RI January 2012 Newsletter

February 6, 2012

For RI EC, RIF AND RI Members




Dates & venues for the upcoming RI meetings. 3 

Upcoming Meetings and Events. 3 

RI Press Release. 6 

CRPD Ratification Update. 7 

Membership News. 8 

Other News. 10 

Resource Update. 10 

Resource Material 12 

Inspiration. 13 

Dates & venues for the upcoming RI meetings










04/16/2012 – 04/18/2012

RI EC meeting

South Africa

10/27/2012 – 11/02/2012

RI EC & Commission Meetings, Assembly + RI World Congress

Incheon, South Korea


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

Upcoming Meetings and Events

        2012, March 15 – 17 13th International Conference on Home Mechanical Ventilation and 4th European Respiratory Care Association Congress in Barcelona, Spain. The 1st Joint Meeting of JIVD and ERCA focuses on the common objectives of both associations: to promote the knowledge and understanding of disease, to educate and to share experience in order to ensure optimal patient respiratory care. With the help of an international advisory board, each association has drawn up its own scientific program reflecting their respective specificity, as well as organizing some joint sessions. For further information please visit http://jivd-france.com/jivd/index.html

        2012, March 24 – 25 Pacific Rim International Forum on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, in Honolulu, Hawaii. The Pacific Rim International Forum, a Pacific Rim International Conference pre-event, highlights the potential to transform lives and communities through the theoretical and practical application of human rights norms and standards. The 2012 Forum seeks to engage participants in a lively discussion on key areas which support and facilitate the realization of fundamental human rights for millions of persons with disabilities, as expressed in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. For further information please visit http://www.pacrim.hawaii.edu/internationalforum/2012

        2012, May 15 – 18 Interdependence 2012 in Vancouver, BC, Canada. The vision of the conference and exposition is to accelerate global progress toward a healthy and inclusive world through two distinct but complementary pillars: making communities accessible for all and spinal cord injury research for a cure. This event presents a unique opportunity to unite international leaders and decision-makers with research and accessibility experts to explore best practices, lessons learned and inspire collaboration on future opportunities. It covers the following topics: Accessible and Inclusive Tourism, Accessible Public Spaces, International Standards, Policies and Rating Systems, UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, The Legacies of Major International Sport Events. Registration is already open. For more information please visit www.rickhansen.com/interdependence2012.

        2012, May 15 – 18 Orthopaedie und Reha-Technik in Leipzig, Germany. The international tradeshow for Prosthetics, Orthotics, Orthopaedic Footwear Technology, Compression Therapy and Rehabilitation Technology will be more oriented towards communication and discussion, and special features such as "Meet the speaker" and interdisciplinary case studies will be introduced. In addition, the keynote speeches will last 30 minutes and no other events will be held in parallel. For further information please visit http://www.ot-leipzig.de/LeMMon/ort_web_eng.nsf/start?OpenPage

        2012, June 11 – 13 Universal Design Conference in Oslo, Norway. The Delta Centre will organize the event and is the National Resource Centre for Participation and Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities in Norway. The strategy of universal design aims at dismantling physical and social barriers. This conference will focus on solutions and various impacts of implementation relevant to people in public spaces. Topics to be addressed are issues related to universal design in planning, legislation, politics, education, buildings, outdoor areas, information and communications technologies (ICT) and public transport. For further information please visit http://www.ud2012.no.

        2012, June 20 – 23 Society of Disability Studies 2012 Conference in Denver, Colorado, USA. The terms “collaborations,” “cultures,” and “communities” which form the title express many meanings on many different levels, ranging from the most intimate personal and familial relations to the broadest global and virtual arrangements. With this year’s theme, the organizers seek to explore the rich and varied ways in which people with disabilities are shaped by and in turn form their own collaborations, communities, and cultures. For further information please visit http://disstudies.org

        2012, July 28 – August 4 15th Biennial Conference of the International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (ISAAC) in Pittsburgh, PA, USA. Titled "Highest performance communication; best life experience - WOW!" the conference focuses on ISAAC's mission that people anywhere in the world who communicate with little or no speech deserve to achieve the most effective communication possible in order to achieve their maximum potential. For further information please visit www.isaac2012.org

        2012, August 3 – 4 International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (ISAAC) Research Symposium in Pittsburgh, PA, USA. The aim of the Symposium is to create opportunities for in-depth discussions, which are typically missing in the tight schedule of the biennial ISAAC conference (July 28 – August 4). The focus of the Symposium is on research questions, in other words not directly on practice, or how to do it (as in most of the presentations in the main conference), but rather on why augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) for a particular group should be promoted in one way or another, and why something works or does not work. For further information please visit www.isaac2012.org

        2012, September 17 - 21 13th International Conference on Mobility and Transport for Elderly and Disabled People (TRANSED 2012) in New Delhi, India. Its theme will be: “Seamless Access for All: Universal design for transport systems and infrastructure as a key element in the creation of livable cities”. TRANSED 2012 will showcase international innovation and technological solutions for accessible transportation and travel through papers and posters as well as through live exhibitions of products, services, and best practices. For more information about the conference please visit: http://www.transed2012.in 










Message from the RI Secretariat

Dear Members, Partners and Friends,

It is with great pleasure that we bring to you the January 2012 issue of the Monthly Newsletter of Rehabilitation International.

One of the main goals of the RI Secretariat is to facilitate sharing of information and examples of good practice from and among RI members and with the broader global community of stakeholders and practitioners who may benefit from these information.

It goes without saying that our fellow RI members will significantly benefit from your story, as you do from theirs. That’s an important part of RI’s being a global network that promotes mutual strengthening of the advocacy and other work all of us do in whatever level we operate: national, regional and global, to further improve the projects and other endeavors our members and partners are engaged in.

Our Newsletter has been established for the purpose of serving as a channel or forum with which yourselves and partners can disseminate information as well as for you to get information which may be valuable in furthering your own work. We then request you to 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. You may also provide us with photos to accompany your articles and write-ups. If you do, please remember to provide a caption for your pictures.

Last but not the least, we kindly request you to share this email address with others in your network who may also be interested to send to us their information and stories.

We look very much forward to hear from you soon and we thank you in advance for acting on this request. All the best for the New Year.

Kind regards,



Venus Ilagan,

Secretary General, RI






CRPD Ratification Update


Latest Developments

 Indonesia ratified the Convention on 30-11-2011

 Myanmar ratified the Convention on 07-12-2011

 Macedonia (FYORM) ratified the Convention on 29-12-2011

 Luxembourg ratified the Optional Protocol on 26-09-2011

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

       153 signatories

       109 ratifications

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

       90 signatories

       63 ratifications

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

Membership News

       At the RI Annual Assembly held in Sao Paulo, Brazil on 9 November 2011, the “I am RI” Campaign was launched to encourage renewed support for RI’s global activities. This Campaign will run through the commemoration of RI’s 90th founding anniversary which will be celebrated as part of the events to be held at Incheon, South Korea from 27 October to 2 November 2012.

“I am RI”

Rehabilitation International is one of the global organizations which pioneered the work of promoting inclusion of persons with disabilities in the life of their communities. Within RI are individuals and groups who, over the years, dedicated their professional lives in creating a dent in the lives of people with disabilities. They are professionals, service providers, researchers, academics, practitioners, people working in government, persons with disabilities and many others who have been brought together by their passion and commitment to creating opportunities for people with disabilities to be able to enjoy their rights on equal basis with others.

Approaching the 100th year of our founding as an organization may serve as an opportunity for us to take stock of our many achievements and contributions in creating a better world for people with disabilities especially those living in developing countries where opportunities are few or limited at best or none at all. This might be a time for us as an organization not only to celebrate our successes but also to reflect on whether or not, we continue to find the relevance of RI in terms of meeting our own organizational and individual expectations in light of recent developments brought about in part by the CRPD and other recent events in the global disability community.

We have faced enormous challenges as an organization during the last several years caused in part by the harsh economic environment that has affected and shaken even the more financially stable organizations - if there is anything as such. Dependent mainly on revenues from its membership, RI’s mettle and determination to survive has been tried and tested time and again. While the harsh economic realities has hit us hard, we continued to stick it out together,  firm in our resolve to face our challenges squarely as one global RI family, and live to celebrate our centennial which is just a decade away. 

A closer reflection might make us ask ourselves: but who is RI? Is it just a name with which people want to identify themselves with? Is it a movement that has brought together people with the same passion and inclinations? Whatever it is, this is an organization to which we all belong and to which we are all a part of. We are all stakeholders. WE ARE Rehabilitation International.

It is in this spirit that the “I AM RI” Campaign was launched at RI’s 2011 Annual Assembly held in Sao Paulo, Brazil on 9 November last year, to make RI members around the world once more be aware, understand and appreciate the fact that each and everyone of us make up Rehabilitation International. We are all RI. Each individual member has the responsibility to ensure that this organization continues to thrive and fulfill the visions of the pioneering leaders who dedicated their lives to making Rehabilitation International one of the world’s leading organizations in disability and rehabilitation. Main aim of the Campaign is to encourage us all to renew and reaffirm our commitment to RI.  “I am RI” – are you?

The Campaign will be a continuing activity to be followed up at the 2012 Assembly and RI’s 22nd World Congress in Incheon, South Korea later this year. It will be culminated at the celebration of RI’s 100th year anniversary in 2022. “I Am RI” is aimed to bring in resources to help augment RI’s limited revenues. We appeal to our members, partners, friends and benefactors to support RI by making your contribution to this Campaign. Your support will go a long way in enabling RI continue its various activities for persons with disabilities worldwide and fulfill the dream of celebrating our 100th year anniversary in 2022.



Ms. Akiko Ito (6th from left), Chief of the CRPD Secretariat with UN-DESA, speaking to the members of RI’s Executive Committee in Sao Paulo, Brazil on 8 November 2011. Seated next to her is RI President Anne Hawker (center) and RI President-Elect Jan Monsbakken (far right).





      World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT) celebrates its 60th    Anniversary in 2012. Activities and events will include a celebration at the WFOT Council meeting in March, and the provision of information and resources to recognise and increase the understanding of the WFOT's work and the value it brings to the profession. Fore further information please visit: www.wfot.org

Other News  

        The World Health Organization and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have announced a call to action for Americans to test their homes for Radon Gas, which has recently been identified as the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers in the U.S. Radon causes more deaths each year in the U.S. than any other in-home hazard including fires and carbon monoxide deaths combined. Radon is a naturally-occurring, radioactive gas that seeps out of the ground and can enter homes and other buildings. Since Radon is invisible and odorless, the only way to know if a home has dangerous levels of the gas is to conduct a Radon test. The EAP estimates that as many as 8 million homes in the U.S. currently have dangerous levels of Radon Gas. They also predict that if action is not taken to correct this problem, between 15,000 and 22,000 deaths will occur in 2012 from exposure to the gas. The EPA has officially designated January 2012 to be National Radon Action Month in the U.S. For more information please visit: www.RadonMonth.org.

        The Council of Europe drafted a convention which constitutes, for the first time, a binding international instrument in the criminal law field on counterfeiting of medical products and similar crimes involving threats to public health (MEDICRIME Convention).The Council of Europe has long been concerned about the absence of harmonized international legislation, non-deterrent sanctions that were not proportionate to the harm caused to patients, and the involvement of criminal organizations which operate across borders. Counterfeiting medical products and similar crimes threaten the right to life enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR). Incidences of counterfeit medical products and similar crimes undermine public trust in healthcare systems and authorities' surveillance thereof. Counterfeiting of medical products and similar crimes have a global spread, no country is spared. The Council of Europe sees it as a common responsibility for the global community to eradicate this phenomenon, and hence accession to the Medicrime Convention, which will be formally adopted later this year, will be open for all states interested in working with Council of Europe on this important goal. Safeguarding of public health through penal measures against criminal behaviors, protection of victims, promotion of cooperation at national and international levels, and preventive measures are the overarching aims of the above convention. You are invited to discover the brochure ‘The Medicrime Convention: combating counterfeiting of medical products and similar crimes’           at: http://www.coe.int/AboutCoe/media/interface/publications/medicrime_en.pdf

Resource Update

        Since their inception, the yearly International da Vinci Awards® has become a prestigious international symbol of recognition. The awards honor individuals, organizations, and corporations in the engineering, construction, and technical fields for innovative developments and research in adaptive and assistive technologies. Along with innovative assistive and adaptive technologies, the principle of Universal Design is a key in the development of products that can benefit all people, regardless of ability. Application deadline is August 19th, 2012. For further information please visit http://www.davinciawards.org/nominate/nominate

        Early Life Radio, an online platform for young people to share and voice issues in their environment, would like to call for Correspondents from all parts of the World. It has been nominated as the leading radio in the Media and Society Category of Young Achievers Awards 2011 (Uganda).Each months starting February 2012 they will be having online Trainings for basic skills in Journalism led by re-known personalities in the Journalism Field all over the world. If you are interested register on www.earlyliferadio.com .

        The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) announces a new series of training courses on Multilateral Diplomacy. For  more information please go to : www.unitar.org/mdp

        The Open Society Initiative for Eastern Africa (OSIEA) and the Open Society’s Disability Rights Initiative (DRI) is seeking a dynamic, creative and committed programme officer to lead their East Africa disability rights program. The Open Society Initiative for Eastern Africa promotes vibrant, tolerant democracies in the region by awarding grants, developing programs, and bringing together diverse civil society leaders and groups. The Disability Rights Initiative, the Open Society Foundations’ global program on disability rights, promotes national implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), focusing on the most marginalizing practices and marginalized groups through legal and policy reform. Applicants should have a degree, preferably in law. PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES ARE ENCOURAGED TO APPLY Application deadline is February 20th, 2012. For more information please go to: www.soros.org/initiatives/osiea       www.soros.org/initiatives/rights-initiatives/focus/disability

        Mobility International USA’s (MIUSA) Women’s Institute on Leadership and Disability (WILD) will bring together approximately 30 women leaders with disabilities from approximately 30 different countries, to strengthen leadership skills, create new visions and build international networks of support for inclusive international development programming from August 6 - 27, 2012 in Eugene, Oregon, USA. For applications go to:http://www.miusa.org/exchange/currentprogs/wild/wild2012/index_html. Application deadline is March 1st, 2012.

Resource Materials

        UNICEF has prepared a brief booklet for adolescent girls and boys, ages 13-18 years, to learn about the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). CEDAW includes all girls and women from all backgrounds and ages, including girls with disabilities. The booklet shows that both the Convention on the Rights of the Child and CEDAW are designed to advance the rights of girls and women at all stages of their lives. For more information please go to  http://www.unicef.org/gender/files/CEDAW_In_Brief_For_Adolescent-Web_Version.pdf.  

        2012, February 24-26 2nd International Deaf Film Festival (HKIDFF) in Hong Kong. Films that have significant involvement of persons who are Deaf, as directors, actors, playwrights etc. will be presented Deaf communities in the world consider themselves as linguistic minorities and like ethnic minorities, have their own language and culture.  For more information visit: www.hkidff.com

        New articles on Access Tourism have recently been added to the Access Tourism New Zealand website. The most recent post links to a report on the tourism, travel, and hospitality experiences and needs of people with hearing loss and why businesses should improve access for those who are Deaf or have hearing loss. Other articles cover other aspects of tourism for people with disabilities, seniors, ageing Baby Boomers, and others needing better access For further information please go to http://www.accesstourismnz.org.nz


              It is the fifth year that CNN, with the help of entertainers and other celebrities, have honored everyday people changing the world. Robin Lim, an American woman who has helped thousands of poor Indonesian women have a healthy pregnancy and birth, was named the 2011 CNN Hero of the Year. Many women in the developing world do not have access to contraception or maternal care. According to the United Nations Population Fund, three out of five women giving birth in South Asia do so without a skilled birth attendant on hand. In Indonesia, the average family earns the equivalent of $8 a day, according to the International Monetary Fund. But a baby delivery costs about $70 at a hospital, and a Caesarian section can cost as much as $700. Through her Bumi Sehat health clinics Robin Lim offers free prenatal care, birthing services and medical aid in Indonesia, where many families cannot afford care. Lim became a midwife after her sister and her sister's baby died from complications during pregnancy several years ago. She and her husband then sold their home in Hawaii and moved to Bali to "reinvent their lives," she said. She opened a clinic, Bumi Sehat, so poor mothers can give birth safely and be treated with dignity and respect. She has delivered thousands of babies. For further information please go to  info@bumisehatinternational.org

              “Every single day you have the opportunity to do something heroic for another person, to make their life a little bit better than it was before.” is the message from Derreck Kayongo founder of Global Soap Project. The Global Soap Project is a non-profit organization that recovers and recycles soap from US hotels that would otherwise end up in landfills. As of July, 2011 over 300 hotels across the US are participating. The soap is sorted, reprocessed and remolded into new bars to be distributed to vulnerable populations around the world such as refugees, orphans and disaster victims. Derreck Kayongo, a humanitarian relief expert, and his Ugandan family fled the tyranny of Idi Amin in 1979 to become refugees in Kenya. Today, there are millions more internally displaced persons throughout Central and Eastern Africa, struggling to survive with limited or no access to clean water and soap. According to the United Nations, there are currently 45 million refugees around the world. Because of Derreck’s firsthand experience with the challenges of life in a refugee camp, he and his wife Sarah felt the need to make a difference and founded the Global Soap Project in 2009. Derreck and his father built a logistical process to recover, recycle and distribute soap to refugee camps and other vulnerable populations. The number one cause of preventable death of children in Africa is unsanitary living conditions mostly due to lack of soap and potable water. For children under the age of five years, two of the leading causes of death are diarrhea and lower respiratory infections, many of which can be prevented with proper hygiene. Soap and clean water can reduce preventable deaths caused by diarrheal and upper respiratory diseases by over 40%. If you want to learn more about the project please go to: www.globalsoap.org.



RI President Anne Hawker shaking hands with the Mayor of Incheon, South Korea – the host City for RI’s 22nd World Congress to be held 30 October to 2 November 2012. Looking on is Mr. Sungchul Lee (extreme left), President of RI-Korea.


We hope you enjoyed reading this issue of the RI Monthly Newsletter. Tell us about your activities and other stories so we can share it with RI members and the world. Thank you.



Anne Hawker, RI President                   Venus Ilagan, Secretary General