2017 USICD Gala to Celebrate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities
The U.S. International Council on Disabilities (USICD) will host its fourth annual gala on Tuesday, December 5th, in celebration of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The event will be held at the Embassy of France in Washington, DC.
At its gala, USICD will honor 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.
Click here to read more about the 2017 Gala or click on the image above to purchase your ticket(s)!
Use the hashtag #USICDGala in social media!
Your USICD Donation Will Help People with Disabilities in the Caribbean Affected by Hurricanes
Dear USICD Members & Friends,
On 19-20 August, I attended the 2017 Biennial Regional Disabled Peoples' International North America Caribbean (DPI NAC) meeting in Antigua. At the meeting, I was elected as the organization's Vice President. The next day, I traveled with the local Disabled Peoples' Organization, the Antigua & Barbuda Association of Persons with Disabilities (ABAPD) to visit islanders with disabilities. What I found was disturbing.
One gentleman had been lying in his bed for over 15 years and living in a shed that was falling apart with holes in the roof.
With the help of volunteers, ABAPD was building him a new home but had run out of funds to complete it. Another individual experienced a stroke and was living in something much worse and used a cane that was falling apart. A young girl, Jamamarie, was about to turn 14 the next day and had not been to school in years because she lacked a wheelchair. She was crawling on her hands and knees and showed signs of infection. I promptly bought her a basic wheelchair and a cane for the other gentleman.
Yes, this is the reality in Antigua and Barbuda. A popular tourist spot for cruise ships and others who love to enjoy Calypso music, Caribbean food, and some of the best beaches in the world -- where people with disabilities are living in appalling conditions and being hidden away from tourists. ABAPD is resourceful and is working hard to change these circumstances for their peers with disabilities. But the lack of funds is holding them back.
Today, I write to you because I am deeply concerned about our brethren in the Caribbean. Hurricanes have devastated Barbuda and Dominica. We are still waiting to hear from members of our sister DPI organization in the other islands and concerned that they are now rendered homeless due to flooding and hurricane damage and have lost anything of value, such as their mobility devices.
As the Vice President and regional council member of DPI NAC, USICD feels a strong responsibility to do something to help. So I write to you today to ask for your help in raising funds to assist the Disabled Peoples' Organizations in the region that have been hard hit by Hurricane Irma.
Please consider donating to USICD today! Your donations will be sent to DPI NAC and distributed to the region's disabled peoples organizations to help them purchase equipment and other medically necessary items. Please use the designation "Hurricane Relief Efforts" when making your donation.
Don't forget to share this message with your friends and colleagues!
Board Member Testimonials
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
AmazonSmile - A No Cost Way to Donate to USICD
Thank you so much.