USICD NewsDecember 2012

Warm Holiday Wishes from USICD  

The same letters as at the top,  but turned around so that you now see carved hands doing the ASL letter USICD
This past year has been one of USICD's most incredible years to date. We achieved wide deployment of the Global Disability Rights Library project and have heard countless stories of how the GDRL is impacting lives by creating knowledge and resources for people with disabilities and their communities around the world.


We had an exciting year with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, in which the treaty was transmitted to the U.S. Senate, voted successfully out of Committee, and then put to a vote on the Senate floor.  Although the CRPD did not recieve the super-majority vote necessary for ratification, USICD is so proud of the incredible work that has been done by so many people to bring the disability treaty to the forefront of American policymaking. We are confident that 2013 will be the year that we can join with over one hundred nations that have already ratified the treaty.


USICD could not have made these advancements in global disability rights without your help. Thank you all for your support, whether it is in passing our newsletter along, visiting our website, hosting a GDRL partnership, or making your voice heard in support of the CRPD. During this season of thanks, USICD wants to be sure to thank you for making us a better organization in 2012. We look forward to continuing to be a resource for you in 2013.


Happy Holidays to our brothers and sisters around the world.  May 2013 bring us more peace, solidarity, and realization of our shared vision for the global disability community.

The Signature of David Morrissey  

The letter USICD in white on a red background/
CRPD Update: What's Next for the Disability Treaty?

Circle that says Ratify CRPD Yes On December 4th, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities came to a vote on the floor of the U.S. Senate. Despite bipartisan leadership on the issue and the support of the disability and veteran community, the Senate failed to achieve the super-majority vote it needed to ratify the treaty by a mere 5 votes. There has been immense media coverage following the vote, expressing the public's outrage at Senate's failure to pass the disability treaty.


What's Next


Senators Reid and Kerry have stated that they plan to bring the CRPD up again this winter, as early as January. Our work as a community in anticipation of this return of the CRPD to the Senate must start now. Please see the resources and requests below so that we can together reignite the strong and unified movement.  


Take Action with NEW Resources!


See the resources below and make sure you weigh in with your senators either via phone, Facebook, Twitter or in person.

More information and media coverage on the CRPD!

Recognizing Senator Bob Dole on the 2012 International Day of Persons with Disabilities 

In recognition of the 2012 International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the U.S. International Council on Disabilities and the December 4th Host Committee, comprised of over 40 disability and veteran organizations, honored Senator Bob Dole for a lifetime commitment to disability rights including his work on the Americans with Disabilities Act, advocacy for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and efforts to include disability within the State Department's evaluation of human rights abroad. The event was held in the Senate Office Building in Washington, DC on December 4th, 2012. Speakers included Senators Kerry, McCain, Barrasso, Harkin, and Collins, former Governor Murkowski, Ray Kelley of Veterans of Foreign Wars, and disability leaders Tony Coelho, John Kemp and USICD President Marca Bristo.


When I delivered my maiden speech on the Senate Floor on April 14, 1969, the anniversary of the day I was wounded in World War II, it was customary to speak about something in which you had a deep interest, and something about which you could offer some leadership. I chose to speak about a minority group, as I said then, the existence of which affects every person in our society, and the very fiber of our nation.

- Senator Bob Dole

Former Senators Elizabeth and Bob Dole and former Congressman Tony Coelho
Former Senators Elizabeth and Bob Dole (wearing Justin Dart's hat) and former Congressman Tony Coelho
USICD President Marca Bristo and John Kemp
USICD President Marca Bristo and John Kemp


Leaders of the American Disability Community
Leaders of the American Disability Community




Senators Leahy (D-VT), Snowe (R-ME), Johnson (R-WI), Klobuchar (D-MN)
Senators Leahy (D-VT), Snowe (R-ME), Johnson (R-WI), Klobuchar (D-MN)
John Pare (National Federation of the Blind), Thomas Berger (Vietnam Veterans of America), Ray Kelley (Veterans of Foreign Wars), and Heather Ansley (VetsFirst)
John Pare (National Federation of the Blind), Thomas Berger (Vietnam Veterans of America), Ray Kelley (Veterans of Foreign Wars), and Heather Ansley (VetsFirst)


Other December Happenings at USICD

It has been an exciting month at USICD! In addition to the vote for the CRPD, see what else we have been up to!

  • USICD bids farewell to wonderful intern and practicum student from Gallaudet University, Julia Wolhandler, this month. Julia has become a significant part of the USICD team and leaves us with an important final project:   Disability References in the State Department's 2012 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report:  CLICK HERE TO EXPLORE THIS NEW RESOURCE 
  • A gentlman wearing a suit shir and pants shakes hands with a woman wearing a floral shirt over a black dress and dark sunglasses David Morrissey met with Fulbright Scholar and Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board Member Dr. Christie L. Gilson.  She is an Assistant Professor of Education at Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.  We look forward to working with her in the future.  
  • USICD also bids farewell to IREX fellow, Padam Pariyar this month as he returns home to Nepal. Padam plans to apply the knowledge he gained from USICD to working with DPOs in Nepal. In parting, Padam left USICD with a thorough background paper on Nepal's disability community, including laws and policies in place to protect them, in order to help strengthen USICD's awareness of this nation. Thank you, Padam!
International Disability News

  • Person with crutches struggles to get on a bus.Paraguay Census Dramatically Improves Accuracy on Disability: The government of Paraguay, for many years, estimated that only 1 percent of its population had some type of disability. Disability organization Fundacion Saraki, with support from the Inter-American Foundation, advocated for the addition of a question in the census about disability status and also for greater participation of Paraguayans with disabilities identifying themselves as people with disabilities. The campaign succeeded as it showed groundbreaking data on people with disabilities in Paraguay. With responses from more than 80 percent of the households that participated in the survey, it revealed that approximately 12 percent of the population in Paraguay has some type of disability. READ MORE HERE
  • Romanian candidate in wheelchair reads from a book on  a stage with a larger picture of himself projected behind him Breakthrough in Upcoming Romanian Election: Romanian Iulian Craciun, a young IT expert, is attempting to become the first person with disabilities to ever hold a seat in the Romanian Parliament. Julian Cracium will be running against one of the wealthiest people in Romania and media mogul Dan Voiculescu. No matter the outcome, Mr. Craciun running for a seat in Parliament, as the first persons with a disability, could be a sign of change for persons with disabilities as well young people in Romania. READ MORE HERE
  • A man in a wheelchair leans forward and speaks into a microphone that another man holds for him. People, Politics, and Disabilities in Haiti: Mr. Gerald Oriol Jr., Haiti's Secretary of State for the Integration of Persons with Disabilities, has Spinal Muscular Atrophy. He is believed to be one of few persons with severe disabilities holding a high-ranking government position in the world today. Mr. Oriol, during an interview, spoke about the achievements and challenges, during his first year in office, on improving the lives of persons with disabilities in Haiti. READ MORE HERE
  • Accessible Voting System Removed in Sierra Leone Before Elections: The National Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone (NEC) took out the tactile voting system for persons who are blind and visually impaired just days before the national election. Disability rights activists have accused the NEC of denying people with visual impairments the right to vote independently by dropping the tactile system that enabled them to vote unassisted. The CRPD, which was ratified by Sierra Leone in 2010, mandates that the government ensures appropriate and accessible voting procedures, facilities and materials for persons with disabilities. READ MORE HERE
  • Nations Meet to Discuss Accessibility in Travel: More than 100 participants from South-East Asia, Italy, Britain, Nepal and New Zealand attended a two-day accessible tourism conference in Kuala Lumpur last month. The seminar was targeted at the tourism industry, hotels, transportation services and tourist site operators. The goal of the conference was for participants to share their experiences and emphasize the importance of including disabled-friendly features in the tourism industry. READ MORE HERE
  • Tanzanian Shop Owner with AlbanismStigma Creating Serious Danger for the Tanzania's Albino Community: Security has long been an issue for the albino community throughout Africa, but especially in Tanzania, where they face extreme prejudice and are more subject to danger as a result of superstitious beliefs. Since 2006, more than 100 albinos have been violently attacked in the Eastern African nation of Tanzania. The attacks have become so brazen, that the government has opened boarding schools for albino children for their own protection. To help dispel the stigma and violence against albinism, the Tanzania Ministry of Education has provided an introduction to albinism to public-school teachers and college professors. READ MORE HERE

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In This Issue
CRPD Ratification Update
CRPD Education and Outreach
Sports and the CRPD
USICD's International Visitors
International Disability News

Member CRPD Statements 

Other CRPD News and Responses


Anderson Cooper Grills Sen. Mike Lee on Oppositions Arguments
December 8, 2012
Source: CNN


Down Syndrome Daily's Comprehensive CRPD Ratification Media Log
December 11, 2012
Source: Down Syndrome Daily


USICD Board Member Eric Rosenthal Defending CRPD on Al Jazeera
December 7, 2012
Source: Al Jazeera


ADAPT responds to the Senate failure to ratify the CRPD
December 6, 2012
Source: ADAPT


John Stewart on CRPD Failure - Please Tell Me This Is Rock Bottom

December 6, 2012
Source: Business Insider


Stephen Colbert Rails at CRPD Failure
December 6, 2012
Source: The Colbert Report


Editorial: Disabled Senate rejects U.N. rights treaty
December 11, 2012
Source: USA Today 


What's with the GOP's absurd fear of all things U.N.?
December 11, 2012
Source: Washington Post Opinions


Parsing Republican paranoia on the disability treaty
December 7, 2012
Source: Los Angeles Times


Shame! 38 Republican Senators Vote 'No' on the UN Treaty Banning Discrimination Against People With Disabilities
December 7, 2012
Source: The Huffington Post 


What a Senate vote for Disabilities Treaty would really mean
December 7, 2012
Source: The Hill


U.S. Embarassed
December 10, 2012
Source: Tribune-Review (PA)


How the Senate Failed U.S. Businesses (and Bob Dole)
December 10, 2012
Source: Bloomberg Businessweek


U.S. Senate's Rejection of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is "Appalling"
December 4, 2012
Source: Amnesty International 


ACLU Disappointed With Senate's Failure to Ratify Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
December 4, 2012
Source: ACLU


Statement by the Press Secretary on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
December 6, 2012
Source: The White House


CEC Statement After Failure of CRPD
December 6, 2012
Source: Council for Exceptional Children


Special Olympics Reacts to Failure of CRPD
December 6, 2012
Source: The World of Special Olympics


United Spinal Association Asks Members to Respond to CRPD Failure
December 6, 2012
Source: United Spinal Association


Rachel Maddow on CRPD Failure
December 6, 2012
Source: The Maddow Show


The Last Word on CRPD Failure - A Day of Shame
December 6, 2012
Source: MSNBC


NPR Morning Edition on CRPD Failure
December 6, 2012
Source: National Public Radio


John Hockenberry on CRPD Opposition
December 6, 2012
Source: The Take Away


UK's The Gaurdian Reacts to US Senate Failing the CRPD
December 6, 2012
Source: The Guardian


Paralyzed Veterans of America Deeply Disappointed in Senate Failure to Ratify Convention on Rights of People with Disabilities
December 4, 2012
Source: Paralyzed Veterans of America


 Statement from PHI's Mary A. Pittman on the US Senate's Failure on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
December 4, 2012
Source: Public Health Institute


Senator Ayotte Votes to Ratify Disabilities Treaty
December 6, 2012
Source: Kelly Ayotte


Harkin: Senate Failure to Ratify CRPD "Shameful"
December 6, 2012
Source: Tom Harkin


Kerry: Failure to Pass Disabilities Treaty is Evidence of a Broken Senate
December 6, 2012
Source: John Kerry


Not Dead Yet Throws Support to CRPD
December 3, 2012
Source: Not Dead Yet

Other Member News and Opportunities

Conversations With America USICD Board Member Ann Cody discusses with Judy Heumann and others promoting disability rights trhough sports.

FEMA Shares New Toolkit for Accessible Emergency Preparedness Social Media
December 12, 2012
Spain Wins Roosevelt International Disability Rights Award

December 3, 2012
Source: Franklin D. Roosevelt International Diability Rights Award


 Tanzania's Albinos Face Constant Threat Of Attack
December 6, 2012
Source: NPR


A PWD Takes on Romanian Politics
December 6, 2012
Source: The Economist


AIDS & International Development Forum Asia-Pacific
Wednesday, January 30, 2013 - Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Program Operations Specialist - Humanitarian Policy and Global Engagement Team
Posted: Tuesday, December 18, 2012 opportunity   


Call for Research Proposals: Guidelines on Health-related Rehabilitation
Posted: Tuesday, December 18, 2012 opportunity   


Russian- and Ukrainian-Speaking Grants Consultant
Posted: Tuesday, December 18, 2012opportunity   


Statistics and Monitoring Consultant, Child Disability
Posted: Tuesday, December 18, 2012opportunity   


Virtual Master's Program in Disability Policy
Posted: Tuesday, December 18, 2012 opportunity


WFD Human Rights Officer (WFD?HRO)
Posted: Friday, December 14, 2012 opportunity     


Project Associate Sought
Posted: Friday, December 14, 2012 opportunity    


Empower Partnerships for Inclusive Communities Exchange
Posted: Wednesday, December 12, 2012 opportunity     


Litigation Attorney
Posted: Tuesday, December 11, 2012 opportunity     


Apply for 7th Women's Institute on Leadership and Disability (WILD)
Posted: Friday, November 30, 2012 opportunity

Short Term Travel Grants Program
Posted: Monday, November 5, 2012 opportunity  


Funding Available for Inclusive Development Programs
Posted: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 opportunity   

CRPD Ratification Watch
As of November 12, 2012 
  • 155 Signatories
  • 126 Ratifications
Optional Protocol:
  • 90 Signatories
  • 76 Ratifications
Recent Ratifications:
Singapore Signed the Convention on November 30, 2012 
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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