NEWS: First Committee of Disability Rights Convention Experts Elected

Posted on 23 November 2008. Filed under: Cross-Disability, Human Rights, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

First Committee of Experts on Disability Rights Convention Elected

(New York, United Nations, November 3, 2008): Today, the first Conference of States Parties on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) elected the new Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which will be in charge of monitoring the implementation of the CRPD. The Committee comprises seven men and five women, of which nine are persons with disabilities. The twelve Committee members elected are:

Monsur Ahmed Choudhuri (Bangladesh) (4-year term)
Amna Ali Al Suweidi (Qatar) (4-year term)
György Könczei (Hungary) (2-year term)
Ana Peláez Narváez (Spain) (4-year term)
Cveto Uršič (Slovenia) (2-year term)
Jia Yang (China) (4-year term)
Mohamed Al-Tarawneh (Jordan) (4-year term)
Ron McCallum (Australia) (2-year term)
Maria Soledad Cisternas Reyes (Chile) (4-year term)
Germán Xavier Torres Correa (Ecuador) (2-year term)
Lotfi Ben Lallohom (Tunisia) (2-year term)
Edah Wangechi Maina (Kenya) (2-year term)

By drawing lots, six Committee members listed above will serve for a two-year mandate, while the other six members have a four-year mandate.

William Rowland, Chair of the International Disability Alliance CRPD Forum: “We congratulate the members of the Committee for their election and look forward to very close interaction with the Committee. We encourage all Committee members to support Rules of Procedure for the new Committee that will ensure meaningful participation from representative organisations of persons with disabilities (DPOs) in all stages of their work. The Committee should consider the IDA CRPD Forum not only as the network that represents the key stakeholders of the CRPD, but also as a source of expertise.”

The Committee will hold its first one-week meeting in Geneva in February 2009. The Conference of States Parties decided to hold its next meet in 2009, which confirms the substantive nature of the Conference.

For more information on the IDA CRPD Forum, please visit the website:

http://www.internationaldisabilityalliance.org/forum.html

or send an email to: idacrpdforum@yahoo.com.

The IDA CRPD Forum is the network of international and regional organisations of persons with disabilities, which has been established to promote the swift and proper ratification and implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and its Optional Protocol.



This press release was circulated on the AdHoc_IDC mailing list and the IDA CRPD Forum mailing list.

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NEWS: Disability Rights Fund Makes Grants to 33 Organizations in 7 Countries

Posted on 10 November 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Cross-Disability, Funding, Human Rights, Latin America & Caribbean, News, South Asian Region, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

PRESS RELEASE
Disability Rights Fund Makes Grants to 33 Organizations in 7 Countries

November 3, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BOSTON, MA – The Disability Rights Fund (DRF) – a groundbreaking collaborative to support the human rights of people with disabilities around the world– today announced funding decisions from its first request for proposals. A total of $800,000 will be gifted to 33 organizations in seven countries. The grants will support work to raise awareness about the rights of people with disabilities, build coalitions and networks, and develop advocacy and monitoring activities, in connection with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

DRF grantees share the goal of advancing the rights of people with disabilities at the country-level. Recipients include:
• A Ugandan organization of lawyers with disabilities.
• An emergent Peruvian group of people with psycho-social disabilities.
• A grassroots network in Bangladesh of women-led disabled persons’ organizations.
The full grantee list is posted on the DRF website, www.disabilityrightsfund.org/grantees.html and is available upon request.

“As the disability rights movement gains new impetus through the UN Convention we are delighted to play our part by placing new funding in the hands of DPOs to enable them to advance rights at country level,” stated DRF Co-Chair, William Rowland. DRF Director, Diana Samarasan, added “It is an auspicious day to put money in the hands of organizations run by people with disabilities. The first Conference of States Parties to the Convention is being held at the UN; the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is being elected. The work of translating the Convention from paper to practice is before us.”

Grantees were selected after a rigorous review process which included review by DRF’s Steering Committee, a committee composed of donor representatives and people with disabilities from the Global South.

DRF’s donors include: an anonymous founding donor, The Sigrid Rausing Trust, the Open Society Institute, the UK’s Department for International Development, and the American Jewish World Service.

A grantee list can be requested from DRF by writing to dsamarasan@disabilityrightsfund.org. Or you can consult the Grantee web page at the Disability Rights Fund website.

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As an addendum from this We Can Do editor, I would like to encourage readers to consult the Disability Rights Fund website to learn about upcoming funding opportunities from their organization for projects to promote the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Readers may also wish to consult their extensive resource listings to find resources that can help them learn how to raise funds, find funding sources, and use the CRPD to promote the human rights of people with disabilities in their country.



Thank you to Diana Samarasan for circulating this press release.

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Disability Rights Fund Opens Grantmaking to DPOs in 7 Countries

Posted on 16 June 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Cross-Disability, Funding, Human Rights, Latin America & Caribbean, News, Opportunities, South Asian Region, Sub-Saharan Africa Region, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

En español

PRESS RELEASE
Disability Rights Fund Opens Grantmaking to DPOs in 7 Countries

JUNE 16, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BOSTON, MA – The Disability Rights Fund—a groundbreaking grantmaking collaborative supporting the human rights of people with disabilities—today announced its first grants competition.

The broad objective of the Fund — which was launched by the Open Society Institute, The Sigrid Rausing Trust, the United Kingdom Department for International Development, and an anonymous donor on the first anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) — is to empower disabled persons organizations in the developing world and Eastern Europe/former Soviet Union to effectively implement and monitor the CPRD.

In 2008, the Fund plans to give out a total of USD $700,000 in one-year grants ranging from USD $5000 – $50,000 and aimed at awareness-raising, strengthening coalitions and networks, and rights advocacy.

To be eligible for this year’s grants program, applicant organizations must be based in and conduct the majority of their activities in the following seven countries: in Africa, Ghana, Namibia and Uganda; in Latin America, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Peru; in Asia, Bangladesh. In these countries, the Fund will support Disabled Persons’ Organizations activities that advance the human rights of persons with disabilities at country-level.

Interested organizations are urged to review the full eligibility criteria and application details posted at the Fund’s website, www.disabilityrightsfund.org. Any questions on the proposal process should be directed to info@disabilityrightsfund.org by July 15. The deadline for applications is August 15.

Disability Rights Fund Steering Committee Co-Chair, William Rowland, President of the World Blind Union, stated “The Disability Rights Fund heralds an innovative partnership between donors and persons with disabilities. The flow of new resources to support our struggle for rights is a development of major significance.”

####

COMUNICADO DE PRENSA
El Fondo Sobre Derechos de Personas con Discapacidad abre su período de subvenciones a OPDs en 7 Países

16 de junio de 2008

PARA SU INMEDIATA PUBLICACIÓN

BOSTON, MA – El Fondo Sobre Derechos de Personas con Discapacidad, una iniciativa colaborativa que apoya los derechos humanos de las personas con discapacidad – anunció hoy su primera competición por subvenciones.

El objetivo amplio del Fondo – que fue lanzado por el Open Society Institute, el Sigrid Rausing Trust, el Departamento para el Desarrollo Internacional del gobierno británico, y un donante anónimo, en el primer aniversario de la Convención Sobre los Derechos de las Personas con Discapacidad (CDPD) de las Naciones Unidas – es el de empoderar a organizaciones de personas con discapacidad en el mundo en desarrollo y la Europa del Este/antigua Unión Soviética, para la implementación y monitoreo efectivos de la CDPD.

En el 2008, el Fondo tiene planificado otorgar un total de USD $700,000 (dólares estadounidenses) en subvenciones de un año de duración que varían desde los USD $5,000 hasta $50,000, dirigidos al aumento de la concientización, el fortalecimiento de alianzas y redes, y la defensa de derechos.

Para poder optar al programa de subvenciones de este año, las organizaciones aplicantes deben tener su sede y realizar la mayoría de sus actividades en alguno de los siguientes siete países: en África, Ghana, Namibia y Uganda; en América Latina, Ecuador, Nicaragua y Perú; en Asia, Bangladesh. En estos países, el Fondo apoyará actividades de las organizaciones de personas con discapacidad que contribuyan al avance de la CDPD a nivel de los países.

Se alienta a que las organizaciones interesadas revisen los criterios de eligibilidad y los detalles para aplicar que se encuentran en el sitio de Internet del Fondo: www.disabilityrightsfund.org. Cualquier pregunta acerca del proceso para realizar propuestas deberán dirigirse a: info@disabilityrightsfund.org a más tardar el 15 de julio de 2008. La última fecha para enviar aplicaciones es el 15 de agosto de 2008.

William Rowland, Co-Presidente del Comité Coordinador del Fondo Sobre Derechos de Personas con Discapacidad, quien también funge como Presidente de la Unión Mundial de Ciegos, declaró “El Fondo Sobre Derechos de Personas con Discapacidad ha constituído una asociación innovadora entre donantes y personas con discapacidad. La canalización de nuevos recursos hacia la lucha por reivindicar nuestros derechos, es un desarrollo de importancia significativa.”



Thank you to Diana Samarasan for submitting this press release for publication at We Can Do.

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Global Partnership for Disability and Development (GPDD) Holds First Membership Meeting

Posted on 26 May 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Cross-Disability, News, Opportunities, Poverty, Resources | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Washington DC, 9 May 2008

First Membership Meeting of the GPDD in Eschborn, Germany

World leaders from Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America, and Oceania representing civil society organizations, governments, and multilateral agencies including the World Bank and UNESCO unanimously approved a Charter and elected the First Board of Directors for the Global Partnership for Disability and Development (GPDD). Meeting at the headquarters and as the guests of the German Technical Corporation (GTZ) in Eschborn, Germany, the assembled agencies and organizations made a core commitment to a world of inclusive communities where individuals with disabilities regardless of age, gender, or type of disability enjoy their rights and have access to opportunities on an equal basis with others.

With a commitment to partnership to combat the social and economic exclusion and impoverishment of people with disabilities and their families in developing countries worldwide, the GPDD represents an unprecedented alliance of agencies, organizations, and resources to accelerate change within and outside of government that targets development activities to include and promote social and economic rights of individuals with disabilities.

Four years of planning by a Coordinating Task Force culminated in the historical formalization of GPDD with the election of the First Board of Directors in Eschborn, Germany, last Wednesday. The 12 members elected to the Board of Directors are:

  • Mr. Khandaker Jahurul Alam, Asia Pacific Disability Forum
  • Ms. Tanya Barron, Leonard Cheshire Disability
  • Mr. A.K. Dube – African Decade Secretariat (Chair of the GPDD Interim Board)
  • Ms. Sangita Gairola, Representative of the Government of India
  • Ms. Celia Siphokazi Gcaza, African CBR Network (CAN)
  • Mr. Kalle Könkkölä, Disabled Peoples’ International
  • Mr. Rudiger Krech, GTZ
  • Ms. Euphrasia Mbewe, World Federation of the Deaf
  • Mr. James Mwandha, Commonwealth Disabled Peoples’ Forum
  • Mr. Andreas Pruisken, Christian Blind Mission
  • Ms. Indumathi Rao, CBR Network South Asia
  • Dr. William Rowland, World Blind Union

This unique Global Partnership will bring important world attention to the needs and aspirations of people with disabilities in developing countries. The assembled GPDD members agreed on a beginning plan of action to expand the membership base of GPDD, promote data collection and analysis that identifies more accurately the living conditions of and barriers faced by people with disabilities in developing countries; to facilitate information sharing on effective inclusive development policies and programs; to support the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in cooperation with partners and member organizations; and mobilize resources to build the capacity of the GPDD broad constituency through alliances and networks to become a reliable and effective expert disability and development platform.

With support from the World Bank and the governments of Italy, Finland, and Norway as donors to a Multi Donor Trust Fund, the GPDD will bring much needed attention to reduce poverty and eliminate barriers to full social and and economic participation.

For more information about GPDD and how you may become involved, please contact Maria Reina, Executive Director at mvreina@law.syr.edu

Individuals may also contact Maria Reina (mvreina@law.syr.edu) to inquire about subscribing to the free GPDD listserv.



This announcement is slightly modified from text that Maria Reina recently circulated on the GPDD listserv.

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NEWS: World Blind Union Right to Read Global Campaign

Posted on 27 April 2008. Filed under: Blind, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Blind people read books too!

Announcing the launch of the WBU’s Right to Read Global Campaign

Blind and partially sighted people enjoy reading books just as much as the rest of us. However, only 5% of books are ever published in formats that blind and partially sighted people can read, such as audio, braille and large print.

Today, 23rd April 2008, saw the launch, in Amsterdam, of the World Blind Union’s International Right to Read Campaign, which will advocate globally for accessible books. The event was organised in close collaboration with the Secretariat of the Amsterdam 2008 World Book Capital which celebrates reading this year with the theme “open book”.

Mrs Judith Belinfante, Chair of the Amsterdam 2008 WBC Foundation and Mr Mauro Rosi, UNESCO’s Chief Delegate to the Amsterdam WBC Launch, attended the WBU Right to Read Press Conference and heard Dr William Rowland, President of the World Blind Union, explain.

“For far too long the book has been closed for blind people. The International Right to Read Campaign aims to open it”.

Bente Dahl Rathje, Chair of the IFLA Libraries for the Blind Section, added:

“Libraries exist to serve ALL members of the public. However, we need more books to be published in braille, audio and large print in order to fully achieve our mission”.

Anne Bergman, Director of the Federation of European Publishers, also spoke at the event, and underlined the will of publishers to work with the Visually Impaired to publish more books which blind people can read.

The International Right to Read Alliance is a partnership between the World Blind Union and the Libraries for the Blind Section of the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA), and it will work with publishers, booksellers, libraries and many others to create a world where blind people can read the same book at the same time and for the same price as everyone else. WBU, working through its 160 National Member Organisations, will be establishing National Right to Read Alliances, bringing together stakeholders, including librarians, University Disabled Students Support Teams, Ministries of Education Special Education Units and other Service Providers, all of whom have an interest in promoting the need for accessibility for visually impaired people.

The campaign will pursue three main objectives, namely:-

To form National Right to Read Alliances to give visibility to the visually impaired reading community

To lobby, in the 120 countries that currently do not have copyright legislation on Exceptions, Governments to enact Copyright Exceptions for the Visually Impaired. Such legislation would facilitate the production of accessible formats, such as audio, braille and large print without the need to re-clear copyright

To field test, in the 60 countries that already have copyright legislation for Exceptions for the Visually Impaired, the cross border export/import of accessible formats created under these Exceptions to validate the compatibility of Exceptions of different legal jurisdictions. Evidence gained from these field trials will be presented to both Publishers and the World Intellectual Property Organisation’s Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights.

During the event WBU demonstrated the world’s first fully accessible book ‘Blindness and the Visionary’ by Sir John Coles. Published in 2006, this biography of Sir John Wilson, founder of Sightsavers International http://www.sightsavers.org is published by Giles de la Mare http://www.gilesdelamare.co.uk and provides, tucked into every copy, on a Daisy CD an audio copy of the book and special formats for printing the book in braille and large print. In recognition of the world’s first ‘same day same cost book’ the WBU has welcomed Giles de la Mare as a ‘Pioneer Publisher’ and gratefully appreciates its offer to support the Right to Read Campaign.



This press release has been circulated via several different listserves.

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