USICD NewsJune 2012
USICD Urges U.S. Senate to Approve Ratification of the CRPD

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USICD Applauds Bipartisan Group of Senators for Supporting Ratification




Washington, D.C. (May 25, 2012) - Today, the U.S. International Council on Disabilities applauds the unified statement of bipartisan support for United States ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities that has been issued by seven senators.  Last week, the Obama Administration submitted the CRPD to the U.S. Senate for its advice and consent for ratification.  In their statement, Senators McCain (R-AZ), Durbin (D-IL), Moran (R-KS), Harkin (D-IA), Barrasso (R-WY), Coons (D-DE), and Udall (D-NM) affirm that the treaty upholds the American values of non-discrimination and equal access for persons with disabilities in all areas of life.  The seven senators joined together in promoting the ratification of the Convention which will help protect Americans with disabilities who work and travel abroad from discrimination, including disabled American veterans, and help ensure that all Americans enjoy the same rights outside the U.S. as they enjoy at home.


Read Senators' Press Release

Read USICD's Full Press Release


The campaign for U.S. ratification of the CRPD needs your support!  With your help, USICD can continue to provide the materials, education, and activities that are vital for success.


Please consider making a gift to USICD - Thank You! 

Click here to donate. 

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 transmittal of the CRPD to the U.S. Senate as well as USICD's work in the past year on international disability issues.

Tuesday, June  12, 2012

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

Click here to RSVP


CART and ASL Interpretation will be provided.  If you have any question or if you would like to discuss accessibility accommodations, please contact Susie Richard at 202-347-0102 or at   


To USICD's international friends, please note: This afternoon event is only two-hours in duration, and USICD is unable to sponsor travel or lodging to Washington, DC.  We appreciate the interest in this event expressed by our friends outside of the U.S., and we look forward to future opportunities to interact with you.

USICD Joins State Department And
World Learning Event

A large, well-lit room contains several people on a platform and others sitting at microphones fasing them speaking.On May 9-10, 2012, leaders from development and disability organizations from around the country and world converged at the U.S. State Department for the U.S. Leadership Conference for International Disability Rights. The conference's mission was to create a dialogue about solutions and strategies to increase disability inclusion in international programming and development and expand disability rights around the world. The conference included a key note speech by Samantha Power, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Multilateral Affairs & Human Rights, and ended with a call for commitment to disaiblity inclusion by Legal Advisor to the State Department, Harold Koh. Speakers highlighted barriers to enforcing rights for people with disabilities and explained how the CRPD is changing the status of people with disabilities globally.


USICD's Executive Director, David Morrissey, who assisted in development of the State Department conference, led a breakout session on challenges and opportunities in promoting disability rights and inclusion. USICD's Andrea Shettle and Ellis Ballard also hosted an interactive display of the Global Disability Rights Library Project, in order to show conference attendees an effective method of sharing disability resources throughout the world. Watch the video message from Secretary Clinton to conference attendees.

A man in a suit leans over to talk to a smiling woman as they sit at a conference table in front of mucrophones
David Morrissey and Sefakor Komabu-Pomeyle


Following the State Department conference, David Morrissey joined a panel at World Learning on May 11th with Sefakor Komabu-Pomeyle, a Ford Foundation Fellow and disability advocate from Ghana, and Leah Maxon of USAID. Read more about Sefakor's work on her World Learning blog.

The GDRL in Ethiopia

Six people sit on either side of a conference table with pencils in their hands and filled notepads on the table while Ellis sits at the head of the table speaking.
Ellis Ballard trains colleagues on the use of the GDRL in Ethiopia

Blog from Ellis Ballard, USICD Program Development Manager


Ellis is traveling across East Africa in May and June to provide technical support and guidance for installations of USICD's Global Disability Rights Library in the countries of Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania. CLICK HERE to view the first of his blogs as he gives his reflections of his travels and work abroad.

USICD announces staff position opening
a balck whith orange sign that says Help WantedUSICD announces the opening for a Programs Associate position to join our Washington, DC team.  Please CLICK HERE to read more about this opportunity and for details on how to apply.
A 30 with a gray rainbow
Our Board President Marca Bristo and Executive Director David Morrissey, along with member Susan Sygall, CEO of Mobility International USA, will be presenting at the NCIL Annual Conference in Washington, DC on Monday, June 11 at 1:00 P.M.  They will be discussing ways to participate in the international disability movement, as well as how the CRPD is advancing in the Senate.  USICD staff will also again be manning the CRPD Poster display with stickers and information for all.  Please stop by!

International Disability News Updates

  • On May 11th, 2012, the United Nations hosted an interactive panel discussion that highlighted the voices of six indigenous leaders with disabilities from the Global South. The panel aimed to promote inclusion of indigenous persons with disabilities into the larger indigenous rights movement, and in turn into development work in the UN system in relation to this community. The meeting was intended as a side event to the most recent session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.
  • A colorful logo on a Dark Blue background that includes a map of JamaicaHealth Minister of Jamaica Dr. Fenton Ferguson has announced that health care workers in every region in the country are undergoing training related to disability services. According to Ferguson, 146 workers have already successfully completed their training. The renovation, funded by the National Health Fund (NHF) of Jamaica at over $5 million, is part of a larger $300 million rehabilitation initiative of Jamaica's primary healthcare infrastructure.  
  • Protesters in MinskOn May 5th, 2012, 100 members of the disability community held a rally within the city of Minsk, in Belarus, in which they urged President Alyaksandr Lukashenka to ensure the constitutional rights of people with disabilities were respected. The protesters also demanded that the government give sole entrepreneurs with first-degree disabilities the right to hire employees outside of their immediate family, and increase social benefits for disabled individuals. Belarus has yet to sign the CRPD.
  • The Fifth Session of the Conference of States Parties to the CRPD is set to take place from September 12th to September 14th, 2012. Further information on traveling and disability accommodations and a draft agenda can be found here. Elections for nine seats of the CRPD Committee will occur at the Conference of States Parties.

USICD Welcomes  

Christopher Damon-Cronmiller

A man sits in a power chair and a younger blond man stands beside him with the Capital Building in the backgroundChris Damon-Cronmiller joins USICD as a summer intern through the Washington Internship Institute (WII). He is currently an undergraduate student at Fairfield University, where he is completing his Bachelors Degree in International Studies and Politics. Through Fairfield University, Christopher also recently completed a semester abroad in Nicaragua, where he studied at the Universidad Centroamericana.        


Christopher is very interested in bringing disability related issues to the forefront of international human rights and development agendas, and has been heavily involved in disability rights and advocacy for several years. For his high school senior thesis, he constructed an awareness panel on "invisible disabilities" held within his school, backed by statistics he gathered through a survey. He also spent a summer working at the Asperger's Association of New England where he focused on political advocacy pertaining to An Act Relative to Insurance Coverage for Autism (the Massachusetts State House passed the bill that same summer). In addition, Christopher interned at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission under Commissioner Chai Feldblum, working on various disability rights related issues.  Welcome Chris!

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
USICD Urges U.S. Senate to Approve Ratification of the CRPD
RSVP for USICD's Annual Meeting Now!
USICD Joins State Department And World Learning Event
The GDRL in Ethiopia
USICD is Hiring!.
International Disability News Updates
USICD Welcomes Christopher Damon-Cronmiller


Open Position
Programs Associate

Member News and Opportunities

DRI Founder and Executive Director, Eric Rosenthal, Receives 2012 Public Service Award from the University of Chicago
June 4, 2012

Professor Gerard Quinn speaks on independent living in the EU
May 25, 2012
Source: Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

DPI Chairman Blogs about Listening to the Grassroots

May 16, 2012

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


22nd RI World Congress 2012
Monday, October 29, 2012 - Friday, November 2, 2012   


Volunteers Needed for International AIDS Conference In D.C, opportunity   


Letter of Interest Process for Bangladesh, Peru and Uganda  opportunity


Speakers Call for Inclusion of the Rights of Indigenous Persons with Disabilities
May 11, 2012  


Wheelchair users demand equal rights at rally in Minsk
May 11, 2012   


Europen Parliment sends strong message about complying with the #CRPD.
May 9, 2012
Source: European Disability Forum

May 16, 2012

Beijing Disability Forum
Wednesday, June 6, 2012 - Friday, June 8, 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   


E-Discussion on Access to Justice for Persons with Disabilities
Friday, June 22, 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     


International AIDS Conference 2012
Saturday, July 21, 2012 - Friday, July 27, 2012  


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


Monday, August 20, 2012 - Friday, October 12, 2012   


London 2012 - Paralympic Games
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 - Sunday, September 9, 2012  


Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - Friday, September 14, 2012  


Monday, September 17, 2012 - Friday, September 21, 2012  


International Week of the Deaf 2012
Monday, September 24, 2012 - Sunday, September 30, 2012  


Rehabilitation International - Fifth Arab Region Conference
Tuesday, September 25, 2012 - Thursday, September 27, 2012  


Inclusion International's Global Conference on Achieving Inclusion
Thursday, October 25, 2012 - Sunday, October 28, 2012

WBU/ICEVI General Assemblies
Thursday, November 8, 2012 - Sunday, November 18, 2012  


1st CBR World Congress
Monday, November 26, 2012 - Wednesday, November 28, 2012  


International Day of Persons with Disabilities
Monday, December 3, 2012 - Monday, December 3, 2012

First Virtual Master's in Disability Policy  opportunity   

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

Estonia ratified the Convention on  May 30, 2012

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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