All 50 US States Needed RIGHT NOW to Support International Disability Rights!

Posted on 28 July 2012. Filed under: Announcements, Cross-Disability, Human Rights, Opinion | Tags: , , , , , , |

Author’s Note: The following post is slightly adapted from a note I posted in Facebook.

One billion people with disabilities live on Earth–and 54 million of us live in the United States. But throughout history, people with disabilities have often met profound challenges including the high risk of poverty, exclusion from opportunities to access an education or employment, violence, forced confinement in institutions, and more.

Thursday last week, July 26, 2012, was a historic date for those of us who are Americans with disabilities and for the people who are our friends, relatives, colleagues and other peers.  It was the 22nd anniversary that the world’s first disability civil rights legislation was passed–the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  But it also was the day that the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee agreed to pass the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) to the full Senate for a floor vote.  In other words, we are now in a new and exciting phase of the campaign for US ratification of the CRPD.  This means that all 100 US senators will be asked to vote on if the US should ratify the CRPD.  We need a two-thirds majority–67 votes.  It is time for every US citizen who cares about the human rights of people with disabilities all around the world, including fellow Americans, to tell your Senators to support the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)–even if you have already asked them.  Your calls, emails, and visits to your senators are absolutely vital.  Opponents of this important international treaty, which was inspired by our own ADA, have been spreading incorrect information to senators in an attempt to convince them to vote against the CRPD.  Your voices … our voices … are essential to telling senators that those of us who have disabilities, or who care about people who do, want them to support the CRPD.

The Capitol Switchboard number is (202) 224-3121.  Ask to be connected to your Senator’s office and call both Senators!

Or, you can find Senators’ contact information at this link:

Please remember to reach out to BOTH of the senators that represent your state.

Want to learn more about the CRPD and why the US should ratify? Visit a FAQ on the CRPD. Also learn the latest news about the campaign for US ratification of the CRPD, or look up which organizations support this treaty.

Sign on to a national letter for individuals and organizations in the US who support the CRPD–visit (scroll a little down the screen to the blurb entitled “Tony Coelho Calls on You to Sign a Letter of Ratification”).  At you will find a link to the full letter as well as links for individuals or for organizations to sign the letter.

After talking with your senators and signing the letter, please spread the word as widely as you can! Tell all your friends to do the same! We need as many people as we can talking to their senators!  Use Facebook, twitter, emails, phone calls … whatever works for you.

Thank you all for your help!

Author’s Note: To international friends outside the US: The fate of US ratification of the CRPD is going to be decided by US senators who ultimately represent the people who voted them into office, thus this call to action is meant to reach out to US citizens who care about the CRPD and who also have the power to influence the decisions of the senators who represent their interests in the US federal government.

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FUNDING OPPORTUNITY for Research on Accessibility of US-Funded Overseas Programs

Posted on 12 June 2009. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Announcements, Call for Nominations or Applications, Funding, Human Rights, Inclusion, Opportunities, Policy & Legislation | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

NCD Announces Funding (Research) Opportunity
On May 13, the National Council on Disability in the US announced a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NCD-09-02) for a cooperative agreement to study “The Accessibility of U.S.-funded Overseas Facilities and Programs.”

NCD is interested in examining and understanding the responsibilities of U.S.-funded overseas facilities and programs, both public and private. NCD is seeking applicants to research and develop an NCD report with the following three components: 1) An analysis/examination of international law, to determine how U.S.-funded international development organizations will be required to comply with Article 32 of the Convention in those countries which have ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; and 2) an empirical follow-up to NCD’s 2003 report on how USAID is implementing its own disability policy overseas and its impact thus far, along with its compliance with Sections 501, 503, and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act in its overseas operations. The report should review whether these protections against discrimination are being implemented by government employees and contractors working abroad, and will examine whether U.S.-funded programs are being operated in a manner that is accessible to and inclusive of people with disabilities; and 3) evaluate progress on NCD’s recommendations regarding the accessibility of U.S. embassies and missions, as well as Department of Defense (DoD)-funded programs and facilities.

The deadline for received full proposals is 5:00 p.m. EDT on July 1, 2009.

For additional information, please contact Joan Durocher at 202-272-2117 or

This announcement received via the Global Partnership for Disability and Development mailing list.

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Why Obama Matters Globally

Posted on 18 November 2008. Filed under: Call for Comments or Information, Human Rights, Opinion, Opportunities, Policy & Legislation, Poverty | Tags: , , , , , , , |

The new US President-elect Barack Obama has said that the United States should “lead the world” in helping people with disabilities “take full advantage of their talents and become independent, integrated members of society.” He also has pledged to sign the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and to urge the US Senate to ratify it. If the United States does indeed ratify the CRPD, disability advocates in other countries would then be able to point to this fact when pressuring their own governments to do the same.

Obama’s election could have important implications for people with disabilities not only across the United States but possibly also in other countries. But we will only reap the full benefits of his presidency if he follows through on all his promises to people with disabilities. Most politicians, at least in democratic countries, are more quick to follow through on their promises when they know that both people in their own country and also people around the world are watching them.

Accordingly, people with disabilities and our loved ones, colleagues, and allies from both across the United States and all countries around the world are being encouraged to send emails to Barack Obama’s team. You can send an email to Kareem Dale, Obama’s National Disability Vote Director (at, WITH COPIES TO Anne Hayes, a volunteer on the Obama Disability Policy Committee (at If you wish, you may read other people’s emails to Obama for inspiration.

In your letters to Obama, you may wish to urge him to move quickly to sign the CRPD. Or, you may wish to urge him to remember to ensure that all US foreign assistance and poverty reduction programs are actively inclusive of people with disabilities in their design and implementation. What would it mean to the disability community in YOUR country if the US were to sign and ratify the CRPD? Share your ideas. Have you observed US-funded foreign assistance programs in your country that were not fully inclusive of people with disabilities? Share your stories with Obama’s team.

If you need more detail on the national and global email-writing campaign to Obama, you may wish to view the slide show program below. Or, if you have difficulty with this slide show program, then most of this text is also posted at

After you write your own email to Obama, please do encourage your friends and colleagues to do the same.

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