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International Communication Project Holds Event at United Nations

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Australian Government Crest

The International Communication Project (ICP) held an event in conjunction with a United Nations (UN) conference on disability at UN Headquarters in New York City.

Co-sponsored by the government of Australia, the event, “People With Communication Disabilities Speak Up For Inclusion and Participation,” had the following goals:

  • Highlight the lack of visibility and recognition of communication disabilities;
  • Exchange knowledge about needs and barriers faced by people with communication disabilities to access and exercise human rights in the context of Article 19 (Universal Declaration of Human Rights) and Article 21 (Convention On the Rights Of Persons With Disabilities); and
  • Formulate concrete proposals to strengthen effective transnational cooperation to promote participation in cultural life, recreation, and leisure of people with communication disabilities.
Men and women sit around a conference table at UN headquarters.
The event, held at the UN headquarters, featured a panel representing the International Communication Project (ICP), who urged policymakers to recognize communication as a human right and address communication disabilities in ways that foster inclusion and further progress meeting the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

Event Details

Date and Time: Wednesday, June 12, 2019, 8:15 am – 9:30 am (Eastern Time in the U.S.)

Location: Conference Room 6 (CR 6), UN Headquarters, New York City.

Watch recorded video of the event.

View the ICP event flyer.


Get Involved

Communication disabilities affect millions of lives across the world, yet they are too often ignored. This will only change with much greater recognition of communication disabilities and their impact— and by providing resources that empower those with communication disabilities to be fully included in societies, to fully enjoy their human rights, and to live their lives to the fullest.

Event Resources

More Side Event News

UN event
ASHA CEO Arlene A. Pietranton, PhD, CAE (back row, second from right), is pictured with her fellow presenters, including Dr. Derrick L. Cogburn (back row, middle), Executive Director of the Institute on Disability and Public Policy, American University, Washington, DC, the primary sponsor of the event.

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), an ICP founding organization, was involved in two other side events. ASHA CEO Arlene A. Pietranton, PhD, CAE, presented at “Using Accessible and Assistive Technologies to Implement Article 24: Supporting Students with Disabilities for Inclusive Higher Education” [PDF], which was held 11:00 am – 12:45 pm, Monday, June 10, in Conference Room B (CR B); and at “Dementia: The Leading Cause of Disability,” which was held 9:45 am – 11:00 am, Thursday, June 13, in Conference Room 11 (CR 11).

Watch a recording of the “Dementia: The Leading Cause of Disability” event.

Dementia Alliance International Event
ASHA CEO Arlene A. Pietranton presents during the “Dementia: The Leading Cause of Disability.”


  1. I am delighted to see that this strong panel has been able to raise this important issue at this event. Whilst the understanding of the needs of those with physical and sensory disabilities has improved– speech and language disability remains hidden from the general public and politicians and yet it has an impact on every aspect of individuals lives.

    Thank you for speaking up for the speech impaired!

  2. Is there a link to a captioned version of the video of the event at the UN? I would like to share the video with friends and colleagues who have hearing or auditory processing difficulties and who need accurate captioning for access. Thank you in advance for your help.

    • Hi, Judy—thanks for your question. Unfortunately, we do not have a captioned version of the video—the UN did not provide one. We understand it’s not the same, but there are copies of the presentations on this page if you wish to share them with your friends and colleagues.