This report presents the key findings, conclusions and recommendations of the research on the use of assistive information technology (hereinafter called: assistive technology) in the instruction at primary schools in Macedonia.
The goals of the research were: (1) to document the current situation concerning the use of computers in the instruction at primary schools as a tool to improve the quality of the education of students with special educational needs, and (2) to identify the needs and possibilities concerning the use of assistive technology in the instruction.
The research was conducted in the context of the on-going long-term efforts of the educational authorities to build an inclusive and modern educational system, based on wide use of computers and information technology in the instruction. It was a part of the USAID program for e-accessible primary schools “Equal Access for Equal Opportunities”, implemented by the “Open the Windows” civic organization.
Equal Before the Law: Access to Justice in Central Asia (EBL) is a flagship program of Finland’s Wider Europe Initiative. EBL seeks to increase access to justice for vulnerable groups of persons by bringing national law closer to international law and people’s everyday experiences closer to national law. The program, that started in July 2011 and runs through to December 2013, is implemented by the Eurasia Foundation and the Eurasia Foundation in Central Asia in the five Central Asian republics.
As part of the EBL program, free legal aid is provided to vulnerable groups of persons. One of the groups is persons with disabilities (PWDs) whose rights are often ignored even though these would be guaranteed in legislation. Through the EBL, PWDs have had an opportunity to seek help in legal matters.
To highlight the weaknesses of national legislation and what measures that need to be taken to improve the situation of PWDs in the future, the national legislation of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and
Tajikistan has been analyzed in the light of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The aim of the CRPD is to protect the rights of PWDs and to ensure that they
can enjoy their human rights on an equal basis with others. States that have ratified the CRPD are obliged to respect, protect and fulfil the rights set forth in the convention. A first step is to make
national legislation in line with the CRPD.
The Republic of Armenia undertook to promote, safeguard, and secure the full and equal enjoyment by persons with disabilities of their human rights and fundamental freedoms. Support should be extended to persons with disabilities from early childhood so as to ensure the full development of their potential and the possibility to be equal members of society. Sound qualitative and quantitative research, which will identify the existing gaps related to the environment and service delivery, is essential for the development and implementation of effective policies and programmes in the sector. The survey on the access to services for children with disabilities living in Armenia, carried out by UNICEF upon the request of the Ministry of Labour and Social Issues of the Republic of Armenia, is the first large-scale study of this type. It contains abundant data that will be used by the Government of Armenia for choosing policies to be implemented in the sector.
The Committee of Ministers has taken note of Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1990 (2012) on “The right of everyone to take part in cultural life” and of the appended Guidelines for developing policies to ensure effective participation in cultural life. It brought this recommendation to the attention of the member States’ governments so that they might be guided by it in framing their national policies, also transmitting it to the relevant Council of Europe committees1 and to the Executive Committee of the North-South Centre for information and for receipt of any comments they might have.
This study reviews early childhood intervention (ECI), special education and inclusive education programmes in Belarus. Upon the request of UNICEF’s Regional Office for CEE/CIS, it presents key programme concepts and information, identifi es lessons learned, off ers recommendations, and presents general Guidelines for ECI and Special Education Systems for the consideration of other countries in the region and the world.
When country reports for the 2002 UN Special Session on Children were reviewed, a startling pattern emerged in the CEE/CIS: reported rates of disability among children had doubled, tripled and more during the decade following the collapse of communism. UNICEF set out to investigate the causes of this dramatic increase. This report is a result of that inquiry. It is a first attempt to pull together and analyse data on children with disabilities on a region-wide basis. The portrait that has emerged is somewhat patchy, due largely to data limitations, but it is still compelling. For one, there is the simple fact – and attendant mental image – that at least 317,000 children with disabilities in the region live in residential institutions, often for life. For children with disabilities, this may be the defining legacy of the communist past: the purposeful institutionalization of huge numbers of children, often in large facilities segregated from community and cut off from family.
Torment not Treatment: Serbia’s Segregation and Abuse of Children and Adults with Disabilities is the product of an investigation spanning four years, by Mental Disability Rights International (MDRI), into the human rights abuses perpetrated against institutionalized children and adults in Serbia. From July 2003 to August 2007, MDRI has documented a broad array of human rights violations against people with disabilities, segregated from society and forced to live out their lives in institutions (all observations in this report are from December 2006 through August 2007 except as noted). Filthy conditions, contagious diseases, lack of medical care and rehabilitation, and a failure to provide oversight renders placement in a Serbian institution lifethreatening. MDRI investigators found children and adults with disabilities tied to beds or never allowed to leave a crib – some for years at a time. Inhumane and degrading treatment in Serbian institutions – in violation of article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) – is widespread. Children and adults with disabilities tied down and restrained over a lifetime are being subjected to extremely dangerous and painful “treatment ” that is tantamount to torture.
This study explores three themes in seeking to answer the question how the adult workd meets its responsibilities towards the realisation of children's rights in accordance with their evolving capacities: how to provide the social, development; how to encourage children's participation in decision-making and guarantee appropriate respect for their capacities: and how to protect children from an inappropriate burden of responsibility and harm as a consequence of their youth and "still evolving" capacities. This study does this by looking in part at marginalized groups in society of which children and young people with disabilities are one.