United States International Council on Disabilities (USICD) Newsletter

June/July 2017
USICD Delegation Attends Conference of States Parties (COSP) to the CRPD

In June, outgoing Executive Director David Morrissey and the new Executive Director, Isabel Hodge, attended the opening days of the 10th annual Conference of States Parties (COSP) to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The annual COSP is a key event that brings together delegations from some of the 174 countries that have ratified the CRPD. Civil society organizations such as USICD also send delegations to observe official proceedings and to participate in side events.

In addition to David Morrissey and Isabel Hodge, USICD also was represented at the COSP by USICD Board President Patricia Morrissey and other board members including Janet Lord, Stephanie Ortoleva, Diana Samarasan, Susan Parker, and Candace Cable. Some also presented during side events.


From left to right, Jess Markt (ICRC), Risna Utami (OHANA) with Board Member Candance Cable and USICD Executive Director, Isabel Hodge


Disability Rights International Honors David Morrissey
As he completed his final month leading USICD as Executive Director, David Morrissey was honored by Disability Rights International with a human rights award. The new Executive Director, Isabel Hodge, has stepped into his old position.

From left to right, DRI Chairman John Bradshaw, DRI Executive Director Eric Rosenthal, David Morrissey, and DRI President Laurie Ahern

Emerging Professionals with Disabilities Blog Their Insights 
Jenna Shelton, an intern who USICD has placed at the International Medical Corps, shares how she came to exchange her fantasies of travel for the real thing. Janelle Lyons, an intern  placed at Women Enabled International, declares herself "Unapologetically Me" in her blog post on the power of intersecting identities. Adeline Joshua, placed at the International Finance Corporation--the private sector division of the World Bank--reveals how she learned to take risks and claim a new sense of confidence. Chuck Aoki, placed at the National Democratic Institute, shares how he navigates his old identity as a Paralympian and his new identity as an emerging professional in the international development field. Ryan O'Malley, placed at Management Sciences for Health, reflects on his internship as an opportunity to promote change. Vanna Song, placed at World Learning, considers how his own internship experiences will enable him to promote career opportunities for others.

Eight people stand in the back and five sit or crouch in the front. They are in the lobby area of the building in which USICD_s office resides.
2017 cohort of USICD program interns with USICD staff and other stakeholders
For the past five years, USICD has coordinated the Youth in International Development and Foreign Affairs internship program, made possible with funding support from the Mitsubishi Electric America Fund. USICD's program brings talented students and recent graduates with disabilities from across the United States to complete summer internships at internationally-oriented organizations in the DC area. Their areas of professional interest vary widely, and so do the host organizations where USICD places them. But all the program interns share in common an aspiration to careers in international development or foreign affairs. And all are exploring new identities as emerging professionals. 

For the 2017 summer program, USICD has placed nine interns at seven different host organizations in the DC area--including, for the first time, three at the World Bank. All nine interns have been asked to write blog posts during the summer in which they reflect upon topics of their choosing that are inspired in some manner by their experiences in USICD's Youth in International Development and Foreign Affairs internship program. The six blog posts highlighted above are just the beginning. Please visit USICD's blog to explore the many more blog posts that interns will be writing during the next few weeks.

Or, explore USICD's blog via it's archives dating back to 2011. 
David Morrissey Presents to International Visitors
Outgoing Executive Director David Morrissey presented on disability rights to a visiting delegation from the country of Georgia. 
Seven people are lined up, most standing and one seated in a wheelchair. Flags for the United States and a few other nations are arrayed behind them.
Zero Project Invites Nominations for Innovative Practices and Innovative Policies

The Zero Project team would like to invite leading experts and organizations to nominate innovative practices concerning this year's topics: Accessibility. #ZeroCall18

To the left is a new sprout with three emerging leaves, to the right the name Zero Project is spelled out

The "Innovative Practices and Innovative Policies 2018" will be selected by the Zero Project network of experts in a multi-step process, and will be
  • Featured in the Zero Project Report 2018
  • Invited to send representatives to speak at the Zero Project Conference in Vienna (Austria) in February 2018.
Submitting a nomination is easy by filling in the Nomination-Online Tool:

Anyone can nominate any project, and self-nominations are also accepted!

If you have any questions about the nomination process, please do not hesitate to contact any time. The deadline is extended until July 4th, 2017
The Disability Rights Fund and the Disability Rights Advocacy Fund published 2016 Annual Report.

The Disability Right Fund(DRF) and the Disability Rights Advocacy Fund (DRAF) published 2016 annual report. The title is 'NOTHING WITHOUT US' which ensuring that people with disabilities around the world are leading struggles for rights and inclusion. 

DRF and the DRAF have integrated the Sustainable Development Goals into our Strategic Plan and grantmaking so that Disabled Persons' Organizations have the financial and technical resources needed to use the CRPD to advance disability-inclusive development, and ensure no one is left behind.
For more information, please visit :
To View 2016 annual reports click here :

33nd Annual Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability and Diversity

The Pacific Rim (PACRIM) 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. USICD will be presenting at the PACRIM International Conference this year. It is one of the largest in the country for diversity and disability and has earned the reputation as being one of the best.

For more information on registering to attend the Conference, please visit

To view the agenda click here :

Connect with USICD!
Facebook Logo Twitter Logo Wordpress Logo  Logo for LinkedIn
USICD Facebook
USICD Twitter
USICD LinkedIn
In This Issue
USICD Delegation, including new Executive Director Isabel Hodge, Attends COSP10
Disability Rights International Honors David Morrissey as USICD's Outgoing Executive Director
Emerging Professionals with Disabilities Blog Their Insights
David Morrissey Presents to International Visitors
Zero-Project Invites Nominations for Innovative Practices and Policies
The Disability Rights Fund and Disability Rights Advocacy Fund Publishes 2016 Annual Report
33rd Annual Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability and Diversity
Events and Opportunities
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
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 July 2017:
  • 160 Signatories
  • 174 Ratifications
Optional Protocol:
  • 92 Signatories
  • 92 Ratifications
Recent Ratifications:
Fiji ratified the convention on June 7, 2017

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

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

Join Our Mailing List