USICD NewsJuly 2012


Circle that says Ratify CRPD Yes

The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee will be holding a hearing on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on Thursday, July 12, at 9:00 a.m. in Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room G-50.  Please attend this important hearing.
It is vital that Americans with and without disabilities make support for the CRPD heard in the Senate.  Follow one of the appropriate links below to sign on as either an individual or, if authorized, for your organization.  Please forward this message to your networks, friends, and family!


Click here to sign on as an INDIVIDUAL


Click here to sign on your ORGANIZATION

A note to our international friends: this letter is intended as a message from U.S. citizens and organizations to elected officials in the Senate, and so it is not open for signing by our colleagues outside of the United States.  We appreciate your support!


For Text of the Full Letter


For more information and updates on the process 

2012 USICD Annual Meeting - Thank You!
Annual Meeting PictureThank you to everyone who came to USICD's 2012 Annual Meeting!  We were thrilled to see such a great turnout out of members, community members and even some international visitors on Tuesday, June 12 at the U.S. Access Board's conference center. 

Mwesigwa Martin Babu Speaks on International Disability Rights
Martin at Annual MeetingUSICD was delighted to be able to host Mwesigwa Martin Babu, Uganda's candidate to sit on the CRPD Committee, and Programme Manager for HIV & AIDS at the National Union of Disabled Persons of Uganda (NUDIPU). Martin shared the mission of NUDIPU which, like USICD, is an umbrella organization that is made up of DPO's from around the country.  NUDIPU works not only as an advocate for progress in the laws of Uganda towards PWD's, but also provides resources and support for various DPO's and programs throughout the country. He spoke of their emphasis on a rights-based approach to disability rights, as well a more recent emphasis on women, youth and children with disabilities as a particularly vulnerable section of the population.

Tech Literacy, Tech Creativity and the GDRL
A map showing GDRL Deployments in AfricaEllis travelled 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. Below is the second of a series of reflections on his travels and work abroad. Read the first blog in this series here.

One of the central priorities of Global Disability Rights Library (GDRL) country visits are the technical and content trainings that we offer for deployment site representatives.  We invite IT specialists or librarians from each site to attend a central training in which we can demonstrate and discuss the library installation process and explore navigation and content of the eGranary.  In Kenya this training was held at the Kenyan National Commission on Human Rights in N]irobi, which played host to eight other organizations from as far as Kibwezi and Kabarnet, and as nearby as Westlands and Kibera in Nairobi.

USICD Education and Outreach Report

CRPD LogoWith the CRPD now being considered in the Senate, we have been spending June and July making sure that the disability community has accurate and thorough information on the disability treaty and the latest news on the ratification process.  If you would like to become more involved, please contact our Disability Rights Program Manager Esme Grant  


We are excited to announce that Esme and our Program Manager Andrea Shettle will be presenting on the CRPD and GDRL in the Disability Network Zone at the International AIDS Society Conference on July 23.  Additionally, USICD Executive Director David Morrissey will be providing remarks at the opening ceremony for the Disability Zone, kicking off the week's activities for this much anticipated focus area of the conference.


And at the end of August, David will be venturing to Minnesota as a keynote speaker and to host a workshop for the Self Advocate Become Empowered (SABE) Conference. He returns to the conference for a second year, excited to share the CRPD with such an enthusiastic audience of leaders. 

Disability References in Rio +20 Report 

RIO+20In June 2012, the United Nations held a conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  The conference, named Rio +20, was attended by heads of state, thousands of participants from governments, the private sector, and NGOs.  Participants met to consider how to reduce poverty, advance social equity, and ensure environmental protection.  Rio +20 marked the 20th anniversary of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), also held in Rio de Janeiro.  This year's conference resulted in a 49-page outcome document entitled "The Future We Want" that calls for a wide range of actions that include launching a process to establish sustainable development goals and engaging civil society.  This document includes five specific references to disability including participation and access to information, a commitment to an integrated approach to planning and building sustainable cities, and an emphasis on ensuring equal access to education for people with disabilities.   


For more information on disability-related content, or for the full text of the document. 

International Disability Updates

  • From June 11th to June 12th 2012, international disability experts and representatives from 34 countries attended the first Amrica Solidaria meeting in Quito, Ecuador. During the meeting a variety of disability issues were discussed, including the need for the tourism industry and governments to adapt to the needs of persons with disabilities. Vice President of Ecuador Lenn Moreno, who himself has a disability, decided to hold Amrica Solidaria after his recent visit to the World Bank in Washington, D.C., when he came up with the idea to "organize the first continental meeting for inclusion of people with disabilities."
  • In early June 2012, the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights within the Canadian Parliament released a report based on testimonies and meetings with members of the international disability community entitled Level The Playing Field: A Natural Progression from Playground to Podium for Canadians with Disabilities. The report "examines how the Government of Canada can enhance its ongoing efforts for eliminating barriers that prevent persons with disabilities from fully participating from physical activities and sports programs," in the words of a press release issued by the committee.
  • The Plenary Session of the 22nd RI World Congress is set to take place from October 30th to November 2nd, 2012, in the Songdo Convensia (Incheon, Republic of Korea). USICD members Maria Veronica Reina and Susan Parker will be speaking at this event.
  • The TAKAFO Campaign within Jordan, led by people with disabilities and DPOs, has recently had great success in the country at the legislative level. Due to advocacy efforts on behalf of the campaign, the Jordanian government re-wrote election law to allow people with disabilities to vote with the support of personal assistants and to abolish a mandate requiring voters with disabilities to swear an oath before voting. TAKAFO will soon launch a new advocacy initiative based upon results in the recently released CRPD civil society report.      
  • In a previously unexpected move, last Wednesday (July 4th) the South African Olympic Committee and Athletics South Africa selected amputee track athlete Oscar Pistorius for team South Africa in the 400m and 4x400 relay events of the London 2012 Olympic Games, making him the first amputee to ever compete in the Olympics. Click here for a complete story published on
USICD Says Farewell for Now
A micture of a red-haired gentleman wearing a blazer and button-down shirt
One final note, USICD says goodbye at the end of the month to Program Development Manager Ellis Ballard.  Ellis leaves us at the end of July to explore a graduate degree in International Social Work.  If you have worked with Ellis and would like to wish him well, please drop him an email at 

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
CRPD Ratification
Annual Meeting
Mwesigwa Martin Babu
USICD in Africa
Education and Outreach
Rio +20
International Disability Update


CRPD at the 2012 International Human Rights Funders Group 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - Wednesday, July 18, 2012

CRPD at the XIX International AIDS Society Conference 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012 - Tuesday, July 24, 2012

CRPD Presentation at the SABE Conference 

Thursday, August 30, 2012 - Sunday, September 2, 2012

Member News and Opportunities


Former Duchess of York Charged by Turkey After Helping to Expose Abuse in Institutuions
June 28, 2012
Source: The Washington Post


Access Living Video focused on Olmstead Cases
June 18, 2012


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


President of EDF becomes Chair of IDA
July 2, 2012
Source: European Disability Forum


Disability Included in the Rio+20 Outcome Document
June 22, 2012
Source: UNCRPD


New Zealand disabled rights man has shot at peace prize
June 22, 2012
Source: Wanganui Chronicle


Zero Project Report presented to EU Parliament
June 22, 2012
Source: European Disability Forum


Asian Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum

Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - Saturday, July 21, 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 July 7, 2012 
  • 153 Signatories
  • 116 Ratifications
Optional Protocol:
  • 90 Signatories
  • 66 Ratifications
Recent Ratifications:
Benin ratified the Convention on  July 5, 2012

Djibouti ratified the Convention on  June 18, 2012

Greece ratified the Convention on  May 31, 2012 

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
Join Our Mailing List

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