USICD NewsApril 2012

USICD announces its Annual Meeting will be held in Washington, DC, on Tuesday, June 12, 2012 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.


Please join us for this annual gathering of our membership and colleagues, where we will celebrate the work some special guests from the international disability community.  Mark your calendar and stay tuned for further details in the May newsletter!


Questions? Email Outreach Coordinator Suzanne Richard at

New GDRL Deployment Sites Announced

A map of the world with pins in all the GDRL deployment sites An additional 31 organizations around the world have now been selected to host the Global Disability Rights Library (GDRL). These organizations range from national umbrella DPOs in Kenya to academic disability studies programs in Indonesia. By mid year, 56 GDRL units will be serving as an information resource to advocates in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Peru, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, as well as Kenya, Indonesia, Mongolia, and Uganda. The final few deployment sites will be announced shortly.


"We are excited to help more organizations and advocates access the wealth of disability rights knowledge available in the world today," says GDRL program manager Andrea Shettle. "From a flood of 435 strong applications, the selected group are doing great work in promoting rights in their communities. The enthusiastic response from our peers around the world shows that there is still an incredible thirst for greater collaboration and information sharing around disability rights."    


Click Here to see the full list of 56 Deployment Sites  

USICD Board Member Appointed to UNICEF 

"A Headshot of Babara LeRoy with her hair neatly done and a bold purple jacket/I am proud to announce that USICD Member and Board Secretary Barbara LeRoy has recently been appointed to the UNICEF Advisory Board.  Dr. LeRoy also serves as the director of the Developmental Disabilities Institute at Wayne State University in Detroit.  We know she will be an asset to the work of UNICEF.  Congratulations Barbara!"

-David Morrissey 

USICD VP Testifies About Mexican Institutions at the Organization of American States

On March 23, 2012 USICD Vice President and Disability Rights International Executive Director Eric Rosenthal presented compelling testimony to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on the protection of people with disabilities detained in Mexico's orphanages and psychiatric facilities at the Organization of American States (OAS).


In his testimony, Rosenthal described how the treatment of persons with disabilities in Mexican institutions constituted a violation of the rights guaranteed under both the Inter-American Convention for the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (CIADDIS) and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), both of which Mexico is a party.  The petition to the Commission, which Rosenthal submitted along with members of Mexican disability rights and human rights organizations, made a formal request for the Inter-American Commission to visit the institutions and create a special rapporteurship for people with disabilities.  Rosenthal called on the government of Mexico to bring an end to the segregation and abuse of people detained in institutions and create a working group on disability issues.

Read More
A Picture of the whole hearing room

USICD Education and Outreach Report 

With the arrival of spring, USICD is busier than ever with outreach about international disability issues!  In late March, Executive Director David Morrissey discussed the intersections of the CPRD with the WHO world report on disability and the UNESCO "Education for All" Initiative at the When Worlds Collide Conference at Columbia University's Teachers College.  


This month, Disability Rights Program Manager Esmé Grant will be presenting on the CRPD to trainees for the 2012 Disability Policy Seminar. Esmé will also present on the treaty and its significance to young advocates and leaders at the 2012: Challenge Accepted conference. At the conclusion of the month, David Morrissey will be kicking off the 2012 InterAction Forum with "Gaining a Competitive Edge Through Inclusive Programs," a workshop co-led with USICD member Perkins International, and including special guest panelists, which aims to elevate awareness within the international development community about the importance and relevance of disability inclusiveness in international programs, infrastructure building, and humanitarian aid.


Visit our website for the latest on the CRPD and upcoming events!  




Stay tuned to USICD for the latest news on the UN CRPD Committee, which will assemble this month for its seventh session in Geneva, April 16-20.  The Committee will focus on  reports from Argentina, China, Hungary, and Peru.

U.S. Announces Implementation Plan for the 2010 Universal Periodic Review

In mid-2010, the United States participated in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process for the United Nations Human Rights Council. USICD was proud to have Executive Director David Morrissey serve as a private sector advisor to the U.S. delegation to the UPR.


The United States has recently announced a process for carrying and reviewing implementation of the 173 recommendations accepted as part of the review.  The U.S. government has convened ten thematic working groups to address relevant issues stemming from this UPR process, including working groups on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, as well as Treaties and International Human Rights Mechanisms.  Read the full article here.


The implementation and evaluation process will engage civil society through dialogue and briefings. Interested organizations and individuals can learn more about how to participate in working groups here. 

Blog: The Disability Rights Movement Abroad

In the United States, when we think about the disability rights movement we either think of the past 50 years of highlights such as the development of the Independent Living model, the Olmstead Act, and the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, or we turn to the current debates on healthcare and coverage for pre-existing conditions. As the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is implemented around the world, I have had my eyes opened to some of the latest international disability movements to uphold the rights of people with disabilities. The methods and tactics vary greatly, but the goal is always the same and echoes the theme of our own disability rights movement, "Nothing About Us Without Us." Read More

 USICD Lends a Leg For Landmine Awareness

USICD Staff with left pant legs rolled up for Lend a Leg Campaign
On World Landmine Awareness Day on April 4th, USICD joined the international community in raising
international awareness about the impact of landmines on people around the world by showing support for the "Lend your Leg" campaign. Learn more on the Lend your Leg website and read the UN statement here.

Connect with USICD!

Find us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterVisit our blog

And don't miss the U.S. Department of State's
Special Advisor for International Disability Rights Judy Heumann's Facebook Page
In This Issue
Save the Date!
New GDRL Deployment Sites Announced
USICD Board Member Serves UNICEF
USICD VP Testifies at OAS
Education and Outreach Report
2010 Universal Periodic Review Update
The Disability Rights Movement Abroad



Member News and Opportunities

2012 Annual Conference on Independent Living 

Monday, June 11, 2012 - Thursday, June 14, 2012 

4th International Summer School on CRPD & How to Use it.
Monday, June 18, 2012 - Saturday, June 23, 2012


51st Biennial NAD Conference
Tuesday, July 3, 2012 - Saturday, July 7, 2012



7th Session of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Monday, April 16, 2012 - Friday, April 20, 2012


Expert Group Meeting on promoting ICT Accessibility
Thursday, April 19, 2012 - Saturday, April 21, 2012


Bob Costas and Friends Celebrate the Life of Max Starkloff
Saturday, April 28, 2012 - Saturday, April 28, 2012


Mind Change Conference
Wednesday, May 2, 2012 - Saturday, May 5, 2012  

Disability and Work: Global Strategies for Equity
Saturday, May 5, 2012 - Saturday, May 5, 2012


Universal Design Conference 2012
Monday, June 11, 2012 - Wednesday, June 13, 2012  


3rd International Disability Summer School, Galway

June 18-23 2012  


International Federation of Hard of Hearing World Congress 2012
Monday, June 25, 2012 - Thursday, June 28, 2012   


CRPD Ratification Watch
As of April 9, 2012 
  • 153 Signatories
  • 112 Ratifications
Optional Protocol:
  • 90 Signatories
  • 64 Ratifications
Recent Ratifications:

Mauritania ratified the Convention on April 3, 2012

Bulgaria ratified the Convention on March 22, 2012

Mozambique ratified the Convention on January 30, 2012

Macedonia (FYORM) ratified the Convention on December 29, 2011

Myanmar ratified the Convention on December 12, 2011

Indonesia ratified the Convention on December 7, 2011

Join Our Mailing List

 Become a USICD Member 
USICD Opportunities ~ CRPD Essentials ~ Donate Online