Disabled Activists Demand Ratification of Disability Treaty #CRPD!

Feel the energy of these advocates asking the U.S. Senate to ratify the CRPD “Disability Treaty”! Six minutes with captions:

You can take action to support the CRPD at http://disabilitytreaty.org.  The Action Center there can guide you through phone calls to your Senators with phone numbers and a suggested script.  (Although phone calls are best, the Action Center can also help with emails.)

Want to learn more about the CRPD? Start with these basic handouts: http://bit.ly/CRPD1Pager and http://bit.ly/CRPDmyths.

Want to know what the CRPD says? Read the full text for yourself.  Or, if you prefer, you can just read a brief summary at http://bit.ly/CRPDoverview.

Finished calling the two Senators for your state?  Or, live in disenfranchised DC?  Consider calling a few more Senators!

Yes, each phone call is counted even if you have called on the same issue many times before.  Winning CRPD ratification is partly a game of numbers: we lost at our first attempt at U.S. ratification in December 2012 because people believing in conspiracy theories about the UN flooded Senators with more phone calls than CRPD supporters.  Please don’t let this happen again.  We need to boost the number of our calls to Senators in order to win.  One easy way to do this is to either call more Senators, including Senators from other states, or else call Senators multiple times, or both.

Consider more ways to take action at http://bit.ly/ActionCRPD.

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After the Disability Treaty Rally–Yes, We Still Need YOUR Calls to Senators!

This was disseminated yesterday by Access Living in Chicago, which is one of hundreds of organizations involved with the national campaign for the U.S. ratification of the “Disability Treaty” (Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, CRPD).  The rally referenced in this email occurred on July 29th, 2014.  Certain Senators still really need to hear from CRPD supporters!  You will find phone numbers below.  A suggested “script” for what to say is available via the Action Center at http://disabilitytreaty.org.  If you are comfortable using the phone, please do: Many Senators do count phone calls more heavily than most other forms of communication.  Yes, voice mail messages left outside of office hours are still counted!  But if making a phone call isn’t your thing, then email addresses for a staff person in each Senator’s office is also included below.  A template email for you to modify is also available at http://disabilitytreaty.org.

If the Senate adjourns for August recess without voting on the CRPD, then those of us who support the human rights of 1 billion people with disabilities around the world will need to sustain our pressure on Senators during August.  Please read below for more information on latest events and for a list of Senators who need to hear from you!

Date: July 30, 2014 12:00:39 PM EDT
Subject: Update on the CRPD Fight from Washington, DC!

Dear Access Living friends and allies,

Writing you from Washington, DC!  Yesterday was an amazing day with disability advocates from across the nation fighting for the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

First thing yesterday morning, hundreds of advocates marched from downtown DC to the Reflecting Pool at the US Capitol. Energy and positivity was very high as we knew we were marching with our best!  We rallied with a number of members of Congress who came to express support for independent living and the CRPD.  Among them were our own Senator Dick Durbin and Representatives Brad Schneider and Jan Schakowsky.  They lit the crowd on fire!

Then, about 150 of us marched to the Senate Hart Office Building where there is a large atrium.  We rallied in the atrium with a range of national disability advocates.  Then, we split up to focus on visiting the offices of Senators whose votes we need to pass the CRPD.  I personally visited eight of the twelve key Senate offices with support from Access Living and Progress Center team members. We found some people are still wavering, while some are resisting.

I know that advocates are working all fronts right now to get that support so Senator Tom Harkin can call for a floor vote on the CRPD.  No news yet this morning, but if we have new developments we will be sure to let you know! In the meantime, desk warriors, your support yesterday has meant so much and I need to ask you to call those offices once again today.  Below my signature is the contact info you need.  Just say, “Support the CRPD!”  Every contact counts. Let’s go Illinois!

Amber Smock
Director of Advocacy, Access Living

Key Senators:

Senator Flake, Arizona
202-224-4521
colleen_donnelly@flake.senate.gov

Senator Isakson, Georgia
202-224-3643
chris_sullivan@isakson.senate.gov

Senator Chambliss, Georgia
202-224-3521
Brandon_bell@chambliss.senate.gov

Senator Coats, Indiana
202-224-5623
terry_snell@coats.senate.gov

Senator Blunt, Missouri
202-224-5721
lauren_mccormack@blunt.senate.gov

Senator Cochran, Mississippi
202-224-5054
tim_wolverton@cochran.senate.gov

Senator  Wicker, Mississippi
202-224-6253
bevin_wilkinson@wicker.senate.gov

Senator Fischer, Nebraska
202-224-6551
peter_schirtzinger@fischer.senate.gov

Senator Johanns, Nebraska
202-224-4224
leslie_campbell@johanns.senate.gov

Senator Burr, North Carolina
202-224-3154
Cynthia_ramos@burr.senate.gov

Senator Portman, Ohio
202-224-3353
tyler_brace@portman.senate.gov

Senator Toomey, Pennsylvania
202-224-4254
dan_adelstein@toomey.senate.gov

Senator Graham,  South Carolina
202-224-5972
matt_rimkunas@lgraham.senate.gov

Senator Scott, South Carolina
202-224-6121
spencer_pederson@scott.senate.gov

Senator Hoeven, North Dakota
202-224-2551
josh_carter@hoeven.senate.gov

Senator Hatch, Utah
202-224-5251
tom_jipping@hatch.senate.gov

(If you missed the Disability Treaty Rally that was in Washington DC on Tuesday, July 29th, you can watch videos of some of it–some labeled CRPD, some labeled NCIL–at http://bambuser.com/channel/USICD. Unfortunately no captions, but the person who did the filming attempted to keep the sign interpreter in the shot when feasible.)

ALERT: Disability Treaty is Moving Again! We Need More of YOUR Phone Calls to Senators

Edited (July 24, 2014) to add this paragraph: The Disability Treaty has passed a major hurdle that we have been working toward during more than 18 months of sustained campaigning!  The treaty (called the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, CRPD) has been passed out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. This means we are a major step closer to ratification–but we’re not there yet.  We still need your help calling Senators to ask them to ratify.  The Action Center at http://disabilitytreaty.org can help you with phone numbers and a script for talking with your Senators’ staff.  With the Disability Treaty passed out of committee, Senator Reid could schedule a Senate floor vote at any time.  Things may move VERY QUICKLY from here on out.  Although I try to post alerts here when I am able, sometimes there is simply too much to do.  The best way to ensure you don’t miss any important opportunities to take action is to subscribe to the CRPD Action Alert mailing list at http://disabilitytreaty.org/app/register?1&m=9605.

The text of the original blog post (posted on July 18) follows below:

Thank you to everyone who called their Senators this month and expressed support for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)! Based on your incredible show of support, Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Menendez has scheduled a mark-up hearing on July 22nd! (Senators will propose and vote on Amendments for the CRPD, then vote it out of Committee).

We need your help! It is critical! We cannot stop now: The world is watching!

Your Senators need to hear again from you and know that you support the CRPD! Show the community is behind this treaty and that we want the process to keep moving forward to a Floor vote!

Visit our citizen action portal,www.disabilitytreaty.orgto find yourSenators information and CALL them! They need to see that we want this NOW or we will not succeed.

For examples on contacting your Senator through Twitter follow @Ashettle and @USICD and @AdvocatEquality.

You can make the CRPD Sticker your Facebook profile picture to encourage support by your friends 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 caneand family

​ Or, find more stickers at http://bit.ly/CRPDprofile!

If you would like to the join the next National Youth and Campus leaders call, please contact Andrea Shettle at AShettle@USICD.org.

YOUR International Travel Stories Could Help Global Disability Rights

CRPD_StickerAre you a person with a disability? Have you traveled or lived in a country other than the U.S.? Have you faced accessibility barriers or disability-based discrimination while in another country? Or, have you ever been unable to participate in an international exchange program because of accessibility barriers abroad?

YOUR story could help the U.S. ratify the “Disability Treaty”, called the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD, http://disabilitytreaty.org). This is an important international agreement to honor the civil rights of people with disabilities: 147 countries have ratified it, but the U.S. has not.

  • Please take a few minutes to think of one specific incident in which you experienced problems in another country because of your disability.
  • OR, think about a time you couldn’t participate in an international exchange program or other international trip because of disability discrimination abroad.
  • Please write a few sentences about this one specific incident. Then, submit your story via the web at http://www.harkin.senate.gov/help/crpdstories.cfm
  • You may have experienced problems on many occasions in another country. But we are asking you to choose ONE incident to describe.
  • Please submit multiple stories if you are able! We ask that each story describe a separate, single incident. 

Your story could be used to educate U.S. Senators about why 1 billion people with disabilities around the world need them to ratify the Disability Treaty (CRPD).  Learn more about the campaign for U.S. ratification of the CRPD at http://disabilitytreaty.org.

CRPD graphic 0614

National Youth/Student Disability Rights Teleconference Call

CRPD_StickerDear Disability Human Rights Advocates:

Are you ready to be involved with the national movement for international disability rights?  If so, you are invited to join the next national teleconference call for student and youth advocates at U.S. colleges/universities.  This call will be on Wednesday, April 23rd, at 4 pm EST (3 pm Central Time, 1 pm Pacific Time).  CART (live text transcription on line) will be available.

An important international “Disability Treaty” is being used around the world to promote the human rights of people with disabilities.  So far, 143 countries have ratified the “Disability Treaty”, called the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).  But the U.S. has not yet joined them.  This has the potential to slow down advances in disability rights in other countries around the world.  We need student and youth volunteers and other campus leaders at U.S. colleges/universities to help change that.  People like YOU!

The U.S. International Council on Disabilities (USICD) and the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF) have been leading a coalition of more than 800 disability, veterans’ human rights, international development, humanitarian, business, and religious organizations in support of U.S. ratification of the Disability Treaty (CRPD).  USICD and DREDF also have been helping guide student and youth leaders in mobilizing their campus communities to take action in support of the CRPD.

If you’re new to the Disability Treaty, learn the basics in this one-page flyer at http://bit.ly/CRPD1Pager and visit http://disabilitytreaty.orgThen join the call on April 23rd to learn the latest news about the national movement for U.S. ratification of the CRPD.  Find out what other advocates have been doing at U.S. colleges and universities to support the movement.  Bring your energy, idealism, and passion to the call!  Let us help you consider how you can help!

Please contact Andrea Shettle at ashettle@usicd.org to learn how to dial into the April 23rd call or how to connect to the on-line CART service (live text transcription of the call).  Or, if you cannot join this call, please still contact me to receive materials that can help you think about ways to support the national movement.  Join forces with advocates across the country!  Together, we have POWER!

Know others who might be interested in joining this call?  Please circulate this notice as appropriate.

National Disability Treaty Teleconference Call, Wed Feb 26th!

We Support CRPD logoAre you angry to know that the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee has been sitting on an important international human rights treaty that upholds the rights of people with disabilities? Want to help? Or thinking about it? Please join the next national teleconference phone call for youth, student, and other campus leaders who support the Disability Treaty this Wednesday, February 26th! Learn what other advocates have been doing to support the national movement for U.S. ratification of the Disability Treaty, called the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Start thinking about ways that YOU can help.

You may recall that the U.S. International Council on Disabilities (USICD) and the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF) recently put out a call for volunteers among students and other advocates at U.S. colleges and universities. This could be YOU! We need YOUR energy, idealism, and passion to help the U.S. Senate ratify the Disability Treaty! You can start learning about the treaty at http://bit.ly/CRPD1Pager, then learn more at http://disabilitytreaty.org.

The February 26th national phone call will be at 4pm EST (3pm Central Time, 1pm Pacific Time). Please contact Andrea Shettle at ashettle@usicd.org to learn how to dial into the call or connect to the on-line CART service (live transcription of the call). Even if you cannot join this call, please still contact me to receive materials that can help you think about ways to support the national movement. Join forces with more than 800 U.S.-based organizations and many individual advocates that have been asking U.S. Senators to ratify the Disability treaty! Together, we have POWER!

Subsequent calls will be on the following dates:

Tuesday, March 25, 2014 at 4 pm EST (3pm Central Time, 1pm Pacific Time)
Wednesday, April 23, 2014, at 4 pm EST (3pm Central Time, 1pm Pacific Time)

Petitions to Support the International Disability Rights Treaty!

Support global disability rights!  Sign and disseminate the petitions for the Disability Treaty!  Youth and students at http://bit.ly/Youth4CRPD!  People of all ages at http://bit.ly/CRPDpetition!

One billion people with disabilities around the world confront discrimination at every turn.  Society excludes them from education, employment, basic health care services, travel and transportation, and even the opportunity to live with their own families in the community.

The “Disability Treaty”, called the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), is the first international human rights treaty to address these inequities.  So far, 141 countries have ratified it.  And these countries are slowly starting to revise their laws to be more consistent with the intent and spirit of the Disability Treaty.

But the United States is behind.  We have not yet ratified the CRPD.  Instead, this important treaty is stuck in the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee.  Please help fix that!  Tell Senators you want them to return to negotiations and move the CRPD toward ratification!

Please sign and disseminate the petitions:

Want to do more?  Educate yourself about the treaty and use the action center at http://disabilitytreaty.org.

Are you at a U.S. college or university?  Want to help mobilize other people at your U.S. college or university to take action on the CRPD?  Please communicate with Andrea Shettle at ashettle@usicd.org about how to get involved!  Tell her you saw this via the Rambling Justice blog.