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:
Advocating Change Together (ACT) provided invaluable resources from their human rights education materials and assisted in the development of plain language versions of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Particular thanks are due to Mary Kay Kennedy and Bret Hesla at ACT.
At BlueLaw LLP, Jeff Walker was unwavering in his support and enthusiasm, and his colleagues likewise provided encouragement at every stage along the way, particularly, Tracie Anton, Justyn Baxley, Walt Burns, Seth Cowell, Howard Fenton, Sudhir Mahara, Joe May, and Dave Pronchick.
Disabled Peoples' International supported the development of this resource throughout the UN Disability Convention negotiations. Former DPI Chair, Venus Ilagan, was one of the original advocates for human rights education to support the work of disability advocates at the 1999 Hong Kong meeting and a key participant in the first field testings of the resource. Her own work in her home country of the Philippines and around the world represents human rights education and advocacy at its very best. Mary Ennis, Executive Director of DPI, ably and enthusiastically oversaw the development of the manual and supported numerous opportunities for the field testing of various parts of the manual, including at the United Nations in New York, a regional meeting in Lima, Peru, and most recently at the DPI World Assembly in Seoul, Korea in September 2007. We further thank each and every participant in these sessions for their insights and constructive feedback. Steve Estey, DPI Human Rights Officer, has likewise supported this endeavor from its inception. We are grateful for the support of incoming Chair of DPI, Wilfredo Guzman and for his energetic disability rights advocacy in the Latin American and Caribbean Region and thank as well all present and former DPI World Council Executive Board members. Specific thanks with regard to field testing at the DPI World Assembly in Seoul are due to Dr. Christan Park, Dr. Ick-Lee, and Mr. Joseph Juhn, as well as the many participants who attended the workshop sessions and provided invaluable feedback.
The Harvard Project on Disability served as a collaborator and project partner, providing intensive manuscript review, expertise in the design of field testing workshops and materials, coordination and facilitation for field testing and overall responsiveness, and guidance in every respect. Our appreciation and heartfelt thanks are acknowledged in particular to Michael Stein, Executive Director of the Harvard Project on Disability; William Alford, Vice Dean, Harvard Law School; and Penelope Stein, Center for East Asian Legal Studies, Harvard Law School.
The University of Minnesota Human Rights Center has been a truly remarkable project partner. Kristi Rudelius-Palmer's support for the project never faltered, notwithstanding our several false starts and seemingly endless periods of silence as the treaty negotiation proceeded, chipping away at the time needed to start writing. She always stood ready to re- engage at a moment's notice and generously contributed her time and extensive expertise in human rights education to advance our work. Rima Reda worked patiently with the team on the professional design and printing details and is responsible for the outstanding cover design. Patrick Finnegan and John Colombo provided tireless assistance in the final editing and citation review.
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