Read the RatifyNow CRPD Blog Swarm 2008 on the International Disability (and Deaf!) Rights Treaty!

Posted on 29 March 2008. Filed under: Advocacy, Announcements, Audism, Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities ( | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

No, none of the participating blog posts specifically focus on Deaf issues (sorry, ran out of time to write one), but several are still very much relevant for Deaf people who are fighting to protect their own human rights.

From Australia … from the USA … from India … from New Zealand … from Fiji … from the Philippines …

Writers and bloggers from around the world joined together to help celebrate and promote the first legally binding international human rights instrument to protect the rights of people with disabilities — the international disability rights treaty, called the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

They celebrated by writing blog posts for the RatifyNow CRPD Blog Swarm 2008, which can now be read at

What did they write about? Some of the topics include …

… The story of one advocate who watched the birth of the CRPD among grassroots advocates with disabilities and others in the 1990s …
… How the CRPD could deliver new hope for people in India with mental disabilities …
… How the CRPD represents an evolution from the charity/medical model of disability to the social or human rights-based model …
… How the CRPD could make travel go a little more smoothly for tourists with disabilities …
… Why the CRPD matters for people who use personal assistance services or who are seeking the freedom to explore their own sexual expression …
… An allegorical tale about farmers, spoons, and plows: Why the CRPD is well worth celebrating and why our work isn’t done just because the CRPD is about to take full legal force …
… And more …

All at the RatifyNow CRPD Blog Swarm 2008, and all available by following the link to:

Celebrate and learn about the CRPD through the RatifyNow CRPD Blog Swarm 2008.

Then invite other people to do the same. Please circulate this notice or post it at your blog or web site — with, of course, a link to the blog swarm at

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Deaf Vloggers and Bloggers, Please Vlog/Blog on the International Disability Rights Treaty!

Posted on 25 March 2008. Filed under: Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities ( | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

You may recall from earlier publicity that is organizing a “blog swarm” in which bloggers/vloggers and writers agree to write or vlog about the same topic at about the same time. In this case, the purpose is to celebrate, promote, and educate people about the international disability rights treaty, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). I am posting this announcement here because I hope to entice more DEAF people to participate in the blog swarm!

For those of you who are thinking about writing a contribution for the RatifyNow CRPD Blog Swarm 2008, RatifyNow posted a small “taste” of what a few of the early contributers have submitted already at:

This is not the real thing. The actual blog swarm is still scheduled to go live on March 30 in New Zealand time. (In the rest of the world, it will still be the 29th.) RatifyNow is sharing this small sampling from among the early submissions in the hope that they will help inspire others to write more blog posts to supplement them.

Learn more about the RatifyNow CRPD Blog Swarm 2008 and how YOU can participate at:

Contributions can be submitted to Please use the phrase “BLOG SWARM” somewhere in your subject line. If you have a blog, send us the exact URL for your vlog or blog post, your name (or screen name), and the name of your blog. If you don’t have a blog then send the full text of your blog post, your name (or desired screen name), and a SHORT suggested title for your blog post. RatifyNow will try to find a home for it.

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Deaf Bloggers, Let’s Unite in Support of the CRPD!

Posted on 20 March 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (, Disability, Submit Your Essays! | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Calling all Writers for the RatifyNow CRPD Blog Swarm 2008!
Are you good with words? Do you care about protecting the human rights of Deaf people or people with disabilities? Are you looking for a way to celebrate the first anniversary of the international disability rights treaty, called the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), on March 30, 2008? (Which, YES, covers Deaf, deaf, and hard of hearing people too!)

Please participate in the RatifyNow CRPD Blog Swarm 2008!

What’s a Blog Swarm?
A blog swarm is when many bloggers agree to write blog posts on the same theme at about the same time. Writers who don’t have a blog can ask someone who does to publish their post for them. A blog swarm can increase public awareness of an issue.

I would love to see strong participation from the Deaf community for this blog swarm, including both written English blogs and also signed vlogs.

If you make a vlog, please try to provide either captions or a transcript. Why? Because people from all around the world may be reading the RatifyNow CRPD Blog Swarm 2008–including Deaf people from other countries who won’t know your signed language and blind people who cannot watch videos.

Why Celebrate the CRPD?
Does it make you angry when Deaf people, or other people with disabilities, are denied equal access to educational opportunities or good quality healthcare? Does it make you sad when Deaf children are denied the right to full communication access to their environment? Does it horrify you when Deaf or disabled people are left behind during times of natural disasters and war? Does reading about the abuse and torture of people with disabilities make you want to do something about it? These are all human rights violations.

When countries ratify the international disability rights treaty (CRPD), this obligates them to create laws to protect the human rights of people with disabilities. With these laws in place, the disability communities of ratifying countries will be in a stronger position to advocate for themselves—and be heard. That’s worth celebrating.

So, What’s the RatifyNow CRPD Blog Swarm 2008?
Writers are being asked to submit blog posts about the CRPD via email to at any time between now and March 27, 2008. If you don’t have a blog, we’ll try to find a home for your blog post.

For more details about the CRPD and the celebratory blog swarm, please follow the link to:

Here, you will find links to the original announcement about the RatifyNow CRPD Blog Swarm 2008 and how you can participate; a page that can help educate yourself about the CRPD before you start writing about it; suggested topic ideas for you to consider; and suggested guidelines for people who are not familiar with how to write blog posts.

Then What Happens?
On March 30, 2008, come to to start reading what all the participating writers and bloggers say about the CRPD!

What Else?
Please help make the RatifyNow CRPD Blog Swarm 2008 a success by making sure people know about it! You may post this notice at your blog or other web site, or pass it along to people you know.

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My Letter Endorsing the International Disability Rights Treaty

Posted on 6 February 2008. Filed under: Advocacy, Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities ( | Tags: , , , , , |

I just posted an action alert about an important international disability rights treaty, called the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). This action alert asked people in the United States to write to YOUR legislators to ask them to support the CRPD. You can do this by following the link to:

(Not a US citizen? Go to to find other ways to get involved, or contact the local Deaf or disabled people’s organization in your country to see if they can advise.)

The above web page will give you more background information on the CRPD (if you want a deeper understanding, check out the web site). It will also help you quickly identify who your legislators are (just fill in your zip code and address). It even gives you a form letter you can use. However, your email will have MUCH stronger impact if you can personalize your letter in some way.

Here is the text that I sent to my legislators:

Dear [recipient name was inserted here],

I’m writing to you as your constituent to request that you actively support and endorse the International (UN) Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This is highly important to me both as a deaf person and also as a person with many friends and relatives with various disabilities.

The CRPD is a groundbreaking achievement of civilized society. This Convention opens the door to opportunity and inclusion for people with disabilities throughout the world. It is one of the first major treaties that acknowledges that disabled people need more than charity or yet more “social security”–what we need and deserve are for our basic human rights
to be recognized.

To date, nearly 123 member nations have signed the Treaty, and 15 countries have already ratified it as well. However, as you may already be aware, the US is not on either of these lists.

The current Administration did not represent the US at the signing ceremony last spring and has yet to show any support for this historic treaty. Furthermore, the administration has given no indication that it intends to ever support this landmark Convention. The United States disability community finds the Administration’s position on this issue to be nothing short of both demoralizing and distressing. I know I, personally, find it to be so.

Being honest and realistic about our chances with the Bush Administration, advocates are looking to the next Administration as the focus of their efforts. With a majority of the leading candidates having said that they would support the US signing the Convention, the disability community is seeking to build support in Congress now. We wish to prepare for what we hope will be a speedy signing and ratification of this legislation in early 2009.

On behalf of the 650,000,000 people with disabilities throughout the world, I would greatly appreciate your support of this human rights Convention.


Write your own letter to YOUR legislators at “

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Deaf, Disability Human Rights Advocacy in Canada

Posted on 5 January 2008. Filed under: Advocacy, Announcements, Audism, Disability, Disability Blogs, Interesting web sites, International | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Deaf people and people with disabilities in Price Edward Island, Canada, this blog post is for you. This blog post is also for you if you’ve ever been frustrated at how YOUR government (in any country) treats Deaf or disabled people and wanted to do something about it.

Stephen Pate recently brought his blog to my attention:

In this blog, he identifies all the many different ways that the government denies human rights to people with various disabilities, and Deaf people. And he uses his blog to bring attention to these human rights abuses and speaks out about them, in a loud voice.

If you know of any Deaf people (particularly, of course, Deaf people in Prince Edward Island, Canada) who have had their human rights violated, you may want to check out his blog. See if he can help tell your story. Or, disability advocates in general may want to check it out. See if there is a way you can make a difference in some of the many issues he blogs about.

I’m posting this here in part to thank Stephen Pate for linking to my other blog, We Can Do. I didn’t want to link to it from there because I’m trying to keep We Can Do tightly focused on disability issues in developing countries–which Canada isn’t. But Disability Alert still looks like a good blog. My main concern with it is that, unfortunately, the videos on it don’t seem to have captions. But then, these seem to be videos from other sources that he doesn’t control, so that probably isn’t his fault.

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