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By: Hissa Al-Thani Special Rapporteur on Disability PowerPoint Presentation
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By: Hissa Al-Thani Special Rapporteur on Disability

By: Hissa Al-Thani Special Rapporteur on Disability

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By: Hissa Al-Thani Special Rapporteur on Disability

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  1. Life Situations of persons with disabilities in Developing CountriesCommunity Based Rehabilitation:Involving the Family By: Hissa Al-Thani Special Rapporteur on Disability

  2. The last three decades witnessed important achievements for persons with disabilities. Building on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other Covenants and Conventions.

  3. The Disability movement left its mark on the wall of history: The UN Decade of Disabled Persons (1983 – 1992 ) The universal adoption of the Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities in 1993 The Growth of number and membership of the Organizations of Persons with Disabilities worldwide.

  4. Despite all these achievements the situation of persons with disabilities is far from reaching its goals and has a long way to go.

  5. Persons with disabilities, particularly in the developing world, are trapped in a cycle of poverty and exclusion More than 80% of people with disabilities and their families live in the developing world (500 MILLOIN) FACTS Girls with disabilities in developing countries as twice as likely to suffer neglect than boys. An estimated 170 million children are malnourished. 1 in 10 children has a developmental disability.

  6. In the recent World Bank meeting that I attended in Washington to discuss the Global Partnership for Development, Mr. James Wolfensen, World Bank President stressed that :unless the issues of people with disabilities are brought into the development agenda, it will not be possible to meet the Millennium Development Goal on poverty reduction by the year 2015.

  7. Defining Rehabilitation According to paragraph 25 of the Introduction to the Standard Rules, the term "rehabilitation" refers to "a process aimed at enabling persons with disabilities to reach and maintain their optimal physical, sensory, intellectual, psychiatric and/or social functional levels, thus providing them with the tools to change their lives towards a higher level of independence."

  8. In the early 1980 the United Nations World Programme of Action Concerning Disabled Persons along with the WHO through their programme of Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation, initiated the concept of Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR).

  9. During the past 15 or so years there has been a substantive and substantial growth in the number of CBR programmes in many developing countries. [1] With this grew the understanding that CBR needed to deal with issues related to the lives of Persons with Disabilities and taking into consideration the context in which people with disabilities live.

  10. Why CBR in Developing Countries??

  11. Rehabilitation Issues and Observations in Developing Countries Most rehabilitation services are found only in urban centers, and are available only to those families that can afford them Most of these facilities use methodologies imported from countries of the North without being adapted to the needs of children with disabilities in their environment.

  12. Parents, particularly less educated, working class or poor parents, are often alienated from their child's rehabilitation process by cultural and social traditions. In the Arab world, for example, parents have been indoctrinated in the "doctor knows best" philosophy and are often intimidated by professionals.

  13. Children with Disabilities are always at risk of discrimination and neglect and are particularly vulnerable when there is a shortage of resources. An estimated 97% of disabled children in developing countries are denied even the most basic rehabilitation even in the wealthy developed countries, the birth of a disabled child is almost invariably viewed as a tragedy.[1]

  14. In many developing countries - specifically in poor rural communities - the involvement of medical and rehabilitation professionals, where and when it is available, is only at the initial stages, and in the long run a family is left alone to cope with the needs of that child.

  15. Where rehabilitation services are available and accessible to the family, they usually follow the top-down model, in which rehabilitation and medical professional "prescribe to and provide for" the child without consulting, involving, informing or educating the family.[1]

  16. The late Mudhukar Suryavinshi of the International Council for the Education of People with Visual Impairments, describes a state of "limbo" in which the child finds herself after her rehabilitation is "completed" where the family is unable to adjust or understand the needs of the child.

  17. CBR:Building Bridges to the Family Rehabilitation services need to always consider that the family is the first and most important social unit for the child. Not only the family is the child's primary care giver, but it can also be tapped as a rich and vast resource in the Rehabilitation process of a child with disability.

  18. The first step to involving the family is to show understanding of the feelings its members are experiencing through a holistic approach to the wider family circle.

  19. Community Based Rehabilitation • The term CBR covers a wide range of initiatives: • At one end of the spectrum are large CBR programs launched by government. • At the opposite end of the spectrum are the small community programs run by the persons with disabilities, or by families of children with disabilities

  20. CBR programs in developing countries are popular and successful not only in rural and remote areas where services are hard to come by, but in urban centers as well.

  21. Is it possible to have CBR programmes, initiated, led and managed by people with disabilities and their families in every community and which would fulfill the needs of all adults and children with disabilities?

  22. According to a WHO estimate, the needs of 70% of people with disabilities in developing countries could be met at the community level, while 30% who have severe or multiple disabilities would need special interventions from time to time of the kind that is not available in the local community.

  23. With the provision of the necessary resources, human, financial and educational, CBR programs can be made to meet the needs of most children and people with disabilities within their communities

  24. These competing needs and priorities often create friction and contradiction in the delivery of services and in the levels of commitment to the rehabilitation process. One of those competing interests especially in developing countries, are the needs of girls and women with disabilities

  25. Can CBR programs help change social attitudes towards people with disabilities, and women with disabilities in particular?

  26. CBR programs will need to develop appropriate Strategies to address issues related to traditional, social and cultural Perceptions through awareness raising . • Women's organizations in developing countries need • to be educated to include the rights disabled women

  27. Policy Recommendations for Effective CBR in Developing Countries

  28. Establishing community based rehabilitation programs that are inclusive sensitive, and democratic in their approach Initiating CBR Programs in rural, tribal, remote communities in developing countries with the help of professionals and experts whose aim is to empower people with disabilities and their families Encouraging NGOs to work with the medical community and to sensitize it to the practical ,emotional and psychological needs of families of children with disabilities

  29. Soliciting the support of international DPOs in establishing, launching, and training small communities in the South to take the lead in CBR initiatives Raising community and social awareness, through targeted CBR services, to the needs of girls and women with disabilities Encouraging children with disabilities to become role models for other children

  30. Encouraging adults with disabilities to take leadership roles in CBR programs targeted to children with disabilities and their families Allowing children with disabilities to exercise their right in voicing their needs and their aspirations Providing education and employment opportunities for children and adults with disabilities and enabling them to become full participating members of society

  31. Promoting collaboration between NGOs, DPOs and agencies as UNICEF, UNESCO to ensure that the needs of girls with disabilities are included in programs targeted at girls in developing countries

  32. Thank You