Tips to improve your GDRL Site Deployment application

February 4, 2011

How to improve your application to be considered as a Global Disability Rights Library (GDRL) deployment site

The GDRL team has received many applications from organizations, universities, government agencies, and individual advocates that wish to receive a free, off-line copy of the digital Global Disability Rights Library.  It is clear that the application process will be very competitive for everyone: under current funding we can disseminate a free library to 60 locations.  The strongest applications are those that clearly demonstrate how the library will be used and how these resources will be shared with your community.   What follows are a few suggestions to help you strengthen your applications.  Remember: Any applicant may retrieve your application and edit or update it at any time even after it is “complete,” as long as you do this before the application deadline. 

1)      Provide a valid email address.

Every applicant should have received at least one follow-up email from applications@gdrl.org or from tpetersen@widernet.org

This email notifies you of the status of your GDRL application (incomplete or complete) and it will also provide you with your application ID name and instructions on how to access your application.

There have been a number of emails returned to the GDRL team because the application lists an “undeliverable” email address.

If you have not received any emails from the GDRL team after initiating your application, please email applications@gdrl.org to inquire about your application ID and status.

                Provide the following in your email:
                Your name
                Your organizations name
                Country you are located in and
                Application ID (if known)

2)      Please provide specific examples when asked to “Describe your commitment to gender equality in providing services and training.”

The GDRL team wants to ensure that men, women, boys, and girls in developing countries are all able to benefit from the digital disability rights library on an equal basis, including women and girls with disabilities.  When describing your organization’s commitment to gender equality, provide specific actions you have implemented to make it easier for women to be involved with your organization or program on an equal basis with men.  It is also helpful to describe specific steps your organization may implement in the next few months to improve efforts toward gender equity in your programs, services, training, or activities.  If you have one, please describe your gender equity policy.  If your activities focus mostly or exclusively on women, then you can indicate this in your application. 

3)      Provide specific examples when asked to “Describe your commitment to ensuring that people with a wide range of physical, sensory, and mental disabilities are able to access your services or use your computers.”

The GDRL team will be looking for signs that you are actively removing barriers that may make it difficult for people with disabilities come to where you are, enter your building, use your computer equipment, and (if necessary) communicate with any staff or volunteers from your organization.  It will help us understand your organization if you can give concrete examples of what you have done so far to learn more about the barriers that different disability groups may experience and how to remove them.

Here are a few examples of issues that you might wish to consider:

  • What have you done to enable wheelchair riders to enter your building or computer lab? 
  • Do you have any equipment that makes it easier for people with hand-related mobility impairments to use the computer mouse or keyboard? 
  • How do you meet the communication needs of people who cannot speak or hear well? 
  • How do you enable people who cannot see the computer screen or read print well to use the computer? 
  • How do you ensure that people who have difficulty learning are included in your program?

We recognize that achieving gender equity cannot happen instantly, and that many organizations with limited budgets may be unable to purchase certain types of assistive technology available in developed countries.  Equity in services is a challenging and complex task.  There can never be full “perfection” in this.  However, we will consider it a positive sign if we know your organization has taken specific steps to make improvements in these areas and will continue to do more.