Refugees and asylum seekers with disabilities is the main target of AMiD project. Started on January 2018, the project team is working on the development of the main project output, the Need Assessment Tool – NAT. The lack of tool and procedures to support refugees and asylum seekers with disabilities with the right actions and services is the challenge that AMiD wants to face. The second project meeting was focused on the preparation of the Need Assessment Tool – NAT. The meeting was also the opportunity to present good practices among the project partners, as way to pave a useful, sustainable and successful Need Assessment Tool – NAT.
AER already shared successful programmes to improve the refugees situation. During the meeting two good practices became particularly important. The first one is a web platform by ARCI, Italian association, where services offered to asylum seekers and international and humanitarian protection holders are reported on a country map. The second is a set of questions developed by the Washington Group of Disability Statistics to help to detect disabilities.
The JUMA Refugees Map Services: more that a web tool
The JUMA web tool answered to the gap of putting together all the players involved in the refugees work, from the refugees themselves to the volunteers organisations passing by NGOs and public institutions. The project was developed by ARCI in collaboration with UNHCR. The web tool was launched at the beginning of 2018. As disclaimed on the website, JUMA objective is to gather in a national map of the country all the information to services that already exists.
Services are clustered on seven groups of fundamental needs expressed by refugees and international and humanitarian protection holders: where to sleep, where to find legal assistance, where to find health care, where to find psycho-social assistance, where to find a language school. All those services are showed on a map of the country, with single boxes for each office to provide more information on the single service like contacts or a description of what is offered.
JUMA is not only a web platform. ARCI provides a telephone line dedicated to both: those who are looking for services and those that are offering ones. This is a way to be closer to refugees and a strategy to increase the number of organisations registered on the map. Refugees received the information on JUMA at their arrival on the hot spots, while organisations were informed of the project via a national campaign. The telephone line and the website are proposed in the several languages.
The Washington Group Set of Questions on Disability
The Washington Short Set was originally set to identify and record in statistics figures of people with disabilities. The set of questions does not identify particular health conditions or diagnostic categories but rather captures the possible impact of these conditions on functional abilities. The human right approach of the set based on the UN CRPD, Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is in line with AMiD values. Even the set was developed for a statistic purpose, the set of questions can fit different uses.
The questions ask whether people have difficulty performing six basic universal activities: walking, seeing, hearing, cognition, self-care and communication. The questions were not designed to measure all aspects of difficulty experienced by people, but rather those domains of functioning that are likely to identify a majority of people at risk of participation restrictions.
There are more set of questions available. There is a short set and other tailored for children (different sets for different ages). Where more information about disability is required, the Extended Set on Functioning is available to address in more detail the case.
A final word
JUMA is not an acronym neither a fancy project name. Juma is a name in urdu, the name of a young Afghan refugee, who travelled and staid in Greek and Italian camps. Once in Italy, he obtained the refugee status and the reunification with his family thanks the collaboration of different organisations. Inspired by this story, the platform linking those involved in the field made a tribute to this successful case choosing his name.