REMINDER: Rally for the Disability Treaty July 29th and Call Your Senators!

Text inside circle says "We Support CRPD", text around circle says www.disabilitytreaty.org also on rim of circle are icons for sign interpreter, wheelchair, audio loop, and blind person with caneWe need you for our final push to ratify the Disability Treaty!

Tell the Senate the Time for Excuses is Over!

PLEASE Call your Senators!  And join us at a Rally for the CRPD to let the Senate know we want this brought up for a floor vote NOW! 

When:
July 29th, 2014 at Noon
(We will gather at the NCIL rally and move to a location TBD so please join us on time!)

Where:
3rd Street NW between Pennsylvania Ave NW and Maryland Ave SW
We will be gathering at the NCIL rally, which will be in area 15 on this map: http://www.uscapitolpolice.gov/special_events/map.pdf
The nearest three Metro Stations are Judiciary Square (red line), Federal Center (blue and orange lines), and Archives (yellow and green lines)

If you’re not located in DC, you can take part by visiting your Senators’ in-state offices and expressing your support for the CRPD!

Encourage your DC-area contacts to attend the Rally! If you’re in Facebook, use the “Invite Friends” feature at https://www.facebook.com/events/675884719173229/In red text, it says Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)

New to the Disability Treaty? Quick overview at http://disabilitytreaty.org/faq

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Your Senators need to hear from you again that you support the CRPD! Show that the community is behind this treaty and that we want the process to KEEP MOVING FORWARD to a Floor vote!

Additionally, Senator Reid also needs to hear from us, and that we want a floor vote NOW!

Visit our citizen action portal to call your Senators http://disabilitytreaty.org!  They need to hear from our movement now or we will not succeed.

SIT student from Ghana CRPDEvery call counts–even if you’ve already called a hundred times before.  Don’t let people opposed to international cooperation outnumber us in phone calls like they did in December 2012.  We need to be louder than they are.  Tired of calling your own Senators?  Consider calling some Senators who really need to hear from CRPD advocates: www.handicap-international.us/breaking_crpd

If you can come to the rally in person tomorrow–great! I’ll see you there!  We need a large crowd to make a good impression on Senators.   If you simply cannot come in person, you can still watch it via live video streaming on the web at https://bambuser.com/channel/USCD!

Urgent Action for Disability Treaty Needed: Join July 29th Rally in DC!

If you’re in DC and care about disability rights, please join the Disability Treaty Rally this July 29th! https://www.facebook.com/events/675884719173229/ Even if you cannot attend or aren’t in DC, there are other ways you can help! CRPD graphic 0614

This could be a crucial make or break moment for the Disability Treaty (called the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, CRPD). Which is why YOUR timely action is URGENT. We recently passed a major hurdle when the Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed the CRPD out of committee. But we still need Senator Reid to schedule a full floor vote. And we need more votes to get the super-majority two-thirds vote we need to ratify the CRPD (67 out of 100 Senators).

You may know that the Disability Treaty is a major international agreement protecting the human rights of 1 billion people with disabilities around the world: 147 countries have ratified it, but the U.S. has not. Not familiar with it? Visit http://disabilitytreaty.org/ and read the CRPD 1 Pager at http://bit.ly/CRPD1Pager. Learn why more than 800 disability, veterans, faith, business, and human rights organizations support it.

Text inside circle says "We Support CRPD", text around circle says www.disabilitytreaty.org also on rim of circle are icons for sign interpreter, wheelchair, audio loop, and blind person with canePlease join the July 29 rally for the “Disability Treaty” (called the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, CRPD) in Washington DC!

We will gather at 12:15 pm on Tuesday, July 29 on 3rd Street NW between Pennsylvania Avenue NW and Maryland Avenue SW. Please arrive PROMPTLY. We will go to a location to be announced.  If you cannot attend in person, you can watch via live video streaming on the web at https://bambuser.com/channel/USICD.

We also need YOU to CALL SENATORS and tell them to ratify the CRPD! And ask your friends all over USA to do the same! Find phone numbers and talking points at the Action Center at http://disabilitytreaty.org/!  Already called your own Senators and Senator Reid? Please consider also calling some key targeted SenatorsLead Disability Orgs

If desired, RSVP for the rally at https://www.facebook.com/events/675884719173229/ Even if you cannot attend, you can still help encourage your DC-area contacts to participate. If you use Facebook, go to the Facebook event page and use the “Invite Friends” feature (a little down in the right column) to invite your DC-area contacts to the Rally.

NAD Asks Deaf Community: Take Action to Support Disability Treaty NOW!

Yes, everyone should please call your Senators! The http://disabilitytreaty.org website can help you with phone numbers and a suggested script for what to say on the phone to Senators’ staff.  Yes, you can call over the weekend–voice mail messages are counted, too!  Yes, you can call the same Senators with the same messages multiple times: each call is still counted. Tired of calling your own Senators?  Consider calling the Senators listed at http://www.handicap-international.us/breaking_crpd

If you’re in DC, please come to the Disability Treaty / CRPD Rally on July 29th! Learn the details at https://www.facebook.com/events/675884719173229/. Or, even if you can’t go, please use the “Invite Friends” feature (a little down in the right column) to invite all your DC-area Facebook contacts to the Rally. Make sure everyone in DC knows this Rally is happening! People can take a long lunch break to attend!

Or if you’re new to the Disability Treaty and want to learn more about it first, try these:  http://bit.ly/CRPD1Pager, http://bit.ly/CRPDtimeline, and http://bit.ly/Deaf4CRPD.  Or, if you’re ambitious, you can read the text of what the Disability Treaty itself says (it’s long!): http://www.usicd.org/index.cfm/convention

Join the July 29th Rally for the Disability Treaty in Washington DC!

Text inside circle says "We Support CRPD", text around circle says www.disabilitytreaty.org also on rim of circle are icons for sign interpreter, wheelchair, audio loop, and blind person with caneWe are experiencing, right now, a make or break moment for ratifying the Disability Treaty.  On one hand, we are now closer to ratifying the Disability Treaty than we have been since 2012! But on the other we could still miss it—unless we have YOUR help in taking action!  We urgently need your involvement to give this treaty one big final push.

You may know that the Disability Treaty is a crucial international agreement protecting the human rights of 1 billion people with disabilities around the world: 147 countries have ratified it, but the U.S. has not. Not familiar with it?  Read a handout on the CRPD at http://bit.ly/CRPD1Pager, click here for more resources on the CRPD, or read the text of the Disability Treaty itself.  Learn why more than 800 disability, veterans, faith, business, and human rights organizations support it.

Please join the July 29 rally for the “Disability Treaty” (called the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, CRPD) in Washington DC!  RSVP for the march and invite your friends via https://www.facebook.com/events/675884719173229/

The rally will gather at 12:15 pm on Tuesday, July 29 on 3rd Street NW between Pennsylvania Avenue NW and Maryland Avenue SW.CRPD graphic 0614  Please arrive PROMPTLY.

We also need YOU to CALL SENATORS and tell them to ratify the CRPD! And ask your friends all over USA to do the same! Find phone numbers and talking points at the Action Center at http://disabilitytreaty.org/!  Finished calling your own Senators?  Ready for more phone calls? Consider calling some of our targeted Senators!

 

The Disability Treaty: Why Should the US Ratify?

CRPD One Pager 2013CRPD One Pager 2013 2nd

For people who cannot see the images above, I am copy/pasting the text from this two-page flyer on why the U.S. should ratify the Disability Treaty further below. (Or, if you are sighted, click on each image to see it in a larger size.) You also can download the flyer in accessible PDF format.  Let me know at ashettle@patriot.net if you are still having difficulty with accessibility.  The Disability Treaty is more formally known as the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

Ready to take action? There are two petitions for US citizens to sign, one petition by Handicap International and the other petition at Capwiz.  But if you have a few more minutes, then please don’t stop there.  Learn more about what the Disability Treaty is, why the US should ratify, and how to take action at these  websites:

  • http://disabilitytreaty.org: The official CRPD (Disability treaty) website from the U.S. International Council on Disabilities
  • http://bit.ly/Resources4CRPD:  More resources on the CRPD, how to ask Senators to support U.S. ratification of the treaty, and other ways to take action
  • CRPD Updates for action alerts and other news on the Disability Treaty. You also can sign up for USICD’s action alert mailing list here.
  • “Like” the Ratify CRPD Facebook page. Grassroots CRPD advocates across the country are using this Facebook page to exchange ideas for different ways to take action.

Text from “The Disability Treaty” flyer below:

THE DISABILITY TREATY

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is an international disability treaty that was inspired by U.S. leadership in recognizing the rights of people with disabilities. The CRPD is a vital framework for creating legislation and policies around the world that embrace the rights and dignity of all people with disabilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was the model for the CRPD, which values of independence and respect and concept of reasonable accommodation are echoed throughout the treaty.

The United States signed the CRPD in 2009. On December 4, 2012 the United States Senate considered the ratification of the CRPD but fell 5 votes short of the super-majority vote required. The media coverage of the Senate’s failure to ratify the disability treaty has been overwhelming and the CRPD’s Senate leaders remain committed to bringing the disability treaty up in the 113th Congress.

Why should the U.S. ratify the CRPD when we have the ADA?

Ratification of the CRPD Exports U.S. Leadership ● A broad coalition of over 600 U.S. disability, civil rights, faith, business, and veteran organizations support the U.S. ratification of the CRPD holding that American leadership in this arena is critical to the ultimate success of the treaty. ● Ratification is critical to maintaining our leadership role and to eliminating disability discrimination throughout the world and gives the U.S. legitimacy to export the model of the ADA to other countries. ● The absence of U.S. leadership in the CRPD and its Committee of experts matters.

Ratification provides the U.S. an opportunity to play an important and expansive role in the development of disability rights around the world without having to change any U.S. laws or add additional costs to its budget.

VSOs Strongly Support CRPD to Expand Opportunities for Veterans

● Major veteran service organizations, representing veterans of every generation, support ratification of the CRPD. These groups recognize that our 5.5 million American veterans with disabilities will have greater opportunities to work, study, and travel abroad as countries implement the CRPD with leadership from the U.S.

● Military families support the CRPD as well. As one CRPD advocate described, having a disability prevented her husband from being able to serve overseas due to the lack of accessibility for her abroad. “Others had the opportunity to transfer overseas. Because of my disability, that was not an option.”

U.S. Business Supports Ratification of the CRPD to Benefit Business

● The Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. Business Leadership Network, and the Information Technology Industry Council support U.S. ratification of the CRPD because it benefits business. ● Many accessible products are engineered, manufactured, or sold by U.S. corporations that can meet the new demands for the world’s population of 1 billion people with disabilities. As one business expressed at a Senate briefing by IBM, Adobe, and other key business

leaders, “Investment follows opportunity. And to the extent we can make these technologies available on a worldwide basis, that’s a bigger market and more opportunity for companies to deliver their products into the world.”

Photo of ADA leader Justin Dart’s hat in his honor at CRPD Senate hearing

Photo of Attendee uses U.S. innovation to participate in CRPD briefing by American business leaders

Photo of VSO Press Conference on CRPD

CRPD Ratification Improves Global Accessibity

● 4 out of 10 American travelers are estimated to be people with disabilities and their companions yet they still face constant barriers and discrimination abroad. ● Students with disabilities represent less than 4% of students that choose to travel abroad.

● Not ratifying the disability treaty is hindering the United States’ ability to provide expertise to many countries seeking to bring their standards of access for persons with disabilities up to those of the United States, which directly affects Americans with disabilities living, working, and traveling abroad.

● By ratifying the CRPD, the U.S. will offer decades of honed technical expertise to reduce barriers globally and ensure that Americans who travel and study abroad have the same access they enjoy here.

CRPD Ratification Ensures Humane and Moral Treatment

● Without laws like the ADA abroad, millions of children and adults are housed in institutions without enrichment of a family life, community resources, or access to the most basic civil rights like a birth certificate or even a name. Until it ratifies the CRPD, the U.S. is a bystander on these critical matters.

● The reason U.S. persuasion, moral authority, and leadership can have such an impact on other countries through the CRPD is because of the stark

discrimination that still exists in many parts of the world. ● U.S. leadership in fighting against discrimination against persons with disabilities such as infanticide and forced exclusion – and teaching about our example of an inclusive society – can make an immense difference.

U.S Ratification of the CRPD Has Strong Bipartisan Support

● Republican leaders of disability legislation support ratification of the CRPD including former President George H.W. Bush, former Senator Bob Dole, former Attorney General Dick Thornburgh and former White House Counsel C. Boyden Gray.

● Senators McCain (R-AZ) and Barrasso (R-WY) led the treaty ratification effort with Senators Kerry (D-MA), Durbin (D-IL), and Harkin (D-IA) in the 112th Congress under shared values of independence, respect, and dignity for all people with disabilities. This bipartisanship leadership for the CRPD continues in the 113th Congress, beginning in January 2013.

QUICK STATS ABOUT THE WORLD’S LARGEST MINORITY 57.8 million Americans have one or more disabilities  5.5 million American veterans are people with disabilities  1 billion people with disabilities around the world

80% of people with disabilities live in developing countries  1 in 4 of today’s 20 year olds will be disabled before they retire  80% of people with disabilities live in isolated rural areas

United States International Council on Disabilities (USICD)

1012 14th Street, NW, Suite 105, Washington, D.C. 20005 Telephone: 202-347-0102 Fax: 202-347-0351 www.usicd.org 

Photo of woman in wheelchair at Dar es Salaam Airport

Photos: Child and teenager with disabilities institutionalized abroad, Courtesy of Disability Rights International

Photo of Advocates for CRPD rally on Capitol Hill for bipartisan support

Supporting US Ratification of the #CRPD Disability Treaty!

CRPD_StickerIf you care about social justice, equality, and human rights for all people … if you are an American with a disability, or an American veteran, or someone who loves a person who is … then please take action in the campaign for US ratification of the disability treaty.  Ask your US senators to vote YES to ratify the CRPD Disability Treaty in 2013.

This may sound like something that shouldn’t need your help.  Because, who would be against people with disabilities? But we lost our first attempt to get the CRPD ratified in the US in December 2012 due to a campaign of mis-information from opponents. We cannot allow this to happen again. The disability, veterans, faith, and social justice communities are trying again in 2013.  More than 500 organizations across the US are working hard on this.  But we need your help in talking with your senators to make it happen.

The slide show below gives a brief overview of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD, also known as the “disability treaty”).  It covers:

  • What the CRPD is,
  • Why it matters to people with disabilities around the world,
  • Why US ratification is important even though we already have the Americans with Disabilities Act, and
  • Simple actions that people can take to help.

Also visit a great website with extensive materials on the CRPD disability treaty, the campaign for US ratification, and resources for advocates at http://www.disabilitytreaty.org.

If you have 48 minutes to spare, watch this great new webinar video on the CRPD and the history of the campaign for US ratification at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4LHXZyHERU&feature=youtu.be. Yes, it has captions for deaf and hard of hearing people (and others who need them).

Lead Disability OrgsRebecca Berman AAPD's CRPD Yes! Pix Dec 3

Five Ways to Support the US #CRPD Ratification Campaign!

I have been deaf since birth.  And, though I didn’t know it until I was in graduate school, I also always have had attention deficit disorder. So I have confronted various forms of disablism/ablism all my life.  (The variant of disablism visited upon deaf people is often called “audism”, by the way.)  And I’m passionate about seeing disablism/ablism be defeated in every country on Earth.  Which we can’t do, at least not effectively, without the right tools. This is why I become frustrated when I meet fellow advocates fighting for disability rights who don’t know much about the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).  

I absolutely love the annual May 1 Blogging Against Disablism Day (BADD) event.  But I also get frustrated when once again another year goes by with very few (if any) contributing BADD bloggers even mentioning the CRPD in relation to disablism.

The CRPD is an international treaty written to protect the human rights of people with disabilities.  Many elements of the CRPD was inspired in part by US disability civil rights legislation, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. In just six years, 130 133 countries have ratified it. And in these countries, advocates have slowly begun to use the CRPD to support arguments for reforming laws to ensure that the rights of people with disabilities are better protected. And governments have been slowly starting to listen.

Also importantly, ratifying the CRPD gives a country the right to send representatives to high-level meetings among countries in which people discuss the best practices for CRPD implementation.  These meetings are a critical vehicle for disseminating ideas and influencing other countries to consider ways to improve their practices in defending the rights of people with disabilities.  But because the United States has only signed, and not yet ratified, the CRPD, we in the US have effectively excluded ourselves from that conversation.  Although the US does still have some influence (after all, we passed the world’s first civil rights legislation protecting people with disabilities), our inability to join these high-level conversations as a fellow ratifying country does limit our opportunities for disseminating ideas to people in other countries in a position to do something about them.

The US disability community, Americans veterans community, various faith communities, parents and families of people with disabilities, and other allies have been advocating for the US to ratify the CRPD.  We failed our first attempt in 2012.  But keep watching for the next attempt!  In the meantime, if you are a US citizen, consider these ideas for how you can support the campaign for US ratification of the CRPD!

1. Educate yourself about the CRPD!

2. Talk to Senators!

  • Visit http://www.senate.gov or download this Word file: Senate Contact List.  Find the website for each of your two senators. Email them, call them, tweet them, visit their offices, or leave messages at their Facebook page!  In twitter, use the hashtag #CRPD.
  • Your message for senators: “Please ratify the CRPD in 2013! This is an important issue for the disability & veterans community!”  If desired, say what your connection to the disability or veterans community is.

3. Lend your Face!

Picture of a woman holding a handmade sign with "CRPD" and "support" written and drawn in American Sign Language, the phrase "human rights" and a drawing of the globe  Picture of an older man and woman holding a sign printed from a computer saying "parents of children with disabilities support US ratification of the CRPD"  Picture of 17 people at the Vermont Center for Independent Living holding signs that together say "CRPD"  A woman seated in a wheelchair poses with four papers that together say "CRPD" (holds C and R in her hands, rests P and D on her legs)

4. Recruit Friends and Family!

  • Educate friends and family about the CRPD.  Ask them to call, email, or tweet  senators–and contribute pictures!
  • Retweet @USICD , @WeCanDoThis13, @AShettle and many other active CRPD tweeters oten.  “Share” the USICD Facebook page .

5. What Can YOUR Organization Do?

This blog post is offered as a contribution to the 2013 Blogging Against Disablism Day (BADD) event. This is an annual blogging activity, held each year on May 1, in which more than a hundred bloggers contribute blog posts on disablism.  Follow the link to discover many other contributions from this year.