May 1 is also 2013 Blogging Against Disablism Day
May 1, 2013 | Submitted by Rambling Justice (click here for text with embedded links)
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.

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 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!

CRPD = “Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities”: an international treaty defending the human rights of people with disabilities.  It is ratified by 130 countries—but not the US.  We’re working to fix that! Learn the basics. Or, keep learning more.

Track news at USICD’s CRPD updates page. Follow @USICD in Twitter and in Facebook.

2. Talk to Senators!

Visit http://www.senate.gov. 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!

Show senators the faces of CRPD supporters! Take a picture of you holding your own homemade sign supporting the CRPD.  Look at more pictures for ideas.  Send the picture to Susie Richard srichard@usicd.org at USICD!

Use Twitter? Tweet pictures to senators with the #CRPD hashtag.

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 in twitter often. “Share” the USICD Facebook page .

5. What Can YOUR Organization Do?

Have your organization sign on to USICD’s letter of support from organizations for the CRPD. (Check the list to learn what other US organizations have signed on.) Encourage your organization’s constituents to contact senators supporting the CRPD. Make a group picture of people who support the CRPD and send it to srichard@usicd.org at USICD!! See examples of pictures here. Consider sending your own letter to senators. Explain why your organization wants the US to ratify. (Read letters of support from other organizations). Send a PDF copy to Susie Richard so she can post it to USICD’s website. Communicate with USICD about these and other ways to help the effort.

We fixed the problems with our video!

July 21, 2012

Sorry it took us so long to get this video situation sorted out. This is the video we’ve put up for our Kickstarter campaigns. Campaigns with videos are 30% more likely to succeed so hopefully this will help build some momentum around the campaign. Thanks again to our friends Berenice and Taryn for directing, shooting and uploading this video.

The middle of Kickstarter campaigns (here’s the link to ours) is usually the least active, so we need as much help promoting this as possible. Sorry to litter your dashboard with this stuff. I really can’t wait until the end of August when we’re on the road and able to deliver daily live-coverage, interviews, etc. Reblog this to help make that that happen if you feel so inclined. 

We’re going to start in Arizona at the end of August and move on to the bay area by the first week (or second week) in September. Although, after a response to a previous post about us going to Oakland, we are hoping to be in Oakland for first Friday! As we’re traveling, if anyone ever wants to tumblr-meetup, let us know. We love you guys! Seriously. Tumblr has meant everything to me while my politics have radicalized and changed and continues to be my most useful tool for challenging my beliefs as my politics continue to develop. I don’t think I’ve ever been somewhere on the internet or in-person with so many people who have such like-minds & I’m really glad that we’re going to be able to be even MORE engaged with the tumblr community while we’re working on this project.

While in Arizona, we’re hoping to speak with groups who are engaged in latino-rights and immigrant struggles. If you have any recommendations, or know of any groups, send us an ask and let us know. Also, we want to make couchsurfing friends, so if any of you guys are couch surfers, add me (Robert) & later Gracie, when I can find her profile to link you to. Thanks for all your support, it means everything to us. Seriously. 

In case you were wondering where we went for a week, we were away at the leftist conference, Socialism2012…

July 03, 2012

Things got incredibly busy and we didn’t get to do as much live work as we will in the future, mostly because of technical issues, but we’re back now and will be launching our Kickstarter on Thursday, as well as recapping/following-up on the conference.

Overall, it was a wonderful experience. CERSC and the ISO put on a great conference and we were happy to have been a part of it.

Please follow The People’s Record, as we prepare to launch our Kickstarter, which should hopefully be a vehicle to keep us devoted to developing the blog over the next year! <3

EDIT: You can follow all the posts of things that we didn’t cover while we were gone @ thepeoplesrecord.com/whileweweregone