Increasing Knowledge, Collaboration and Proposals in the Middle East, Asia and South America
|Address:||Center for Persons with Disabilities IDT 6880 Old Main Hill Logan, UT 84322-6880|
There are an estimated 750 million to 1 billion people with disabilities worldwide. Persons with disabilities are the most discriminated against and the least served sector in almost all societies. Countless children and adults with disabilities are unable to access health services, education, and employment; exercise political rights, and participate in their community. Only 45 countries have anti-discrimination and other disability-related legislation. Further, the number of people with disabilities is increasing due to war injuries, landmines, HIV, malnutrition, chronic disease, accidents, environmental damage, population growth, substance abuse, and medical advances.
There are approximately 400 million individuals with disabilities that live in the Asia and Pacific region, most of whom experience social and economic exclusion. In Latin America and the Caribbean there are approximately 50 million people with disabilities or roughly 10% of the population. It is estimated that only 20-30% of the children with disabilities in this region attend school and 80-90% of adults with disabilities are unemployed. Estimates for the Middle East and North African region place the number of people with disabilities at approximately 30 million, with social exclusion and discrimination a common occurrence, even at the family level.
Despite the many significant barriers to full inclusion in society that people with disabilities in these regions face, there are promising developments taking place in many of the individual countries located in these regions. Of the 41 countries in the world that have ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, 23 (56%) are located in one of the three regions addressed in this proposal. This may indeed signal the beginning of a 'paradigm shift' in these countries around how persons with disabilities are viewed and the rights they are entitled to as full citizens. These 23 countries have pledged to take immediate and significant action to improve the rights and circumstances of their citizens with disabilities.
By developing a solid foundation for engaging in international systems change efforts in these regions, the CPD will be better positioned to effectively collaborate with international entities to assist these countries in improving the quality of life for persons with disabilities. These international opportunities may also lead to partnerships that can assist the CPD in reducing the barriers to full inclusion within these regions of the world.
The overall goals of this project are to:
1) Increase the knowledge of culture, customs, attitudes, legislation, and disability policies and practices.
2) Develop contacts/collaborations with disability organizations and administrative offices.
3) Review, apply and obtain funding for disability-related international work in the Middle East, Asia and South America.
4) Increase Utah State University's Business student?s knowledge of disability and related issues through the development of a training program.
There is excellent potential for future funding and international collaboration through this project and it will help to build a strong international foundation which will enable the CPD to develop strategic partnerships and seek and respond rapidly to future funding opportunities..
1. Develop new international library of articles, books and DVDs on disability related information for each region to familiarize committee and other interested staff.
2. Train USU business students in international disability-related issues.
3. Apply for funding for disability-related international work with at least two funding sources.