The Washington Post

For China’s disabled, jobs are hard to find

Despite investing an unprecedented amount in infrastructure for the disabled when it hosted the Olympics and Paralympic games in 2008, China has backtracked when it comes to improving the livelihoods of its citizens with disabilities. Unemployment for people with disabilities in China remains a massive problem. Though exact figures are unknown, China’s government agency on disabilities estimated that in 2010, only 4 million people in urban areas and 17 million in rural areas were employed.  That’s out of a country with an estimated 85 million people with disabilities. Read more.


Barry De Geest – Beyond Thalidomide

New Zealander Barry De Geest was born without arms and several other birth defects after his mother took the experimental drug Thalidomide while pregnant with him. De Geest was not expected to live long and his mother was encouraged to hand him over to an institution. Fifty years later, De Geest is largely independent, a proud father and a successful business owner.

Attitude Pictures, a New Zealand TV production company, broadcasts short documentaries about people with disabilities. Watch more programs here.

U.S. News & World Report

The U.S. Doesn’t Need the U.N.’s Disability Treaty

The United States does not need to ratify the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities because the U.S. already protects its disabled citizens, according to an opinion piece by Steven Groves in U.S. News & World Report.

According to Groves, U.S. federal laws are more specific than the “ambiguous” codes shaped by international opinion in the CRPD. Moreover, the U.S. legislation, including the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disability Act, can be expanded and modified.

CRPD activists pushing for ratification claim it will improve accessibility on a global level. Not so, says Groves. Read more.

NBC News

Violent sign language interpreter’s access to Obama triggers investigation

The South African government is investigating the vetting of a fake sign language interpreter with a violent past who was allowed to be near world leaders, including President Barack Obama, at Nelson Mandela’s memorial Tuesday. Thamsanqa Jantjie, 34, said he has schizophrenia and claimed he started hearing voices at the Mandela service. Read more.

New York Times

Treaty on Disability Rights

In a response to the editorial “How to Do Right by the Disabled,” Stephen Freeman wrote that the U.S. ratifying the Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities should not be subject to debate. Freeman, the chief executive of YAI, which provides programs for the disabled, disregarded the opposition’s claims that the treaty would infringe on American sovereignty as untrue. Read more.