Rehabilitation International November Monday Mail

December 29, 2010

November 2010



  • Dates & Venues of upcoming RI meetings (p.1)
  • Highlights from the RI European Regional Conference, November 2010 (p. 1-2)
  • CRPD Ratification Updates (p.2 )
  • Membership News (p.2-3)
  • Upcoming Meetings and Events (p.3-4)
  • Other News (p. 4-6)
  • Resource/Opportunities (p.6-8)

 Dates & venues for the upcoming RI meetings:

  • RI EC meeting,        17-20 May 2011, Incheon, South Korea      
  • RI EC & Assembly    7-9 November 2011 – tentative dates, Sau Paulo, Brazil
  • RI EC meeting         April 2012 (dates to be announced), South Africa
  • RI EC, Assembly + RI World Congress, 29 October-3, November 2012, Incheon, South Korea

For more information please see our website

Highlights from the RI European Regional Conference, Copenhagen, Denmark, 9-10 November 2010

The conference was attended by 350 participants from 28 European and other countries and two exhibitions were presented.

The programme included 22 keynote presentations in five sessions on the following topics:

A: “Rehabilitation as an investment”
B: “Case management in Rehabilitation – a conflict between action and acceptance”
C: “Quality criteria”
D: “User participation”
E: “Political realities meeting professional demands”

Most presentations were related to the UN-Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the level and quality of presentation as a whole was considered high and very relevant to the aim which the conference wanted to achieve. The conference offered 50 oral presentations on 10 topics and 17 poster presentations. The parallel sessions introduced topics of scientific, educational as well as practical perspectives.

The network of RI-DK, RI-EU and RI-Global worked in ensuring a well planned and professionally organised conference  which we can all be proud of.

  CRPD Ratification Update:

  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines ratified the CRPD on October 29, 2010.
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines ratified the Optional Protocol on the same day.
  • Turkmenistan ratified the Optional Protocol on November 11, 2010


To date, there are:    

    95 ratifications of the Convention
    147 signatories to the Convention
    58 ratifications of the Optional Protocol
    90 signatories to the Optional Protocol 

Membership News:

  • We at RI would like to remind our members that a rich array of documents, including newsletters, organizations’ annual reports, and press releases are available on our website under the membership section ( We are continuously striving to provide you with the best possible service, and we strongly encourage you to contribute and make use of this valuable resource.
  • David Morrissey, Executive Director of United States International Council On Disabilities (USICD), served as a public sector advisor to the United States delegation to the United Nations Human Rights Council Periodic Review held in Geneva, Switzerland, on November 4 and 5, 2010.  In civil society side event discussions on U.S. engagement in human rights treaties, David advocated for U.S. ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities without reservations or substantive derogation from the object and purpose of the Convention. For full report please go to
  • Edaiyoor R.V. Manimaran, Founder, and Secretary of Bharathamatha Family Welfare Foundation, new RI member, has been awarded the an Honorary Doctorate (D. Lit.) from The International University Columbo in appreciation of his outstanding contribution towards the Development of Social & Educational fields.
  • DPA New Zealand’s National Policy Researcher Ms. Wendi Wicks presented her Policy and Projects update at the National Executive Committee meeting in Wellington. For more information please check:
  • The first meeting of the Open-Ended Group on the Review of the Human Rights Council of the International Disability Alliance Member Organizations took place in Geneva from 25-29 October 2010. They made three main concrete proposals:

            1. Accessibility as a principle of the Council
            2. Creating a multi-stakeholder task force      
            3. Creating an accessibility plan.

For more information: (User name: hrc extranet, password 1session).

  • The International Standards Organization, The International Electronics Commission, and the International Telecommunications Union held a workshop entitled “Accessibility and the Contribution of International Standards.”  The presentations will appear in due course on the website of the conference.
  • World Federation of the Deaf is calling individuals to sign an online petition, New Era Document, which rejects the resolutions of the 1880 Milan Congress that banned the use of sign language from educational programmes for deaf children. To sign the petition, please visit:

Upcoming Meetings and Events:     

  • The XI Congress of European Federation for Research in Rehabilitation (EFRR) will take place in Riva Del Garda, Italy, from 26-28 May 2011.  RI Europe had signed a cooperation agreement with the European Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (ESPRM) whose President is Prof. Alessandro Giustini who is also the President of this Congress.  Title for this congress is “Perspectives and controversial issues for research in rehabilitation,” which summarizes the objectives that the Society has set as their theme for the next few years of work.  The knowledge and experiences from this congress will further strengthen the studies on disabilities from many different perspectives.  For further information please see
  • The XVI World Federation of the Deaf World Congress is scheduled from 18 – 24 July 2011 in Durban, South Africa. The program of the World Congress ranges from presentations, special interest groups, workshops and training and cultural and theatre presentations, exhibitions and related events for people of any ages from all over the world. The extension of the deadline for Call for Abstracts is December 31, 2010. For further information please go to:
  • World Federation of the Deaf is inviting bids to host an International Conference in 2013.

The deadline for sending the conference bids is 31 December 2010.

For further information about the conference bids, please contact Ms. Phillipa Sandholm, WFD Administrative Secretary by email:

The UN Civil Society Section informed us of  the following upcoming country visits of Special Procedures mandate holders:

  • Zambia: 6 to 12 December, Special Rapporteur on Violence against women, its causes and consequences, Rashida Manjoo: Email address: 
  • Greece: 28 February to 8 March 2011, Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, Mr. Jorge A. Bustamante: Email address: 
  • Austria: 4 to 15 April, Independent Expert in the field of cultural rights, Ms. Farida Shaheed: Email address: 
  • Canada: 16 to 20 May, Working Group of Experts on People of African descent

        Email address:


Other News:

  • The first UK Disability History Month (DHM) was held from 22 November to 22 December 2010 and annually thereafter. Already supported by a wide range of disability organizations, trade unions and voluntary organizations, DHM will raise the profile of UK’s 12 million disabled people’s rights and struggle for equality now and in the past.  For more information please see WWW.UKDISABILITYHISTORYMONTH.COM
  • Disabled prisoner awarded compensation in UK: A 53-year-old Turkish Kurd, wheelchair user,  Abdullah Baybasin was held in Belmarsh prison UK for six years before being acquitted at a retrial last month. He said that when he was first taken to Belmarsh in 2004, he had to look after himself. There was no help from staff for him while using the toilet or bathing. No account was taken of his disability, which meant that during his first three years he had no access to education, the library or the gym. The Ministry of Justice conceded the claim for disability discrimination and the prison service is to pay out £20,000 in damages to him for the "degrading" treatment he received while in Belmarsh jail in London. For more information please see:
  • Violence against women with disabilities in public transportation is increasing as two examples from Vancouver, Canada, and London, UK, show. For details please go to:   and
  • An acute outbreak of poliomyelitis has been reported in the Republic of Congo, with 184 cases of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) and 85 deaths as of November 2010. Half the cases have been reported in the past ten days, with the first case occurring in early October. Two cases have been confirmed to have been caused by wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) and laboratory testing continues. Most cases are in young adults. Investigations are ongoing to determine definitively the origins of the virus. Useful Links: 
  • Many of us take the basics of daily adult life for granted. As far as needs for employment, housing, transportation, social interactions, recreation, healthcare and financial security, we’ve got the basics covered. How is life different for families living with a disability? Easter Seals Living with Disabilities Study paints a startling picture of these families’ life-long challenges surrounding everyday life and future concerns for parents of adult children with disabilities and adults with disabilities. For more information please go to the website:
  • Human rights defender Juan E. Méndez, from Argentina, has taken over as the new Special Rapporteur appointed by the UN Human Rights Council to monitor and report on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in the world.  He has dedicated his long legal career to the defense of human rights and has a distinguished record of advocacy.  As a result of his work representing political prisoners, he was subjected to torture, while under an eighteen month long administrative detention, by the Argentinean military dictatorship. During this time, Amnesty International adopted him as a “Prisoner of Conscience.” In 1977, he was expelled from Argentina and moved to the United States. For more information please see:
  • At a recent regional meeting of Inclusion International and Inclusion Interamericana in Bogotá, Colombia to promote the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities one of the participants, Juan Cobeñas, from Argentina, was prevented from attending the meeting because the airline TACA he and his family were travelling with lost part of his wheelchair. The airline failed to understand that losing a wheelchair is not like losing a suitcase and that without a fully functional wheelchair Juan could not continue his trip and had no other option but to return home. For more information please go to
  • Ever heard of a deaf friendly cafe?   

There is one in Northern Ireland! Located in Hollywood, Ireland, Coffee Yard offers a totally friendly atmosphere with coffee, art and music. Staffed by three deaf and several hearing people, they work alongside each other well.

Hearing people were shocked at first but gradually became used to working with deaf colleagues. Now more and more hearing parents with deaf children are coming to the cafe, which is turning into a great atmosphere for sign language students and users to mingle and interact with one another.  By increasing deaf awareness in communicating effectively, they host events and provide sections related to deaf awareness in their coffee magazine so hearing people can understand them better.

If you ever happen to be in Ireland, Coffee Yard is well worth a visit! For more information, about the cafe, see

  • EDeAN is a network of over 160 organizations in European Union member states. The goal of the network is to support all citizens’ access to the Information Society. For further information please see:
  • The District Court in a Czech town Cheb ordered full restoration of legal-capacity of a woman with intellectually disability. This is a landmark ruling in Czech judicial history. It is the first time that a court based its decision on the concept of supported decision-making. More... <
  • A Joint Cambodian NGO Report on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in the Kingdom of Cambodia was presented to the UN Committee Against Torture (CAT) in Geneva in November 2010. Eighteen years after Cambodia’s accession to the Convention, the country’s legal and judicial system was unable to prevent and punish acts of torture. There is no comprehensive system of compensation and rehabilitation for victims of torture in Cambodia. Currently, there is a national mental health strategy plan for 2010 to 2015 that has been drafted, but has not yet been revised and adopted by the Ministry of Health. In addition, there is minimal financing allocated for the government’s so-called mental health department.
  • Creating a barrier-free Europe: One in six people in the European Union – around 80 million – have a disability that ranges from mild to severe. Over one third of people aged over 75 have disabilities that restrict them to some extent. These numbers are set to rise as the EU population grows progressively older. Most of these people are all too often prevented from fully participating in society and the economy because of physical or other barriers, as well as discrimination. The European Commission adopted a new strategy to break down these barriers. The plan outlines how the EU and national governments can empower people with disabilities so they can enjoy their rights. Specific measures over the next decade range from the mutual recognition of national disability cards, the promotion of standardisation to a more targeted use of public procurement and state aid rules. These measures will have substantial societal benefits, but should also produce a knock-on effect on Europe's economy. They could for example enhance the EU market for assisted devices and services, which already today has an estimated annual value of over €30 billion. The Commission will also consider whether to propose a “European Accessibility Act” by 2012 to further develop the Single Market for accessible products and services. For more information please go to
  • The World AIDS Day, observed annually on the 1st of December and dedicated to raising awareness of the pandemic that has swept over mother earth for almost 30 years, is a time of memories and honor to those who have died of HIV/AIDS. As we celebrate this day, let us not forget that slightly more than half of the people living with HIV/AIDS are women and girls. Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of United Nations (UN) said: “Our common goal is clear: universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support. We must also work to make the AIDS response sustainable. Three decades into this crisis, let us set our sights on achieving the “three zeros” -- zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. On this World AIDS Day, let us pledge to work together to realize this vision for all of the world’s people.”

 Resource Update:

  • Isaac – the International Society for augmentative and alternative communication is looking for an Editor. Scholars with research and editorial experience who are interested in serving as Editor for the AAC Journal beginning January 2012 are invited to submit a letter of interest and curriculum vitae to the ISAAC Secretariat before December 31, 2010.
  • Southern University Baton Rouge offers a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling-online. A description of the online program can be found on: Select CSPD Program and then Courses.
  • DPA New Zealand has a publication titled ‘Assistance for people with learning (intellectual) disability to enable meaningful participation’ produced by People First. For more information please go to their website
  • United States International Council On Disabilities (USICD) and the WiderNet Project, collaborating partners on building the Global Disability Rights Library (GDRL), are now accepting applications for deployment sites for the Global Disability Rights Library.  USAID grant funding provides for a total of 60 deployments, and USICD is looking for organizations in developing countries to host the GDRL content and share these resources with communities.  Please visit for the application or go to for further information.
  • The New Zealand Disability Clothesline Project highlights the incidence of abuse and violence against persons with disabilities who can tell their stories through this publication. Go to:

Caring for the Physical and Mental Health of People with Learning Disabilities
David Perry, Louise Hammond, Geoff Marston, Sherryl Gaskell and James Eva - Published November 2010. People with learning disabilities are at greater risk of physical and psychiatric illness than the population at large, but their health needs are often not adequately supported. This book is a practical guide for those caring for people with learning disabilities living in community settings. It is designed to help  to better understand what the service users' health needs may be, how to recognize problems, and how to meet their needs. Chapter topics include physical health issues such as epilepsy, common health problems and diet and well-being; mental health issues such as dementia, depression, bipolar disorder and anxiety; and information related to common issues such as sleep and swallowing problems. The book also includes advice on screening programs and health checks. Written in an accessible and straightforward style. For pricing please email

  • The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation has released its holiday gift guide compilation for individuals of all ages living with paralysis. The guide is comprised of over 60 products in eight categories that fit every budget. Products featured are listed with a picture, description, video, price, and more. To view this release, click the link below:
  • The Arc, an organization that promotes and protects the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and the Institute on Economic Empowerment are embarking on a new national initiative called “Expanded Employment Choice for Employees with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD).”  With an initial contribution from the Institute of $1 million to support this effort, this initiative will provide opportunities for adults with I/DD to experience different types of community-based jobs and work settings through individually-chosen internship rotations with different employers. For more information, please contact Ann Cameron Caldwell, Chief Research and Innovations Officer at The Arc at 202-534-3700 or by emailing her at
  • Miracle House of New York, 80 Eighth Avenue #315, New York 10011, was founded in 1990 in response to the AIDS crises. Over the last 20 years, Miracle House has evolved to serve caregivers and their patients receiving treatment for cancer or any other life threatening illness. Miracle House provides temporary housing, meals and advocacy to caregivers and patients coming to New York for critical medical treatment. It’s the only hospitality home that allows caregivers to stay while their loved one is hospitalized. If you are traveling to New York for medical treatment and need a place to stay please click on  for detailed information.
  • The Federal Communications Commission, the Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities and Raising the Floor is accepting submissions for short multimedia presentations on how cloud computing, an internet service, can create new opportunities for people with disabilities. For information visit
  • The National Library Service Talking Book Program has created a website that offers patrons more than 20,000 downloadable titles of books. The website, Braille and recorded audio downloads, is for use with the cartridges and machines.  For information call 866 833-1122
  • The Department of Justice has scheduled public hearings on four advance notices of proposed rulemaking, seeking public comment on revising The Americans with Disabilities Act regulations in regards to accessible web information and services, movie captioning, video description and accessible equipment and furniture. For information go to
  • “Invisible Voices”, a film about disability, has won an award of merit from the Accolade Competition. It features six individuals who have adapted to and thrived with their disabilities. It’s available on DVD. For information please go to
  • Courage Center a nonprofit rehabilitation and resource center that advances the lives of children and adults experiencing barriers to health and independence seeks nominations for 2011 National Courage Award. Nominations are being accepted through December 31, 2010 at
  • The Army Warrior Transition Command (WTC) launched a new website ( which contains information on the primary concerns of ill and injured soldiers and veterans, including:

-Army Physical Disability Evaluation System, including an overview of the Medical Evaluation Board and Physical Evaluation Board process
-Army Wounded Warrior Program (AW2), the official Army program that has provided personalized support for more than 7,500 severely wounded, ill and injured soldiers, veterans and their families since 2004.  More information on AW2 is available at
-Comprehensive Transition Plan, a six-part recovery and transition process for all wounded warriors that include a personalized transition plan that the soldier builds for him/herself.
-Career and Education, including career and education training options that the soldier may utilize during recovery.
-Resources for families and caregivers, including ways to contact community organizations and administrative resources.

  • MonAMI (Mainstreaming on Ambient Intelligence) is a research project funded by the European Union. The objective of the project is to demonstrate that accessible and useful services for elderly and disabled persons living at home can be delivered in mainstream systems and platforms. The technology and the services have been tested in laboratories in six countries and in real-life field tests in three sites across Europe.  For details please go to


Anne Hawker, RI President                                    Venus Ilagan, Secretary General