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April-2013-Newsletter-finalWe learned with regret that Prof. Dr. med. Dr. phil. h. c. Kurt-Alphons Jochheim passed away on March 30, 2013 at the age of 92. Prof. Jochheim was RI President from 1972 to 1976. Prof. Jochheim was also Chairman of the Deutsche Vereinigung fuer die Rehabilitation Behinderter e.V. (DVfR) from 1967 to 1992, honorary chairman since 1992. He was the founder / editor of the German magazine “Die Rehabilitation” and pioneered modern rehabilitation as a field of science, including his postdoctoral thesis on the “Principles of Rehabilitation in the Federal Republic of Germany” (1958). The DVfR awards annually, since 2009, the Kurt-Alphons-Jochheim-Medal to honor people who have made outstanding achievements in various fields of rehabilitation and promoting participation of people with disabilities. Our sincere condolences go out to his family and friends.

A first glimpse of the RI Europe meeting in Ljubljana, Slovenia on April 18, 2013: In the picture (from left) are Dr. Friedrich Mehrhoff, Dr. Joachim Breuer, Dr. Silke Brueggemann and Dr. Larissa Beck. More information about the meeting will be provided in the next issue of the RI Newsletter.

April-2013-Newsletter-final

Joint meeting of 3 RI Commissions in Berlin, Germany on March 26, 2013 – Members of the RI Commissions on Work & Employment, Health & Function and Policy & Services had a productive get-together in which new Commission members met with their more senior colleagues not only to get to know one another but also to discuss and develop proposals for the next EC meeting which will be held in May in Oslo, Norway. Those in the meeting share the idea that cross-commission work should be intensified and for each of the RI regions to be involved in this process in order to encourage RI members to actively provide concrete inputs in cross-commission work.
The Report from the 22nd RI World Congress held in Incheon, Republic of Korea from 30 October to 2 November 2012

April-2013-Newsletter-finalNew RI Deputy National Secretary for Germany, Dr. Larissa Beck, succeeded Martin Schmollinger who has retired on April 1, 2013.
We thank Mr. Schmollinger for his years of work for RI and on behalf of all people with disabilities whose lives he touched and changed for the better. We wish him well and hope that he will enjoy his well-deserved retirement. At the same time, we welcome warmly Dr. Larissa Beck into the RI-family and look forward to working with her. She is a Ph.D. Psychologist and now the Executive Director of Deutsche Vereinigung fuer die Rehabilitation Behinderter e.V. (DVfR). Having worked with Mr.Schmollinger himself and Dr. Regina Ernst at the Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft fuer Rehabilitation (BAR) on activities related to the UN-CRPD in Germany, Dr. Beck is not a greenhorn in this field and we look forward to working with her to continue the collaboration we had with Mr. Schmollinger.

April-2013-Newsletter-finalLex Frieden, former RI President (2000-2004) is one of the recipients of the 2013 Henry Viscardi Achievement Award which is bestowed for the first time in recognition of Dr. Henry Viscardi, Jr., a visionary and tireless
advocate for people with disabilities. The award identifies and recognizes contemporary members of the global disability community whose actions and achievements have, are or will profoundly impact the quality of life of people with disabilities. Lex Frieden is an educator, researcher, and disability rights and policy expert. He is professor at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UT Health) School of Biomedical Informatics and he directs the Independent Living Research Utilization program at TIRR Memorial Hermann. He is regarded as a founder and leader of the independent living movement by people with disabilities. In 1977, he led an initiative to define and set forth a blueprint for the development of independent
living programs nationwide. In 1984, President Reagan appointed him the first director of the National Council on Disability where he led the initial drafting of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Mr. Frieden sustained a spinal cord injury as a freshman in college in 1967.
Other recipients of the award are:

  • Laurie Ahern, President, Disability Rights International, Washington, D.C.
  • Rosangela Berman Bieler, Senior Advisor on Children with Disabilities, UNICEF, New York City
  • Tony Coelho, former U.S. Rep. from California, primary sponsor of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
  • Yoav Kraiem, Chairman, National Council for Community Relations – Mental Health, Israel
  • U.S. Rep. James R. Langevin, Rhode Island’s 2nd Congressional District
  • Kathleen Martinez, Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Labor, Washington, D.C.
  • Patrick D. Rummerfield, Community Liaison, International Center for Spinal Cord Injury, Kennedy-Krieger Institute, Chesterfield, MO.
  • Michael Ashley Stein, Executive Director, Harvard Law School Project on Disability

For further information please go to: http://www.viscardiawards.org

RI Secretary General Venus Ilagan was invited by the World Bank to join nineteen other disability experts from around the world who gathered in Washington D.C. early this month, for the Bank’s Safeguard Policies Review and Update – a two-year process to review and update WB’s environmental and social safeguard policies. These policies embody core values of the institution and are the cornerstone of its efforts to protect people and environment and to ensure sustainable development outcomes. This review and update provides an opportunity for the Bank to build on the core principles of the current safeguard policies; improve coverage of environmental and social risks; deliver better environmental and social outcomes in the programs and projects it supports; and help strengthen country systems and institutions to deliver sustainable results on the ground. This activity was a result of requests from stakeholders for the Bank to consider emerging issues that are not addressed under the current set of Safeguard Policies. These are: Climate change; Disability; Free, prior and informed consent of indigenous people; Gender; Human Rights; Labor and occupational health and safety; and Land administration, tenure and natural resources. The experts were invited based on (a) internationally or regionally recognized policy or technical expertise or significant hands-on implementation experience in the relevant emerging area and (2) familiarity with work of the World Bank Group.

RI member Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations (ILR) conducted a study called “Leveling the Playing Field: Attracting, Engaging and Advancing People with Disabilities,” started by researchers who wanted to know more about the employment of people with disabilities. Funded by a $3.75 million grant from the United States Department of Education’s National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research and other sources, the study found that there are many hidden advantages for employers who hire employees with disabilities. Some of these benefits include increases in productivity, attendance, morale, and customer relations. Researchers found that 87% of consumers favored working with companies that employ people with disabilities. In addition, the fact that some employees with disabilities need reasonable accommodations to perform their jobs does not normally cause a financial burden to employers. Because of these findings, the ILR is advocating for employers to seek out employees with disabilities, says Susan Bruyere,
director of ILR’s Employment and Disability Institute. For further information
please visit:
http://www.cornellsun.com/section/news/content/2013/03/15/ilr-studysuggests-
benefits-hiring-disabled-workers

– We’d love to hear from you…
Please share with us project summaries/reports, articles and announcements
on events which your organization is planning to hold or has conducted, and
other information which you may want to share with colleagues in the RI
network, our partners and to the rest of the world. Send these to us at this
email address: newsletter@riglobal.org and we will make sure that these
get included in future issues of the RI Newsletter.

Upcoming Meetings and Events

2013, June 6 – 7 M-Enabling Summit Conference and showcase in Washington DC, USA. The program is exclusively dedicated to promoting mobile accessible and assistive applications and services for senior citizens and users of all abilities. For further information please go to: http://www.menabling.com/

2013, June 17 -22 5th International Disability Law Summer School in Aras Moyola, at the National University of Ireland, Galway, Republic of Ireland. The popular Summer School will again bring together leading international activists, policy-influences and others connected with the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The theme this year will be VOICE (restoring full legal capacity) and CHOICE (achieving community living in accordance with the wishes and preferences of the person). For further information please visit: http://www.nuigalway.ie/cdlp/Summer_School_2013/summer_school_2013_
into.html

2013, June 27 – 28 Symposium on Disability, Technology and Rehabilitation in Low and Middle Income Countries in Seattle, USA. The Symposium will focus on improving and increasing access to technology and rehabilitation products and services with the goal of ensuring full inclusion and participation for persons with disabilities in low-resourced communities in low and middle income countries. For further information please visit: http://idtr.uwctds.washington.edu/workshops/2013

2013, September 11 – 14 12th Congress of European Forum for Research in Rehabilitation in Istanbul, Turkey. The human health and science-technology are continuous and dynamic due to the developments in socio-economic changes of societies. Professionals working in the field of rehabilitation will provide shared knowledge to be used in human health, new
scientific research, and for the improvement of educational efforts in rehabilitation. Dr. Friedrich Mehrhoff, of the German Social Accident Insurance and Vice Chair of the RI Work and Employment Commission will be one of the speakers at the congress. For further information please see: http://www.efrr2013.org/

2013, September 23 High-level meeting of the General Assembly on disability and development at the UN in New York,
USA. Theme: “The way forward: a disability inclusive development agenda towards 2015 and beyond”.

2013, November 27 – 29 2013 World Forum for Democracy “Rewiring democracy – reconnecting citizens and democratic
institutions in the information age” in Strasbourg, France. The forum will be organized by the Council of Europe in partnership with the City of Strasbourg and a range of international organizations, think tanks, foundations, and other partners from the public and private sectors. It will provide a platform for emerging leaders and grassroots initiatives that foster participation and re-connect citizens and democratic institutions. Participants from the world of politics, academia, civil society, business, media and social networks will critically review these innovative initiatives, assess their mainstreaming potential, inject new ideas into them, and identify the most promising ones for further promotion and dissemination. Participants, as well as the “global community” (via social networks and internet voting) will select the most promising initiatives that will receive the Council of Europe recognition for democratic innovation. For further information please see: http://www.coe.int/en/web/world-forum-democracy/home

Latest Developments

  • Iraq acceded to the Convention on 20-3-2013
  • Barbados ratified the Convention on 27-2-2013
  • Albania ratified the Convention on 11-2-2013
  • Cambodia ratified the Convention on 20-12-2012

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

  • 155 signatories
  • 130 ratifications

Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with
Disabilities

  • 91 signatories
  • 76 ratifications

For more Information please visit following website:
http://www.un.org/disabilities/

The 6th session of the Conference of States Parties (COSP6) willbe held from 17-19 July 2013. The theme for this session is: “Ensuring adequate standard of living: empowerment and participation of persons with disabilities within the framework of the CRPD”. The subthemes are: 1. Economic empowerment through inclusive social protection and poverty reduction strategies; 2. Disability-inclusive development in national, regional and international processes; and 3. Community-based rehabilitation and habilitation for inclusive society. Information on the program will be posted on this website: http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?id=1606.

UNICEF All-Staff Disability Orientation and Training Video: The web-based Disability Orientation for staff is a  ulti-media, 40-minute training video that presents statements, resources and good practices from UNICEF and its partners from around the world. The objective of the orientation is to strengthen understanding of, and capacity to support, programming for children and women with disabilities. The Disability Orientation consists of two main modules, each module has five lessons. The first part of the Orientation provides an overview of the disability movement and what disability means according to the CRPD. The second part of the Orientation focuses on how to mainstream disability through UNICEF’s work.
For further information please go to: http://www.unicef.org/disabilities/

OHCHR – Study on the situation of indigenous persons with disabilities The “Study on the situation of indigenous persons with disabilities, with a particular focus on challenges faced with respect to the full enjoyment of human rights and inclusion in development” (E/C.19/2013/6), reviews the situation of indigenous persons with disabilities in the enjoyment
of their human rights. The study examines areas such as political participation, access to justice, education, language and culture, and issues specific to indigenous women and children with disabilities. Recommendations are made to United Nations agencies and other relevant stakeholders on ways to increase the inclusion and participation of indigenous persons with disabilities, as well as help develop the capacity of organizations of indigenous persons with disabilities. For further information please see: http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?id=1605

Resource Update

Divertigranja located in Oaxaca, Mexico, is an international educational nonprofit that runs a zoological farm. They integrate themes of  animal welfare, environmentalism, and disability awareness and advocacy into a variety of youth and community programs. Divertigranja is looking for both virtual and on-location summer interns in various areas (outreach, development, grant writing, international collaboration, website management, veterinarian students, summer camp planning, bookkeeping, etc), as well as long-term positions for recent graduates. Internships are unpaid positions but free housing is provided. This is especially ideal for selfmotivated students and professionals who are interested in gaining a deep
level of experience and using and improving Spanish language skills, who also like to alternate days of formal office work, important meetings with state officials, and working on a farm with a wide variety of domestic and exotic animals. Interns must have at least a basic level of Spanish, and must be flexible and open to working in an area of Mexico with high levels of
poverty. Persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply, with the understanding that accommodations are limited. For further information please visit: www.divertigranja.org

Developyst is hiring a Software Developer to assist with the development and maintenance of the company’s web presence and data analysis efforts. A Bachelors degree in the field of computer science or other rigorous technical discipline is required. Developyst is a pioneer non-profit that uses innovative technologies and data-driven interventions to scaleup
bottom of pyramid’s access to high quality education in Pakistan and it’s the first education sector-focused social enterprise in the country. For further information please see: http://www.developyst.org/careers/view/2

The University of Oxford is pleased to announce five scholarships for candidates from developing African Commonwealth countries to study for the part-time Masters in International Human Rights Law, starting September 2013. The scholarships are jointly funded by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission and the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford and provide course and college fees over two years, return air travel from the scholar’s home country and a stipend to cover living costs. For further information, please visit: http://humanrightslaw.conted.ox.ac.uk/MStIHRL/index.php

Resource Material

Susan Spencer-Wendel’s “Until I Say Good-Bye: My Year of Living with Joy” is a moving and inspirational memoir by a woman who makes the most of her final days after discovering she has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). After Spencer-Wendel learns of her diagnosis she embarked on several adventures, traveling to several countries and sharing special experiences with loved ones. One trip takes Spencer-Wendel and her fourteen-year-old daughter, Marina, to New York City’s Kleinfeld’s Bridal to shop for Marina’s future wedding dress—an occasion that Susan knows she will never see. It is Spencer-Wendel’s account of living a full life with humor, courage, and love, but also accepting death with grace and dignity. It’s a celebration of life, a look into the face of death, and the effort we must make to
show the people that we love and care about how very much they mean to us. Product Details:ISBN-13: 9780062241450, Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers, Publication date: 3/12/2013
A special issue of the International Journal of Disability, Community & Rehabilitation (IJDCR) with the theme “What Sorts of People Should There Be?”, edited by Gregor Wolbring, Associate Professor Community, Rehabilitation and Disability Studies, Department of Community Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary, Canada is now available at: http://www.ijdcr.ca/VOL12_02/index.shtml

Other News

The Council of Europe’s Directorate of Communication has launched a new initiative that aims to improve understanding of the Council of Europe’s work and policies among all partners and stakeholders. Each Friday, a weekly review of news and views from the Council of Europe “JOURNAL” is posted in the Council of Europe’s Web TV which is available at the following link: http://webtv.coe.int/ . You can also view editions from previous weeks there. The program will keep you informed of news and views relating to human rights, democracy and the rule of law.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, individuals with disabilities were less likely to be employed than individuals without disabilities, and those who were employed typically held jobs with lower earnings and earned less than their colleagues without disabilities. More than half of workers with disabilities (52 percent) earned less than $25,000 in the previous year, compared to 38 percent of workers without disabilities. Based on the new Disability Employment Tabulation, the statistics show that between 2008 and 2010, individuals without disabilities were about three times more likely to be employed than individuals with disabilities. Overall,individuals with disabilities accounted for 9.4 million, or 6.0 percent, of the 155.9 million civilian labor force. The three most common occupations for men with disabilities were drivers/sales workers and truck drivers (246,000); janitors and building cleaners (217,000); and laborers and freight, stock, and material movers (171,000). For women, they were cashiers (195,000); secretaries and administrative assistants (189,000); and nursing, psychiatric and home health aides (172,000). For further information please see: http://www.census.gov/people/disabilityemptab/data/

Inspiration

RI History – Do you still remember?
By the late 1960s building constructions that eliminated barriers were beginning to be noted with a variety of symbols and signs. Sensing the communicative ineffectiveness of many differing symbols, the President of Rehabilitation International, Norman Acton, asked RI’s International Commission on Technology and Accessibility (ICTA) to establish an international symbol to designate facilities made accessible to people using wheelchairs that could be used in signage consistently throughout the world. With the assistance of the United Nations and the International Standards Organization (ISO), RI began to gather consensus on a universally applicable symbol and agree on standards for its display. Karl Montan of Sweden, chair of ICTA, agreed to lead the search for a valid symbol that would be identifiable from a reasonable distance, self-descriptive, simple and aesthetic, practical and have no secondary meanings.

In 1969 a clear majority of the ICTA-convened jury voted for the Scandinavian design by Susanne Koefoed, a Danish graphic design student. This originally selected symbol suggests a wheelchair. During committee discussion an important odification was suggested by Committee Chair Karl Montan and approved. A head was added to the symbol for aesthetic purposes. Copyrighted by the Committee, it was decided to make the use of this symbol open to all.

 

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