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Disability Rights Fund: Call for Proposals

The Disability Rights Fund (DRF) seeks to strengthen the participation of Disabled Persons’ Organizations (DPOs) in the advancement of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) at country level in the Global South and Eastern Europe/former Soviet Union.
The 2010 “Moving Rights Forward” grant cycle will consist of two grantmaking rounds:

  1. The first grantmaking round (described below) is directed at DPOs in Indonesia, Mexico, Ukraine and eligible states and cities in India (Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Kerala, Orissa, Tamil Nadu and the National Capital Territory of Delhi). The deadline for Small Grants applications for this round is Monday, 29 March 2010 at 24:00 (midnight) your time. The deadline for National Coalition Grants applications for this round is Monday, 12 April 2010 at 24:00 (midnight) your time.
  2. The RFP for the second grantmaking round will be publicized in July 2010.

Applicants can apply as:
a) single organizations or partnerships for Small Grants; and/or
b) national DPO-led coalitions for National Coalition Grants.

Single organizations or partnerships can apply for 12-month grants ranging from USD 5,000 to 20,000 to:

Increase DPO skill in addressing the CRPD by
(a) building more inclusive organizations or partnerships; and/or
(b) internal capacity building; and

Do rights-based advocacy and monitoring through:
(a) increasing DPO participation in decision-making processes regarding the CRPD at state or local levels; and/or
(b) directly addressing implementation of CRPD Articles.

Download the details of the DRF Small Grants Request for Proposals (RFP) and the Grant Application Form here.
(MS Word Format)

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2010 US/Costa Rica: Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Disability Rights Leadership Exchange Program

MIUSA is excited to offer a 16-day exchange program to Costa Rica with a focus on youth leadership and cultural perspectives on disability rights. Young adults with disabilities of diverse backgrounds from New York City, especially those who are first-time international travelers, are encouraged to apply.  

Download the Application - Deadline March 21, 2010

Download the Costa Rica Flyer Here!
Program Details
When: June 16 – July 1, 2010       

Where: San Jose, Costa Rica

Program Cost:   

Sliding scale $220 - $1,100, which includes all: round-trip international airfare from Newark International Airport (EWR) to San Jose, Costa Rica; one-day pre-departure orientation near EWR; accessible ground transportation, lodging, meals and activities in Costa Rica; disability related costs, including sign language interpreters, materials in alternative formats, and funding for personal assistants.  

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Mental Illness among Women in Pakistan: Gender-Driven?

By Zofeen Ebrahim

KARACHI, Feb 1, 2010 (IPS) - No sooner does a visitor step into the facility than a surreal scene unfolds: The sound of laughter, the sight of ready smiles and vigorous, pumping handshakes mix with the acrid odor of an unwashed human body and the unbearable stench of neglect that in turn combines with the heavy smell of medicine.

A group of women gathers around the visitor, their eyes lighting up and faces breaking into a smile as they extend their hands to offer the latter a firm handshake, only to be shooed away by Waseem Fatema, a stocky nurse in her late 40s.

This is the Edhi Centre for the Mentally Ill Women in North Karachi – home to women suffering from various forms of mental or emotional disorder, some of which warrant long-term treatment, others do not, requiring at best compassion and understanding for otherwise fleeting states of mental or emotional impairment, brought about in part by these women’s inability to cope with what society expects of them.

Of the more than one thousand female wards confined at the centre, some are as young as five years old and others as old as 70, or even older. Children, who are either physically or mentally challenged, stay in an adjacent facility also run by Edhi. Some of them were brought to the centre by parents who invariably said they could no longer afford to look after them.

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Beyond the Dirty Window

Leah Harris, psychiatric survivor, mother, and social justice activist tells the story of how she overcame a legacy of oppression to become a part of the global movement working for rights, dignity, and justice for people labeled with mental illness, mad people, and people living with emotional distress


(h/t Beyond Meds)

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Reaching the handicapped with HIV prevention in Mozambique

TETE, 11 January 2010 (PlusNews) - Stefania*, 17, who has been wheelchair-bound since being involved in a traffic accident as a child, likes to go to Celso's, a popular bar in Matundo, a suburb of Tete city in northwestern Mozambique.

From her vantage point at Celso's she can see the long line of trucks waiting to cross the Zambezi River on one of the few bridges in the region, making Matundo a busy hub for people and merchandise travelling between the port of Beira and Malawi.

Adult HIV prevalence in Mozambique is 16 percent, but what Stefania knows about the disease she has had to learn through her own observations.

"I come here to relax, and I see lots of girls getting into the trucks," she told IRIN/PlusNews. "Some of them have become pregnant, and two of my neighbours have fallen very ill, so having a lot of lovers can end in disgrace."

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 10 percent of Mozambique's 20 million inhabitants have some form of disability, but HIV prevention campaigns have so far ignored the fact that young disabled people are also at risk of infection. The Ministry of Health has put the number of HIV-positive handicapped Mozambicans at around 324,000.

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Sexuality and Access Project Survey

The Sexuality and Access Project is looking for people who use attendant services as well as attendants to participate in an anonymous survey.

The survey is part of this two-year project, funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation.  The goal of the project is to give Ontarians with disabilities greater control over their lives by providing them and their personal service attendants with the skills and knowledge to protect and develop their sexual health and safety.

There are two surveys.   One is for persons with disabilities who use attendant services.  The other is for attendants.

If you are in either of these categories, or you know someone who is, please complete the survey or pass the information along.

To take a survey online, please follow one of the links below.  Each link will take you directly to the survey named:

Sexuality and Access Survey for persons with disabilities

Sexuality and Access Survey for attendants

DEADLINE: January 31, 2010

If you need assistance in filling out a survey, or prefer to participate in a phone survey, please contact Fran Odette.

To learn more about the project or to receive a version of the online survey in alternate format, contact:

Fran Odette, Project Coordinator
416-968-3422 Ext. 30

This project is done in partnership with the Centre for Independent Living in Toronto, Niagara Centre for Independent Living, and Independent Centre and Network.

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Freedom Center - Healing Voices Video

Freedom Center is a Western Massachusetts support, advocacy, and activism community for people labeled with severe mental illnesses like schizophrenia, bipolar, and OCD.

They are a living alternative to mainstream care, offering yoga, acupuncture, writing groups, human rights advocacy and public education.  They are creating compassionate, non-coercive and holistic alternatives for people in extreme emotional states.


Freedom Center - Healing Voices Video from Freedom Center on Vimeo.

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Safe motherhood for disabled women in South Africa

By Bestina Magutu [Pambazuka]

Men and women with disabilities face many challenges in Southern Africa, especially related to discrimination and access to services. For many women, this also means that they face challenges when accessing health care services at one of the times when it is most important – when they are pregnant.

Men and women with disabilities face many challenges in Southern Africa, especially related to discrimination and access to services. For many women, this also means that they face challenges when accessing health care services at one of the times when it is most important – when they are pregnant.

Some women with disabilities need special attention and care, socially as well as medically, during their pregnancies for their own health safety as well as their babies. Unfortunately, such care is usually not the case. Rather, it is the opposite.

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International Day of Persons with Disabilities

GENEVA (3 December 2009) -- Estimates indicate that more than 10 percent of the world’s population – between 670 and 800 million people – have a disability themselves or have a close family member with one, and that in a quarter of all households there is someone with some sort of disability.

The International Day of Persons with Disabilities provides an opportunity to take stock of the status of one of the world’s largest and most neglected groups, who – despite considerable progress in terms of international legislation over the past two years – still face colossal obstacles in their efforts to lead a meaningful life and benefit from the full range of human rights and development opportunities available to other members of their societies.

Looking at the poorest end of society, the figures become particularly stark and reveal the extent of the discrimination that needs to be overcome if persons with disabilities are to become empowered and productive members of society: around 20 percent of the world’s poorest people have some kind of disability, and one third of the 75 million children who are not receiving primary education have a disability.  According to UNESCO, over 90 percent of children with disabilities in developing countries do not attend school.

These statistics shock our conscience.

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CREA: Disability, Sexuality and Rights Online Training

An Online Course for Practitioners and Activists in Human Rights, Public Health and Development Organizations and Movements

Applications are due December 18, 2009
Download brochure(PDF), brochure(DOC) and application form

February 1 – April 1, 2010 (9 weeks, 5 hours per week)

The Disability, Sexuality and Rights Online Training provides a study of theory and
practice for people working in fields such as development, health and rights, including disability and sexuality.  The aim is to develop awareness of issues of disability and sexuality and a political perspective on disabled people’s sexual rights.  Participants develop their ability to work in inclusive and holistic ways that further health and rights.

Why take this course?

• Disabled people are often excluded or discriminated against in relation to their
sexuality by health, development and rights organizations because they are not
considered sexual or they are thought to be vulnerable or uncontrolled sexually.
• Disability rights activists and service providers often disregard sexuality issues and rights in favor of issues considered more pressing and appropriate like employment and physical access.
• However, sexuality is an important part of life, identity, society and culture for all
people, including people with disabilities. It can be a source of pleasure and pain,
empowerment and oppression. It cannot be ignored.

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