GENTECH archive 8.96-97
DAA Newsletter 46 - February 1997 (fwd)
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- Subject: DAA Newsletter 46 - February 1997 (fwd)
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Subject: DAA Newsletter 46 - February 1997
DIa!?ayyyyyRyyyyyyyyyyNDsteredCharity No. 1002155.
Israel's Social Welfare Ministry abandons mentally handicapped* teenager to a life of degradation
"Half-human" Arab girl forced to live in cage
by Shyam Bhatia, Jerusalem
When the mayor of Jerusalem, Ehud Olmert, steps on to his office balcony this morning, he will have a clear view of the Arab village of Jabal Mukabar, where a mentally handicapped Palestinian teenager is incarcerated in a cage.
Hanan Jaafreh's only meal is a crust of stale bread that her mother throws to her through the bars. When she is thirsty, she squats to lap up water left for her in a small bowl. She has no control over her muscles and her sisters keep her clean by hosing her down once a week, even in winter.
Neighbours describe the 16-year old girl as "half-human, half-beast". Mothers in the village discipline their children by warning that Hanan will be let loose to punish them.
The mayor's social welfare department is responsible for forcing Hanan to leave her Israeli-managed institute for the mentally handicapped and return her to her impoverished village on the southern outskirts of Jerusalem.
Hanan's family has been living in Arab Jerusalem for at least 50 years, and long before it was annexed by Israel. Yet, because they are Arabs, they cannot expect the same rights and privileges as their Jewish neighbours. Their village, like so many other Arab neighbourhoods, has no paved roads, no system for collecting rubbish, and sewage is disposed of in cesspits.
Like the 150,000 other Palestinians who live in Jerusalem, Hanan is the victim of three decades of discrimination. She was born into a large Bedouin family that has only West Bank identity cards. Her parents live within the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem and their home is listed for tax purposes.
Mahmoud, Hanan's unemployed father, pays the equivalent of UKL125 a year in local taxes. But in every other respect he and his family are non-people. Their names do not appear on municipal records and they are not entitled to health care or social security. "They come here only when they want to collect money," said Hanan's mother, Amina.
"This is a racist government. If my daughter were a Jewish girl, they would take care of her and find the right facilities for someone in her condition. But we are only Arabs, so who cares?"
For the first 14 years of her life, Hanan was tethered like an animal in her parents' garden. When it rained, she and the sheep crowded together inside a small shelter. Today the only noise she makes has been mimicked from the sheep with whom she used to live.
When the Observer [newspaper] contacted the Jerusalem municipality, the social welfare department promised to prepare a report on Hanan's condition.
"She is living like an animal," a social worker said. "It is a matter of deep shame that Israel is able to condone such conditions."
An embarrassed spokesman for city hall later issued a statement exonerating the municipality of responsibility. The buck, officials argue, rests with Israel's Ministry of Social Welfare. Officials say that it is this ministry which expelled Hanan from her safe and warm refuge in Israel.
Privately, officials in the Ministry admit Hanan was removed from her institute "because she is an Arab and the government does not believe it is obliged to look after the likes of her. Why doesn't Yasser Arafat help her?"
But under the terms of the Oslo pact, Arafat and the Palestinian Authority are not allowed to operate inside Jerusalem. Arafat has been told to shut his offices and stop his officials from taking on any responsibilities within the city.
"Hanan is a resident of Jerusalem, which the Israelis claim is under their exclusive sovereignty," said Abus Salah, a village elder. "Therefore, Israel is entirely responsible for the well-being of all those living in this area. Where else in the world can such a tragedy be permitted?"
The Observer C
As most of us know, such tragedies are permitted the world over. Individual disabled people live in appalling conditions of poverty and neglect, often with the endorsement of institutions and organisations concerned with social welfare. What do you think about who is responsible for Hanan's situation?
*For copyright reasons, DAA must use author's terms.
Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting
Start lobbying on disability issues now!
24-27 October 1997, Edinburgh, Scotland
This is a very important gathering of heads of government of Commonwealth countries.
The focus this year is on involvement of non-governmental organisations (NGOs), so although we won't be able to change what is talked about our presence can make a real difference.
There should be at least one disabled delegate among country delegations to the Meeting. Disability movements should start lobbying to ensure this.
Contact your Foreign Office to arrange for a disabled person, representative of disabled people's organisations, to join your country's official delegation.
Pan-Commonwealth non-governmental organisations can be accredited through the Commonwealth Secretariat.
Contact: Commonwealth Secretariat, Marlborough House, Pall Mall, London SW1Y 5HX, United Kingdom.
Poverty and Disability
The links between poverty, of individuals and of nations, and disability are clear. Causes of impairments are more often linked to poverty than heredity and are caused by:
- poor nutrition
- bad water
- lack of education, particularly of women
- lack of access to basic health services
- low levels of pre- and post-natal maternal care
- environmental pollution
- war and conflict
- harmful effects of pharmaceuticals
- lack of effective transport systems, leading to traffic accidents
- existence of vaccines for many conditions but lack of availability because of financial restrictions
- lack of power, leading to hazardous working conditions in factories, sweatshops and mines.
Poverty compounds the experience as well as the incidence and severity of impairments - poor disabled people have less access to equipment, education and employment that might allow them more choice, power and independence in their lives.
Not all disabled people are poor and not all poor people are disabled. Nevertheless, the vast majority of disabled people are poor. Worldwide, the gap between rich and poor is growing.
But, as we saw at the World Summit on Social Development in 1995, discussion of poverty, unemploy-ment and exclusion and the search for solutions is carried out by non-poor and non-disabled "experts".
THE POVERTY CLOCK: 24,287,811 living in poverty worldwide
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) created its Poverty Clock to show how quickly poverty grows. The number of people living in absolute poverty is increasing by nearly 25 million a year. This calculation is based on the World Bank and the United Nations definition of absolute poverty: those people whose incomes are no more than $370 a year (about $1 a day). The Poverty Clock is ticking off the number of new people living in poverty at approximately 47 per minute.
Policies for Reducing Poverty
1. The full involvement of disabled people in poverty debates.
2. The economic inclusion of disabled people through employment.
3. The re-allocation of resources.
4. Full involvement of disabled people's organisations in development of
5. Supporting disabled people's organisations and overcoming their impoverishment.
6. A changed role for state and government.
7. Aid policy and practice should be based on empowerment not charity.
Further reading: 'Poverty and Disabled People: challenging dominant debates
and policies', by Peter Beresford in Disability & Society, Volume 11, Number 4, December 1996.
See information on other United Nations Decades, Years, Weeks and Days, page 11.
International Day of Disabled Persons 1996
November, December and January's newsletters contained
some details of events celebrating the day. Here are some more:
GERMANY - VDK and other disability organisations held a meeting of nearly 500 people. There was an artistic presentation on how social welfare cuts are affecting disabled people's quality of life; a detailed overview of the development of social policy since 1995; and a discussion with members of parliament.
GHANA - The Care and Concern Action Group held a candlelit procession, integrated arts events, conferences and workshops for the media and presented a petition to the District Secretary.
INDIA - The Association of the Physically Handicapped (APH) secured four 'Thoughts on Disability' articles in the national daily newspaper The Hindu. Children from APH's Shradhanjali Integrated School took part in painting competitions, cultural and sports events in Bangalore and won several prizes. Despite the cyclone in southern India (see report in January's newsletter), the Organisation of Elevation of the Depression (OED) held a meeting for 30 disabled people in Karagraharam village. Rice was distributed and a free sewing centre was opened (see photographs). The meeting discussed equality, the needs and aspirations of disabled people and how OED could help disabled people to improve the situation.
MAURITANIA - Articles appeared in the press. Disability activists called for a state structure, in the form of a ministry, secretariat or general assembly on integration to coordinate and pursue national policies for the socio-economic integration of disabled people.
SRI LANKA - SHIA, a Swedish NGO working to improve the socio-economic status of disabled people in Sri Lanka, organised television programmes on disabled people during December to raise awareness. The Disabled Youth Rehabilitation Society, a group of disabled young people in Ganemulla, held a conference. The Society teaches citizenship rights and professional skills to young disabled people, providing support for self-employment.
SWEDEN - A conference on 'Discrimination against persons with disabilities and the law', compared Sweden to some other countries: in Sweden there are no anti-discrimination laws. There were guest speakers from Germany and the UK. Three Swedish organisations of disabled people performed a tribunal - "We accuse the Swedish State for crimes against the UN Standard Rules" - with three authentic cases on employment, information and public transport.
Bexley Association of Disabled People demonstrated outside the Town Hall for low-floor buses.
Brent Association of Disabled People launched their Development Programme for the Year 2000 which includes a strategy to promote the equality, rights and interests of disabled people in the borough.
Integrated activities and information were available at a big sports centre in Chesterfield and about 200 people attended. There were speeches on 'Social Wrongs to Civil Rights - the Disabled People's Movement', The Future of Disability Rights' and 'European Perspectives on Disability'.
Croydon Association of People with Disabilities hosted an original theatre piece entitled 'Disabled Lives'.
Kingston Association of Disabled People (KADP) held an open day to raise awareness of the shortcomings of the Disability Discrimination Act.
A public meeting was held by the Equal Opportunities Unit of Leeds City Council. Speakers were leading activists from ADAPT, the disabled people's direct action organisation in the United States.
People First launched two new publications, Not Just Painted On and Women First.
In West Bromwich town centre MP Peter Snape joined representatives of local citizens' advice bureaux and disability organisations to focus on "Awareness".
ZAMBIA - Zambia Council for the Handicapped (North-Western Area Committee) held a seminar for its placement and provincial rehabilitation officers and all chairs and directors of associations of and for disabled people in Zambia. Guest of honour was the Deputy Permanent Secretary for the area.
ZIMBABWE - The Deaf Soccer Championships of Southern Africa, a sub-regional championship, took place in Harare between 3 and 8 December. It involved South African, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe and included a major demonstation on disability issues.
Life, Death and Rights
What is it?
A genetic test looks at a person's genes and can determine whether:
- they have a genetic condition
- they are a carrier of a genetic condition (they do not have the condition but their children might)
- they might get a condition which has a genetic factor but is also influenced by environmental factors.
Genetic diseases include cystic fibrosis, Huntingdon's disease, heart disease, muscular dystrophy and many cancers. For some, such as cystic fibrosis and Huntingdon's, if you have the gene, you will definitely develop the disease; for others, your diet and lifestyle may affect whether the disease develops, when, and how severely you are affected.
How is it done?
There are many ways of carrying out genetic tests, just as there are many other diagnostic tests for disease. Some can be done very easily - even by wiping a swab inside someone's mouth. It is already possible to have a test by post - commercial companies are offering this service, usually with no actual contact with the person being tested.
What are the advantages of testing?
Because environmental factors can play a huge role in determining whether someone with the gene for a condition will develop it, knowing, for example, that you are at a greater than average risk of developing colon cancer or heart disease might encourage people to alter their diet and lifestyle and other factors - to take preventative action.
Some conditions are detectable in the womb before birth. While this might mean selective termination of disabled foetuses, it is already possible to deliver treatment to alleviate some conditions in the womb - allowing a child's degree of impairment to be reduced.
Scientists believe that genetic research will lead to:
- better understanding of health and disease
- cheaper and more accurate diagnoses of common diseases
- better drug therapies
- better understanding of environmental components of disease
- targeting of people at risk
- altering prevention or treatment to take account of genetic factors.
What are the disadvantages?
We may come to consider our appearance, behaviour and health as entirely dependent on genetics; social, economic and cultural factors may be ignored.
Prevention may simply mean selective abortion of foetuses with genetic conditions, including those who have some risk of developing conditions such as Alzheimer's, heart disease or cancer in later life. Abortion and genetic manipulation may increasingly be used to guarantee what society regards as the desirable height, colouring and sex.
In the United Kingdom, insurance companies have announced that they will demand the results of genetic tests as a requirement for new insurance policies. Applicants for insurance who have had a genetic test will be obliged to reveal the results - just as people who had had HIV tests were. One insurer, Standard Life, has said that it will not ask for such information for policies under L100,000.
The issue of confidentiality is very important - just as it is for HIV and AIDS. Being forced to give any information about your genetic make-up to insurers or employers may prevent people from taking tests from which they could benefit.
While knowing about a predisposition to certain diseases might be useful in a few circumstances - such as particular sensitivity to pesticides for agricultural work - it may be used to prevent people taking up work for which they are suited and increase prejudice and discrimination against disabled people.
In the future, choice of partner for many people may be dependant on the results of a couple's genetic tests. Knowing you are a carrier - or that you are not - may affect family dynamics and foster feelings of helplessness or guilt.
Attitudes to parenthood may change. Giving birth to disabled children, and disabled people becoming parents, may be frowned upon as irresponsible - even more so than today.
Attitudes to Disability
Society may decide to withdraw resources from people with genetic disorders because it sees these conditions - and these people - as preventable.
Our whole view of what it means to be human and to be a part of society - our value as individuals - may change because of the extraordinary developments in this area.
An example of gene therapy - developments in the treatment of cystic fibrosis
Healthy copies of a gene has been delivered into the airways of people with cystic fibrosis. The treatment was effective for three weeks but then it wore off. However, this experiment did prove that it is possible to have an effect on genetic conditions. In the long term, it is hoped that a permanent correction of cystic fibrosis may be possible - by treating the genes which are responsible for the condition. However, it is likely to be several years before this treatment is generally available.
What Do You Think?
Genetic technology may seem too remote and scientific for many of us to try and understand and form opinions about. And of course, in most countries, disabled people are too concerned about getting enough food and shelter - simply surviving. But some of us need to be informed and to contribute to the debate on these developments, which will affect our lives and future generations of disabled people everywhere in the world.
Should we concentrate all our efforts on resisting genetic testing, particularly where there is no possibility of treatment or cure, and publicise the harmful side-effects for disabled people, including an increased assumption that our lives are not worth living? Should we accept that this technology is here to stay and try to influence the way it is regulated?
Genetic counselling as it exists at the moment rarely includes the perspectives of disabled people. The assumption is that a life with impairment is a tragedy to be avoided. Pre-birth counselling that detects impairment will usually result in abortion, unless the parents are very strongly opposed; often, even those who are uneasy about abortion for other reasons, will make an exception in the case of impairment.
Genetic testing will bring some benefits. Detecting an impairment in the uterus, for example, could help to determine the best support and treatment for the infant. It may be that gene therapies will be developed that can improve the symptoms of life-threatening conditions. But these developments should not be used as a way of seeking out and destroying people who, among their unique and wide-ranging attributes, carry or manifest the gene for a particular condition. Let us know what you think. Agnes Fletcher.
Around the World
Information from John Ndiraba Kiyaga, Chair, and Christine Namwanje, Secretary,
Action to Positive Change on People with Disabilities (ATPCPD)
ATPCPD started in 1993 and was registered as a non-governmental organisation in 1995.
The main reason for its formation was to fight negative public attitudes to disabled people and to work for the rights of disabled people.
This meant tackling the problem early, and ATPCPD set up an integrated school project.
Despite the development that has taken place in almost every sector in Uganda, most parents of disabled children do not take them seriously.
In old Mulago, where ATPCPD is based, it was realised that the number of disabled people is high but their care-takers do not try to develop their talents or take the young ones to school.
This is because most people think that disability is inability.
Our mission, therefore, is to create a change of attitude towards disabled people. The Board of ATPCPD has struggled to do this for the last three years. There are a number of programmes:
a Awareness Seminars
b Mirror-Making Project
c Integrated School Project
d Fitting Centre - mobility appliances
The Integrated Academy is a major focus of ATPCPD. It integrates disabled and non-disabled children as a way of discouraging negative attitudes to disabled people early in life. It provides basic literacy and functional education skills to children to help them be self-reliant in the future.
Support for sustainability of the project comes from contributions made by parents of non-disabled children and disabled children pay nothing, as most parents are poor and others do not give priority to educating disabled children.
Sustainability therefore becomes difficult at times and thus we need to seek support from elsewhere in the world.
Action to Positive Change on People with Disabilities, PO Box 12305, Kampala, Uganda.
If anyone you know is able to make a donation to ATPCPD, their bankers are the Cooperative Bank, Wandegeya Branch in Kampala.
A powerful women's secret society practised genital mutilation on about 600 girls in a camp for displaced people and many have developed complications, according to aid workers.
The Bondo Society promotes female genital mutilation (called "circumcision"). It carried out the operations on 9 January in Grafton camp in the eastern suburbs of Freetown.
Health workers say about 100 of the girls, aged between eight and 15, were suffering severe complications. The practice involves the removal of the clitoris and is usually performed with unsterilised knives and no anaesthesia.
Information from Reuter, Freetown.
MOLDOVA - UPDATE
January's issue included an article on the children of Moldova, where nearly one in 10 children is abandoned because the system of social welfare has broken down and their parents are too poor to look after them ('Three hours from London . . .'). As usual, in bleak conditions, disabled children exist in the bleakest of circumstances. The Observer, original publishers of the article, has raised L30,000 for orphans. The European Children's Trust now has two people working in Hincesti to oversee distribution of aid to get the children through the winter. One of the aid workers, Justin Temple, said: "This is only the beginning, but I can already see real improvements in the children's lives. We are getting the orphanage heating, hot water to bath the children, detergent to clean the rooms and the bedding, food and medicines."
But Hincesti is just one of many orphanages and Stefan Toma, director of Unicef in Moldova, has said: "There are dozens of institutions like this in Moldova. Some are better than Hincesti, but many are worse."
As Moldova makes clear, the solutions to changing the desperate situation of disabled children and adults do not lie in charity and goodwill alone. Proper outrage and action of this kind must be backed up by an acknowledgement that all children have the right to housing, food, warmth; and education and development in such countries must include improvements for disabled people.
Rights not charity!
UNITED KINGDOM - 1
Dying Prisoner in Chains
A prisoner in severe pain and dying of stomach cancer was kept handcuffed and chained to a bed by prison officers until four hours before his death.
The Prison Service has promised a full inquiry into why Geoffrey Thomas, 25, awaiting trial for burglary, was shackled by ankles and wrists under 24-hour guard during the last three days of his life in a hospice for the terminally ill. Cardiff Prison, where Thomas had been for 10 weeks, rejected repeated pleas from doctors and relatives to remove the chains.
In the final stages of his illness, when Thomas's ankles became so swollen that the shackles were biting into his flesh, prison officers switched a chain from his legs to his wrists. But the chain was not finally taken off until his solicitor went to court and was granted emergency bail three hours and 45 minutes before Thomas died on 3 January.
UNITED KINGDOM - 2
Boy To Be "Switched Off" Saved by Twin
A boy of 13 thought to be "brain dead" after a road accident was helped back to consciousness by his twin brother, who showed him their favourite video, the Wallace and Gromit cartoon.
Edward Goater's family were about to let him "slip away peacefully" when his brother Tom noticed his eye flicker.
Tom had refused to accept that his brother was technically dead. He never left Edward's bedside, waiting for him to show recognition. The rest of the family had given up hope.
After the eye flicker, the family agreed to a tracheotomy operation that allowed Edward to do without a ventilator and breathe naturally.
He began to improve almost immediately. His kidneys began working and all his other functions began to return to normal.
Within a few days he opened his eyes. When his recovery appeared to slow down, Edward wheeled a television into the ward, putting on the video.
As soon as it started, Edward began to move. He sat up, turned himself over and started watching the film.
Edward is now at home and expects to be back at school again after Easter.
"Interdit aux Imbeciles"
Imbeciles banned, roughly translated!
The December 1996 issue of the French newsletter on disability, Au Fil des Jours tells how two wheelchair users were refused entry to the Jacquemard Andre museum because disabled people were banned. As Au Fil des Jours comments, get your culture in front of the television if you will but don't disturb the peace of "normal" art-lovers!
People with HIV and AIDS who are discriminated against at work are refusing to take their employers to court because of fears of being identified and failures in the legal system, early results from a new European Commission-funded study suggest. There is also evidence that some lawyers are reluctant to represent people with AIDS. The study includes England, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and Wales.
UNITED KINGDOM - 3
Autistic Boy Top of the Class
And finally from the UK, some good news . . . !
A student born with a rare form of autism that rules out tasks such as making a cup of tea, has beaten thousands of other teenagers to score among the country's top A-level results.
Nineteen-year-old Andrew Robinson celebrated Christmas with three medals from the country's largest A-level exam board - one for gaining the highest mark nationally in general studies and the others for coming within the top five candidates in two other subjects.
Andrew was removed from school at seven. Some specialists thought he was gifted, while others saw only bad behaviour. Six years later, Andrew was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, a little-known form of autism.
Now in the first year of a degree in politics at Nottingham University, Andrew told The Independent newspaper: "Asperger's has given me abilities as well as disabilities." Among his strengths are tremendous powers of critical analysis. But any subject involving sheer description or learning by rote is out of reach, ruling out maths, technology and languages.
Informazioni sulle Regole Standard
The organisation Ovci La Nostra Famiglia has translated DAA's Information Kit on the United Nations Standard Rules on the Equalisation of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities. We have ten print copies of the Kit in Italian and can also send photocopies to anyone who requests it. Many thanks to Ovci La Nostra Famiglia.
Choice, Opportunity and Learning: Educating children and young people who are physically disabled
by John Cornwall
Looks at choice and opportunity in education, practical teaching approaches, the learning environment and learning support, moving from the daily delivery of education to issues of inclusion in schools, colleges and society. Aimed principally at teachers, lecturers and educational advisors. ISBN 1-85346-304-3. 272 pages. UKL16.99 + L2.50 for postage. Make cheques payable to David Fulton Publishers Ltd., 2 Barbon Close, Great Ormond Street, London WC1N 3JX, UK. Tel: +44 171 405 5606. Fax: +44 171 831 4840.
Beyond Promises: Governments in Motion
One Year After the Beijing Women's Conference
87 pages. US$5. Progress report on about half of the 189 United Nations member states that attended the conference.
Improving the Quality of Life of Girls
by Kathleen M. Kurz and Cynthia J. Prather
Report on new information about the quality of life of girls in developing countries, focusing on health, education and social well-being. Identifies major constraints on quality of life, including health care, nutrition and violence. 77 pages. US$11.95.
Postage for the above two books:
in North America add $4 for first book and $1.25 for each additional book;
elsewhere, $4.25 first book, $2 each additional book. From Women, Ink., 777 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017, USA. Tel: +1 212 687 8633. Fax: +1 212 661 2704.
Web page: http://www.womenink.org
The Roeher Institute
This is "Canada's national institute for the study of public policy affecting persons with an intellectual impairment and other disabilities".
The following publications, among others, are listed in the Institute's 1996-97 catalogue:
Disability, Community and Society: Exploring the Links.
The Power of Language (principles of plain language).
As If Children Matter: Perspectives on Children, Rights and Disability.
Disability is Not Measles: New Research Paradigms in Disability.
Safety Kit: For People with Disabilities Who Feel Unsafe and Who Want to Do Something About It.
No More Victims: Addressing the Sexual Abuse of People with a Mental Handicap.
Answering the Call: The Police Response to Family and Care-Giver Violence Against People with Disabilities.
Harm's Way: The Many Faces of Violence and Abuse Against Persons with Disabilities in Canada.
Violence and People with Disabilities: A Review of the Literature.
Grey Matters: Issues Concerning Aging and Intellectual Disability.
How It Happens: A Look at Inclusive Educational Practice in Canada for Children and Youth with Disabilities.
Self-Advocates plain language guides (specific to Canadian policy and legislation but might be useful models for other countries):
The Right to Have a Job.
The Right to Have Enough Money.
The Right to Fair and Equal Treatment.
The Right to Control What Happens to Your Body.
The Right to Read and Write.
Take Action - Stand Up for Your Rights.
For a catalogue, contact The Roeher Institute, Kinsmen Building, York University, 4700 Keele Street, North York, Ontario, Canada M3J 1P3. Tel: +1 416 661 9611. Fax: +1 416 661 5701. Text Tel: +1 416 661 2023. E-mail: email@example.com
United Nations Days and Weeks
United Nations Day for Women's Rights and International Peace: 8 March
International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination: 21 March
Week of Solidarity with the Peoples Struggling
Against Racism and Racial Discrimination: week of 21 March
World Day for Water: 22 March
World Health Day: 7 April
World Press Freedom Day: 3 May
International Day of Families: 15 May
World Telecommunications Day: 17 May
World No-Tobacco Day: 31 May
World Environment Day: 5 June
World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought: 17 June
International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking: 26 June
International Day of Cooperatives: first Saturday of July
World Population Day: 11 July
International Day of the World's Indigenous People: 9 August
International Literacy Day: 8 September
International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer: 16 September
International Day of Peace: third Tuesday of September
International Day of Older Persons: 1 October
World Habitat Day: first Monday of October
World Post Day: 9 October
International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction: second Wednesday of October
World Food Day: 16 October
International Day for the Eradication of Poverty: 17 October
United Nations Day: 24 October
World Development Information Day: 24 October
Disarmament Week: 24-30 October
African Industrialisation Day: 20 November
Universal Children's Day: 20 November
International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People: 29 November
World AIDS Day: 1 December
International Day for the Abolition of Slavery: 2 December
International Day of Disabled Persons: 3 December
International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development: 5 December
Human Rights Day: 10 December
International Day for Biological Diversity: 29 December
United Nations Years and Decades
World Decade for Cultural Development: 1988-1997
International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction: 1990-1999
United Nations Decade of International Law: 1990-1999
Fourth United Nations Development Decade: 1991-2000
Second Transport and Communications Decade in Africa: 1991-2000
Second Industrial Decade for Africa: 1993-2002
Asian and Pacific Decade of Disabled Persons: 1994-2002
UN Decade for Human Rights Education: 1995-2004
International Year of Older Persons: 1999
Use these Days, Weeks, Years and Decades to lobby government and publicise issues in the media.
Disabled Students' Art Exhibition
Throughout 1997, Nanning, Guangxi, China
Art exhibition by students and teachers of the Nanning Vocational School for the Disabled. The exhibition includes some work by foreign artists. The exhibition will be seen in Guangdong, Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong and can also be exhibited elsewhere, so get in touch if you are interested for further details. Contact: Ms Li Bing, No. 1, The North First Lane, Renmin Road 530011, Nanning, Guangxi, China.
Children Have Arthritis Too Conference 1997
5 April 1997, The Excelsior Hotel, near Heathrow, London, United Kingdom
1. Empower children with arthritis and their parents through provision of information, presentation of positive role models and development of self-esteem.
2. Raise awareness of the needs of children with arthritis.
3. Campaign for improved services for them.
Workshops will be arranged for 5-8 years olds, 9-12 year olds and 13-16 year olds. A Campaigning Statement will be adopted based on the experiences of children with arthritis. The conference will be free to children with arthritis and their parents. There may be funding for some travel costs and a creche will be available. Contact: Lisa Yull, YAC Coordinator, Arthritis Care, 18 Stephenson Way, London NW1 2HD, United Kingdom.
African Conference on the Education of Learners with Special Educational Needs
21-24 April 1997, Johannesburg, South Africa
The Conference is organised by the National Council for Persons with Physical Disabilities in South Africa and Rehabilitation International. Contact: Johan Viljoen, National Director, National Council for Persons with Physical Disabilities in South Africa, PO Box 426, Melville 2109, South Africa. Tel: +011 726 8040. Fax: +726 5705.
DAA's Good News
>From now on, DAA can include good photographs and pictures in the newsletter - thanks to the generosity of Richard Light, a British disabled lawyer.
Richard has lent DAA a scanner for transferring pictures into a computer.
Kate Gane, DAA's Finance Officer, is so grateful that she is marrying Mr Light on 26 April! Devotion beyond the call of duty!
We know all our readers will wish them well.
DAA is funded through the generosity of the British Government, ICCO, the Platinum Trust, Charity Projects and the Baring Foundation.
DAA is a collaborative project between Disabled Peoples' International, IMPACT, Inclusion International and the World Federation of the Deaf.