USICD NewsSeptember 2011
David Morrissey Visits Iowa for the Launch of the Global Disability Rights Library
David and Widernet staff
David Morrissey and Widernet Staff

As September drew to a close, USICD's Executive Director found himself in Iowa to officially recognize the launching of the GDRL.  While there he was able to:

  • visit with students and faculty of the University of Iowa in various forums
  • speak to the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council
  • speak with parent advocates and people with disabilities at the University of Iowa's Center for Disabilities and Development
  • appear on Iowa Public Radio talking about disability in international development
  • contribute to an article in the Daily Iowan on accessibility services around the country

September - An Active Month for the CRPD!


The Committee on the Rights of Persons met from September 19-23 in Geneva this month. The primary objective of the Committee's sixth session was to consider the initial report of Spain on its implementation of the CRPD. Spain ratified the Convention in December of 2007. In its presentation, the Spanish delegation highlighted that key legislative developments in 2008 had enhanced employment opportunities for people with disabilities. Overall, the delegation reported that Spain was proud of its overall accessibility improvements and inclusion of people with disabilities through its comprehensive constitution. Experts on the Committee questioned Spanish delegates on data collection, educational opportunities, and universal design. A formal report of the Committee's findings is forthcoming.


Also this month was the Treaty Event 2011: Towards Universal Participation and Implementation. The September event included the opportunity for nations to sign and ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The CRPD currently has 153 signatories and 105 ratifications. During the course of the international event Palau, Saint Lucia, Micronesia, and Kyrgystan signed the CRPD and Bahrain and Luxembourg ratified the treaty.



Enabling Development, Realizing the CRPD through Civil Society Cooperation


David at COSP
USICD Executive Director David Morrissey, Diana Samarasan of Disability Rights Fund (DRF), President of Rehabilitation International, Anne Hawker, and Co-chair of DRF Catherine Townsend speak on a panel at the United Nations COSP.

From September 6-9, government delegations and disabled people's organizations (DPOs) from all over the world gathered at the UN Headquarters in New York for the Conference of States Parties (COSP). DPOs from different countries had a chance to share their experiences and best practices in advancing disability rights movements in their communities in a one-day civil society forum organized by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs and the International Disability Alliance, a network of global and regional organizations of persons with disabilities.


Sherzodbek Sharipov, Research and Programs Fellow

New York, UN Headquarters 



GDRL Demonstrated in Africa

Rachel Tanzania
Rachel Garaghty demonstrates the GDRL in Tanzania

Two GDRL deployment sites in Tanzania, the Information Centre on Disability (ICD) - Tanzania and SHIVYWATA (Tanzanian Federation of DPOs), received demonstrations of the eGranary this past August.  USICD intern Rachel Garaghty visited both organizations during a stay in Dar es Salaam.  Staff at both ICD and SHIVYAWATA were enthusiastic about receiving the GDRL and using it to further disability rights in Tanzania.



Equality, Dignity, and Independence through Sports

Esme at Blaze
USICD's Esmé Grant with BlazeSports Members Angelica and Enrique Gomez

 "Sport builds bodies and minds, promotes public health and instills important values, such as teamwork, fairness, inclusion, cooperation and communication. It also teaches the importance of principles such as interdependence and respect." 


- Charlotte McClain-Nhalpo, USAID Coordinator for Disability and Inclusive Development





A view of Atlanta, where the BlazeSports Conference was held

This month, I had the honor of presenting on the CRPD at the 11th Annual BlazeSports International Conference on Paralympic Sport and Physical Activity. It was wonderful to work with an engaging audience and discuss how the treaty's values of dignity, independence and respect are advanced by participation in sport. I also enjoyed the opportunity to discuss Article 30.5's approach to greater inclusivity of athletes with disabilities within the world of sports. Not only does the CRPD promote access to mainstream sports, but it also requires that ratifying nations promote the creation and participation of disability-specific sporting activities. This dual-track approach has been widely embraced in the athletic disability community, and has in fact allowed more fluidity for integration and inclusion within sports and society.


Esmé Grant, Disability Rights Educator




A Day on Capitol Hill

Rhonda & David
Rhonda Neuhaus and David Morrissey at "My Medicaid Matters" Rally
From every corner of the country, people converged at the Peace Circle on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, September 21, 2011 for the "My Medicaid Matters" rally.  Senators, Congresswomen, and civil rights leaders took their turns at the podium, including disability community leaders, speaking out among a sea of yellow t-shirts and waving American flags.  Over a thousand voices chanted and cheered to the rhythm of the day's events.  Believed to be one of the largest disability rights demonstrations since the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990, the national capitol heard the voices of Americans with disabilities.  For the international community, this rally was evidence of the right to political participation and freedom of speech that Americans with disabilities hold dear.  Every day, these rights are denied to disabled people around the world, but this is changing, one country at a time, and people with disabilities are exercising their rights!
Rally Crowd

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In This Issue
GDRL Launch in Iowa
An Active Month for CRPD
Enabling Development
GDRL in Tanzania
Equality through Sports
A Day on Capitol Hill



Member News and Opportunities

Program Officer for Latin America and the Middle East / North Africa opportunity 

Disability Rights Fund 


Independent Living Peer Guide 


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




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


International Research Symposium
Tuesday, November 8, 2011 - Tuesday, November 8, 2011


2nd Asia Pacific CBR Congress
Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - Thursday, December 1, 2011


International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2011
Saturday, December 3, 2011 - Saturday, December 3, 2011


Pacific Rim International Forum
Saturday, March 24, 2012 - Sunday, March 25, 2012  

28th Annual Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability and Diversity
Monday, March 26, 2012 - Tuesday, March 27, 2012 


Democracy Fellowship - Disability/Human Rights  opportunity

Posted: Wednesday, September 7, 2011


International Disabilities Consultant


IFES is engaged in a two year cooperative agreement with USAID 


Thematic Study on Participation of Persons with Disabilities in Political and Public Life


Extension of time to make submissions:15 October, 2011.


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


Masters in Disability and Public Policy, School of International Service, American University, Washington DC. 

CRPD Ratification Watch
As of
September 28, 2011  
  • 153 Signatories
  • 105 Ratifications
Optional Protocol:
  • 90 Signatories
  • 63 Ratifications
Recent Ratifications: 
Luxembourg ratified the Convention and Optional Protocol on September 26, 2011
Micronesia signed the Convention on September 23, 2011

Bahrain ratified the Convention on September 22, 2011

Saint Lucia signed the Convention on September 22, 2011

Kyrgyzstan signed the Convention on September 21, 2011

Pulau signed the Convention on September 20, 2011

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