RI Global What’s On October: A Year Later — Addis Ababa

RI Global What’s On, October 2017
A Year Later — Addis Ababa
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United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) Conference Center in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the site for the annual RI Global World Conference.

RI Global October 2017 Newsletter 2017
A Year after the World Congress: RI Heads to Addis

Preparations for Annual Conference Underway
In 2016, during the 23rd Rehabilitation International World Congress in Edinburgh, Scotland, world leaders, including on Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Princess Anne, the Princess Royal, came out in force to join 1,000 business, academics and charity partners in redoubling efforts to tackle inequality “head on”.A year later, Rehabilitation International (RI) is in the final stage of preparations for its annual conference to be held from 11-14 November at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) Conference Center in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. RI Global’s member in Ethiopia, Vision Community Based Rehabilitation Association, will host the conference and showcase various programmes, facilities and initiatives in disability and rehabilitation in Ethiopia. This will be followed by a meeting of RI Global’s Executive Committee, the RI Global Commissions, the RI Global Foundation Board and finally, RI Global’s 2018 Annual General Assembly: Addressing Challenges in Disability & Inclusion in Africa – Rehabilitation International’s Call to Action.

“RI Global under the leadership of its President, Zhang Haidi, appreciates the fact that Africa is a very important region of RI Global,and she aspires to do more pro-active work in the region during her presidency,” said RI Global Secretary General, Venus Ilagan. “The 2018 conference aims, among others aspects, to make RI Global more visible in Africa, to attract membership both old and new, to ensure that our work is well understood on the continent, and for us to also understand the issues of the region, and address the challenges faced by persons with disabilities in Africa.”

An Action Plan for the region is expected to be produced from this conference. See the press release on the website.

UNDESA’s DSPD has organized “Accessible Cities United: Enabling Future Cities to be Smart” Celebrating World Cities Day 2017 ‘Innovative Governance, Open Cities
RI GLOBAL: UN/Around the World
World Cities Day 2017
By 2030 more than 60 percent of the world’s population is projected to live in cities. Technological and social innovations now allow these cities to  create smarter and inter-connected communities that can enhance service delivery, improve citizen’s lives and reduce urban poverty. But are these so-called smart cities using their gains to reach all people living in all situations, particularly persons with disabilities?Celebrating the World Cities Day 2017 ‘Innovative Governance, Open Cities’, UNDESA’s Division for Social Policy and Development (DSPD) has organized “Accessible Cities United: Enabling Future Cities to be Smart.” RI Global Secretary-General Venus Ilagan will speak at Enabling future cities to be smart. Strategies to prevent urban poverty and to promote inclusion and wellbeing held on Tuesday, 31 October at UN Headquarters in New York from 10-11:30am.

Ilagan will share her knowledge and help identify solutions to the challenges smart cities will face in offering accessible infrastructure, services and information. She will also discuss the prudent development of policies to create the types of environment that promote the well-being of the differently abled.


Disabled in EU still institutionalized, marginalized
Many people with disabilities in the EU still live in institutions, at risk of being isolated, marginalised and prevented from living a full, independent life, and face worse conditions than people without disabilities, according to a new report from the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA).

“Too often people with disabilities are prevented from having choice and control over their lives,” says FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty. “While the EU and its Member States have committed themselves to enabling people to enjoy their right to live independently, in practice realities are falling short.”

The From institutions to community living reports explore different aspects of the move away from institutions towards independent and community living, a right enshrined in the UN’s CRPD. The reports examine: deinstitutionalisation plans and commitmentsfunding, and the impact on people with disabilities. The reports also show that many Member States have deinstitutionalisation strategies which commit them to enabling independent living for all people with disabilities. For further information click online.

In 2016, the Heidi Lasky Dance Company performed at the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The theme for 2017: Transformation towards sustainable and resilient society for all
RI GLOBAL: Upcoming UN Events
3rd International Conference of the World Federation of the Deaf: The main theme of the conference is Full inclusion with sign language, with talks and symposia focused on the belief that full social inclusion of deaf people is possible if sign language is recognised and used widely within society. Budapest Congress Center, Budapest, Hungary, 8-10 November, golob@congressline.hu.UNESCAP High-level Intergovernmental Meeting on the Midpoint Review of the Asian and Pacific Decade of Persons with Disabilities:ESCAP, in cooperation with the China Disabled Persons’ Federation (CDPF), is organizing this High-level Intergovernmental Meeting with a focus on the Incheon Strategy to “Make the Right Real”, to discuss the future policy direction for building disability-inclusive societies and to incorporate the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with regard to PwDs in Asia and the Pacific. Crowne Plaza Hotel, Beijing, China, 27 November – 1 December.

International Day of Persons with DisabilitiesTransformation towards sustainable and resilient society for all is the theme for the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) 2017. The day will focus on the conditions to make transformative changes towards a disability-inclusive society – as envisaged in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the CRPD. United Nations, 3 December 2017

A game of wheelchair basketball like the ones played in the Toyama Sunrise facility operated by the Japanese Society for Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities (JSRPD)
RI GLOBAL Member Profile: 
Japanese Society for Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities (JSRPD)
Established in 1964, JSRPD has been working to promote rehabilitation and social inclusion of persons with disabilities in Japan with the widespread participation of rehabilitation specialists and persons with disabilities. Since 1984, the JSRPD has also run, on behalf of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, the National Welfare Center for Persons with Disabilities, also known as Toyama Sunrise. Toyama Sunrise is a 74-bed facility in Toyama, Japan that assists the disabled population of Japan during various stages of their lives, including accommodations for patients undergoing rehabilitation, a conference center, a gymnasium for disabled groups and activity rooms for art and other hobbies. JSRPD is also a full participant in UNESCAP’s efforts to raise awareness during the Asian and Pacific Decade of Persons with Disabilities, 2013-2022, and has taken the lead in building disability-inclusive societies in Asia and the Pacific, bearing in mind the synergies between the Incheon Strategy and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Visit JSRPD at www.jsrpd.jp/

RI GLOBAL: News to Use


Tokyo 2020-Accessible Bathroom Upgrade

In preparation for an expected 40 million guests for the 2020 Summer Olympics, the Japanese government has launched a national toilet improvement campaign. Tokyo’s Narita airport was the first Olympic renovation during the “total toilet makeover drive.” Earlier this month, new designer restrooms opened, including not only singing toilets and beeping bidets, but also a voice guidance system that talks to users who are blind and a light alert system to help people who are deaf in case of emergencies. There are also designated wide stalls for those with service animals. These spaces are pet friendly which include leash hooks, pet mats and cans for dog waste disposal. The aim of such a makeover is to imbibe universal design so that it is useful even after the Olympics.
Project creates cardboard adaptations for kids with disabilities
Thanks to a grant from the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation awarded to Temple’s Institute on Disabilities, local professionals are building personalized, inexpensive cardboard adaptations of more technical assistive devices for Children with Disabilities. Because young children grow so quickly, acquiring multiple specialized commercial devices to help them move or play is often out of reach and inaccessible for families. A commercial device can cost hundreds of dollars, while materials to make cardboard adaptations generally cost less than $50. The project serves children (ages birth to 6) with paralysis-causing conditions with customized adaptations made from three-ply cardboard. Adaptions will include everything from customized standers to customized chair inserts and wheelchair trays.


Strong family ties improve employment opportunities for PwDs
Family and close friends play an integral role in helping people with childhood-onset disabilities attain quality employment as adults, a new study from Oregon State University has found. The findings underscore the value of social supports for people with disabilities to assist them in building those networks and, when they are employed, navigating the workplace in an effort to secure more hours or access jobs that require more advanced skills. “Having a disability from childhood has wide-ranging impacts on early childhood development, schooling, socialization and more,” said David Baldridge, one of the study’s authors. The study was published recently in the journal Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.  Those with childhood-onset disabilities – meaning they were born with a disability or acquired one as a minor – are among the most marginalized populations when it comes to employment.

Help the UN with its Flagship Report on Disability and Development by going online to AXS MapWheelmap or Jaccede and rating public places in various municipalities around the world
RI GLOBAL Events/Awards/Conferences 
Call for participation, accessibility reportPer resolution 69/142, the Secretary-General of the United Nations needs the help of persons with disabilities and their allies. The UN Flagship Report on Disability and Development | 2018 – Realizing the SDGs by, for and with persons with disabilities is due for release in 2018, and only 30 countries have collected disability data in their last census. Therefore, the UN is requesting that persons with disabilities go online to AXS MapWheelmap or Jaccede and rate public places in various municipalities around the world according to accessibility and availability.Statements for CSocD56NGOs in General and Special Consultative Status with ECOSOC are invited to submit written statements to the CSocD56 on the theme ofStrategies for the eradication of poverty to achieve sustainable development for all.  Click here for submission and general instructions. Deadline for submission is 19 November.  Acceptance notifications sent by 22 December.

Accessible Americas IVSince 2014, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has been organizing the Accessible Americas events to raise awareness around protecting the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities among governments in the Americas. This year, the forum will focus on cooperative efforts to implement disability policy, as well as the tools for sharing resources and solutions. Accessible Americas IV, Hotel Barcelo, San Jose, Costa Rica, 21-23 November 2017. 

Wells Fargo Offers Disability Scholarships: In honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, Wells Fargo & Company and Scholarship America announced the second annual People with Disabilities Scholarship Program. The program’s goal is to help people with disabilities obtain the education or training they need to succeed in the careers they choose.Applications accepted online through 28 November or until 700 applications are submitted.

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