, we would appreciate it if you would forward this announcement on to them.

Language: If it is easier for you to write in a language other than English, please fill out the form in whatever language is easiest for you.

Sincerest thanks,

Nalini Asha Reyes
Graduate Student and Special Education Teacher
San Diego State University, 5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 92182-1170, USA
Phone: + 858.531.0847

John R. Johnson, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
San Diego State University
College of Education; Department of Special Education
5500 Campanile Dr., San Diego, CA 92182-1170
Phone: +619.594.3841; Fax: +619.594.6628

Again, people interested in participating in the survey should send an email to Nalini Asha Reyes at to request a copy of the survey.

Thank you to Nalini Asha Reyes for alerting me to this survey. I hope to be able to eventually post or link to the results of this survey.

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 (

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

SURVEY and FORUM on Successful Family Planning Programs

Posted on 11 December 2007. Filed under: Announcements, Families, Health, Opportunities | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

What makes a family planning program successful? The Information and Knowledge for Optimal Health (INFO) Project at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, in collaboration with the the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Implementing Best Practices(IBP) Initiative, invites you to
share your opinions in a short survey on Elements of Successful Family Planning Programs; follow the link to:

This survey is not focused specifically on disability issues in family planning. However, survey participants can use the open-ended questions to explain their own perspectives on familiy planning issues. This could be an opportunity to help ensure that the people conducting the survey are aware of the importance of disability inclusion in family planning

Interested in the survey results? What more information on this topic? You may also wish to register for a free online discussion forum, entitled “Elements of Successful Family Planning Programs,” from Monday, December 10th through December 21, 2007.

Read more about the forum at:

Again, this forum is not focused specifically on disability issues in developing countries. But for people who are interested in family planning among disabled people internationally, this forum could be an opportunity to ensure that your voices are heard (or read!) among mainstream professionals.

Register for the forum at:

After you register for the forum, you can participate in the forum at:

Please share this announcement with your friends and colleagues. Thank you for your participation!

We Can Do received this announcement via the Sexual and Reproductive Health of Persons with Disabilities forum that was recently sponsored through the (IBP) Initiative. I modified it slightly.

Learn how to receive an email alert when new material is posted at We Can Do.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 11 so far )


    Ending poverty among and oppression toward disabled people in developing countries.


    Subscribe Via RSS

    • Subscribe with Bloglines
    • Add your feed to Newsburst from CNET
    • Subscribe in Google Reader
    • Add to My Yahoo!
    • Subscribe in NewsGator Online
    • The latest comments to all posts in RSS


  • The Mwanza Computer Literacy Project

    The Mwanza Computer Literacy Project

    The Tusaidiane Disabilities Resources and Charity Organization of Tanzania (TDRCT) would like to improve computer literacy and self-employment opportunities for people with disabilities in Mwanza, Tanzania, and promote their empowerment.

    This organization is run by people who themselves have disabilities. I have known the man who founded this organization for some years. If his organization can quickly raise $5000 from 40 donors within a few days, then GlobalGiving will feature their organization on its website. This will enable them to attract more prospective funders. I have made a donation to them, I hope others will consider doing the same.
    Give Now

    Site Meter

  • Help the U.S. Ratify the Disability Treaty!

    Image of an hour glass overlaid on image of the Capitol building in DC. Text says, "Time is running out! Now is the time for the Senate to Act! Ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities! #CRPD

    Learn why the CRPD matters and how to take action at!

  • Subscribe!

  • Bookmark and Share
  • Translate!

  • Connect to Andrea Shettle via Linked In

  • Archives

  • Topic Categories

  • Make WeCanDo Your “Favorite”

  • Stumble Upon It!

    Stumble It! Share this blog with other readers via "Stumble Upon"!
  • Follow We Can Do in Facebook!

  • We Can Do is in the GDRL!

  • Blog Stats

    • 738,777 hits
  • Map of Visitors

  • Meta

  • Facebook Networked Blogs

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...

%d bloggers like this: