USICD NewsAugust 2011

USICD Leads InterAction Discussion on International Disability Development

Interaction Panel
Susan Sygall, Andrea Shettle, Chad Vickery, David Morrissey

As a member organization of InterAction, the largest alliance of U.S. based international NGOs, USICD was excited to participate in the InterAction Forum this month. Joined by USICD members including Mobility International USA (MIUSA), Perkins International School for the Blind, and Christian Blind Mission (CBM) International, this major gathering allowed development and relief organizations to continue dialogues on advancing the awareness of disability civil society in developing countries.


USICD Executive Director David Morrissey, a member of InterAction's Disability Working Group, moderated a panel at the annual forum entitled "Transforming and Advancing Disability Civil Society through Knowledge Dissemination, Organizational Development, and Legal Mechanisms." Morrissey led a diverse discussion on disability inclusion in international development, with panelists Chad Vickery of International Foundation on Electoral Systems (IFES), Susan Sygall of MIUSA, Eric Rosenthal of Disability Right International (DRI), and Andrea Shettle from USICD all weighing in.



USICD to Participate in United Nations Side Event

On September 6 through 9, the Fourth Annual Conference of State Parties of the CRPD will be convened at the United Nations in New York. USICD will be part of a side event on September 7 from 1:15 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. titled "Tools for Transformation: Resources Developed through International Cooperation." During the Conference of States Parties, side events are a useful way for stakeholders to explore topics in depth or supplement the main Conference sessions.

Our session will bring together the efforts of Rehabilitation International (RI)and the Disability Rights Fund (DRF) with USICD's work. Executive Director David Morrissey will be presenting on our Global Disability Rights Library (GDRL), a tool that extends resources on disability rights to organizations in developing nations that may not have access to the internet. Anne Hawker, President of RI, will share best practices for the training of stakeholders onleadership, self-advocacy, and rights to health, rehabilitation and work. Rounding out the panel, Catherine Townsend, Co-chair of DRF, will present a new guide that will provide practical guidance for donors.

We look forward to seeing USICD members, colleagues, and international friends at the UN, and to reporting back to our members any significant developments that occur there.

The Passing of Fred Fay, Disability Rights Pioneer.

Dear Colleagues,


USICD joins NCIL and others in the disability rights movement in mourning the loss of Fred Fay. (You can read NCIL's wonderful message at this link). Our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.


For those of us who were just getting started in the early days of the independent living movement, Fred was an icon. He, along with Ed Roberts, Judy Heumann, Lex Frieden and Gerben DeJong, were the thinkers and activists who framed the vision and set us on our course. Fred understood that for people with disabilities to break free from the chains of oppression that bind us, we had to work in the corridors of power (politics), thought (academia), and discourse (media). In the political sphere he was way ahead of his time, chairing the Democratic National Committee's Disability Caucus. In his gentle way, he pushed us all to step up and be counted. When Fred called, you simply couldn't say no.


And amidst the organizing, phone calling, teaching, and mentoring, he was there in the most personal way to support others. At the heart of the IL movement is peer support...people helping each other through the sharing of personal experience and empowerment. Fred did that for me in the late 80's....I had been just diagnosed with a spinal syrinx which is a fluid-filled cyst in the spinal cord and the doctors wanted to do spinal surgery. I was none too happy about that and was really quite frightened. Lex directed me to Fred. I hadn't known that a syrinx was the cause of Fred's need to lie down 24/7. Over the course of the next several months through many, many phone calls, Fred nurtured me through the process. Of course, he started with "Don't give up your power to the doctors, get a second opinion and I'll tell you exactly who to see." A trip to Denver and several weeks later, I learned surgery wasn't needed, my symptoms were due an unrelated problem. What struck me most about Fred during this was not just his empathic abilities but his complete and total willingness to give of all times of the day.


I am so lucky to have had the opportunity to grow and learn from Fred. We all have an opportunity to celebrate his life in October when the documentary of his life will be shown on PBS on October 27. How about a nationwide viewing party? What better way to honor Fred than to invite people--especially the next generation of leaders--to your home or office to share in the experience of learning about this great man and the movement he helped to form.


Marca Bristo,

USICD President

World Deaf Community Assembles in South Africa

City of Durban
Durban, South Africa

A blog entry from Andrea Shettle, GDRL Program Manager


I had not attended a World Federation of the Deaf world congress since 1991 when it met in Tokyo, Japan. The world congress, which convenes only once every four years, has often been too expensive to attend or scheduled at a time inconvenient for me. But when I learned that the 2011 world congress was meeting in Durban, South Africa, I knew that this time I had to go.   READ MORE

From the Jungle to the White House


Jean de Dieu Mukunzi at the U.S. Capitol
Jean de Dieu Mukunzi at the U.S. Capitol

A Message from Jean de Dieu Mukunzi


Fifteen years ago I was lost in the second largest jungle in the world, the Congolese Equatorial Jungle, because of the Rwandan genocide and Rwandese refugees' mass killings in Congo. I had no access to salt, to soap, to a bed... I was hopeless, homeless, and lifeless. The jungle in which I was staying is beyond imagination. It is often compared to Amazon Jungle in South America. I lived an inhumane life during those 7 months in the jungle; the genocide, the jungle and mass killings I talk about today is beyond description... READ MORE

Announcing New CRPD Principles Poster

 Images of various people, laid on top of an image of the globe 

Due to the popularity of our recent poster on the CRPD principles and key articles, USICD has now made a printable version of the poster available to the general public free of charge. This is a large file, so we suggest you fit it to one page before you attempt to print it. And while you are there, be sure to check out our other resources and tools on the CRPD.

Follow Us on the Internet!

We try very hard to follow disability rights around the world and keep you updated on Find us on FacebookFacebook and Follow us on TwitterTwitter.  And you don't want to miss the  opportunity pages on our website where we try to post any jobs and calls for papers we come across.  Plus, we have a Visit our blogblog you don't want to miss!

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One More Week For Applications! We are still receiving applications for organizations to receive the GDRL in our second round of deployments

Member News and Opportunities

U.S. Launch of the World Report on Disability

Monday, September 12, 2011 - Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Independent Living Peer Guide opportunity 

Independent Living Center of the North Shore and Cape Ann Inc.


PROJECT MANAGER - Disability and Vulnerability Focal Point  opportunity Pakistan. Starting date: ASAP. Closing date for application : 31/12/2011


Policy Internship Program opportunity
Posted: Monday, August 1, 2011
The National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) is announcing 2 internship positions at our headquarters in Washington, DC.


Roundtable for African Union Continental Disability Strategy
Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - Friday, September 2, 2011


Fourth Conference of States Parties to the CRPD
Wednesday, September 7, 2011 - Friday, September 9, 2011


Symposium on the World Report on Disability

Monday, September 12 - Tuesday, September 13, 2011


11th Annual BlazeSports International Conference
Thursday, September 15, 2011 - Sunday, September 18, 2011


6th session Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Monday, September 19, 2011 - Friday, September 23, 2011


World Bank/GPDD -Disability and Development Forum
Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - Friday, September 23, 2011


8th International Abilympics Seoul 2011 
Sunday, September 25, 2011 - Friday, September 30, 2011


Study Session
Sunday, October 9, 2011 - Sunday, October 16, 2011


Monday, October 10, 2011 - Thursday, October 13, 2011


Inequity to Equity
Monday, October 17, 2011 - Tuesday, October 18, 2011


OHCHR consultation on the issues of participation of disability in political and public life opportunity

The date for submissions is extended to 30 September 2011.


International Disabilities Consultant


IFES is engaged in a two year cooperative agreement with USAID 


International Policy and Campaigns Officer 

Leonard Cheshire Disability


Survey of Use of ICT in Education for People with Disabilities in Africa opportunity
The Leonard Cheshire Disability and Inclusive Development Centre, commissioned by UNESCO.


Call for Papers: Rethinking Socio-Economic Policy for a Recovery for All 

UNICEF is organizing an online call for papers on the theme of "Rethinking Socio-Economic Policy for a Recovery for All." Deadline: 20 October 2011


ASAN Internship Opportunity in DC Metro Area opportunity

The Autistic Self-Advocacy Network is looking for an intern in the DC area for the Fall 2011 semester.


MFI Global Mental Health Empowerment Handbook opportunity
Seeking stories and art from psychiatric survivors, mental health
 consumers/users, and their family and loved ones.Deadline Extended to 31 August 2011.


2012-13 Harkness Fellowships


Open to applicants from Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. The deadline for receipt of applications is September 12, 2011.

CRPD Ratification Watch
As of August 24, 2011
  • 149 Signatories
  • 103 Ratifications
Optional Protocol:
  • 90 Signatories
  • 62 Ratifications
Recent Ratifications: 
Cyprus Ratified the Convention and the Optional Protocol on June 27, 2011


Pakistan Ratified the Convention on July 5, 2011

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