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Disability Negotiations Daily Summary Volume 2, #3 June 18, 2003

Morning session

Commenced: 10:03 AM

Adjourned: 12:19 PM

The Chairman noted that the list of 15 organizations requesting to participate in the Convention process had been distributed among the State delegations. Since there was no objection from states their participation in the official proceedings was confirmed.

State Delegation Statements on Agenda Item 5

Japan described their active role in discussions on the rights of PWD through co-sponsoring the resolution regarding the convention during the 41st session for the Commission for Social Development and the resolution on the human rights of PWD at the 59th session of the Commission of Human Rights. The delegate also highlighted Japan's recent regional efforts to commemorate the end of the Asian and Pacific Decade of Disabled Persons (1993-2002), such as the October ESCAP intergovernmental meeting in Otsu, the 6th World Assembly of DPI in Sapporo, the 12th RI Regional Conference in Osaka, and the campaign to promote the Asian and Pacific Decade of Disabled Persons in Osaka. He discussed Japan's revision of their Basic Program for PWD in December and a Fundamental Policy for Employment Measures for PWD. The delegate from the Philippines noted its involvement in an interregional seminar and workshop on accessible ICT and called for further focus on issues relating to accessible information and technology because accessibility is a priority in achieving equalization of opportunity and allowing for PWD to exercise their civil and political rights in an effective way. He noted the need to take into account issues of resources and varying levels of development and the specifics of state obligations in the development of any instrument and called for attention to national capacity building and collaboration in helping developing countries meet the goals of such a convention. The Costa Rican delegate described the State's approval of a national law on equal opportunity for PWD 7 years ago and their being the first country to ratify an Inter-American Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination of PWD. He urged that this Convention should have a social development approach in which access, inclusiveness and financing will be fundamental principles upon which to build. He argued, "It is appropriate to support initiatives that establish a link between extreme poverty and lack of resources as social circumstances that contribute to increasing the incidence of disability. Citing the recommendations of the meeting of representatives appointed by the governments of the American hemisphere in Quito, Equador, from 9-11 April, he stressed that the "challenges faced by PWD generally are of structural character which makes it necessary for States to take action to prevent their exclusion and promote their full participation in all spheres of political, economic, social and cultural life with equal opportunity." Direct investment is required to fulfill this objective. In particular, he also indicated that the UN facilities should be more accessible to ensure full participation of PWD in all parts of the process. The delegate from the United States highlighted the successes of the US American with Disabilities Act and other legislation since the 1970s and indicated its willingness to join constructively in the work of the committee and share substantive knowledge and experience on these issues, as well as technical assistance. The ADA, he said, could be a possible "useful" model for the convention. Noting the need for each member state to "pursue action within their own borders" with regard to enforcement mechanisms and programs, he cautioned that some states, especially those who have highly developed domestic laws and legislation already, may not wish to be party to any international legal instrument. Jordan said, on behalf of the Arab Group, that the issues being discussed were humanitarian issues and of great importance to developing nations because 80% of PWD live in such nations. The delegate indicated that the convention must deal with issues such as marginalization, mistreatment, environmental obstacles, unemployment, social attitudes, and foreign occupation. Also highlighted were conferences in the Arab world in 2002 and 2003, particularly those in Beirut in October 2002 and May 2003 and the "distinguished" role of NGOs in the process. The representative from Morocco spoke on behalf of the African group and highlighted the recent developments at the meeting in Johannesburg that involved people from the UN, NGOs, PWD, and government, and the initiatives that have been part of the African Decade of the Disabled (2002-2010) as ways in which development and increased awareness of disabilities play a role in the promotion and protection of rights. The convention, he said, should also be based on development and take into account issues such as poverty, and the particular concerns of women, children, elderly, and those with multiple disabilities. It should also reflect the current concerns of conflict, AIDS, and good governance, which are particular concerns of Africa.

Qatar highlighted the work that it has done on providing health services, free education, and support institutions (cultural ones, rehabilitation centers) for PWD. Such measures included a center for children with special needs, and a disability awareness campaign that the Emir launched in January 1998. The convention, he said, needed to in particular address issues such as employment, training, and rehabilitation of PWD.

The South African delegate discussed the South African government disability consultant conference, the May 2003 Johannesburg meeting, and a new partnership for African development that incorporates a disability perspective as ways they have addressed these issues at a domestic and regional level. At an international level, any convention should specifically discuss AIDS, ethnicity, refugees, minorities, and the issues faced by those with severe or multiple disabilities. It should include a rights-based approach, appropriate positive terminology, broader definitions of disability based on social constructs, and recognize the principles that rights are both indivisible and independent. He called for an essential effective monitoring mechanism that draws on those with disability expertise and imposes obligatory measures on states. In particular, he highlighted the need for a single drafted document as opposed to multiple documents which would slow down the process. Lebanon surmised that most disabilities directly or indirectly result from societies themselves and for that reason there needs to be a transfer of marginalization policies, and those that are charity-based, to a more integrated approach. To deal with these issues Lebanonformed a national body on disabled affairs with the capacity to make decisions, developed a plan for integration that is both comprehensive and long-term and guiding laws in 2000 that delineate rights for PWD ranging from health care to access to transit and employment. He called for a more integrated approach, focusing on the special needs of people with double discrimination (women, children, elderly, those with mental disabilities) to see that they are not isolated and have equal rights. Norway indicated its support for the EU position on these matters and called for a convention that had equality, participation, liberty, and dignity as core values and paid attention to social attitudes, discrimination, and unintended or intended exclusion. Any convention, the delegate said, should state the right to reasonable accommodation at school and work, and the duty to comply with universal design. He also specified the need for an enforcement provision.

Cuba took the floor and highlighted the importance for the universal right to development in this convention and discussed growing poverty and laissez-faire policies as being obstacles to overcome in achieving the goals set forth. Any such convention should also, he said, include a social definition of disability, as well as definitions for accessibility, accommodation, integration, and inclusion and build on existing human rights bodies. It should also address attitudinal issues, social security, sexual abuse and violence, and legal assistance for PWD. The drafting of such a convention should be the responsibility of only the committee and begin as soon as possible. Syria indicated its commitment to equal opportunity for PWD in education, health care, and employment and its participation in regular seminars where NGOs and public institutions are involved. He discussed the need for any convention to address the needs of all states, including those that are developing. He highlighted the increase in disability due to foreign occupation and cited that 5000 Syrians have recently become disabled as a result of the practices of the foreign occupiers.

The delegate from China re-affirmed China's commitment to consistently support the holding of this Convention. China has implemented special prevision for PWD under its four 5-year plans. China also enacted comprehensive legislation for the promotion and protection of the rights of PWD, which includes special provisions for their education as well as poverty reduction. In the past year various NGOs and government organizations have collaborated in preparations for the Convention. In this regard, China will also be hosting a UN ESCAP meeting later this year. The Convention should incorporate not only the vision for the rights of PWD, but also the measures for implementing them.

The delegate from Chile highlighted the causes of discrimination and particularly emphasized that unemployment affects the disabled population at triple the rate of the able-bodied population and those who are employed earn less than the minimum wage. These obstacles arising from the social and economic origins contribute to greater exclusion and marginalization. He stressed that the issue of disability challenges us to combine multiple approaches and value different perspectives in the fields of political action and implementation, which will help in focusing attention on the invisible aspects and complement the instruments to strengthen protection to all human beings, especially, those who are the most weak and vulnerable among us.

The representative from Palestine attributed the acquiring of disability by the Palestinian PWD primarily to the indiscriminate firing by the Israeli armed forces. Since September 2000 alone, nearly forty-thousand people in Palestine have been injured and many of them have acquired permanent disabilities. Most of the newly disabled Palestinian people are young: 25 % of them of school age and 60 % between the ages of 18 to 34. She pointed out that "even people already suffering from disabilities, have not been immune from attacks by the occupying forces with many disabled becoming multi-disabled..... the grave impact on access to proper and timely medical care, including immunization and pre-natal care and nutrition has seriously affected Palestinian women and children with the rising incidence of infants born with birth defects or congenital disabilities." The delegate urged that "any serious effort to develop a convention on the promotion and protection of the rights of and dignity of PWD must include provisions for protection assistance and access to services for all disabled persons. Further, the Convention must also address the suffering of persons who live under especially difficult circumstances including armed conflict and foreign occupation which are both major causes of disability."

The representative of UN ESCAP summarized the recommendations of the Expert Group Meeting held in Bangkok (June 2-4) on an international convention to protect and promote the rights and dignity of PWD. The meeting was a direct response to the General Assembly resolution 57/229 and was held in the context of the second Asian and Pacific Decade for PWD (2003-2012), for an inclusive, barrier free and rights based society. The Bangkok recommendations strongly advocated for the support of governments in the work of the Ad hoc Committee. They are comprehensive, covering nature, structure and elements of a proposed convention, which should be a human rights treaty. The Bangkok recommendations suggested the following essential elements of structure in the proposed convention: preamble, objectives, principles, scope and definition, general state obligations, guarantee of equality and non-discrimination, specific rights and monitoring mechanisms. Under the Recommendations, it was emphasized that the States should be obliged to take legislative, problematic and policy actions to implement the provisions of the Convention in cooperation with non-state actors. Disability rights should not be understood as "special needs", but as "human rights".

The representative of World Bank read out the statement on behalf of Ms. Judith Heumann, the disability advisor to the World Bank. The activities of the World Bank increased substantially with the support provided by the Norwegian government to promote World Bank initiatives in the area of disability in 2002 which led to a position of disability advisor. The Bank organized an international seminar on disability and development leading to various recommendations and ideas. the efforts of the office of the advisor on disability and development are based on three pillars: 1. mainstreaming disability into World Bank activities; 2. building partnership for knowledge sharing, creating and enhancing coordination between international, national and local actors and building long-term capacity for local sustainability; and 3. collaborating financial and human resources. The representative concluded by citing a statement from the President of World Bank, Mr. James Wolfensohn, "inclusion, that is what development is all about, to bring in to society people that have never been a part of it."

The last speaker of the morning session, was the representative of the National Human Rights Commission, India and the Asia Pacific Forum of Human Rights Institutions. The Commission had appointed Ms. Anuradha Mohit as the Special Rapporteur on disability last year and since then a number of investigations in regard to the violations of the human rights of PWD, particularly the people with psychiatric disabilities, have been made. A meeting of the Asia Pacific Forum of Human Rights Institutions was held in Delhi in November last year in which the Forum recommended that "a comprehensive convention is necessary to give to give status, authority and visibility to disability issues and this could not be achieved through the process of reforms of the existing instruments of monitoring mechanisms... a single comprehensive treaty will better enable state parties to understand their obligations in clear terms."

Afternoon session

Commenced: 15:09

Adjourned: 17:10

The afternoon session of the Ad Hoc Committee (AHC) was devoted to Agenda Item 7 (Debate on the contributions to proposals for a convention: General Debate).

Ambassador Adamantios Th. Vassilakis of Greece on behalf of the European Union (EU) noted that human rights (human rights) and fundamental freedoms set out in the UDhuman rights and core human rights instruments are "universal and applicable to all persons without discrimination." It was noted, however, that "many obstacles" exist to "full enjoyment" of human rights by persons with disabilities (PWD) thus necessitating action. The EU considers that the elaboration of a convention will "usefully contribute" to equal and effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms by PWD. The object of the new convention should be to "tailor" existing human rights provisions to the "specific circumstances faced" by PWD, noting that the EU will in "due course" present a paper with elements for a convention favoring a text including the following fundamental principles: non-discrimination; equality of opportunity; autonomy; participation and integration. Consistency with existing human rights provisions is "very important" to avoid undermining and duplicating them. The non-discrimination model allows for recognition of both "universality" and "specific situations" simultaneously. A convention can give visibility to the "disability dimension" of human rights by identifying areas where discrimination is likely to occur. The EU "firmly believes" that a "dynamic and flexible" monitoring mechanism will be "most effective". The "paramount importance" of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) was also acknowledged. The EU is determined to play an "active role" and has circulated a draft resolution with the following aims: (1) to decide unequivocally that an international convention will be elaborated; (2) to decide to start the negotiations of same at the next AHC session; (3) to establish a group of experts to present a first draft of a convention to the next session as a basis for negotiations; (4) to invite governments, IGOs, NGOs and other stakeholders to submit their contributions to the group of experts. In conclusion, the Ambassador stated that adoption of the EU resolution will "strongly contribute to an effective, inclusive and efficient drafting process, which is in the interest of us all."

Namibia stated it "would like to associate itself" with the Moroccan statement on behalf of the African Group, and affirmed that the right to access is a human rights issue for PWD, thus the Namibian Constitution addresses PWD. She noted a national policy (1997) that improves the quality of life by ensuring PWD the same rights and opportunities in conformity with the WPA and the Standard Rules, as well as the establishment of a bureau in the office of the Prime Minister committed to addressing the challenges of poverty and development. Also highlighted was the impending establishment of a national council of disability that would function as an advisory body regarding legislative initiatives and amendments. The delegation "fully supports" drafting of a Convention because the existing human rights instruments do not "fully address" issues regarding PWD, and pledged its "full cooperation in achieving this goal" while noting that it "supports participation" of PWD groups in the drafting, monitoring, and implementing processes.

Mexico's delegation noted that a "comprehensive approach" is the most appropriate as stated in General Assembly Resolution 56/168 (Dec. 2001). The hope was expressed that "we can soon begin the negotiation of drafting the content" of the Convention. Convention provisions should promote tangible improvements in the quality of life of PWD in keeping with the "realities of each country in accordance with existing national standards". The mere affirmation of the full enjoyment of human rights of everyone and the elimination of discriminatory barriers "is not sufficient". The comprehensive panoply of rights should be a principal foundation of a Convention. States must take "specific action" to build "physical, social, political, and cultural environments that are fully accessible and inclusive". A convention is important to put things on a "priority basis" and to promote "universal awareness". It is "vitally important" to take up the subject of accessible housing, PWD living in poverty and those in rural areas. Data needs to be gathered and various definitions need to be "studied and discussed carefully", including recent developments by competent institutions. The Mexican draft establishes a Committee of experts, and PWD should be "duly represented" on the Committee. The existing system is "fragmentary and insufficient" leading to inclusion in a "marginal way"; there is need for a "binding" instrument. In conclusion the speaker, a PWD, noted that "societies can move ahead only to the extent that they are inclusive."

New Zealand "actively supports" the development of a binding Convention. The speaker noted that it is "apparent there are multiple views" and that delegations should refer to specifics to "avoid confusion". Affirmative action is necessary, although it is "undesirable and unproductive" to be overly prescriptive of how states should implement actions in particular cultural contexts. A rights framework rather than a welfare framework is important, yet rights should be "clarified" as it is "neither necessary nor desirable to invent new rights nor detract from existing rights". New Zealand supports the Asian and Pacific regional expert committee recommendations in Bangkok (June 2003)?a comprehensive convention that restates the rights in existing human rights instruments, but goes further than a simple statement of the right to equality and non-discrimination. Impairment can be "permanent, temporary, episodic or perceived" and disablement is "something that results from social and environmental factors". One can think of "majority" (e.g., elevators for multiple flights of stairs) and "minority" impairments: while the majority of the population is impaired in some respects, a minority have "other" impairments "which society does not adequately accommodate and these people are therefore disabled". Measures to ensure the rights of disabled persons can be distinguished from equalization of opportunities for certain population groups (e.g., race or gender) because the latter measures are assumed to "no longer be required" at some point whereas measures affecting PWD will involve "permanent change in the environment" and "ongoing support". Elaboration of a Convention should "avoid stretching its scope to fit territory wider than that which can comfortably be accommodated" within the existing human rights framework. Instead, "detailed elaborations" or "specific interpretations" are possible as what is required for all PWD to enjoy their rights can be "derived" from existing human rights. A rights-based approach avoids prescription of measures that are "intimately related" to the local social infrastructure. The drafting process should be a "partnership with disabled people". It is "essential" that States and NGOs develop text for the AHC's consideration, and one option "worth exploring" is the establishment of a regionally diverse group of States (including self-selected NGO/PWD representatives) who could produce a convention text inter-sessionally. The speaker concluded by asking the Chair to "actively explore" its proposed option and "allow delegations the opportunity to reflect on it".

Venezuela noted that a new instrument on human rights referring specifically to PWD is necessary "for these and many other reasons": (1) a lack of understanding that still exists; (2) the widespread social service perception of "welfare criteria"; (3) medical criteria that treats PWD as "sick"; (4) the non-existence of national programs (e.g., health, sports, recreation, education); (5) the weakness or even non-existence of legal protection and social security of PWD; (6) the lack of accessibility in physical, communication, transportation, and work environments; (7) the lack of rehabilitation resources and quality care; (8) the daily living conditions and economic disparities experienced by PWD. There is not an expression that the Convention would be a "panacea" but it would be a contribution of "a very high caliber" evidencing the culmination of a struggle over many years by representatives of inter/national movements, especially by disabled persons and their families as they gain awareness of the rights they are enjoying in the light of international law. PWD in many countries are not citizens. "Declarations and proclamations" are not enough. The mere fact of listing tasks that lie before this Committee in preparing a convention has already defined the "holistic" nature of this new instrument, and has already laid down the "parameters" for the content this instrument. A convention should be "comprehensive" in terms of the spectrum of consideration and "integral" as to the "necessary" link between various concepts. Thus, a convention can "enforce forcefully with consistent reasons for consistent action" and be much different than "welfare" or "defense-of-PWD" type models. Monitoring mechanisms should contemplate those who are primary actors (PWDs and their families). The process is collaborative; not "Mexican" draft or "our" draft, merely the presentation of a high-quality comprehensive and integral text. The speaker concluded by explaining that a proposal of convention text from Venezuela should be available next week in official U.N. languages.

The sixth delegation recognized was Japan. It is important to conduct an "exhaustive discussion on what kind of Convention we are going to have". It is "imperative" that the convention gain the support of "as many stakeholders as possible" in the international community; thus, the convention can have "guiding principles" of "universal value". Japan is "fully committed" to a rights-based approach, as there are "significant implications for future endeavors". If a "separate" convention is made it "will be necessary to identify which rights are already covered and which rights are not adequately covered" already. It was suggested that "at this stage, we should be open to different types of a convention, whether it be 'comprehensive' or focused on 'non-discrimination'". Although important, definitional questions should not take away from time that could be used to discuss content. Japan does not accept the approach that social development should be incorporated, as it is "concerned [its inclusion] might derail" the process. A monitoring mechanism is "indispensable" to any human rights convention, as such a convention is "meaningless" if not implemented. It is not just the number of states that become parties that is important. A new monitoring system would not be an excuse for not conducting monitoring under the Standard Rules. Governments, IGOs, and NGOs should all discuss ideas, and Japan's delegation will "actively participate" in this discussion.

The Dominican Republic supports the work of Mexico in its holistic, legal framework, sincePWD are living in a world culture lacking in sensitivity toward them. They believe that it is for this reason all the countries and NGOs here have an inescapable obligation to contribute, with the spirit of the San Francisco charter prevailing in this session. Their hope is that the Committee unanimously drafts a broad convention to promote rights and dignity for PWD. El Salvador has within their PWD governmental structure the historic Solidarity Alliance, which focuses on true integration, equalization of opportunity, elimination of barriers, promotion of autonomy and leadership and participation of all sectors of society. Their goal is to go beyond the "pity for the sick" approach of welfare, to give PWD a leading role in their destiny. They have nationally defined the framework, but need to work on general population awareness. Their delegation shares, supports and strengthens the international Convention since this will substantially strengthen their national efforts. They wish to pay tribute to Mexico for their document, which constitutes an important step in the process while promoting a positive image of PWD in the public relations campaign, and hope to see significant advances made toward the convention by the end of two weeks. Canada explained that its position wasanchored in human rights principles; that at the heart of the human rights for PWD is a recognition of the right for inclusion and full participation ? the right to "substantive equality" which is not solely about treating everyone the same, but acknowledging differences and taking measures to enable dignity and equality of opportunity for all. Canada feels that this convention will be an important legacy for the 21st century. "A dynamic, efficient and effective process is needed to draft it, and to make sure we will do this right."

Mexico supported the New Zealand and Venezuela position, and affirmed their belief that the Chair's leadership will contribute draft text to the General Assembly that is consolidated and inclusive of all proposals received so far. In reference to the EU statement of the need to have a first text, Mexico commented that this was "strange" since there already exists a draft convention document that was disseminated by Mexico, which has been enriched by a diverse collection of proposals made in this Committee by experts and NGOs. The Chair stated the intent to take this proposal into account and give an analysis as soon as possible.

The International Labour Organization (ILO)suggested use of existing provisions of human rights conventions, building on existing international instruments such as the non-discrimination model described in document A/AC.265/2003/4. They also emphasized inclusion of provisions regarding elements such as the right to work, equal opportunity in employment and occupation, equal pay, skills training, vocational rehabilitation (see ILO Convention159), social security and employment services, as well as provisions for incentives and advisory services for employers. Stressing the circular link between poverty and disability, poverty remediation strategies, access to justice and effective dispute resolution processes were recommended. Benin stated that 57% of PWD in the country receive specialized care and come from poor families with some variations from one region to another. In some parts of the country PWD are seen as incapable; in others they are seen as gods that bring good luck. They stated their concern that the disability prevention issue be discussed, and expressed support for the social welfare approach while believing no holistic approach should be left out. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights noted that human rights for PWD has been a neglected issue but fortunately this is now being reversed, affirmed and emphasized. Existing human rights instruments contain great potential that have not been fully used to advance cause of PWD, and this organization is ready to assist the Committee with information on existing mechanisms. Charlotte McClain, representing 15 national human rights institutions, requested funds for NGOs to attend future Ad Hoc committee sessions, and made several new convention process recommendations. These included a tailored, explicated and holistic focus on human rights principles reflecting baseline values, accessibility, disability, diversity, and a reaffirmation of the Vienna Declaration already subscribed to by delegates. They also see the need for a strong equality and non-discrimination clause inclusive of direct, indirect, systemic, hidden; dual or multiple discrimination in both the public and private domain.

The International Disability Caucus supported a determination of future methods to advance the process quickly and effectively, while satisfying the overarching needs of the disability community. Specific suggestions included cross-disability and geographic diversity of any drafting committee through nominations from the IDC, along with sufficient financial and human resources to have a draft by March 1, 2004, thus allowing all stakeholders to prepare reaction papers before the next meeting. Disabled Peoples International, consisting of 135 national organizations promoting PWD human rights, supported inclusion of the PWD perspective as central to the drafting process. The World Federation of the Deaf and the International Disability Alliance supported Mexico's explication of its preferred process, which was different from the EU point of view, but did not feel it was sufficient to be a legally binding document. They expressed inability to support a second draft since the member states had not yet been given a copy of it to examine. The World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry (WUNUSP), advocated for human rights for PWD, some of whom use mental health services while others survived human rights violations of psychiatric detention, or have a psychiatric disability. The Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) drew attention to their position paper on their website relating to issues such as property, access to housing, employment, raising a family, voting and freedom from detention and confinement.

Mexico clarified its proposal, stating that they and the Bureau had received convention proposals from each community's NGOs and governments. The proposal, therefore, was for consolidation of all input into the first draft and to facilitate orderly discussion and negotiation by member states. The idea was not to reject any document, but put each view on the table with the opportunity for debate. Without a document consolidating proposals, under guidance of a chairman to organize discussion, it would be difficult to complete input and consultation before the September General Assembly meets. Venezuela supported the statement by Mexico, drawing attention to this Ad Hoc Committee session invitation, which specified clearly, under Agenda Item 7, expectations to have specific and concrete contributions from the diverse regional meetings for use in a working paper that had originally been submitted. Venezuela requested the Bureau to consolidate existing proposals and, through the Secretariat, orally expressed views, concluding with a presentation during this session of documents that can be reviewed and amended by all parties. Costa Rica stated its willingness to begin work now by supporting the previous proposals to draft text as a basis for discussion in committee work. El Salvador endorsed and supported Mexico's proposal, since it brings together all member state needs and UN proposals.

Correction to Summary #2, #2, of June 17, 2003:

Handicap International was incorrectly identified as the Humanitarian Organization.

The Disability Negotiations Daily Summaries are published by the Landmine Survivors Network, a US based international organization with amputee support networks in six developing / mine affected countries. Summaries staff contributing include Jagdish Chander, Margaret Holt, Jennifer Perry, Marshall Traster and Katherine Guernsey (editor). The Summaries are available online at http://www.rightsforall.org/ and http://www.worldenable.net/. Translations in Spanish, French and Japanese are provided courtesy of Disabled Peoples' International, Handicap International, and Japanese Society for Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities. Any questions or concerns relating to the Summaries should be directed to Katherine Guernsey (_Guernsey@yahoo.com).