April and May always seem to bring with them an abundance of international meetings and reports, and this year disability seems to be well and truly on the agenda. You’ll see from this issue of E-Update how many international events and projects currently embrace the needs and rights of adults and children with disabilities.
This May WCPT will make a statement at the World Health Assembly in Geneva, supporting a resolution calling for WHO and member states to ensure equal access to health services for persons with disabilities and to promote and strengthen rehabilitation services.
Physical therapists around the world believe in the importance of ensuring that the rights of all people with disabilities are upheld. The current emphasis can't help but move these rights forward.
Kind regards, Marilyn Moffat and Brenda J Myers
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Women and girls with disabilities under discussion
The United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities held a general discussion on women and girls with disabilities on 17th April, focusing on gender and disability, violence against women and girls with disabilities, and the sexual and reproductive rights of women with disabilities.
Speakers included representatives from UN Women, UNICEF, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and the WHO. WCPT and its subgroup the International Organisation of Physical Therapists in Paediatrics provided a submission to the meeting.
The committee adopted a statement reiterating its concern about violence and abuse against women and girls with disabilities, the restrictions to their sexual, reproductive and maternity rights, and the failure to include gender as a cross-cutting issue in public policies on disability. Go to www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/CRPD/Pages/CRPDIndex.aspx
A hundred years of physiotherapy in New Zealand
This year New Zealand physiotherapists are celebrating 100 years since the profession began in their country. Physiotherapy New Zealand has launched a history website www.100yearsofphysio.co.nz with extensive archives of the profession’s history, including oral interviews and key moments of physiotherapy history.
Branches of Physiotherapy New Zealand are celebrating with parties and events, informing the public about how the profession has contributed to their health for the last century.
World Bank’s interactive database
A new database created by the World Bank and Leonard Cheshire Disability provides information on government projects that aim to include people with disabilities in mainstream education, health and rehabilitation, and livelihoods programmes. It aims to promote communication and collaboration throughout the international disability community. Users can browse project information by thematic area or country, and register new projects on the database. Go to www.disabilitydatabase.org/
The United Nations Department for Economic and Social Affairs is expanding its database of experts with knowledge and experience of disability-inclusive development. The database will be used to identify people who may contribute to putting disability in the mainstream of the development agenda, through experts meetings and other events on the issue. Submissions are being requested before 15th May 2013 via an online application form. Go to www.surveymonkey.com/s/enable_experts_database
Subgroups combined event a success
Around 100 people from 16 countries attended a conference organised by two of WCPT’s subgroups, the International Association of Physical Therapists working with Older People and the International Organization of Physical Therapists in Women’s Health on 26th-28th April. The combined event, on topics in women’s health and ageing in men and women, was held in Boston, USA.
UNICEF focuses on children with disabilities
In May UNICEF will launch the 2013 edition of its State of the World’s Children report, focusing this year on children with disabilities. Based on documented experience and examples, the report recommends ways in which governments, the private sector, international donors and agencies can bring inclusive and equitable approaches to early childhood development, education, health, nutrition, humanitarian response and protection. The report also advocates children becoming architects and agents of change in their towns, villages and cities, regardless of ability. Go to www.unicef.org/sowc/
WCPT Asia Western Pacific congress
The 16th Asia Western Pacific Regional Meeting will be held in conjunction with the 6th Asia Western Pacific Regional Congress in Taichung, Taiwan on 6th-9th September 2013.
The congress, being held with the Asian Confederation for Physical Therapy (ACPT), will be an opportunity to interact and communicate with physical therapy clinicians, educators and researchers. Go to www.2013awp-acpt.org/welcome.html
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