2016 International Day Gala

2016 International Day Gala


USCID held the third annual gala on December 1, in celebration of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.  At our gala, we honored leaders of the disability rights movement whose impact has been felt on the international stage—American policymakers are recipients of the Dole-Harkin Award, for distinction in public service to the global disability community, and an overseas disability rights advocate is honored for his/her outstanding work in advancing the rights, opportunities, and dignity of persons with disabilities.

USCID also recognized and honor corporations demonstrating leadership by instilling the best practices of the Americans with Disabilities Act throughout their companies’ values, operations, and hiring practices.

The annual USICD gala brings together disability rights advocates, legislative leaders, new and long-term donors, business and philanthropic leaders, and other friends of the disability rights movement.

2016 Honorees

Dole-Harkin Award Recipients

Senator Al Franken

Senator Al Franken Senator Al Franken (D-MN) has been a tireless  supporter of rights for people with disabilities since being elected to the Senate in 2008. His first piece of legislation was a bill to provide services dogs to wounded warriors, the Service Dogs for Veterans Act. Since then, his leadership has included co-sponsoring of the IDEA Full Funding Act and co-authoring of the Disability Pension Fairness Act, and he has been a supporter of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities treaty (CRPD).

Sen. Franken has also advocated for improving mental health in schools. After hearing from Minnesota parents, education leaders, and mental health experts about how important mental health services are to schools and to improving the lives of students and their families, he successfully pushed for millions of dollars for schools in Minnesota and across the country. The work was based on in his own Mental Health in Schools Act. Sen. Franken, who currently sits on the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee; the Judiciary Committee; the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and the Committee on Indian Affairs, has built a successful record of legislative accomplishments by standing up for Minnesota's interests and finding commonsense, bipartisan solutions that improve people's lives. USICD is honored to present the Dole-Harkin Award to Senator Franken.

Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers

Congresswoman Cathy McMorris RodgersCongresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), a rising star in American politics, is Chair of the House Republican Conference. Since her son Cole was born in 2007 with Trisomy 21, she has become a staunch champion for people with disabilities, demonstrated by her legislative actions and leadership, including support of the U.S. ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). She co-led the effort to pass the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act, and joined a bipartisan coalition in introducing ABLE 2.0, a package of bills building on the success of the ABLE Act to empower those with disabilities to seek meaningful and competitive employment.

In 2010, Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers was appointed to the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee and serves on its Health Subcommittee, where she plays an active role in advancing affordable, patient-centered health care reforms. She is co-chair of the Congressional Down Syndrome Caucus, Co-Chair of the Neuroscience Caucus and the Rural Health Caucus, a member of the MS Caucus, and co-chair of these additional Congressional caucuses: Military Family, Lumber, and the Rural Health Coalition. An advocate for members of the military and their families, she co-founded the bipartisan Military Family Caucus to provide military spouses and children a voice in Congress. USICD is honored to present the Dole-Harkin Award to Rep. McMorris Rodgers. 

International Advocate Award Recipient

Silvia Quan 

Silvia Quan from GuatemalaSilvia Quan of Guatemala, born with a vision disability in Guatemala, is a champion for disability rights globally. She played an important role in the Ad Hoc Committee of the Organization of the United Nations, responsible for drafting the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) as an advisor to the Guatemalan delegation and a member of the Inter-American Institute on Disability and Inclusive Development (IIDDI).

From 2003-2013, she was head of the Ombudsman for Persons with Disabilities in the Office of Human Rights in Guatemala. She’s worked at the Guatemalan Foundation for Children with Deaf-Blindness, and the Center for International Rehabilitation (USA) in the International Monitoring the Rights of Persons with Disabilities-Americas region. Silvia has also been coordinator of research projects on sexuality and gender and disability for the National Council for the Attention of Persons with Disabilities (CONADI) in Guatemala, was on the Global Advisory Panel and the Steering Committee of the Disability Rights Fund (DRF), and was an independent expert on the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. She is an active contributor to the Latin American Network of Non-Governmental Organizations of Persons with Disabilities and their Families (RIADIS). USICD is honored to recognize Silvia Quan as this year’s International Advocate Award recipient. 

Please contact USICD if you are interested becoming an individual or corporate gala sponsor for our 2017 gala!

View photos from our 2016 Gala!

View photos from our 2015 Gala!