- December 14, 2017


1. Highlights
2. Activities in the past weeks
3. Upcoming activities
4. IDA members
5. Other
6. Job Opportunities


  • 2017 INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES. To celebrate the 2017 International Day of Persons with Disabilities (3 December), the Permanent Missions of the Republic of Korea, Bulgaria, Mexico, Brazil, New Zealand, Finland, Argentine Republic and Israel joined forces with a number of UN agencies, civil society organizations and IDA, to organise a panel discussion. The panel entitled “A Day for All: Joining Member States and the UN towards an inclusive and accessible society for all” took place on the 4 December 2017, at the UN Library, in Geneva, Switzerland. Discussions were centered around 3 themes: Inclusive UN; Accessibility; and Engaging broader society and involved seven speakers, including Mr. Idriss Maiga, Chair of the African Disability Forum (ADF). The panel discussion was followed by the opening reception of the art exhibition titled ‘Like Wildflowers, Like Stars’ by Kim Geun-tae and children of five continents with disabilities. The exhibition showcased the work of Korean artist Mr Kim Geun-tae’s, whose paintings explore the joy of children with intellectual disabilities through the colors of four seasons. The exhibition ended on 8 December 2017. More information available on IDA’s website.  
  • DISABILITY SUMMIT, UK JULY 2018. The UK Department for International Development (DFID) will hold its first global disability summit in July 2018, co-hosted by IDA. The summit aims to bring together global leaders and technology companies to tackle the barriers that prevent people with disabilities from fulfilling their potential. More information available on IDA’s website. 
  • TECHNICAL WORKSHOP SDGs REPORTING, VIET NAM 10-15 DECEMBER 2017. A 5-day workshop on alliances for SDG’ implementation and monitoring in line with the CRPD' started on 10 December 2017 in Hanoi, Viet Nam. The workshop is organized by IDA in partnership with the Vietnamese Federation on Disabilities (VFD) and CBM Vietnam. The workshop focuses mainly on the monitoring of SDG's implementation, the CRPD and reporting processes. More information available on IDA’s website.


  • MENTAL HEALTH: The Trieste Conference on mental health took place on the 15-18 November 2017 in Trieste. It was organised by the Department of Mental Health of the Italian region of Trieste and supported by World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry (WNUSP), as part of the “No One Left Behind” grant of DFID. Wishing to continue the reflection undertaken during the one-day meeting in Galwayheld in June 2017, the conference aimed to frame a global strategy to promote CRPD complaint policies for inclusion of persons with psychosocial disabilities. To discuss how to deinstitutionalize mental health services in Europe, the conference brought together several lead activists members of WNUSP and Beyond. More information available on IDA’s website. Read the concluding speech made by Bhargavi Davar).
  • COMMITTEE AGAINST TORTURE: The 62nd session of the Committee Against Torture (CAT) took place from 6 November 2017 to 6 December 2017, in Geneva, Switzerland. The following countries were reviewed: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Italy, Mauritius, Republic of Moldova, Rwanda and Timor-Leste. Please click here to watch public meetings webcasted live by the UN Office of Geneva.
  • INTERNATIONAL DIALOGUE ON POPULATION AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: The 15th International Dialogue on Population and Sustainable Development took place on 23-24 November 2017, in Berlin, Germany. This year, the dialogue focused on the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of hard to reach populations – young people, persons with disabilities, and people living in fragile settings. The event was attended by sexual Reproductive Health and Rights stakeholders, including government, international organisations and implementing agencies, civil society, academia and the private sector. Silvia Quan took part in the conference session entitled “Expert talk: spotlights on the SRHR of hard-to-reach and vulnerable groups”, on behalf of IDA. Among others, Silvia highlighted the frequent violations to SRHR of women and girls with disabilities, such as non-consensual or forced sterilization, and hormonal or surgical treatments for menstrual management. More information is available on IDA’s website.
  • CRPD WORKSHOP: IDA Treaty Body Unit facilitated a national workshop on the CRPD review process, on 29-30 November 2017, in Alger, Algeria. The workshop was organized by the Algerian Federation of Persons with Disabilities and gathered around 25 participants, gender and constituency balanced. More information available on IDA’s website.
  • ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMISSION FOR ASIA AND THE PACIFIC: On 27 November – 1 December 2017 took place a High-level Intergovernmental Meeting on the Midpoint Review of the Asian and Pacific Decade of Persons with Disabilities in Beijing, China. The event was organized by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in cooperation with the Government of China. Among its objectives, the Meeting aimed to discuss the future policy direction for building disability-inclusive societies in Asia and the Pacific. IDA was represented by its Inclusive Development Liaison, Ms. Megan Smith, along with IDA members in the region including Mr. Setareki S. Macanawai, of PDF and David Corner of Inclusion International. More information is available on IDA’s website.
  • ARTICLE 11: A technical workshop on Collecting Data on Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Contexts took place on 11-12 December 2017, in New York, USA. The event was organized by UNICEF, Handicap International, IDA, the Washington Group on Disability Statistics and UNHCR. The objectives of the technical workshop were to discuss the technical aspects and feasibility of data collection on persons with disabilities in humanitarian action (1), and to identify challenges (and way to overcome them) as well as best practices for collection of data on persons with disabilities in humanitarian action (2). More information available on IDA’s website.
  • WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: On the occasion of International Human Rights Day 2017, the World Health Organization (WHO) hosted an event with the co-sponsorship of the Permanent Missions of Brazil and Portugal on the 8 December 2017, in Geneva. During the event, WHO officially launched the WHO Quality Rights capacity building and guidance tools: “Transforming Services and Promoting Rights in Mental Health”. At this occasion, Silvia Quan took the floor to welcome the WHO Quality rights Tool Kit but highlighted that there were many challenges to overcome. Many countries of the world still allow for denial of legal capacity, forced treatment and forced institutionalization of persons with disabilities, notably persons with psychosocial disabilities. Silvia called States parties to comply with CRPD standards by harmonizing legislation, and always consulting with persons with disabilities through their representative organizations. More information on the WHO Quality Rights Tool Kit is available on WHO’s website and on IDA’s website.



  • SOCIAL PROTECTION FLOOR: The annual Global Coalition on Social Protection Floor meeting will take place in Nairobi, Kenya on 15-17 January 2018.
  • GLAD NETWORK: The next meeting of the Global Action on Disability (GLAD) Network will take place from 31 January to 2 February 2018, in Helsinki, Finland. 


  • COMMONWEALTH SUMMIT: The People's Forum at the Commonwealth Summit will be held on 16-18 April 2018, in London, United Kingdom. The mainstream forums will offer an opportunity for Commonwealth dialogue and provide a platform for wider debate of some of the key issues and challenges, in advance of discussions by leaders at CHOGM. Click here to register for the Summit.  


  • UN WORLD DATA FORUM: The UN World Data Forum 2018 will take place in Dubai, UAE from 22-24 October 2018. The event will bring together data leaders from diverse stakeholder groups, including national and international statistical systems, academia, business community and civil society. The aim of the forum is to exchange ideas, showcase innovations, identify solutions, discuss future strategies, and provide mutual learning opportunities on a wide variety of topics. More information available on the website of the UN World Data Forum. Stakeholders are invited to submit proposals for sessions to be considered for inclusion in the programme by 31 January 2018. Proposed programme will be approved by the UN Statistical Commission’s High-level Group for Partnership, Coordination and Capacity-Building (HLG-PCCB). The Programme Committee or the HLG-PCCB may request revisions to some proposals.


ASEAN Disability Forum

  • CONFERENCE: The 2017 ASEAN Disability Forum Conference was held on 3-4 December 2017, in Manila, Philippines. The objectives of the meeting were the following:1) to share vision on ASEAN as a concrete action for Disability inclusion toward living in peace, stability and prosperity, bonded together in partnership of dynamic development and a community of caring societies; 2) To mark the integration of Disability movement in all ASEAN entities. The event was organized by the DeafBlind Support Philippines and the Philippine Coalition of the UNCRPD GUIDE, with cooperation of the ASEAN Disability Forum Secretariat. The meeting was funded by the Disability Rights Advocacy Fund ASEAN Foundation. 


  • BRIDGING THE GAP: On 5 December 2017 in Brussels, IDA took part to the launch event of the European Commission’s Bridging the Gap project, a flagship initiative by the European Commission in response to its requirement to make development cooperation accessible to and inclusive of persons with disabilities. The project has two components, Bridging the Gap I (led by the OHCHR) focusing on the development of human rights indicators for the CRPD in support of a disability-inclusive Agenda 2030, and Bridging the Gap II (led by FIIAP) focusing on promoting inclusive policies and services for equal rights of persons with disabilities, with active involvement of the Austrian, Italian and Spanish bilateral cooperation agencies. EDF is a direct partner of Bridging the Gap II, and IDA also supports the project, ensuring DPO participation in consultations (Bridging the Gap I), and linking where relevant with other initiatives (e.g. on knowledge management). The launch event of the project marked the end of the inception phase, and gathered representatives from the European Commission, OHCHR, international cooperation agencies, DPOs and broader civil society. It was instrumental in recalling the commitments made by the EU and its members and the current situation faced by persons with low and middle income countries, including multiple discriminations experienced by women and girls with disabilities, or indigenous persons with disabilities, as well as in sharing recommendations to address these through the project. By mobilising several EU member States on inclusive international cooperation with a strong EU visibility, the Bridging the Gap project has the potential and the responsibility to demonstrate the feasibility and the benefits of, as well as to stimulate wider engagement on the full realization of the CRPD and Agenda 2030 for persons with disabilities. More information on EDF’s website.
  • 4TH EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES: The 4th European Parliament of Persons with Disabilities (EPPD) took place on 6 December 2017, in the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium. It was a landmark event marking the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (3 December) and the 20th anniversary of EDF. The discussions which took place at the EPPD focused specifically on the right of persons with disabilities to vote and participate in political and public life, the next European Disability Strategy and the European Union (EU) being a global leader on inclusive Sustainable Development. More information is available on EDF’s website.
  • EUROPEAN DISABILITY AND DEVELOPMENT WEEK: As part of the European Disability and Development Week, the European Network on Independent Living (ENIL) is organizing a “battle-debate” on the link between the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the right to independent living, in coordination with IDDC. The “battle-debate”, entitled “UN CRPD + SDGs = Real Inclusion for All?”, will be held in the European Parliament on 7 December 2017, from 18:00 to 20:30. Please register online no later than 5 December 2017. If you do not have a European Parliament pass, please send us your name, date of birth, passport/ID number, expiry date, nationality and place of residence. (Please include the same information for your personal assistant, if relevant). More information on the programme is available here. Please note that ENIL is not in a position to cover travel or accommodation costs for participation in this event.


  • WEBINAR: The next session of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) Webinar Series 2017 will be held on 14 December 2017 from 8:00am-9:30am (Eastern Standard time).  Click here to register for the webinar by 12 December 2017. This session, organised by the GPE, in collaboration with Ministry of Education – Comoros, Deaf Child Worldwide, Voluntary Services Overseas (Kenya), and Inclusion International, will draw upon the experiences and knowledge of governments, development partners, and INGOs who have been working to promote disability-inclusive education in GPE countries.
  • 2018 WORLD CONGRESS: Inclusion International’s 2018 World Congress will be held on 30 May to 1 June 2018 in Birmingham, UK. It will bring together the largest global gathering of self-advocates. The Empower Us Self-Advocacy Summit, led by self-advocates, will set-out their vision for an inclusive world. All self-advocates are invited and encouraged to take part in this historic gathering. Register here to attend the event.

International Federation for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus

  • BIANNUAL AFRICAN WORKSHOP: The International Federation for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus (IF) biannual African Workshop took place in Mombasa, Kenya, from 2-4 November 2017. With 90 participants from 17 countries, it was the largest African workshop ever, bringing together local Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus associations and service providers, as well as IF’s donors and experts. More information available on IF’s website.
  • EUROPEAN WORKSHOP: European IF members and Spina Bifida clinicians gathered in Stockholm for IF’s European Workshop from the 25-26 November 2017. The workshop took place in conjunction with IF’s 2017 General Assembly. The objectives of the workshop were to advance work on mental health and well-being of adults with spina bifida and hydrocephalus, learn about the Swedish approaches to Spina Bifida care, outline activities from 2017, and introduce the work plan for 2018. More information available on IF’s website.

Pacific Disability Forum

  • 2017 INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES: Various activities are happening around the Pacific to commemorate the 2017 International day of persons with disabilities. For example, Cook Islands Women & Girls with Disability & the Deaf Club will be using the day to launch their five-years strategic plan which is being funded by Internal Affairs through their Gender Project Funding (Australian Aid). All 6 Provinces across Vanuatu will celebrate the International Day for Persons with Disabilities through funding support from the Ministry of Justice and Community Services. More information available on PDF’s website.

Word Blind Union

  • CEO: Jose Viera has been appointed as the new CEO of World Blind Union.


  • OFFICE OF THE SPECIAL PROCEDURES: The Office of the Special procedures has developed an online questionnaire in the hope of increasing accessibility of the special procedures system for victims and civil society actors speaking out for victims. In an effort to continue improving on accessibility and make the online questionnaire more user friendly, they have now created a specific NGO access. NGOs are invited to live test it and provide feedback. To take part in this live test, please contact Mr. Sylvain Lidome (slidome [at]">slidome [at]  
  • UNESCO: The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is designing a program methodology to nominate and select annually approximately 100 persons with disabilities/differing abilities who have accomplished life goals that reflect empowering factors to overcome the barriers to personal and career development. UNESCO aims to analyse life journeys of those selected, as well as disseminate best practices that persons with disabilities individually and collectively adopt to mitigate barriers to fulfilling their destinies across a wide range of sectors. Stakeholders are invited to review the survey designed by 15 December 2017 at midnight Eastern US time. If interested in providing input, please contact Evelyn Cherow, MA, MPA CEO/Founder GlobalPartnersUnited (globalpartnersunited [at] 
  • ASIA-EUROPE FOUNDATION: The Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) has recently published an Open Call for Application to the 21st  ASEF Summer University (ASEFSU21) on "Youth with Disabilities: Shaping Inclusive ASEM Societies". The project will take place from 27 January to 10 February 2018 in Melbourne, Australia and Christchurch, New Zealand. Applicants must be between 18-30 years old, and nationals of the 51 ASEM Partner countries. All participants will be provided with full travel subsidies, accommodation and catering throughout the event. Deadline to apply is 10 December 2017. More information is available on ASEF’s website
  • CERMI WOMEN’S FOUNDATION: The CERMI Women’s Foundation has adopted and published a manifesto to mark the 2017 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November. Through this manifesto, the organisation warns that “if all resources for the care of women victims of violence are not fully inclusive and accessible, and if there are no guaranteed suitable protocols for women and girls with disabilities to access these resources, they will have been left behind”.
  • CERMI WOMEN’S FOUNDATION: The CERMI Women’s Foundation opened a photography exhibition in the FCM Human Rights Room in Madrid, Spain, to denounce the practise of forced institutionalisation to which many women and girls are subjected. The exhibition is scheduled to be opened until the end of December 2017, and it is free to visit. More information available on the Foundation’s website.
  • UNIVERSITY OF NEW SOUTH WALES: The University of New South Wales, Sidney is seeking a Director for the Disability Innovation Institute, to be based in Kensington. The Director will provide strategic direction, leadership and raise the public profile of the Institute; manage internal and external stakeholder and promote collaboration; and manage operations and budget. Applications must be submitted to Shiree Thomas, Talent Acquisition Consultant (shiree.thomas [at]">shiree.thomas [at] by 15 January 2018.  More information available here.
  • PROSPANICA: To celebrate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Prospanica is organising an event entitled “When all people are included, we all win” on December 14, 2017 from 5:30-8:30pm (EST), at S&P Global, in New York, USA. The event will spotlight business executives, advocates and allies passionate about advancing workplace inclusion. To attend the event please register here. For accommodation request, email: [at]
  • [at] prospanica.orgVISCARDI CENTER: Viscardi Center announced the nine recipients of the 2017 Henry Viscardi Achievement Awards at a special ceremony held on 4 December 2017, at the Mutual of America building in New York City. First bestowed in 2013, the awards honor exemplary leaders in the disability community who, through the example of their professional accomplishments and advocacy efforts, are reshaping societal perceptions and making significant changes in the quality of life of people with disabilities.
  • VALIDITY: Validity (formerly Mental Disability Advocacy Centre) is seeking an Executive Director to be based in Budapest. The Job Description and Person Specification for this position and further details are available on Validity’s website.  The closing date for applications is 22 December 2017 at 6pm CET (5pm GMT).
  • CRUELTY FREE INTERNATIONAL: Cruelty Free International would like to shape its own campaign on banning cosmetics animal testing worldwide on that used by IDA and others to secure the CRPD.  Cruelty Free International is therefore looking to learn more about the process undertaken to secure the UNGA resolution, the establishment of the adhoc committee and the work undertaken by the IDA since to ensure its successful implementation worldwide. If someone is willing and available for a 30-minute chat to discuss how IDA went about the process of securing UN member state support and the path to a successful GA resolution, please contact Jack McQuibban, Public Affairs Adviser Cruelty Free International (jack.mcquibban [at]">jack.mcquibban [at]
  • jack.mcquibban [at]">NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE DISABLED NEPAL: The National Federation of the Disabled Nepal is organising "The National Summit on Sustainable Development Goals and Disability" on 18-19 December 2017 at Kathmandu, Nepal. The key objective of the summit is to create a synergy and set a foundation for disability inclusive SDGs efforts in Nepal. The two-day summit will run with different joint and parallel sessions where the issues of persons with disabilities linked to different SDGs will be discussed. Bringing the relevant government stakeholders, national planning commission, national human rights commission, various development partners, UN agencies, INGOs, civil society organizations, private sectors, disabled peoples' organizations (DPOs) and other disability right organizations in the same platform, this summit will conclude: A comprehensive position paper on the status of the inclusion of disability issues in ongoing development programs of government, civil society and various development actors and different SDG related initiatives; A renewed commitment and a strong workable way forward for developing synergy among government and inter/national development partners to contribute for disability inclusive development as per CRPD and SDGs; & A broad strategic guideline for the disability stakeholders and DPOs to prepare their action plan for the implementation of SDGs in the context of federal structure of the country.
  • SHORT FILM: Jeremy the Dud is a 20 minutes comedy presented by GenU and produced by Robot Army. The film is set in a world where everyone has a disability, and those that don't are treated with the same prejudice, stigma and condescending attitudes people with disabilities face in our own society.  Click here to watch the film. 


  • WORLD BLIND UNION: The World Blind Union (WBU) is recruiting a Human Rights Policy Advisor. The individual must have excellent oral and written English communications skills and must be very familiar with instruments such as the CRPD, the SDG’s, and Marrakesh Treaty. The position is based in the home country of the employee, either home based or in partnership with WBU national member in that country. Applications must be sent by 20 January 2018.Click here for more information about the position responsibilities and requirements
  • WELLSPRING: The Wellspring Advisors seeks a Program Officer with experience in the disability rights field to lead the strategy and implementation of grant making focused on advancing the rights of persons with disabilities as part of its International Human Rights program. The position is full-time and based in New York. Read more about the position and organisation. Please note there is no closing date; applications will be accepted until an appropriate candidate is found. 
  • DISABILITY RIGHTS FUND: The Disability Rights Fund seeks Program Director. The Program Director facilitates strategic management of the grantmaking of the Disability Rights Fund and the Disability Rights Advocacy Fund and leadership of the global Program Team. The position entails up to 20% (approximately two months’ time) in international travel per year. Position location flexible; U.S. residence and East Coast base preferred. Please send a cover letter, resume, contact information for three references (including at least one previous supervisor), and writing sample to:dsamarasan [at] Applications must be received by 15 January 2018
  • NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTE: The National Democratic Institute (NDI) is seeking a disability-inclusive monitoring and evaluation consultant for the period of February - September 2018. Interested applicants should request a prospectus from Marzia Faraz (mfaraz [at] for a full proposal to be submitted by 31 January 2018 (description of the consultancy and application instructions)

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