USICD NewsApril 2013
USICD Reflects on the Passing of Roger Ebert
A smiling man and woman look at the camera and give the thumbs up sign.
Roger Ebert with USICD President Marca Bristo 

The United States International Council on Disabilities (USICD) deeply mourns the loss of film critic and Chicago icon Roger Ebert, who passed away on April 4, 2013.  Our thoughts and condolences go out to his beloved wife Chaz.


Over the past few years, many people have praised Ebert for continuing to pursue his passion of writing and film criticism after acquiring cancer and dealing with the side effects of cancer. Praise also came from within the disability community. By continuing the work he loved after acquiring a disability, Ebert sent a message to the world that disability is a natural part of life that will impact everyone in some way at some point in his or her life. Just as important, Ebert sent the message that disability doesn't change who we are and doesn't stop us from pursuing what we love. READ MORE
CSW57 and Women with Disabilities

The black and white profile of a woman with light hair and dark glasses. By Stephanie Ortoleva, Esq.

President & Founder, Women Enabled, Inc.


Every year, for two to three weeks surrounding March 8th, International Women's Day, hundreds of women and allies from around the world gather in New York for the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).  Government diplomats, international agency representatives, leaders of non-governmental organizations, especially women's rights NGOs, share strategies, academic and field research, best practices, personal narratives, artistic expression, all with the objective of advancing the rights of women and girls worldwide.  Official panels and NGO side events are crammed into an information-filled schedule, dazzling attendees as they decide which event to attend.  Resolutions and the Final Conclusions document texts are debated, sometimes passionately.  The gathering is energizing, informative, tearful, frustrating, but always a force that motivates action.


Unfortunately, not all women are as welcome as others.  For many years that has been the situation of women with disabilities who want to engage at CSW, women who want their experiences respected, who want their contributions valued and, most of all who want their rights reflected in the resolutions and Final Conclusions from CSW.  After all, women with disabilities are women too!


But slowly over the past few years more of us women with disabilities have engaged at CSW and this year we have seen some greater progress.  I have organized side events at the last several CSW sessions and am pleased to see that a little more progress is made each session to enhance our participation in the discussions and in the policy outcomes of CSW and within UN Women itself. 

USICD Co-Hosts Meet and Greet for Freshman Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth 
Four people in wheelchairs sit addressing a room of people with an ASL intepreter behind them.
NCIL Executive Director Kelly Buckland, USICD President Marca Bristo, Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth

USICD joined other national disability community organizations in hosting a reception for Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth.  Ladda Tammy Duckworth is the Representative for Illinois's 8th congressional district.  She is the first Asian-American woman elected to Congress in Illinois, the first disabled woman to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, and the first member of Congress born in Thailand.  She pledged to be a champion of the disability community in Congress, and she called for greater representation of people with disabilities in elected office at all levels.  USICD President Marca Bristo, a fellow Illinoisan who leads Access Living of Metropolitan Chicago, was joined in welcoming the Congresswoman by the leadership of the event's cosponsoring organizations: the American Association of People with Disabilities, the National Council on Independent Living, and the National Disability Leadership Alliance.

USICD Welcomes International Colleagues
Two people in chairs and a woman in a wheelchair face each other while they are having an animated discussion.
USICD staff Andrea Shettle and Suzanne Richard of the meet with Saowalak
USICD recently welcomed

Saowalak Thongkuay

to the United States
and the USICD offices.    She is the Regional Development Officer for Disabled People's International (DPI) in the Asian Pacific region. 
Two people in wheelchairs and two in chairs participate in a lively discussion.
USICD Executive Director David Morrissey accompanied Saowalak Thongkuay on a visit to a congressional office.
USICD serves as the national assembly for the U.S. in DPI.  

Saowalak had come to the U.S. for a series of meetings on global disability and development issues.


USICD was also happy to get the chance to welcome Dr. Memon, Executive Director of the Pakistan Disabled Foundation, back to the USICD offices for a brief visit with Mr. Morrissey.  He is a strong  advocate for people with disabilities in Pakistan and is utilizing the eGranary Digital Libraries containing the full Global Disability Rights Library (GDRL) collection.

CRPD Education Update

CRPD Logo  

USICD is thrilled at the excitement surrounding the movement for ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2013! This month we had the pleasure of presenting a webinar to TASH members on the treaty with the help of former Chief of the Disability Rights Section of the Department of Justice, John Wodatch. TASH has been a major supporter of the CRPD and continues to support ratification this year! This month USICD also followed up with the wonderful members of the Mental Health Liaison Group (MHLG) about the treaty's outlook this year in the Senate. USICD thanks MHLG for their work on this issue and constant support for the equal rights and treatment of people with psychosocial disabilities all over the



On a blue circle with a red ring  with white stars around the rim and a picture of the cpitol dome, is a black banner with the words Executive Director David Morrissey presented with Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund (DREDF) policy staffer Rhonda Neuhaus on the CRPD and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) at the Disability Policy Seminar (DPS) earlier this week. Attendees to the DPS from around the country included self-advocates and disability leaders making visits in their state about the importance of the treaty to their daily lives.


If you are interested in a webinar or presentation on the CRPD, please contact Esme Grant, USICD's Disability Rights Program Manager, at or 202-347-0102!


Circle that says Ratify CRPD Yes NEW CRPD WEBSITE!

USICD has launched its new website for the CRPD. Please visit HERE to check it out! The Quick Links on the left side bar will take you to media, materials, and other tools you need for your advocacy and to keep you posted on the latest CRPD news!


CRPD Committee Update

The CRPD Committee is meeting for its ninth session this week in Geneva (April 15-19) to discuss the report of Paraguay. The Committee has also committed a half day discussion to the topic of women and girls with disabilities. Visit the Committee site to read Paraguay's report or to learn more about the Committee's session.

Youth in Development Internship Program
USICD is gearing up to host its first group of Youth in Development (YiD) internship program participants in Washington, DC, this summer.  More than 130 graduate and undergraduate students and recent graduates across the United States applied to be considered for the program, which is meant to help empower youth with disabilities who want to work in the field of international development or international affairs.  Seven interns will each be placed with a host organization in the Washington, DC area.  The seven host organizations work in a range of specializations in the international arena.  We look forward to introducing the interns and their matched host organizations in the May 2013 USICD newsletter!
GDRL News from Kenya!

The United Disabled Persons of Kenya (UDPK), an umbrella organization for about 120 member Disabled People's Organizations (DPOs), associations, and other groups across the country, is a USICD partner in the Global Disability Rights Library (GDRL) project.  They report they are located in a housing complex shared with many other disability organizations such as the National Council for Persons with Disabilities.  They have been sharing their use of their eGranary with these organizations to help ensure that more disability rights information can reach more grassroots organizations.  They hope that the information in the library will help communities with their human rights and development work.  For more information about how the GDRL project is delivering access to disability rights knowledge to organizations beyond the reach of the internet, visit


International Disability News
  • On a white circle and over a gray tone compas rose, a blue image of the Baltic Sea on a map is under the arching words, Baltic Cities and the CRPD: The Union of the Baltic Cities (UBC), an organization of 100 Baltic Cities from St. Petersburg to Kiel, have recognized the importance of the CRPD to the rights of their citizens with disabilities. The President of the UBC has therefore called for a survey on the implementation of the CRPD in the Baltic Sea Region. Results will be presented at the International City Forum in Kiel in June 2013. READ MORE
  • Forced sterilization in Australia: As the CRPD Committee has pointed out, forced sterilization and forced abortion are still major issues facing women with disabilities. Read more about this issue through the personal account of Stella Young, a woman with Osteogenesis Imperfecta, who went to the doctor as a child to get a broken leg mended and was told she could be sterilized during her visit. READ MORE
  • On a white background, stick figures of different colors sircle the earth with a doodled sun amd the words World Autism Awareness Day: Autism Awareness Month is in April and World Autism Awareness Day was April 2. Make sure you have the tools you need this month to create awareness on this important issue. READ MORE
  • NCIL Legislative Priorities: The ratification of the CRPD is a legislative priority for the National Council on Independent Living! Independent Living Centers in every state have played a huge role in getting the treaty to where it is now. That is why NCIL has made the CRPD a priority. Check out page 20 of their 2013 Policy Priorities Booklet. Lead on NCIL!
  • A man's hear is seen just below and to the right of a black and white picture of the wheelchair access symbol. New Malawi Disability Act Welcomed: Malawi passed a new law in 2012 to replace its antiquated 40 year old law covering the rights of people with disabilities. The new law incorporates the framework of the CRPD and will work to address major issues like the less than 2% of children with disabilities that attend school and the majority of public buildings that are inaccessible. Interested in the disability community's take on the law? READ MORE 
  • A person's foot chained to a table. Ghana and Psychosocial Disabilities: In October, Human Rights Watch released a report on the treatment of people with psychosocial disabilities in Ghana. To view a video of some of the subjects of this research and hear their incredible stories, CLICK HERE 

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In This Issue
USICD on Roger Ebert
CSW57 and Women with Disabilities
Tammy Duckworth Event
USICD Welcomes International Colleagues
CRPD Education Update
Youth in Development Internship Program Arostegui!
International Disability News

Member News and Opportunities

CBM International's March Newsletter 

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

 The Intensive Career Transition Support Model - Reintegrating Wounded Warriors into the Workforce 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - Tuesday, April 16, 2013  


The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Getting Ready to Ratify 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - Wednesday, April 17, 2013  


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


Go Abroad with a Disability, Find Your Career Path
Thursday, April 25, 2013 - Thursday, April 25, 2013


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


Conference on Supported Decision-Making in Theory & Practice: Ireland's Capacity Bill
Monday, April 29, 2013 - Monday, April 29, 2013


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


Community Living for All - Conference on the Future Role of the European Union Structural funds to A
Friday, May 3, 2013 - Friday, May 3, 2013


International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC) General Assembly
Wednesday, May 22, 2013 - Friday, May 24, 2013


5th International Disability Law Summer School 2013
Monday, June 17, 2013 - Saturday, June 22, 2013


2013 Annual Conference on Independent Living
Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - Saturday, July 27, 2013


Regional Disability Integration Specialist GS-301-12
Posted: Tuesday, April 16, 2013  opportunity  

Posted: Tuesday, April 16, 2013 opportunity
My World: The United Nations global survey

March 5, 2013
Source: UN Enable


Raise your voice: Say YES To INCLUSION! 

February 12, 2013

Source: End Exclusion  


 Side Event on Indigenous Women and Girls with Disabilities
April 17, 2013
Source: International Disability Alliance


April 16, 2013


IDA & DPI Call on Diability Grassroots to Contribute to the MDG's
April 8, 2013


CBM International's March Newsletter
April 8, 2013
Source: CBM International


 Psychiatric Survivors This Is My Voice Survey
April 17, 2013


UNICEF - All-Staff Disability Orientation and Training Video
April 8, 2013
Source: UNICEF


Rachel Maddow Reiterates GOP Mistep with CRPD
April 4, 2013
Source: The Rachel Maddow Shoe MSNBC


New Report Expands the Definition of Human Rights
April 1, 2013
Source: Disability Rights Fund


IDA Delegation Attends High Level Meetings in New York
April 1, 2013
Source: International Disability Alliance


World Down Syndrome Day Commemorated in Pakistan
March 26, 2013   


New Malawi disability Act welcome
March 25, 2013
Source: Times of Zambia


A lesson for Bob Dole: old rules no longer apply
March 24, 2013 

Source: The Boston Globe  


World Down Syndrome Day Celebrated in Nepal
March 21, 2013
Source: Down Syndrome Society Nepal


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


General Discussion on women and girls with disabilities
Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - Wednesday, April 17, 2013


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


Join the Knowledge Community on Inclusive Education
Monday, April 22, 2013 - Sunday, May 12, 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


Second Regional Conference of The Arab Forum of Women with Disabilities
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


Half Day Event on Post 2015 Agenda
Wednesday, May 15, 2013 - Wednesday, May 15, 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   

UNICEF's State of the World's Children Report 2013 focused on children with disabilities
Thursday, May 30, 2013 - Thursday, May 30, 2013


Include 2013: Global Challenges and Local Solutions in Inclusive Design
Sunday, June 2, 2013 - Monday, June 3, 2013 


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


European High Level Exchange jointly organized by IDDC and EDF
Monday, June 10, 2013 - Monday, June 10, 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


International 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


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


Review Board Members
Posted: Tuesday, April 16, 2013 opportunity


Request for Proposal, Quotations and Technical Specifications for
Posted: Monday, April 15, 2013 opportunity


Posted: Sunday, April 14, 2013 opportunity

Innovation Award: call for stories on people's empowerment
Posted: Monday, April 8, 2013 opportunity 


Consultant for Development of Communication Materials for the UNICEF Disability Section
Posted: Friday, April 5, 2013  opportunity   

Program Consultant for Africa
Posted: Friday, April 5, 2013  opportunity


Call for Papers - Theme: "Disability Studies and Ability Studies: Two Lenses to Investigate Peace
Posted: Tuesday, March 26, 2013  opportunity


Posted: Monday, March 25, 2013  opportunity


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

CRPD Ratification Watch
As of April 2013
  • 155 Signatories
  • 130 Ratifications
Optional Protocol:
  • 91 Signatories
  • 76 Ratifications
Recent Ratifications:
Iraq Ratified the Convention on March 20, 2013

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
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