November 2014
Hurry! Buy Tickets NOW to
Attend USICD's December 2nd Gala!
Attending USICD's December 2nd evening Gala will be an exciting opportunity to
  • Mingle with USICD members and other friends like YOU, Board members, and USICD's Congressional, corporate, and institutional partners!
  • Meet fellow advocates and key leaders in the CRPD ratification movement!
  • Experience the stunning view at the U.S. Institute of Peace overlooking the Lincoln Memorial!
  • Help honor global disability rights champion Gerard Quinn of the National University of Ireland Galway!
  • Toast Senator Tom Harkin on his retirement from the U.S. Senate!
  • And of course, enjoy beverages, canapes, and buffet!
JPMorgan Chase
Platinum Sponsor 

Distinguished Sponsors
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
 Wal-Mart, Embassy of Ireland,The Dupont Circle Hotel, 
Viscardi Center, Easter SealsWal-Mart,
among a growing list of sponsoring companies.

Help support the mission of USICD and RSVP HERE.
The deadline to RSVP has now been extended beyond Nov 24!
Applications Open for Youth in International Development and Foreign Affairs Internship Program!
Interns pose with Program Manager for a group picture during the summer Youth in International Development and Foreign Affairs internship program
The summer 2015 Youth in International Development and Foreign Affairs internship program is open for applications from now through the deadline on January 28, 2015.

USICD's internship program focuses on youth with disabilities from across the U.S. who are interested in international development and foreign affairs careers.  The summer 2015 internship program will bring a group of talented graduate students, recent graduates, and rising college juniors and seniors with disabilities to Washington, DC, for nine weeks.  This will include a one-week training and orientation program followed by an eight-week internship at an international organization in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area.  USICD will cover the cost of fully-accessible housing during the nine-week program, reimburse travel expenses to and from DC, and provide a limited stipend.  

It is anticipated that interns will need to be in DC from May 24 to July 25, 2015. These dates may be subject to change.  To learn more about the internship program, eligibility criteria, and the application process, please visit  This website also has a Frequently Asked Questions page for applicants.  You can also download a printable handout about the internship program.


USICD thanks the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation for their support for this initiative.

Catalina Devandas-Aguilar Appointed as Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Catalina Devandas-Aguilar was appointed as Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities by the President of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in early November 2014.

Since 2009, Ms. Devandas-Aguilar has served as Program Officer at the Disability Rights Fund and the Disability Rights Advocacy Fund, where her work has been crucial in building technical capacity of Disabled People's Organizations at country levels to implement legal and policy changes in line with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

International Day of Persons with Disabilities
The observance of this year's International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) on December 3rd, 2014 will provide an opportunity to further raise awareness of disability as a cross-cutting issue in international development.  The theme of this year's commemoration, "Sustainable Development: The Promise of Technology" is timely as it marks teh conclusion of the period of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2015 and the launch of a new development framework of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

We Stand Alone

WE STAND ALONE is a 53 minute documentary film that follows the daily struggles and triumphs of the players of the Liberian national amputee soccer team.  The movie chronicles the players' lives, both at their bid for the 2011 CANAF Cup in Accra, Ghana, and at their homes in and around Monrovia, Liberia.  Whether these players took part in the 14 year civil war that nearly destroyed Liberia or whether they were victims of circumstance no longer matters--they are a team.  Together, they work to establish identities that are more than the sum of their histories and their disabilities.  Together, they advocate for themselves and for their place in society. They will not be ignored.  They will be seen.  They will be heard.  They will be known. 


A special screening of the film is being held at the United Nations headquarters in New York on the evening of December 2nd, the night before the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Learn more about the special screening event.


Learn more about the documentary "We Stand Alone".


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In This Issue
USICD's Gala Reception
Applications Open for Youth in International Development and Foreign Affairs internship program
Catalina Devandas Aguilar Appointed as Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
International Day of Persons with Disabilities
We Stand Alone
International Disability News

Events and Opportunities


CRPD Ratification Watch
As of November 2014:
  • 159 Signatories
  • 151 Ratifications
Optional Protocol:
  • 92 Signatories
  • 85 Ratifications
Recent Ratifications:
Guinea Bissau Ratified the Convention on September 24, 2014

Guyana Ratified the Convention on September 10, 2014

Republic of the Congo Ratified the Convention on September 2, 2014

Grenada Ratified the Convention on August 27, 2014

Burundi Ratified the Convention on May 22, 2014

Angola Ratified the Convention on April 19, 2014

Switzerland Ratified the Convention on April 15, 2014
Palestine Ratified the Convention on April 2, 2014 
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Board of Directors

Patricia Morrissey - President

Lex Frieden- Vice President

David Hutt - Treasurer

Glen White - Secretary

Marca Bristo - Past President

Candace Cable

Jennifer Dexter 

Jill Houghton

Axel Leblois

Barbara LeRoy

Susan Mazrui

David Oaks

Stephanie Ortoleva

Debra Perry

Neil Romano 

Jeff Rosen

Eric Rosenthal

Diana Samarasan

Betsy Valnes

John Wodatch 

Tom Zampieri


Government Representatives

David Baquis (US Access Board)

Joan Durocher (NCD)

Meredith DeDonna (ODEP)

MarcieRoth (FEMA)

Sue Swenson (OSERS)

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