Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Disability Treaty

October 25, 2013

The Disability Treaty is Back!


Last December, the U.S. came close-VERY close-to ratifying the Disability
Rights Treaty. Five Senators who voted 'No' stood in the path of the 2/3
vote required to ratify a treaty that protects the rights of people with
disabilities. Last year we lost, in part, because the Homeschool Legal
Defense Association used misinformation and scare tactics with homeschool
parents to out-call supporters of the treaty by a margin of 100 to 1.  We
cannot let this happen again!

The Convention on the Right of Persons with Disabilities is the vital
framework to protect the human rights of persons with disabilities across
the world. Inspired by our own Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which
served as the model for the Treaty, the CRPD protects the values of
independence, respect, and dignity for individuals with disabilities. 

More than 700 American organizations, from disability groups, 20+ veterans'
service organizations (most recently the American Legion), businesses
associations, and faith-based organizations have pledged their support to
this treaty.  The United States signed the CRPD in 2009. It's time for our
Senators to ratify the treaty.


Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Chair of the Foreign Relations Committee,
announced his intention to hold hearings and a markup on the Treaty soon. He
is singularly focused and committed to passing the CRPD this year.  Two
hearings dates are currently scheduled for Nov. 5 and 12.  The Senator has
said it is important that the disability, civil rights, veterans, and
business communities come together to overcome the strong opposition.  

Currently 61 Senators out of the 67 needed have indicated support for the
Treaty, including several strong Republicans (McCain, AZ; Barrasso, WY;
Ayotte, NH; Kirk, IL; Murkowski, AK; Collins, ME).  At least 6 more
committed senators are necessary to reach the 2/3rd (67) votes to ratify the
treaty.  We have identified 14 senators, listed further below, we believe
could be persuaded to vote for the Treaty. Our job is to make sure these
Senators understand the Treaty, how important the Treaty is to the
disability, veterans, and business communities, and to get them to commit to
voting "YES" during the Committee markup!  The Treaty will not go to the
Senate floor for a vote unless WE can get firm commitments for the 67 votes

Please take as many of the following action steps as you can to help us
Ratify the Treaty Now.


1.      Sign the on-line I Support the Disability Treaty Petition
<>  now!

2.      Call your U.S. Senators and tell them that you support the
Disability Treaty.  If you have called them before, call them again!

.         Visit the CRPD Action Center
<>  to find out the name of
your US Senators  (scroll down and enter your zip code).  It will take you
through the steps to call and email your Senators; or

.         Dial the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask for the
office of your Senators

.         Identify yourself as a constituent and the organization that you
represent (if any)

.         Use the talking points below to state your position and ask for a
commitment to vote for the Disability Treaty (or at least be open to
learning more at the upcoming hearings before saying no)

.         Pass this alert along to other people and coalitions that support
the treaty

3.      Email your Senators directly using the CRPD Action Center
<> .  It literally only takes a
minute! A sample letter is provided. 

4.      Tweet both of your Senators to show your support.  Click here
<>  for
list of your Senators Twitter IDs.  Remember to use #Disability Treaty for
each tweet you send. 

Sample Tweet:  "Let's promote respect for everyone's inherent dignity.
@(SenatorID) I urge you to support passage of #DisabilityTreaty for
Americans with Disabilities."

5.      Come to the hearings on Nov. 5 and 12! We need to pack the hearing
to show support.  If you can't travel to D.C., hold viewing parties and
tweet, call, and email during the hearings.

6.      Tell Us you have acted by emailing
<> .  We need to be able to show that our supporters
are taking action.


* Ratification opens new markets for American products, technologies
and services and will put the US in the best position to export technologies
for people with disabilities worldwide.  Many businesses, such as IBM,
Consumer Electronics Association, Adobe, AT&T and the US Chamber of Commerce
support the Treaty (see more on business support
<> ).
* Ratification helps thousands of Veterans by improving physical,
technological, and communication access outside the US (see Statement by Bob
Dole <> , Senator and Disabled
* Ratification provides the U.S. with the best tools to pressure other
countries to end abuse of people with disabilities, and to make their public
infrastructure accessible to people with disabilities (see the CCD report:
Neglected and Abused Abroad: A Look at the Severe Mistreatment of
Individuals with Disabilities Around the World and How the U.S. Can Help
* Ratification reinforces America's global leadership, putting us in
the strongest position to advance disability rights worldwide and to promote
the rights and values the U.S. established under the ADA, while having no
impact on U.S. sovereignty. 
* Republican and Democratic Attorneys General
<> , and past Counsel
to Presidents (see President Bush <>
letter) support the treaty, finding U.S. domestic law already in compliance
with the principals and rights contained within the treaty.
* The CRPD is budget neutral on federal, state, and local governments.

* This treaty is good for American business and for the world. It will
allow us to bring our knowledge of making a society accessible to the whole
* Reservations, understandings, and declarations (RUDs) --added to
explain U.S. interpretation and obligations under the treaty -- address all
the issues raised by the opposition.  

For more information, including the text of the Treaty, please see <>  and the
Ratify CRPD Facebook Page <>  that now
has over 4,000 followers.


All Senators, but especially these current targets:

Corker (TN), Ranking member 

Cochran (MS)

Portman (OH)

Coburn (OK)

Flake (AZ) 

Isakson (GA) 

Chambless (GA) 

Fisher (NE) 2012

Johnson (WI) 

Johanns (NE) 

Blunt (MO)

Alexander (TN)

Coats (IN)

Boozman (AR)

We know this is a lot to ask, but if the disability community can't come
together to push the Disability Treaty now, we may not have another chance
for a long time.  PLEASE ACT NOW!

Eric Bridges

Director of External Relations and Policy 

American Council of the Blind

2200 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 650

Arlington, VA 22201

Learn more about us at

Follow us on Twitter at @acbnational

Like us on Facebook at

Helpful tips from VisionAware

VisionAware™ "Getting Started" kit was created to provide hope and help to handle the challenges of vision loss, and to connect you and your family members with specialized services and products available to assist with everyday life with vision loss. For more information, check out the VisionAware Website.

For individuals with vision loss, not being able to read the information on prescription medications is a particularly dangerous problem. Find out about federal legislation with provisions that mandated the establishment of national best practices for retail and other pharmacies to use in providing accessible prescription drug labeling to customers with vision loss. For more information, read, "Talking to Your Pharmacist." 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

TCB Meeting Minutes Oct 2013

October 11, 2013

President Bailey called the meeting to order at approximately 6 pm. Everyone
introduced themselves and we had a total of 22 in attendance.

Darla read the nominating committees Slate of officers for the 2013-2014
year which are Jesse Martinez for President, Julie Bailey for Vice
President, Yvonne Hamm for Secretary, Jeri Cooper for Treasurer, Charles
Gant and Marion McFadden for Members at Large. Everyone was reminded to pay
their dues if they wish to vote and if anyone else wanted to run for any of
the board positions to notify the Nominating Committee. Nominations would be
taken from the floor at our next meeting.

President Bailey announced that Representative Jeannie McDaniel and Senator
Brian Crane would be joining us for our annual White Cane Awareness Walk on
October 15 and Jesse explained the route we would be taking. We are to meet
at Spaghetti Warehouse downtown at 5 pm. After the walk everyone was invited
to stay and eat at their own cost. Fliers will be available to hand out.

Jesse offered some ideas about the Christmas party and it was voted on to
have the Christmas party at the church during our regularly scheduled
December meeting which will be on Friday December 13 from 5:30 to 8. More
details will be coming during our next meeting concerning the food and

President Bailey inquired if anyone had signed up for any of the listserves
concerning our organizations or other blind groups such as American
Foundation for the Blind. she encouraged everyone to link up to one of these
listserves to stay informed of what's happening.

President Bailey informed those who did not know of the passing of charley
Tipps's Father this past week. Our prayers are with their family.

Joe Fallin updated everyone on the Tulsa Transit and encouraged everyone to
contact Jim Bridenstine (918-935-3222) to explain the necessity of the lift
because if the government shut down continued, federal money would no longer
be available and the Lift would not be as we know it now.

President Bailey informed us our November speaker would be Marion McFadden
and he would be talking about his book he just wrote, "Welcome Back, Jimmy".
Everyone is invited to come join us November for this great time!

Jeri discussed the recent OCB convention and the entertaining speaker we had
from the Chickasaw Cultural Center and maybe we could plan a trip there.
Discussion began of various activities and suggestions were given to
participate in for the following year.

Meeting was adjourned at approximately 7 pm.

Submitted by:  Jeri Cooper Secretary

If I were any happier, I'd be twins!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

White Cane Awareness Walk - Oct. 15h

Join us on our White Cane Awareness Walk at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 15. We'll start the walk at Spaghetti Warehouse (221 E. Brady St, Tulsa, OK), walk around past Channel 6, and then return to Spaghetti Warehouse where we'll eat dinner. We should finish about 7:00 p.m.

Joining us on our walk will be Representative Jeannie McDaniel and Senator Brian Crain. Which one will walk blindfolded this year?!  

Jeannie McDaniel     
Senator Brian Crain
We will be distributing flyers informing the public about Tulsa Council of the Blind and our state organization, Oklahoma Council of the Blind, as well as celebrating White Cane Awareness Day which symbolizes independence and employment for blind and visually impaired Oklahomans! 

For more information, please contact Julie Bailey, President, Tulsa Council of the Blind. j.bailey @

Come walk with us and show your support for the best organization ever!

Free Accessible Videos for October

Updated list! Recently released titles include biographies, counseling and self-help, history, and more. From DCMP (Described Captioned Media Program).

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

TCB Meeting, Friday, Oct. 11

Hello to all!

Yes, it's time for another TCB meeting again! The October meeting is this Friday, October 11, at the West Tulsa Free Will Baptist Church from 6 to 7:30 pm.

Brother Russell is cooking this month and the menu will be pork loin, mashed potatoes, green beans, salad, and dessert. Remember that if you wish to eat dinner the cost is $8 per person.

Remember, if you are interested in being a TCB officer please contact me at 918-231-0202, Jeri Cooper at 832-7035, or Darla Cook at 585-3955. This is your organization so make it what you want it to be!

See you Friday!

Julie Bailey
TCB President

Monday, October 7, 2013

Quick Tour of the BARD Mobile App for IOS

George McKenzie and Byron Lee have yet another blog post on the Horizons for the Blind website, this one is a "Quick Tour of the BARD Mobile App for iOS":

We read you loud and clear: A Demonstration of the new BARD Mobile App: