USICD NewsMarch 2013
USICD Board Members in the News!

A gentleman with white hair wearing a dress shirt looks at the camera. The National Council on Disability (NCD) - an independent federal agency that advises the President, Congress and other federal agencies regarding disability policy -welcomed USICD Board Member Jeff Rosen as its new Chairperson.  Click here to read more.

Congratulations Jeff!


The USICD membership and board of directors also congratulates all nine recipients of the first ever Henry Viscardi Awards, which celebrate members of the global disability community who, through their actions and achievements, have profoundly impacted the quality of life of people with disabilities.  Five of these leaders, the Honorable Tony Coelho, Kathy Martinez, Lex Frieden, Rosangela Berman-Bieler, and Laurie Ahern, have had long standing membership, friendship and shared work with USICD.  We are proud of you all!

Visit from Haiti's Disability Secretary of State
A gentleman standing with a cane faces the camera while shaking the hand of a gentleman in a wheelchair.

USICD continues to work with and share information with our partners in the disability community around the world. This month David Morrissey and USICD staff met with Gerald Oriol, Haiti's Secretary of State for the Integration of Persons with Disabilities, to discuss the CRPD, disaster relief, and how the U.S and Haiti can continue to partner on issues of disability inclusion.



Interview with AAPD's Julie Arostegui!
 A young woman with long, curly brown hair smiles at the camera Julie Arostegui (JA) has been a Policy Advisor for the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) in Washington, DC since 2011. In December, she traveled to Africa and shared her experiences and insight with USICD.  Please visit USICD's blog to see Julie's interview in its entirety!

USICD: When did you go to Africa and what countries did you visit?  


JA: In December I was in Uganda and Rwanda, where I am working on a project studying the experience of incorporating international standards on gender equality and women's rights into their post-conflict legal systems and working with groups there to address persistent issues around gender inequality and gender-based violence.  In the coming months we will be using these best practices and lessons learned in the region to work with groups in South Sudan and Sudan as they are going through the post-conflict processes of writing their constitutions and legislation and establishing their justice systems.


USICD: Give us some examples of how the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) was discussed in the countries you visited in Africa.


JA: Although my visit and work were not specifically related to disability or the CRPD, through discussions with stakeholders as well as my own observations I know that there is a focus on raising awareness of and implementation of the CRPD. In Uganda, for example, it is important especially in the north, which suffered conflict for more than 20 years. More than two million people were internally displaced, women suffered extreme sexual violence, and children were abducted as child soldiers. Some people still remain in IDP (internally displaced person camps). There are both women's groups and disability groups working on the issue. Uganda ratified the CRPD in 2008, and the focus is now on implementation. While I was there I saw several organizations working on CRPD and disability issues, and noted several opportunities for funding to groups to help with implementation.


Kenya, Pakistan, and the GDRL!
  • With the assistance of American donors, the Pakistan Disabled Foundation (PDF) has purchased two eGranary Digital Libraries, each containing the full Global Disability Rights Library (GDRL) collection of materials on disability rights and advocacy. They report to USICD that the eGranaries have successfully landed in Pakistan and been cleared through customs. They look forward to installing the eGranaries in two different locations in Pakistan so they can begin accessing its resources. PDF has highlighted the arrival of their new GDRL collection on their Facebook page.
  • USICD's Global Disability Rights Library (GDRL) project has delivered an extensive, off-line collection of digital resources on disability rights to 60 organizations in 12 countries who have limited Internet connectivity. One of these organizations is the Action Network for the Disabled (ANDY) in Kenya, which has been using the GDRL as a resource in developing projects and writing proposals.  ANDY reports that they have used the GDRL to locate additional information on the accessibility to health and incorporated this into the training curriculum they use. They also have compiled articles on the rights of people with disabilities from the GDRL and posted them on the notice board in their field office. They tell us that browsing the Internet for disability information, due to their slow Internet connectivity, used to be a tedious, time-consuming job. The GDRL is contained inside a special hard drive called an eGranary Digital Library, produced by the WiderNet Project. The eGranary allows users to access a specialized collection of web pages, Word documents, videos, and other electronic documents stored inside without needing to connect to the Internet. In countries where bandwidth is slow, expensive, and unreliable, navigating and downloading materials from the eGranary often can be done hundreds of times faster than obtaining the same materials via a local Internet connection.
CRPD Education Update

CRPD Logo With spring just around the corner and activities stirring up for the ratification of the disability treaty, what an exciting time to learn more about the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and global disability inclusion! USICD has been providing presentations, webinars, and whatever advoctates need to have the latest information on the treaty and global disability rights abroad.


Here are a few key highlights! This month Executive Director David Morrissey met with the Maryland Council on Developmental Disabilities as well as the Board of the National Council on Independent Living to provide them the latest updates on the CRPD.  Disability Rights Program Manager Esme Grant presented to graduate students in international development in a partnership program between Gallaudet University and Georgetown University on improving disability inclusivity in development and aid projects abroad.  David and Esme were joined by Rhonda Neuhaus of the Disability Rights Education Fund and Amber Smock of Access Living this month to present a statewide "Train the Trainer" webinar to CRPD advocates throughout Illinois.  Next month stay tuned for more education updates, including our CRPD presentation at the Disability Policy Seminar!


Are you interested in a presentation, webinar, or other educational opportunity from USICD? Please contact Esme Grant at!


CRPD Committee Update

The CRPD Committee will be holding its 9th Session from April 15-19. The Committee plans to review and adopt Paraguay's concluding observations and review the reports of Austria, Australia, and El Salvador.  On April 17 they will hold a half day general discussion on women and girls with disabilities. For more information CLICK HERE.




International Disability News
  • A blue square outlined with another blue square and athe symbol for a person sitting in a wheelchair in white International Symbols of Access: Ever wonder where the international symbol for accessibility came from and where it's heading? Will universal design cause the accessibility symbol to disappear? Read an interesting background and perspective in Stimulus Respond. READ MORE


  • Two women sit at a table speaking into microphones
    Maca Bristo and Carol Gill
    International Women's Day:
    In honor of International Women's Day on March 8, USICD President Marca Bristo and her Chicago-based organization, Access Living, hosted an event with experts and advocates that highlighted the many issues facing women in the disability community. The panel featured experts like UIC Professor Carol Gill who acknowledged that with many women issues pertaining to women with disabilities, "we're not seen and we're invisible." READ MORE


  • A young woman in a baseball cap and headphones is seen in the cockpit of an aircraft in flight steering with her foot. Equality for all from Arizona to Ethiopia: Jessica Cox, a woman from Arizona, is traveling to Ethiopia next week to spread the message of the important of inclusiveness for children with disabilities in society. Cox, born without arms, grew up to become a motivational speaker and the first pilot to fly a plane without arms. She is visiting Ethiopia as a guest of Handicap International. READ MORE


  • World Down Syndrome Day: March 21 is World Down Syndrome Day, celebrating people with Down Syndrome that make a difference in their friends' and families' lives and raising their voices and awareness around a common set of issues. Paras Raj Walia and Shreya Gami are two people with Down Syndrome who have exceeded the expectations that society had for them. In an article featuring the two young adults, their mothers recount their son and daughter's early childhood and how they are making their way as a successful student and renowned dancer in India.   READ MORE


  • South Asian Autism Network: In February the South Asian Autism Network (SAAN) held its first conference in New Delhi. Sri Lanka newly joined the network which allows government representatives including health ministers to discuss their actions and commitment to the issue of autism. The conference included the New Delhi Declaration which confirmed the South Asian region's respect for all people with disabilities in line with international instruments like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the CRPD. READ MORE
CRPD in the EU:  Roundtable Discussion

Julia Wolhandler, a former practicum student at USICD, reports on an important roundtable discussion from Brussels, Belgium where she is working with the International Disability and Development Consortium on CRPD implementation.


On February 19 as a closing event to the Making Development Inclusive project, the International Disability and Development Consortium hosted a roundtable discussion with European Parliament member, Marian Harkin, on the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the role of the European Union's (EU) external action. The roundtable discussion was opportune in that the first monitoring report by the EU on the CRPD is due this year. Participants discussed which EU development programs have contributed to best practices, including in the areas of education, employment, and health care.


Key highlights included:


"Each of us only has one life to live and this is it. And we need to ensure that persons with disabilities are included and have choices." Marian Harkin, European Parliament Member.


Munyaradzi Mahiya of Leonard Chesire's Disability's Young Voices recommended that the EU to sensitize the public on disability through television and radio programs. Also, he discussed campaigning in Zimbabwe to ratify the CRPD and Young Voices' involvement in that process.


"Disability rights are still not a mainstream issue in the Latin American region." Silvia Quan, CRPD Committee Member, on the lack of focus and investment in disability rights in Latin America.


Valerie Moran, Manager of Longford Centre for Independent Living Ltd, Ireland, discussed her organization's implementation of the CRPD through EU funding to support independent living for persons with disabilities.


"Disability rights are universal. It doesn't know any boundaries or borders." -Mary Keogh, Advocacy Coordinator of CBM Ireland, while discussing the importance of including disability rights in the post-2015 MDG indicators and the process of trying to ratify the CRPD in Ireland.

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In This Issue
USICD Board Members in the News!
Interview with AAPD's Julie Arostegui!
Global Disability Rights Library
CRPD Education Update.
International Disability News
CRPD in the EU: Roundtable Discussion

Member News and Opportunities

Seed Grants Form Partnerships for Inclusive Development
March 11, 2013
Source: MIUSA


Announcing 5th International Disability Law Summer School
March 8, 2013
Source: Centre for Disability Law & Policy, National University of Ireland


CBM's international Advocacy and AlliancFebruary 2013 Newsletter
March 7, 2013
Source: CBM


NOD Board Member Michael Stein Selected As Winner Of Prestigious Henry Viscardi Achievement Awards
March 4, 2013
Source: National Organization on Disability



 NAB to collaborate with Perkins to educate people with vision disabilities in India
February 12, 2013
Source: Global Accessibility News


Launch of Volume 3 of the European Yearbook of Disability Law and Research Colloquium
Tuesday, April 9, 2013 - Tuesday, April 9, 2013

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


InterAction Forum 2013
Monday, April 29, 2013 - Wednesday, May 1, 2013


InterAction's Young Professionals Summit
Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - Tuesday, April 30, 2013  

Nominations are now being accepted for the NCIL Women's Caucus Award
Posted: Thursday, February 28, 2013 opportunity


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

Posted: Tuesday, February 12, 2013 opportunity


Special Rapporteur on Torture calls for absolute ban on forced psychiatric interventions
March 11, 2013  


American University Disability Law Update Spring 2013
March 13, 2013
Source: American University College of Law Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law


European Disability Community Reacts to EC's Legislaive Proposal on Web Accessibility
March 11, 2013
Source: European Disability Forum


March 8, 2013
Source: European Disability Forum


Subscribe to Disability Law eJournal
March 8, 2013  


IDA Attends UN Human Rights Coiuncil holds Annual Discussion on Human Rights and Persons with Disabilities
March 6, 2013
Source: IDA


UN Commission for Social Development Hears from Disability Perspective
March 5, 2013
Source: UN Enable


New Enable webpage on Indigenous persons with disabilities
March 5, 2013
Source: UN Enable


My World: The United Nations global survey
March 5, 2013
Source: UN Enable


Leadership meeting on Addressing Inequalities in the Post-2015 Development Agenda
February 27, 2013


February 24, 2013
Source: European Disability Forum


Malta NGO Files Judicial Protest of Stadium Accessibility
February 18, 2013
Source: Global Accessibility News


Maltese with hearing disabilities want a fair hearing on film and TV subtitles
February 16, 2013
Source: Global Accessibility News


Philippines DPWH official reiterates strict implementation of Accessibility Law
February 13, 2013
Source: Global Accessibility News


Raise your voice: Say YES To INCLUSION! 

February 12, 2013

Source: End Exclusion  


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


Online Moderated Consultation on how to include disability in the post-2015 development framework
Friday, March 8, 2013 - Thursday, March 28, 2013   


Be a Part of Creating the Post-2015 Development Goals
Monday, March 18, 2013 - Monday, March 25, 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


Labour market inclusion of persons with disabilities
Monday, April 22, 2013 - Friday, April 26, 2013


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


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


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  


CREA's 7th Sexuality, Gender, and Rights Institute: Exploring Theory and Practice
Saturday, June 22, 2013 - Sunday, June 30, 2013  

Symposium on Disability, Technology and Rehabilitation in Low and Middle Income Countries
Thursday, June 27, 2013 - Friday, June 28, 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


Inthernational Congress Autism - Europe 2013
Thursday, September 26, 2013 - Saturday, September 28, 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

Education consultant specialised in children with sensory impairment (deafness)
Posted: Monday, March 18, 2013 opportunity


Mental Health Initiative Seeks a Program Officer (Media Strategy)
Posted: Thursday, March 7, 2013 opportunity


Advisor - Disability Inclusion
Posted: Tuesday, March 5, 2013 opportunity


Public Policy Fellowship Program 2013-2014
Posted: Tuesday, March 5, 2013 opportunity


Posted: Friday, March 1, 2013 opportunity


Arabic and Russian overseas language immersion programs this summer
Posted: Friday, March 1, 2013 opportunity


Written Submissions Welcomed How does having a disability affect a woman's  

Posted: Thursday, February 28, 2013 opportunity  


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 

CALL FOR PAPERS: Special Issue: Disability, Asylum and Migration
Posted: Monday, February 18, 2013




Calling all inventors and entrepreneurs: It's time to apply for MassChallenge 2013!
Posted: Monday, February 18, 2013 opportunity      


Inclusive Education Technical Support (May-September 2013)
Posted: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 opportunity      


Interdisciplinary Studies in Global Health and Disability
Posted: Tuesday, February 12, 2013 opportunity  

African Journal on Disability Invites Articles for Peer Review
Posted: Wednesday, February 15, 2012  

The African Journal on Disability is an open-access journal focusing on disability and development issues which can be accessed free by anyone who has an internet connection. People are invited to submit articles for peer review. opportunity    


CRPD Ratification Watch
As of March 2013
  • 155 Signatories
  • 129 Ratifications
Optional Protocol:
  • 91 Signatories
  • 76 Ratifications
Recent Ratifications:
Barbados Ratified the Convention on February 27, 2013

Albania Ratified the Convention on February 11, 2013

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 
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