USICD NewsSeptember 2012

The Latest on U.S. CRPD Ratification!

Circle that says Ratify CRPD Yes



As the Senate returns from its August recess this week, the disability community's momentum moving for U.S. ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is at an all-time high. With no time to waste, it is vital that we join as a community and do our part to make sure the U.S. is a part of this global disability movement. We are only one floor vote away from victory so make sure you raise your voice with these key tips!

  • Make a quick call, write, or visit your U.S. Senators and tell them you support the CRPD!  Click here to find information on how to contact your Senators.
  • Take a few seconds and Facebook and Tweet your Senators. For Twitter, use #CRPD!

Example: @SenatorKirk It's important to the disability community that you support #CRPD!

  • Need more information? Visit our CRPD Ratification Updates or contact Disability Rights Program Manager Esmé Grant (!
GDRL - Stories from the Field



Check out some of the latest highlights of USICD's Global Disability Rights Library Project in Ethiopia, Bangladesh, and Nigeria:


* As of June 2012, the Adaptive Technology Center for the Blind is finalizing their work to open a new internet café designed to be accessible to blind users in the center of Piazza in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Their plan is to leverage resources in the GDRL to give community members access to information more quickly and less expensive than is possible via local slow, expensive internet connections alone.


* The Centre of Services and Information on Disability (CSID) in Dhakar, Bangladesh, has been disseminating information from eGranary to their contacts via a mailing list that reaches more than 4,000 email users.


 * The Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPWD) have installed their eGranary in a wireless server. This allows other non-governmental organizations near to their location in Abuja, Nigeria to share access to the eGranary.


* Challenge Your Disability Initiative (CYDI) in Bauchi, Nigeria is working on translating a state bill on disability rights into Hausa, a language commonly used in northern Nigeria and in neighboring Niger. They plan to use their eGranary to bring this translation to a wider audience.

Nepalese Supreme Court Decision on Disability Rights
A map of Nepal showing that is a small country that sits on the border of India and China
Dear respected readers, My name is Padam Bahadur Pariyar and I am from Nepal, a beautiful Himalayan country in Asia. I join USICD as an IREX Community Solutions Program Fellow August through December. In Nepal, I work on issues of disability and development for Handicap International and other DPO's. Here is a short update about a recent Nepalese Supreme Court Order to enforce the rights and benefits of persons with disabilities in Nepal.


The Supreme Court of Nepal had issued 13 orders related to the education, health, social security, and government services as they pertain to people with disabilities.  A joint bench of the Supreme Court Judges issued the six mandamus and seven directive orders to ensure the rights of people with disabilities in Nepal. READ MORE 

International Disability News Update
  • A group of men and women, some standing and some in wheelchairs, group together in a photo in blue graduation cap and gowns. AU Disability Program: Seven students (6 from the Philippines and 1 from Cambodia) are the first to graduate through the world's first virtual degree program for people with disabilities. These students graduated with a master's degree in Comparative and International Disability Policy from the American University's Institute on Disability and Public Policy program. READ MORE 
  • Climbing Mount Kinabalu: An attempt to climb the highest mountain in South East Asia, Mount Kinabalu, by 21 people with disabilities through the Cheshire Climb of Hope Programme in Malaysia, was reported to take place between August 27th and 30th. The climbers, ages 19 to 25, are aiming to raise money to support projects and services by the Selangor Cheshire home. The young climbers as well as other youth from this home are active in creating awareness and understanding towards people with disabilities throughout society. READ MORE 
  • A picture of the actor from the head up beside his logo for the show. Amir Khan and Disability: Well-known Indian Actor Amir Khan devoted an hour long episode of popular show, Satyamev Jayate, to people with disabilities and the challenges India's infrastructure poses to their empowerment. The episode features stories by different people with disabilities throughout India. (Note: the video link is subtitled in English but does not offer spoken English). WATCH NOW 
  • The CRPD and Russia: Tanya Lokshina, a senior researcher at Human Rights Watch and deputy director of its Moscow office, writes about the disability rights movement in Russia. The article, "Breaking Barriers: The Disability Rights Movement in Russia", discusses the ratification of the CRPD by Russia and the reality of the work that is to come to fully implement it. READ MORE 
  • Oman and eAccessibility: Debra Ruh of the United Nations Global Alliance for ICT and Development was invited by the Information Technology Authority (ITA) Sultanate of Oman to help in drafting an eAccessibility policy for Oman. While there she met with all stakeholders involved with the eAccessibility policy. Ruh highlights that the ITA of Oman will be a case study worth watching due to its mission to include people with disabilities and senior citizens in its policy process. READ MORE 
  • New Disability HIV/AIDS Publication: A stick figure head and arms outstreched over the woed one so that it hinds at someone in a wheelchair One Billion Strong, an international NGO working on the advancement of rights of people with disabilities has published, "HIV/AIDS, Disability and Discrimination: A Thematic Guide on Inclusive Law, Policy, and Programming". This guide discusses the correlation between CRPD and the UN 2011 Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS. The document was launched at the XIX International AIDS Conference in Washington, DC this July. READ THE FULL TEXT HERE  
CRPD Education and Outreach Report
A woman stands with her arms raised in excitement in front of a brightly colored carival game
USICD State Fair Game at SABE Conference

Executive Director David Morrissey kicked off September in St. Paul, Minnesota where he provided two CRPD sessions at the the 2012 Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE) conference.  On the conference's opening night, David joined the host self-advocates group, Minnesota ACT, and other volunteers like Mary Raasch (pictured, left) staffing an exciting human rights fair where they combined the fun of state fair games with knowledge and skills building to promote human rights and self-advocacy.


A gentleman of Nepalese decent stands at a podium speaking with one hand gesturing to the side
USICD Fellow Padam Pariyar

Disability Rights Program Manager Esme Grant and USICD Fellow Padam Bahadur Pariyar presented on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities at the 11th Annual Human Rights on the Hill Program in Washington, DC on August 17th. Esme discussed how the treaty addresses disability rights while applying a human rights framework and the exciting movement of the American disability community to get the treaty ratified. Padam, a USICD Fellow from Nepal, shared how his country has developed new laws regarding disability rights since its own ratification in 2010. Wade Henderson, President of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, joined in on the conversation explaining why the ratification of the CRPD in the U.S. is so important for disability rights.

CRPD Conference of State Parties and CRPD Committee Meeting

This week, September 12-14, government representatives and disability leaders from around the world will converge at the 5th Annual Conference of States Parties (COSP) in New York. The theme of the fifth session is "Making the CRPD count for Women and Children." Subthemes of the conference are: "Technology and Accessibility", "Children with Disabilities" and "Women with Disabilities". USICD Board Members Eric Rosenthal, Stephanie Ortoleva, and David Hutt will be attending the Conference and USICD members like Easter Seals will be providing side events key to the themes. Elections for 9 of the 18 spots on the CRPD Committee will be held at the COSP.


The CRPD Committee will meet later this month in Geneva from September 17-28 for their 8th Session. They will be reviewing the reports of Argentina, China, Hungary, and Paraguay. To read the country reports, shadow reports, and other materials click here.


Welcome to Julia Wolhandler!

A young woman with long, dark, curly hair and wearing a vivid red skirt and black and white checkered shirt, stands in front of a gate, behind which we see a statue of George Washington Please join USICD in welcoming Julia Rose Wolhandler this fall as a practicum student from Gallaudet University. She is currently a second year masters student in the International Development program with a focus on disability rights. She obtained her bachelors degree from the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in English-American Sign Language Interpreting and a minor in Arabic language. In 2009 she lived abroad in Egypt, studying at the American University of Cairo, and obtaining a certificate of completion from the Arabic Language Institute.


This past summer Julia interned with both the Inclusion Research Institute (IRI) and the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN). While at IRI she acted as a documenter for the Developmental Disabilities Administration-Maryland Quality of Life survey. At NDRN Julia was heavily involved with promoting and researching the CRPD. Her work there included research and creating documents on the monitoring and implementation of the CRPD by Protection and Advocacy agencies throughout the U.S..


Julia has a range of interests pertaining to disability rights. She feels that every individual should have accessibility, equality, and the freedom of choice no matter what the circumstance. She has been very vocal about rights since a young age.

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 Update
GDRL - Stories from the Field
News from Nepal
International Disability News Update
CRPD Education and Outreach
Welcome to Julia Wolhandler

Member News and Opportunities

Including Women and Children with Disabilities in Programming
Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - Wednesday, September 12, 2012
3:00 PM ET - 4:30 PM ET


Access to Justice for People with Disabilities

Thursday, September 13, 2012 - Thursday, September 13, 2012 

NEW Journal - Disability and the Global South (DGS)
September 7, 2012

International Paralympic Committee puts out Booklet for Athletes on the CRPD
September 5, 2012


One Billion Strong puts out Handbook on AIDS and Disability
September 5, 2012


Modified Eurostar train for Paralympians
August 31, 2012
Source: BBC News UK


US Open has blade runner ballperson
August 30, 2012
Source: Fox Sports


American Bar Association Supports CRPD
August 27, 2012
Source: American Bar Association


State Department Addresses MIUSA's Women's Institute on Leadership and Disability
August 27, 2012
Source: U.S. State Department


President Obama Engages with Youth with Disabilities
August 27, 2012


Breaking Barriers: The Disability Rights Movement in Russia
August 24, 2012
Source: Human Rights Watch


Disability and Poverty in Developing Countries: A Multidimensional Study
August 23, 2012 


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


Disability and Poverty in Developing Countries: A Multidimensional Study
August 23, 2012  


2012 elections of the CRPD Committee will be held on 12 September
July 9, 2012  


Ensuring the CRPD Is Working for Refugee Women and Children
Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - Wednesday, September 12, 2012
1:15 PM ET - 2:30 PM 


Working Together to Implement Inclusive Education (Article 24)
Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - Wednesday, September 12, 2012
3:00 PM ET - 4:30 PM 


Violence Against Children with Disabilities
Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - Wednesday, September 12, 2012
1:15 PM ET - 2:30 PM 


Microfinance and Financial Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - Wednesday, September 12, 2012
6:15 PM ET - 7:30 PM


The Right to Earn a Living: Young Women with Disabilities Call for Action
Thursday, September 13, 2012 - Thursday, September 13, 2012
11:45 AM ET - 1:00 PM 


Shadow Reporting: Process, Prospects and Problems
Thursday, September 13, 2012 - Thursday, September 13, 2012
4:45 PM ET - 6:00 PM 


Early childhood development and disability
Thursday, September 13, 2012 - Thursday, September 13, 2012
4:45 PM ET - 6:00 PM 


Making it Work: How to document and use good practices for stronger advocacy
Thursday, September 13, 2012 - Thursday, September 13, 2012
10:00 AM ET - 11:30 AM 


Involuntary sterilization: Developing a WHO Statement
Thursday, September 13, 2012 - Thursday, September 13, 2012
10:00 AM ET - 11:20 AM

Empowering students with disabilities (Article 24) and exhibition of authentic culture of persons wi
Friday, September 14, 2012 - Friday, September 14, 2012
11:45 AM ET - 1:00 PM

Mental Health Practices and the Rights of People with Psychosocial Disabilities
Friday, September 14, 2012 - Friday, September 14, 2012
1:15 PM ET - 2:30 PM

UNICEF's work and planned activities on the measurement of child disability
Saturday, September 15, 2012 - Saturday, September 15, 2012
8:00 AM ET - 8:45 AM 


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  


World Mental Health Day
Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - Wednesday, October 10, 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


Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - Friday, November 30, 2012  


2012 TASH Conference
Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - Saturday, December 1, 2012


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

Closing the Gap - Capacity Building for and with People with Disabilities on the Relationship betwee
Monday, December 3, 2012 - Tuesday, December 4, 2012
CRPD Ratification Watch
As of August 9, 2012 
  • 153 Signatories
  • 119 Ratifications
Optional Protocol:
  • 90 Signatories
  • 72 Ratifications
Recent Ratifications:
Ghana Ratified the Convention on July 31, 2012

Liberia Ratified the Convention on July 26, 2012


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