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Campaigns

Disability Awareness in Action
Resource Kit No. 3

Published by © Disability Awareness in Action, All rights reserved



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Example 2: National Integration Week

The first National Integration Week (NIW) was 11-17 May 1992.

Aims

The Centre for Studies on Integration in Education (CSIE) in the United Kingdom works to end segregated education and to support the full participation of all children, with appropriate support, in the educational and social life of ordinary schools. National Integration Week provides a time focus to the year-round work of the Centre.

Staffing

Two full-time staff were responsible for most of the work. One part-time project worker and two part-time volunteers also worked on the campaign. Following the formal decision in April 1991 to hold NIW, by the CSIE Council and staff, planning began in September 1991.

Planning Schedule

September 1991

Staff produced a leaflet inviting organisations to take part. A print-run of 70,000 was distributed to schools, colleges, social services, parents' groups, voluntary organisations, Members of Parliament and CSIE contacts. Lists and labels were supplied by mailing companies in addition to CSIE's own mailing lists.

Volunteers and staff prepared half of the envelopes for this mailshot. Mailing companies did the rest. Different groups were targeted with individual letters, written and signed by staff, inviting them to take part in NIW and enclosing the leaflet. If they wanted to take part, they had to fill in a form stating the basic details of their planned event and endorsing the aims of the Week.

December 1991

The design and printing by a commercial firm of the new NIW logo and letterhead was arranged. This was to be used for all NIW correspondence. A filing system for application forms was set up, giving details of local NIW events.

January 1992

Press releases were sent to the national and local media announcing plans for the Week. An audio-taped promotion of NIW was compiled and distributed to radio stations. A "brainstorming" session for ideas for CSIE events, plus hopes and dreams for the Week, was held. Four months before the Week, an advance press briefing for selected media people was set up. Materials for it were prepared. A follow-up letter was sent to those who did not turn up.

February 1992

Staff started to collect family cases (battles for integration) for use by the media. The CSIE national events were agreed and staff divided responsibility for organising and seeing each through to completion. Volunteers were coordinated. Discussions were held with commercial designers, typesetters and printers on production of the NIW magazine and merchandise.

March 1992

Staff finished writing most of the NIW magazine, selected pictures for it and arranged contributions from other people. A list of all local NIW events was compiled for the magazine from forms returned to CSIE. The organisers of each event were contacted by phone to check the proposed entry. All material was sent on computer disks to a design firm. After much checking, rewriting, redesigning and work with the design firm to ensure a high standard, the NIW magazine was finally completed.

April 1992

Staff liaised with the organisers of the concert to close the Week about how to set it in the context of NIW. Posters were sent out to local event organisers. The NIW magazine was sent out to organisers and to a wide range of other people (with appropriate individual letters). A small NIW opening reception was arranged and invitations sent out.

A general press release promoting National Integration Week and the magazine was written and sent out in the hope of getting more advance stories. A more specific press release with a 'hard' news story on segregation statistics was sent out, to be published on the first day of NIW.

A large number of daily phone calls about NIW were dealt with at this time. This had been the case throughout the preparation period but it became extremely busy at the end of April and beginning of May.

CSIE staff worked with art students to design and make an NIW display to be moved around to different national events during the Week.

May 1992

Hospitality was arranged for overseas colleagues arriving for NIW and other UK integration events. Portable phones for the Week for the three main workers were arranged and people's tasks were confirmed. Transport was arranged. Full details were filled in on the wall diary so that everyone knew what was happening.

Requests for media advance interviews were met and arrangements made to take part in live TV and radio interviews during the Week. There were many last minute inquiries from the media and others to be dealt with.

The Week was launched - live on a national television breakfast news programme, at 6 am on 11 May 1992.

After NIW

Thank-you letters and a set of printed and stapled cuttings about NIW, from newspapers, journals and magazines, were sent out to all local organisers and others interested in the Week. An NIW scrapbook was compiled. Details of all the local event organisers were added to the CSIE mailing lists to receive new integration information. Visits were planned to local organisers to see their integration in practice and to have informal discussions.

Activities Suggested for NIW

The "Time Capsule". The capsule, to be opened in the year 2020, contains a description of the current levels of segregation of children. CSIE believes today's picture will contrast starkly with the position in 2020 when it is hoped that all disabled children and young people will be educated in local mainstream schools and colleges with appropriate support. The capsule will also contain the Integration Charter. This event raises publicity about integration in an entertaining and thought-provoking way. It emphasises how the past is often seen as more barbaric than the present and encourages us all to think about how we will be judged in the future.

 

4. Longer-Term Campaigns

Successful Long-Term Campaigns

If a long-term campaign is going to work, you need to recognise that:
Example 1: Equalisation of Opportunities Legislation

SAFOD

The Southern African Federation of Disabled People (SAFOD) was formally begun in Durban, Republic of South Africa, in September 1986.

At that time, eight out of the ten national states which make up southern Africa were represented, the exceptions being war-torn Angola and Mozambique. (Mozambique has since joined the Federation.)

The meeting adopted a Constitution (revised in 1987) and elected the first honorary officers of the new organisation. Joshua Malinga, then chair of the National Council of Disabled People of Zimbabwe, was elected as SAFOD's first secretary general for a period of four years.

SAFOD began as a movement of disabled people for self-representation. self-help development and political unification. from the grassroots upwards. SAFOD's basic aim is to create an active, organised movement of disabled people.

Human development takes place through participation in the social, political, economic and cultural activity of the community. The new movement stood for rights and not charity; it stood clearly against discrimination, poverty and privilege and in favour of equalisation of opportunities. It confronted the very relationship of those who give and those who receive, striking a blow against specialised service provision and welfare benevolence.

In 1988, SAFOD produced its first six-year Regional Development Plan. SAFOD's regional bulletin, Disability Frontline, has been produced regularly for a number of years, keeping members and others aware of SAFOD's aims, activities and achievements.

One of SAFOD's aims is to encourage equalisation of opportunities legislation in each of the countries in which it has a member organisation. This is a long-term strategy, requiring both awareness-raising and more direct influence of political figures.

Conscientisation and Public Education Programme (COPE)

Each of the member federations and national associations that make up SAFOD have on-going programmes to build awareness among disabled and non-disabled people.

These include integrated community clubs and activities, interviews on radio and television and in newspapers. Among the less conventional tactics was a disabled person walk-roll-crawl-a-thon in a central city street in Malawi, where demonstrations are illegal.

The most effective public education is showing the active integration and participation of disabled people in their communities.

In Mozambique, Festival ADEMO provided a week of activities including an official ceremony to honour the heroes of Mozambique; a meeting with the President; public meetings in the barrios (suburbs) throughout the week; a series of interviews in newspapers and on radio and television. The week ended with two fund-raising concerts featuring the famous blind South African musician, Steve Kakana. ADEMO also provided the national fair with a restaurant which was staffed entirely by disabled persons, including the manager, waiters and cooks, whose culinary skills lured several Mozambican dignitaries including the President.

Another important element of public awareness building is networking with non-disabled organisations. In Lesotho, a representative of the National Federation of Disabled People sits on the Council of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to promote the inclusion of disabled people in all NGO activities. In South Africa, the Disabled People of South Africa women's representative has broken new ground by being elected to the Steering Committee of a national coalition of women's organisations. Their task is to make sure that women's rights, including those of disabled women, are entrenched in the ANC Constitution for a "new South Africa".

SAFOD has been able to lift the status of disabled people by creating awareness of their issues, aims and potential. SAFOD's impact thus extends far beyond those people directly involved in its activities. SAFOD seminars and opinions are publicised regularly through invitations to the media. Locally, SAFOD supports public awareness building, among disabled people in particular, through Disability Frontline.

EQUILEG

SAFOD has an Equalisation of Opportunities Legislation Programme ("EQUILEG"), which focuses on encouraging equalisation of opportunities legislation in all its member countries. SAFOD believes that the only way disabled people can achieve equal rights is through legislation. The programme has a five-person committee, headed by two lawyers with visual impairments (one from Lesotho and one from South Africa) and supported by three SAFOD workers, which has travelled to member countries.

SAFOD began its campaign by organising a seminar of disabled people and government officials.

Success

The governments of Mozambique, Lesotho and Zambia are all working on legislation; in South Africa, both the government and the African National Congress (ANC) are taking part.

Legislation was passed in Zimbabwe in 1992, supported by a commission of disabled people's representatives. The commission regulates the new legislation and reports directly to the minister for disabled persons.

Example 2: Anti-Discrimination Legislation Campaign

A number of voluntary organisations have been campaigning for anti-discrimination legislation (ADL) in the United Kingdom for more than six years.

BCODP

The British Council of Organisations of Disabled People (the DPI national assembly in the United Kingdom) has taken a leading role, putting together an action plan, commissioning research and producing a book, Disabled People in Britain and Discrimination: A Case for Anti-Discrimination Legislation. (See Publications.)

Civil Rights Bill

A civil rights bill is currently before Parliament, although at the time of writing (mid-1993) it did not have government backing and was therefore unlikely to be passed.

Last time the bill went through Parliament, in 1983, there were still divisions among the voluntary organisations. An umbrella group, Voluntary Organisations for Anti-Discrimination Legislation (VOADL), was formed in 1985/6 to coordinate lobbying and action.

The BCODP Campaign Committee

BCODP set up a National Campaign Committee to oversee the management of the ADL campaign. Its responsibilities include:
A programme of activities in which member organisations and disabled individuals were to be asked to participate was made available, with the dates of national and regional demonstrations, lobbying and letter-writing campaigns, and fund-raising drives.

Research

Though it is obvious to most disabled people that we face blatant discrimination in almost every area of our lives, it was necessary for BCODP to carry out a research project to show the government that this is the case.

The main document (of 250 pages) was published in book form: Disabled People in Britain and Discrimination: A Case for Anti-Discrimination Legislation. The book details discrimination in the major areas of British life: education, employment, health, housing, recreation, transport.

A summary booklet was distributed to every BCODP delegate, to key government ministers and departments and to the Parliament libraries.

Leaflets and information packs were printed, based on the findings of the report, and distributed to member organisations and individuals.

Media Campaign

BCODP's priorities for keeping up constant media pressure on the issue of ADL include:
BCODP Action Plan
Support

BCODP has actively and successfully sought support from various organisations.

The Law Society carried out a study on the likely effectiveness of ADL in Britain. This had nothing to do with the moral justification for legislation. It was concerned only with whether ADL could work in practice. After the study was finished, the Law Society gave complete support to ADL.

Funding

Given the size, scope and probable length of the campaign, it was clear that substantial financial resources were required. Funding is needed to cover both the central costs (such as workers' salaries, offices) and core costs (administration, publicity, etc.), as well as the logistical costs involved in arranging successful demonstrations.

BCODP set up a Campaign Fund to meet these costs, setting a target of raising £250,000 over two years. The following sources of funding were identified:

continue...Stage Three Drawing up an Action Plan


Contents Campaigns