March 2016
USICD Launches 2016 Membership Drive
Woman with short blond hair_ white blouse and black jacket smiles at camera
Dr Patricia Morrissey
Dear USICD Member and Supporter, 

We've had a good amount of snow this year in Washington, and at USICD we are knee deep in projects that create a lot of excitement for us, and hopefully for you.  These include partnerships to provide trainings and to support the disability rights movement in Burma (Myanmar), Kenya, Vietnam and Mexico, our advocacy for greater inclusion of people with disabilities in U.S. foreign assistance and international cooperation, and our fostering of a new generation of professionals with disabilities entering the international development field.

As President, I want to lead USICD to deliver more value for your membership.  Collaboration is the way of the world for us in the disability community.  USICD's strength is its membership, and we aim to provide you with the best information that money can buy

If you or your organization is a current USICD member, you will receive a renewal this week. We want your membership experience to be valuable and beneficial, and this year we will be surveying our members to learn what benefits of membership you want and need.  We've heard your request to bring the membership together more often, so in April we'll be hosting another members teleconference, sharing updates and providing a place for our members to interact, get answers to questions, and collaborate.
If you or your organization is not a USICD member, think about joining today!  Learn about membership here.  The staff and I are always available to answer and to hear your ideas. 

Thank you for supporting USICD by being a member!

Stay Warm,

Patricia Morrissey, Ph.D.

USICD President Offers Webinar on Engaging Politicians on March 22, 2016
Join USICD's President, author and former Commissioner of the Administration on Developmental Disabilities, Dr. Patricia Morrissey, for her Webinar, "Engaging Politicians: High Impact Strategies for Individuals with Disabilities & Their Advocates"  
In this one-hour web-based lecture, she offers strategies for exercising your civic-minded muscles -- what to do, how to do it, and how to judge your success. The webinar will take you through key points. It focuses on goal setting, messaging, organizing, and becoming a force for disability rights, not only here but around the world. The webinar will be held at 3:00 pm East Coast time on Tuesday, March 22, 2016.
Pat Morrissey's career includes stints in both the public and private sector. She worked for the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions for five years prior to joining Booz Allen and also worked for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and Labor. During this time, she played a central role in the drafting of major disability legislation ranging from the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Amendments of 1997, to the Assistive Technology Act of 1998, to the Ticket to Work and Work Incentive Improvement Act of 1999, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and more. 
She has served as a consultant to Fortune 200 companies on ADA compliance. Morrissey also was a member of the U.S. Delegation to a United Nations Committee while it drafted the Convention on Civil Rights for Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
USICD Supports Rapid Ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty and access to books for print-disabled individuals
The United States International Council on Disabilities (USICD) welcomes the transmission of the Marrakesh Treaty to the U.S. Senate for its advice and consent to ratification by the United States. The Marrakesh Treaty, officially titled the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons who are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled, seeks to ensure full access to published works for all people who are print-disabled.

Under the treaty, States are required to identify and remove barriers, including intellectual property law restrictions, which prevent individuals who are print-disabled from accessing written material. The treaty reflects American law and is especially important for countries with under-developed disability law protections and intellectual property law frameworks. The adoption of the treaty by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has garnered broad support from states, publishing companies, and persons with disabilities.

USCID supports rapid ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty by the US Senate. The United States is party to more than a dozen WIPO treaties and often takes the lead in efforts to ensure uniformity in intellectual property standard-setting. Removing barriers and facilitating access to published works for individuals with print disabilities is an important, non-contentious issue that should garner bipartisan support.

For more information please contact USICD, 202-347-0102.
The American Foundation of the Blind Names USICD Board Member Susan Mazrui the Recipient of the 2016 Stephen Garff Marriott Award

Woman with shoulder length hair USICD congratulates our board member, Susan Mazrui.

The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) has named Susan Mazrui,a former AFB Trustee, as the recipient of the 2016 Stephen Garff Marriott Award. The award honors a blind or visually impaired individual who has served as an extraordinary mentor or who has attained remarkable professional success.

"Susan Mazrui serves as a true role model and visionary," said Carl R. Augusto, AFB president and CEO. "Throughout her career, she has been a leader and trailblazer in ensuring equal access for individuals with disabilities through her corporate and federal work. It is a pleasure to recognize someone who is truly passionate about disability advocacy, and whose successes have meant so much to so many."

Read more about AFB's recognition of Susan Mazrui's accomplishments

8th International Summer School on Disability Law and Policy
The Centre for Disability Law and Policy at the National University of Ireland Galway has announced the next International Summer School to be held in the week of 20-24 June (2016) at the National University of Ireland (Galway) on the West Coast of Ireland.
Image of tower with text NUI Galway The overall theme for this year's Summer School will be 'Civil Society as Agents of Change.'  In addition to covering the basics with respect to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (the nature of State obligations, methods of treaty interpretation, etc.) we will take a particular look at how civil society around the world can - and is - taking advantage of the new politics of disability opened up by the UN convention, how they can successfully interact with other agents of change like national human rights institutions and how the increasingly authoritarian practice of closing down civic space for NGOs around the world impacts on the disability advocacy sector. 

M-Enabling Summit Conference and Showcase 2016

The M-Enabling Summit is a joint initiative of the Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies A round logo with white text on a blue background M-Enabling Summit June 13-14 2016 (G3ict) and E.J. Krause & Associates (EJK) to promote mobile accessible and assistive applications and services for senior citizens and persons with disabilities leveraging the latest operating systems, handsets and tablets based technologies. The fourth edition of theM-Enabling Summit will be held on June 13-14, 2016, at the Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel in Arlington, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, DC.

The Summit is the only gathering of U.S. and international leaders of the global ecosystem supporting accessible and assistive mobile solutions. At the Summit they share experiences on how to best leverage the latest mobile operating systems, handset and tablet technologies, creating life changing applications and services for seniors and users of all abilities. The theme for this year's conference is "Accessible Technologies and Environments for All."


Learn more about the M-Enabling Summit

Zero Project Report 2016 Highlights Global Situation of People with Disabilities
This year´s newly released Zero Project Report 2016 has gathered valuable data on the situation of persons with disabilities around the world. Looking at 30 social indicators, it gives a detailed picture of the implementation of the UNCRPD in 129 countries. Moreover, more than 3,000 people nominated Innovative Practices and Policies, with about 150 experts from the Zero Project's global network helping to identify the 86 most innovative.

Read the Zero Project Report 2016

But what about the 86 Innovative Practices and Policies identified by Green text on a white background says Zero Project in between the two words is the image of a sprout with three leaves Zero Project's global network of experts?  Two examples follow below:
  • In Armenia, there is still a segregated approach to education of young people with disabilities, like in most countries of the world, but "Bridge of Hope" is about to change this by supporting mainstream schools and training their teachers in inclusive education methods. Today, already 2,200 children with disabilities receive their education in inclusive schools. 
  • Another Innovative Practice, is the AccessText Network, which links American universities to nearly all American post-secondary publishers. This allows publishers to provide textbooks to students with disabilities in an accessible format and timely manner while also reducing costs.

Read all 86 Zero Project 2016 Innovative Practices

2016 U.S. Business Leadership Network 19th Annual National Conference & Biz2Biz Expo
The U.S. Business Leadership Network (USBLN) is holding its 19th Annual National Conference and Biz2Biz Expo from September 19 to 22, 2016 at the JW Marriot Grand Lakes, in Orlando, Florida.  This year's theme is "Disability Inclusion: The Future Redefined". 

Participants will be able to gain information for advancing disability Blue and Green logo USBLN Business Leadership Network Driving Success through Disability Inclusion inclusion policies and practices, learn strategies for effectively marketing to consumers with disabilities, engage with global leaders with disabilities.  College students and recent graduates with disabilities, will have an opportunity to participate in leadership development and networking activities.  Businesses will have the opportunity to engage with the rising leaders through workshops, networking, and other activities.

USBLN is a national non-profit that helps business promote disability inclusion in the work place, supply chain, and marketplace.  It serves as the collective voice of nearly 50 Business Leadership Network affiliates in the United States representing more than 5,000 businesses.

Learn more about the conference.

Learn more about USBLN.
USICD Congratulates and Thanks Mitsubishi!
Man in suit and tie with woman in green jacket pose with sign congratulating MEAF for 25th anniversary
David Morrissey and Isabel Hodge
USICD staff joined employees and friends from the Mitsubishi family of companies, and the Mits Ele Amer Foundation, at a reception celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation (MEAF) in late February. Participants celebrated the Foundation's quarter century of supporting various charitable endeavors, including a range of programs promoting job training and employment opportunities for youth and emerging professionals with disabilities. Participants also engaged in visioning sessions to guide the foundation's priorities and activities for the next 25 years.

USICD is now in the fourth year of coordinating its Youth in International
Two women dressed nicely pose with cheeks pressed together
Maegan Shanks (2014) and Anais Keenon (2013)
Development and Foreign Affairs internship program that will soon be able to announce its cohort of interns for the summer 2016 internship program. During its first three years from 2013 to 2015, USICD's internship program has placed a total of 21 interns at 15 different host organizations in the DC area. A few alumni from past years of our internship program were in attendance at the Foundation's anniversary celebration.  USICD wouldn't be able to coordinate its internship program without MEAF's support. USICD sends our thanks and deep gratitude to the company.
Connect with USICD!
Facebook Logo Twitter Logo Wordpress Logo 

USICD Facebook
USICD Twitter
USICD LinkedIn
In This Issue
USICD Launches 2016 Membership Drive
USICD President Offers Webinar on Engaging Politicians
USICD Supports Rapid Ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty and Access to Books for Print-Disabled Individuals
The American Foundation of the Blind Names USICD Board Member Susan Mazrui the Recipient of the 2016 Stephen Garff Marriott Award
8th International Summer School on Disability Law and Policy
M--Enabling Summit Conference and Showcase 2016
Zero Project Report 2016 Highlights Global Situation of People with Disabilities
2016 US Business Leadership Network 19th Annual National Conference
USICD Congratulates and Thanks Mitsubishi!
Events and Opportunities
People with an interest in international development are invited to join an online, e-discussion on implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda from Feb. 29 to March 25, coordinated by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). 

March 21st, 2016, is World Down Syndrome Day!

M-Enabling Summit and Showcase, June 13-14 2016, in Washington DC

Ninth Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons (COSP) with Disabilities (CRPD) to be held June 14-16, 2016

8th International Summer School on Disability Law and Policy, The Centre for Disability Law and Policy, National University of Ireland, Galway, to be held June 20-24, 2016

2016 U.S. Business Leadership Network Conference September 19-22, 2016, Disability Inclusion: The Future Redefined


Women's Refugee Commission releases report, I See That It Is Possible: Building Capacity for Disability Inclusion in Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Programming in Humanitarian Settings

Disability Is Not Inability, editorial by Tewodros Kassa in The Ethiopian Herald asks people in Ethiopia to respect the abilities of people with disabilities

For more international disability news, events, and opportunities, check USICD's Twitter FeedUSICD's Facebook page, or USICD's LinkedIn page!
Join Our Mailing List
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)

Marcie Roth (FEMA)

Sue Swenson (OSERS)

CRPD Ratification Watch
As of February 2016:
  • 162 Signatories
  • 160 Ratifications
Optional Protocol:
  • 92 Signatories
  • 88 Ratifications
Recent Ratifications:
Sri Lanka ratified the convention on February 8, 2016

Antigua and Barbuda ratified the convention on January 7, 2016

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
Join Our Mailing List

United States International Council on Disabilities | 1012 14th St. NW, Suite 105 | Washington | DC | 20005