May 2017

A Message from the USICD Board of Directors: David Morrissey Leaving USICD

David Morrissey (Left), Senator Al Franken, and Isabel Hodge (Right)
David Morrissey, Senator Al Franken

& Isabel Hodge.

The USICD Board of Directors has recently announced to the Membership of USICD that our Executive Director for over eight years, David Morrissey, is leaving the organization at the end of June 2017. David's collaborative style, leadership skills, and hard work will be missed by everyone involved with USICD and many in the Washington, DC community, as well as in locations around the world, all of whom have benefited significantly by their interaction with David. 

In notifying the board, David wrote,

It is the people I have been so fortunate to work with that I will miss most. Leading the organization has been the highlight of my career and an honor. Together, we developed USICD's projects and partnerships, raised our collective voice calling for disability rights and inclusion around the world, and brought people together across borders to build a global disability community. I am grateful for all of the members, friends and supporters who make this work possible. USICD's mission is important and I will always support it and remain engaged. 

The USICD Board of Directors is
pleased to announce its appointment of Deputy Director Isabel Hodge as the new Executive Director beginning July 1, 2017.  Isabel's extensive work with and on behalf of people with disabilities around the world, combined with what she has already accomplished for USICD, made her the obvious choice to work with all of us and guide USICD into its next exciting stage of development.  From her federal career at the Department of Defense and her work with Wheelchairs for Kids International, to her tireless advocacy for the United States to ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Isabel's organizational leadership, financial and administrative skills, and commitment to global disability rights have shined brightly, and all of us on the USICD Board are thrilled to continue working with her in this advanced leadership role.

To our members, please be rest assured that there will be no interruption in USICD's work and advocacy, and both the USICD Board of Directors and the USICD staff are fully committed to continuity of work and outcomes. And through June 30, David can continue to be reached via email at 
AmazonSmile - A No Cost Way to Contribute to USICD!
Dear USICD Members & Friends,

You can contribute to USICD at no cost to you! USICD is a registered organization with the AmazonSmile program. That means, if you sign up to participate in the AmazonSmile program, .05% of all eligible purchase amounts will go to USICD. If you spend $500 per year, USICD will receive $25; if you spend $1,000, USICD gets $50. Just think how that could be multiplied if you get all your family members and friends to do the same. Every donation, no matter how small, takes us one step closer to realizing our vision. 

It's easy to do! Visit AmazonSmile and on your first visit select the "United States International Council on Disabilities" as the charitable organization you want to receive your donations before you begin shopping. Amazon will remember your selection, and then every eligible purchase you make at will result in a donation to USICD. Tens of millions of products are eligible for donations and such eligibility is noted with the product's information with the simple message: Eligible for "AmazonSmile" donation.

Bookmark to make it even easier to return and shop at AmazonSmile. There are no differences in prices or products if you shop through except that a percentage of the money you spend goes to USICD.

Please take a few minutes to take this simple action if you shop on Amazon and encourage others to do the same. 

Thank you so much.

USICD Resource Committee

USICD Welcomes 2017 Cohort of Interns to DC!
At the end of May, for the 5th time in five years, USICD will welcome our newest cohort of interns in USICD's 2017 Youth in International Development and Foreign Affairs internship program! Each summer, USICD brings young emerging professionals with disabilities who aspire to international careers to Washington, DC, to complete internships at various internationally oriented organizations in the DC area.
The words Mitsubishi America in plain black text of the word foundation in all small leters and salmon colored
 The internship program was made possible with support from the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation

We are excited for the opportunity to place nine interns at seven different host organizations this year! Please click this link to read more out these talented young professionls.

  • Chuck Aoki will complete his internship at the National Democratic Institute
  • Anna Custis will complete her internship at Handicap International
  • Katherine Giles will complete her internship in the Global Disability Advisor office at the World Bank
  • Yuliya Gileva will complete her internship in the Inclusion and Diversity office within the corporate sector arm of the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation.
  • Adeline Joshua will complete her internship at the Environment, Social, and Governance office at the World Bank
  • Janelle Lyons will complete her internship at Women Enabled International
  • Ryan O'Malley will complete his internship at Management Sciences for Health
  • Jenna Shelton will complete her internship at the International Medical Corps
  • Vanna Song will complete his internship at World Learning
USICD Releases Consolidations of Disability Citations in the 2016 State Department Human Rights Reports

Each year, the U.S. Department of State releases an extensive compilation of human rights reports covering the previous calendar year for 194 different countries around the world. The full set of human rights reports for a single year can easily fill thousands of pages. For people who want to see only the disability-related citations woven throughout these reports, it can take a long time to wade through these thousands of pages to find them.

USICD's team has done the work for you! Each year, USICD staff and interns seek out references to disability issues throughout the State Department human rights reports and consolidate them into a single file for each major geographical region. These regional reports are also consolidated into a single, much larger file. Each file can be downloaded in accessible PDF format. The disability consolidations covering the year 2016 have just been completed and are now available via USICD's website. You also can find disability consolidations going back to the year 2010:

33nd Annual Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability and Diversity

The Pacific Rim International Conference Team invites your company or organization to participate in the Community Exhibit Halls at the 33nd Annual International Conference to be held on October 9-11, 2017. This Conference is one of the largest in the country for diversity and disability and has earned the reputation as being one of the best.

Booth space in our exhibit halls in the Modern Honolulu and the Hilton Hawaiian Village will be limited an will be available on a first come, first served basis. 
For more information on registering to attend the Conference, please visit

Bridging the Gap Just Published 

Access Exchange International (AEI) published a guide to promote affordable, safe, accessible transportation to get children with disabilities to school in developing countries. AEl promotes both accessible design of pedestrian infrastructure and transport systems and the accessible operation of systems in a user-friendly and safe manner. 

By improving transportation to and from school, more children with disabilities will attain the knowledge and skills to enable them to be productive and independent adults within a more inclusive society. 

Rehabilitation International (RI Global) holds its 2017 Executive Committee meeting in Beijing
The RI Global Delegation at the first Executive Committee meeting held in April in Beijing. RI Global's new president, Zhang Haidi, marked her first official meeting as leader of the nearly 100-year-old organization. 

RI Global holds its first official meeting under new president 

The president of Rehabilitation International (RI Global), Zhang Haidi, and the China Federation of Disabled Persons (CDPF) hosted RI Global's 2017 Executive Committee meeting from 22-23 April in Beijing -- the first Committee gathering under the Presidency of Madam Zhang. 

RI Regional Vice President for Europe, Roy O'Shaughnessy who spoke on behalf of the EC, said RI Global was undergoing a "renaissance" under Zhang's presidency. He praised the government of China and CDPF for their commitment to support the Zhang's leadership which will enable RI Global to play a more active and meaningful role in the field of rehabilitation and disability.

More information on RI Global Meeting
Connect with USICD!
Facebook Logo Twitter Logo Wordpress Logo  Logo for LinkedIn

USICD Facebook

USICD Twitter


USICD LinkedIn

In This Issue
David Morrissey Leaving USICD
AmazonSmile: A no-cost way to contribute to USICD!
USICD Welcomes 2017 Cohort of Interns to DC!
USICD Releases Consolidated Disability References in the 2016 State Department Human Rights Reports
33rd Annual Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability and Diversity
Bridging the Gap Just Published
RI Global holds its 2017 meeting in Beijing
Events and Opportunities
M-Enabling Summit Global Summit and Showcase, promoting technologies and environments, will be held June 13 - 14, 2017, in Washington, DC.

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

The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Has Concluded its Meeting :Access Session Documents Here

Emerging Technology Will Achieve Employment Equity for People with Disabilities 

The European Parliament's Internal Market Committee Adopted a very Disappointing Report on the Accessibility Act 

China's New Regulation for Person with Disabilities Are a Good Step- but Not Enough

For more international disability news, events, and opportunities as they occur, 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
Marca Bristo - Past President

Glen White - Secretary
David Hutt - Treasurer

Judy Heumann               Candace Cable
Ted Mauro
Jill Houghton
Axel Leblois
Barbara LeRoy
Tia Nelis
Janet Lord
Susan Mazrui
Jerry McCloskey
Michael Brogioli
Shelia Newman
Stephanie Ortoleva
Susan Parker
Debra Perry
Neil Romano 
Eric Rosenthal
Diana Samarasan
CRPD Ratification Watch
As of May 2017:
  • 160 Signatories
  • 173 Ratifications
Optional Protocol:
  • 92 Signatories
  • 92 Ratifications
Recent Ratifications:
Suriname ratified the convention on March 29, 2017

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
on November 5, 2015

Join Our Mailing List

United States International Council on Disabilities | 2013 H Street NW | Washington | DC | 20006