USICD NewsMay 2011

USICD Annual Meeting

Questions and Answers during the Federal Panel

Questions and Answers during the Federal Panel

We were thrilled to have so many USICD members and community members join us at our Annual Meeting on Friday April 29 at the U.S. Access Board's conference space. Below we offer exerpts and photos from the event.  You can visit the 2011 Annual Meeting page on USICD's website for more information.   

USICD's Members elected seven Board Members to two-year terms.  The 2011-2013 class of USICD Board Members includes:

David Hutt: Senior Staff Attorney at the National Disability Rights Network

Barbara LeRoy: Director of the Developmental Disabilities Institute at Wayne State University

David Oaks: Executive Director of MindFreedom International

Stephanie Ortoleva: Senior Human Rights Legal Advisor at BlueLaw, International, LLP

Jeff Rosen: General Counsel for the Conference of State Directors of VR Services

Diana Samarasan: Director of the Disability Rights Fund

Glen White: Director of the Research and Training Center on Independent Living at the University of Kansas


USICD's Annual Report, which provides an overview of USICD's programs, finances, and other developments for 2010, is now available online at:


We are always eager for feedback about USICD events and programs.  Please visit our Annual Meeting Survey to help us find new ways to be a resource to our members and community.  The survey can be found at:

Japan Earthquake Relief Benefit

USICD's special presentation at our annual meeting on Japan's disability community's response efforts generated an outpouring of support from our community.  We shared a video message from Shoji Nakanishi, head of the Relief Headquarters for Persons with Disabilities of Tohoku-Kanto Great Earthquake and director of USICD's sister organization, DPI-Japan.  You can view that video message here.  The gathered audience was also addressed by Yoshiko Dart, who said, "Most of us know it will take months and years before things start turning around.  I am determined to continue my support.  I hope you keep encouraging them also."


The effort has already generated over $7000 from YOU, our members and community, but there is still time to make a contribution to this effort.


The USICD community donation will be bundled and donated to support the Relief Headquarters' important work of supporting the disability community in Japan.  It is becoming clear that the elderly and people with disabilities have been among the hardest hit by last month's earthquake and tsunami. 


The deadline for contributions is Monday, May 9, 2011.  You can donate securely by credit card using USICD's Network for Good account at:


All proceeds will be sent to the Relief Headquarters to support their work. 

Annual Meeting Federal Panel 

Eric Rosenthal, Judy Heumann, and Charlotte McClain-Nhlapo

Eric Rosenthal, Judy Heumann, and Charlotte McClain-Nhlapo address USICD's Annual Meeting

Eric Rosenthal joined Panelists Judy Heumann of the State Department and Charlotte McClain-Nhlapo of USAID for a wide ranging discussion of the role of disability in diplomacy and development around the world.  Eric commented on the immense progress that has been made in raising the profile of international disability rights issues in the United States, but maintained that we all have hard work ahead of us to see full inclusion of disability in U.S. foreign policy. 


Judy Heumann discussed the importance of promoting civil society development internationally, and the need to be looking at ways of developing capacity much more rapidly.  She highlighted the work that she and Charlotte McClain-Nhalpo are doing to assess how organizations receiving funds from USAID and the State Department are working on disability issues and how they can move forward to ensure inclusivity of disability issues.  Heumann also gave some introductory examples into how the State Department is beginning to merge the global disability community within the international human rights platform.


Charlotte McClain-Nhlapo discussed a vision for USAID and the United States development policies in general that returns the U.S. to the vanguard of disability inclusive policy and expertise.   She elaborated on how her position will seek to elevate the issue of disability into all sectors of USAID with a no gap and zero discrimination approach while achieving tangible and lasting results.  McClain-Nhalpo affirmed USAID's political commitment to disability issues and emphasized that USAID valued partnerships with the disability community in order to achieve harmonization of disability awareness throughout the agency.


GDRL Prototype Sites Announced

The Global Disability Rights Library project has begun its first stage of test deployments of the eGranary digital library containing disability rights resources.   Four organizations in four countries will be assisting the GDRL team by carefully reviewing a preliminary version of the Library.  These organizations will each receive an eGranary unit in the next two to three weeks.  Each eGranary will have a prototype version of the GDRL portal and several additional, supporting portals.  At each of the four locations, users and testers will thoroughly explore the library's resources and the way they are organized within the portals.  By the end of the month, each location will share extensive feedback with the GDRL team.  GDRL librarians will consult this feedback closely in considering how they can improve the library for future GDRL deployment sites.


The four prototype sites are:

ˇ         Ethiopian Center for Disability and Development (ECDD), Ethiopia

ˇ         Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPWD) , Nigeria

ˇ         Zambia Institute of Special Education (ZAMISE), Zambia

ˇ         Centro Ann Sullivan del Perú (CASP), Perú


"We are very grateful to the prototype sites for agreeing to take on the responsibility of sharing their insights and recommendations with the GDRL team," says GDRL Program Manager Andrea Shettle. "We hope that all 60 deployment sites will have feedback to share with us.  We want to continue improving the GDRL the best we can for as long as we have funding support to continue doing so.  But the prototype sites will be the first four locations to have a chance to use the GDRL, and I will be eager to receive their input."



USICD Welcomes Suzanne Richard as Outreach Coordinator

Suzanne Richard Photo

Suzanne Richard has joined USICD as the Outreach Coordinator. Previously she worked as the Accessibility Specialist at the National Endowments for the Arts and served as a trained speaker for the Human Genome Project's HuGem program which addressed the legal, social and ethical implications of modern Genomics.  She served on the Maryland Governor's Advisory Committee for Congenital and Heritable Disorders, and is the author of the chapter "Dealing with Being Different" for the book Growing Up with O.I. published by the Osteogenesis Imperfecta Foundation.


Click below to read Suzanne's full Bio on USICD's website:

Reminder: USICD Has Moved!

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Washington, DC 20005
Phone: 202-347-0102
Fax: 202-347-0351
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USICD Launches CRPD Education an Advocacy Web Resources


Application Process Open for GDRL Deployment Sites

Apply now to be recipient of Global Disability Rights Library.

Member Events and Oppotunities


AAIDD - Inclusive Communities: Pathways to Realizing the Vision

Monday, June 6 - Thursday, June 9, 2011


U.S. Launch of the World Report on Disability - Monday, September 12 - Tuesday, September 13, 2011



New Zealand's Minister Explains CRPD's Role in Advancing Disability in the Country - May 4, 2011


UN Enable Launches Disability and HIV/AIDS Page -

April 5, 2011


IDA Secretariat Geneva Office UN Advocacy Funded Internship Program 2011 -

Posted: Monday, May 2, 2011


Partner News

DPI E-Update - April 29, 2011


DPI E-Update - April 20, 2011


DPI E-Update - April 12, 2011 


DPI E-Update - April 1, 2011


RI Statement of Support for People with Disabilities in the Middle East

March 28, 2011


CRPD Ratification Watch
As of May 3, 2011
  • 147 Signatories
  • 99 Ratifications
Optional Protocol:
  • 90 Signatories
  • 60 Ratifications
Recent Ratifications: 

Togo Ratifies the CRPD and Optional Protocol on March 1, 2011.
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