UN Enable Newsletter May/June 2010

June 28, 2010


May / June 2010

The Enable Newsletter is prepared by the United Nations Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (SCRPD) at the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA). Input has been received from by UN offices, agencies, funds and programmes, as well as from civil society. It is also available on-line at:



In this issue:


   §    Status of the Convention

   §    Highlights

   §    Upcoming events

   §    Other news





87 ratifications of the Convention

145 signatories to the Convention


Optional Protocol to the Convention


54 ratifications of the Optional Protocol

89 signatories to the Optional Protocol


Recent news:



Nepal ratified the Convention on 7 May 2010 Slovakia ratified the Convention on 26 May 2010 Fiji signed the Convention on 2 June 2010


Optional Protocol to the Convention

Nepal ratified the Protocol on 7 May 2010 Slovakia ratified the Protocol on 26 May 2010 Fiji signed the Protocol on 2 June 2010


Third Conference of States Parties, 1-3 September 2010 The third Conference of States Parties to the Convention (COSP) will be held from 1-3 September 2010 at UNHQ in New York. This session, under the

theme: “Implementing the Convention through Advancing Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities”, will begin with the election of members of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and include substantive roundtable discussions and an interactive informal session with civil society. Elections for members of the Committee will be held in accordance with article 34 of the Convention. As the total number of ratifications has passed 80, the membership of the Committee will increase by six to a total of 18 members. Additional elections will be held for the six members whose term expires in 2010. Information, including NGO accreditation and participation, has been posted at:



Spain submits its initial report to the CRPD Committee On 3 May, Spain submitted its initial report on its implementation of the CRPD to the Committee on the CRPD. It is the first country to submit its report. More information:





Disability included in Millennium Development Goal Report 2010 The 2010 MDGs Global Report, which has recently been issued, includes several references to disability and persons with disabilities, especially under MDG2 - achieving universal primary education.  This Report comes five years before the target date for the Millennium Development Goals, and leaders from around the world will be gathering at the United Nations this September to undertake a comprehensive review of progress and together chart a course for accelerated action on the MDGs between now and 2015. The inclusion of disability perspectives and persons with disabilities in realizing the achievement of the MDGs has been reiterated by the General Assembly in its resolutions 63/150 and 64/131. See the full Report at:



Expert Group Meeting on Accessibility, 28 to 30 June 2010 The “Expert Group Meeting on Accessibility: Innovative and cost-effective approaches for inclusive and accessible development” will be organized in collaboration with the World Bank and will be held at their Headquarters in Washington, DC from 28-30 June. The experts will review current standards and practices on accessibility and work to develop practical guidelines for disability-inclusive policy frameworks to ensure accessibility for persons with disabilities, with reasonable adaptation, in both the physical environment and in the fields of information and communication technologies. With a view to foster the building of an international community of experts on all aspects of accessibility, SCRPD is calling for experts to email the details of their expertise and contact information, so as to establish a global community of experts to move forward the accessibility agenda. More information:



GAID/G3ict – Roundtable on women with disabilities and ICTs On 1 July, an ECOSOC Ministerial Roundtable meeting will be organized by G3ict and GAID on “The role of Information and Communication Technologies in Empowering Women with Disabilities”, at UN Headquarters. The aim of this meeting is to address the topic of inclusion for women living with disabilities. Experts in ICT applications for persons with disabilities will illustrate the role of ICT in empowering women with disabilities and discuss issues such as the role of accessible internet resources for work, health, education and social networking, how accessible mobile phones can change the lives of women with disabilities, breaking the isolation of women with disabilities with ICTs, accessible workplaces and accessible financial services, and success stories, pending issues, and new solutions offered by industry and service providers.  More information:



Panel discussion on women with disabilities at ECOSOC AMR On 1 July, the Secretariat of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities will co-organize a lunch-time panel discussion on women with disabilities with along with Governments and other stakeholders, during the ECOSOC High-Level Segment, held at UN Headquarters. More information:



UNDAW- Online Discussion on Gender, Education and Employment On 7 July at 10am (New York, EST) the UN Division for the Advancement of Women (UNDAW) will organizing an online Podcast featuring experts who will discuss linkages between women’s and girls' access to and participation in formal and non-formal education and training, and their equal access to full employment and decent work. The Podcast will be available at the UNDAW


http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/csw/csw55/onlinediscussion.html and on UN

Radio: http://www.unmultimedia.org/radio/english/ from 7 July at 10 a.m.

(New York time).  Send your questions to the Podcast participants using the form available online, or e-mail collete_at_un.org by 5 July.


UN-NGLS - Interactive Hearings on the UN MDG Summit On 14 – 15 June the Informal Interactive Hearings of the General Assembly with Non-governmental organizations, Civil society organizations and the Private sector were convened at the UN Headquarters in New York. Nearly 50 representatives from NGOs, the civil society and the private sector spoke at the event and participated in an open dialogue with Government representatives. Also included in the list of speakers was Mr. Imed Chaker, chairman of Arab Organisation of People with Disabilities, who spoke on behalf of the International Disability Alliance. More information:



UNESCO – Interactive session on ICTs and Person with Disabilities”

On 11 May, UNESCO in partnership with the NGO Sindbad Mediterranean without Disabilities organized an interactive session on Information and Communication Technologies and Persons with Disabilities at the WSIS Forum 2010 in Geneva, Switzerland. The session presented good practices in the use of ICT to facilitate social inclusion of persons with disabilities.

More information:



World Bank - New financial access frontier for persons with disabilities On 18 June, a roundtable discussion was held at the World Bank Headquarters, convened by the Center for Financial Inclusion, in partnership with the Disability and Development Team of the World Bank. The discussion entitled “New Financial Access Frontier:  Including People with Disabilities” included representatives from microfinance institutions and disability organizations who deliberated on how they could best contribute to increasing access to financial services for persons with disabilities living in poverty, worldwide. More information:



GPDD Working Group on the reconstruction of Haiti During the major reconstruction that follows most natural disasters, planners often miss opportunities to avoid recreating the exclusion of persons with disabilities by adapting the design of the built environment.

It is far more cost-effective to modify the plans for a new building at the outset than to adapt an existing building to make it accessible. The Global Partnership for Disability and Development (GPDD) has initiated a Working Group on Haiti Reconstruction to ensure that reconstruction efforts after the Haiti earthquake involve persons with disabilities during all stages and that all rebuilt and newly built infrastructure is fully accessible to and usable by people with disabilities. To participate in this group, please contact Maria Veronica Reina at mvreina@law.syr.edu and Luca Valente at luvalent@law.syr.edu). More information:



UNHABITAT – World Urban Forum and disability On 22 to 26 March 22, the 5th World Urban Forum was held in Rio de Janeiro Brazil. As part of this Forum, a networking event on the CRPD and the Right to the City was arranged by “Deaf Aid” and “Disabled Child Monitor”, two organizations of persons with disabilities in Kenya. Supported by the UN Habitat Youth and Partners Section, the presenters showcased issues related to children with disabilities from the Kibera slums in Nairobi. The event entitled “An Inclusive City is an Inclusive Nation!” showed how an inclusive city can sustain the livelihood of all people. More information:

http://www.unhabitat.org/categories.asp?catid=584 and http://www.unhabitat.org/documents/SOWC10/R12.pdf.


Disability and Ageing Publication – Call for papers SCRPD and the UN Programme on Ageing are supporting the development of a publication on disability and ageing. Currently, papers are being sought for inclusion in the publication, which will focus on: similarities and differences in the impact of disability on younger an older persons; disability, ageing and poverty; design for disability (rural/urban design, home/community design; affects in later years of acquired v/s born-with disability; the impact of vision, hearing and/or mobility loss on older persons; and access to assistance/services for disabled older persons in developing countries.. For more information, please contact the NGO Committee on Ageing Proposal Contact Information: Jessica Frank Lopez, Chair, Tel: (212)407-3710 or E-mail: JEFrank@aarp.org or Florence L.

Denmark, Tel: (212)346-1551 or E-mail: fdenmark@pace.edu or Mary J. Mayer,

Tel: (212)876-2131 or E-mail: mjmayer_128@hotmail.com.





1 July: Panel Discussion on Women with Disabilities (See above).


1 July: GAID/G3ict - Roundtable on women with disabilities and ICTs (See above)


7 July: Online Podcast on Gender, Education and Employment The UN Division for the Advancement of Women is organizing an online Podcast featuring experts who will discuss gender, education and employment of women and girls. (See above).


12 - 15 July:  International Conference on Rebuilding Sustainable Communities with the Elderly and Persons with disabilities after Disasters This conference organized by the Center for Rebuilding Sustainable Communities After Disasters, University of Massachusetts, Boston, will bring together specialists and stakeholders from around the globe to share information and experiences and to develop strategies around core issues concerning the elderly and persons with disabilities in local, regional, national and international post-disaster reconstruction policies, plans and programs. More information: http://www.rebuilding.umb.edu/RSCEPD.php


18 - 23 July: XVIII International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2010) AIDS 2010 will be held in Vienna, Austria and will mark an important

milestone: the deadline by which world leaders have committed to ensuring universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support. The International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC) task team on disability and HIV has organized a Disability Zone at the XVIII International AIDS Conference in Vienna this year.  More information:

hanasshj@ukzn.ac.za at www.heard.org.za/african-leadership/disability and http://www.aids2010.org.


18 - 22 July: 21st International Congress on Education of the Deaf The 21st International Congress on Education of the Deaf (ICED) will take place in Vancouver, Canada. The Congress themed "Partners in Education”, will look at past achievements in education of the Deaf, recent research and established best practices. More information: http://www.iced2010.com/


25 - 29 August: Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability (LEAD) The conference to be held in San Diego, California (USA) opens with eight in-depth pre-conference workshops followed by three full days of interactive discussions, including a legal session with a representative from the Civil Rights Division of the US Department of Justice. The conference aims to provide attendees with the tools and information needed to make facilities and programmes accessible to persons with disabilities and older adults. More information:



20 – 22 September: International Forum on Disability Management The International Forum on Disability Management (IFDM) will bring together speakers from around the world to discuss disability management on every level, from employer relations to government policy. With the theme “Collaborating for Success”, IFDM 2010 provides a unique opportunity for the health, safety, workers’ compensation and disability management communities to advance their knowledge and share insight. More information:



1 - 3 September: Third Conference of States Parties to the CRPD (See above)


16 September: SCRPD Panel Discussion on Mental Health  The SCRPD will co-organize a panel discussion and the launch on the publication on mental health and development along with the World Health Organization, held at UNHQ. More information:



15 - 17 September: Implementing disability-inclusive development in the Pacific and Asia: Reviewing progress, planning the future An international conference and action planning roundtable will be held in Darwin, Australia and is organized by the ADDC - Australian Disability and Development Consortium. The Conference will discuss and review practical actions being taken in the Pacific and Asia to ensure that local, national and international development includes people with disability. More

information: http://www.addc.org.au/2010/02/addc-conference-first-notice/


17 - 19 September: Stand Up, Take Action: Make a Noise for the MDGs Around the world, people will participate in a wide range of events, relevant actions and initiatives to show their support for the achievement of the MDGs and have their voices heard articulating their demands for delegations attending the Summit. This global action is designed to grab public, political and media attention and to make sure that the global movement in support of the MDGs is seen and heard around the world. More

information: http://www.endpoverty2015.org/en/stand-up.


20 - 22 September: Millennium Development Goals Summit UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on world leaders to attend the MDG High-level Summit that will be held this coming September in New York.

The Summit aims to boost efforts to achieve the MDGs by 2015.

More information:



3 - 14 October: Commonwealth Games – Para Sports The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) has officially released the Para-Sports Medal Events Programme for the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games following consultation with the International Paralympic Committee. The Games will take place in New Delhi, India, and will showcase world-class sporting opportunities for elite athletes with a disability. More




22 - 24 October: First European Congress on Visual Impairment The first European Congress on Visual Impairment will be held in Valladolid, Spain and will cover the prevention of visual impairments and rehabilitation.

More information:


and http://www.eventoplenos.com/eurovision/Pages_from_Memorando0.pdf.


26 - 29 October: 4th CBR Africa Conference The theme of this Community-based Rehabilitation (CBR) Conference is “Linking CBR with Disability and Rehabilitation” and will be held in Abuja, Nigeria. The conference aims to  promote better CBR practices in Africa and provides an opportunity for people to share information,  knowledge, and experience on how disability concepts and CBR programmes can link together to help improve the quality of life for persons with disabilities and their families.

More information: Joan Okune (joan@afri-can.org) or Sally Hartley (sally@afri-can.org).


28 - 30 October: 4th National Spinal Cord Injury Conference The Conference is organized by the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute and will take place in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada and showcase new research, clinical breakthroughs, innovative approaches and methodologies to address spinal cord injuries. More information:



30 October - 3 November: International Conference for Universal Design The International Association for Universal Design will organize the conference in Hamamatsu City, Japan. The theme of the third conference will be “For the People and the Earth of Tomorrow - Towards a Sustainable Co-existence”. The conference organizers are inviting educators, product planning and developers, administrators, consultants and civic activists and students to submit research papers, as well as reports and editorial articles.

More information: http://www.ud2010.net/index.en.html.


3 December: International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

The theme of the 2010 commemoration of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities is "Keeping the promise: Mainstreaming disability in the Millennium Development Goals towards 2015 and beyond". The day aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. It also seeks to increase awareness of gains to be derived from the inclusion of persons with disabilities in every aspect of life. More information:


July 3 - 8, 2011: Access Africa - 5th IDP Africa Forum The 5th IDP Forum will focus on how the power of technology can advance equality and rights of persons who are blind and partially sighted.

Participants will include parents, persons who are blind and partially sighted, representatives from organizations of and for the blind, universities and Government ministries, international organizations, vendors, and sponsors of assistive technology. More information:




(The information below from the non-governmental disability community is provided for informational purposes only; they do not constitute endorsement of, or an approval by, the United Nations of any of the products, services, or opinions of the corporation, organization, or individual. The United Nations bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality or content of their statements and opinions.)

Forced Migration Review: Feature on disability and displacement The latest issue of FMR, a widely read and consulted publication on refugee and internal displacement issues, includes 27 articles focusing on disability and displacement, including an introduction by Shuaib Chalklen, Special Rapporteur for Disability. This issue shows why persons with disabilities who are displaced need particular consideration. The review highlights initiatives taken (locally and at the global level) to change thinking and practices, so that their vulnerability is recognized, their voices heard – and responses made inclusive. For the full review:



Experts discuss successes and obstacles for children with disabilities On 18 May, the Doha International Institute for Family Studies and Development (DIIFSD) announced the completion of Project CHILD Voices from around the World Special Report.  Findings from the report were presented at United Nations Headquarters as part of the International Day of the Family commemoration activities.  In 2009, the DIIFSD, in partnership with the Public Policy Research Institute (PPRI) at Texas A&M University, initiated an international study on the status of children with disabilities and their families entitled Children and the International Landscape of Disabilities (Project CHILD).  More information:

http://www.fsd.org.qa/doha/home/projectchild.asp. For the Report:

http://www.fsd.org.qa/common/files/child/index.html or email cd-johnson@.tamu.edu.

International Online Training on Portage Early intervention and inclusion in Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) From 15 to 25 June 25, the CBR Network held online training in order to facilitate holistic early childhood development. Portage strategy and accompanying material have been modified to reflect local concerns and are being used in about 145 countries. Portage is scientifically precise and facilitates the holistic development of all children.  More information:


International VSA Festival

From 6 to 12 June, VSA, an international organization on arts and disability, brought together artists, educators, researchers, and policymakers with and without disabilities from around the world, for a multicultural celebration of the arts and arts education. The Festival featured visual, performing, literary, and media artists and over 2,000 participants from around the world. The festival included the 2010 International VSA Education Conference on Advancing Inclusive Education and 21st Century Learning Skills through the Arts and a Pathway to Employment for artists with disabilities.

More information: http://www.vsartsfestival.org.

Web seminar on work and persons with disabilities On 22 June, representatives from the corporate sector shared best practices in processes and programmes related to recruiting and retaining persons with disabilities. At this web seminar entitled: The Workforce and Long-Term Implications–Innovative Strategies for People with Disabilities, presenters addressed topics of corporate assessment, the Americans with Disabilities Act and recent legislative changes. More information:


International discussions on social security and disability The International Social Security Association (ISSA), which is the principal international institution bringing together social security agencies and organizations, recognized that during the last two decades disability benefit payments increased significantly in most of the industrialized countries, although the rate of this growth has declined over time. This has occurred despite increased efforts to prevent disabilities and a clear long-term improvement in physical work conditions, including the decline in the prevalence of manual work. ISSA outlines how disability benefits work, and various return-to-work policies. More

information: http://www.issa.int/aiss/Temas/Invalidez#

Newsletter of the International Disability Alliance May 2010 Find out more about the participation of civil society in the work on the implementation of the CRPD, as well as the work of the Human Rights Council and the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Download the latest issue at:


14th Session of the Human Rights Council On May 31 – June 18th the HRC held its 14th Session in Geneva Switzerland.

The International Disabilities Alliance (IDA) has undertaken a disability analysis of the reports that were submitted to the Council.  More




The Enable Newsletter is prepared by the Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Division for Social Policy and Development, Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) at the United Nations Secretariat in New York.

Mailing address: UN Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, 2 UN Plaza, DC2-1306, New York, NY 10017, USA.

Website: http://www.un.org/disabilities

Email: enable@un.org