A bimonthly web-zine of international disability news and views




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Disability World

A bimonthly web-zine of international disability news and views


Available on the web at http://www.disabilityworld.org


Contents, Volume 20, September-October 2003


Disability World 1

International News & Views 3

European Disability Forum Issues Comprehensive Report on Development Cooperation 3

Stigma: Beliefs Determine Behavior 50

Disabling Conditions In South Asia: The Hidden Factors, With Implications For Leprosy 66

Budapest Center Cites Russia's Abuses of People Mental Disability 81

Astronaut Pedro Duque Will Take the Logo of the European Year of Persons with Disabilities into Space 82

The Center for International Rehabilitation Research Information & Exchange 83

Statement by John Kerry on Mental Health Policy 84

John Edwards Unveils Disability Policy Initiative 86

Society for Disability Studies Announces Deadlines for Awards & Papers 90

Call For Papers: Confluence and Coalition in Community: Creating Dialogue within Disability Studies 90

Invitation to People with Disabilities to Participate in a Survey on use of Medical Equipment 92

Disability Buzz 93

International Course on Disability & Rehabilitation Management 94

Iberoamerican Technical Cooperation Network celebrates its VII Conference in Mexico 96

Independent Living 97

A Cry is Sounded at the Asian Conference on Mental Retardation and Self-Advocate Activities in Japan 97

Israel Family Planning Association Addresses Sexuality Issues of Disabled People 100

The Road to Independent Living in the USA: an historical perspective and contemporary challenges 101

Japanese Survey Reveals Weak Supports for Life in the Community 119

Beitostølen Health sports Center in Norway: a pioneer rehabilitation institution, focusing on adapted physical activities 121

Pakistan: I can see changes coming now! 127

Rehabilitation Center Provides Support for Young, Disabled Palestinians 129

From Sweden: Independent Living Institute Newsletter, October 2003 133

Training of Personal Assistants for Persons with Disabilities in Argentina 138

Self-Help Groups for Japanese with Attention Deficit Disorders 139

Independent Living/Disability Rights briefly 140

Access & Technology 141

Enhancing Historic European Environments: An Interview with Patrick Devlieger 141

Boarding Buses and Getting a Job: Civil Rights Missing in Action 145

Program Allows Persons with Disabilities to Use Computers without Using the Keyboard 149

Talking Tactile Map on Trial in Japan 150

European Efforts to Make Mobile Phones Easier to Use 152

Telephone Access for People with Speech Difficulties 154

America Online Announces Closed Captions for Streaming Media 155

Access and Technology briefly 157

Employment 161

The Australian Deaf Chamber of Commerce -- Deafness No Handicap To Success 161

U.S. Notes Disability & Employment Month 163

International Labor Organization Establishes Code of Practice on Managing Disability in the Workplace 164

New ILO Disability Poster & News Website 190

At least 66% of Working Age Persons with Disabilities in Spain are Unemployed 190

World Bank Support of Disabled-Owned Businesses 191

Employment briefly 192

Governance & Legislation 193

Costa Rican Government Insurance Institution Includes Sign Language on its Publicity 193

Disabled Politicians & Policy Makers Address Popular Workshop on Governance, RI African Conference, Durban, October 1-3 193

U.S. National Council on Disability Recommends Inclusive Foreign Policy 196

Perú: An example not to be followed 204

Arts & Media 206

Music for Deaf Persons 206

Media Representation of Canadians with Disabilities 207

Disability culture to take a giant leap 212

New Zealand Mental Illness Campaign Captures Awards 213

Women 214

Disabled women demand inclusion in UN Convention 214

Women briefly 216

Children 218

Inclusive Education In Armenia 218

Honduras Hosts Sub-regional Workshop on Education and Social Inclusion of Children and Adolescents with Disabilities 221

Landmine Survivors Network - E-newsletter, Volume 3, Issue 6 223

Russia: Education is Not Yet a Universal Right for Disabled Students 227

Children briefly 233

Resources 233

Digital Disability: The social construction of disability in new media 233

International Spina Bifida Newsletter Launched (Reprinted from www.ifglobal.org) 235

Disability News Websites 237

Spain: 50 Blind Persons Describe their Social Inclusion in a new book, "Con otra Mirada" (Another sight) 238

Resources briefly 239



International News & Views


European Disability Forum Issues Comprehensive Report on Development Cooperation


"States should recognise the rights of organisations of persons with disabilities to represent persons with disabilities at national, regional and local levels. States should also recognise the advisory role of organisations of persons with disabilities in decision-making on disability matters." -- Rule 18 of the United Nations Standard Rules on the Equalisation of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities


Contents


1. Introduction and Overview of Key Issues

2. Background to Disability and Development

2.1 Development cooperation and the North-South divide

2.2. Defining Disability

2.3. Individual and Social Models of Disability

2.4. The Scale and Nature of Disability in Economically Poorer Countries.

2.5. Poverty and Disability

3. Why mainstream disability and how can it be done?

3.1 Human Rights

3.2 Economics

3.3 Responding to common arguments against including disability

3.4 Benefits and Impact of Mainstreaming

3.5 The importance of a Twin-track approach

3.6 How to Mainstream Disability in Development Co-operation

4. Recommendations for the European Union to include the disability dimension in development cooperation.

4.1 What makes a good policy?

4.2. How the EU can develop good policy

4.3 Practical Strategies

References

Annex A: Why Mainstream? Examples of arguments from Key International Agencies and Governments

Annex B: Examples of Policy on Mainstreaming Disability

Annex C: How to Mainstream - Examples of Guidelines

Annex D: Good Practice in Disability and Development Cooperation - Some Examples

Annex E: Monitoring and Evaluating Impact - Examples of Reports


Glossary and Abbreviations


North

this term refers to the group of countries that are also often referred to as 'developed' or 'industrialised'. The terms 'developed and developing' have not been used because they imply a judgement based solely on economic criteria and ignore the huge degree of cultural development to be found in poorer countries. The term 'north' is a generalisation because the concept also includes Australia and New Zealand, to be found in the Southern hemisphere, so it should not be taken literally, but should be understood to refer to those countries who have substantial international power and resources. Other terms used are the 'one third' and 'two third's world, referring to the fact that the richer countries only have one third of the population, yet control over two thirds of the resources.

South

Likewise, this term refers to the larger number of countries in the world that are economically poorer and less powerful. It needs to be acknowledged though, that this vast range of countries are extremely diverse, and many of them have pockets of power and wealth, or are countries 'in transition' towards the market economy and democracy. The term South is best understood as referring to poor and less powerful populations, wherever they are (and many are also within the richer countries).

Impairment and Disability

Strictly speaking, impairment refers to an actual physical loss or reduction of functioning in an individual, e.g. loss of vision, hearing, movement, speech, or ability to learn. Disability on the other hand, refers to the way in which an individual with an impairment is dis-abled by the society, through barriers to access, discrimination, exclusion etc. So it is accurate to speak of persons with impairments, or disabled people (not people with disabilities). But the term 'disability' is often used interchangeably with the less common term 'impairment', particularly outside the UK. So in this paper, various quotes use the term disability when referring to impairment. The important thing is to understand the underlying concepts, and not to be worried by the language.

CBR

Community Based Rehabilitation

DPO

Disabled Persons Organisation

DfID

Department for International Development, UK

EU

European Union

INGO

International non-government organisation

MEP

Member of the European Parliament

NORAD

Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation

NGO

non-governmental organization

PRSP

Poverty Alleviation Strategy Papers (Required by the World Bank of donor recipient countries)

WHO

World Health Organisation


1 Introduction and Overview of Key Issues


Disabled people exist in every community throughout the world. Anyone can become disabled at any time, and as populations age, disability will be the experience of an increasing percentage of every society. Yet universally, disabled children, women and men lack access to basic human rights, and are marginalized, excluded and discriminated against.


Most disabled people (70% and 85% of disabled children) live in the economically poorer countries of the South where lack of access to human rights is first and foremost about the right to life, to food, water and shelter. Because poverty is both a cause and consequence of disability, some estimates state that as many as 1 in 5 poor people are disabled [1]. This would mean that practically every family in a poor community would be directly affected by disability [2]. Yet within development co-operation policy and practice aiming at poverty reduction, disabled people usually remain invisible and excluded.


Even when there is an awareness of the need to include disabled people in development co-operation activities, there is still a lot of misunderstanding and ignorance about what this means in practice. Many donors assume that it is a highly specialist area requiring lots of additional specialist resources. Yet the inclusion of disabled persons could progress a long way if projects just consulted with disabled people and paid attention to not putting up the barriers that exclude disabled people.


There are huge costs to society in not considering and including disabled persons that can only be estimated. Poverty reduction, universal primary education, employment and economic targets will never be met unless disabled persons are included. Reconstruction efforts in post-conflict situations need to realise the numbers of disabled children and adults increase as a result of conflict, and include them in the re-building of their society.


The topic of disability and development cooperation is a broad, complex and continuously evolving issue. Any attempt to provide an overview runs the risk of making sweeping generalisations that will not be practically helpful, and may even reinforce stereotypical assumptions about 'development', 'the South' and 'the situation of disabled people'.


On the other hand, over the last two decades in particular, there has been a vast amount of experience gained and knowledge shared between communities, local and international NGOs, disability organizations, governments and international agencies who in different ways and with a wide range of strategies, have tried to address the issue of disability in development cooperation. Knowledge has been gained, and lessons have been learnt, that can help make development cooperation more responsive to the situation of disabled persons.


Some of the relevant key issues are: the changing face of development cooperation, definitions, scale and nature of disability in different cultures and contexts, and the context of poverty and disability.


2. Background to Disability and Development

2.1 Development cooperation and the North-South divide


There has been a major shift in development rhetoric over the last few years, towards a strong focus on poverty alleviation and human rights (exemplified by the widely supported Millennium Development Goals, focusing on the alleviation of poverty by the year 2015). However, NGOs point out that in practice, the poorest of the poor (including disabled people) are continuing to be excluded. Another key change is the vast increase conflict and refugee situations, again directly affecting disabled people. 'South' and 'North' are terms that encompass a very diverse range of countries, yet the gross power imbalance between the rich one-third of the world, and the poor two-thirds of the world remains true. [3]


2.2. Defining Disability


Defining disability is problematic for many reasons that have been well documented elsewhere. It is important not to impose definitions developed in the 'North' on countries in the South. The UN Standard Rules provides a workable definition, yet the term 'handicap' is now largely considered to be stigmatising and is not really used in the English speaking world.


UN Standard Rules Definitions of Disability [4]:

The term "disability" summarizes a great number of different functional limitations occurring in any population in any country of the world. People may be disabled by physical, intellectual or sensory impairment, medical conditions or mental illness. Such impairments, conditions of illnesses may be permanent or transitory in nature.


The term "handicap" means the loss of limitation of opportunities to take part in the life of the community on an equal level with others. It describes the encounter between the person with a disability and the environment. The purpose of this term is to emphasize the focus on the shortcomings in the environment and in many organized activities in society, for example, information, communication and education, which prevent persons with disabilities from participating on equal terms [5]


2.3. Individual and Social Models of Disability


The 'Individual Model' of disability incorporates both the charity and the medical models. It perceives the disabled person as the problem, and does nothing to change society. This model is still prevalent in development cooperation and is supported by donors who want a quick and visible fix, such as building an institution or a special school whilst leaving society and the education system unchanged.


In the Social Model, disability is perceived as a relationship between the individual and society. It is consistent with the human rights approach. In development cooperation, it provides a sound basis for analysis and planning. Key questions are; what are the barriers that disabled people face, and keep them excluded from society? How can these barriers be overcome? Surveys should focus more on these barriers than on the types of impairment that people have. The Social Model does not deny or exclude the need for appropriate rehabilitation and medical treatment, but it implies that the system should adapt to the person, not the person to the system.

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