October 2009 Archives

Accessible Hire Car in Hong Kong

Announcing the publication of the Handicap International (HI) Manual:

Understanding the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with
Disabilities: A handbook on the rights of persons with disabilities
b
y Marianne Shultz.

You can find the manual in PDF and Word at
www.makingitwork-crpd.org/resource-library/crpd/

Outdoor Access for All

The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office has provided $60,000 to the city of Port Orchard for the Blackjack Creek Wilderness Trail project.

The city plans to build a trail head near the mouth of Blackjack Creek, two ADA-accessible viewpoints, and a hiking trail along the eastern bank of the creek to a connection with Givens Center. In a press release, the city said that many of the elements will be modeled after the fish friendly and environmentally sensitive project conducted at Poulsbo's successful Fish Park. Blackjack Creek, it notes, is a "treasured" salmon stream.


Full story:

http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2009/oct/05/port-orchard-receives-60000-for-blackjack-creek/

Inclusion in Bangladesh

Call to bring physically challenged persons under social safety net

Social Welfare Minister Enamul Haque Mostafa Shahid has expressed the opinion that the physically challenged persons should be included in the government's social safety programme.

Laws relating to physically challenged people are insufficient and for this reason social approaches toward them should be changed, he observed.

He made the observation while addressing a seminar as the chief guest organised by the Bangladesh Protibandhi Kallyan Somity (BPKS) titled "UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities" in the city Thursday, reports BSS.

Founder and Executive Director of BPKS Abdus Sattar Dulal presided over the seminar.

The minister said this segment of population should be provided with services as golden citizens of the country. "The bright side of the physically challenged people should be highlighted, not their gloomy parts," he added.

Besides, the speakers in their addresses stressed the need for detailed data about physically challenged persons. UN convention in this connection should also be discussed in the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG), they observed.

Representatives from 30 ministries, non-government organisations (NGOs), different leading development organisations, European Commission, Australian High Commission, political parties, physically challenged people's organisations, civil society, international donor agencies and print and electronic media were present at the seminar.

Australian High Commissioner in Bangladesh Justin Lee, President of Bangladesh Economic Association Dr Quazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad and First Counsellor at the Delegation of the European Commission Jean-Jacques Lauture addressed the seminar as special guests.

Source: The Financial Express, 30 October, 2009: for More, please visit: http://www.thefinancialexpress-bd.com/search_index.php?page=detail_news&news_id=82992





The government is planning to make a special database of persons with disabilities according to different natures of disability and gender in the next census to be held in 2011, Minister for Social Welfare Enamul Haque Mostafa Shahid said yesterday.

In the national ID cards, the persons with disability will be regarded as Golden Citizens and they will get an increased coverage of social security protection scheme, he also said.

He was speaking at a seminar on 'UN Convention on the Rights of the Persons with Disability' organised by Bangladesh Protibandhi Kalyan Samity (BPKS) at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the city.

The minister said the government is committed to bringing every child with disability to school. Stern actions will be taken against any school that refuses to admit children with disability.

Speakers at the seminar said according to the last census held in 2001 there are about 15 million persons with disability in the country. However, the actual number is much higher. They also added another 56 million people with age related disability to the total number.

They said although disability is a major social and economic phenomenon in Bangladesh, there is very little reliable data available on this issue, especially in the absence of a comprehensive national survey on persons with disabilities.

Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, president of Bangladesh Economic Association, said it is a must to know the actual number of disabled persons to include them in the mainstream of the country's socio-economic development.

Without appropriate statistics it will not be possible to address their needs, he added.

Advocate Salma Ali, executive director of Bangladesh National Women Lawyers Association, stressed ensuring the rights of women and children with disability.

She said it is still not possible to implement different terms of the UN convention in the legal system, as they are not yet incorporated into the domestic law.

Abdus Sattar Dulal, executive director of BPKS, pointed out that the Ministry of Social Welfare is not solely responsible for disability related issues. Welfare and charity cannot be the solution to disability.

Promoting rights-based approach incorporating disability related development plans under all ministries is necessary, he added.

The speakers also underscored the need for implementing the UN convention adding that the persons with disability should also have access to decision making.

Australian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Justin Lee, Prof Mahmuda Islam of Dhaka University, Jean-Jacques Lauture, first counsellor at the Delegation of the European Commission, Jonathan Foret, chief, PSID Worldwide, BPKS, and Gazi Mohammad Nurul Kabir, managing director of Jatiya Protibandhi Unnayan Foundation, also spoke.

Source: The Daily Star, date 30 October, 2009. For more please visit:
http://www.thedailystar.net/story.php?nid=111902


N

On 9 October 2009 UK Trade & Investment launched a new report detailing major infrastructure opportunities for UK companies in Brazil. The report includes information on over 80 projects which will help prepare Brazil to host the World Cup in 2014, as well as the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio.

With an estimated 600,000 foreign visitors expected for the World Cup alone and with 12 host cities to prepare, Brazil is facing a huge challenge. Estimates of the investment in infrastructure required to prepare for 2014 range from £10 billion to £30 billion. This will include:

  • £1.5 billion on constructing and modernising 12 stadiums;
  • £1.4 billion expanding and modernising airports across the country; 
  • Improving and expanding urban transport systems in the 12 host cities, a potential investment of up to £10 billion.

UK expertise in planning and delivering both large infrastructure projects, and major sporting events, mean our firms are well-placed to take advantage of these opportunities.

The executive summary of the report is below.  PDF copies of the full report are available on request from:

Sara Pereira
Assistant Sector Manager Sports, Infrastructure and Mining
UK Trade & Investment, Rio de Janeiro
Email: sara.pereira@fco.gov.uk

UK Trade & Investment Contact: faith.quigley@bis.gsi.gov.uk

With an aim to empower differently-abled persons, the Kerala government is planning to set up a Centre for Disability Studies in the State capital. G. MAHADEVAN spoke to Dr. G.N. Karna, Chairman of the Working Group on Disability for the 11th Five Year Plan on the scope of this proposal.

Dr. G. N. Karna is a member of the National Human Rights Commission Core Group on disability and Chairman, Working Group on Disability for 11th Five Year Plan. He is a member of the Consultative Committee on Scheduled Castes, Other Backward Castes, and Social Welfare for Mid-Term Appraisal of 11th Five-Year Plan and is the Honorary President, Society for Disability and Rehabilitation Studies, New Delhi.

He was in Thiruvananthapuram last week to participate in a meeting called to discuss the setting up of a Centre for Disability Studies under the LBS, in Thiruvananthapuram. Based on discussions he had with The Hindu-EducationPlus while in Thiruvananthapuram he agreed to respond to questions emailed to him.

Excerpts:

In layman's terms, how would you define Disability Studies?

Disability Studies could be defined as a field of knowledge or academic inquiry, which reformulates the study of disability by perceiving it as a social phenomenon, social construct, metaphor and culture, and thereby suggesting adoption of rights-based perspective. Disability Studies is primarily centred on how disability is defined, viewed and represented in society.

The complexity of defining disability has aggravated because of indiscriminate and loose use, by scholars, of terms like 'impaired', 'disabled', 'physically handicapped'/ 'physically challenged', 'mentally challenged' and 'differently abled'. Though the fact remains that there is classical distinction in the meaning of these terminologies, they all convey some or other disabling situations and provide a fragmented perspective of disability. The most accepted terminology from rights-based perspective is persons with disabilities or disabled persons.

What is the status of disability studies in India? Is there adequate academic focus on the social, cultural, economic, educational issues relating to such people?

Ironically, despite plethora of studies and research carried out in developed societies, the area of disability studies, still, remains quite grey and unexplored. It continues to be ignored in the curricula of schools, colleges and universities in India and due attention has not been given to address issues related to disability and rehabilitation policies from inter-disciplinary paradigms. This could be reflected in the way the plethora of degrees and diploma courses are restructured over the years by national institutes with sectoral perspectives with medical/ clinical orientation.

This tendency has resulted in the issue of disability being studied and analysed as merely the part of the syllabi of certain specific disciplines such as, medical science, bio-technology, psychology, social work, special education, community health, rehabilitation medicine, labour economics and sociology and that, too, in a piecemeal fashion.

Moreover, there is far too rigid a compartmentalisation of disciplines in the curricula of Indian Universities and academic institutions, which has contributed to a reduction of cross-flow between various fields of research and obstructed progress in the specific field of disability. Since disability is basically a human rights and developmental issue, its multitudinous dimensions must be approached from interdisciplinary paradigm.

What should be the role of a Centre for Disability Studies such as the one proposed to be set up by the Government of Kerala?

The proposed Centre for Disability Studies (CDS) to be started by Government of Kerala should undertake the following activities in order to actualise the goal of empowering the persons with disabilities at the grassroots level. Among the major activities and roles identified for the proposed CDS are: imparting teaching and research at the level of MA/M.Sc., M.Phil. and Ph.D. programmes in Disability Studies with interdisciplinary perspectives; organising short-term and long-term training programmes for the rehabilitation personnel; developing resource materials for the use of persons with disabilities as also professionals and social activists for delivery of services to the stakeholders; conducting institutional and community rehabilitation programmes; establishing better linkages between university and government/non-governmental organisations working in disability sector; acting as a cleaning house on various disability aspects in terms of assistance, promotion of research and dissemination of information; conducting innovative research for promoting inclusive education practices at school and college level for students with disabilities; carrying out participatory action research on issues of contemporary relevance for disability sector ; espousing for incorporation of disability, rehabilitation and human rights related issues into the curricula of subjects being taught at school and college levels; and most importantly sensitizing at the grassroots level about the imperativeness of changing the mindsets of society.

Since the courses to be offered by the proposed centre should be multidisciplinary in nature, development of interdisciplinary team of experts/ professionals would be necessary.

Imparting courses on Disability Studies as part of higher education involves expertise from plethora of academic disciplines. The centre could initially offer MA/ M.Sc., M.Phil. and Ph.D. programme on Disability Studies. Apart from academic programmes, the staff of the Centre should also actively engage in research, training and development of psycho- educational tools.

How can the best of students be attracted to disability studies?

Insofar as attracting the best students for the programmes are concerned, a national level entrance test should be held in major cities of the country to select the competent candidates with interest in pursuing the career in Disability Studies.

Another important way to encourage talented and promising students/ scholars for opting academic, research and professional career in Disability Studies could be to institute certain scholarships/ fellowships. There could be adequate scope for degree holders of CDS for employment avenues in central and state universities, colleges, national institutes, organisations and donor agencies working in disability sector at national and international levels. Those who achieve excellence in research at doctoral level could also stand good chance of getting Ford Foundation and Commonwealth Fellowship for advanced career in Disability Studies in foreign universities/ academic institutions. For exceptional scholars with outstanding contribution to Disability Studies, there could also be scope for applying for the most prestigious Ed Roberts Post Doctoral Fellowship for higher research in the USA.

What are the steps that need to be taken to establish such an institute? How would it be funded?

The most important step required for Department of Education in Kerala is to constitute a high-power Core Group on Disability Studies Teaching and Research in Schools, Colleges and Universities with the mandate of laying down a broad outline for setting up a Centre for Disability Studies as part of LBS Centre for Science and Technology, Thiruvananthapuram. Total estimated financial support/grants- in- aid required to meet the expenses against plan headings for a duration of five years could be approximately Rs.10 crore or so. In addition, a Corpus Fund could be instituted so as to make the operation of centre sustainable in due course. In that case the centre might not have to look for financial support/grants at every stage of its institutional development. Insofar as mobilisation/allocation of financial resources is concerned, the Government of Kerala could allocate financial grants-in-aid/support of Rs.10 crore or as much as possible (including the plan expenses on salary and perks of staff for five-year period) for this purpose. The rest Rs.10 crore could be generated by managing part financial support from Thiruvananthapuram/Kerala-based major public sector banks and public sector undertakings.

What are the challenges faced by the disabled in the country today? What other measures can be taken to mitigate those challenges?

Given the gargantuan dimension and complex nature of the problem of disability in India, the greatest need of the hour is neither more programming nor even specific entitlements for the disabled individuals but a re-orientation of policy framework of disability from rights-based approach. Despite launching of plethora of schemes/plans and investing crores of rupees by Government of India on physical and vocational rehabilitation as also legal empowerment, the goal of mainstreaming the persons with disabilities into society is still as far way as ever. There is a wide gap in policy formulation and implementation. Though there is lack of accurate and reliable data on disability in our country it could roughly be assumed that not less than ten per cent of the total population are affected by physical, mental and sensory impairments and around 75 per cent of the total population is concentrated in rural, hilly and far-flung backward regions of developing countries.

If this yardstick is adopted to ascertain the quantum of population incapacitated by various disabling situations in our country, it could come around the staggering figure of ten and eleven crore.

Despite so much brouhaha in policy circles over empowerment of the disabled/disadvantaged, the situation is quite alarming at the grassroots level and a miniscule part of the disabled population has so far been benefited by governmental schemes/programmes. Even the scheme benefits do not go to them without pinches because of rampant corruption involved in delivery of services.

The monitoring and watchdog mechanism put in place has so far failed to ensure delivery of services and justice to the genuine disabled beneficiaries in villages.



http://beta.thehindu.com/education/issues/article26419.ece

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Viva Milano! (Italian)

IDEA DESIGN FOR ALL

Presentazione del progetto e finalità

Design for All significa progettare ambienti, attrezzature e servizi fruibili in condizioni di autonomia da parte di persone con esigenze e abilità diversificate.  In poche parole, una progettazione "a misura d'uomo", che ha l'obiettivo di migliorare la qualità della vita di tutti. È un design per la diversità umana, l'inclusione sociale e l'uguaglianza.

Il progetto Idea Desing for All (DfA) ha l'obiettivo di informare e promuovere presso le imprese milanesi l'approccio di progettazione orientato al concetto di DfA, accompagnandole tramite DfA Italia nell'implementazione di progetti orientati a questo utilizzo.

A chi è rivolta l'iniziativa
Possono partecipare aziende di tutti i settori produttivi, che abbiano sede operativa o legale nella provincia di Milano.

Perché partecipare
Il progetto "Idea DfA" introduce nelle PMI un'importante innovazione che unisce il vantaggio economico al vantaggio sociale: il Design for All.

Un progetto DfA allarga il mercato di una piccola e media impresa perché:

  • consente di soddisfare una maggior base di clienti dando facilità, comodità e gradevolezza d'uso anche a fasce di clienti penalizzati o addirittura esclusi dai prodotti finalizzati all'utente standard;
  • fidelizza i clienti perché valorizza le loro specificità;
  • non propone soluzioni per disabili (ghettizzanti), ma per tutti, compresi i disabili;
  • dà una risposta creativa e non discriminante alle norme per la sicurezza e la disabilità.

Tutti i servizi sono offerti alle imprese a titolo gratuito.

LE FASI DEL PROGETTO

Fase 1 - Incontro divulgativo sulla metodologia progettuale Design for All / Analisi e selezione delle imprese.
L'incontro affronterà il tema dei vantaggi che il Design for All può offrire alla piccola e media impresa, delle caratteristiche fondamentali della progettazione DfA e di alcuni suoi supporti di ergonomia. Durante questo incontro verrà illustrato il progetto speciale per l'innovazione "Idea DfA" e le modalità di partecipazione. Ciascuna impresa partecipante all'incontro riceverà gratuitamente una copia del libro "Design for All - Il progetto per l'individuo reale" edito nel 2009 da Franco Angeli.
Successivamente all'incontro verranno analizzate tutte le richieste di adesione al progetto e selezionate cinque imprese che presentano le caratteristiche per poter ottenere i maggiori vantaggi dal progetto.

Fase 2 - Consulenza formativa ed operativa sull'applicazione della metodologia DfA ai prodotti.
Il secondo intervento coinvolgerà le imprese selezionate nella fase precedente: esse faranno un'esperienza formativa in tre workshop sul Design for All nei suoi aspetti di marketing, ergonomia e design. Successivamente, con la supervisione in azienda dei consulenti di Design for All Italia esperti su queste materie, ciascuna impresa identificherà e strutturerà un'idea DfA, che offra opportunità significative di successo. Con l'aiuto del team Design for All Italia ogni impresa definirà in un elenco i requisiti che il proprio prodotto DfA deve soddisfare. Al termine dell'intervento tutte le imprese avranno così le basi progettuali e le linee conduttrici per realizzare il proprio prodotto DfA. Le imprese porteranno le loro esperienze individuali in una giornata di confronto sul processo di creazione di un'idea DfA.

Fase 3 - Selezione dell'"Idea DfA", consulenza e affiancamento nella realizzazione del prototipo DfA.
All'interno delle imprese partecipanti alla fase 2 verrà selezionata l'impresa con la migliore "Idea DfA". Essa godrà dell'affiancamento e della supervisione del team di Design for All Italia per: ideazione, progetto modellabile, documento strategico per il lancio e la commercializzazione del prodotto DfA, definizione linee guida per gli strumenti di comunicazione necessari. Al termine dell'intervento l'impresa vincitrice avrà un modello tridimensionale, piani e strumenti per entrare nel mercato con un prodotto DfA e concorrerà all'assegnazione dei marchi DfA Start o DfA Quality.

Come partecipare
Tutti i dettagli e i requisiti per la partecipazione al progetto sono contenuti nel regolamento (in formato pdf 192 kb).

Per inviare la domanda di adesione al progetto è necessario registrarsi e compilare il formulario on-line, cliccando qui.

Per informazioni:
Camera di Commercio di Milano
Servizio Innovazione e brevetti
Tel. 02.8515.4513
Fax 02.8515.4205
E-mail: contributialleimprese@mi.camcom.it

On October 19, the U.S. Access Board issued the draft final rule on
accessibility guidelines for outdoor developed areas including trails,
camping and picnic facilities, viewing areas and beaches. The
accessibility guidelines, when adopted, would apply to facilities
covered by the Architectural Barriers Act including Federal land
management agencies, such as the U.S. Forest Service, National Park
Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau On October 19, the U.S. Access Board issued the draft final rule on
accessibility guidelines for outdoor developed areas including trails,
camping and picnic facilities, viewing areas and beaches. The
accessibility guidelines, when adopted, would apply to facilities
covered by the Architectural Barriers Act including Federal land
management agencies, such as the U.S. Forest Service, National Park
Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau
of Reclamation, and Army Corps of Engineers. In addition, the final
accessibility guidelines would also apply to the following non-federal
entities that construct or alter facilities on Federal lands on behalf
of the Federal government: private entities that construct or alter
camping facilities, picnic facilities, or beach facilities on Federal
lands pursuant to a concession contract or other arrangement with a
Federal agency under which the Federal agency reviews or approves the
design of the facility and has a property interest in the facility;
state or local government entities that construct or alter camping
facilities, picnic facilities, or beach facilities on Federal lands
pursuant to an agreement with a Federal agency under which the Federal
agency reviews or approves the design of the facility and has a
property interest in the facility; and non-profit organizations and
state or local government entities that enter into partnerships with a
Federal agency to construct or alter trails or viewing areas on Federal
lands.

Entities covered by the final rule are encouraged to review the draft
document and provide public comment to the U.S. Access Board before
December 18, 2009.

The draft document has been reformatted from the Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking issued in 2007 to be more consistent for incorporation into
the Americans with Disabilities Act and Architectural Barriers Act
(ADA-ABA) Accessibility Guidelines. Entities are encouraged to review
the scoping and technical provisions for clarity, ease of understanding
and application of the draft guidelines to real outdoor scenarios.

For further information, contact Bill Botten at the Board at
botten@access-board.gov, (202) 272-0014 (v), or (202) 272-0082 (TTY).
The Board intends to develop similar guidelines for outdoor developed
areas controlled by non-Federal entities at a future date.


To view the draft document and submit comments, go to >
http://www.access-board.gov/outdoor/draft-final.htm

of Reclamation, and Army Corps of Engineers. In addition, the final
accessibility guidelines would also apply to the following non-federal
entities that construct or alter facilities on Federal lands on behalf
of the Federal government: private entities that construct or alter
camping facilities, picnic facilities, or beach facilities on Federal
lands pursuant to a concession contract or other arrangement with a
Federal agency under which the Federal agency reviews or approves the
design of the facility and has a property interest in the facility;
state or local government entities that construct or alter camping
facilities, picnic facilities, or beach facilities on Federal lands
pursuant to an agreement with a Federal agency under which the Federal
agency reviews or approves the design of the facility and has a
property interest in the facility; and non-profit organizations and
state or local government entities that enter into partnerships with a
Federal agency to construct or alter trails or viewing areas on Federal
lands.

Entities covered by the final rule are encouraged to review the draft
document and provide public comment to the U.S. Access Board before
December 18, 2009.

The draft document has been reformatted from the Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking issued in 2007 to be more consistent for incorporation into
the Americans with Disabilities Act and Architectural Barriers Act
(ADA-ABA) Accessibility Guidelines. Entities are encouraged to review
the scoping and technical provisions for clarity, ease of understanding
and application of the draft guidelines to real outdoor scenarios.

For further information, contact Bill Botten at the Board at
botten@access-board.gov, (202) 272-0014 (v), or (202) 272-0082 (TTY).
The Board intends to develop similar guidelines for outdoor developed
areas controlled by non-Federal entities at a future date.


To view the draft document and submit comments, go to >
http://www.access-board.gov/outdoor/draft-final.htm

ICT Accessibilty Workshop in South Korea


A United Nations-backed gathering in the Republic of Korea wrapped up [October 15] calling for improved access to Internet and mobile phone technologies, among others, for some 400 million persons with disabilities living in the Asia-Pacific region. The three-day workshop, jointly organized by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), recommended new guidelines to improve access to information and communication technology (ICT) for persons with disabilities in the region.

"ICTs, when used effectively, have the potential to empower people with disabilities to lead active, independent and productive lives," said Hyeun-Suk Rhee, Director of the Asian and Pacific Training Centre for ICT for Development (APCICT).

Bringing together policy-makers from Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkey, Uzbekistan and Viet Nam, the workshop provided training in enhancing ICT accessibility for persons with disabilities.

Source:
http://www.disabilitynewsasia.com/html/newsoct28.html