ToTAL Training Workshop in Fiji

By David Corner (New Zealand)

David CornerWhy we went to Fiji

In February 2013, Anna MacQuarrie, Julia Hawkins and I were asked as representatives of Inclusion International, to go to Fiji to help Alexandre Cote from the International Disability Alliance (IDA) co-facilitate some training for people in the Pacific region.

What the training was for

The training was called Training of Trainers and Leaders (ToTAL) and it focused on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability (CRPD). Leaders from disability organsations from all over the Pacific region came to Fiji to take part in the training.

Round 2 of training

The ToTAL Project was in its pilot stage and the first round of workshops on module 1 had already been completed during the winter of 2012. In Module 1, the workshops hadn’t had any participation by people with intellectual disability. Alexandre, who is the IDA’s Secretariat has had a lead role in developing and delivering the total workshops around the world. He asked if Inclusion International would help coordinate some training about intellectual disability for the upcoming Module 2.

Module 2 in Fiji was designed to provide more in depth and detailed knowledge about some of the aspects of the CRPD and to ensure that participants have a more clear understanding of the priorities and the and the interpretations of the CRPD.

Our workshop

We were asked to deliver a half-day workshop specific to intellectual disability and the priorities identified by people with intellectual disabilities and their families and organisations. We talked about:

  • what is intellectual disability
  • what is self advocacy
  • the circle of friend’s concept
  • what is good support.

We also showed video clips of people with intellectual disability from around the world.

Who attended the workshop

The people who were doing the training didn’t have too much of an understanding of self advocacy and intellectual disability so it was a great opportunity for us to be involved to help them understand the issues and how these relate to the CRPD.

It was really great to see a parent and her son with an intellectual disability at the training as well.

Making sure people with an intellectual disability were included

This was a wonderful opportunity to work with the International Disability Alliance and to ensure that the perspectives and voices of the people with intellectual disability were included in this work. It was really good to be invited to do the training as it is part of the Asia Pacific region of Inclusion International which I represent.

I hope that I get another opportunity to do more work in the Pacific region soon.