Come Celebrate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities with USICD!
The Embassy of Finland
USICD's annual gala reception will be held at the Embassy of Finland on Wednesday, December 2, and will bring together disability rights advocates, legislative leaders, new and long-term donors, business and philanthropic leaders and other friends of the disability rights movement to celebrate on the eve of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities
Seated woman with shoulder-length hair in red skirt suit  smiles at camera. Shelves filled with books are behind her.
Senator Kelly Ayotte

USICD will honor Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire with the Dole-Harkin Award for leadership in public service to the global disability community and Kalle Könkkölä with the International Advocate Award for his outstanding work in advancing the rights, opport
unities, and dignity of persons with disabilities.  

The Gala reception will be held on Wednesday, December 2
Man seated in powerchair wearing pink-striped shirt and blue hat looks at camera.
Kalle Konkkola
2015 from 6:00 until 8:00 pm at The Embassy of Finland in Washington, D.C. Ticketed guests will enjoy a cocktail reception, passed hors d'oeuvres, and carving & fish stations with Finnish Specialties by the Embassy's in-house chef.
Tickets are $125 and seating is limited.
For additional information, please visit the USICD website. The registration deadline is November 29th.  

Please note: Social media conversations about USICD's Gala will use the hashtag #USICDGala

Special Guests
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Senator Tom Harkin
Head and shoulder shot of man in blue suit and tie
Senator Bob Dole
Call for Applicants: Youth in International Development and Foreign Affairs
The summer 2016 Youth in International Development and Foreign Affairs internship program is open for applications until January 12, 2016. 

USICD's internship program focuses on youth with disabilities from across the U.S. who intend to pursue careers in international development or foreign affairs.  
The summer 2016 internship program will bring a group of talented
Seven interns and one USICD staff below a sign for IFES _Int_l Foundation for Electoral Systems_ smile at camera
2014 cohort of interns
graduate students, recent graduates, and rising juniors and seniors with disabilities to Washington, D.C., 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, D.C., area.  USICD will cover the cost of accessible housing during the program, reimburse travel expenses to and from D.C., and provide a limited stipend.  

To  learn more about the Youth in International Development and Foreign Affairs internship program, eligibility criteria, anticipated dates, and the application process, please visit
USICD thanks the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation for their support for this initiative!
Application deadline for USICD's summer 2016 internship program is January 12, 2016.
USICD Participates in Research for White Paper on Disability Inclusion in USAID Solicitations
USICD worked collaboratively with Perkins International and CBM US in researching the impact of disability inclusion in USAID solicitations. The results have shown that reported programming activity was only disability inclusive if the initial solicitation request from USAID contained specific language requiring the inclusion
 of people with disabilities in the project. The resulting White Paper, "Inclusion of Disability in USAID Solicitations for Funding", is available at 
Global Community Finalizing Indicators for Sustainable Development Goals
Regular subscribers to this newsletter may recall that the United Nations has formally adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that will replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in guiding priorities for funders and policy makers in promoting international development.  As explained in the September/October USICD newsletter, the outgoing  MDGs made no mention of people with disabilities among its eight goals, 15 targets, and 48 indicators. This meant that many programs meant to reduce poverty and improve education and health outcomes in developing countries left people with disabilities behind.
The SDGs have been improved and have 169 targets that now  mention people with disabilities.  However, the most crucial step will be to ensure that disability is included in the hundreds of indicators that governments, funders, and non-governmental organizations will use to measure progress toward each target.  The global community is now very close to finalizing these indicators.

Targets are more specific areas of focus within each of the 17 SDGs.  Indicators determine what kind of data governments, international development organizations, the United Nations (UN), and other stakeholders will gather in relation to the SDGs. Programs tend to focus on activities that they know or hope will result in indicators measuring positive progress toward goals and targets.  If the indicators measure progress specifically for people with disabilities, then advocates believe that programs will be more proactive in including people with disabilities in their activities.

Organizations such as the International Disability Alliance (IDA), the International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC), and the UN have been promoting disability inclusive indicators for the SDGs and have published the Disability Indicators: SDG Advocacy Toolkit. The Toolkit is designed for advocates to share with their country's National Statistical Agency.

The following articles and blog posts provide more detail on progress toward finalizing the SDG indicators and monitoring which mention people with disabilities:

Psychiatric Survivor & USICD Member David Oaks Pens Blog for World Health Organization
Man with white hair_ mustache and beard smiles at camera.
David Oaks
David Oaks--a psychiatric survivor, service user advocate, former director of MindFreedom International, and USICD member--has published an article on the World Health Organization blog.  In his article, he reflects upon his 40 years of experience working with other psychiatric survivors in "The Mad Movement" in advocating for their human rights.  He shares three pieces of advice for his fellow advocates in the movement.  Click here to read the full text of his article.
USICD Grateful for Interns and Volunteers!
Anyone who has ever visited USICD's office quickly discovers that though we are a small organization we accomplish much thanks to the support of interns and volunteers.  These talented young professionals are wonderful contributors to USICD.

Rebecca Yim looks at camera. A tree with autumn orange leaves is behind her.
Rebecca Yim
Rebecca is a student at The Catholic University of America, majoring in World Politics.  She has a passion for languages ad International Relations. Rebecca tells us, "This opportunity to help USICD with its mission has been an amazing adventure, and has opened my eyes to the progress we have made in regards to disability rights and inclusion, and the work that is to come. I look forward to doing all that I can to aid those in need of a voice to make our world more disability friendly." 

Emily is a graduate student at Gallaudet University working toward
Young woman sits on railing in front of a scene of trees with the ocean further beyond
Emily Lahaie
her master's degree in International Development.  She is interested in research relating to persons with disabilities and human rights. Emily tells us, "Reading through the U.S. Department of State's Human Rights Reports has given me a more professional and diverse perspective on the issues facing persons with disabilities around the world." 

The USICD staff would also like to thank Milo Nygren-Cassels and congratulate him on his new position working as a contracted employee for the U.S. Navy! Milo was a regular volunteer at USICD and his information technology skills were very much appreciated!  
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Considering applying for USICD's Youth in International Development and Foreign Affairs internship program? Read blogs from past interns!
In This Issue
Come Celebrate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities with USICD!!
Apply for USICD's Internship Program!
USICD Participates in Research for White Paper on Disability Inclusion in USAID Solicitations
Global Community Finalizing Indicators for Sustainable Development Goals
Psychiatric Survivor USICD Member David Oaks Pens Blog for World Health Organization
USICD Grateful for Interns and Volunteers!
Events and Opportunities
Apply by January 12, 2016

Scholarships available for students with disabilities to travel abroad, from CIEE in partnership with MIUSA. Deadline December 1, 2015.

For more international disability news, events, and opportunities, check USICD's Twitter FeedUSICD's Facebook page, or USICD's LinkedIn page!
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Board of Directors

Patricia Morrissey - President

John Wodatch- Vice President

David Hutt - Treasurer

Glen White - Secretary

Marca Bristo - Past President

Lex Frieden                    Candace Cable

Jennifer Dexter

Daniel Fisher 

Jill Houghton

Axel Leblois

Barbara LeRoy

Janet Lord

Susan Mazrui

Jerry McCloskey

Faith McCormick

Sheila Newman

Stephanie Ortoleva

Susan Parker

Debra Perry

Neil Romano 

Eric Rosenthal

Diana Samarasan



Government Representatives

David Baquis (US Access Board)

Joan Durocher (NCD)

Meredith DeDonna (ODEP)

MarcieRoth (FEMA)

Sue Swenson (OSERS)

CRPD Ratification Watch
As of November 2015:
  • 160 Signatories
  • 160 Ratifications
Optional Protocol:
  • 92 Signatories
  • 88 Ratifications
Recent Ratifications:
Sao Tome and Principe ratified the Convention on November 5, 2015

Democratic Republic of the Congo Ratified the Convention on September 30, 2015

Bahama Ratified the Convention on September 28, 2015
Gambia Ratified the Convention on July 7, 2015
Trinidad and Tobago Ratified the Convention on June 25, 2015
Madagascar Ratified the Convention on June 12, 2015
Kazakhstan Ratified the Convention on April 21, 2015 
Turkey Ratified the Convention on March 26, 2015
Marshall Islands Ratified the Convention on March 17, 2015
Vietnam Ratified the Convention on February 5, 2015

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