RI May 2011 Newsletter

June 10, 2011
Source: Rehabilitation International

Rehabilitation International


May 2011


For RI EC, RIF AND RI Members




Dates & venues for the upcoming RI meetings................................. 3

Upcoming Meetings and Events ........................................................ 3

Press release ....................................................................................... 5

CRPD Ratification Update .................................................................. 6

Membership News............................................................................... 8

Other News......................................................................................... 10

Resource Update............................................................................... 14

Resource Material ............................................................................. 18

Inspiration.......................................................................................... 20



Dates & venues for the upcoming RI meetings


  • 11/06/2011 – 11/9/2011 RI EC & Assembly Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • 04/16/2012 – 04/20/2012 (proposed dates) RI EC meeting South Africa
  • 10/26/2012 – 11/03/2012 (proposed dates) RI EC, Assembly + RI World Congress Incheon, South Korea


For more information please see our website www.riglobal.org



Upcoming Meetings and Events


  • June 13 – 17: Global Health Alliance’s 38th Annual International Conference on Global Health in Washington, D.C., USA.

The conference’s theme is “Securing a Healthier Future in a Changing World” and it will focus on the challenges of and innovative solutions to address the transition from infectious to noncommunicable diseases, from acute to chronic diseases. For further information please visit http://www.globalhealth.org/conference_2011


  • June 26: 9th Annual Hope and Possibility Race in New York, USA.

Each year in New York City’s Central Park, this five-mile race for all athletes, including athletes with disabilities, draws celebrities, volunteers, supporters and spectators to join in a celebration of the human spirit. The race is organized by Achilles International, a non-profit organization which provides athletes with disabilities with a community of support. More information: http://www.achillesinternational.org/news/hope-and-possibility


  • July 3 – 8: 5th IDP Africa Forum: Access Africa in Achimota, Ghana.

The forum will focus on how the power of technology can advance equality and rights of persons who are blind and partially sighted. Participants will include representatives of

Government ministries, international organizations, organizations of and for the blind, universities, as well as parents, persons who are blind and partially sighted, vendors and sponsors of assistive technology. For further information please visit



  • July 4 – 7: 2011 ECOSOC High Level Segment, Geneva, Switzerland.

The Annual Ministerial Review of the 2011 High Level Segment of the Council will focus on implementing the internationally-agreed goals and commitments in regard to Education. The Ministerial Review will assess the state of implementation of the United Nations Development Agenda with a focus on its education-related goals and objectives. It will also analyze key challenges affecting the recommendations and proposals foraction, including new initiatives and partnerships to accelerate the implementation of education-related objectives. It also aims to promote broad-based engagement by encouraging input from a broad-range of stakeholders. Organizations in general and special consultative status are encouraged to make oral presentations to the Council, as well as to submit written statements. For further information please visit

http://esango.un.org/irene/?page=static&content=statements2011 and



  • July 7 – 8 Disability and the Majority World: Towards a Global Disability Studies, 1st Annual International Conference Manchester, United Kingdom.

The host, Critical Disability Studies at Manchester Metropolitan University, seeks to bring together academics, disability activists, practitioners, organizations, researchers and others from various fields, to discuss a range of key and emerging themes around the complex disability and global South debate. They are now accepting abstracts for paper presentations. For further information please visit http://disabilityworld.wordpress.com/


  • July 18 General Discussion on the Protection of Women in Conflict and Post-Conflict Situations in New York, USA.

The purpose of the discussion, organized by Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, is to commence the Committee’s process of elaborating a "General Recommendation on Women in Conflict and Post-conflict Situations". The purpose of the general recommendation is to provide appropriate and authoritative guidance to

States Parties on the measures to be adopted to ensure full compliance with their obligations to protect, respect and fulfill women’s human rights during times of armed conflict and in all peace-building processes, which includes the immediate aftermath of conflict and long-term post-conflict reconstruction. For further information including participation and written contributions (deadline July 4) please visit




RI Press release


The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Reaches 100 Ratifications


RI Encourages Further Ratification and Steps for Comprehensive Implementation

May 13, 2011: RI would like to recognize the Governments of Romania and Colombia for ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in 2011. In addition, we congratulate Togo for signing the Treaty as well as for ratifying the Optional Protocol.


These latest commitments to the CRPD bring the total number of ratification to 100, a feet that shows the globally recognized importance of this treaty.


“These ratifications signal to the world that the rights of persons with disabilities cannot be ignored. Progress is being made, and these nations have illustrated their commitment to disability rights” said RI President Anne Hawker. “Now, state parties and the disability community must work together to ensure that this commitment translates into comprehensive and effective implementation to ensure persons with disabilities enjoy the same rights as everyone else - by being able to attend school, have a job, and live and contribute to society as a valued citizen.”


With the increasing number of ratifications attention must now turn to implementing and monitoring the treaty. This is an endeavor that will take dedication from ratifying governments, international and local DPOs and NGOs as well as partnerships with other human rights and civil society organization. This is also a process that will require a commitment from donors to support efforts for implementation so that there is true meaning behind ratification.


The CRPD was open for signature on March 30, 2007 and to date, 148 countries have signed the Convention, 90 have signed the Optional Protocol, 100 states have ratified the treaty and 61 have ratified the Protocol. The CRPD is the first human rights treaty of the 21st Century and prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities in all areas of life, and includes specific provisions related to rehabilitation, habilitation, education, employment, health and access to information, public facilities and services.

The Optional Protocol details how individuals or groups can seek redress for

violations of the CRPD once national remedies are exhausted.




For more information on the UN Convention, RI’s efforts towards ratification

and implementation as well as contact details of experts and national

organizations within the RI membership, please contact Megan Brinster

(megan@riglobal.org), Development and Program Officer or visit the RI

website www.riglobal.org. For a current list of all signatories and states

parties to the CRPD and Optional Protocol please visit




CRPD Ratification Update


Latest Developments

  • Papua New Guinea signed the Convention on 2-6-2011
  • Belize ratified the Convention on 2-6-2011
  • Colombia ratified the Convention on 10-5-2011
  • Belize signed the Convention on 9-5-2011


Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

  • 149 signatories
  • 101 ratifications


Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with


  • 90 signatories
  • 61 ratifications


For more Information please visit following website:



  • On 16 May, the Office for Disability Issues (ODI) released a draft government report on the United Kingdom’s implementation of the United Nations Convention on Rights for People with Disabilities (CRPD) since July 2009. ODI would like disabled people to read and comment on the report. The deadline for submitting comments to ODI is 5pm, 20 June 2011. For further information please visit https://www2.dwp.gov.uk/odi/un-convention-on-the-rights-of-disabledpeople/have-your-say.asp


  • CRPD Committee's first set of Concluding Observations was adopted with respect to Tunisia during their last session held from 11-15 April 2011. The Committee notes with appreciation that the initial report was elaborated through a process of extensive national consultations including disabled persons’ organisations, but also recommends that the State Party take steps to further facilitate the full participation of women, men, girls and boys with disabilities and their families in society. For the full text please visit http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/CRPD/Pages/Session5.aspx. The CRPD Committee published also the List of Issues for Spain (in English and in Spanish) adopted during the same session. For the List of Issues please visit http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/CRPD/Pages/Session5.aspx


  • The CRPD Committee has launched a call for papers on practical and theoretical measures for the implementation of Article 12 of CRPD to organizations of persons with disabilities, human rights institutions, and other interested bodies. The CRPD Committee realized in its 4th Session that all materials received at the time were on legal measures and none had been received on practical and theoretical measures for the implementation of Article 12. This call for papers will enable the CRPD Committee's working group to cover the wider range of issues raised by States Parties regarding the implementation of Article 12. For further information please visit http://www2.ohchr.org/SPdocs/CRPD/Call_for_papers_art12.doc



  • United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities – Multidisciplinary Perspectives by Jukka Kumpuvuori and Martin Scheinin (eds.) traces the entry into force of the United Nations CRPD. The book offers a number of fresh approaches to disability studies and disability rights by exploring the lives of persons with disabilities from multiple perspectives. It provides the reader with an insightful reading experience on the contemporary topics of disability studies and disability rights. The book can be ordered at juhapekka. konttinen@kynnys.fi. The book is also available as a pdf-document at http://www.kynnys.fi/images/stories/VIKE-web/vike_tieteellinen_julkaisu.pdf



Membership News


  • Colombia is country no. 100 in the ratification of the United Nations of the rights of people with disabilities. Karin Garzón-Díaz, Professor, Medicine School and Health Sciences,
  • University of Rosario, Bogota-Colombia: “This fact encourages us to continue building together ways of coexistence, participation and understanding of disability as an issue that calls not only to people with disabilities, but to society in general. After five years of the Convention adoption by the General Assembly of the United Nations, Colombia ratified it. This reflects the importance of the social mobilization of people with disabilities, their organizations and the will of government to promote the humans rights.”



  • United States International Council on Disabilities (USCID) held its 2011 Annual Meeting on Friday, April 29, 2011, in Washington, D.C. It featured discussions on the role of disability in the U.S.’ International Development Agenda and updates on the status of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Speakers were among others Charlotte McClain Nhlapo, Disability Advisor for USAID, on the role of disability in the United States’ international development agenda and Judy Heumann, Special Advisor on Disability Rights for the U.S. State Department, on the status of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the United States. USCID published its 2011 Annual Report. For further information and the Annual Report please visit http://www.usicd.org/index.cfm/2011-annual-meeting.

For the latest updates on USCID’s website please visit http://www.usicd.org/index.cfm/humanitarian-response.

A need has been expressed for more volunteer assistance to help with translating information about PWD affected by the recent Japan disasters from Japanese into English or into other languages. For further information please visit http://www.asiadisability.com/~yuki


  • Kessler Foundation, member of USCID, celebrated 25 Years of making discoveries that change lives with Awards Dinner on May 12 in New York to honor those who have advanced  rehabilitation and to showcase new innovations for the future of research. Rocco Ortenzio, co-founder and chief executive officer of Select Medical Corporation, received Kessler Foundation's first Lifetime Achievement Award for his career of making quality long term care and medical rehabilitation accessible worldwide to people recovering from injuries and illnesses. Jerome and Dorie Kessler were honored with the Special Recognition Award for their years of dedication to the Foundation's mission. They are the son and daughter-in-law of Henry H. Kessler, M.D., Ph.D., who founded Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in 1949 and was President of RI from 1948 - 1951.


  • In April Easter Seals, a non-profit disability services organization and member of USCID, launched Make the First Five Countsm - a national awareness and advocacy effort designed to give children at risk of developmental delays, autism or other disabilities the right support they need to be school-ready and build a foundation for a lifetime of learning. When young children with special needs and developmental delays are diagnosed and receive early intervention services they are able to learn alongside other children their age, build lifelong skills and achieve their dreams. Easter Seals stresses that the programs that provide these therapies for children with disabilities are chronically underfunded, even though they are incredibly effective and more than pay for themselves. For further information and participation please visit http://www.easterseals.com/site/PageNavigator/ntlc10_mffc_about


  • Members of the Pacific Disability Forum (PDF), including governments of countries in the Pacific Region, as well as development organizations, non-governmental and civil society organizations and human rights institutions in the region attended the Second Pacific Regional Conference on Disability. The Conference, held from April 4th to 7th in Auckland, New Zealand, titled “Promoting Actions on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in the Pacific Region”. The outcome document included a list of recommendations to all stakeholders to take significant and tangible steps to further implement the Convention and empower persons with disabilities and their organizations. For further information please visit: http://www.pacificdisability.org/newsReader.aspx?newsId=215.


  • The Relief Headquarters on Persons with Disabilities and the Tohoku-Kanto Great Earthquake continues to need funds to support its ongoing efforts to provide assistance and services to people with disabilities affected by the recent earthquake. http://dpi.cocolog-nifty.com/en/ is an English link for more information. Information is also available in a wide range of other languages.


  • Japan Disability Forum (JDF) informs and updates on the activities which has been carried out in support activities for people with disabilities affected by the East Japan Great Earthquake. The major content of information is the regular newsletters issued by two local support centers of JDF in Miyagi and Fukushima Prefectures. Please see the details at http://www.dinf.ne.jp/doc/english/resource/tohoku_earthquake.html


  • RI Australia’s website features video posting of its November 2010 CRPD Workshop in Sydney with Ron McCallum who was one of 12 members of the first monitoring committee for the UN's Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and is now its chair. For RI Australia’swebsite and the video posting please visit www.riaustralia.org.


Other News



  • Global Health Council has published as part of its vaccine series, Securing a Healthier Future with Vaccines, a new fact sheet outlining the complexity of polio vaccination and the challenges that must be overcome to achieve eradication. For the fact sheet please visit http://www.globalhealth.org/images/pdf/fs_polio_2011.pdf


  • The Global Contact Group on AIDS and Disability is coordinating efforts to include a disability perspective in HIV/AIDS advocacy and programming efforts at the international level. The Group is currently engaged in efforts to promote the inclusion of issues that affect persons with disabilities at the High-Level Meeting of the General Assembly on AIDS held from 8-10 June. For more information or to participate in the group, please email: GCGAD@listserv.syr.edu. CREA is a feminist human rights organization based in the global South that promotes, protects and advances women’s human rights and the sexual rights of all people by strengthening feminist leadership, organizations and movements; influencing global and national advocacy; creating information, knowledge and scholarship; changing public attitudes and discourses and addressing exclusion. Crea held its Count me in! Conference in Kathmandu, Nepal, on April 16 – 18. The conference materials are published online on www.countmeinconference.org. For further information about CREA please visit its website at www.creaworld.org


  • Equity in Higher Education for People with Disabilities is still a struggle. Tertiary education systems have traditionally catered to political, intellectual and professional elites. Admission systems were, and in most cases still are, contingent on specific qualifications or competencies awarded by the formal education system, often resulting in the exclusion of marginalized groups in general and, specifically, persons with disabilities. While the fact that equity concerns are being voiced more forcefully is a positive development, the implementation of both existing and emerging anti-discrimination legislation varies greatly from one country to another and from one tertiary education institution to the next. For further information please visit http://blogs.worldbank.org/education/an-uphillstruggle-equity-in-higher-education-for-people-with-disabilities


  • International Medical Alliance changes its name to IMAHELPS. The Rancho Mirage, Calif.-based group, which organizes medical humanitarian missions to Central and South America, is changing its name to avoid conflicts with two other groups with similar names. Since its foundation in 2000, IMAHELPS has recruited more than 100 doctors, dentists, surgeons and volunteers who have collectively provided free medical and dental care to more than 60,000 indigent patients in Central and South America. IMAHelps’ next mission is scheduled to take place in Esteli, Nicaragua, Aug. 4th to 14th. For more information, please contact Tracey Allen at (760) 485- 8963 or visit www.imahelps.com


  • Burton Blatt Institute (BBI) continues to represent people with disabilities. Peter Blanck, Chairman of the BBI, and Matthew Dietz, a Burton Blatt Advisory Boardmember, are both presenting in the case, which occurred at the 11th Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Jacksonville, Florida, on April 12, 2011. Since this case began in 2006, and since laws that change rights do not have a retroactive effect, Blanck and Dietz are fighting the older and narrower law of the American with Disabilities Act before its amendments in 2008. Dietz said if this case was considered under the new law, it wouldn't be an issue. For further information please visit http://www.dailyorange.com/news/on-the-defensiveburton-blatt-institute-continues-torepresent-people-with-disabilities-1.2159071?pagereq=1



  • National Alliance of Disabled Peoples Organizations (NADPO) demanded in a briefing at the National Press Club in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on April 17 that the national budget 2011-12 should be friendly to the people with disabilities. Their demands included, amongst others, immediate setting up of a Brail printing press, sign language education institutions and support material production industry by allocating funds in ensuing budget. For further information please visit http://newagebd.com/newspaper1/metro/15796.html


  • National Alliance of Disabled People's Organisations (NADPO) of Bangladesh also demanded an independent national census of the physically challenged people in the country. They said the fifth national census that ended in March 19 would not give an accurate picture on the number of people with different forms of physical challenges in Bangladesh.Therefore, a separate census needs to be conducted to get a correct statistic on this. For further information please visit http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=180952


  • Pakistan: Anti-polio drive launched in 20 high-risk districts. A three-day sub-national polio immunization drive was launched. Over 14,000 teams will administer polio drops to 6.3 million children in 20 districts of Sindh. Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah resolved that the province would be able to contain polio this year. The ceremony for the launch of the antipolio drive was clouded by the problems the female health workers have been highlighting through protests recently. For the article please visit http://www.dawn.com/2011/04/07/anti-polio-drive-launched-in-20-highrisk-districts.html


  • Department of Special Education of Avinashilingam Deemed University for Women, India, organized the program on ‘Promotion of Higher Education for Persons with Special Needs' with 40 representatives from 20 colleges and universities deliberating on the topic. Physical barriers persist in preventing those with disabilities from having access to higher education. Creating awareness on this condition in educational institutions is the key to promoting higher education for persons with special needs. This was the outcome of the program that was held in Coimbatore, India. For more information please visit http://www.hindu.com/edu/2011/03/28/stories/2011032850190300.htm


  •  At India's insistence, mental health included as noncommunicable disease. India fought alone to get mental disorders included in the non-communicable diseases (NCDs) list at the just-concluded first Ministerial Conference on Healthy Lifestyles and Non-communicable Disease Control in Moscow. Mental health as a NCD was adopted in the Moscow Declaration on April 29 which reads: “Other NCDs such as mental disorders also significantly contribute to the global disease burden.” For further information please visit http://www.thehindu.com/health/article1991279.ece


  • Cambodia’s disabled fight poverty and inequality. 60,000 physically disabled in Cambodia struggle against poverty, discrimination, unequal access to education and employment and an under-funded and under-resourced state support system. The Cambodian government introduced a Law on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of People with Disabilities in 2009 to support the right to employment without discrimination, and in the same year adopted a National Plan of Action for Persons with Disabilities, including landmine survivors, in order to better address needs and provide services. According to the Cambodian Disabled Peoples Organization, lack of human and financial resources has hindered real progress toward these goals. For the article please visit http://www.irrawaddy.org/highlight.php?art_id=21026


  • Inclusion Japan, a parents' organization for persons with intellectual disabilities, established the Relief Headquarters for Persons with intellectual disabilities following the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit the eastern coast of Japan on March 2011. To be able to provide essential support for the persons with intellectual disabilities, Inclusion Japan asks for help and donations. For further information please visit http://www.ikuseikai-japan.jp/world/english.html#news


  • In Turkey, the number of disabled candidates applying for a seat in the Parliament increased, but the actual number of candidates with disabilities put on the nominee lists by political parties, from the left as well as the right, fell short of expectations, advocacy groups for the disabled said. “Only 2 percent of all the candidates political parties nominated were noted to be people with disabilities. There are 8.5 million people with disabilities on varying levels, corresponding to 10 percent of the whole population in our country. This means 10 percent of all deputy positions in Parliament should be held by disabled people,” Veli Öza?an, Chairman of the Federation of the Blind People of Turkey, stated to highlight the lack of adequate representation for disabled nominees from all parties vying for power. For the news article please visit http://www.sundayszaman.com/sunday/newsDetail_getNewsById.action?newsId=242455



Resource Update


  • Bond Holiday, Accessible Holidays, United Kingdom, offers a range of holidays for people with disabilities and special needs in different locations in United Kingdom. Bond Holiday has set up Blitz with the intention of raising money and funds to subsidize short breaks in Blackpool and St Annes for those living with a disability. Blitz is now accepting applications for holiday funding. For further information on Bond Holiday please visit http://www.bondhotel.co.uk. For further information on Blitz and the application form please go to http://www.bondhotel.co.uk/index.php/funding-options.html


  • The guardian partners with Marie Stopes International to present its International Development Journalism Competition 2011. The International Childcare trust sponsors the theme “The challenges faced by a disabled girl”. Entry deadline is 13 June. For further information please visit http://www.guardian.co.uk/journalismcompetition


  • Global Health Alliance announced the launch of the Global Health Career Center Network, their new and expanded employment website. This upgraded online recruitment service includes new features for both individuals and organizations to facilitate career connections in the global health community. For further information please visit http://careers.globalhealth.org


  • InformationConnections.org Launches for Parents of Children With Disabilities. The informative website for parents of children with developmental disabilities and chronic diseases was recently launched by the Marianjoy Medical Library. "The website is a portal to a number of resources and accurate clinical information which focus on autism, cerebral palsy, ADHD, Down syndrome, and traumatic brain injury, among others," notes Nalini Mahajan, Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital's Medical Library Director and Webmaster. "The site provides access to reliable information for families of children with these issues but also may serve colleges and universities, public libraries, and teaching hospitals as an accurate educational resource." For additional information, please visit www.marianjoylibrary.org or www.informationconnections.org


  • Nominations for Human Rights Defender Tulip open till June 15, 2011. The Dutch Government’s human rights award, the Human Rights Defenders Tulip has since 2008 been presented to an individual who has shown exceptional courage in protecting and promoting the rights of fellow human beings. Human rights defenders from all over the world can be nominated. They should be individuals (not organizations), whose daily work involves the peaceful protection/promotion of human rights. For further information please visit http://www.humanrightstulip.org


  • EuroDEMOS NGO is looking for partners for the European Training “Non-formal education, an effective tool for development in democracy” which will take place in Iasi, Romania on 3 – 14 October 2011. The project approaches the themes of nonformal education, volunteering, principles and values of democracy, civic participation, personal, social and profesional development. EuroDEMOS (Romanian Leaders within European Background) is an association of human rights defense, alternative school of involvement, training and promotion at international level of young opinion leaders, by means of applicative programs of European interest, with 21 years of constant civic activity. For further information please contact eurodemos_youth@yahoo.com


  • New web resource page on disability and sports on the United Nations Enable website highlights the unique ability of sport to transcend linguistic and cultural barriers making it an excellent platform for strategies for advancing inclusion and empowerment of persons with disabilities in society and development. The web page provides links to publications and other documents on the issue, as well as links to related websites. Along with Member States and civil society, DESA will organize a panel discussion on 27 June at UN Headquarters to discuss issues on how to tap the potential of sports to promote disability-inclusive development and raise public awareness about disability issues. For the new webpage please visit http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?id=1563


  • World Blind Union features a campaign named Access to Technology and developed an audio description toolkit with five main sections. The toolkit aims to familiarize, inform and advise organisations working for/with blind and partially sighted people about the benefits of audio description and on how to achieve it in their respective countries. The first section explains what audio description is and why it has gained immense popularity in the past years. Section two looks at the methods of delivery of audio description for a range of media platforms. The third section carries tips on the kind of strategies in getting audio description on mainstream media services. Case studies on the development of audio description across different countries form the fourth section with the final section looking at the future.


  • Young voices : speak out is a project by the Leonard Cheshire Disability which brings together groups of young people with disabilities from 19 countries around the world. Young Voices enables youth to share their experiences of fighting discrimination through filming, and encourages youth to learn more about their rights and how to campaign for them. The project website contains links to the films, an online forum and related resources. For the website please visit http://youngvoices.lcdisability.org


  • New Zealand Tourism Research Institute at Auckland University of Technology conducts for the New Zealand National Foundation for the Deaf a survey titled: Understanding the tourism, travel, and hospitality experiences of people with hearing impairments. They invited to participate people with hearing impairments from everywhere in the world. The international survey will run until 10 June 2011; the domestic survey will run until 10 July 2011. For further information and the online survey please visit www.tourismandhearingsurvey.co.nz and for information about the survey partners: http://www.nztri.org and http://www.nfd.org.nz



  • European Blind Union partners with Prevista Limited, the National Council for the Blind of Ireland, the Pancyprian Organization of the Blind, and the Foundation Institute for Regional Development for Vision in

enterprise project. The project has been created to help such people with employment by providing recourses on hiring, support for the blind, and teaching a good practice. Due to the European economic struggles people with disabilities with sight face additional pressure on top of being disadvantaged in hiring. They tend to become self employed or open their own businesses. For further information please visit EBU’s Website http://www.euroblind.org


  • Issue No. 11 of the Human Rights Treaties Division's (HRTD) Newsletter launched. In this edition (covering Jan-March 2011), there are some interesting articles concerning the final text of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) providing for individual complaints, inter-state communications and an inquiry procedure (currently pending adoption before the Human Rights Council), and an article on the latest General Comment adopted by the CRC Committee on the right of the child to freedom from all forms of violence. For the newsletter please visit http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/treaty/newsletter_treaty_bodies.htm


  • Exceptional Parents Magazine’s May issue is now available. The EP Magazine features articles on Assistance and Therapy Animals like dogs and monkeys, Speech and Hearing Awareness. This month’s issue has a special focus on Asthma and Allergies. For further information please visit http://www.eparentdigital.com/nxtbooks/exceptionalparent/201105



Resource Material


  • Introducing Journal of Clinical Medicine and Research (JCMR). JCMR is multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal published monthly on Clinical Medicine and Research. The Open Access journal welcomes the submission of original articles in basic and applied research, case studies, critical reviews, surveys, opinions, commentaries and essays. For more information about JCMR and for its issues please visit http://www.academicjournals.org/JCMR/


  • According to the World Health Organization every minute, somewhere in the world, a child goes blind. Three in five poor children who go blind are likely to die within two years of losing their sight - yet half of cases of childhood blindness are avoidable. "In the East African countries of Kenya and Uganda, as well as Zambia for example, the commonest cause of childhood blindness is cataracts," says Dr Daniel Etya’ale, Executive Director for Africa for the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness’s(IAPB) and a member of the Africa Initiative Steering Committee of ORBIS, a non-profit organization committed to saving sight worldwide. Blind children in sub-Saharan Africa face three major challenges: "Firstly, many are not being reached early enough for successful intervention; secondly these children are extremely vulnerable - about half are likely to die within two to three years of becoming blind; thirdly there is very little infrastructure and specialized medical help available to them." For further information please visit http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=55478


  • Italian Journal of Disability Studies – The first issue is now online. The choice to create an Italian space to study disability (cf. editorial Italian Journal Disability Studies) results from the decision of a few Italian researchers who were willing to find an opportunity to debate and discuss disability issues drawing on a social model perspective. The Italian Journal of Disability Studies as a section of Milieu (Italian journal on inclusive culture) is particularly focused on the issues concerning disability within education from an Italian point of view, always keeping in mind the wider objectives of Milieu. For the first issue of the Italian Journal of Disability studies visit http://www.milieu.it/DisabilityStudiesItalyIT/ItalianJournalofDisabilityStudies/ItalianJournalofDisabilityStudies/Numero%201%20-%20marzo%202011.html


  • Autism: a guide for criminal justice professionals published by the National Autistic Society. This guide provides background information about autistic spectrum disorders. It aims to assist all professionals working in thecriminal justice system, who may come into contact with someone who has autism, particularly police officers, solicitors, barristers, magistrates, justices of the peace, the judiciary and the courts. For the guide please visit http://www.autism.org.uk/working-with/criminaljustice/autism-a-guide-for-criminal-justice-professionals.aspx


  • The Center for Women Policy Studies announced the availability of four new 2011 Barbara Faye Waxman Fiduccia Papers on Women and Girls with Disabilities. The titles of the papers are: The Role of Women with Disabilities in Community Based Inclusive Development; Collective Action and Emancipatory Aims: Applying Principles of Feminist Practice in a Shelter for Domestic Violence Survivors with Disabilities; Reproductive Health Justice for Women with Disabilities; Right Now! – Women with Disabilities Build Peace Post-Conflict. For the articles please visit http://www.centerwomenpolicy.org



  • National response to disability and HIV in Eastern and Southern Africa by Jill Hanass-Hancock and Kitty Grant. This policy brief outlines that although people with disabilities are often at increased risk of exposure to HIV, less than half of the national strategic plans in Eastern and Southern Africa recognize disability as an issue of concern, and makes recommendations to governments and civil society on how to address the issue effectively. It would be to people interested in HIV policies in Africa. For the material please visit http://www.heard.org.za/downloads/nationalresponse-to-disability-policy-brief-february-2010.pdf


  • Disabled people and disaster recovery: a tale of two cities? This paper explores the connection between disability and natural disasters. It also investigates the regional and global response to the Asian tsunami in 2004 and hurricane Katrina, in the USA, in 2005. It would be useful for anyone with an interest in the inclusion of disabled people, and disabled peoples organizations in disaster recovery and preparedness. It is particularly relevant to article eleven of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities concerning situations of risk and humanitarian emergencies. For the paper please visit http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/1969/1/priestleym4_A_Tale_of_Two_Cities_(Int_J_Dis_Soc_Work_and_Rehab_2006).pdf


  • See Me, Hear Me: a guide to using the UN Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities to promote the rights of children published by Save the Children, United Kingdom. The guide analyses the inter-relationship of the two Conventions and provides examples of good practice on how both Conventions should be implemented by governments with regards to children. This guide is a useful tool for child and disability rights advocates, government officials, and anybody interested in child and/or disability rights. For the guide please visit http://www.savethechildren.org.uk/en/docs/See_Me_Hear_Me_internals_final.pdf


  • Inclusive local development: how to implement a disability approach at local level by Handicap International. This policy paper outlines Handicap International's mandate and values in the field of the inclusive local development. It presents the organization's actions, choices and commitments in the area of local inclusive development, and provides the six main components of projects. Future possibilities and potential limitations are also highlighted. This policy paper is useful to people who have an interest in disability rights and inclusive local development initiatives. For the material please visit http://www.handicapinternational.org.uk/Resources/Handicap%20International/PDF%20Documents/HI%20Associations/InclusiveLocalDevelopment_2009.pdf





Healing Power of Music: Children are the same all over the world. They laugh, smile, sing funny songs, love their parents and just want to be happy. But they also cry and you can see sadness in their beautiful eyes when they suffer. U.S. AFCENT Band Wild Blue Country experienced the healing power of music during a visit of Children's Cancer Center in Kyrgyzstan. A short performance in a cramped room let the children’s eyes sparkle. The children laughed, clapped and forgot about their medical conditions. Band member Master Sgt. Janusz Masztalerz says he is very grateful for the opportunity of bringing music and joy to lives of the patients at Children's Cancer Center in Bishkek. He will never forget that very emotional experience. To read Master Sgt. Janusy Masytalerz’s touching report on the concert please visit http://www.afcent.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123251381


Anne Hawker, RI President

Venus Ilagan, Secretary General


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