JOB POST: USICD Education and Outreach Program Manager, Washington DC, USA

Posted on 30 January 2009. Filed under: Announcements, Call for Nominations or Applications, Capacity Building and Leadership, Cross-Disability, Education, Human Rights, Jobs & Internships, Opportunities | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Education and Outreach Program Manager (New!)

Job Summary
The United States International Council on Disabilities (USICD) is looking for a part-time Education and Outreach Program Manager in Washington DC. USICD’s mission is to catalyze and help focus the energy, expertise and resources of the US disability community and the US government to optimize their impact on improving the lives of and circumstances of people with disabilities worldwide and to be an active member of the global disability rights movement. This position offers a unique opportunity to join a groundbreaking organization supporting the rights of people with disabilities in the US and abroad.

As a member of a small team and working with the Executive Director, board members, and other volunteers, the Education and Outreach Program Manager will guide the development and implementation of a national awareness campaign that will include print and electronic outreach materials, constituent volunteer training, and general campaign coordination tasks.

Responsibilities include: communication about the rights and experiences of people with disabilities, training program organization, volunteer coordination, program evaluation, and deadline adherence.

Qualifications Summary
USICD seeks a dynamic, energetic leader with global perspective and experience in developing outreach and education programs. Excellence in writing, delivering presentations, and multiple media formats, including web publishing. Experience in training and managing volunteers, including volunteers with diverse abilities and talents. Ability to work collaboratively and to take direction. Commitment to the advancement of people with disabilities and knowledge of disability cultures in both the United States and internationally.

Bachelor’s degree required, graduate degree in related field a plus. First-hand experience with disability preferred.

Applicants
Applicants should provide a cover letter, a resume, a writing sample and three references. Electronic submissions by email are preferred.

Deadline
The position will remain open for applications until the position is filled.

Contact
Please send responses or inquiries to David Morrissey, Executive Director, at dmorrissey@usicd.org



The above job post is cross-posted from the USICD “opportunities” page.

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NEWS: Kosovo Disability Community Urges US President-Elect Barack Obama to Support International Disability Rights

Posted on 18 December 2008. Filed under: Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Human Rights, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

03 December 2008,
International Day of Persons with Disabilities
Dear Mr. Obama,

Congratulations to US. People and to you personally on your historic win to be 44th President of the United States of America .

Your acceptance speech was so good to hear when many minority groups have been mentioned, specifically persons with disabilities and it shows that you believe in celebrating the diversity present in society.

We are pleased to send you our compliments on your disability platform of four parts:
• Increasing educational opportunities,
• Ending discrimination and promoting equal opportunity,
• Increasing the employment rate of workers with disabilities and
• Supporting independent living of persons with disabilities

We believe those to be the best practices which will lead the world in empowering persons with disabilities to take full advantage of their talents and become independent, integrated members of society.

We, persons with disabilities from Republic of Kosovo congratulate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities as well as the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) to all our friends and colleagues in U.S and to you.

The celebration of 2008 as a significant year in the global disability rights movement, given the entry into force of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as the first international, legally-binding human rights treaty for persons with disabilities, will give us the opportunities to achieve a vision of a society where all can live with dignity and respect.

Finally, we urge you to use your new position as a world leader for the welfare of persons with disabilities not just in your great country of United States of America , but also in other countries around the world. In short, we want the idea of universal human rights to become a reality to all of us.

Our warmest regards and best wishes from Republic Kosovo

Hiljmnijeta Apuk, Human Rights Defender

On behalf of the membership of Little People of Kosovo, multiethnic NGOs partnership of Voluntary Promotional Program of Disability Mentoring Days – DMD, Monthly magazine “Newspaper to the Rights of Persons with Disabilities of Kosovo” in 6 languages, Hendifer – Ferizaj and Art Coalition of Authentic Culture of Persons with Disabilities.



Thank you to Hiljmnijeta Apuk for granting permission to post this letter at We Can Do. A global campaign is under way to urge people with disabilities, our loved ones, colleagues, and other allies from around the world to send emails to Obama to increase the visibility of disability issues within Obama’s administration. Learn more about the international Call To Action and how you can participate at https://wecando.wordpress.com/2008/11/07/disabilities-email-obama/. Most of the same text is also in the slide show further below (click on the arrows to move through the show).

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Dr. Michael Kemp: Obituary from His Family

Posted on 1 December 2008. Filed under: Deaf, East Asia Pacific Region, Latin America & Caribbean, Middle East and North Africa, News, signed languages | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Gallaudet University Provost’s Office has released the following obituary for Dr. Mike Kemp. People who wish to send condolences to his family will want to take note of the contact information provided at the end; condolences should please be sent directly to the family, NOT via We Can Do. I had reported on the news of Kemp’s loss over the weekend. I know that he will be missed not only by the Gallaudet University community but also by the Deaf communities of Vietnam and Thailand.

December 1, 2008

Dear Campus Community:

The family of Dr. Michael Kemp, who passed away last week, has written the following obituary in celebration of Dr. Kemp’s life and accomplishments:

Dr. W. Michael Kemp, 60, a professor in the Department of American Sign Language and Deaf Studies, died on November 24, 2008 in Alexandria, Virginia.

William Michael Kemp was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania to William and Marie Kemp. Deaf from birth, he graduated from Lancaster Catholic High School. Mike, as he was known, received his bachelor’s degree in sociology in 1971 from Gallaudet University, and his master’s degree in deaf education in 1975 from William McDaniel College (formerly Western Maryland College). He earned the degree of Doctor of Education in higher education administration in 1986 from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. His dissertation was titled “A Comparison of the Simultaneous Method Evaluation and the Sign Communication Proficiency Interview (SCPI).”

Dr. Kemp taught American Sign Language for 35 years, the last 31 at Gallaudet University. He served for 12 years as chair of three different academic departments before stepping down to focus on teaching and consulting. His main area of interest and expertise was training people to communicate gesturally to prepare for travel abroad.

Since 1980, he had trained sign language instructors throughout the United States and the world, in the Far East, Central and South America, the Caribbean islands, the Middle East, and Europe. He taught at the University of Puerto Rico, the University of British Columbia, Douglas College (in British Columbia), Thailand’s Ratchasuda College, and Vietnam’s Teacher Training Center.

For the last 10 years, Dr. Kemp worked extensively in Thailand and Vietnam with groups of deaf students in the Sign Language Teacher Training Program. He made frequent trips to serve as a visiting professor at the Cao Dang Su Pham (Teaching Training Center) in Dong Nai Province, near Ho Chi Minh City. Last month, Dr. Kemp was invited as a technical expert on information and communication access at the “Gathering Inputs and Recommendations for the Development of the National Law on Disability” conference in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Dr. Kemp received a research stipend award from the National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation Research to attend the 18th International Congress on Education of the Deaf in 1995 in Tel Aviv, Israel. He also received the T. J. O’Rourke Memorial Award from the American Sign Language Teachers Association in 2002 in recognition of his international work, and the Teacher of the Year Award in 2008 from the Alpha Sigma Pi Fraternity.

Dr. Kemp was a member of the advisory board for the interpreter training program at Northern Virginia Community College, Annandale campus. He was a member of the National and Virginia Associations of the Deaf. He enjoyed photography, reading, traveling, and spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren.

Dr. Kemp is survived by a son, William M. Kemp, Jr., of Fairfax, Virginia; William Jr.’s mother, Dr. Vicki J. Shank, a professor in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science; his wife of 13 years, Joan Kemp; and two step-daughters, Jennifer Yost Ortiz and her husband, Anthony, and Jamie Yost, a staff interpreter with Gallaudet Interpreting Service, and her husband, Raymond Merritt, a professor in the Department of Biology; and two grandchildren, Zion and Zeke Ortiz. He is also survived by a brother, Thomas Kemp, his wife, Linda, and two nephews, Dan and Jack.

There will be two memorial services. The first will be private, for family and close friends. The second will take place in early 2009 on the Gallaudet University campus, and will be open to the community. The date for this service will be announced at a later time, as will information about memorial contributions.

Condolences may be sent to Dr. Kemp’s son, Bill Kemp, at 13112 Watchwood Lane, Fairfax, VA 22315, and to his wife, Joan Kemp, P.O. Box 4228, Alexandria, VA 22303.



If there are any obituaries for Dr. Kemp that have been written by members of the Deaf communities in Vietnam or Thailand, or that are otherwise centered on his international work in developing nations, I would be interested in publishing them at We Can Do. Or, if these have already been posted elsewhere, then I would like to link to them. Please contact me by leaving a comment below with your email address in the email address field, or send me an email at ashettle[at]patriot.net (substitute the @ at sign @ for [at] to create my address).

A biography of Dr. Kemp is available at http://deafstudies.gallaudet.edu/Faculty-Staff/ASL_and_Deaf_Studies/Kemp_Mike.html. A former student of Dr. Kemp at Gallaudet created a video memorial for Kemp, presented in American Sign Language, at http://deaffilmblog.blogspot.com/2008/11/in-memory-of-dr-mike-kemp-re-defining-d.html.

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TRAINING: Youth Leadership, Summer Trip from US to Costa Rica

Posted on 4 March 2008. Filed under: Capacity Building and Leadership, Cross-Disability, Education and Training Opportunities, Human Rights, Latin America & Caribbean, Opportunities, youth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Young leaders with disabilities who are US citizens are being recruited for a 16-day leadership exchange program to Costa Rica this summer. The focus of the program, from June 27 to July 12, 2008, will be on youth leadership and cross-cultural perspectives on disability rights. Participants aged 18 to 24 will develop leadership skills, build self-confidence, make friends, learn Spanish, and experience Costa Rican culture by living with a local host family.

This opportunity is offered by Mobility International USA (MIUSA). The application deadline is March 28, 2008.

MIUSA strives to organize programs that include people with and without disabilities and people from diverse cultural backgrounds. First time travelers with disabilities who are from a cultural minority and of low socioeconomic status are included every year. MIUSA exchange programs are inclusive of people who are Deaf and hard of hearing, or have cognitive,visual, physical, psychiatric, systemic, non-apparent, or other types of disabilities.

  • ASL staff interpreters will be provided by MIUSA for the duration of the program.
  • Materials in alternative formats will be provided for all scheduled program activities.
  • Funding for Personal Assistants may be available for participants who need personal assistance during the program.

Learn more about the program at:

http://www.miusa.org/newsitems/costarica08

Inquiries about the program should be directed to MIUSA, not We Can Do.



We Can Do learned about this program via the Disabled People International (DPI) email newsletter.

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NEWS: AIR Foundation Committed to Making Web Universally Accessible for Blind, Low-Vision People

Posted on 19 February 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Blind, News, technology | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Nonprofit Launched to Bring Free Accessibility Worldwide

The AIR Foundation committed to ‘accessibility is a right’

Orlando, Florida – January 31, 2008 – The AIR Foundation, a nonprofit organization headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA was announced today at a press conference held during the Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) 2008 National Conference at the Caribe Royale Resort in Orlando, Florida. The mission of the foundation is to promote universal accessibility so that every blind and low-vision person in the world has access to digital information over the Internet and Worldwide Web.

The foundation’s executive director, Art Schreiber, also announced that the organization’s first offering will be free usage of a Web 2.0 accessible screen reader. The product is provided through an exclusive license in perpetuity granted to The AIR Foundation from Serotek Corporation, the leading provider of Internet and digital information accessibility software and services. The screen reader is called SA To Go and is powered by Serotek’s award-winning System Access software which provides immediate text to speech, magnified visual, and Braille access to digital information presented through the Web or other means, while the user is directly connected to the Internet. The software does not remain resident on the user’s computer when the connection to the Internet is interrupted or terminated. Users can obtain access to the free software by calling 877-369-0101 or visiting www.AccessibilityIsaRight.org http://www.accessibilityisaright.org/

“The basic tenet of The AIR Foundation is that accessibility is a fundamental human right, regardless of financial or geographic constraints” said Art Schreiber, executive director of The AIR Foundation, “by allowing the blind and visually impaired to have equal access to computer and Internet information through the free use of an advanced screen reader like SA To Go, we have already taken great strides toward our mission.”

The AIR Foundation will solicit funds and contract development of product enhancements including availability in other languages. The organization’s first priority is to make SA To Go available in Mandarin Chinese.

“SA To Go is highly intuitive and requires minimal training to use,” said Serotek CEO, Mike Calvo, “the user not only has access to information displayed on Web pages, but to Web-based applications such as Internet telephone service, and to applications resident on the host computer. The user can also access PDF files, fill out forms, and otherwise interact with information with the same facility as a sighted person.”

The AIR Foundation will operate through the generosity of organizations donating their time, expertise, and funds. It invites other nonprofits, assistive technology vendors, mainstream hardware and software companies and anyone interested in promoting accessibility as every person’s right, to align with the AIR team.

The AIR Foundation
The AIR Foundation is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to advocate, teach, and deliver information accessibility tools. We focus on the accessibility needs of blind and low-vision people. Our mantra is “accessibility is a right” and we work with corporations and agencies worldwide to deliver free accessibility to all. For more information, call 877-369-0101 or visit http://www.accessibilityisaright.org/

Serotek Corporation
Serotek Corporation is a leading technology company that develops software and manufactures accessibility solutions. Committed to the mission of providing accessibility anywhere, Serotek launched the first online community specifically designed to meet the needs of people with disabilities. Since then, Serotek has introduced several powerful, affordable solutions that require minimal training and investment. For more information, visit http://www.serotek.com/.



This press release was first posted at the Air Foundation web site. It has also been circulated on several on-line newsletters and mailing lists, incluing AdHoc_IDC, the DPI newsletter, and Intl-Dev.

People interested in technology for people with vision impairments may also wish to learn more about the Sightsaver’s Dolphin Pen, which is a low-cost screenreader targeted at people in developing countries, or in information about low-cost, mechanical Braille writers.



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.



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This blog post is copyrighted to We Can Do (https://wecando.wordpress.com). Currently, only two web sites have on-going permission to syndicate (re-post) We Can Do blog posts: BlogAfrica.com and www.RatifyNow.org. If you are reading this anywhere OTHER THAN We Can Do, BlogAfrica, or RatifyNow, then you are most likely reading a web site that regularly plagiarizes the work of other people without their permission.

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FUNDING for Conference Participation from Developing Nations

Posted on 29 November 2007. Filed under: East Asia Pacific Region, Events and Conferences, Funding, Human Rights, Latin America & Caribbean, Middle East and North Africa, Opportunities, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

[You can reach this post directly with this short URL: http://tinyurl.com/yvhakm]

Every year there are dozens of international disability-related conferences. These conferences allow thousands of participants to network with colleagues around the world, forge partnerships across national and professional boundaries, and enrich their knowledge and understanding of the work they do with disabled people in their home countries.

But every year, there are also thousands of people from developing countries who are cut off from these opportunities because most conferences do not take their financial limitations into account. Usually the easiest expense for conference organizers to control are the registration fees. But many do not even have discounted fees for participants from developing countries. Even those that do usually don’t, or cannot, help reduce the cost of travel or lodging. So where can would be conference-participants from developing countries turn for assistance?

Although limited, a few options may be available to you depending on your country of origin, the location of the conference, the goals of the organization that you represent, or the purpose of your trip. Try exploring one of the following three organizations. (Note that the AJ Muste Memorial Institute and the Inter-American Foundation are primarily for people in the Latin American region. Only the Ford Foundation addresses the needs of people from all or most regions.).

Please note that any requests or applications for funding should be directed to these three organizations, NOT to We Can Do. Leaving a comment here will NOT help you contact these three organizations. Instead, please follow the link to the official web sites for each of the three organizations below.

Ford Foundation
The Ford Foundation has 12 country offices in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Russia. The country offices have travel grant monies which may be usable for attending international conferences. Go to their contact us page to find and contact a regional office near you. Also try looking at their grants page for more information on applying for Ford Foundation grants in general.

AJ Muste Memorial Institute
The AJ Muste Memorial Institute has a number of different grants for projects that promote nonviolence means for achieving social justice, particularly in areas such as peace and disarmament; social and economic justice; racial and sexual equality; and labor rights.

This includes the NOVA Travel Fund (in Spanish), which makes grants of up to $1,500 to help base-level activists from Latin America and the Caribbean attend regional conferences and meetings. Grant recommendations are made by a committee of advisors representing different regions of Latin America. Their next deadline is October 1, 2008 for trips that would begin after November 15, 2008–but check back at their web site for future deadlines.

Follow the links for the NOVA application form in html format or to download the NOVA application form in RTF format (in Spanish).

Inter-American Foundation (IAF)
The IAF funds the self-help efforts of grassroots groups in Latin America and the Caribbean to improve living conditions of the disadvantaged and the excluded, enhance their capacity for decision-making and self-governance, and develop partnerships with the public sector, business and civil society. The IAF does not identify problems or suggest projects; instead it responds to initiatives presented. Projects are selected for funding on their merits rather than by sector. IMPORTANT: The IAF only supports projects in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The above links to the IAF web site in English, but their web site is also available in Spanish, Portuguese, and Creole:

IAF in Spanish
IAF in Portuguese
IAF in Creole

Also see the web page on IAF’s involvement with Disabled Peoples’ Organizations (DPOs).

Grant requests need to come from organizations, not from individuals. The IAF has supported disability rights activists from Latin America in attending the Ad-Hoc Commitee meetings at the United Nations and also in attending meetings in Panama for the Latin America Decade.

 


 

Some of the text in this blog entry is taken from the relevant web sites describing the grant funds in question. Thank you to Diana Samarasan at the Fund for Global Human Rights–Disability Rights Initiative for alerting We Can Do to these funding sources. Anyone who is aware of additional resources relevant to DPOs in developing countries is urged to please let me know. You can leave a comment in the comments area below, or you can email me at ashettle [at] patriot [dot] net.

[Edited 16 January 2008 to correct links to Ford Foundation web site and to add a sentence amplifying that two of these foundations are primarily oriented at the Latin American region. People from other regions will want to look at the Ford Foundation.]
[Edited 19 October 2008 to add a line emphasizing that people interested in applying for any of these opportunities should please contact the relevant organization, NOT We Can Do. In other words, leaving a comment here will NOT help you apply for funding. Instead, please follow the relevant link from the organization you think is most likely to be able to help you. Then read their official web site carefully and apply directly with the relevant organization.]

 


 


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