RI Global Newsletter, October 2018: RI General Assembly in Berlin

RI Global General Assembly to be held in Berlin

Rehabilitation International (RI), a global network of experts, persons with disabilities, service providers and other stakeholders, is in the final stage of preparations for its Executive Committee and other meetings and General Assembly to be held in Berlin, Germany from 2 to 6 November 2018 hosted by RI Member DGUV and supported by BAR, also an RI member.

Meetings of the RI Executive Committee and Commissions or thematic working groups will be held during the five-day activities to discuss the work of RI worldwide, by reviewing the progress made in advancing the rights and inclusion of persons with disabilities relative to RI’s 2017-2021 Strategic Plan. The organization under the leadership of Zhang Haidi, a well known champion of disability rights, aims to do more proactive work in exploring the way forward through more collaboration among RI members, as well as other stakeholders and experts. One of the highlights of Madam Zhang’s presidency of RI was the launching of the Global Disability Development Fund (GDDF) and the Africa Fund (AF) which provide resources to enable organizations of disabled persons who are members of RI and those who work with them, to pursue initiatives to improve their lot and make them productive and contributing members of their communities and societies.

RI Secretary General Venus Ilagan said the headquarters office in New York has started sending out grants this week, to projects that were selected by RI’s review team as the first set of beneficiaries of the GDDF and AF. The RI SG assured RI’s commitment to continue helping those who need resources the most, in fulfillment of the RI President’s vision for RI to make a difference in the lives of persons with disabilities in support of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Ilagan said RI has always been pro-disability and pro-rehabilitation but it is able to create more opportunities and engage more proactively this time around because of the resources that Haidi Zhang was able to mobilize. “It makes a lot of difference that we have the resources to back up our good intentions. We can do more, do things faster and a better chance to produce the desired results ,” Ilagan said. She thinks that the RI President understands the needs of disabled people by heart as she, herself, is a woman with a disability who was born and raised in a developing country. “She feels the difficulties disabled people face each day of their lives and she wants to make a difference,” Ilagan said.

One of the highlights of the RI General Assembly in Berlin, is the public part to be held on 5 November 2018 from 9 to 10 a.m. at DGUV, Glinkastraße 40, 10117 Berlin. It will be joined by RI Global members, ranking officials of Germany and other local major stakeholders to showcase the participation and contribution of persons with disabilities in Germany and elsewhere, in support of RI’s work. A regional conference for RI Europe will also be held on the 6th of November 2018. Dr. Joachim Breuer, Director General of DGUV and President of ISSA, Dr. Rolf Schmachtenberg, Permanent State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Madame Haidi Zhang, President of RI and President of China Disabled Persons’ Federation, will deliver their statements at the opening program.

New RI VP and DVP for Europe

Francois Perl of Belgium and Nick Carey of the UK have recently assumed their posts as Regional Vice President and Deputy Vice President for Europe, respectively. Europe being a trailblazing member of RI will continue to play its role as a pro-active and trend-setting region of RI as the organization approaches its 100th birthday in 2022. Both Francois and Nick have done years of work in the areas of rehabilitation and disability and are well positioned to lead RI’s work in Europe. Many of RI Global’s other executive officers who are known experts in their respective fields, share the optimism that RI will continue to actively engage in initiatives for disabled people especially that the region will host the 24th RI World Congress which is going to be held in September 2020 in Arrhus, Denmark. RI Denmark will host the upcoming 24th RI World Congress – the single biggest gathering of RI members and partners held every four years.

Round 2 of GDDF and AF closed on October 15, 2018

The second round of the RI’s Global Disability Development Fund (GDDF) and Africa Fund (AF) is now closed. 10 applications for GDDF and two for AF were received from 1 September to 15 October 2018. The applications have been forwarded to the RI project review team for preliminary screening and initial evaluation, and those who will be considered for funding will be informed in due course.

Meanwhile, the RI Management Committee for both GDDF and AF are. Scheduled to meet in Berlin during the RI General Assembly to discuss important issues relative to future implementation of the funds. The funds granted to the first set of the recipients of funding support has started to be released third week of October 2018.

With Her: A Skilled Girl Force – 2018 International Day of the Girl Child

On 11 October 2018, International Day of the Girl Child, the international community came together to highlight the challenges and the urgency to channel the strengthened creativity and energy of the world’s 600 million girls to the world of work, under the theme “With Her: A Skilled GirlForce”.

Today’s generation of girls are preparing to enter a world of work that is being transformed by innovation and automation. Educated and skilled workers are in great demand, but roughly a quarter of young people, most of them female, are currently neither employed nor in education nor training. Some one billion young people, including 600 million adolescent girls, will enter the workforce in the next decade. More than 90 per cent of those living in developing countries will work in the informal sector, in jobs that are not regulated or protected, and where low or no pay, abuse and exploitation are common. The most disadvantaged girls, including those in rural areas and those with disabilities, have even less access to decent work.

To develop A Skilled GirlForce, the global community is called to rapidly expand access to inclusive education and training; to improve the quality and gender-responsiveness of teaching and learning to enable girls to develop foundational, transferable and job-specific skills for life and work; to create inclusive and accessible schools, training and learning opportunities to empower girls with disabilities; to change gender stereotypes, social norms and unconscious bias; to create indicatives to support girls’ school-to-work transition and enable access to finance and enterprise development for female entrepreneurs.

Since 1922, Rehabilitation International has demonstrated its commitment to rehabilitation and concerns for the welfare for millions of persons with disabilities, including women and girls with disabilities especially those living in developing countries where opportunities and resources are lacking at best or altogether non-existent. In recent years, women and girls with disabilities, especially those in rural and remote settings, have become one of the priority areas of the work of RI. The first round of RI’s Global Disability Development Fund and Africa Fund, for example, have been granted to several projects in developing countries for women and girls with disabilities.

RI Global: Around the World

USICD celebrated the National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM)

The month of October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) in the U.S. Each year the disability and business community come together to advance disability employment. This year, the NDEAM theme is “Empowering All: America’s Workforce”. USICD is committed to promoting the inclusion of people with disabilities in the work place. It has developed a series successful programs to promote the education and awareness of the value of a workforce inclusive of people with disabilities and their contribution, including an internship program and international fellowship program. Lean more here: https://usicd.wordpress.com/2018/10/09/why-you-should-employ-people-with-disabilities-by-usicd-program-manager-vivian-fridas/

Al-Amal for Development and Social Care organized its fifth annual “Ibdaat Contest”

For the fifth consecutive year, Al-Amal organized its annual “Ibdaat Contest” with the participation of Grand Mufti of Lebanon Sheikh Abdul Latif Deryan, represented by Sheikh Abdul Hadi Khatib; the Minister of Social Affairs; Municipality of Beirut, General Manager of al Baraka Bank Mr. Mouatasem Mohmasani, presidents and members of associations, cultural and social clubs; mayors, councilmen, and participating organizations. Awards were presenting to a wide range of projects for rehabilitation services for persons with disabilities.

Indonesia 2018 Asian Para Games closed on 13 October 2018

The third Asian Para Games took place in Jakarta, Indonesia from October 6 – 13, 2018. Around 3000 athletes from 43 countries took part in 15 Paralympic and three non-Paralympic sports. RI Global President, Haidi Zhang, attended the Games, and commented that sports were an important means for the rehabilitation and participation of persons with disabilities. As a former athlete herself, she noted the that sports also encourage persons with disabilities to participate and contribute in all spheres of the society more actively. The next Asian Para Games will be held in Hangzhou, China in 2022. More news about the 2018 Asian Para Games is available at:https://asianparagames2018.id/en/

Haidi Zhang at the 2018 Asian Para Games, Jakarta, Indonesia

RI Asia-Pacific Regional Conference to be held in Macau

RI Asia-Pacific region will hold one of its biggest regional gatherings of RI members in the June 2019 regional conference which will be held in Macau under the sponsorship of Fuhong Society of Macau, an RI member. While RI National Member-Organizations (NMOs) have been very actively engaged in hosting various disability and rehabilitation activities i.e. the annual GITC competitions for youth with disabilities organized by RI-Korea and many others, this will be a big regional event where members in the region, will discuss issues and chart RI Asia-Pacific’s plan of action for the next many years. Yeja Lee and Joseph Kwan, VP and DVP of the region, are excited about the opportunity to share with the rest of RI members so many positive developments in RI under the leadership of Haidi Zhang, who is a pride of the Asia-Pacific region. Joseph Kwok of RI Hong Kong, is scheduled to provide an update at the RI GA in Berlin, on the status of preparations for the 2019 Asia-Pacific Regional Conference on behalf of Fuhong Society of Macau.

ARD continued its work for persons with disabilities in Burkina Faso

To build resilience of the local communities in Burkina Faso, Association Relwende Pour le Développement (ARD) continued its work in supporting persons with disabilities to live independently, including economic empowerment such as providing sheep and other means to persons with disabilities and their families and follow-ups on the school enrollments of children.

ARD in Burkina Faso

RI Global: News to Use

World Bank: Disability Inclusive Education in Africa Technical Learning Series

The World Bank, UNICEF and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) launched technical learning series on disability-inclusive education in Africa. The series explores essential components of the enabling environment and service delivery that can support efforts to create inclusive education system for all, including students with disabilities, and help reach the Sustainable Development Goal of equitable quality education for all by 2030. To learn more about the webinar series and workshops,

please visit: http://www.worldbank.org/en/events/2018/09/04/webinar-series-disability-inclusive-education-in-africa#1

IFES Launches New Tool to Promote Disability-inclusive Election Observation

The International Foundation for Electoral System (IFES), along with disabled person’s organization (DPO) partners around the world, has developed an Election Access Observation Toolkit, to ensure election observations account for the various barriers that persons with disabilities encounter. Drawing upon IFES’ experience conducting dozens of election access observation in countries around the world and international and regional standards for inclusive elections, the Election Access Observation Toolkit provides DPOs and election observer groups with the background and tools to effectively incorporate a disability rights perspective into domestic and international observation missions. More specifically, it includes step-by-step instructions for data collection, detailed checklist for long- and short-term observations and guidance on how to contextualize to national laws and policies, an illustrative list of disability=-inclusive questions and an extensive appendix of relevant resources. More detailed information is available at: https://www.ifes.org/publications/election-access-observation-toolkit

National Council on Independent Living Issues a Guide on Including People with Disabilities in Political Campaign

To assist political campaigns with understanding the access needs, potential barriers, and interests of the disability community, the National Council on Independent Living has created “Including People with Disabilities in Your Political Campaign: A guide for Campaign Staff”. The guide provides basic resource that campaigns at the local, state, and national levels in the U.S. that can be used to include and engage persons with disabilities in the campaign cycles. More information is available at: https://www.ncil.org/campaign-guide/

CBM Launches a Guide for Disability-inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction

CBM launches a good practice guide for disability-inclusive disaster risk reduction, which outlines a framework for successful disability-inclusive disaster risk reduction programming based on the experience of CBM and its partners in implementing community-based disaster risk reduction programs in some of the most flood-affected communities in Bangladesh. The framework puts people with disabilities at the center of disaster risk reduction efforts to improve local systems of disaster prevention, preparedness and response. The full guide is available at: https://www.cbm.org/CBM-launches-a-guide-for-disability-inclusive-Disaster-Risk-Reduction-547486.php

Humanity and Inclusion Launches a second African Call for Good Practices for its Gender and Disability Project

Humanity and Inclusion through its Making It Work project, in collaboration with the global Gender and Disability Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), is launching a second African call for good practices on the elimination, prevention of and response to discrimination, violence, abuse and exploitation of women and girls with disabilities. This call continues the work of documentation started in 2014 by the Making It Work gender and Disability project. The deadline for Submission if 16 November 2018, and more detail is available at: https://www.makingitwork-crpd.org/call-2018-africa

RI Global: Mark Your Calendar

14-17 October 2018, Vancouver, Canada, The International Forum on Disability Management (IFDM) 2018 by Pacific Coast University for Workplace Health Science

The International Forum on Disability Management will build on the history of innovation, leadership and best practice solutions through 78 stimulating workshop sessions and 3 plenary panel presentations with representatives from 20 countries. The three plenary panels will discuss critical challenges in workers compensation systems, disability and poverty and mental health in today’s workplace.


4 November 2018, Berlin, Germany, Advancing the rights and inclusion of persons with disabilities worldwide

The RI Commission on Policy and Services will hold a meeting to advance the work of RI Global through reviewing the progress made in advancing the rights and inclusion of persons with disabilities through the policy and services contributed by RI Global, and discuss on the way forward through more collaboration with other RI Commissions, as well as other stakeholders and experts.


6-8 November 2018, Strasbourg, France, 35th Session of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities

The Congress will hold its 35th session in the Hemicycle of the Palais de l’Europe in Strasbourg. The theme of this session is “Integrity and ethical behavior of local and regional elected representatives” with debates on the revision of the European Code of Conduct for all persons involved in local and regional governance, conflicts of interest and transparency and open government. It will also celebrate 30 years of the European Charter on Local Self-Government.


8-12 November 2018, New Delhi, India, 2018 Global IT Challenge for Youth with Disabilities

The Korean Society for the Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities (KSRPD) has been spreading awareness and policies on IT and persons with disabilities at regional and national levels, in close collaboration with the Korean government, RI Global and international organizations since 2011. This year, the 2018 GITC will be held in New Delhi, India, which 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 four-day event will be 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.


11-14 November 2018, Washington, D.C., United States, the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) 2018 Annual Conference

The Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) will hold its annual conference in Washington, D.C. on 11-14 November this year, under the theme “We ALL Belong Here! Achieving Inclusive Communities”. It will share and learn from one another about ways to create opportunities, access, and equality in education, housing, employment, healthcare and all aspects of community living.


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.



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