|Sustainable Development and Persons with Disabilities: The Process of Self-Empowerment (ADF, 1995, 117 p.)|
|Section I: Understanding and perception|
|Chapter 4: Community-based rehabilitation|
A. For Persons with Disability
· Organise themselves to advance their own case
· Consider the possibilities of CBR with an open mind
· Develop leadership amongst themselves
· Fight against prejudice and discrimination
· Lobby government to adopt 'WHO and ILO Conventions
· Raise awareness of all those around them on the attitudinal and institutional barriers against their integration
· Overcome fears against prejudices that marginalise them
· Insist on mainstreaming their activities, and not be treated to isolationist programmes
· Insist on the participatory approaches to planning of programmes and projects
· Build broad solidarities for action, and build active networking strategies
B. For the Community:
The community should:
· Encourage progressive change in the attitude towards PWDs. Integration should be sought not for its own sake but also to change the environment. Integration must be undertaken in an interactive manner. The PWDs also have a lot to contribute to the community. It is not a one-sided affair.
· Work towards full participation of the PWDs, so they recognise themselves as part of the community.
· Prepare itself to integrate the PWDs in their regular development efforts. Build upon community institutions. Identify and actively overcome institutional barriers.
· Encourage "Practical skills" among the able-bodied people: to listen to be sensitive to the needs of persons with disabilities to wait to be asked for help, or ask if help is needed to restrain from being overprotective to facilitate accessibility
· Modify physical and architectural aspects of public facilities [e.g. toilets, doorways, switches].
C. For the Government
The government should:
· Facilitate the integration of disabled children in mainstream schools.
· Provide for the training of PWDs with skills that would enable them to live amongst their communities with dignity; and, where possible, this training be integrated with able bodied persons.
· Facilitate the acquisition of appropriate aids for people with disabilities to take on gainful occupation within the communities
· Recognise the work done by (NGOs) in the field of CBR and support their efforts, for example, through enabling them to import equipment and tools without import duties.
· Provide guidelines and monitor the activities of (NGOs)
· Provide adequate backup and referral services in government hospitals and village clinics.
· Provide adequate extension services to CBR projects of disabled peoples that are based on agriculture, livestock management and fishing.
· Provide basic management skills and extension services to PWDs to enable them to run their businesses.
· Empower local authorities with finance and enabling legislation to facilitate CBR programmes.
D. For IGOs, INGOs and (NGOs) working with PWDs
· Be sensitive about matters of concern to the PWDs in their development programmes
· Involve the community in the planning and implementation of development projects.
· Ensure active participation of PWDs in development projects.
· Play a facilitative, not directive, role
· Be cautious about killing local initiative through overfunding or through creating false expectations
· For proper coordination, the local and international (NGOs) need to consult with one another before getting into a CBR project. The consultation must continue on a regular basis.
Some issues for Further Discussion
The communities in Africa are already impoverished as a result of global economic dynamics - such as SAPs and now the effects of the Uruguay Round of trade agreements. How can they and the PWDs who live among them take up these new challenges?
There is need for further discussion on the division of responsibilities between the various stakeholders: the disabled persons themselves, the families, the Government, the local community, the international community, the NGOs, the funders, etc. How can this discussion be facilitated?
How well equipped are NGOs (even those of the disabled persons) to manage CBR programmes? How do we further the empowerment of the PWDs within the NGOs?
Are there specific concerns which women (PWDs and able bodied) in communities with CBR programmes have to address? What are these issues, and how might they be addressed?
How well equipped is the CBR approach in catering for the severely disabled persons, their carets, and other marginalised disabilities?
Does the current CBR training and curriculum cater for adequate