USICD NewsJanuary 2013

USICD Wants YOU!  

The year ahead promises to be an important time in international disability rights. There are 128 ratifications of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilites and the USICD community is committed to seeing the U.S. become the 129th!


A large groups of people, many in wheelchairs, applaud USICD has entered 2013 with a vision for serving our community and the global disability rights movement.  We have a renewed vigor to continue our ratification effort and are introducing a new initiative to get youth involved in international disability rights.  We look forward to a big year, and hope that you will be a part of it!


Visit our membership page to read more about membership in USICD and to download a member information form.   If you or your organization are already a member, now is the time to renewIf you've never been a member before, now is the time to join! 

Introducing the YiD Internship Program!

With the vital support of the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation (MEAF), USICD is launching its first internship program focusing on youth with disabilities who are interested in international development and foreign affairs careers. The project follows from a vision, core to USICD's mission, to increase disability inclusion in U.S. foreign affairs by supporting future generations of Americans to invest their skills and talents in this field.


The Youth in Development Program (YiD) will bring a handful of talented college students, graduate students, and recent graduates with disabilities to Washington, DC this summer for nine weeks to expose them to the international affairs and development arena. Interns will receive a stipend, travel expenses, and fully-accessible housing.


To learn more about YiD and how to apply, please visit USICD's Youth in Development Initiative page.


Application Deadline: February 18, 2013  

The words Mitsubishi America in plain black text of the word foundation in all small leters and salmon colored  

CRPD Education Update


CRPD LogoWith firm commitments from Senate Majority Leader Reid and Senator Kerry, current Chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, to bring up the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) again in the new Congress, USICD is working hard to continue to educate the community about this important disability treaty.


A smiling woman on a blue background with the accessibility symbols 

If you missed USICD Board Member and former Congressman Tony Coelho discussing the CRPD on Disability Matters Radio Show with Joyce Bender earlier this month, you can catch up and listen or read a transcript of the broadcast by clicking here. 


THe letters CCD in white on three green squares with the full name below in blue.

The Consortium of Citizens with Disabilities, a coalition of over 100 national disability organizations, met on January 9th to celebrate their annual meeting and 40 years advocating for the rights of people with disabilities! Proud member organization USICD joined this informative and exciting meeting that included a bipartisan Senate panel discussing bringing up the CRPD this year which was met by loud applause! USICD board member, David Hutt, and USICD staff member, Esmé Grant, co-chair CCD's International Task Force. They thanked annual meeting attendees for their hard work this past year for the CRPD and announced the Task Force's commitment to pursuing U.S. ratification of the treaty this year.


If your organization, coalition, board, or school is interested in a CRPD presentation, please contact USICD Outreach Coordinator Suzanne Richard at In addition to in-person presentations, we can arrange webinars and teleconferences.


If you or your organization would like to get involved in advocacy for the U.S. ratification of the CRPD, please contact USICD Disability Rights Program Manager Esmé Grant at Let her know what state you are from and if you need materials or more information on the treaty!

International Disability News
  • See description in article National Geo Photo Captures Mistreatment in Indonesia: A photo taken by Wendell Phillips earned Honorable Mention in the 2012 National Geographic Photo Contest. The disturbing photo shows a man fallen over with his ankle chained to a post. The man is a patient at the impoverished mental health facility of Yayasan Galuh Rehabilitation Center in Bekasi, Indonesia. VIEW THE PHOTO.
  • The cover of a book, mainly Orange with a blue spine and a a picture of two children sharing a book. InterAction Releases Foreign Assistance Briefing Booklet: InterAction is the largest alliance of U.S.-based international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), with more than 190 members working in every developing country. USICD is proud member of InterAction and Executive Director David Morrissey co-chairs its Disability Working Group. Check out InterAction's 2013 Foreign Assistance Briefing Booklet - USICD helped create the Disability Section!
  • Two toddlers sit happily together staring at the camera Russian Adoption Ban Will Affect Children with Disabilities: In December, Russian president Vladimir Putin signed a ban against U.S. adoption of Russian children. A Washington Post blog discusses how this ban will affect the future of Russian children with disabilities and the American families who adopted them. According to The Promise, a London-based non-profit group that promotes early childhood education in Russian orphanages, more than 200,000 Russian children with disabilities are currently institutionalized in the country. READ MORE
  • New International Network for Youth with Disabilities: Two young disability advocates from the UK and New Zealand came together to create the International Network for Disabled Youth (INDY). With funding and support from the Oxfam International Youth Programme (OIYP), these advocates have launched a website and are looking for fellow youth to join them in connecting the youth in the international disability community! READ MORE.
  • Voting and Mental Health in Ghana: Voting rights for people with mental disabilities have greatly increased in Ghana thanks to the emergence of a national Mental Health Act and the country's recent ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. However, concerns around equal voting rights still exist as recent reports by Human Rights Watch highlight gross violations of the rights of Ghanaians with mental disabilities. READ MORE
  • Several people, some in wheelchairs, sit around a table Pakistan to Introduce New Government Positions for Disability: A delegation of Pakistanis with disabilities from UNESCO, Sightsavers, CHEF International and Light for the World met with Mr. Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Human Rights. Mr. Khokhar expressed his commitment to take practical steps towards the implementation of the CRPD. Fulfilling his commitment he called a meeting at his office on January 10, 2013 in which he directed the Ministry of Human Rights to establish a disability desk in the Ministry. The desk will be given the task of monitoring, legislating, and facilitating the matters regarding welfare of the disabled community. READ MORE.
  • International Day 2012: USICD members celebrated the International Day of Persons with Disabilities in December 2012 and we have posted a page so you can read all about the festivities. CLICK HERE TO EXPLORE.
Give me a C...R...P...D...!  Social Media and Advocacy in 2013
Everyone agrees, social media is more important now than ever in the world of politics and advocacy.  Make sure that you you are in the loop!  Like us on Facebook Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter Follow us on Twitter Social media will continue to be an important tool for us in 2013 as we move forward in our efforts to get the CRPD ratified in the U.S. Senate and getting the word out about important developments in the international disability community. 

In 2012, USICD along with many of you, helped to promote the Twitter Follow us on Twitter tag of #CRPD as a way for thousands of advocates and organizations to stay in touch with what was happening here in Washington, D.C.
  By including the hashtag #CRPD, it is possible for others on Twitter to keep up with the conversation.  We were excited to hear that for many disability advocates, tweeting for #CRPD was their introduction to the Twitter world and were even more thrilled to see Twitpics of support from around the country.  

With the help of some invaluable advocates, USICD created a list of the
Senators' Twitter and Facebook addresses for the disability and veteran community so that messages of support for the CRPD could be sent directly to their offices.  We even had celebrities including Marlee Matlin, Roger Ebert, and Clay Aitken join in the Twitter advocacy for the CRPD.  The opposition took notice of our advocacy and were very active in response, so we hope that in this next round of debates, we can get even more of you and your friends, family and colleagues to flood their Twitter accounts with pro-CRPD messages. 

With Facebook Like us on Facebook, not only can you stay up-to-date with our action alerts and updates, but you can also post directly on Senators' sites.  Please share our posts with your network of friends on Facebook and ask them to participate!
A group of peopleincluding an man in a wheelchair and a service dog pose together outside a red brick building holdingthe letters CRPD
A Twitpic from advocates from the Vermont Center for Independent Living!

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
CRPD Ratification Update
USICD's International Visitors
Article Headline
International Disability News
Article Headline

Member News and Opportunities

Health Disparities Research at the Intersection of Race, Ethnicity, and Disability: A National Con
Thursday, April 25, 2013 - Friday, April 26, 2013


Empower Partnerships for Inclusive Communities
Posted: Monday, January 14, 2013 opportunity


The NAD Seeks a Director of Communications
Posted: Thursday, January 10, 2013 opportunity

Abstracts due for Health Disparities Research at the Intersection of Race, Ethnicity, and Disability: A National Conference
Posted: Thursday, January 3, 2013 opportunity

First Virtual Master's in Disability Policy - Fellowships Available
Monday, April 30, 2012


Poverty and Disability in Developing Countries
Thursday, January 17, 2013 - Thursday, January 17, 2013


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


Rehab Tech Asia 2013 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - Friday, March 1, 2013  


The Jerusalem International Conference on Neuroplasticity and Modifiability
Sunday, March 10, 2013 - Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Second Regional Conference of the Arab Forum for Women with Disabilities:
Saturday, April 6, 2013 - Sunday, April 7, 2013 


Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, 9th session
Monday, April 15, 2013 - Thursday, April 19, 2012


Regional Coordinator in Bangkok
Posted: Monday, January 14, 2013 opportunity  


Volunteer Opportunity in the Pacific
Posted: Monday, January 14, 2013 opportunity


Request for Proposals from DPO's in South & South-East Asia
Posted: Monday, January 14, 2013 opportunity  


Abstracts due for Health Disparities Research at the Intersection of Race, Ethnicity, and Disability: A National Conference
Posted: Thursday, January 3, 2013 opportunity   



Physiotherapist Trainer Expert
Posted: Wednesday, January 2, 2013 opportunity 


Senior Prosthetist & Orthotist technician trainer
Posted: Wednesday, January 2, 2013 


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



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   


Litigation Attorney
Posted: Tuesday, December 11, 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 January 2012
  • 155 Signatories
  • 128 Ratifications
Optional Protocol:
  • 90 Signatories
  • 76 Ratifications
Recent Ratifications:
Cambodia Ratified the Convention on December 20, 2012

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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