Hello from Executive Director Isabel Hodge
I just wanted to take a few minutes to quickly say hello! I am Isabel (Izzy) Hodge, USICD's Executive Director. I am originally from Glasgow, Scotland and immigrated to the U.S. in 1984. I served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a Corporal. I've been an emergency case manager for the American Red Cross, an Marine Corps Exceptional Family Member Program manager at a Marine Corps installation and a Specialist at Headquarters Marine Corps. In 2004, I was hired to work for the Department of Defense (DoD) as a Program Analyst in their office of Military Community & Family Policy.
So, you're probably wondering how I went from the DoD to working for an international non-profit. Well, at the DoD we station military families at over 350 locations worldwide. When a family member had a chronic medical condition, we would identify their needs, document them and then screen them to make sure their medical and educational needs could be met at their next military assignment.
I grew interested in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), (esp. how ratifying would positively impact military families, veterans and civilians with disabilities who want to be assigned or live overseas) and on my own time, and together with USICD's now President, Dr. Patricia Morrissey, created a Ratify the CRPD Facebook page, animated videos, handouts in English and Spanish, and researched all of the countries that had ratified at that time. The research involved taking a deep dive into issues that the US Senate opposition had focused on -- parental rights (right to homeschool), abortion and more.
Around the same time, I joined the board of directors of Wheelchairs for Kids International and began traveling to developing countries with CNN Hero, Brad Blauser, to change the lives of children with disabilities living in poverty in developing countries who needed pediatric adjustable wheelchairs.
I'll share more about my journey in my next post.. Now, I'd love to "meet" you!!