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Development Account Projects

Capacity-building and institutional development for equalization of opportunities for persons with disabilities

Background:

Persons who are disabled as a consequence of intellectual, physical or sensory impairment may find their lives handicapped. Many persons with disabilities thus lead isolated and dependent lives. In addition to barriers to the full exercise of their broad human rights, many persons with disabilities may experience barriers in meeting their obligations and in exercising their responsibilities as citizens in the societies in which they live. Participation is a basic right for all.

Objective:

To strengthen capacities to further the equalization of opportunities by, for and with persons with disabilities for full and effective participation in social life and development

Expected accomplishments:

  • Improved knowledge, skills and abilities of Governments, the non-governmental community and civil society to further a broad human rights approach to persons with disabilities;
  • Networks of centres and institutions for disability action;
  • Fully accessible Internet-based information services for use by interested countries concerning equalization of opportunities for all.

Effects and Impact:

The Western Africa sub-regional consultative meeting on the draft international Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities currently being negotiated at UN HQs was held in Ouagadougou – Burkina Faso from 27 to 29 October 2004. It had three main objectives: (i) to share information on the on-going negotiation process, on the content of the draft convention, on its implications and discussions; (ii) to establish a dialogue to clarify the sub-regional priorities with respect to the convention; (iii) to launch the initiative of a partnership project to establish a network of information on disability in Western Africa involving and benefiting all actors involved. The meeting intended to enhance sub regional networking, the sharing of national experiences, and the building of consensus on the development of common approaches. Participants were successfully trained in priority areas of the disability field, namely the content of the draft Convention under negotiation; networking options in the sub-region were discussed and comments on the issue were thoroughly included in the meeting report; accessible Internet-enabled information networking was specifically discussed and the content of a follow-up feasibility study commented upon; and interest and participation in the Convention negotiation process by both Governments and civil society organizations from the region has increased markedly.

The meeting builds upon a series of regional seminars and workshops were organized during the first half of 2003. The workshops covered topics such as: ICT for people with disabilities; human, political, social and economic rights for people with disabilities; the challenges to participation in social life and development of persons with disabilities; and the promotion and protection of the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities. These workshops and seminars enhanced subregional, regional, and inter-regional networking, the sharing of national experiences, and the building of consensus on the development of common approaches.