FAQ: Content for the GDRL


Knowledge has the power to transform lives.  But people with disabilities in developing countries are often excluded from the information age because they have limited Internet access.  The Global Disability Rights Library is working to bridge that gap.  We know that organizations all over the world are producing valuable, exciting digital content on the human rights of people with disabilities and related topics. 

We seek to make that material available to disability rights advocates, policy makers, businesses, universities, disabled people’s organizations, and other organizations that work to fight poverty and promote the human rights of people with disabilities in developing countries.  We need your help in recommending and donating appropriate resources.

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What Topics does the GDRL Need?

Chances are, if your content is relevant to disability rights, we will want it.  We also can use some basic content on human rights, poverty reduction, international development, and humanitarian issues as an important supplement to resources focused on disability rights.  Some examples of desired topics include:

  • Material on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Optional Protocol
    • How to ratify, implement, monitor, and enforce the CRPD
    • Materials for teaching others about the CRPD
  • Capacity Building for Organizations
    • Materials that can help disabled people’s organizations in developing countries learn how to raise funds, write grant proposals, manage a budget, train new leaders, run an advocacy campaign, and more
    • Materials that can help users learn how to design, implement, monitor, and evaluate effective projects for, or inclusive of, people with disabilities
  • Resources for Ending Poverty Among People with Disabilities
    • Information on microcredit, formal employment, self employment, workplace accessibility, etc., geared toward information needs of people with disabilities, employers, policy makers, and others
    • How to make mainstream international development (poverty reduction) programs more disability inclusive
    • How to make initiatives such as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) more disability inclusive
  • Practical Resources
    • People in developing countries often emphasize that they need practical toolkits, training manuals, instruction guides, and “best practice” stories that they can translate into immediate action in the field
    • A few possible examples out of many can include:
      • Material on how disability rights advocates can document or report human rights abuses
      • Materials that can be used to teach people with disabilities about their health
      • Materials that can help policy makers learn how to develop disability-inclusive policies or how to implement accessibility guidelines
      • And more
  • Marginalized Populations within the Disability Community
    • Please help us find content about and for all marginalized populations within the disability community, for example: women, children, indigenous populations, racial and ethnic minority groups, gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender people, people in rural areas, poor people, linguistic minorities, aging and elderly populations, and more.
  • Directories of Organizations and Agencies
    • Please do suggest directories or databases that can help users find disability rights advocacy organizations in all countries
    • Please also suggest resources that can help disability rights advocacy organizations find funding sources, expert or technical assistance, training, or other resources
  • Other Desired Topics
    • Education, employment, independent living, health, accessibility, universal design, legislation and policies, accessible transportation, technology, human rights, violence, access to justice, and more
    • Worth saying twice: how to fight poverty, how to use and implement the CRPD, how to promote the human rights of people with disabilities, and don’t forget marginalized populations within the disability community
    • Any topic covered in any article in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

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What Formats Does the GDRL Need?

If it is electronic, then there is a good chance we may be able to use it.  Content can include entire (or partial) websites, Word and Text documents, html files, video and audio files, multi-media presentations, and software.

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What Languages Does the GDRL Need?

We welcome content in all written, spoken, and signed languages.  Some examples of highly desirable languages may include: Akan, Amharic, Arabic, Bangla (Bengali), Bemba, Dari, English, French, Hausa, Hindi, Kiswahili, Luganda, Mongolian, Orominga, Pashto, Quechua, Shona, Spanish, Swahili, Urdu, international sign, national signed languages used in developing countries, and all others. 

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What about Accessibility?

People with disabilities in developing countries are a crucial audience for the GDRL. We want content in formats that are usable by people with a wide range of accessibility needs whenever this is feasible or available.  For example, it is helpful if video content has captions (for deaf people) and/or audio description (for blind people).  We accept PDF files—but we will also greatly appreciate if these can be converted to Word, text, or html formats to make it easier for blind people to access them. 

People with intellectual disabilities are often overlooked in discussions around accessible information.  Please help us find more content geared toward the communication and information needs of people with all types of developmental disabilities. 

The GDRL will include open source software to meet the accessibility needs of people with a wide range of disabilities.  For example, screen readers for people with print disabilities and software designed for people with mobility impairments.  We welcome suggestions for additional accessibility software programs to include in the GDRL.

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How do I donate my content?

I Own a Website (or a Blog)—Can You Please Include It?

We would be delighted to include your on-line content in the Global Disability Rights Library!  But in order to include it, we will need official permission from the author or publisher of your website or blog in our records.  All copyrights for all materials included in the GDRL are still retained by their original publishers or authors.

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I have off-line digital content in my computer.  It’s not available on the web.  Can I still donate this?

Yes, please! You can donate materials in any format as long as their copyright belongs to you.

If you have a few small files then you may send them via email to gdrl@usicd.org or to librarian@widernet.org with a text stating that you give permission for them to be included in future editions of the eGranary.  Email our librarians at gdrl@usicd.org, and we can respond with the official permission language.  Please try not to send more than 5 Mb of attachments in the same email message. 

If your files are large, or if you have many files you wish to send, then please let us know.  We will send instructions for a better method for delivering your files.

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I published an article or book—can I donate it?

If you still own the copyrights for your work, and if it is available in digital format (for example, Word file or digital video), then, yes!

If you no longer own the copyright, or if you are not sure who owns it now, then we may need permission from the publisher.  It would be very helpful to us if the publishers can be made aware that you are interested in having your written or produced work included in the GDRL.  They may be more willing to give permission if they realize the author is interested in participating.  Perhaps they would then consider making other published works available to the eGranary digital library also!

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I know a great website or on-line publication you should include, but I don’t own it!

Please send us the URL (web address) for the website(s) or publication(s) you want to recommend.  If we agree that this content belongs in the GDRL then we will communicate with the publisher or author to request their permission. 

Some types of content are in the public domain or are published under a Creative Commons license, which may mean we are already free to take the content as desired.  We do, however, still like to inform the publisher/author as a courtesy so they are aware that their content will be reaching new audiences in developing countries.

If you know the author or publisher personally then we hope you will consider talking with them on our behalf.  Copyright owners are often more willing to consider allowing WiderNet to copy their content into the eGranary digital library if someone they know personally encourages them to do so.

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I have some electronic files on my computer that I think would be great for the GDRL—but I don’t own them!

Were these files downloaded from the web?  If so, and if you know the web address (URL), please give us the web link where we can find the file.  We can then contact the author/publisher to request permission.  If you know the author/publisher personally, then it would be great if you could consider talking to them on our behalf to encourage them to give permission.

If the files were sent to you by email, then might the person who sent it know the web address (URL) where an on-line version of these files can be found?  If yes, it would be helpful if you can inquire with them on our behalf.

If you are not sure where the files originally came from, send them to us.  If we agree that the files would be helpful then we may consider attempting to track down the author/publisher to request their permission.

If you have many files not copyright owned by you and from unknown sources then it may be best to start with sending a small sample of what you have, or a broad description of what is available.  We can then discuss whether it makes sense to send the rest.

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Common Concerns for Content Donors:

Will the eGranary Digital Library edit or alter my Web site in any way?

No, we do not edit or alter the content of your Web pages during mirroring. We do, however, remove links to external advertisement servers and link counters, since these links won't work in places where there is no Internet connectivity.

We do not "wrap" your content in our own frames; it appears to the reader as it would on your own Web site.

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Will people stop using my Web site and use yours instead?

No, our copy of your Web site will not be on the WWW; it will only be available on campus or organization intranets. Participating universities agree to limit access to the distributed materials to browsers on their campuses.

In fact, none of the universities or organizations we are working with have enough bandwidth to serve Web sites without severely restricting their own Internet access—if they have any internet at all.

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My website changes frequently—will the GDRL use the most recent version?

WiderNet does periodically re-copy each website for which it has permission.  For logistical as well as financial reasons, this does not usually involve updating older eGranary units already in the field.   But this does mean that all newer eGranaries that are disseminated after a given re-copy will contain those updates.   

WiderNet is working on a range of approaches to enable older eGranary sites to receive periodic updates, for example by leveraging what limited internet access does exist (if any) to enable eGranary locations to download updated or expanded version of eGranary content so that subsequent users can access it off line.   

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My website contains many links to outside sources.  Will these links still work in the eGranary?

Links in your site would only work if the linked site is itself also included in the eGranary.  For example, a link from your home page to an article in your own website would of course work.  A link from your website to an article in Wikipedia should also work because Wikipedia is also included in the eGranary.  However, a link to, say, www.google.com would not work because www.google.com is not in the eGranary.  Non-functioning links are typically disabled, or they appear as an error message when eGranary users follow them. 

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