The USICD Logo with the words Celebrate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities

USICD’s Fundraising Annual Gala

Every year we observe and celebrate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on or around December 3rd. At our gala, we 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.

This year, USICD presented the Dole-Harkin award to Professor Michael. Ashley Stein from the Harvard Law School Project on Disability. Professor Stein is considered one of the world’s leading experts on disability law and policy.

The International Advocate award will be presented posthumously to Mr. Steven Estey was a global disability rights advocate. Steve worked with Organizations of Persons with Disabilities for over 30 years and was the leading Canadian expert in matters relating to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

In 2023, the ninth USICD gala was held on Monday, 4 December, at the fabulous AT&T Forum in Washington, DC. Photos from the gala will be available by 31 December.

Photo of Professor Michael A. Stein and Mr. Steven Estey. Both are middle aged men wearing glasses and smiling.

Ready to sponsor our 2024 Gala? Contact USICD’s Executive Director Isabel Hodge .

Past Gala Details:

2014 Dole-Harkin Honoree – Senator Tom Harkin; International Advocate- Gerard Quinn, Ireland. Event held at the U.S. Institute of Peace. View Photos.

2015 Dole-Harkin Honoree – Senator Kelly Ayotte; International Advocate, Kalle Konkkola, Finland. Event held at the Embassy of Finland. View Photos.

2016 Dole- Harkin Honorees – Senator Al Franken & Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers; International Advocate, Silvia Quan, Guatemala. Event held at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. View Photos.

2017 Dole-Harkin Honorees – Senator John Barrasso & Judith Heumann; International Advocate, Risnawati Utami, Indonesia. Event held at the Embassy of France. View Photos.

2018 Dole-Harkin Honorees – Senator John McCain II & Senator Tammy Duckworth; International Advocate, Rosemary Kayess, Australia. Event held at the AT&T Forum in Washington, DC. View Photos.

2019 Dole-Harkin Honorees – Representative Jim Langevin and Marca Bristo (posthumously); International Advocate, Sir Philip Craven, United Kingdom. Event held at the AT&T Forum in Washington, DC. View Photos. Watch video remarks from USICD’s President, Dr. Patricia Morrissey Watch the Marca Bristo memorial video shown at the Gala. Watch video remarks from Sir Philip Craven.

2020 Dole-Harkin Honorees – Senator Bob Casey and Representative Dina Titus; International Advocate, Ikponwosa Ero. Nigeria. Event held virtually. View the 2020 USICD Virtual Gala Recording. Watch our sneak peek video

2021 Dole-Harkin Honorees – Senator Bob Menendez and Dr. Victor Pineda; International Advocate, Ambassador Catalina Devandas. Event held virtually. View the 2021 USICD Virtual Gala recording.

2022 Dole-Harkin Honoree – Mr. John Wodatch. International Advocate, Mr. Sadiq Mohibi (Afghanistan/Canada) Click here to view photos from our 2022 Gala. The Gala was featured on the national news in Afghanistan (only available in Farsi)!

2023 Dole-Harkin Honoree – Professor Michael Ashley Stein; International Advocate, Mr. Steve Estey (posthumously). Event held at the AT&T Forum in Washington, DC. Photos coming soon!