USICD NewsSeptember 2013
The American Legion Passes Resolution on CRPD!
CRPD supporters Congresswoman Duckworth and AL Commander Dellinger
USICD applauds The American Legion for passing a resolution to support the U.S. ratification of the disability treaty at their National Convention in August.  Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth, an American Legion member and disabled veteran, applauded newly-elected Commander Dellinger at joint Senate and House hearings this week on their leadership on issues impacting veterans with disabilities, and particularly their support of the CRPD.    Click here to read the official resolution. 
Let's Have a Hearing!
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We are fired up that the coalition supporting the disability treaty, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), now includes more than 650 local, state and national disability and allied groups! Now it's time for us to act! Senators Menendez and Corker have returned to Washington, DC and they lead the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. This is the time that they need to hear from you that the Committee should schedule a hearing for the disability treaty! 




  • MESSAGE: Please let (Senator Menendez/Senator Corker) I am calling to ask him to hold a hearing on the disability treaty. This treaty means a lot to Americans with disabilities, their allies, and over 1 billion people with disabilities worldwide. Let me know when the hearing has been scheduled. (You can explain briefly that you are a person with a disability, advocate, etc. - the more personal the better!) Note: It does not matter that Senators Corker and Menendez are not your U.S. Senators - they represent ALL Americans on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Advocates from all 50 states can weigh in!
  • Contact Senator Corker:
    • Office Number: 202-224-3344
    • E-mail Address: You can contact the Senator through his website form here.
  • Contact Senator Menendez:
    • Office Number: 202-224-4744
    • E-mail Address: You can contact the Senator through his website form here.
DPI's Response to the UN Secretary General Report on Post 2015 MDGs
Disable People International Logo Disabled Peoples' International (DPI) has issued a response to a report by the United Nations Secretary-General entitled

A life of dignity for all: accelerating progress toward the Millennium Development Goals and advancing the United Nations development agenda beyond 2015. DPI's response summarizes the report's conclusion that, although there has been "remarkable progress" toward meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), this progress has been "insufficient and highly uneven".


DPI quotes a series of excerpts from the Secretary-General report that they view as having particular relevance for people with disabilities. DPI notes that the Secretary-General has issued other reports in the past with many recommendations on disability inclusion of the MDGs-but also states that many of these recommendations are not incorporated in the present report. These include recommendations that DPI believes are "very important' such as those relating to accessibility and capacity building.


DPI issues their own recommendations such as a focused campaign to include disability in ongoing campaigns for accelerating progress toward the MDGs; initiating discussions and work on gathering disaggregated data on cross-cutting issues (such as disability); and actively involving people with disabilities in the process of formulating the Post 2015 development agenda.


DPI's complete 5-page response can be downloaded in Word format at's%20report.docx 


The original UN Secretary-General report to which DPI responds can be downloaded in PDF format at 

CRPD Education During
Deaf Awareness Week!
September 23-27

A blue circle with the letters NAD in red in the mittdle Deaf people around the world will soon celebrate the International Week of the Deaf from September 23 to 27. Deaf organizations in more than 100 countries will organize events, marches, debates, and campaigns to highlight human rights issues that affect deaf people. This year, the theme of the International Week of the Deaf is Deaf Equality.


During that week, USICD is joining with our friends at the National Association of the Deaf 

(NAD) and other partners to support the international disability treaty-known as the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). We will need YOU and YOUR help-deaf people, our families, our friends, interpreters, and other allies.  



Please contact to learn more about the treaty and become involved with deaf community action for the CRPD during International Week of the Deaf September 23 to 27. Also visit these websites for more information on the CRPD and for upcoming news and announcements:


Flyer on How You Can Help 

Disability Inclusion in the Syrian Refugee Response in Lebanon 
A close-up of a young boy looking at the camera and smiling slightly Lately, we hear a lot about the Syrian conflict and all the repercussions it has on human rights. Many people have left their homes, seeking protection as refugees in other countries. I have a friend from Syria, now in the US as a Community Solutions Fellow, who described how dangerous it is to live in Syria. But then I ask myself, what about people with disabilities? Living in the Balkan region and being a person with a disability myself, I have experienced a firsthand fear. What would happen if the war on the Balkans escalated? Luckily it never happened to reach my country. We didn't need to leave our home and go somewhere else. But now, people with disabilities from Syria live this fate and leave their homes, seeking protection in some other country. These kinds of situations are hard for everyone, but I will say that people with disabilities have an even harder time because they need to think not just about surviving, but also about accessibility and how everything will work for them in this new place.

In July 2013 the Women's Refugee Commission (WRC) has published the report Disability Inclusion in the Syrian Refugee Response in Lebanon which provides insight into the position of persons with disabilities who are refugees from Syria in Lebanon. According to the report, most persons with disabilities living in the Lebanese communities are able to access UNHCR registration through a combination of static registration centers, and through "in absentia" and mobile registration strategies. Consultations with Syrian refugees with disabilities and their families, as well as with staff from humanitarian organizations and local agencies, sought to identify the key gaps in the current humanitarian response for persons with disabilities, and strategic opportunities to strengthen disability inclusion.

50th Anniversary of the March on Washington
A woman speaks into a microphone wearing a green sweater over a blue flowered top
Bernice King speaking at the Anniversary
50 years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led a courageous group of civil rights leaders to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial here in Washington, D.C. and delivered his now internationally known "I Have a Dream" speech. Last month, the nation and the world tuned in to commemorate that seminal moment in human rights history. And I nervously held my breath to see if the disability community would included in this historical moment as I have seen occasionally happen in the past in the in the civil rights movement.

This was a special moment for African Americans around the country and their painful and sometimes deadly struggle. In the past years I have heard countless stirring speeches from civil rights leaders in which they include people of every race, religion and sexual orientation in their struggle for equal rights, and yet no mention is made of persons with disabilities. I was heartened when I heard that the organizers were emphasizing the original 1963 title of the march, "The March for Jobs and Freedom," because how could you leave a group of people with a 70% unemployment rate and the majority living below the poverty line out of a march like that?


Read More 

International Disability News
  • The General Assembly convened a one-day high-level meeting on disability and development: The General Assembly convened a one-day high-level meeting on disability and development (HLMDD) at the level of Heads of State and Government on 23 September 2013. The HLMDD will result in a concise, action-oriented Outcome Document in support of the aims of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the realization of the Millennium Development Goals and other internationally agreed development goals for persons with disabilities. READ MORE

  • null Survey on Living with Disabilities and Disasters: On 13 October, the UN International Day for Disaster Reduction will focus on the issues surrounding some one billion of the world's people who live with disabilities and disaster risks.The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) is conducting a survey to ascertain the needs of persons living with disabilities and disasters.READ MORE

  • A life of dignity for all: accelerating progress towards the Millennium Development Goals and advancing the United Nations development agenda beyond 2015:Disabled People's International (DPI) has been actively participating and contributing to the discussions on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the Post 2015 development agenda. DPI has gone through the Secretary General's Report and reviewed it vis--vis disability.DPI's Response highlights the areas of SG's report that has covered disability. It also provides an analysis of what more could have been included. In concludes by providing recommendations for effective inclusion of disability in accelerating programs of MDGs and the Post 2015 development agenda.   READ MORE

  •   null World Humanitarian Day - the world needs more inclusion: This year the UN and its humanitarian partners are launching a campaign for World Humanitarian Day called The world needs more... Persons with disabilities need more inclusion! There are often barriers that prevent persons with disabilities from accessing the humanitarian relief provided by aid agencies.READ MORE

  •  Human Rights Commission calls for more sign language education: This is one of the 15 recommendations that Human Rights Commission made in its report to improve inclusion for deaf people in New Zealand. The report also recommended the creation of an expert advisory group on sign language and a statutory board to take charge of promoting the value and use of sign language alongside the country's other official languages.READ MORE

  • null India's mobile school for blind students puts empowerment on the curriculum: In Trivandrum, Kerala, when blind children cannot go to school, school goes to them. Through an innovative project called Jyothirgamaya, or from darkness to light, a converted rickshaw carries a computer, printer, Braille slates and white canes to homes across the city in the southern Indian state.READ MORE

  • null UN Honors Israel for Innovative Work with the Disabled: At a recent UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities conference, the audience of international leaders was addressed by Jean Judes, Executive Director of Beit Issie Shapiro (BIS), an Israeli non-profit organization that works with and advocates for Israel's disabled community.READ MORE

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In This Issue
USICD Welcomes Fellow from Macedonia
Happy August Recess and Summer of CRPD
USICD Annual Meeting 2013
Youth in Development Internship Program
New Human Rights Watch Report on Education in China
InterAction Foreign Affairs Update
International Disability News

Member News and Opportunities


International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2013
Tuesday, December 3, 2013 - Tuesday, December 3, 2013 opportunity 


A data revolution for disability-inclusive development
September 9, 2013
Source: The Lancet


Global Health

Live United Nations Treaty Body Webcast
September 9, 2013
Source: UN Treaty Body Webcast


Building the future of the MDGs
September 9, 2013
Source: UN


Nigeria: ILO, Others Move to End Workplace Discrimination Against Disabled Persons
September 9, 2013
Source: AllAfrica


GUEST COLUMN: A chance to do right by people with disabilities, veterans and businesses
September 4, 2013
Source: Rome News-Tribune


The Mine Ban Treaty and the CRPD- September Update
September 3, 2013
Source: Victims Assistance


DPI's response to the Report of the Secretary General on Post-2015 Agenda
September 2, 2013
Source: Disabled People International


An Analysis of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio +20) Discourse Using an Ability Expectation Lens
August 30, 2013
Source: Global Program for Disability and Development


India's mobile school for blind students puts empowerment on the curriculum
August 30, 2013
Source: The Guardian


PWDs Are Not Adequately Protected By Laws
August 30, 2013
Source: Spy Ghana


 Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki Uirges American Legion to Support CRPD
August 29, 2013
Source: The American Legion


NOD Commemorates the March on Washington
August 28, 2013
Source: Nationa Organization on Disability


UN Honors Israel for Innovative Work with People with Disabilities
August 21, 2013
Source: The Jewish Press


Ohio State ADA Coordinator to Provide Assistance in Indon esia
August 20, 2013
Source: Ohio State University


the General Assembly convened a one-day high-level meeting on disability and development
August 20, 2013   


CRPD Facebook Page
August 20, 2013   


'Enacting disability law will serve as social security'
August 20, 2013
Source: The Guardian Nigeria


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



Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - Thursday, September 12, 2013


Monday, September 16, 2013 - Thursday, September 19, 2013


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

Breakfast meeting on Disability in the Lifecycle: Investing in Children
Monday, September 23, 2013 - Monday, September 23, 2013


"Innovation Enables" Panel and Luncheon
Monday, September 23, 2013 - Monday, September 23, 2013

Tuesday, September 24, 2013 - Tuesday, September 24, 2013


Special Event on Disaster and Disability
Tuesday, September 24, 2013 - Tuesday, September 24, 2013


Special event to follow up on efforts on MDGs

Wednesday, September 25, 2013 - Wednesday, September 25, 2013


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


International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction 2013
Sunday, October 13, 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

Fourth International Conference on Information and Communication Technology and Accessibilit 

Thursday, October 24, 2013 - Saturday, October 26, 2013  


Reel Abilities Disability Film Festival 

Saturday, October 26, 2013 - Tuesday, October 29, 2013  


The Disability Experience: State of the Arts, Research and Scholarship
Thursday, October 31, 2013 - Friday, November 1, 2013


International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2013
Tuesday, December 3, 2013 - Tuesday, December 3, 2013


Disability, Sexuality, and Rights Online Institute
Posted: Wednesday, September 4, 2013


Military Liaison Team Coordinator
Posted: Friday, August 30, 2013


Posted: Friday, August 23, 2013 opportunity    

First Virtual Master's in Disability Policy - Fellowships Available 

Monday, April 30, 2012 opportunity  

Posted: Monday, February 18, 2013

CRPD Ratification Watch
As of June 2013
  • 156 Signatories
  • 134 Ratifications
Optional Protocol:
  • 91 Signatories
  • 77 Ratifications
Recent Ratifications:
Kuwait Ratified the Convention on August 22, 2013  

Singapore Ratified the Convention on July 18, 2013

DPR Korea Ratified the Convention on July 3, 2013

Palau Ratified the Convention on June 11, 2013

Norway Ratified the Convention on June 3, 2013

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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