- August 29, 2023

From August 23 – 30, 2023, the International Disability Alliance (IDA), CBM International and The Latin American Network of Non-Governmental Organizations of Persons with Disabilities and their Families (RIADIS) are organizing the Bridge CRPD-SDGs Module 2, Central America involving participants from Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras and the Dominican Republic. The training is taking place in Guatemala, and is supported by the United Kingdom’s Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO) funded Disability Catalyst Programme  

A preparatory meeting for underrepresented groups of persons with disabilities including the Deaf and persons with deafblindness was organised a day prior to the event. The preparatory day ensures the participants, and their sign language interpreters, have clarity on key concepts used in the training for their full and effective participation.     

The facilitation team is led by eight Bridge CRPD-SDGs alumni from Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Peru and Tunisia. Notably, half of these facilitators are women with disabilities, highlighting the commitment to diversity and inclusion that the Bridge program embodies. The facilitation team also features the regional IDA-GDI Assistive Technology Fellow, who will take the opportunity to engage with the participants on the issue and seek their engagement in a survey for AT users which will be launching soon. 

In a preparatory facilitators meeting held before the training, the team reemphasized several key principles for inclusive facilitation, and shared information on the trajectories of the participants they had been mentoring through their policy paper process. A majority of facilitators for the events in Guatemala had recently attended the ToTA in Geneva in March 2023, and this training provides an opportunity for them to work together to put their learnings into practice. An important part of Module 2 is the policy stakeholder exchange. Facilitators learned about the profiles of the policy exchange stakeholders in order to tailor the delivery of content this week to emphasize the roles played by the stakeholders. 

During the opening ceremony, Juan Angel de Gouveia, President of RIADIS, expressed the collective sentiment, saying, "As representatives of OPDs in Central America, with the support of IDA and CBM international, we have been able to materialize this dream to strengthen the capacities of people with disabilities and advocate for rights through Bridge CRPD-SDGs”. 

Casper Bergman from Denmark, Vice-president of the World Federation of the Deaf, endorsed the training's ethos stating, "Seeing diverse groups of disabilities unite strengthens the disability movement in Latin America. Collaboration is key." 

To ensure full and effective participation in the training, and based on a specific request of a participant, facilitators provided a comprehensive room tour to all participants, complete with audio descriptions, offering a clear understanding of the physical environment and what to anticipate during the event. The commitment to improvement and take concrete actions towards greater accessibility and inclusivity is at the core of Bridge CRPD-SDGs program. 

Additional resources:

1. Agenda in Word
2. List of participants in Word and PDF


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