Join a Discussion on International Disability Rights

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
February 11, 2011
Replay: Conversations With America: International Disability Rights

Update: Watch the webcast here.

On Thursday, February 17, 2011, Judith Heumann, Special Advisor for International Disability Rights, will hold a conversation with David Morrissey, Executive Director of the United States International Council on Disabilities, on International Disability Rights. The discussion will be moderated by Cheryl Benton, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of Public Affairs, and streamed live on DipNote, the Department of State's official blog, at 3:00 p.m. (EST). You are invited to participate by submitting questions, some of which will be selected for response during the live broadcast. Submit your questions now in the comment section below.

This is the tenth in the Conversations with America video series coordinated by the Bureau of Public Affairs, in which the State Department's senior leadership hosts conversations live, online, with leaders of prominent non-governmental organizations. Discussion topics include foreign policy and global issues and provide a candid view of how leaders from civil society engage the Department on pressing foreign policy issues.

Comments

Comments

Ron
|
New York, USA
February 11, 2011

Ron in New York writes:

A New Global Marketplace?

How can we link and synergize global business in the service of global diabilities advances? What products and services can be developed to do well and good?

Christine
|
Maryland, USA
February 13, 2011

Christine in Maryland writes:

I think that people with disabilities may be an untapped source for diplomacy itself. They are different not only on the outside but on the inside. They understand what it feels like to be different and have others not understand. I think when people are used to feeling like they don't belong they are more open to embracing others for who they are as people on the inside and are not as fast to try to classify them or look down upon them just because the other person is different. Everyone wants to belong, to fit in and just be accepted.

Groups that fester hate look for outsiders to recruit because they know that it is easier to persuade someone that feels lost and alone because they are different. If they had programs to teach tolerance of different cultures, countries, and backgrounds, I think that people with disabilities would excel because they would be more open to looking past what is on the outside and find out what they have in common on the inside. People are filled with love when not tormented into hate, and allowing them to love with out borders assists in cultural changes towards tolerance of others. Let the Politicians deal with the negotiations of the countries differences, let the citizens and the children learn to love and celebrate someone because of what makes them different. Different is COOL and maybe when you find everything that you have in common instead of different future generations of leaders will have more compassion when negotiating with other countries. It is harder to declare war on a country that you have friends in and understand that what makes them different is also what makes them special.

Oystercracker
|
United States
February 13, 2011

O.C. in the U.S.A. writes:

Wheelchairs and prosthetics. Surely Egypt or Africa could build cheaper wheelchairs.

Ghulam N.
|
Pakistan
February 13, 2011

Ghulam N. in Pakistan writes:

Why America is not ensuring its International aid/support/programs or ODA inclusive for people with disabilities?

Yukiko N.
|
Japan
February 13, 2011

Yukiko N. in Japan writes:

It is difficult for organizations of PWDs to equally participate in the application of assistance. Due to the lack of educational opportunities, many disabled persons cannot properly prepare for ducuments necessary to apply for assistance. Their idea is good, so that scheme is needed to help them write application as appealingly as an interantional assistance organizations do.

Jyoti V.
|
India
February 13, 2011

Jyoti V. in India writes:

I work as a rehabilitation counselor at India Spinal Injuries Center New Delhi. I have been priviliged to meet Hudy couple of times in Pittsburgh as well as in New Delhi. My question is: Among the several basic necessities to live meaningful and dignified life, the access to appropriate mobility for disabled is the THE most basic right, but looking at the current grim scenario in developing countries in terms of lack of research and development, lack of federal funding, lack of awareness on part of manufacturers,comsumers and clinicians in availing and prescribing assistive technologies that enhances the quality of life and independence for disabled people, how a ensure a barrierfree marketplace for assistive technologies in such a scenario??

Abid L.
|
Pakistan
February 13, 2011

Abid L. in Pakistan writes:

My question is that when we speak out about development in disability area, mostly big cities come under discussions and priority, meanwhile big ratio of disabled population lives at rural areas at grass root level. Why this kind of discrimination is practiced in the policies of Governments/INGOs/ and Donors?

Abid L.
President
Nawabshah Disability Forum
NDF-Pakistan

Yasunobu I.
|
Japan
February 13, 2011

Yasunobu I. in Japan writes:

Every country in the world should have the scheme in which DPOs, CSOs, government, business and media can participate, to discuss Disability issues regularly. Multi - sectorial participation is a key to success.

Bob R.
|
Ethiopia
February 14, 2011

Bob R. in Ethiopia writes:

The US now has a rich experience in guaranteeing equality of access and opportunity for Americans with disabilities, thanks to the ADA and other progressive legislation. Now that an increasing number of developing countries are ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, how can the US government, the USICD and other US organizations share experience and expertise to assist countries - governments and civil society - to implement the Convention?

Mohammed Y.
|
United States
February 14, 2011

Mohammed Y. in the U.S.A. writes:

Can we look at devicing systems, products and processes that'd empowering individuals and give them tools to make decision for them and their families. Can we create simple self-employment schemes and ensure accessible transportation...to mainstream people with disabilities.

EquallyAble Foundation

Ron
|
New York, USA
February 14, 2011

Ron in New York writes:

The Theme of Human triumph.......

Removing all obstacles for disabled peoples will enhance the life-functions of all humanity. Isn't this goal beneficial for economies, political and social systems alike?

Claude S.
February 14, 2011

Claude S. writes:

Technology is rapidly changing, and this helps us communicate in many different ways - allowing us to maintain relationships and to exchange information not only within our country, but with others worldwide. Can the United Nations look into working formally with International Telecommunications Union (ITU), and other appropriate global standards setting bodies to ensure that we experience accessible telecommunications and information technology all over the world? Thanks to your involvement, global will indeed be local!

Sean
|
Ireland
February 15, 2011

Sean in Ireland writes:

I would also like to know this. How can we link and synergize global business in the service of global diabilities advances? What products and services can be developed to do well and good?

Ilene Z.
|
Georgia
February 15, 2011

Ilene Z. in Georgia writes:

Hi Judy, David and everyone,

My question pertains to a frequent situation in this part of the world (Europe and Central Asia, ECA) and likely many other areas too. What can the US foreign assistance programs do to prod countries who have already long ago passed legislation mandating accessibility - at least pertaining to new construction - to enforce their own laws? U.S. efforts to help countries improve inclusion of people with disabilities would have so much more clout if they actually adhered to their own laws.

Rooshey H.
|
Illinois, USA
February 15, 2011

Rooshey H. in Illinois writes:

My name is Rooshey H. and I am based at the University of Illinois in Chicago and very much would like to see more efforts addressed in looking at refugees who are resettling in the U.S and other parts of the world. Specifically, I want to see what steps can be taken to make refugees with disabilities a research, service, and policy agenda. Can you please comment on current movements and possibilities to address this issue.

Lily B.
|
California, USA
February 15, 2011

Lily B. in California writes:

Judith and David,

You have known me for a long time. I have been disabled for close to 30 years and have been living in the United States for 50 years. I have discussed with you the possibility of starting a disability office in the Middle East which is very very badly needed.

#1 We Americans complain about how bad our Image is in the Middle East, so we both want and need to change our image. The only thing that that part of the world has seen from the US how our military takes over and enforces change through violence and backs the current dictatorships. We need start some kind of humanitarian project and let the people see the human side of the US. For instance like the last issue in Egypt where our government had been backing the Present of Egypt for the last 30 years. Also don't forget about the war in IRAQ which not only leaves people with disabilities defenseless but also caused so many soldiers to come back to the US with acquired disabilities. I think we need to start facing reality by creating something peaceful, like a disabilities office to teach the society how to treat those with disabilities equally and to present them with the services necessary to be contributing members of society, which at this time is non-existent in the Middle East.

I have talked to you both numerous times about this need, but I guess its just as much a priority to either of you as it is to me. I know that Judith has been to the Middle East to try to tackle this problem. I also know the society,language and cultures of the Middle East and I think that with regards to that aspect, Judith needs assistance in order to have people in that area open up to her. Therefore, if you truly are serious about doing something to change our image in that area of the world, which I know needs a lot of help (i.e. the war in IRAQ alone left over 1 million people with disabilities, so how do you expect our image to be?) you can get in touch with me at your convenience so we can get something started. I know most of the Disability Offices in the Arab world, and I could greatly be of help to you.

Lily B.

Mwesigwa B.
|
Uganda
February 16, 2011

Mwesigwa B. in Uganda writes:

The American people through USAID and PEPFAR support so many HIV&AIDS initiatives in the developing world.

I would like to know why programmes for persons with disability focusing on HIV&AIDS are not prioritised as other vulnerable groups are suported by USAID and PEPFAR.

Thank you

Don W.
|
Massachusetts, USA
February 16, 2011

Don W. in Massachusetts writes:

A cutting edge of the synergy between the human rights and international development agendas is the situation of children with disabilities. With the 2008 adoption of the Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities (CRPD), the challenge of ensuring that children with disabilities become full participants in society comes to the forefront. Diverse nations and NGO's invest heavily in early child development (ECD) and inclusive education (IE) yet available and emerging tools for program implementation and evaluation neglect key variables associated with children with disabilities. Such variables are surely related to costs and benefits of interventions, whether providing a more realistic assessment of the challenges in the target population or in generating an appropriately differentiated scaling of impacts and outcomes.

New "toolkits" guide societies as they implement ECD programs; they sometimes mention children with disabilities, but too-often only in parentheses or footnote, perhaps recognizing or avoiding the significant challenges inherent in truly inclusive and equitable projects. Advocates for children with disabilities have an opportunity and responsibility to seize this moment as awareness of CRPD grows and accountability parameters articulate.

Children with disabilities merit less than a page of text in the 463 page 2009 Education for All (EFA) Global Monitoring Report. However, the report recognizes that “disability is a significant source of inequality and marginalization in education.” (p.192) and laments that “progress in recognizing disability as an area needing policy attention has been limited. Only ten of the twenty-eight education plans endorsed by the Fast Track Initiative between 2002 and 2006 included a strategy for children affected by disability. While 13 others mention disability, there is little detail of strategies for the inclusion of disabled children in education, and five make no mention at all.”(p 192-193).

While intergovernmental and transnational initiatives on behalf of children steadily gain traction, the particular promise and needs of young children and those with disabilities remain too often marginalized or hidden within too lengthy lists of priorities (e.g., "http://www.usaid.gov/press/congressional/2009/pl109-95arIII.pdf" ). New guidance for early childhood development policies and projects issued by the World Bank lacks explicit indexing for disability, CRPD, or special education (Naudeau, et al, 2011). In the face of widespread acknowledgment of the special challenges of disability and the new CRPD mandates, these gaps and omissions threaten the effectiveness and integrity of serious efforts to meet key MDG benchmarks. The forthright re-commitment to the MDG by the US at the September UNGA makes for timely and pressing opportunity. Simultaneously, the recognition of these gaps and omissions allows for cross-sectoral problem-solving likely to enhance, even harmonize distinctive priorities in child development, education, social protection, nutrition, and health.

So, my question is, what do you see as the gaps and opportunities facing us as we take on the challenge of ensuring that children with disabilities are beneficiaries of CRPD?

As toolkits for implementation of ECD programming are developed and launched, how might children with disabilities become more explicitly included?

As EFA advances, how might its commitment to truly inclusive education be better realized?

How can we engage and rally the multiple stakeholders across the sectors of child and youth development, social and legal protection, nutrition, health and education for these catalytic and timely opportunities?

Shantha B.
|
New York, USA
February 16, 2011

Shantha B. in New York writes:

Thank you for the opportunity to participate in this dialogue. The U.S. has been a leader in disability rights for decades and has demonstrated its continued commitment to disability rights by signing the CRPD in 2009. How is the US utilizing this leadership role to push countries to move away from a medical/charity approach to disability and embrace the rights-based approach embodied in the CRPD (including landmark provisions on legal capacity and the right to live in the community)?

Bruce C.
|
California, USA
February 16, 2011

Bruce C. in California writes:

It is understood by human rights practitioners that human rights laws and Nondiscrimination policies which promote inclusion and forbid discrimination, require ongoing and effective monitoring and enforcement. What is the State Department and USAID doing to monitor and enforce their own regulations contained in all foreign assistance contracts requiring demonstrated efforts by subcontractors to include persons with disabilities in their programs and also the requirement that all new construction conducted with foreign assistance funding be fully accessible? Please describe the appropriate process for filing a complaint when US foreign assistance money is being used to construct inaccessible buildings in other countries?

Nicar B.
|
Jamaica
February 16, 2011

Nicar B. in Jamaica writes:

Good Afternoon Mr. Morrissey and Ms. Heumann, sending you all some good vibes and sunlight from Kingston, Jamaica.

A challenge that many Disabled People's Organization's (DPO) face, especially here in Jamaica, is pushing for the implementation of the UNCRPD. But in many countries, Disability often takes a backseat to bigger issues such as national security, disaster relief and economic recovery.

Others have suggested to mainstream disability in all projects, but then HOW can we effectively and properly advocate for mainstreaming without the public looking at it as a burden, an additional cost or a "favor" for persons with disabilities?

Nicar B.
Gallaudet University

Arun K.
|
New York, USA
February 16, 2011

Arun K. in New York writes:

Could you talk about some of the ways U.S. is envisioning its engagement on the international issues promoting and advocating for rights of people with disabilities in developing countries? What specific initiatives look at furthering the implementation of UNCRPD among signatory nations as well as the disability-specific developmental objectives of the Millennium Development Goals? What specific funding mechanisms are available for US-based research and advocates to work in these areas?

Alison G.
|
California, USA
February 17, 2011

Alison G. in California writes:

It is my understanding that the ADA & ADAAA prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability. If this is true, why does the California School for the Deaf in Fremont get away with discriminating against students with disabilities above and beyond deafness by their admissions staff? My tax dollars pay them to serve my daughter, and instead they are violating her civil-rights. I really do need an answer to this. Shouldn't our public institutions be the shining example of honoring disability rights rather than viewing themselves as above the law? Thank you for your time.

letter85
February 17, 2011

L. writes:

First STEP:

starting by changing DISABLE into Differently Able!

YO'

Juan S.
|
New York, USA
February 17, 2011

Juan S. in New York writes:

Thank you for you give the opportunity to me discuss about person with disability rights. I am Juan Sheng, a woman with disability. I am an US citizen and I graduated on February 2010 from Brooklyn College of CUNY and I got MS degree in Television and Radio. I have an experiences of produce, edit, camera operate and Management etc.

The company Time Warner Cable of New York City error terminated me on April 11, 2008. They are against US citizen rights and broke ADA of law. They always ignore fact and dismissal my rights. I look for solving the problem since April 2008, but I still don't solve it.

I don't have any income and benefits since May 2010. I try to apply job at every day since April 2008. But there was no company hire me because I was been terminated by Time Warner Cable of New York City. Especially, when I applied to work, somebody said: you are a disability, there is no job for you; when I applied for benefits of SSI or SSDI, somebody said: you are not a person with disability of qualifications. What is my right of life? How can I get the rights?

Thank You.

Evelyn C.
|
Maryland, USA
February 17, 2011

Evelyn C. in Maryland writes:

Question for the broadcast if not too late:

Much of the focus for CRPD implementation following the promulgation of the treaty has importantly been on the human rights tenets and creation and empowerment of DPOs. Could you speak to the concurrent challenges of needed capacity building support for systems strengthening for equitable access to education, (re)habilitation, and health care? For example, what role will your office play with 1) meshing the CRPD agenda with the President's Global Health Initiative priorities (now housed at the State Dept) and 2) addressing other foreign aid funding concerns that may affect CRPD implementation internationally? Thanks very much, Evelyn C., CEO, GlobalPartnersUnited

Donna M.
|
Chile
February 17, 2011

Donna M. in Chile writes:

Where on the order of importance is the freedom of citizens of USA and or global friends? What are the diplomatic accomplishments of the State Department with relation to nudging global partners towards not only signing but fulfilling the CRPD? And what about efforts back home in the USA?

I'm a USA citizen living abroad in Chile with my adult son with intellectual disabilities. And as you can see- people with disabilities are no longer confined to their back bedroom, their locked institutions... many are moving about the country about the globe. But that movement towards and access to equity, accommodations, freedom is not steady, assured, or consistent both on USA soil and abroad.

Chile signed-on and ratified both the convention and the optional protocol of the Convention on Rights for People with Disabilities. To date the USA/Obama has only signed the convention. Admittedly in the USA we have the ADAA while in Chile people with disabilities still struggle for access, civil rights and accommodations in its attempt to make Ley 20-422 a law that truly assures inclusion, equality and accommodation ("http://www.senadis.cl/").

There are so many laws locally and globally....yet so many discrepancies between letter of law and reality of life--not only globally but right in the State Department's front and back yards (e.g. DOJ's investigation findings that VA violated the civil rights of training center residents by keeping them in institutions rather than moving them to community settings- which also conflicts with article 19 of CRPD).

In sum...How is the State Department affecting measurable changes towards the freedoms/equity of people with disabilities?

disability p.
|
India
February 26, 2011

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|
India
March 10, 2011

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wheelchairs
|
India
July 5, 2011

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