USICD’s Policy Priorities

The membership of USICD believes American disability rights principles should apply to our nation’s foreign assistance. All U.S. Government departments with overseas programs, including the Department of Defense, should adhere to the standards of accessibility found in the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and other provisions of U.S. law, and adopt broad disability inclusion policies and practices.

A comprehensive approach to inclusive foreign operations by the United States must include permanent disability leadership focal point positions within the U.S. Department of State, and the U.S. Agency on International Development (USAID), and other departments and agencies with significant international portfolios. The Office of the International Disability Rights Advisor should enhance disability rights across the entire U.S. foreign policy community, and serve as a resource for other executive departments and agencies that engage in international work.

Specifically, USICD would like to see the following actions:

  • Support an Office on International Disability Rights at the U.S. Department of State.
  • Mandate a Special Advisor on International Disability Rights.
  • Provide the above office with robust funding and staff.
  • Appoint a USAID Disability Coordinator/Advisor and provide robust funding to support disability inclusion in all USAID programs.
  • Revise USAID’s disability inclusion policy to mandate all USAID programs be disability inclusive.

The membership of USICD also believe that no government funds should be spent overseas to pay for institutions that segregate people with disabilities from society. Ending the use of foreign assistance programs to segregate people with disabilities from society is a key area for the permanent disability rights and inclusion leadership personnel.

Finally, all foreign assistance and international development efforts funded by the American people must be accessible to and inclusive of people with disabilities