December 2016

On behalf of the Board and staff of the U.S. International Council on Disabilities (USICD), our deepest thanks for your support, which really helped to make 2016 a strong year of pathways forward, as USICD continues its advocacy work on behalf of the global disability community.

Because of support from friends and allies in the movement like you, USICD's international reach and collaboration with other disability peoples' organizations and civil society continues to grow. As an example of our global impact in 2016, we just completed a project in Myanmar in which USICD supported the building of a national, cross-disability federation of persons with disabilities and their organizations, in order to build the advocates' collective voice calling for implementation of the CRPD and implementing a society of access and inclusion for Myanmar's disability community. But more importantly this past year, we have worked directly with people just like us-- people with disabilities from other countries who want to learn about the history of U.S. disability laws, how to improve inclusion of people with disabilities in civil society and how to eliminate stigma and discrimination in their respective countries.

In the U.S., this past year USICD also continued advocating for permanent disability offices with leaders in both the U.S. Department of State and USAID, so that their mission, vision and values are always inclusive of all people with all disabilities here and abroad.

And right here in our Washington, D.C., headquarters, we hosted an impressive cohort of summer interns whose participation was made possible by your support and a generous grant from the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation (MEAF). Particularly noteworthy... many of our interns from previous years are now employed full-time and attribute much of their success to their international development experience in Washington, D.C., made possible by this USICD intern program.

As we embark on a new year, to include strategic thinking to always ensure USICD is delivering much-needed programs and services to the disability community globally and engaging our members in these efforts, we welcome your input and ideas, and continue to value your friendship and support. Please don't hesitate to contact us.

Before the end of this month, we sincerely hope you will consider USICD in your philanthropy -- a gift of any size is so greatly appreciated and will help us continue our important mission.

Thank You & Happy Holidays!

USICD Board & Staff

USICD Celebrates International Day of Persons with Disabilities with its 3rd Annual Gala Reception! 
USICD Board Members & Staff with

Senator Bob Dole & Honorees 

USICD celebrated the International Day of Persons with Disabilities at our third annual Gala on 1 December at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C. Over 180 attendees watched as Senator Bob Dole presented the Dole-Harkin award to two Congressional leaders who have proved time and time again that they are significant disability rights advocates: Senator Al Franken and Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers. USICD's International Advocate Award recipient, Silvia Quan, a leader in Guatemala and globally, delivered passionate remarks to the audience.

USICD is profoundly grateful to the 2016 USICD Gala sponsors for their support and endorsement of USICD programming and global priorities. We are already working on dates and location for the 2017 USICD Gala and will disseminate a "Save the Date" notice in early 2017!

USICD's Youth in International Development and Foreign Affairs Internship Program Will Close for Applications on January 10, 2017!
The summer 2017 Youth in International Development and Foreign Affairs internship program will close for applications on January 10, 2017. Students will note that this deadline may occur during their winter break.

USICD's internship program focuses on U.S. citizen youth with disabilities from across the country who intend to pursue careers in international development or foreign affairs.

Woman with long dark hair works at her computer terminal at the office The summer 2017 internship program will bring a group of talented U.S. citizen 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. 

Youth up to age 30 (or in some cases, up to age 35) are eligible to apply. We welcome wide diversity in all types of disabilities or chronic health conditions and have no restrictions on which diagnostic labels "qualify" as a disability. We welcome diversity in race, ethnicity, genders and sexuality, religion, socio-economic class, and other identities.

To learn more about the Youth in International Development and Foreign Affairs internship program, eligibility criteria, anticipated dates, the application process, what interns can expect if accepted into the program, and more, please visit Applicants are encouraged to read the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section.

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

Application deadline for USICD's summer 2017 internship program is January 10, 2017.
USICD Joins Endorsement of Global Call to Action for Disability Inclusion
USICD has joined various other international organizations in endorsing a global call for all agencies planning and implementing international development and humanitarian projects to be more inclusive of people with disabilities in everything they do. 

The coalition of organizations behind the call to action The title in green says Global Call to Action for Disability Inclusion dated Dec 2016 The picture shows an image of various men and women seated and interacting with each other with smiles acknowledge there has been significant progress, in part due to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the inclusion of people with disabilities in some of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). But they also note that people with disabilities are still being excluded from many significant initiatives meant to reduce poverty levels, improve education access for all children, or provide humanitarian relief around the world.


Here's Why Disability Rights Must be at the Forefront of the Human Rights Movement
A young boy sits, cross legged, in a wheelchair too large for him, while intently reading a book.
Amnesty International, a leading international human rights organization, recently published an opinion piece on their blog site, "Here's why Disability Rights Must be at the Forefront of the Human Rights Movement."
The author, and USICD Board Member, Janet Lord, has served as a consultant on some of USICD's projects abroad, including its cross-disability coalition building work in Myanmar.  She also is a board member of Amnesty International USA and a Senior Fellow at Harvard Law School Project on Disability.
Learning Disability Advocacy through Engaging U.S. Senate Campaigns, by USICD Intern Chris Damon

Simply put, I could not have picked a more momentous time to rejoin USICD's staff as a full-time intern.

I had worked with USICD's staff once before, right before my senior year of college. Now, a year into my dual-degree graduate school program at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs (Syracuse University), I found myself back in Washington, DC, working again with the organization that had first opened my eyes to how disability rights and advocacy (which I was already involved with at the local level) could have an international focus and global ramifications. I was with the team right when the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) first went to the U.S. Senate for ratification in 2012, so it was only fitting that one of my main tasks this second time around was to help coordinate outreach efforts to U.S. Senate candidates and incumbents campaigning for this year's election cycle.

Michael Brogioli Elected as North America Vice President of Rehabilitation International
USICD congratulates Mr. Michael Brogioli, Executive Director of USICD member organization Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive
Man in a suit jacket and tie and thinning white hair smiles at the camera
Michael Brogioli
Technology Society of North America (RESNA), on his appointment as the new North America Vice President of Rehabilitation International. USICD is pleased to have nominated Michael Brogioli for the post.

Michael has more than 20 years of experience working on behalf of various non-profit organizations. At RESNA, he promotes technology solutions for people with disabilities. In a previous post, he was First Vice President for Policy and Government Relations at Special Olympics International.

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In This Issue
Help USICD Unwrap the Gift of Disability Rights & Inclusion in 2017
USICD Celebrates International Day of Persons with Disabilities with its 3rd Annual Gala Reception!
USICD Internship Program Will Close for Applications on January 10!
USICD Joins Endorsement of Global Call to Action for Disability Inclusion
Here's Why Disability Rights Must be at the Forefront of the Human Rights Movement
Article Headline
Michael Brogioli Elected as North America Vice President of Rehabilitation International
Events and Opportunities

Call for articles for a special edition of the Enabling Education Review on "Inclusive education and street connectedness", which can include articles on children with disabilities in street situations. Deadline to submit first-draft articles is Febuary 28, 2017.

The next World Down Syndrome Congress will be held in Scotland, July 24-27, 2018, sign up to be notified when more detail becomes available

Women with Disabilities Demand Justice and Equal Rights in fight against gender-based violence

Captioned video explains the international Marrakesh Treaty and how it is meant to end the book famine for people who are blind, have dyslexia, or other print disabilities.

For more international disability news, events, and opportunities as they occur, 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

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 December 2016:
  • 160 Signatories
  • 172 Ratifications
Optional Protocol:
  • 92 Signatories
  • 92 Ratifications
Recent Ratifications:
Federated States of Micronesia ratified the convention on December 7, 2016

Democratic Republic of Korea ratified the convention on December 6, 2016

Samoa ratified the convention on December 2, 2016

Belarus ratified the convention on November 29, 2016

Central African Republic ratified the convention on October 11, 2016

Iceland ratified the convention on September 23, 2016

Netherlands ratified the convention on July 13, 2016

Comoros ratified the convention on June 16, 2016

Finland ratified the convention on May 11, 2016

Brunei Darussalam ratified the convention on April 11, 2016

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

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