Appointment Special Advisor for International Disability Rights in the US

The Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor announces the appointment of Judith Heumann as the Special Advisor for International Disability Rights. This position was announced last summer, when President Obama and Secretary Clinton declared that the United States would sign the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Among others Special Advisor Heumann will lead the US Administration’s efforts to develop a comprehensive strategy to promote the rights of persons with disabilities internationally and coordinate an interagency process for the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. In March 2010 the Minnesota-based nonprofit Courage Center announced that they will grant Heumann the 2010 Medtronic National Courage Award this September. Heumann was selected for the 2010 award in acknowledgment of her lifelong advocacy on behalf of children and adults with disabilities.
Judith Heumann had polio at the age of 18 months and became the first wheelchair user to teach in the New York City public school system

British celebrities discuss personal experiences of life with a disability

Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson and Blaine Harrison, both born with Spina Bifida, are among the British celebrities who participate in a new series, called Dis Connected, discussing how having a disability has effected their lives. The series brings seven noteworthy people together who share their personal experiences oflife with a disability with humour and honesty. In relay style, they interview each other for Ouch!, the BBC's dedicated disability website, which has been online for eight years now. On watching all the footage back the producers were captivated by how some of the interviewees embrace disability as an identity more than others, yet all find common ground. Underneath it all, they seem to accidentally be asking, 'What exactly is this thing called disability?' The series will be broadcast on the BBC Ouch! website from 28 June 2010, with a new interview being added every Monday for seven weeks.
Ouch! is a website from the BBC that reflects the lives and experiences of disabled people

Power Your Life - Preconception health programme Utah (USA)

The Utah Department of Health (UDOH) has initiated a public health campaign aimed at promoting healthy, prepregnancy living among 18- to 25-year-old women in Utah. The target audience includes women who are preparing to have children, those who are between pregnancies and those who aren't even thinking about having families yet. The Centers for Disease Control has made improving preconception health a national priority. In Utah, surveys show many young women don't know some of the keys to healthy prepregnancy living, and most pregnant women don't take a vitamin with folic acid, which prevents birth defects that form early in pregnancy. According to UDOH, the rate of some preventable birth defects is on the rise in Utah. In 1999, 5.6 of every 10,000 Utah babies were born with neural tube defects. By 2008 the number was up to 8.5. A user-friendly website can be visited at
The Power Your Life website offers healthy, prepregnancy living information both in English and in Spanish

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