Save the Date: Symposium on the World Report on Disability

February 25, 2011

The Center for International Rehabilitation Research Information and Exchange (CIRRIE) will conduct a two-day symposium, September 12 & 13, 2011, on the World report on disability, which is being released by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank on 9 June, 2011.  This USA launch event will be conducted in cooperation with WHO, the Pan American Health Organization, the World Bank, the Interagency Committee on Disability Research, and the United States International Council on Disabilities.

What is the World report on disability?

The World report on disability summarizes the best available scientific evidence on disability and makes recommendations for action in support of the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.  The product of a multi-year effort by over 300 contributors from all parts of the world, the World report provides documented evidence of the social and economic status of persons with disabilities, the state of disability services, the problems and good practices, as well as recommendations for needed research and development.  It will also include the first update of WHO's global disability prevalence estimates for more than thirty years. For the topics discussed, it represents the best single source of knowledge on disability at the global scale.

What is the purpose of this symposium?

The objective of the September meeting is to introduce the report to U.S. audiences.  WHO has encouraged member states to conduct national events to disseminate the report to key stakeholders in each country, especially policy makers and practitioners.  The U.S. launch is aimed at moving the report’s recommendation forward through U.S. policy, practice and advocacy.  The symposium will examine the implications of the World report for the U.S. domestically and internationally.

What will the symposium be like?

The first morning will feature representatives of international organizations and U.S. federal government agencies that develop and implement disability policies and fund research related to disability, as well as representatives of disability rights organizations.  The next day and a half will be devoted to the presentation and discussion of the  eight chapters of the Report.  Discussion will focus on the implications of each chapter for the U.S., both domestically and internationally.

The chapters in the World report comprise:  1) Understanding disability; 2) Disability - a global picture; 3) General healthcare; 4) Rehabilitation; 5) Assistance and support; 6) Enabling Environments; 7) Education; 8) Work and employment.

Who should attend the event?

This meeting will be of interest to all those who wish to deepen their knowledge of the global state of disability, with particular reference to the U.S.  These include policy makers, practitioners, researchers and persons with disabilities.  There is no registration fee, but participants will be required to register and registration will be capped at 120 persons on a first-come-first-served basis.

Further information about the program, the speakers and logistics will be forth coming on the conferences website (

CIRRIE is supported by a grant from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research of the U.S. Department of Education