Highlights from 2011!  Help Us Continue our Work into 2012 Through a Year-End Gift to USICD! 
December 8, 2011


2011 has seen continued expansion of disability rights awareness globally and increased activism from disability leaders. USICD continues to build bridges at home and abroad, uniting coalitions of government, civil society, citizen advocates, and businesses, recognizing that the cause of disability inclusion transcends region, nationality, or political affiliation. But in order to continue being a voice for disability-focused international cooperation and knowledge exchange, we need your support.


In the past year USICD's staff and board have been working tirelessly to advance our mission of promoting the rights of people with disabilities.  Read below to see all of the exciting work USICD and our community have been doing to promote disability voices both here in the U.S. and abroad. 

U.S. leadership on global disability rights and CRPD ratification cannot happen without hard work, education, and advocacy. To continue this growth and embrace the challenges of engaging an increasingly inter-connected and visible global disability community, I am asking you to make a year-end contribution to support USICD's work.


Please click here to show your support with a donation.


Our work relies upon the contribution of donors with a vision for the inclusion of people with disabilities in global society. The USICD Board of Directors and I thank you for your ongoing support.



Bristo Signature

Marca Bristo, President

U.S. International Council on Disabilities

Highlights from this Year
Global Disability Rights Library
CRPD Education and Outreach
Interaction Forum
Annual Meeting
World Report on Disability
"Conversations with America" State Department TV
DPI World Assembly in South Africa
Universal Design in Brazil
United Nations CRPD Side Event
Japan Earthquake Relief

 Global Disability Rights Library hits the ground and the web 

GDRL Logo USICD's Global Disability Rights Library (GDRL) project has grown from the seed of an idea into an extensive collection of legislation, advocacy toolkits, and capacity building material with contributions from organizations and publishers around the world.  2011 has seen an enthusiastic response to our call for applications, the launch of the GDRL online interfacethe installation of prototype libraries in Peru, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Zambia, and the first round of libraries being installed in DPOs across Africa and South Asia.  Keep tuned for more news in the coming months!

Board members and staff travel far and wide for the CRPD

Circle that says Ratify CRPD Yes
USICD's staff and members of the Speakers Bureau have spent 2011 on the road, providing a variety of educational presentations and advocacy workshops for community members in support of the CRPD.  This year we saw David Morrissey engaging with self-advocates in Minnesota, Esme Grant speaking with athletes at BlazeSports International Conference in Atlantaand the whole USICD team joining NCIL for their annual conference and rally here in DC. 
Learn more about the CRPD Education & Advocacy Initiative here. Check out our new CRPD Principles Poster as well! 

USICD leads a discussion at InterAction Forum 2011 on inclusive international development 

Interaction Panel
Susan Sygall, Andrea Shettle,
Chad Vickery, David Morrissey
As a member organization of InterAction, the largest alliance of U.S. based international NGOs, USICD was excited to participate in the InterAction Forum in August. Joined by USICD members including Mobility International USA (MIUSA), Perkins International School for the Blind, and CBM International, this major gathering allowed development and relief organizations to continue dialogues on advancing the awareness of disability civil society in developing countries.

Annual Meeting brings together a federal panel of disability rights advocates 

Eric Rosenthal, Judy Heumann, and Charlotte McClain-Nhlapo
Eric Rosenthal, Judith Heumann, and
Charlotte McClain-Nhlapo
We were thrilled to have so many USICD and community members join us at our Annual Meeting in April at the U.S. Access Board. The event featured a federal panel including Special Advisor International Disability Rights Judith Heumann of the State Department, USAID Coordinator for Disability Inclusive Development Charlotte McClain-Nhlapo, as well including USICD Vice President Eric Rosenthal of Disability Rights International to discuss inclusive development.

USICD in New York for launch of WHO/World Bank "World Report on Disability" 

Cover Image for World Report on Disability
On Thursday, June 9, 2011 the World Report on Disability was released in New York. The numbers in the report were staggering. Over 1 billion people worldwide are believed to have disabilities, a full 15% of the world population. In 1970, the estimate was 10%. USICD Executive Director David Morrissey was in New York for the release of this substantial report and presented on the findings at the CIRRIE-sponsored U.S. Launch symposium in September.

David Morrissey joins Judith Heumann for 'Conversations with America'

David Morrissey with Judy Heumann
On Thursday, February 17, 2011, Judith Heumann, Special Advisor for International Disability Rights, held a conversation with David Morrissey, Executive Director of the United States International Council on Disabilities for 'Conversations with America.' The discussion was moderated by Cheryl Benton, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of Public Affairs and streamed live on DipNote, the Department of State's official blog.

USICD reports from the Disabled Peoples' International (DPI) 8th World Assembly in Durban, South Africa 

Newly Elected DPI Executive Council on stage at the world assembly
DPI's new Executive Officers.
People with disabilities and disabled people's organizations (DPOs) from 66 countries around the world participated in the DPI World Assembly in October. The participants, believing that the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is "the bedrock for the true empowerment of people with disabilities," urged all member states to the CRPD to take several actions towards implementation. Click Here to read the full Durban Declaration 

USICD discusses universal design in Sao Paulo, Brazil

Logo of the 3rd International Meeting in Technology in BrazilThis October USICD had the privilege of speaking and participating in the Third International Meeting on Technology and Innovation for Persons with Disabilities in São Paulo, Brazil. The meeting was a hybrid of a trade show and a conference, with the overarching purpose of exploring the possibilities and accomplishments of universal design to improve access and inclusion for people with disabilities.

USICD participates in United Nations CRPD side event 

David at COSP
David Morrissey, Diana Samarasan, Anne Hawker,  Catherine Townsend

From September 6-9, government delegations and disabled people's organisations (DPOs) from all over the world gathered at the UN Headquarters in New York for the Conference of States Parties (COSP). DPOs from different countries had a chance to share their experiences and best practices in advancing disability rights movements in their communities in a one-day civil society forum organized by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs and the International Disability Alliance

 Annual Meeting: Japan earthquake relief benefit

Disable People International Logo
This year, as a special initiative, the USICD Annual Meeting provided the opportunity for attendees to make a donation in support of people with disabilities in Japan following the recent earthquakes and tsunami. The Relief Headquarters for Persons with Disabilities of Tohoku-Kanto Great Earthquake is under the operation of DPI-Japan, our sister organization in the Disabled Peoples' International network. All donations were bundled for 100% redistribution to this Japanese disability community effort.

Follow us online!

We work hard to follow developments in disability rights around the world and keep you updated on Find us on FacebookFacebook and Follow us on TwitterTwitter. Don't miss the opportunity pages on our website where we post job opportunities and calls for papers. Plus, we have a Visit our blogblog to keep you posted on the latest news here at USICD and in the global disability rights community!