USICD Partners with the Embassy of Afghanistan on Disability Rights Conference

USICD Deputy Director, Isabel Hodge with Afghan IVLP delegates & government representatives and advocates.

On 23-24 May, USICD partnered with the Embassy of Afghanistan, the U.S.-Afghan Women's Council, and Georgetown University's Center for Child and Human Development to hold a disability rights conference on at Georgetown University.  
  
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.
Check out USICD's Twitter feed @USICD  or #AFGDisabilityConf to see photos from the event.
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A Message from Candace Cable

Paralympic Athlete & USICD Board Member Candace Cable

with 2016 Olympic Games Mascot Rio Tom

Dear Friend,

I'm a member because I support the U.S. International Council on Disabilities' (USICD) promotion of rights and full inclusion of people with disabilities through global engagement and U.S. foreign affairs. Our membership is vast and spans across the United States and overseas, convening at least once a year to keep our members apprised of progress toward global disability rights.

At our meetings, we share specifics on how USICD's advocacy provides information and strategic guidance to national grassroots organizations, governments and corporate partners. USICD's initiatives create opportunities for involvement and advocacy with peer USICD members.

The need for engaging with disability advocates around the world has never been greater! USICD members and staff work around the world promoting inclusion, spanning primary education for all children to independent living, and learning from our global colleagues' new ways of bringing human rights home. And, in the case of our internship program for young professionals seeking careers in international development and foreign affairs, we provide the right talent to host partners to get the job done.

Please consider becoming a USICD organizational or individual member and share in our vision where all people with disabilities come together for equal rights across all borders!

I wish you all the best in your pursuit of excellence and thank you for your support. 

In Joy & Warm Regards,

Candace Cable

Click here to learn about the benefits of USICD membership and JOIN TODAY!

USICD Releases Consolidations of Disability Citations in the 2015 State Department Human Rights Repo

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 2015 have just been completed and are now available via USICD's website. You also can find disability consolidations going back to the year 2010:
USICD's team is now working on consolidating disability citations that were in the US State Department reports covering the year 2016, which were recently released. We will announce in our newsletter when the 2016 consolidations become available sometime later this year.

AmazonSmile - A No Cost Way to Donate to USICD

AmazonSmile logo

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 smile.amazon.com 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 smile.amazon.com to make it even easier to return and shop at AmazonSmile. There are no differences in prices or products if you shop through smile.amazon.com 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's 25th Anniversary!

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The USICD Board of Directors and staff are happy to announce that 2017 will be USICD's 25th Anniversary!
  
USICD was incorporated as the United States Council for International Rehabilitation in 1992, and became the USICD we know today in 2002.  From our beginning and continuing today, we remain the U.S. member in both Rehabilitation International and Disabled Peoples' International, and our membership continues to include the leading disability organizations and visionary advocates in the U.S. today.  We have grown over the years from a small, volunteer driven organization to one with a staff, office, a diversity of programs, and a global network of colleagues and partners.
In 2009 when USICD launched a campaign for United States signature and ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), you answered the call to action.  When President Obama ordered his ambassador to the United Nations to sign the CRPD in 2009, we celebrated together.  And when we lost our only vote yet for ratification in the Senate in 2012 by 5 votes, you stood up, louder and stronger than ever.  Our community is amazing and USICD is eternally grateful to all those who volunteered their time and resources to the CRPD effort.  One day we will prevail.  And USICD will need you with us.
Please take a moment to browse past issues of our newsletter, sign up to receive future newsletters, read our most recent Annual Report, or our website's page introducing you to our Board of Directors.  Together with you, we are committed to action and advocacy on disability rights for the one billion persons with disabilities in the world.  Your role in USICD as member, supporter, and friend is vital to our work today and our reach tomorrow.  We hope you will be a part of the future by joining USICD today!

USICD Executive Director Conducts Training in Mexico

Mexico CONFE Training Participants

Training Participants in Mexico City

USICD's Executive Director, David Morrissey, traveled to Mexico on March 1st as a member of the RightsNow! Strong Communities through Enforcing the Rights of Persons with Disabilities consortium. Mr. Morrissey presented on the topic of "Coalition Building" to COAMEX, CONFE, and other disability organizations working to strengthen communities through disability rights implementation. Visit the Global Disability Rights Now website to learn more about the project and our important work in Mexico.