Newsletter 18

 May 2017

We have gone back to the old format of the newsletter due to the fact that we could not fit information on the new template as we wanted to comprehensively report on the coming AfriNEAD conference.

 5th AfriNEAD conference – Ghana – 7-9th August.

We are so excited that our 5th AfriNEAD conference is almost upon us, and so at the beginning of March an Advance team consisting of Gubela Mji, Chairperson of Afrinead, Hillary Lane, Lieketseng Ned and Chioma Ohajunwa, visited Ghana to meet with the local organising team headed by Anthony Edusei and Sister Emily, at Collage of Health and Science at Kwama Nkrumah University of Science and Technology KNUST.  We were very encouraged with their advanced state of readiness and have high hopes for a very successful conference in a few months’ time in August.

Aim and rationale for the visit was to:

Meet with University management of KNUST with the goal of reassurance and commitment from both KNUST and Stellenbosch University regarding hosting the 5th AfriNEAD conference from 7-9th August in KNUST, Kumasi Ghana.  Meet with the KNUST conference organizing committee and revisit the draft programme and respond to pertinent questions regarding the conference plan and logistics.

We also wanted to review the conference infra-structure and meet with Anthony Edusei and his committee at KNUST, seeing where the conference will be hosted and understanding that consideration has been given and met, for people with disabilities, we are well satisfied with the progress made for hosting. Consultation also took place on the draft program, and we are confident that all is in line for a successful conference.

AfriNEAD is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year and this is our 5th conference- the 3rd one outside of South Africa, and then the 6th conference will return to the Western Cape in 2020 for a review on where we are as a network.

So, with the theme of this upcoming conference being ‘Disability and Inclusion in Africa – the role of Assistive Technology’ and the closing dates for the submission of Abstracts on the 31st of May, we urge you ALL to contribute to the success of the conference by submitting your abstracts.  Do also remember that there are plenary session as well as the 8 commissions in line with the CRDP namely;

  • Children and youth
  • Education
  • Economic Power
  • Poverty, Politics and Indigenous knowledge
  • Health
  • Community based rehabilitation
  • Holistic welfare sport, recreation, sexuality and spirituality
  • Research Evidence and utilization

On the poster, for the conference – also attached – you might see that under the information for the abstracts – which the call fall under different headings.  One of the reasons for this is because Collage of Health and Science which is hosting the event at Kwama Nkrumah University of Science and Technology KNUST, is combining their annual conference with the AfriNEAD conference, which is a big support for AfriNEAD in terms of reaching medical students and their lecturers from KNUST university and so the information on the poster with its discipline related information is meant to encourage students from the university to submit abstracts but the AfriNEAD conference will still be tabled and based on the 8 commissions focusing on the theme of inclusion and role of assistive devices in this regard.

We are planning some side events before and after the conference. Some will be open to the AfriNEAD membership while others will be closed events targeting a specific audience. Not all workshops before and afterwards have been finalised, so watch out for announcements on these in the form of a newsflash – “Ghana AfriNEAD conference”. The local organising committee is busy with the conference programme and we hope at our soonest we can have a draft programme available in our website.

Ghana is the 2nd African country to gain independency (The 1st one being Sudan). It does have an interesting history on how it has continued to forge forward in advancing this democratic space for its peoples. Now it is trying to see how the rights for persons with disabilities can too be advanced and by doing – it will already be responding to many challenges that are blighting vulnerable groups in that land. For many people this might be a once in a life time opportunity to visit Ghana – so please allow an extra day for sightseeing – visit our website to locate the list of the different sightseeing venues.

Some helpful facts;

Conference registration –          $300   (1$ in R13.78) R4137

Those coming from Cape Town Flight – Cape Town – Accra = R10790

Accra – Kumasi =          R3496

By bus from Accra – Kumasi     50 Ghana Cedi (1cedi = R3.27) R163.50 – Having made the trip – 4hour, I can highly recommend this as the buses are very comfortable– so make the time to see the country- unfortunately the busses are not wheelchair friendly

Accommodation between 90 & 120 cedi per night = R294,  – R392.40

A visa is required which you can get from Dr Michael Twum-Darko – 47 Strand Street Cape Town – 3 months’ visa is R900.

Please visit the AfriNEAD webpage for registration, list of hotels and more information on this conference.

The links and events shown here are either because they groups affiliated to AfriNEAD – please see our website for our partners- or it is information passed onto us which we would like to share with you.

Please let us know if there is any news you would like us to share with the readers of this AfriNEAD newsletter, and comments and feedback are always appreciated.

Other interesting events and announcements

  1. Link to DeafNET conference

Following DeafNET’s very successful conference last year, the SABC filmed and made available these links from the conference which you can click on and view.

  1. Introduction:
  2. Red Star Method:
  3. Storytelling:
  4. Early Childhood Development:
  5. Parents and the education of their Deaf Child https://www/youtube/watch?v=12EUZKamRSg&t=2s
  6. Journey in Deaf Education:
  7. Training of Deaf Interpreters:
  8. 10th Year Anniversary:
  9. Our article on Isidimeni has been published on the university website to align with the Human Rights day. Kindly note below. Though I presented the article as coming from the staff of the CRS – they still attached my name to it – will follow this up for the outside publication.


  1. FCEI Africa – 2017 – Family centered early intervention -Conference on family centered Early childhood and hearing loss and other disabilities

This Conference will be in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 28 – 30 June 2017.

2 day conference: 29-30 June 2017

Pre-conference workshops: 28 June 2017


  1. SAFOD – Southern African Federation on Disability– – Disability Round Table Forum

20 June – 23 June 2017

Holiday Inn, Johannesburg, South Africa

SOFOD will organize the Regional Disability Round Table Forum which will bring together SAFOD       Affiliates, Disability    Researchers & Academicians, the Private Sector, Key Founders of SAFOD, International Development Partners, and other Strategic Partners with the overall aim of creating a stakeholders’ forum to reflect and re-evaluate the work of SAFOD and the disability movement in general over the past three decades within the region, as well as interrogate the future direction. The theme for the forum will be: “Reflecting on 30 years of Disability Advocacy & Activism in Southern Africa”


  1. RamUP helps the Church and people with disabilities to grow relationship, so that everyone came ‘be at home in church’.  Erna Moller of the Leprosy Mission and is also their coordinator.  They offer training course – the next one is in Pretoria on the 19th of May- please visit – latest news for more information.
  2. NAPCP – National Association for People with Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral Palsy National Conference – Theme Conceive-Believe – Achieve
Cape Town: 22 – 24 May 2017 Milnerton Lagoon

Organized by Paarl School

New name, same vision, same determination

In recognizing diversity and inclusivity the National Council for Persons with Physical Disabilities in South Africa (NCPPDSA) recently changed its name to National Council of and for Persons with Disabilities (NCPD).

  1. . Ukwanda Centre for Rural Health & Anova Health presents the 7th annual Rural Health research days on 18th19th May – email for more information
  2. And finally for something completely different and inspiring please read this.      

African Network for Evidence – to – Action in Disability (AfriNEAD). AfriNEAD is a regional network based at Stellenbosch University. Its aim and focus is to facilitate translation of research evidence from policy to practice for realization of the rights of persons with disabilities (PWDs) with in an African regional perspective.


Newsletter 17

November 2016


SAFOD –Southern African Federation on Disability, together with Washington University, Afrinead and Dimagi are piloting the mapping of Assistive devise in Africa. Based in Botswana, SAFOD has started in the 9 SADC countries, for 2016, and in 2017 they will move into the rest of Africa- Web page will be up and running shortly.


In Geneva in March for the conclusion of the Delphi system on the 50 Assistive Priority List (APL), took place. In May next year at the ISPO World Congress Mr Chappel Kannabis will present the GATE project and its significance.

AJOD- African Journal on Disability – update

Five candidates had been selected for the new editor of AJOD. A suggested put forwards was that maybe there should be an editor in chief and a board. Watch this space!



June 2016

In this newsletter we bring you up to date with some of the events which have been taking place and tell you about new ones.

A reminder: Afrinead is the African Network for the Evidence – to – Action in Disability! And so all the projects which we are involved in and report on are part of the process of realising this vision. Africa Journal on Disability – AJOD AJOD is a collaboration between AfriNEAD, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and Centre for Rehabilitation Studies (CRS). It is one of the most important part of AfriNEAD, that is doing very well indeed – please do look at the attached AOSIS Annual report. The current editor, Leslie Swartz has given his time freely and has done a wonderful job, for which we thank him most sincerely. Please visit on all the latest articles. His tenure as the editor is coming to the end and below is the process of how to select new people to support the journal:

AJOD call for expression of interest for future, prospective Editor in Chief:

AJOD is an open access journal that can be found on The term of office for the current Editorin-chief, Professor Leslie Swartz of Stellenbosch University is due to expire at the end of 2017. We call now for expressions of interest for people who would be willing to take over this honorary position. Requirements for the post are:

1. Experience in academic publishing

2. Excellent written English skills

3. Familiarity with online research databases

4. Breadth of understanding of the field of disability studies

5. Good editing skills

6. Computer literacy

7. Time available to dedicate to editorial work.

Depending on applications received, the journal is considering a model whereby potential editors-in-chief may work closely together with the current editor-in-chief for a period prior to a decision being made on either side as to the suitability of the candidates for the post. Please send a brief letter explaining your vision for the journal and your role as a potential editor-in-chief together with a full CV and an example of your recent published work to by 30 July 2016. (Please note that this a paid position) Please see attachment

Development of AfriNEAD Country Working Groups (CWGs):

Part of the implementation process of one of the key objectives of AfriNEAD is the development, facilitation and coordination of CWGs. This is a way for each CWG in member countries that are affiliated to AfriNEAD to set up a system to profile their own disability research – please see attached documentation. It is in this regard that AfriNEAD has opted to use the area of assistive device/assistive technology (AD/AT) as a pilot project for AfriNEAD to initiate the start of country working groups. AfriNEAD intends to facilitate in the next 5 years a debate on an African centred approach to assistive technology with the goal of enhancing community integration of persons with disabilities (PWDs). We also believe that the area of AD/AT will also lead to other research debates on other related areas. In AfriNEAD we are more than convinced that now Africa is ready to unlock the potential and creativity that is lying dormant to ensure that people in need can access high-quality affordable assistive technology. We are in need of our partners in their various countries to start forming Country Working Groups so that at the 2017 conference in Ghana, a real focus can be applied to the progress and work of CWG. It is also in this regard that AfriNEAD has kept the membership aware of the developments of the WHO GATE project and as well as the google INFO-Map Project lead by SAFOD. We intend that in the next news – letter, we will table a step –by step template on how country working groups can be developed by each member country in preparation for the AfriNEAD conference. Please see attachment

The GATE Project:

On the 21st& 22nd March Gubela went to Geneva, along with people from different countries for the conclusion of the Delphi system on the 50 Assistive Priority List (APL). In order to have maximum possible impact, the APL needs to be supported with additional policy and legislation, resources, and personnel working within integrated health services. Hence, WHO is in the process of developing three additional tools to assist Member States to develop national assistive technology policies and programmes, as an integral component of universal health coverage. These tools include:

a. Policy: Assistive technology policy framework: WHO will assist Member States to initiate national policy dialogues to develop national assistive technology programmes.

b. Personnel: Assistive products training package: WHO will support Member States to develop the capacity of their health workforce through an assistive products training package. Provision:

c. Assistive products service delivery model: A network of specialist referral centres connected to primary health care infrastructure is needed for universal access to assistive products, and to ensure early intervention.

d. For further details: The GATE initiative is hosted by the department of essential medicines and products and works across other departments within WHO. For more information:

 The GOOGLE Project:

The Assistive Technology Information Mapping project (AT-Info-Map) that was funded by the Google Impact Challenge as one of the ‘big ideas that will use technology to expand opportunity and independence for people with disabilities’. Representatives from AfriNEAD, Southern Federation for the Disabled (SAFOD), Dimagi, and the University of Washington are tasked with this newly funded initiative, AT-Info-Map, that aims to map the availability of assistive technologies (AT) in Southern Africa. AT-Info-Map is a 3 year project (2016- 2019) that has the goal of mapping the availability of different types of assistive technology (AT) in 9 countries in Southern Africa. The project was launched in Cape Town on the 13th of April 2016, and In Botswana on the 18th April. The project is being piloted in Botswana where the lead organisation SAFOD is based.

The ISPO World Congress:

Is being organized by the International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics and will take place from 8th May to the 11th May 2017 in Cape Town, South Africa. The first call for submission was made in May 2016 and the closure will be in November 2016. Visit for more information.

5 th Afrinead conference in Ghana (August 7-9- 2017):

We will keep reminder you about our 5 th Afrinead conference in Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi in Ghana in August 7-9 – 2017. -the theme being: “Disability and Inclusion in Africa: The Role of Assistive Technology”.


To be held form 26 -30 September 2016, The Premier Hotel, Johannesburg South Africa. The conference will focus on; “Deaf Education; Empowering Deaf Persons in Africa through knowledge.” English to French and French to English translators; Regional, SA SL as well as International sign language interpreters will be available at the conference. Tusk Event Management is assisting DeafNET with the arrangements of the conference. Please see attachment for future details.

9th Session of the Conference of States Parties to the UNCRPD:

A small South African delegation under the leadership of Deputy Minister Hendrietta BogopaneZulu will participate in the 9th Session of the Conference of State Parties to the UNCRPD to be held from 14 to 16 June 2016 at the UN Headquarters. Please see Attachment.

Dissemination of important announcements:

We are often sent request to pass on important announcements to the people on our mail lists, and we are very happy to do so. As we have a quarterly Newsletter we often have to wait till we send out our next newsletter, and this might mean that the important announcements will be sent out too late. In order to accommodate your request we shall at the end of each month send out a ‘mini’ newsletter just spreading the information. So please do forwards us you requests no later than the last Wednesday of each month.

People assessing the Newsletter:

We have approximately 350 people assessing the newsletter. When we send this Newsletter out we would like to hear from you if there is anyone else you think we should send this newsletter to. We need to get out to as many people as possible so please email us with their names and email address and for any other comments on

First deaf University in Ghana:

A point off interest is that Ghana has announced its First deaf University – got to to find out more about it.

Attachment included in this Newsletter

1. Country Working Groups

2. AOSIS Annual Report

3. 50 Priority AT List


5. UN Enable Newsletter

6. 9th Session of the Conference of States Parties to the UNCRPD

7. Political declaration –HIV Aids 2016

8. Corporate Service Centre Special Vacancy bulletin – 3 -2016 – External; opportunities for people with disabilities

Gubela Mji: