USICD NewsOctober 2013
Are You Ready to Push the Disability Treaty Through to Success in the
U.S. Senate?

Ithe CRPD Support logo with We support instead of I support

Our opponents are sure ready!  They continue to mislead about the treaty and its impact on parental rights and national sovereignty-- the very same scare tactics they used last year to defeat it by a very close 5 votes.  We must --and we will-- win this next time around.  Our chance is coming soon--and it could be our last chance for a long time.   Last week, Chairman Robert Menendez of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee told a small group of community representatives that a hearing in Committee will occur soon!  


We must be ready to push for the U.S. to ratify the treaty and everyone must help.


The Senate has previously passed a resolution for ratification that was clear: our national sovereignty and parental rights are not threatened by the treaty.  But our opponents refuse to accept the reality.  This is not only an insult to the bipartisan supporters for the treaty --including veterans Bob Dole and Tammy Duckworth-- but a disservice to the one billion people with disabilities in the world who look to the United States to lead global progress toward equality, dignity, and opportunity.


Together, amplifying our voices on the Hill and around the country, we are a powerful national movement for the Disability Treaty.  Now we must prepare for the next push. So here is what I ask you to do now:
  1. Prepare your organization's letter of support to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.  Start fresh, or simply brush up the letter you sent last year.  As soon as we know a hearing date, we will announce a Letter Blitz in support of the Disability Treaty.  You must be ready to send!
    Examples of letters other groups have sent can be found on our website for your convenience that you can use to work from. You can also be contact one of the members of CRPD Ratification Coordination Team to support you in this effort. Eventually, all letters will be sent to the Senate Foreign Relations committee and can later be used in a 50-state action for the floor vote. We will send these letters when they will have the greatest impact.
  2. Sign and distribute the petition for ratification.  Every individuals should sign this and share the link with your friends, colleagues and communities.  If everyone sends this link, we can build an overwhelming number of signatures that cannot be ignored.
  3. Increase and spread your social media. TWEET DAILY!  Address your Tweets to Senators by starting your tweet message with an "at" sign (@) with their Twitter handle. Check this list of Twitter handles for all Senators. EXAMPLE: if you want to address Senator Bob Corker, start your Tweet with @SenBobCorker .  Use the following hashtags: #isupportcrpd, #crpd, #disabilitiestreaty.  Consider following other great advocates like @USICD, @ashettle @RhondaNeuhaus @IntDisability @auntpip.

If every organization will start with these three steps now, we will be positioned to make a big impression when the treaty process begins again in the Senate.  Thank you for your continued support on this effort.  More information will be sent as soon as we have it.  Together, we WILL succeed!

USICD ED to Speak at Dole Institute
A man with slightly greying hair sits in front of a green background with a microphone brfore him and waering a business suit.
USICD'S Executive Director
David Morrissey will address the Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas tomorrow, Tuesday, October 22 on Disabilities:  The Evolution of Equality.  He will explore the pivotal policy changes, the ever-changing face of disability in America and Senator Bob Dole's tireless work on this important issue. Senator Dole has been a tireless champion of the CRPD and USICD is honored to have this opportunity to speak at the institute.  For more information
National Council on Disability Hosts Educational Forum on the CRPD

Two men and two women sit at a panel table, one with a service dog on the floor beneath On September 17, NCD convened community members from around the country and Washington, D.C., to learn about the disability treaty.  In partnership with NCD, USICD provided the treaty training and facilitated dialogue among the participants.  The Honorable Tony Coelho and NCD chair Jeff Rosen kicked off the meeting, followed by an overview of the treaty, led by USICD Executive Director David Morrissey and Disability Rights Program Manager Esme Grant. U.S. Department of State representative Judy Heumann, U.S. Department of Justice representative Eve Hill and John Wodatch (Retired, U.S. Department of Justice) presented on the ratification package submitted to the U.S. Senate by the Obama Administration.  After a short break, VetsFirst representative Heather Ansley, Blind Veterans of America representative Tom Zampieri , Disability Rights International representative Eric Rosenthal, AT&T executive Susan Mazrui, Leadership Conference representative Ellen Buchman and Jewish Federations of North America representative David Feinman shared why ratification was important from their perspectives, as well as what their organizations are doing to support the effort.  It was an energetic program that spread awareness of the CRPD.  

Deaf Awareness Week and the CRPD

A group of 13 people of all ages joyfully hold up signs supporting the CRPD The global deaf community recently celebrated the International Week of the Deaf from September 23 to 27. The National Association of the Deaf (NAD), USICD, and other organizations collaborated to use the week as an opportunity to raise awareness about the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) within the U.S. deaf and hard-of-hearing community. The CRPD is the only international human rights treaty that recognizes the inclusion of sign language and deaf culture in society. The CRPD promotes the importance of access to information and communication for all deaf people, and people with disabilities generally, regardless of their preferred method of communication. 


The U.S. has not yet ratified the CRPD: but, USICD, NAD, and more than 700 other organizations want to change that. The involvement of deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals and other members of the disability, veterans, faith, business communities is crucial in pushing for U.S. ratification of the CRPD.


NAD, USICD, and the Student Body Government at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., held a rally on campus in support of the CRPD on September 24, 2013. USICD is currently in the process of formatting video clips to be posted to its website. The deaf and hard-of-hearing communities are now able to turn to a new web page designed to demonstrate their support for U.S. ratification of the CRPD. The Deaf Community CRPD Support page (including resource links in American Sign Language and international sign language) guides users to resources for learning about the treaty and urging senators to support U.S. ratification. The page links to letters and other communication from U.S. deaf and hard-of-hearing organizations that call for U.S. ratification. These resources complement USICD's materials for CRPD advocates.

Representatives from Challenge Your Disability Initiative (CYDI) in Nigeria Visit USICD

GDRL Logo Two visitors representing a Global Disability Rights Library (GDRL) deployment site, Challenge Your Disability Initiative (CYDI) in Bauchi State, Nigeria, came to USICD's office in late September to exchange news on their recent activities.  Doctors Balogun Israel Adekunkle and Abiodun Hauwa Isa Yuguda first attended the United Nations High Level Meeting on disability, then came to Washington, D.C., in part to visit USICD.


They reported that CYDI has been using their eGranary Digital Library as a tool for teaching students at a local inclusive school. They also have made their eGranary open to members of the general public, including students at various local universities. They had intended to organize a regional workshop for people with disabilities on leadership and capacity building. However, local security challenges have forced them to temporarily postpone the workshop.This workshop would have used materials from the GDRL collection in their eGranary.  Now that calm has returned to their country, Doctors Adekunkle and Yuguda plan to provide the workshop soon.


In other news, CYDI representatives reported that they have succeeded in developing a bill to promote the rights of people with disabilities and creating an agency for them. The bill has been passed into law; the agency has been inaugurated and is now operational. The visitors stated that the law has led to a paradigm shift in the attitudes of people with disabilities, their families and general society toward the community's issues. This cohort is now included in state development programs.  Some have now received scholarships to study abroad toward undergraduate degrees for the first time in the history of the state. CYDI also helped secure a four percent quota on jobs in the state-level government for people with disabilities. The CYDI representatives also told USICD that they were the first organization to organize a regional conference raising awareness about HIV/AIDS among people with disabilities in Nigeria.

The View from Georgia 
A gentleman in a light coat and bark pants sits in awheelchair at the egre of a wide lawn overlooking the water My name is Giorgi Akhmeteli from the Republic of Georgia, and I am the founder of the Georgian organization "Accessible Environment for Everyone" that advocates for the interests of persons with disabilities and aims to contribute to their social integration and to the realization of their fundamental rights to be engaged at each level of social and civil life.

I would like to share my journey, and the path I have chosen to fulfill my personal and civic goals that have eventually merged and become the same. Due to a spinal cord injury in 2003, I am now a wheelchair user.  Since then I have had to overcome the same obstacles  others with disabilities have to face in their everyday lives, difficulties I could only have imagined before.

USICD Welcomes New Chief Development and Communications Officer

A smiling man with slightly greyinghair sits in a blue jacket and red and white checkered shirt against a brightly striped background Kevin R. Locke is a development and a communications executive who has worked in the nonprofit business sector for many years. He is a native of Boston and graduated from Boston College with a B.A. in English Literature and Communications. He has also done graduate work at Fordham University and Pontificia Universita' Gregoriana (Rome).


Locke loves the critical intersection of fund development and communications. Holding the portfolio for both gives him the opportunity to create strategic messaging that generates both impact and revenue. He is anxious to see the Treaty passed so that advances may be made globally for the disabled community.


Locke began his career in Washington at National Association of College and University Business Officers. Among other organizations, he has worked in public broadcasting, most notably at WGBH NPR/PBS in Boston, MA. He worked at WXEL NPR/PBS in Palm Beach, FL, and as the public relations director at the 46 language radio station in the Vatican. He has held both communications and development positions in organizations.


Mr. Locke has worked in the disability community in several capacities. He worked in Kingston, Jamaica, with disabled elders, and with a retired Army general in establishing a start-up company to provide rehabilitation, employment, reasonable accommodation and care resources for the vision impairment community, their caregivers, employers and families. His older brother had polio and used an iron lung and wheelchair for the 54 years of his life.


Locke is active in the preservation community in DC where he has held board positions. He also performs with the Washington Men's Camerata and has served on its board. His rescue dog Bruno keeps him on his toes and responds to commands in Italian!

International Disability News
  • The cover of the report which pictures the back of a man in a wheelchair by a red car as he struggles to get up a step Russia: Barriers Everywhere: Human Rights Watch published the report "Barriers Everywhere: Lack of Accessibility for People with Disabilities in Russia". The 118-page report is based on 123 interviews with people with disabilities and their families in six cities across Russia. It documents everyday hurdles people with disabilities meet when going to government offices, shops, healthcare centers, employment settings, and accessing public transportation. READ MORE
  • NEW DATA FROM THE 2013 CRPD ICT ACCESSIBILITY PROGRESS REPORT SHOWS URGENCY FOR THE UNITED NATIONS TO PROMOTE A DISABILITY INCLUSIVE DEVELOPMENT AGENDA Underlining the urgency for the United Nations to adopt a post-2015 development agenda inclusive of persons with disabilities, the CRPD 2013 ICT Accessibility Progress Report includes the latest data measuring the degree to which 72 States Parties are implementing the accessibility provisions of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). While noting some progress in implementing core principles of the CRPD, the report documents significant deficits in promoting policies and programs to make essential services accessible to persons with disabilities around the world. READ MORE
  • A man in a wheelchair with a hat on looks at the camera with a small child sitting on his lap. Building the future of the MDGs - Breaking down barriers for persons with disabilities: Many of the world's one billion persons living with a disability remain excluded from development in areas such as education, employment and healthcare. Despite the support of the CRPD, disability has remained largely invisible in most mainstream development agenda and processes. An example is in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), where persons with disabilities (now numbering over a billion) and their concerns were often invisible in development processes both at global and national levels. As part of ongoing efforts to break down barriers and to ensure an inclusive society for all, a one-day high-level meeting of the General Assembly on Disability and Development (HLMD) was be held on 23 September 2013. READ MORE
  • Left Behind: The Case for Disability-Inclusive Development: Nepal and many other countries have made important progress toward achieving universal primary education, as part of their commitment to the United Nations MDGs. But because the goals are not grounded in a human rights framework, make no reference to an inclusive and non-discriminatory approach, and have no specific goals or targets for people with disabilities, this group has been left behind as development has moved forward. READ MORE
  • Emerging from blue long sleeves, two hands of an older person clatch each other Older people with autism in Scotland 'invisible': The National Autistic Society (NAS) Scotland said there was still a tendency to only associate autism with children, therefore the condition of older people with autism is often misunderstood and misdiagnosed. It urged the Scottish government to act on its concerns as it implements its Autism Strategy for Scotland and rolls out 13.4m in funding to support people with the condition. READ MORE
  • An abstract drawing of a person in a wheelchair Wheelchair Diaries- One Step Up: Wheelchair Diaries: One Step Up is a film about Reid Davenport's journey to investigate Europe's lack of  accessibility after being discouraged from studying in Italy because he has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair. Along with his difficulties traveling throughout Europe, three Europeans with disabilities he meets share stories that put disability in a light rarely shone in the media. READ MORE
  • Malawi Union for the Blind calls for support ahead of tripartite elections: The Visually impaired electorate in Malawi can now afford a smile as they have been directly equipped with some information relating to the forthcoming tripartite elections, courtesy of the National Initiative for Civic Education (Nice). Nice has produced some Braille materials, which has delighted the Malawi Union for the Blind (MUB), as spelt out by its Balaka Chapter, whose Chairperson, Bryson Phiri, did not mince words but declare that MUB is indebted to NICE since the advancement will enable them to read electoral materials by themselves. READ MORE
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In This Issue
Are You Ready to Push the Disability Treaty?
UUSICD ED To Speak at Dole Institute
USICD & NCD Host Educational Forum on the CRPD
Deaf Awareness Week and the CRPD
Representatives from Challenge Your Disability Initiative (CYDI) in Nigeria Visit USICD
The View from Georgia
USICD Welcomes New Chief Development and Communications Officer
International Disability News
Article Headline

Member News and Opportunities

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


G3ict New White Paper: AT&T's Corporate Accessibility Technology Office: An Industry Model
October 17, 2013
Source: G3ict


Development Officer
Posted: Monday, September 16, 2013  



Consultancy of an External Evaluation in Colombia
Posted: Friday, October 18, 2013 opportunity  


Presidential Proclamation -- Blind Americans Equality Day, 2013
October 11, 2013
Source: The White House


Video on Sign Language Education for Children
October 18, 2013
Source: World Federation of the Deaf


Organization seeks creation of disability affairs ministry
October 8, 2013
Source: Global Alliance on Accessible Technologies and Environments


"When I Walk" Premiere in NY & LA
October 2, 2013


Wheelchair Diaries: One Step Up is an official Utopia 2013 selection
October 1, 2013  


UN: Put Human Rights at Heart of New Development Agenda
September 30, 2013
Source: Human Rights Watch


Service Innovation Fund awarded to YPSA
September 28, 2013
Source: YSPA


Malawi Union for the Blind calls for support ahead of tripartite elections
September 27, 2013
Source: Newstime Africa


90 Seconds of Your Time Can Change the World -- Click the "Take Action!" Link
September 25, 2013
Source: Source America


Senate should ratify U.N. treaty on the disabled
September 25, 2013
Source: Los Angeles Times


CRPD 2013 ICT Accessibility Progress Report Press Release 23 September 2013 (NAC)
September 23, 2013
Source: DPI


Key to Post-2015: Hold Donors to Account
September 23, 2013
Source: Disability Rights Fund


Statement from the World Bank Group at the UN High-Level Meeting of the General Assembly on Disability
September 23, 2013
Source: The World Bank


RID Celebrates International Week of the Deaf
September 23, 2013
Source: RID


Secretary of State John Kerry At a High-Level Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly On Disability and Development
September 23, 2013
Source: US State Department


September 23, 2013
Source: G3ict


IDA Statment on the United Nations High-Level Meeting on Disability and Development
September 23, 2013
Source: International Disability Alliance


Left Behind: The Case for Disability-Inclusive Development
September 21, 2013
Source: Huffington Post


Michelle Kwan Calls for Ratification of the Disability Treaty
September 18, 2013
Source: US International Council on Disabilities


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

Wheelchair Diaries screening
Saturday, October 19, 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


Scholars in Middle East & Asia Wanted for Education and Disability Book
Posted: Wednesday, October 2, 2013


Fellowships in International Human Rights
Posted: Thursday, July 25, 2013


Posted: Friday, August 23, 2013 opportunity    

CALL FOR PAPERS: Disability Research in the Global South: Critical Questions & Methodological Challenges
Posted: Wednesday, May 8, 2013 opportunity

CRPD Ratification Watch
As of June 2013
  • 158 Signatories
  • 137 Ratifications
Optional Protocol:
  • 92 Signatories
  • 78 Ratifications
Recent Ratifications:
Kiribati Ratified the Convention on September 27, 2013

Papua New Guinea Ratified the Convention on September 26, 2013

Bahamas Signed the Convention on September 24, 2013

Guinea-Bissau Signed the Convention on September 24, 2013

Zimbabwe Ratified the Convention on September 23, 2013

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
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