JOB POST: Capacity Builder, Intellectual Disabilities, Bolivia (Texto en ingles y español)

Posted on 11 May 2009. Filed under: Announcements, Capacity Building and Leadership, Children, Cognitive Impairments, Education, Families, Jobs & Internships, Latin America & Caribbean, Opportunities | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Texto en español

Capacity Builder in Intellectual Disabilities-Ricerca y Cooperazione, El Alto, Bolivia.

Ricerca y Cooperazione (RC) is an Italian based NGO, with an established development programme in Bolivia, mainly in the area of education for children and youth. Recognising the need for greater inclusion of disabled children in mainstream education, it is implementing an EU funded project entitled ‘Social Inclusion and Mutual Respect’, in coordination with the Municipality of El Alto, in order to educate children, teachers, families and authorities on how to incorporate disabled children into the classroom; a concept which is largely overlooked in Boliva.

Your role will be to compliment the small multidisciplinary technical team of the project, (1 specialist in physical disabilities, 1 in sensory, and you in intellectual) in order that all disabilities are represented. The work will include a diagnostic of children with disabilities in El Alto, designing and implementing training workshops to various beneficiaries, production of educational material, and assist in creating an integral centre – which will serve as a resource for families of disabled children, and also an area for activities with disabled and non-disabled youth.

Ideally educated to Masters level, in a discipline related to intellectual disabilities, you should be experienced in designing and facilitating workshops with participatory methods. Preferably with knowledge and experience in Latin America; of the idiosyncrasies of the disability field in a developing country. Good Spanish and a highly flexible working approach.

Applications can be made in English, Spanish or Italian. Follow this link to view or download a full Job Description. Please send completed applications using the format found here to: and

Deadline for applications: Friday 22nd May 2009.

Ricerca y Cooperazione (RC) es una ONG italiana, que cuenta con un programa de desarrollo establecido en Bolivia, principalmente en el área de la educación para jóvenes y niños. Reconociendo la necesidad de una mayor inclusión de los niños con discapacidad en la educación transversal, actualmente se encuentra implementando un proyecto financiado por la UE llamado “Inclusión social y respeto mutuo” en coordinación con el municipio de El Alto, a fin de educar a los niños, maestros, familias y autoridades en cómo incorporar a los niños con discapacidad en las aulas; concepto que es pasado por alto en Bolivia.

Su rol será complementar el equipo técnico multidisciplinario del proyecto. (1 especialista en discapacidad física, 1 en discapacidad sensorial y usted en discapacidad intelectual) para que estén representadas todos los tipos de discapacidad. El trabajo incluirá un diagnóstico de los niños con discapacidad en El Alto, diseñando e implementando talleres de capacitación para varios beneficiarios, producción de materiales educativos y asistir en la creación de un centro integral, el cual servirá como recurso para las familias de los niños con discapacidad como también será un área para las actividades de los jóvenes con o sin discapacidad.

Se requiere una formación universitaria a nivel de Maestría en disciplinas relacionadas con la discapacidad intelectual, con experiencia en diseño y facilitación de talleres con métodos participativos. Preferentemente con conocimientos y experiencia en Latinoamérica en relación a las idiosincrasias en el campo de la discapacidad en un país en desarrollo. Buen conocimiento del castellano y un enfoque de trabajo flexible. Para una Descripcion mas Completa, vea abajo (solo en ingles).

Las solicitudes pueden ser realizadas en idioma inglés, castellano o italiano italiano y enviadas a los siguientes correos electrónicos: y utilizando el formulario encontrado en la siguiente página Web.

Fecha límite para las solicitudes: Viernes 22 de mayo de 2009.

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NEWS: Sign Language Training Program Launches in Guyana

Posted on 11 June 2008. Filed under: Deaf, Education, Education and Training Opportunities, Inclusion, Latin America & Caribbean, News, Opportunities | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

The Guyana Ministry of Education, in partnership with the Guyana Community Based Rehabilitation Programme (GCBRP), has initiated a sign language training program targeted at improving the quality of education for deaf children, the Kaieteur News has reported. The program will provide sign language training to teachers so they can better accommodate the communicate need of deaf children in their classrooms. It is being offered through the St. Stanislaus College in Brickdam.

Read the original Kaieteur News story entitled “Education Ministry launches sign language training” for more detail at:

Thank you to Monty Chester for alerting me to this news item.

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EENET Recruiting Steering Group Members to Promote Inclusive Education

Posted on 10 June 2008. Filed under: Call for Nominations or Applications, Children, Cross-Disability, Education, Inclusion, Opportunities, Volunteer Opportunities, youth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Please note that applications should be directed to EENET, not to We Can Do; read carefully for links, email address, and instructions. The deadline is June 24, 2008.

EENET steering group: user group representatives

Background to EENET’s Steering Group
The Enabling Education Network (EENET) is a global information network that helps education practitioners and stakeholders to document and share their experiences of inclusive, child-friendly education. The network prioritises the information needs of southern countries. It aims to reach those who are often excluded from other international information systems or debates, or who cannot afford to buy information resources. EENET’s users include local and international Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), teachers, parents, students, government officials, academics, etc.

EENET has a very small co-ordination office in the UK, employing one staff member and a few volunteers, but still manages to support the information needs of thousands of people in 200 countries. Independent regional networks, based on EENET’s vision and mission, are also being developed in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

To find out more about EENET’s information sharing activities visit; email; or write to EENET, c/o ESI, School of Education, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL, UK

EENET’s role is to champion inclusive education. But it also seeks to challenge the status quo, to ask difficult questions and encourage debates on controversial topics. To ensure that EENET fulfils this role, and continues to meet the information needs of its diverse target audience, the network has a Steering Group which has not been very active for several years, but is now being reformed.

EENET Steering Group function and role of members

  • The Steering Group will monitor EENET’s activities and makes suggestions for changes.
  • Steering Group members will represent the views of EENET’s founders, its regional networking partners, international NGOs/donors, and, very importantly, its target users.
  • Steering Group members will assist EENET staff with taking action in key areas of EENET’s development (e.g. fundraising) if they have skills and experience in a relevant area.

User group representatives
Two or three Steering Group representatives will be appointed from among EENET’s ‘grassroots’ users. While they will not be able to represent the full diversity of EENET’s users, they will bring to the Steering Group a valuable ‘reality check’ on the needs, challenges and potential contributions of EENET’s users.

These ‘grassroots’ Steering Group representatives will be selected based on the following criteria:


  • Good communication skills, preferably in English.
  • Able to communicate by email, and also if possible by telephone or using internet phone or chat systems.
  • Able to travel to the UK and other countries (e.g. must have a passport, or be able to obtain a passport and travel visas without difficulties).
  • Enthusiasm about the aims, values and principles of EENET, and a commitment to contributing as fully as possible to the Steering Group.

One or more of the following are desired:

    Awareness of:
  • child rights
  • education issues
  • disability and/or other diversity issues
  • community development issues.
  • First hand experience of inclusive education (as a student, teacher, parent, local education official, teacher trainer, etc).
  • Experience of being an activist or in other ways representing a marginlised, discriminated against or excluded group (e.g. women/girls; disabled people; refugees; working children, etc).
  • Awareness of EENET and/or an active member of EENET’s network.
  • Awareness of and/or an active member of other south-based, south-focused information sharing and advocacy networks.
  • Financial issues
    Steering Group members are unpaid volunteers. There is no salary for being a Steering Group member. However, EENET will cover all costs relating to attending meetings (e.g. travel, accommodation, meals and other essential daily living expenses) and participating in telephone conferences or internet chats.

    Application to become an EENET Steering Group member

    Closing date for applications: 24th June 2008

    Personal details
    Postal address:
    Tel. no:
    Fax no:
    Mobile no:
    Other, e.g. Skype name:

    Do you have a passport?

    Are you aware of any possible restrictions to your freedom to travel to other countries?

    Are you available 8-12 September 2008 (the dates for the next Steering Group meeting)?

    Supporting information
    Describe your involvement with EENET so far (e.g. when did you first learn about EENET; when did you first read the newsletter; what communication have you had with EENET; what other EENET activities have you been involved in?)

    Why are you interested in becoming a member of EENET’s Steering Group?

    Explain any experience you have with the following (this can be experience gained through your personal life or through work):

    • education/inclusive education
    • child rights/human rights
    • community development
    • equality and diversity issues.

    Explain what you think inclusive education means.

    Why do you think it is important for EENET to promote inclusive education and help people to share information on inclusive education?

    Please provide any other information you think will support your application.

    Please supply the names and contact details of 2 people who can provide references for you. At least one referee should know you in a professional or work capacity or have direct experience of your involvement in inclusive education activities/advocacy.

    Referee 1

    Referee 2
    Please return your completed form to:
    Address: EENET, c/o ESI, School of Education, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL, UK
    Fax: +44 (0)161 275 3548

    We Can Do received this announcement via the EENET Eastern Africa listserv. Again, applications should please be directed to EENET in accordance to the instructions above, NOT to We Can Do. Thank you.

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    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.

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    JOB POST: Director, Perkins International Program, in Watertown, Massachusetts, USA

    Posted on 11 May 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Blind, Children, Deaf, Education, Jobs & Internships, Multiple Disabilities, Opportunities | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

    Perkins School for the Blind
    Job Description

    Job Title: Director
    Program: Perkins International Program
    Supervisor: President
    Location: Watertown Campus and Frequent Traveling

    The following statements describe the principal duties to be performed. It is not intended to be a complete description of all the requirements of the position.


    Provides leadership, collegial supervision and oversight of programs and services for children who are deafblind or blind with multiple disabilities and their families. Coordinate the national and the international work of the Hilton/Perkins Program and other international initiatives. Serve as a member of the Perkins senior management team.

    The mission of Perkins International is to improve the quality of life for children who are blind, deafblind or blind with multiple disabilities throughout the world. We collaborate with hundreds of local partners to provide direct services to children and their families, create innovative education programs, expand local and regional expertise, augment leadership skills in teachers and professionals, and promote Braille literacy. We also advocate for policies and programs that impact the lives of children with visual and other disabilities at local, national and international levels. (


    • Regularly visit international program partners to support regional staff in meeting program goals and objectives.
    • Work with government and non-government organizations to develop programs and services, to improve and expand the quantity and quality of services for children who are deafblind or blind with multiple disabilities.
    • Recruit, supervise and manage the work of all national and international program staff, including the oversight of work assignments.
    • Supervise the activities of the Educational Leadership Program.
    • Supervise the activities of on campus projects including research library and information services, DBLINK, and other projects as appropriate to meet national objectives of program.
    • In collaboration with program staff, identify program priorities and additional funding needs for project development. Liaison between program staff and Trust Office for new and ongoing project development and identifying and securing financial and material support with existing and new supporters and donors.
    • Communicate effectively with all staff, trainers and partners.
    • Provide leadership and collegial supervision to insure that all program goals and objectives are being addressed and evaluated, including but not limited to:
    • Working with local personnel to assess the future needs of all Hilton/Perkins and other international projects in the region and arrange for appropriate training, consultation and technical support.
    • Working with colleges, universities and other entities internationally to maintain and establish formal training programs of pre-service training for teachers of the target population.
    • Arranging for the production, translation and dissemination of appropriate literature for parents and professionals in print and on-line formats.
    • Supporting parents and agencies to establish improved services to parents and family members, including the establishment of parent organizations.
    • Supporting the content, logistics and other arrangements for trainings provided by the Program
    • Prepare and manage an annual program budget. Oversee the financial resources allocated to projects. Work with regional staff to draft grant agreements to sub-grantees, and define and monitor a reporting system for each project.
    • Prepare regular narrative reports on activities for inclusion in the Program’s reports to donors.
    • Function as liaison between Perkins management team and international and national program staff. Work collaboratively with personnel on the campus, to plan jointly for training and experiences provided to international visitors to Perkins School for the Blind.
    • Function as the focal point for planning, communication and collaboration between the Perkins International Program and other national and international non-profit organizations, multi-lateral organizations and key governmental agencies to further enhance program’s mission.
    • Coordinate the work with all other Perkins offices including the on-campus programs, the Business Office, Howe Press, Trust office, Communications Office and other Perkins departments.
    • Provide oversight of program office staff and support service operations to ensure facilitation of program objectives.
    • Represent Perkins International at international events which include international development, education, and disability conferences.

    To perform the job successfully, an individual should demonstrate the following competencies:

    Problem Solving – Identifies and resolves problems in a timely manner; Gathers and analyzes information skillfully; Develops alternative solutions. Able to deal with frequent change, delays, or unexpected events

    Oral and Written Communication – Speaks and writes clearly and persuasively, listens and gets clarification; responds well to questions. Knowledge of technology for communicating.

    Leadership – Effectively influences actions and opinions. Inspires and motivates others to perform well.

    Diversity – Demonstrates knowledge of EEO policy; Shows respect and sensitivity for cultural differences; promotes a harassment-free environment.

    Ethics – Treats people with respect; Keeps commitments. Works with integrity and ethically.

    Organizational Support – Follows policies and procedures; Completes administrative tasks correctly and on time.

    Judgment – Displays willingness to make decisions; Exhibits sound and accurate judgment. Includes appropriate people in decision-making process and delegates appropriately.

    Professionalism – Approaches others in a tactful manner; Reacts well under pressure; Treats others with respect and consideration regardless of their status or position; Accepts responsibility for own actions; Maintains a positive attitude regarding required duties and changes in routines and assignments.

    Quality – Demonstrates accuracy and thoroughness; Looks for ways to improve and promote quality; Applies feedback to improve performance.


    Master’s Degree in Special Education with a preference on education of children who are deafblind, or with multiple disabilities or relevant work experience.

    A minimum of 7-10 years of experience in a position of increasing management experience and responsibility for consultation to and training of other teachers and personnel. Preference will be given to work in the fields of blindness, deafblindess or multiple disabilities with international work experience.

    Extensive knowledge of educational techniques for children who are deafblind and/or blind with additional disabilities.

    Understand and appreciate the cultural diversity of the programs and areas in with which Perkins works and the implications for program support and development.


    Ability to travel independently and frequently to international destinations.


    Prior experience in international work as a trainer of teachers within the specific field of blind or deafblind education.

    Candidates with Masters in deafblind or multi-handicap education, or the equivalent job experience in working with this same population

    Prior experience, whether paid or voluntary, in working for other international governmental or non-governmental organizations.

    Perkins School for the Blind is an Affirmative Action Employer. Candidates from diverse background are strongly encouraged to apply.

    For more information contact Charles Pimlott at 617-972-7235 or send resumes to Human Resources, Perkins School for the Blind, 175 North Beacon Street, Watertown, MA 02472 or email

    May 2008

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    JOURNAL: The Review of Disability Studies: An International Journal

    Posted on 17 January 2008. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Children, Cross-Disability, Disability Studies, East Asia Pacific Region, Education, HIV/AIDS, Human Rights, Middle East and North Africa, Rehabilitation, South Asian Region, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    [Originally published at (We Can Do) at]

    Skip to list of articles

    Researchers and students, but especially people new to their field, can find it challenging to locate research, essays, and other academic literature about people with disabilities in developing countries. This may be in part because there are few international, disability-oriented journals available to publish such literature. One of the few exceptions is The Review of Disability Studies: An International Journal (RDS).

    The RDS journal publishes research articles, essays, and bibliographies on the culture of disability and people with disabilities. On occasion, it also publishes poetry, short stories, creative essays, photographs, and art work related to disability. It publishes four times a year, with approximately 50 pages in each issue. People can subscribe to RDS for a fee, or people can download past issues of RDS for free. Issues from 2006 onward are available in either Word format or PDF format; older issues are available in text-only format.

    This publication is not focused solely on developing countries. In fact, many of its articles are written by researchers and writers in industrialized countries, particularly the United States. But some of its articles may be of interest to We Can Do readers. Some examples are listed further below. I chose some of these articles because they deal specifically with disabled people in developing countries; I list others because they deal with broader themes, such as exclusion, that transcend national and income boundaries.

    Please note that it is not possible to download separate articles. To read a specific article that interests you, you will need to download the full issue it is in and then skip ahead to the correct page. Page numbers given are based on the PDF version where applicable. Page numbers will be slightly different in the Word version. Or click on the hyperlink within the Word file to be taken directly to the article you select.

    Please also note that this is not a comprehensive listing of all articles in past issues of RDS. For example, I usually skipped over book reviews–but I did see a few for books that would be relevant to disabled people in developing countries. You may wish to explore the RDS on your own by following this link.

    Selected RDS Articles

    A Little Story to Share

    A Little Story to Share” by Lee-chin Heng, Volume 1, Issue 2, 2004, page 109-111. Abstract: An autobiographical story of a person from Malaysia with physical disabilities who possesses an associate diploma in music. Download in text-only format (2.1 Mb) at .

    Who is Disabled?

    Who is Disabled? Who is Not? Teachers Perceptions of Disability in Lesotho” by Christopher Johnstone, Ph.D. Candidate Educational Policy and Administration University of Minnesota, Volume 1, Issue 3, 2005, starting on page 13. Abstract: This paper reports on educational research conducted in Lesotho, Southern Africa. Mixed methods of research were used to elicit and describe teachers’ attitudes toward children they perceived as disabled. The study took place in a country where discussions on ‘the Continuum’ of services, specialist diagnoses, and Western notions of assistive technology are largely irrelevant. Over-arching themes are compared to themes that have emerged from special education and Disability Studies literature over the past decade. Download in text-only format (715 Kb) at

    Evaluation of MA Program in Rehabilitation Counseling

    Evaluation of Master of Arts Program in Rehabilitation Counseling and Guidance Service for Persons with Disabilities in Thailand” by Tavee Cheausuwantavee, M.Sc. Ratchasuda College, Mahidol University, Thailand, Volume 1, Issue 3, 2005, starting on page 66. Abstract: This research examines the positive and negative aspects of the Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling and Guidance for persons with disabilities in Thailand, since it began in 1997. A CIPP model was utilized for the program evaluation. Multiple methods were used to collect the data, and both retrospective and prospective data collection were undertaken. The research results indicated many positive outcomes. They also indicated certain features of rehabilitation within the Thai context differed significantly from traditional rehabilitation counseling programs in Western countries. Download in text-only format (1.4 Mb) at

    Leprosy in South India
    Leprosy in South India: The Paradox of Disablement as Enablement” by James Staples, Ph.D., School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, Volume 1, Issue 4, 2005, starting on page 13. Abstract: Rooted in ethnographic fieldwork with people affected by leprosy in India, this article argues that certain impairments, in certain social contexts, are simultaneously disabling and enabling. This paradox poses difficult challenges, not only for those working with individuals affected with leprosy, but for disability activists
    andpolicy-makers. Download in text-only format (3 Mb) at

    Social and Economic Stress Related to HIV/AIDS Epidemic in Botswana
    Social and Economic Stress Related to the HIV/AIDS Epidemic in Botswana” by Thabo T. Fako, Ph.D. & Dolly Ntseane, Department of Sociology,University of Botswana & J. Gary Linn, Ph.D. & Lorna Kendrick, R.N., Ph.D. School of Nursing Tennessee State University, Volume 2, Issue 1, 2006, starting on p. 33. Abstract: The paper describes the consequences of HIV/AIDS in Botswana; the country with the highest HIV prevalence rate in Africa. In addition to frequently experienced trauma due to sickness and death, many households experience rising health expenditures and a sharp deterioration of incomes. High levels of morbidity and mortality among workers result in depressed returns on investment, reduced productivity and increased expenditure on training and replacement of workers. As the health care system finds it increasingly difficult to cope, home-based care provides an inadequate solution since the home infrastructure of many households is inadequate for proper care of seriously ill patients. The stigma associated with AIDS often isolates fragile households and provides an environment in which abuse of infected individuals and of orphans whose parents have died of AIDS is not uncommon. The quality of education also suffers, resulting in an ill prepared skilled manpower, with adverse consequences for social, economic, and political development as well as for good future governance of the country. Download in PDF format (3 Mb) at or in Word format (800 Kb) at

    Toward a Global History of Inclusive Travel
    Toward a Global History of Inclusive Travel” by Laurel Van Horn, M.A., Open Doors Organization, USA; José Isola, President, Peruvian Polio Society, Peru, Volume 2, Issue 2, 2006, starting on page 5. Abstract: This paper provides an overview of the development of inclusive travel and tourism, from its origins in the United States and Europe following World War I and II to its current status as an increasingly important and viable movement worldwide. The paper investigates the key roles played by disability organizations, disability rights legislation, technological change, international organizations and pioneers within the travel and tourism industry. Developments are described sector by sector for air travel, ground transport, the cruise lines and the hospitality industry. While the primary historical focus is the U.S., the paper also highlights advances taking place in Dubai, Egypt, India, Japan, South Africa, Thailand and other countries. It concludes with a case study by José Isola of the development of inclusive travel in Peru. Mr. Isola also describes disability conferences that took place in South America in 2004. It is hoped others will begin to investigate the development of inclusive travel in their own countries and regions and contribute to a truly global history. Download in PDF format (1.4 Mb) at or in Word format (700 Kb) at

    Ethnobotany on a Roll!
    Ethnobotany on a Roll! Access to Vietnam by My Lien T. Nguyen, Ph.D., Department of Botany, University of Hawai’i, at Mānoa, Volume 2, Issue 2, 2006, starting on page 36. Abstract: This article describes the research and experiences of an ethnobotanist with a physical disability working in Vietnam. Due to a spinal cord injury, the ethnobotanist uses a wheelchair and walking canes to explore the bustling food markets of Vietnam. Information and recommendations are provided for equipment and traveling to and in Vietnam, particularly for those interested in conducting scientific research and for travelers with physical disabilities. Success is largely due to the mutual respect and kindness shared by people along the way, and by accepting and accommodating to given situations. Appendices of resources for travel in Vietnam and educational granting sources for people with disabilities provided. Download in PDF format (1.4 Mb) at or in Word format (700 Kb) at

    The Benefits of Studying Abroad
    Making an Impact: The Benefits of Studying Abroad” Michele Scheib, M.A., Project Initiatives Specialist, National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange, Volume 2, Issue 2, 2006, starting page 50. Abstract: Qualitative interviews with ten individuals with disabilities who participated in a study abroad program within the past eight years, compared equally to long-term outcomes cited in studies with the general study abroad alumni population. Students reported increased self-confidence, independence and career or educational gains related to their study abroad experiences. Download in PDF format (1.4 Mb) at or in Word format (700 Kb) at

    Esau’s Mission
    Esau’s Mission, or Trauma as Propaganda: Disability after the Intifada” by Marcy Epstein, University of Michigan, Volume 2, Issue 3, 2006, starting on page 12. Abstract: Israelis and Palestinians, while sharing an I/Abrahamic root, many chapters of Semitic history, and common values of resourcefulness and valor, both have defended their cultural boundaries through the exchange of mutilating, annihilative blows upon the other. The intifada (an Arabic word meaning to shake off or shiver because of illness, fear, or weakness) of the millennium signify a trope of body and status among the fragmented population in the region; specifically, the propagandizing of traumatic events that suggest victimization and invalidation. The discursive nature of “unnatural” catastrophe–devastation of Palestinian communities by Israeli Defense Forces, blitzing of Israeli civilians in planned attacks–substitutes the propaganda of trauma for the reality of disability experienced in both cultures. Reflecting the duality of rhetorical positions seen in I/Abraham’s disposition of both Isaac and Esau, this essay links the root of trauma propaganda to the ideology of religious fitness and righteousness. Download in PDF format (1.4 Mb) at or in Word format (600 Kb) at

    Natural Hazards
    Natural Hazards, Human Vulnerability and Disabling Societies: A Disaster for Disabled People?” by Laura Hemingway & Mark Priestley, Centre for Disability Studies, University of Leeds (UK), Volume 2, Issue 3, 2006, starting on page 57. Abstract: The policy and research literature on disaster management constructs disabled people as a particularly “vulnerable group.” In this paper we combine concepts from disaster theory and disability theory to examine this assumption critically. Drawing on primary, secondary and tertiary sources, we assess the vulnerability of disabled people in two globally significant disasters: Hurricane Katrina in August 2005 and the Asian tsunami of December 2004. In both cases, disabled people were adversely affected in terms of their physical safety and access to immediate aid, shelter, evacuation and relief. Using a social model analysis we contest the view that this vulnerability arises from the physical, sensory or cognitive limitations of the individual and show how it may be attributed to forms of disadvantage and exclusion that are socially created. The paper concludes that “natural hazards” are realized disproportionately as “human disasters” for disabled people, and most notably for disabled people in poor communities. Social model approaches and strong disabled people’s organisations are key to building greater resilience to disaster amongst “vulnerable” communities in both high-income and low-income countries. Download in PDF format (1.4 Mb) at or in Word format (600 Kb) at

    Politics and the Pandemic
    Politics and the Pandemic: HIV/AIDS, Africa, and the Discourse of Disability” by Laura L. Behling, Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, Minnesota, Volume 2, Issue 3, 2006, starting page 97. First Paragraph: In 2004, Africa News filed a report on then 12-year old William Msechu, a young African who lost both of his parents to AIDS in 1999. He, too, was HIV positive. Msechu is characterized as a “very bright boy,” although, the article reports, he is “yet to come to terms with his HIV status.” “I was told that I have tuberculosis and I am getting better,” the article quotes William as saying to journalists (“HIV-AIDS and STDs” 2004). William Msechu’s disbelief at having contracted HIV is unremarkable; persons diagnosed with severe diseases, including HIV/AIDS, often work through denial and incredulity.1 Just as unremarkable, however, is Msechu’s contention that he had not tested positive for HIV, but rather, had contracted tuberculosis, another widespread disease but not nearly as stigmatizing as HIV/AIDS. Substituting “tuberculosis” for “HIV” may be an affirming measure for Msechu, but it also provides one more example of the rhetorical slipperiness that historically, and still continues to accompany, the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Download in PDF format (1.4 Mb) at or in Word format (600 Kb) at

    Seeing Through the Veil
    Seeing Through the Veil: Auto-Ethnographic Reflections on Disabilities” by Heng-hao Chang PhD., Nanhua University, Chia-Yi, Taiwan, Volume 2, Issue 4, 2006, starting page 6. Abstract: This article is an auto-ethnography reflecting the interactions among society, my family and my brother who has Cerebral Palsy. The experiences of me and my family show the visible and invisible veils that segregate people with disabilities and their families from mainstream Taiwanese society.” Download in PDF format (1 Mb) at or in Word format (630 Kb) at

    Building Familial Spaces
    Building Familial Spaces for Transition and Work: From the Fantastic to the Normal” by Joakim Peter, MA, College of Micronesia—Federated States of Micronesia, Chuuk Campus, Volume 2, Issue 4, 2006, starts page 14. Abstract: Transition for persons with disability is a process of negotiating difficult situations and barriers set by others and by systems. My strategies to overcome those barriers in my personal transitions through education systems and employment included the creations of familiar spaces in which group support plays a major role. This paper tracks my process through the familiar spaces and gives examples of encounters with barriers along my transition through hospital treatments to schools and then work.” Download in PDF format (1 Mb) at or in Word format (630 Kb) at

    A Model for Learning from Children
    Family Focused Learning: A Model for Learning from Children with Disabilities and Their Families via Technologies for Voice” by James R. Skouge, Kathy Ratliffe, Martha Guinan, & Marie Iding University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, Volume 2, Issue 4, 2006, starting page 63 Abstract: In this paper, we describe a collaborative multidisciplinary model for faculty and students learning about culture and children with disabilities and their families in Pacific Island contexts. The model, Family Focused Learning, incorporates aspects of case-based and problem-based learning within the context of “consumer” and “professional” partnerships (Ratliffe, Stodden, & Robinson, 2000; Robinson, 1999).Children with disabilities and their families share the daily challenges and successes of their lives with graduate students and faculty at the University of Hawai‘i, via video letters, video mapping, cultural brokering and satellite videoconferencing. To illustrate this process, we present the story of “Tomasi,” a child with cerebral palsy in American Samoa, a US territory. Tomasi and his family are “given voice” and act as teachers for an interdisciplinary team of faculty and students from public health, social work, physical therapy, speech pathology, nursing, special education, nutrition, medicine, political science and law.” Download in PDF format (1 Mb) at or in Word format (630 Kb) at

    Social Change and the Disability Rights Movement
    Social Change and the Disability Rights Movement in Taiwan 1981-2002” by Chang, Heng-hao. Ph.D., Department of Sociology, Nanhua University of Chia-Yi, Volume 3, Issues 1 & 2, 2007, starting on page 3. Abstract: This paper provides a historical overview of the disability rights movement in Taiwan from 1981 to 2002. It shows the major events in Taiwanese disability history, legislation, and development of disability rights organizations, with a focus on two influential advocacy associations: the Parents’ Association for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities (PAPID) and the League of Enabling Associations (LEAs). It also demonstrates that the disability movement has developed in concert with Taiwan’s democratic transition.” Download in PDF format (780 Kb) at or in Word format (770 Kb) at

    Disability and Youth Suicide
    Disability and Youth Suicide: A Focus Group Study of Disabled University Students” by Esra Burcu, Ph.D., Hacettepe University, Department of Sociology, Volume 3, Issues 1 & 2, 2007, starting page 33. Abstract: For young people thoughts of suicide are based on various social factors. The research literature in this area reveals that there are two important interrelated factors that correlate with suicide rates: being young and being disabled. This study was undertaken in order to explore possible reasons for this increased tendency for young disabled people to commit suicide. The study was carried out at a university in Turkey with a group of disabled students. All the members of the focus group had thoughts of suicide and felt that their disability played an important role in creating these thoughts. The basic premise of the research was that physical disability increases the young person’s isolation and social loneliness and this can generate ideas of suicide in the young person’s mind that may be acted upon.” Download in PDF format (780 Kb) at or in Word format (770 Kb) at

    Impact of the South Asian Earthquake
    Impact of the South Asian Earthquake on Disabled People in the State of Jammu and Kashmir” by Parvinder Singh, Ph.D. Candidate, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Volume 3, Issue 3, starting page 36. Abstract: On the morning of October 8, 2005, a devastating earthquake, measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale, struck the Kashmir region with its epicentre near Muzzafarabad in Pakistan-administrated Kashmir. It took a while for both India and Pakistan to comprehend the scale of destruction that the quake had unleashed. In the two weeks following, the quake had left over 50,000 dead on the Pakistani side of the India-Pakistan border and claimed 1,300 lives on the Indian side. A second wave of deaths was expected with the onset of the region’s notorious winter. Download in PDF format (600 Kb) at or in Word format (380 Kb) at Or, this article has also been published at We Can Do with permission of the author and RDS.

    The Scale of Attitudes Toward Disabled Persons
    The Scale of Attitudes Towards Disabled Persons (SADP): Cross-cultural Validation in a Middle Income Arab Country, Jordan” by Kozue Kay Nagata, Senior Economic Affairs Officer of the Development Cooperation Branch, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Volume 3, Issue 4, 2007, starting page 4. Abstract: The purpose of this pilot study was to assess the level of the existing attitudinal barriers towards disabled persons in four communities of Jordan. Jordan is a middle income Arab country, with a PPP-adjusted GDP/capita of US$ 4320. The study attempted to determine the present level as a baseline of prejudice against people with a disability in Jordan, and to examine the relationship between the randomly selected participants’ attitudes and their previous exposure to and experience with disability. The Scale of Attitudes towards Disabled Persons (SADP) was selected as the instrument. An Arabic translated version of the Scale was used for 191 participants. The respondents showed overall negative attitudes towards disabled persons, as illustrated by previous documented materials. The result of this survey was highly correlated with the collective opinion expressed by the focus group that was conducted by the author in Amman in January, 2005. Thus, the cross-cultural validity of this instrument has been confirmed, and the major findings of this pilot study could inform future policy directions and public awareness raising strategies to foster positive public attitudes. Download in PDF format (530 Kb) at or in Word format (410 Kb) at

    Barriers to Education
    Barriers to Education for People with Disabilities in Bekaa, Lebanon” by Samantha Wehbi, MSW, Ph.D., School of Social Work, Ryerson University, Volume 3, Issue 4, starting page 10. Abstract: This paper presents the findings of a recent study on the educational situation of people with disabilities in Lebanon. The main findings of a survey conducted with 200 participants in the impoverished rural Bekaa region illustrate the inadequate educational situation of people with disabilities. The focus of the paper is on a discussion of the barriers that people with disabilities face in pursuing their education. Participants identified the following difficulties in pursuing their education: educational system barriers, inadequate finances, health issues, transportation difficulties, and family pressures. Although the focus of the article is not on factors that can facilitate educational achievement, some of these supports are identified, including family support and personal motivation. The article concludes with a discussion of current and planned community responses such as the development of an interdisciplinary community action network (The Inclusion Network), the provision of literacy courses, and a pilot project to foster the inclusion of children with disabilities in mainstream schools. Download in PDF format (530 Kb) at or in Word format (410 Kb) at

    Jordan and Disability Rights
    Jordan and Disability Rights: A Pioneering Leader in the Arab World” by Kenneth R. Rutherford, PhD, MBA, Missouri State University, Volume 3, Issue 4, 2007, starting page 23. Abstract: This article investigates Jordan’s rationale for assuming a leadership role on the disability rights issue in the Arab World. Tens of millions of people, including over ten percent of Arab families, are impacted and impoverished because of disability. To address this substantial challenge, the Jordan Royal family has leveraged Jordan’s tradition of openness and generosity coupled with one of the best educational systems in the Arab World to promote disability issues. As a result, Jordan is recognized by the international community as leading the Arab World in promoting disability rights. Jordan’s international and regional leadership on disability rights was recognized in 2005 when Jordan received the Franklin Delano Roosevelt International Disability Award. Download in PDF format (530 Kb) at or in Word format (410 Kb) at

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    • 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.
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