Highlights of USICD's Work in 2017
The USICD Board and Staff would like to thank our USICD members, partners, sponsors, friends and colleagues for being with us in 2017, and for celebrating our 25th Anniversary with us at the USICD Gala that was held at the Embassy of France on 5 December!
2017 International Day of Persons with Disabilities
United Nations Secretary-General's Message on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities
In recent years, the international community has achieved notable progress in advancing the rights of the world’s one billion persons with disabilities. Disability is recognized as a cross-cutting issue in the 2030 Agenda, the New Urban Agenda and the Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction.
Yet, persons with disabilities remain too often excluded from the design, planning and implementation of policies and programmes that have an impact on their lives. Too often they face discrimination in labor markets and in access to education and other services.
To overcome this challenge, the path towards inclusive, accessible, usable facilities, technologies, infrastructure, services and products must be ensured by, for and with persons with disabilities. We must build on their agency, working together to design, develop and implement affordable and innovative solutions to realize equality for all.
On the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, let us remove physical and cultural barriers, build resilient societies and create opportunities that truly leave no one behind.
It's Time to be Thankful, by Dr. Patricia Morrissey
By Dr. Patricia Morrissey
The holiday season has begun. It is a time when we eat too much; strengthen friendships, and ponder what we are going to do differently next year. Well, here's something you can do right now -- make a donation to the U.S. International Council on Disabilities. Go to www.usicd.org and push the DONATE button.
Each of us has a lot for which to be thankful. Because of our families and friends, where we live, and what we do, we have choices and opportunities to do many things. Not everyone is so lucky. In some places around the world going to school is not an option because of stigma or inaccessibility. In some places having access to health care or securing a job is rare because of inaccessible transportation. In some places deciding what you are going to do and when you are going to do it is controlled by someone else.
The U.S. International Council on Disabilities (USICD) works with disability organizations in other countries to strengthen understanding of the U.N. Convention on Persons with Disabilities, a disability rights treaty. It is a powerful catalyst ...
Read the rest of this blog post by USICD President, Dr. Patricia Morrissey, at her personal blog site.
Protecting civilians with disabilities in conflicts
By Catalina Devandas, Shantha Rau Barriga, Professor Gerard Quinn, Janet Lord
People with disabilities rank high among those badly affected by conflict. For one thing, conflicts degrade whatever support systems are in existence. The lucky ones can flee – but many are forced by their circumstances to remain in the conflict zone after others have been evacuated, and are particularly vulnerable as a result.
The tendency in many countries to congregate people with disabilities into institutions creates heightened vulnerabilities that can complicate the task of civilian protection. History is replete with examples, for instance, the slaughter of civilians with disabilities at a psychiatric hospital during the Rwandan genocide or, earlier, under the Nazi T-4 programme of extermination of disabled adults and children in institutions and hospitals. Indeed, the very existence of clustered settlements – psychiatric hospitals, orphanages, social care homes and other institutions – can tempt some combatants to use people with disabilities as human shields.
Read the rest of this article in the December 1st, 2017, issue of Nato Review.
One of the authors, Janet Lord, serves on USICD's Board of Directors.
USICD Partners with the Embassy of Afghanistan on Disability Rights Conference
The Afghanistan Disability Rights Conference: From Policy to Programming was a follow-up to the first National Conference on Disablity Rights convened by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani at the Presidential palace in October, 2016. Under President Ghani, the Afghan government has made disability rights a national priority.
The conference, which included USICD Board members, Stephanie Ortoleva and Judy Heumann, focused on practical approaches for making inclusive education, inclusive public healthcare, and vocational training and employment opportunities a reality for Afghan citizens living with disabilities.
Afghanistan's Ambassador Dr. Hamdullah Mohib welcomed participants. Also during the first day of the event, prominent Afghan and international disability rights advocates spoke on panels and responded to questions from the audience. On the second day of the conference, USICD was honored to host the Afghan delegates for a Knowledge Sharing Workshop where they had the opportunity to speak with American experts from U.S. disability organizations.
USICD Releases Consolidations of Disability Citations in the 2015 State Department Human Rights Repo
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