USICD NewsMay 2012
RSVP for USICD's Annual Meeting Now!


Smiling people sit at a panel table with a sign language interpreter in the background.
Marca Bristo and David Morrissey lead a panel at USICD's 2011 Annual Meeting

Please join us for this annual meeting and reception with our membership and colleagues where we will celebrate the work of some special international guests.

Tuesday, June  12, 2012

The U.S. Access Board: 1331 F Street, NW, Suite 800
Washington, DC 20004

Click here to RSVP

Questions? Email Outreach Coordinator Suzanne Richard at

USICD Hosts Discussion on Inclusion at InterAction Forum 2012


Several People sit at a panel table.
USICD leads discussion of inclusive programming at InterAction Forum 2012

USICD Executive Director David Morrissey joined Aubrey Webson of Perkins International to host a frank discussion of disability inclusion in international development and human rights programming at the 2012 InterAction Forumon Monday, April 30.  The panel, "Gaining a Competitive Edge through Inclusive Programs," consisted of expertise from Charlotte McClain Nhlapo, USAID Coordinator for Disability and Inclusive Development, Katherine Guernsey, Senior Policy Advisor to the Special Advisor for International Disability Rights at the State Department, Robert Prouty, Head of the Global Partnership for Education, and Catherine Townsend of Wellspring Advisors. Panelists emphasized the priority for disability inclusion among international development and foreign relations programs supported by government and nongovernmental funders.  Panelists noted that there is still a need for greater data collection regarding the inclusion of people with disabilities in large-scale development initiatives.

This spring USAID is preparing to launch a new USICD-developed eLearning course on Disability Inclusive Development for its staff, which will provide guidance about implementation of USAID's Disability Policy and the fundamental values of disability inclusion and rights.

GDRL Spotlights New Users

Several Africans crowd arounf three different computers in deep study.
GDRL recipients receiving training

The first wave of Global Disability Rights Library (GDRL) deployment sites have begun to share stories of how they have been using the off-line eGranary Digital Library to benefit people with disabilities in their communities. Just a few examples are provided below:


  • In Tanzania, a deaf woman who never before understood what "HIV/AIDS" meant now understands how to protect herself from the disease. She reports that teachers and her parents had refused to supply her with information on sexual health. She used the new eGranary at SHIVYAWATA in Dar es Salaam to research the topic for herself.
  • In Nigeria, an experienced leader at Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPWD) has discovered two advocacy manuals that she says are helpful tools in training disability rights leaders. JONAPWD shares a building with several other organizations that serve or represent various disadvantaged populations: they are setting up a wireless router so that personnel at these organizations can share access to the eGranary.
  • One educator at the Adaptive Technology Center for the Blind (ATCB) in Ethiopia used to conduct his research via an Internet connection that was so slow that he ended many of his web browsing sessions unable to obtain any resources. Other times he could only download one resource from among thousands of options. But because the eGranary is much faster than the Internet, he has now been able to bookmark "hundreds" of resources that he consults regularly when preparing lessons for his students.     

The GDRL team is working with USAID to deliver digital disability rights knowledge to a total of 60 organizations in 12 countries to serve thousands of users whose Internet connectivity is limited or non-existent. Keep an eye on our website for more user stories and feedback on the library project in the coming months at

USICD Education and Outreach Report 

A posed group shot
Jewish Disability Network

USICD's education and outreach continues to roll through a diverse group or presentations and workshops in April!


Executive Director David Morrissey discussed the role all American communities, including the faith community, play in advocating for U.S. ratification of the CRPD on a panel with the Jewish Disability Network. David was joined on the panel by Special Advisor for International Disability Rights Judy Heumann and Legal Adviser Gilda Brancato from the State Department. Also in April, Disability Rights Program Manager Esmé Grant presented on the CRPD for trainees at the 2012 Disability Policy Seminar where she described the history of the treaty and the impact it has had on countries worldwide.

Disability Policy Seminar

Earlier in the month, Esmé had the opportunity to discuss the treaty and its significance to young advocates and leaders interested in how the CRPD is advancing global justice at the 2012: Challenge Accepted conference. 





Join USICD at the NCIL Conference from June 11-14! USICD will be exhibiting our CRPD General Principles poster all week and Executive Director David Morrissey will be joined by USICD President Marca Bristo and Susan Sygall of MIUSA to present "The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: International Human Rights in the 21st Century."


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

The 7th Session of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

CRPD LogoThe Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the body charged with oversight and implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, convened for a seventh session in Geneva from April 16-20 2012. During the session, the Committee considered the initial report of Peru and its work to implement the CRPD within the country. As noted in its concluding observations, the Committee was pleased with the progress Peru had made to adopt policies and legislation that align with the goals of the CRPD. However, the Committee did express concern about existing Peruvian policies used to address issues including forced sterilization, access to rehabilitation services, and early identification of disabilities like deafness.


The Committee announced its decision to endorse the outcomes of the Dublin II meeting in treaty body strengthening. The Committee also agreed that during the commencement of its ninth session in April 2013, they would begin holding an annual half day of general discussion. The theme for April 2013's discussion is set to focus on women and girls with disabilities.


The terms of nine of the eighteen members of the Committee will expire at the end of 2012, with elections for these nine members occurring at the Conference of States Parties in New York in September. The Committee will meet for its eighth session September 17 to 28, 2012 during which it will review the initial reports of China, Argentina, and Hungary and adopt a list of issues for Paraguay.

International Disability Updates

  • USICD Member Barbara LeRoy recently contributed her expertise to the drafting of the Toronto Declaration on Bridging Knowledge, Policy and Practice in Aging and Disability, released in March 2012. The declaration stems from the FICCDAT conference held in Toronto, Canada in June 2011 and focuses on key principles and recommendations to improve work in policy, research and practice. If you or your organization is interested in signing onto the Declaration, click here.
  • The logo for the zero porject which is green and includes a leafy branchThe Zero Project is a new initiative that seeks to gather best practices and measure the implementation of the treaty around the world. The first report, Zero Project Report 2012, reflects on the state of implementation within 36 countries and shares 27 good practice examples and 8 good policy examples. This year the Zero Project also sponsored its first international conference in Austria to discuss implementation strategies for the CRPD.
  • As more and more countries ratify the CRPD, domestic government websites are providing information about the treaty's relationship with their laws and policies. Check out Sweden's new page on the CRPD on their Human Rights website.

Connect with USICD!

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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
RSVP for USICD's Annual Meeting Now!
USICD at InterAction Forum 2012
GDRL Spotlights New Users
USICD Education and Outreach Report
The 7th Session of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
International Disability Updates



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


FEMA Disability Integration and Coordination March 2012 Quarterly Newsletter
April 11, 2012  


Letter of Interest Process for Bangladesh, Peru and Uganda  opportunity


WFD advocates for a deaf member of the CRPD Committee In upcoming elections
May 3, 2012
Source: World Federartion of the Deaf


Side Event on Indigenous Persons with Disabilities: Overcoming Challenges to Achieving Rights and In
Friday, May 11, 2012 - Friday, May 11, 2012


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


Wednesday, June 13, 2012 - Friday, June 15, 2012


3rd International Disability Summer School, Galway

June 18-23 2012   


Mental Health Law Reform Conference
Saturday, June 23, 2012 - Saturday, June 23, 2012


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


2012 Summer Leadership Institute: Equity, Inclusion & Excellence
Monday, August 6, 2012 - Wednesday, August 8, 2012


First Virtual Master's in Disability Policy opportunity    

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

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