A Message from the USICD Program Manager for the Global Disability Rights Library

September 15, 2010

Dear Advocates and Allies:

You know that knowledge has the power to transform society.  Disability rights advocates are more effective when they have the information they need to develop projects, fight poverty, formulate policy arguments, or create social change.  But people with disabilities in developing countries are often twice excluded from the Information Age.  They are excluded because less than 5 percent of the population in many developing countries has any Internet access.  And they are excluded again because people with disabilities who do log on may encounter difficulties finding materials available in accessible formats.  This can hamper the effectiveness of even the strongest Disabled People’s Organizations (DPOs) in developing countries.

The Global Disability Rights Library is working to bridge that gap for disability rights advocates, policy makers, governments, organizations, and other stakeholders in developing countries.  But we need your knowledge and involvement to succeed.  I invite you to begin by learning more about the GDRL by browsing the information at this site.  Please read our GDRL Overview to learn about the technology underlying the project and the partnership between USICD and the University of Iowa’s WiderNet Project that makes the GDRL possible.  

I invite you to consider several options for becoming involved in building the best quality, most extensive library feasible on disability rights.

  • Do you know of content that may be appropriate for the GDRL? For detail on the kind of content we are interested in, please consult our FAQ: Content for the GDRL.  Or simply email us your suggestions.
  • Are you or your organization willing to contribute time and labor to assist us in locating and cataloging resources for the library?  We are open to either internship or volunteer arrangements.  Let’s talk!    
  • Interested in exploring other kinds of partnerships?  Does your organization have expertise that you feel might be helpful for the GDRL?  Please get in touch!
  • Do you know of an organization, government agency, university, or other location in a developing country that might be a good deployment site for the GDRL?  We are interested in your recommendations!

Your energy and support can help GDRL become a better resource for people who share a commitment to promoting human rights for, and fighting poverty among, people with disabilities in developing countries.  The GDRL can support advocates and policy makers abroad in ratifying, implementing, monitoring, and enforcing the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in their countries. I look forward to your involvement.

Andrea Shettle, MSW, MA
Program Manager
Global Disability Rights Library (GDRL)
United States International Council on Disability (USICD)