USICD NewsFebruary 2013
USICD and InterAction Host Dialogue with UN Special Rapporteur
Along one side of the conference table, several men and women in suits speak and smile from a seated position, while a woman stands behind them interpreting in American Sign Language
Janet Heisey of Trickle Up, USICD Board Member Eric Rosenthal, Executive Director David Morrissey, Special Rapporteur Shuaib Chalklen, USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah, USAID Disability Coordinator Charlotte McClain-Nhalpo, with interpreter behind.
USICD joined with InterAction in hosting a roundtable discussion with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Disability Shuaib Chalklen in early February.  Hailing from South Africa, Mr. Chalklen was on a recent visit to Washington, DC and welcomed the opportunity to meet with representatives from disability and international development organizations.  Held in the offices of USAID, the roundtable opened with remarks from Administrator of USAID, Rajiv Shah.  The Special Rapporteur discussed his dedication to the rights of people with disabilities, particularly in the African region.  He was followed by representatives of NGOs that have previously been awarded InterAction's Disability Inclusion Award for their efforts to include people with disabilities in mainstream development activities. 


The mandate of the Special Rapporteur is to monitor the implementation of the Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities, adopted by the General Assembly in 1993, and to advance the status of persons with disabilities throughout the world.   Mr. Shuaib Chalklen has previously served in the office of the Presidency of South Africa (2006-2007), as CEO of the Secretariat for the African Decade of Disabled Persons.

Disability community remembers   

Charlie Swenson     

The bust of a young man smiling  and looking slightly upawrds Charlie Swenson, 30, passed away Saturday, January 26th in Washington, DC after a brief illness.  Although he never walked or talked, Charlie was a powerful advocate for the inclusion of people with all disabilities in every aspect of community life.  His life had a profound and positive effect on many, including his local communities in Maryland and Minnesota, the United States at large, and the world through his participation at the United Nations during the drafting process for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.  Charlie is survived by his parents, Bill and Sue Swenson, and two brothers, Will and Eric Swenson.   The Board of Directors and members of USICD honor Charlie's legacy of action and advocacy with a donation to the Charles Swenson  Memorial Fund at Jubilee Association of Maryland, with whom Charlie worked toward community inclusion and who supported his independence.
Last Chance to Apply for YiD! 

USICD is excited to launch its first year of the Youth in Development (YiD) internship program with the vital support of the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation. YiD provides young American students and recent graduates with disabilities the opportunity to spend nine weeks in DC in the field of international development and aid.  


This deadline to apply to the YiD program for Summer 2013 is February 18! CLICK HERE TO APPLY NOW!

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


CRPD Education Update

Circle that says Ratify CRPD Yes The American disability community is eager to begin advocating for the 2013 passage of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)! As the 113th Congress is settling in, USICD is preparing a new website, new materials, and a new webinar to get more of the community involved and informed about this important disability rights treaty. If you want to get the latest information and email alerts on CRPD ratification efforts, email


The Name of the organization in white letters on a strip of blue background over the lowercase letters ndss in red This month, USICD is launching a new webinar with its first educational presentation to the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS). Esmé and Executive Director David Morrissey will The name of the in white lettering on a black border strip around the edge of a circle, with te black letters ACB across a white circle in the middle.continue to offer local, state, and national webinars - let us know if your organization or coalition would like one (contact! Later this month, David will present on the CRPD at the American Council of the Blind's Legislative Seminar. The ACB has been an active partner in the CRPD ratification effort.


View of Georgetown University Also later this month, Esmé will present on the CRPD and inclusive development for the Global Human Development program at Georgetown University. The new program at the School of Foreign Service aims to prepare students to understand the challenges of development and provide them with the tools and experience they need to address them. The GHD program has collaborated with the International Development Program at Gallaudet University to address disability inclusiveness in development.

Positive Changes in Mexican Health Law
An older hispanic woman wearing a blue house dress and white sweater sits alone in a wheelchair in the middle of the room.  In the background are various people, mostly in wheelchairs, lining the wall.
Photo Credit: Disability Rights International

After years of advocating for change, Disability Rights International recently announced that the Mexican government, in following DRI's report and recommendations, has amended its health law to provide for a community-based system.


USICD Board Member and DRI Executive Director, Eric Rosenthal, has worked tirelessly to improve the situation of people with mental disabilities in Mexico. In 2010, Disability Rights International (DRI) released a widely publicized human rights report, Abandoned and Disappeared: Mexico's Segregation and Abuse of Children and Adults with Disabilities Adults with Disabilities, which documented atrocious conditions in state-run Mexican institutions (see New York Times and other press coverage). DRI documented children and adults left in unsanitary and unacceptable conditions in institutions. USICD was present and reported on hearings held by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on the rights of people with disabilities detained in institutions in March 2012 (watch DRI's testimony before the Commission).


In May, DRI will be bringing in a delegation from Mexico to Washington, DC & Philadelphia to study the US experience with mental health system reform, Olmstead implementation, and rights oversight & protection systems. The group will include psychiatric survivor members of the Colectivo Chuhcan, representatives of the government's national mental health authority, and attorneys from the Mexico City Human Rights  Commission.  DRI will host a workshop and reception to welcome the delegation (date & time to be announced).

USICD applauds Eric Rosenthal and DRI's tremendous work, and looks forward to reporting on successful implementation of these significant legal changes in Mexico.
GDRL Offers New Spanish Language Portal

GDRL Logo To read this article in English CLICK HERE


Las personas de habla hispana ahora tendrá una nueva herramienta para encontrar recursos sobre el tema de derechos par alas personas con discapacidad.  En el último año, el proyecto de la Biblioteca Global de los Derechos para las Personas con Discapacidad (GDRL por sus siglas en ingles) ha proveído materiales para promover los derechos de las personas con discapacidad sin necesitar acceso al Internet  en países en desarrollo, ya que tienen acceso muy limitado o ninguna al internet.  Estos recursos están organizados en varios por portales de información, cada una enfocada en una temática distinta.  Estos están almacenados dentro de un disco duro especial llamado Biblioteca Virtual eGranary, que han sido enviados a 60 organizaciones en 12 países.  Hasta ahora, con algunas excepciones, la mayoría de los materiales han sido en ingles.  El nuevo portal de información llamada "Global Disability Rights Library - Spanish Resources", cambia esta situación al consolidar la nueva expandida colección de recursos en español acerca los derechos para las personas con discapacidad en un solo portal.  Este portal se unirá a los otros 11 portales desarrollados como parte del proyecto de GDRL.  Esto incluye un portal en francés desarrollado el año pasado. Los otros 10 portales son mayormente en ingles, pero incluye recursos en otros idiomas como portugués, ruso, árabe y varios idiomas de señas.  Estos portales cubren temas como información sobre discapacidad básica, derechos humanos general, organizaciones para personas con discapacidad, pobreza y desarrollo de base internacional, además otros temas relacionados a los derechos de las personas con discapacidad.  Las personas podrán explorar la versión en línea del portal en español, además los otros 11 portales visitando la pagina web a la dirección  La versión fuera de línea del portal en español será incluida en ediciones futuras de la Biblioteca Digital de eGranary para uso en los países en desarrollo.  Para mas información en el proyecto GDRL y como conecta a la comunidad de las personas con discapacidad en países en desarrollo con recursos de información global, visitar a
International Disability News
  • End Exclusion: The European Union has been funding a three-year project, "END EXCLUSION-Let's Enable the Millennium Development Goals", to raise awareness among journalists, politicians, teachers, and leaders about the importance of including people with disabilities in programs designed to reduce poverty. Learn more about End Exclusion HERE.
  • An African man in a blue police unifowrm sits talking on a telephone. Disabled Police Force in Sierra Leone: For the first time in the country's history, Sierra Leone is hiring people with disabilities in its police force. Following passage of the Disability Act of 2011, the hiring of people with disabilities became a priority for the police force. None of the new workers are yet working on the street but the inspector general acknowledges this could happen soon. Handicap International finds that 95% of people with disabilities in Sierra Leone are unemployed. READ MORE.
  • Asia and Disability: A new publication, "Disability at a Glance 2012: Strengthening the evidence base in Asia and the Pacific" has been released. It stresses the urgent need to work toward a greater common understanding of disability and related data and data collection practices. It is available in PDF format HERE
  • A smiling blonde young woman wearing a sach sits at a piano with a tiara on it. Miss Montana International: Anna Biegel, a Montana native with dyslexia, will represent Miss Montana International as she competes for the title of Miss International in Chicago this July. She will be joined by contestants from India, Australia, Africa, and Scotland. READ MORE
  • Uganda and Access to Education: Uganda has a new Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions Act to provide access to education for people with disabilities in line with the CRPD. Read about one student's experience, successes and remaining challenges HERE.
  • Employment and the CRPD: The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has recently published a study on work and employment of persons with disabilities in relation to Article 27 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The study highlights good practices in promoting employment opportunities for people with disabilities and identifies the main challenges in ensuring they enjoy access to, retention of, and advancement in employment on an equal basis with others. The submissions for this thematic study can be found HERE.
  • A blonde woman in a wheelchair and tenis ourfit reaches across her body to hit a tennis ball backhand Wheelchair Tennis Star Retires: After a ten year winning streak in wheelchair tennis, Dutchwoman Esther Vergeer has decided to retire. Her accomplishments include winning gold medals at four straight Paralympics competitions. She has won 148 single titles and 136 in doubles. Read more about her impressive career HERE.
  • Disability is Not Inability: Need a quick break? Watch this catchy music video hosted by Leonard Cheshire Disability Young Voices with music artist Baba Gurston Opar of Kenya. WATCH HERE.

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In This Issue
Dialogue with UN Special Rapporteur
Disability Community Remembers Charlie Swenson
Last...Chance to Apply for YiD!
CRPD Education Update.
Positive Changes in Mexican Health Law
GDRL Offers New Spanish Language Portal
International Disability News

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


Disability Integration Advisor(National IMAT Disability Integration Advisor)
Posted: Tuesday, February 12, 2013  opportunity  


Executive Assistant to the President/CEO
Posted: Monday, February 4, 2013 opportunity


Regional Disability Integration Specialist, GS-301-12
Posted: Monday, February 4, 2013 opportunity


Regional Disability Integration Specialist, GS-301-12
Posted: Monday, February 4, 2013 opportunity


 Executive Director
Posted: Tuesday, February 12, 2013 opportunity    


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


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


Raise your voice: Say YES To INCLUSION! 

February 6, 2013

India Having Trouble with Web Accessibility
January 22, 2013
Source: Hindustan Times  


International Society for Prosthetics and Orthopedics Declares Support for CRPD
January 22, 2013
Source: International Soceity for Prosthetics and Orthotics


UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) publishes Thematic Study on Employment of Persons with Disabilities
January 17, 2013
Source: UN OHCHR


New Reports and Actions on The Asian and Pacific Decade of Disabiled Persons
January 15, 2013
Source: UN ESCAP

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


The World Bank's Core Course on Disability and Development
Monday, March 18, 2013 - Friday, March 22, 2013


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

Monday, April 8, 2013 - Tuesday, April 9, 2013  

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


29th Pacific Rim International Forum on the Rights ofPersons with Disabilities
Saturday, April 27, 2013 - Sunday, April 28, 2013  

Pacific Rim International Forum on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Annual Pacific Rim Co
Saturday, April 27, 2013 - Sunday, April 28, 2013


Universal Design Summit 5
Monday, May 6, 2013 - Thursday, May 9, 2013


AIDS and International Development Forum
Tuesday, May 21, 2013 - Wednesday, May 22, 2013
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM  


The Participation of Deaf People in Political and Public life: Implementation of CRPD Article 29
Monday, May 27, 2013 - Tuesday, May 28, 2013  


M-Enabling Summit 2013: Global Summit on Accessible Mobile Technology for Senior Citizens and Users
Thursday, June 6, 2013 - Friday, June 7, 2013  


Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 10th Session
Monday, September 2, 2013 - Friday, September 13, 2013 


UN High-level Meeting on Disability
Monday, September 23, 2013 - Monday, September 23, 2013


2nd International Conference of the WFD
Wednesday, October 16, 2013 - Friday, October 18, 2013 

The Next Chapter Book Club and Beyond

Friday, October 18, 2013 - Saturday, October 19, 2013


Interdisciplinary Studies in Global Health and Disability 

Posted: Tuesday, February 12, 2013 opportunity  


First 2013 Request for Proposals: Haiti, India, Indonesia, Lebanon, and Ukraine 

Posted: Tuesday, February 12, 2013 opportunity  


Posted: Tuesday, February 12, 2013  opportunity


First Virtual Master's in Disability Policy - Fellowships Available 

Monday, April 30, 2012 opportunity

Programme Development Director

Posted: Tuesday, February 12, 2013 opportunity

Expert on Inclusive Education
Posted: Tuesday, February 12, 2013 opportunity

Call for Presentations for Conference on Literacy for Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Posted: Wednesday, January 23, 2013 opportunity


Inclusive Education Advisor Posted at Kabul Management Office, Kabul, Afghanistan
Posted: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 opportunity


Consultancy to conduct a National Disability Study
Posted: Thursday, January 17, 2013 opportunity


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

IDDC Coordinator (Full time)
Posted: Wednesday, February 6, 2013 opportunity

Short Term Travel Grants Program
Posted: Monday, November 5, 2012 opportunity   
CRPD Ratification Watch
As of February 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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