RI Global Newsletter, November 2018: Empowering Persons with Disabilities and Ensuring Inclusiveness and Equality

5 December 2018


RI Global General Assembly and Executive Committee Meetings

Rehabilitation International held several successful meetings and its 2018 annual Governing Assembly in Berlin 1-6 November 2018 hosted by its member, DGUV with the full support of DVfR. At the opening of the RI Executive Committee meeting, RI President Haidi Zhang thanked the German hosts for their continuing and unwavering support to the global work of Rehabilitation International. She said she spent one year in Germany learning about the country and the services it provided to persons with disabilities. When she returned to China, she started her lifelong work in disability and rehabilitation.

“Empowering Persons with Disabilities and Ensuring Inclusiveness and Equality”, UN Celebrates the 2018 International Day of Persons with Disabilities

The 2018 International Day of Persons with Disabilities, under the theme “Empowering Persons with. Disabilities and Ensuring Inclusiveness and Equality”, was commemorated at the United Nations Headquarters on 3 December 2018. “More than 1 billion people in the world live with some form of disability,” said Mr. Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, “let us reaffirm our commitment to work together for an inclusive and equitable world, where the rights of people with disabilities are fully realized.”

The programme of the full-day commemoration included an opening ceremony, and panel discussions reviewing recent initiatives taken by the international community, highlighting the key challenges and cross-cutting issues in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and exploring innovative solutions for the well-being and empowerment of persons with disabilities.

Ms. Venus Ilagan, Secretary-General of RI Global, participated at the commemoration, as one of the civil society representatives, and spoke at the opening penal discussion. Ms. Ilagan highlighted the launch of RI”s Global Disability Development Fund (GDDF) and the Africa Fund this year under the leadership of RI President Ms. Zhang Haidi. The two funds aim to provide financial support for the empowerment of grassroots persons with disabilities, and paid special attention to initiatives that build the capacities of women and children with disabilities in mostly rural areas.

The first recipients from the round1 of the GDDF are projects of and for persons with disabilities in Brazil, Lebanon, Ethiopia and Nepal. The first recipient of the Africa Fund is an RI member-organization in South Africa which is working for the inclusion of persons with disabilities in productive employment.

The call for proposals for round2 was scheduled from September 1st to October 15, 2018. Applications received are currently being reviewed by RI’s project review team and results will be announced shortly.

RI Global: Around the World

Global IT Challenge for Youth with Disabilities

Co-organized by Rehabilitation International Korea and LG Electronics, the 2018 Global IT Challenge for Youth with Disabilities (GITC) was held from 8-12 November in New Delhi, India. The 2018 GITC has performed an exemplary role both as an IT powerhouse and using IT to solve various disability issues both domestically and internationally. In particular, the Government of India has pledged to implement its role and responsibility as a co-host country by supporting accommodation and event venue for all participants. The five-day event has been an exceptional forum for youth with disabilities to demonstrate their leadership and knowledge in the IT industry, and for experts and practitioners from governments and international organizations to explore policy options to reduce the digital gap for persons with disabilities ad well as to promote ICT policies and networks inclusive of persons with disabilities. More details: http://globalitchallenge.com

TRANSED2018 Mobility for all: Connecting the World with Accessible Transportation

The 15th International Conference on Mobility and Transport for Elderly and disabled Persons (TRANSED 2018) was held in Taipei, Taiwan from 12 to 15 November. The theme of TRANSED2018 was “Mobility for all: connecting the world with accessible transportation”. Scholars, experts and government officials from around the world gathered together at the Conference, and shared the achievements and future development of accessible transportation from their area of work.

More details at: http://eden.international/news_detail.php?bulletin=1&b_id=972

Preparations for the RI Asia and Pacific Conference 2019 Underway

The Rehabilitation International Asia and Pacific Regional Conference 2019 will be held in Macau from 26 to 28 June 2019. Under the theme “Together, leaving no one behind, in disability-inclusive and rights-based progress”, the Conference aims to share good practices and strategic actions among different societies, and discuss the impacts on policy formulation and implementation. The Conference is set in the context of global monitoring of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Incheon Strategy of the Asia and Pacific Decade of Disabled Persons, and RI Global’s Strategic Goals.

The three-day Conference, including satellite sessions at rehabilitation facilities and thematic round tables and workshops is expected to bring together 1,000 participants from local and international experts, practitioners, academics, and researchers, to share and discuss the issues about disability, rehabilitation, and rights-based disability-inclusion. The Conference Organizing Committee now warmly invite friends and colleagues from the RI network to participate at the Conference. To learn more details about the Conference, please visit the Conference website at: https://www.rimacau2019.org

Outstanding Disability Leaders Recognized in National Awards in Australia

People with disability, from around Australia, have been recognized by their peers for their outstanding leadership and achievements in the inaugural National Awards for Disability Leadership on 3 December.

The seven categories of the Award recognize the outstanding achievements or outcomes by persons with disabilities, reflecting the diversity of the community, and the intersectional nature of our lives in the arts, change making, rights activism, innovation, social impact, inclusion and an individual’s lifetime commitment to the disability rights movement. “These awards reflect what is important to disabled people, to our movement and to the ways that we are driving change and pursuing equality for our community,” said Dr. David Abello, President of People with Disability Australia. More details at: https://disabilityleaders.com.au/national-awards/

RI Global: News to Use

The Expert Council on NGO Law published a new study reviewing the international standards relating to reporting and disclosure requirements for NGOs

The Expert Council on NGO Law of the Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe published a review, in which the legitimate scope of reporting and disclosure requirements for NGOs in the Council of Europe Member States is discussed against the background of international instruments governing freedom of association and its related rights. The review also presents developments relating to the data protection law which have further strengthened the right of NGOs to privacy, thus narrowing the margin of appreciation of a state’ legitimate interference with their internal affairs. The full review is available at: https://rm.coe.int/expert-council-conf-exp-2018-3-review-ngo-reporting-requirements/16808f2237

Universal Accessibility in Meetings: A Study to Promote Accessibility in Meetings and Conventions

RI Global, together with BestCities Global Alliance and GainingEdge, launched a research study titled “Universal Accessibility in Meetings”. It aims to promote awareness among meeting organizers and the supplier community on the need to remove barriers in meetings and conventions for delegates with disabilities. The study also includes recommendations on how destinations can make the business events they host more inclusive and accessible for all. More details: https://www.riglobal.orguniversal-accessibility-in-meetings/

RI Global: Mark Your Calendar

26-28 June 2019, Macau, RI Asia and Pacific Regional Conference 2019

Under the main theme  “ Together, leaving no one behind, in disability inclusive and rights-based progress” the 2018 RI Asia and Pacific Regional Conference will organize plenary sessions focused on key issues including disability inclusive disaster risk reduction and post disaster rehabilitation, gender and disabilities, education, work, employment and social enterprise, and accessibility as well as international frameworks such as the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Incheon Strategy adopted for  the Asia and Pacific Decade of Persons with Disabilities and  the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.


RI SG thanks German hosts for successful RI meetings

RI Secretary General Venus Ilagan thanks RI members in Germany for the successful holding of various RI meetings and the organization’s 2018 Annual Governing Assembly in Berlin from 1-6 November 2018. She acknowledged the hard work by Ms. Sylvia Kurth, RI’s National Secretary for Germany starting 2016 and Dr. Friedrich Mehrhoff, the current national secretary, without whose support, the RI meetings would not have been the big success that they have become. She also cited the support of the other RI member-organization BAR under the stewardship of Dr. Regina Ernst for the wonderful dinner hosted by the organization for RI members who came from different parts of the world. “It was wonderful to have worked closely with very professional partners from our member-organizations in Germany. I can’t thank them enough for making RI’s various meetings productive and successful,” Ilagan said.

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