USICD NewsOctober 2012
TODAY AT 1:30PM EST! Tune into USICD on the Mary & Melissa Show 

Two older gentlemen in suits sitting nest to each other and smiling at the camera. Show by Parents and for Parents of Children with Disabilities


Show Topic: Why Should Parents Care about an International Disability Treaty?


A Discussion with The Hon. Dick Thornburgh, The Hon. Tony Coelho, and Mr. David Morrissey 




Call or email & join the discussion & ask a question: 646-716-6879 

The Latest on U.S. CRPD Ratification!

Circle that says Ratify CRPD Yes

On September 20th, Senator Durbin (IL) requested Unanimous Consent to ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities! Senator Lee (UT) objected to the UC  request and stated a position opposed to considering any treaties before next year. Senator Harkin (IA) weighed in on how important our U.S. leadership is to

the world and that he had hoped the treaty could move forward before Senate took their break before the elections.  Watch the video below for the full floor debate. 

An older gentleman at a podium in a suit, holding a stack of papers and talking with empty chairs in the background.
Senators Durbin (D-IL). Harkin (D-IA), and Senator Lee (R- UT) discuss the Senate's passage of the CRPD


What's Next? The UC request was a strong signal that the Senate is taking the CRPD treaty seriously and that it will be brought up for a final vote in the lame duck session, expected to begin November 13th.  The American disability community has worked hard to get to this point with over 250 disability organizations playing an important role in supporting this global affirmation of disability rights.  In October and early November before the Senate returns for the FINAL VOTE, let's raise our voices and KEEP THE DRIVE ALIVE!

  • Call, write, or visit your U.S. Senators while they are back home 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 (You can find your Senate Twitter IDs here)
GDRL: Making Waves in Uganda!


The Global Disability Rights Library (GDRL) project is meant to deliver disability rights knowledge beyond the reach of the Internet so that users can apply this knowledge in promoting the human rights of people with disabilities. But sometimes the positive effects of this project spill over into other areas.  One GDRL deployment site--Cultural Waves in Uganda--shares the use of their eGranary Digital Library most commonly with rural children whose parents, in many cases, are not literate.  They live in a remote location where poverty and disease is commonplace, and the nearest medical clinic is more than three hours away.  The children reportedly have used the eGranary to teach themselves about food borne diseases.  They

Fourchildren crowd around a computer,
Four children with disabilities in Uganda explore the GDRL

were excited to learn how they and their families could take precautions to protect themselves.  One boy told GDRL's Regional Representative in Uganda, Angela Lak, that he wants to be a doctor when he grows up: he had never thought he would have the opportunity to access so many resources such as those inside Cultural Wave's new eGranary Digital Library.

COSP & CRPD Committee Update
A globe of the worls is inside the U of UNenable

USICD board members reported that the Fifth Session was the best Conference of States Parties (COSP) yet, with more involvement than ever from state delegations and civil society! The COSP, which occurred from September 12th-14th, focused on a theme of "Making the CRPD count for Women and Children" with subthemes including technology and accessibility. USICD Board Member Eric Rosenthal participated in a session on shadow reporting and other USICD Board Members including Stephanie Ortoleva, David Hutt, and Diana Samarasan, attended to share their expertise and learn more about the collaboration of DPOs around the world. Following the COSP several countries ratified the treaty including Israel, Poland, Russia, and Dominica.


Election Results! The CRPD Committee elections were also held during the COSP to fill nine of the eighteen seats on the Committee. Representatives of Spain, Chile, and Jordan were re-elected for another four years. New representatives were elected from the countries of Uganda, Thailand, Hungary, the United Kingdom, Turkey, and Guatemala. To learn more about these new and returning members, click here.  


8th Session of the CRPD Committee: From September 17th-28th the CRPD Committee considered the reports of China, Hungary, and Argentina. To read the Committee's concluding observations for each country report, click here.

International Disability News

New CRPD Ratifications! Poland, Israel, Swaziland, Russia and Dominica are the most recent countries to ratify the Convention on the Rights for Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). 123 countries and the European Union have now ratified this treaty since it became open for signature in March 2007. READ MORE


A group of people stand outside in front of a brick building that says Access Living Access Living visit from Yemen: On October 2nd, a delegation of eight officials from Yemen visited USICD member organization Access Living through the auspices of World Chicago, an organization dedicated to fostering international exchange of ideas. The officials included members of the Yemeni Parliament. The delegation toured Access Living's green and universally designed office building, and engaged in a discussion of Access Living's disability policy work.


Transportation Reforms in Israel: As part of an initiative by Israel in anticipation its ratification of the CRPD in September, the government approved a series of regulations this summer to ensure that transportation companies will have accessible vehicles. The new regulations will allow local citizens and tourists with physical disabilities to access bus transportation and specially equipped vehicles at rental companies. READ MORE


Special Advisor Heumann Travels to Finland and Russia: Judith Heumann, the Special Advisor for International Disability Rights at the U.S. Department of State traveled to Finland and Russia September 20th-October 4th. In Finland, Ms. Heumann shared her experience in promoting and protecting the rights of persons with disabilities in the U.S., as well as to explore different opportunities for collaboration. In Russia, Ms. Heumann participated in several roundtables to discuss inclusive education and to meet with the Paralympics and Sochi Olympics organizers. READ MORE


The numbers 2012 in purple, pink and green with the paralympic logo and london in white. London 2012 Paralympics A Success: According to the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), the London 2012 Paralympic Games proved to be a huge online success, surpassing expectations from the organizing committee. There were record breaking figures for its website with more than 1.9 million visits. READ MORE


Russia Terminates USAID Mission Activities: Russia decided after 20 years of cooperation with USAID, to discontinue all USAID Mission activities in the country. The partnership created projects to help improve public health, address child welfare issues, protect the environment, develop civil society, modernize the economy and help the situation of people with disabilities. READ MORE


the name of the organization on blue arching over a rainbow of red yellow and green in crayon Washington, DC Visit by Paraguay's Fundacion Saraki: On September 12, USICD staff joined a presentation by Fundacion Saraki at the Inter-American Foundation on the work they are doing to promote and improve the lives of people with disabilities in Paraguay. Fundacion Saraki's activites include improving inclusion of people with disabilities in its 2012 Census and a partnership with Best Buddies International. Fundacion Saraki is also promoting a law to create a National Secretariat for Disability who will oversee implementation of the CRPD which was ratified by the country in 2008. READ MORE


New report from Human Rights Watch on People with Mental Disabilities in Ghana READ MORE

CRPD Education and Outreach

CRPD LogoUpcoming events! Executive Director David Morrissey is also presenting at the Inclusion International Global Conference in Washington, DC on October 25th and 26th. Also on October 26th, Disability Rights Program Manager Esme Grant is joining USICD Board Member Stephanie Ortoleva at International Law WeekendA globe showing North America with the title of the organization over it. in New York to present on the CRPD and Article 13 (Access to Justice). Stephanie and Esme are both members of the American Branch of the International Law Association's Disability Committee. 

Existing Challenges for Myanmar's Deaf Community

Map of Myanmar showing that it is bordered by the Indian Ocean, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Laos and Thailand On September 19th, Seng Ja presented on the situation of the deaf community in Myanmar (Burma) in the offices of World Vision International in Washington, DC. Seng Ja serves as the Project Officer of the Deaf Resource Centre (DRC) run by the Myanmar Deaf Community Development Association (MDCDA). Over 40 representatives from nonprofit organizations, including USICD, attended this discussion.


Welcome to Oscar Ruiz

A smiling gentleman in glasses with dark hair and and button down shirt. Oscar Ruiz joined USICD as a Programs Associate in September 2012. Oscar previously was a Research Fellow at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), focusing on the topic of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Oscar also served as an advisor for inclusion of people with disabilities in IDB's youth and capacity training projects. Before working at the IDB, he served as a Program Staff Assistant at the Inter-American Foundation, helping complete the first in-house review on the topic of poverty alleviation projects for people with disabilities at the agency.  Oscar has written several articles on the topic of disabilities, which were published in Grassroots Development.


Oscar has a BA in Political Science from the University of Florida and a JD from the Pontificia Universidad Catolica of Puerto Rico. He was a Law Clerk at the Ponce Courthouse, working on civil rights cases.

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In This Issue
CRPD Ratification Update
GDRL: Making Waves in Uganda!
COSP & CRPD Committee Update
International Disability News
CRPD Education and Outreach
Existing Challenges for Myanmar's Deaf Communit
Welcome to Oscar Ruiz

Member News and Opportunities

2013 Paul G. Hearne AAPD Leadership Awards Call for Applications
Posted: Friday, September 28, 2012 opportunity 

New Report on the Treatment of People with Mental Disabilites
October 5, 2012
Source: Human Rights Watch


The Disability Movement Calls on the Commission's Directors General to Mainstream the CRPD in All EU Policies
October 5, 2012
Source: European Disability Forum


Russia discontinues USAID Mission
October 3, 2012
Source: Russia Beyond the Headlines


Senate Inquiry into Involuntary or Coerced Sterilisation of People with Disabilities in Australia
September 28, 2012

Disability Rights Fund Promotes Donor's Guide to Inclusion
September 14, 2012  

World Mental Health Day

Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - Wednesday, October 10, 2012

2012 DC Mayor's Annual Disability Awareness Expo
Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - Wednesday, October 10, 2012
10:00 AM ET - 3:00 PM ET

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


Creating New Futures for All: Children, Youth, DIisability and Situations of Forced Migration
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

Applications are now being accepted for the Leadership Institute on Developmental Disabilites~ January 13-18, 2013
Posted: Friday, October 5, 2012 opportunity


Seeking Applications for 2013-14 Community Solutions Program
Posted: Friday, September 28, 2012 opportunity     


IDB launches call for innovative solutions and disruptive ideas for the labor inclusion of people with disabilities
Posted: Friday, September 28, 2012 opportunity

Chef de projet Psychosocial & Cohésion Sociale

Posted: Friday, September 28, 2012 opportunity

Senior Specialist in Disability
Posted: Friday, September 21, 2012 opportunity   


Call for Abstracts on Child Welfare and Disabilities
Posted: Friday, September 21, 2012 opportunity   


Regional Information Officer
Posted: Friday, September 14, 2012 opportunity   


"It's About Ability!" Youth Video Contest
Posted: Friday, September 14, 2012 opportunity   


Regional Coordinator (Lao PDR, Cambodia, Thailand)
Posted: Friday, September 14, 2012 opportunity


Goldstein & Levy, LLP fifth annual Disability Rights Fellowship
Posted: Friday, August 31, 2012 opportunity


Call for Submissions Special Issue Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities
Posted: Wednesday, August 29, 2012 opportunity

Applications for 2012-2013 Scholarship Program
Posted: Thursday, July 19, 2012 opportunity  


Call for Papers on Violence and Disability
Posted: Thursday, July 19, 2012 opportunity   

CRPD Ratification Watch
As of August 9, 2012 
  • 154 Signatories
  • 124 Ratifications
Optional Protocol:
  • 90 Signatories
  • 74 Ratifications
Recent Ratifications:
Dominica Ratified the Convention on October 1, 2012

Israel Ratified the Convention on September 28, 2012

Chad Signed the Convention on September 26, 2012

Poland Ratified the Convention on September 25, 2012

Russian Federation Ratified the Convention on September 25, 2012

Swaziland Ratified the Convention on September 24, 2012

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

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