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The inspiration for Human Rights. YES! is inseparable from that which led to the drafting and adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The calls for the initiation of a convention-drafting process and the development of human rights education materials specifically addressing the rights of people with disabilities both arose from a 1999 UN-sponsored conference in Hong Kong. This impetus stimulated human rights education workshops in many countries while the convention text itself provided the coherent structure around which we could develop the kind of comprehensive educational resource first envisioned in Hong Kong.

The Shafallah Center for Children with Special Needs in Doha, Qatar, generously provided the financial support that made our vision for this project a reality. We acknowledge the Chairman of Shafallah, Hassan Ali Bin Ali, for his outstanding leadership and sincere commitment to human rights education on the rights of people with disabilities, which has made possible the development of this project and its broad dissemination in four languages in print, CD-ROM, and web-based formats. This project was formally launched at the Second Annual Shafallah Forum in Doha, Qatar in 2007. We likewise gratefully acknowledge Tom Coyne and Dominic Coyne, who provided essential coordination and all manner of support throughout the various phases of the project. The original cover art painting was generously provided by 14-year-old Qatari artist Muhammad Al Malki.

The authors and editor acknowledge the support of the project partners without whom this resource would never have materialized:

We gratefully acknowledge the thoughtful review and important insights provided by Simon Walker, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Thanks are also due to Akiko Ito and Thomas Schindlmayer in the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs for their support for this project.

We acknowledge Julie Mertus, American University, whose book Local Action/Global Change: Learning about the Human Rights of Women and Girls served as an important guide for our own work. Her enthusiasm and expertise contributed greatly to the realization of this book. Tazreena Sajjad of American University also provided outstanding written contributions as well as research assistance during the Baltimore writing retreat in 2007.

A cohort of friends and colleagues supported us in numerous ways, sharing their experiences, expertise, and materials on human rights education as well as friendship ad creature comforts: Theodore Andersson; Marca Bristo, Access Living; the team at Brown Lloyd James in New York; Philip French, People with Disabilities Australia; Joan Durocher, National Council on Disability; Luis Gallegos, Ecuadorian Ambassador to the United States; Nora Groce, Yale School of Public Health; Diane Hoffman, University of Maryland School of Law; Paul Stephen Miller, University of Washington School of Law; Carole O'Leary and Betty Sitka, Center for Global Peace, American University; Gerard Quinn, University of Galway Faculty of Law; Winston von Licktenstein, New York City; John West, Washington, DC; and our parents: Bruce and Donna Balfe, Tim and Pat Guernsey William and Kathie Karr and Peggy Lord.

We gratefully acknowledge the members of the Human Rights. YES! Review Board who took time out of their intense schedules to review draft chapters and provide thoughtful feedback based on their wealth of expertise and experience in human rights and disability. Professor Michael Stein of the Harvard Disability Project served as the Principal Reviewer, providing comments on the manuscript in its entirety and working individually with each author as we made revisions to the text. We alone, of course, take responsibility for the final text and any errors that appear therein.

Human Rights. YES!Review Board

Michael Stein, Principal Reviewer, Harvard Project on Disability

Anne Hayes, IWID Fellow at USAID
Theresia Degener, University of Bochum
Joan Durocher, US National Council on Disability
Alison Hillman, Mental Disability Rights International
Robyn Hunt, New Zealand Human Rights Commission
Rosemary Kayess, University of New South Wales
Charlotte McClain-Nhlapo, World Bank Group
Jerry Mindes, American Institutes for Research
Pat Morrissey, Agency on Developmental Disabilities, US Department of Health
     and Human Services
Stephanie Ortoleva, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, & Labor, US
     Department of State
Eric Rosenthal, Mental Disability Rights International
Elise Roy, Independent Human Rights Law Consultant
Marsha Saxton, World Institute on Disability
Eli Wolff, Center for the Study of Sport & Society, Northeastern University

To everyone and every organization acknowledged, we thank you and the work
that you do in support of international disability rights advocacy and education
around the globe.

Janet Lord, Katherine Guernsey, Joelle Balfe, Valerie Karr, and Nancy Flowers
Baltimore, Maryland

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