April 2016
USICD Releases Consolidated Disability Findings from U.S. State Department Country Reports on Human Rights

The annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices represent the culmination of the U.S. State Department's review of the human rights records and situation in 194 countries around the world. The reports Seal for the US Department of State image of eagle inside blue circle are  supplied to Congress in accordance with law to assist in matters of foreign affairs.
USICD, with the assistance of intern Emily Lahaie of Gallaudet University, has consolidated the disability references from the 194 Country Reports for the year 2014 into a comprehensive document. Please visit USICD's Consolidated Disability Findings from U.S. State Department Human Rights Report page to review disability-related findings from the U.S. State Department Human Rights country reports from 2010 through 2014.  
Haiti Disability Community Protest Hate Crime Murder of Three Young Deaf Women
On March 18, a damaged bridge forced three deaf women to take an
unusual path home from their work as street vendors. They stopped to seek shelter and were instead tortured and stoned to death then abandoned in a gully. One of the suspects reported to police that the women were tortured and killed because they were thought to be witches because of their use of sign language. Since then, 
Deaf rights and disability rights leaders in Haiti have met with key human rights organizations in Haiti, spoken out to the press, and led a march on the Haiti capital, in order to call for justice for the three women and to request compensation for their families.

The Disability Rights Fund (DRF), joined some of the organizations they fund in Haiti in a meeting with Bureau des Avocats International (BAI), a leading human rights and legal aid organization in Haiti, on March 21 to inform them of the killings. DRF
A large group of people march with signs in French and a large banner with the names Vanessa Sophonie Monique
Advocates march to protest the murders of three Deaf women Vanessa Sophonie and Monique
grantees at the meeting included the Association des Sourds de Leveque Haiti (ASLH, an association of Deaf people) and Union des Femmes au 
Mobilité Réduited Haiti (UFMORH, an organization of women with disabilities). As a result, the human rights organization BAI investigated the incident and subsequent legal actions by communicating with local authorities where the crime took place, including the police, the mayor, and others. DRF staff have remained in close communication with its grantee organizations in Haiti and continue to receive updates on how the Haiti Deaf and disability communities have responded to the murders. 

Disability Rights Fund (DRF) has reported to USICD that a coalition of disabled people's organizations (DPOs) and umbrella organizations in Haiti and the Office of the Secretary of State for the Integration of Persons with Disabilities (BSEIPH) organized a press conference on March 30 that was attended by 20 different radio, television, and print media outlets. The press conference was aired on all radio stations and television networks that day and ran in the morning news on March 31st. 

On April 1st, hundreds of disability rights advocates and other human rights supporters marched to the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Women to demand justice for the victims and their families. A delegation of DPOs, all
In a crowd of protesters one woman holds a sign saying in French Sommes Nous Tous les Trois Femmes Sourdes
One protester holds a sign that says in French We Are All The Three Deaf Women
supported by the Disability Rights Fund, met with the Minister of Gender who promised to follow up with the Minister of Justice. These DPOs included: ASLH, Société Haïtien d'Aide aux Aveugles (SHAA), and Réseau Associatif National pour l'Intégration des Personnes Handicapées (RANIPH).  Also on April 1st, the Minister of Gender talked on a radio show with large national coverage in Haiti about the murders and the importance of educating people about disability and diversity. 

After the march on April 1st, the Bureau des Avocats International (BAI) organized a conference for lawyers to help them better understand the barriers that people with disabilities experience in accessing justice in Haiti. A delegation of DPOs, mostly from the Deaf community and including DRF grantees, spoke at the conference. Lawyers at the conference agreed to collaborate with BAI to address access to justice for people with disabilities and to reach out to DPOs and support their advocacy initiatives.

The advocacy initiatives have resulted in extensive media coverage by national and international press. The central directorate of police organized a press conference to inform the population that two suspects involved in the killing have been arrested, though the main suspect is still on the run. 
Some of the articles covering the news are linked below. Most of these, except where noted otherwise, are in English:
 (In French)
USICD Launches 2016 Membership Drive
Woman with short blond hair_ white blouse and black jacket smiles at camera
Dr. Patricia Morrissey
Dear USICD Members and Friends, 

Last month USICD launched our annual membership drive.  We are thrilled by the community of new and renewing members who share our commitment to greater connections within the global disability community. 
Today I would like to highlight and thank a few of our longtime organizational members who renewed their 2016 membership immediately this month: the American Association of People with Disabilities, the National Organization on Disability, Disability Rights International, the National Association of the Deaf, and the Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living.
Speaking of independent living, a movement that is rapidly spreading around the world, USICD is thrilled to see more centers for independent living here in the U.S. building relationships and sharing their work with advocates from many countries.  CILs like the Eastern Oregon Center for Independent Living, the Illinois & Iowa Center for Independent Living, Western New York Independent Living, Access Living of Metropolitan Chicago, and the Independent Living Center of the North Shore & Cape Ann are all renewing USICD member organizations and we could not be more thrilled to have them and we are excited by the prospects for future collaboration.

Meet all of USICD's organizational members here.

Our individual members are a vital part of USICD too, and I hope every reader of my message today will join us--an individual membership is only $25.  The support of individuals makes the USICD's advocacy possible, from ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to disability inclusion in the World Bank Safeguards.  In future issues of our newsletter we will be highlighting some of our individual members, their work and advocacy. 

On April 28 all of our members will get to meet each other when USICD will host our next semi-annual members teleconference, creating an opportunity for sharing updates, interaction, learning about developments in USICD's work and among our global colleagues, and fostering collaboration.  I hope you will join USICD soon and then join us on April 28!
Learn about the reasons, types and benefits of membership here.  The staff and I are always available to answer and to hear your ideas. 

Thank you for supporting USICD by being a member!

 With thanks,
Dr. Patricia Morrissey, President


USICD Submits Feedback on World Bank Safeguard Policies
USICD recently submitted feedback to the World Bank on their second draft Environmental and Social Framework (ESF). This framework is used as a tool to protect poor people and the environment in World Bank investment projects. The World Bank, which is supported with funds from more than 100 country governments, provides funding to a wide range of projects in developing countries meant to alleviate poverty, improve the Line drawing of a globe next to the words World Bank Group national economy, enable farmers and private sector businesses to access international markets, increase access to education and basic healthcare, and other needs.  

The ESF, also called "safeguards", are meant to ensure that investment projects do not inadvertently cause harm to poor people or to the environment. USICD's feedback requested stronger language protecting the needs of people with disabilities.

Review feedback on the second draft World Bank ESF submitted by other organizations.

Read USICD's feedback.
Disability Rights International Launches New Web Page on Women and Girls with Disabilities
In honor of International Women's Day, which is celebrated by the global community each year on March 8, USICD member Disability Rights International launched a new web page on women and girls White sheet of paper with a torn hole showing a neglected child_s dirty face Below face it says Disability Rights International with disabilities.  DRI's new web page highlights their activities in fighting for the human rights of women and girls with disabilities, particularly for people segregated in institutions.

Visit their new web page on women and girls with disabilities at 
US Senator Markey to Keynote at M-Enabling Summit
The organizers of the 2016 M-Enabling Summit are pleased to announce that Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass) will deliver the Summit keynote on June 13 in Washington, D.C., outlining steps to further promote digital accessibility for seniors and persons with disabilities, including adopting rules specifying that accessibility obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) cover Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) on par with the built environment and transportation. Senator Markey is a national leader in technology and telecommunications and has promoted competition, choice and equal access for consumers during his entire tenure in Congress.

The M-Enabling Summit is a joint initiative of the Global Initiative for Inclusive A round logo with white text on a blue background M-Enabling Summit June 13-14 2016 Information and Communication Technologies (G3ict) and E.J. Krause & Associates (EJK) to promote mobile accessible and assistive applications and services for senior citizens and persons with disabilities leveraging the latest operating systems, handsets and tablets based technologies. The fifth edition of the M-Enabling Summit will be held on June 2016 at the Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel in Arlington, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, DC.
Learn more about the M-Enabling Summit, to be held in Washington, DC, on June 13 and 14, 2016.
Webinar on Disability and Human Rights: Global Perspectives
Woman with a dark shirt and shoulder-length hair
Edurne Garcia Iriatre
Researcher, author, and Director of the Disability Studies program at Trinidad College Dublin, Ireland, Edurne Garcia Iriarte will be delivering an online webinar on global perspectives on disability and human rights on April 13, 2016. The webinar will present an overview of the book 
Disability and Human Rights: Global Perspectives
, which explores the global dimensions of disability and reviews progress on implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) internationally. It examines multiple key areas of human rights including health, education, employment, accessibility, and independent living, as well as the impact of poverty.

The webinar is being sponsored by the Social Dimensions of Health Institute based at the University of Dundee and the University of Saint Andrews in the United Kingdom.  The online forum will start at 2 pm UK time (9 am in east coast time in the US, 8 am in mountain time, 6 am Pacific time).

Those who wish to join the webinar can communicate with Fred Comerford ( or Rosanne Bell (
Submit Articles on Disability Inclusive Education
The 2016 edition of Enabling Education Review,
the annual publication of the Enabling Education Network, 
will be on the theme of Inclusive Education in Emergencies. (i.e., wars, conflicts, natural disasters, and other humanitarian crises)  The Enabling Education Network will be publishing jointly with the International Network for Education in Emergencies (INEEThe first deadline for submitting draft articles is 30 May 2016. For more information about how to submit your article, and ideas for issues you could write about, please see the full call for articles 
(Word download).

A string of people in brown shilouette holding hands above the acronym EENET with the second e inside a circle The Enabling Education Network is an inclusive education information exchange network. Their website offers hundreds of resources and publications on disability inclusive education around the world, particularly in developing countries.  Their website also lists various events, jobs, and other opportunities.

The Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies is a INEE An International Network for Education in Emergencies membership organization of more than 11 thousand individuals and 130 organizations in 170 countries. INEE members are practitioners working for national and international NGOs and UN agencies, ministry of education and other government personnel, donors, students, teachers, and researchers who voluntarily join in the work related to education in emergencies.
DC Summer Internship Opportunities with 2Gether-International
Although the deadline for USICD's summer internship program has passed, the DC-based organization 2Gether-International is still taking applications until April 10. The organization works to teach A pair of eyes, bracketed by hands, peer over a white blank expanse young people about disability and to unify them in disability rights advocacy. They are looking for part-time interns who would be able to come to DC from May 9 to July 18. Interns would receive a $1000 stipend and a few perks. Learn more at

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In This Issue
USICD Releases Consolidated Disability Findings from US State Department Country Reports on Human Rights
Haiti Disability Community Protest Brutal Murder of Three Young Deaf Women
USICD Launches 2016 Membership Drive
USICD Submits Feedback on World Bank Safeguard Policies
Disability Rights International Launches New Web Page on Women and Girls with Disabilities
US Senator Markey to Keynote at M-Enabling Summit
Webinar on Disability and Human Rights
Submit Articles on Disability Inclusive Education
DC Summer Internship Opportunities with 2Gether-International
Events and Opportunities

Two job openings are available at Disability Rights International in DC, one for an Accountant/Office Manager, the other for a Human Rights Associate

Submit articles on disability inclusive education for publication, in Enabling Education Review 2016. Submit by May 30, 2016.

M-Enabling Summit and Showcase, June 13-14 2016, in Washington DC

Ninth Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons (COSP) with Disabilities (CRPD) to be held June 14-16, 2016

8th International Summer School on Disability Law and Policy, The Centre for Disability Law and Policy, National University of Ireland, Galway, to be held June 20-24, 2016

2016 U.S. Business Leadership Network Conference September 19-22, 2016, Disability Inclusion: The Future Redefined

New publication by European Centre for Minority Issues examines situation of Roma with disabilities: Not Even in the Margins: Where Are Roma with Disabilities?

UNESCO has released a new factsheet on disabilities and education: children with disabilities are less likely to be enrolled at school.

For more international disability news, events, and opportunities, check USICD's Twitter FeedUSICD's Facebook page, or USICD's LinkedIn page!
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Board of Directors

Patricia Morrissey - President

John Wodatch- Vice President

David Hutt - Treasurer

Glen White - Secretary

Marca Bristo - Past President

Lex Frieden                    Candace Cable

Jennifer Dexter

Daniel Fisher 

Jill Houghton

Axel Leblois

Barbara LeRoy

Janet Lord

Susan Mazrui

Jerry McCloskey

Faith McCormick

Sheila Newman

Stephanie Ortoleva

Susan Parker

Debra Perry

Neil Romano 

Eric Rosenthal

Diana Samarasan



Government Representatives

David Baquis (US Access Board)

Joan Durocher (NCD)

Meredith DeDonna (ODEP)

Marcie Roth (FEMA)

Sue Swenson (OSERS)

CRPD Ratification Watch
As of April 2016:
  • 162 Signatories
  • 160 Ratifications
Optional Protocol:
  • 92 Signatories
  • 88 Ratifications
Recent Ratifications:
Sri Lanka ratified the convention on February 8, 2016

Antigua and Barbuda ratified the convention on January 7, 2016

Sao Tome and Principe ratified the Convention on November 5, 2015

Democratic Republic of the Congo Ratified the Convention on September 30, 2015

Bahama Ratified the Convention on September 28, 2015
Gambia Ratified the Convention on July 7, 2015
Trinidad and Tobago Ratified the Convention on June 25, 2015
Madagascar Ratified the Convention on June 12, 2015
Kazakhstan Ratified the Convention on April 21, 2015 
Turkey Ratified the Convention on March 26, 2015
Marshall Islands Ratified the Convention on March 17, 2015
Vietnam Ratified the Convention on February 5, 2015
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