A Message from Judy Heumann

Judith Heumann

Judith Heumann, International Disability Rights Advocate

Dear Friends,

I am writing to you today to encourage you to join (or rejoin!) the U.S. International Council on Disabilities (USICD) as a member.  This is an exciting time for the advancement of disability rights around the world, and USICD is working to make sure our U.S. disability community is a part of this global movement.  USICD is building bridges between the United States and global disability communities, and its role is critically needed around the world.

I believe it is our responsibility as advocates and members of USICD to push for full inclusion in international development and humanitarian aid, including those programs funded by the United States around the world.  Through partnerships and the community’s support, USICD is also helping disability rights advocates in other countries build their collective voice for access and inclusion.  You as an individual member can help USICD’s efforts reach more people.

Many of you got to know USICD in recent years as they led the campaign for United States ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).  My deep thanks to all of you who joined the effort with your own advocacy and organizing!  Though this goal has not been met, I know USICD and you will not be deterred.  When you become a member of USICD, you are supporting all of their work both here in the U.S. and around the world.  Solidarity with our brothers and sisters with disabilities around the world is USICD’s mission and priority.  I am proud to support this work.

Please join me in thanking USICD for their 25 years of advocacy of behalf of people with disabilities around the world by becoming a member of USICD today!

Judy Heumann 

P.S. Click here to learn about the benefits of USICD membership and JOIN TODAY!

USICD's 25th Anniversary!

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The USICD Board of Directors and staff are happy to announce that 2017 will be USICD's 25th Anniversary!
USICD was incorporated as the United States Council for International Rehabilitation in 1992, and became the USICD we know today in 2002.  From our beginning and continuing today, we remain the U.S. member in both Rehabilitation International and Disabled Peoples' International, and our membership continues to include the leading disability organizations and visionary advocates in the U.S. today.  We have grown over the years from a small, volunteer driven organization to one with a staff, office, a diversity of programs, and a global network of colleagues and partners.
In 2009 when USICD launched a campaign for United States signature and ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), you answered the call to action.  When President Obama ordered his ambassador to the United Nations to sign the CRPD in 2009, we celebrated together.  And when we lost our only vote yet for ratification in the Senate in 2012 by 5 votes, you stood up, louder and stronger than ever.  Our community is amazing and USICD is eternally grateful to all those who volunteered their time and resources to the CRPD effort.  One day we will prevail.  And USICD will need you with us.
Please take a moment to browse past issues of our newsletter, sign up to receive future newsletters, read our most recent Annual Report, or our website's page introducing you to our Board of Directors.  Together with you, we are committed to action and advocacy on disability rights for the one billion persons with disabilities in the world.  Your role in USICD as member, supporter, and friend is vital to our work today and our reach tomorrow.  We hope you will be a part of the future by joining USICD today!

USICD Releases Consolidations of Disability Citations in the 2015 State Department Human Rights Repo

Each year, the U.S. Department of State releases an extensive compilation of human rights reports covering the previous calendar year for 194 different countries around the world. The full set of human rights reports for a single year can easily fill thousands of pages. For people who want to see only the disability-related citations woven throughout these reports, it can take a long time to wade through these thousands of pages to find them.

USICD's team has done the work for you! Each year, USICD staff and interns seek out references to disability issues throughout the State Department human rights reports and consolidate them into a single file for each major geographical region. These regional reports are also consolidated into a single, much larger file. Each file can be downloaded in accessible PDF format. The disability consolidations covering the year 2015 have just been completed and are now available via USICD's website. You also can find disability consolidations going back to the year 2010:
USICD's team is now working on consolidating disability citations that were in the US State Department reports covering the year 2016, which were recently released. We will announce in our newsletter when the 2016 consolidations become available sometime later this year.

USICD Executive Director Conducts Training in Mexico

Mexico CONFE Training Participants

Training Participants in Mexico City

USICD's Executive Director, David Morrissey, traveled to Mexico on March 1st as a member of the RightsNow! Strong Communities through Enforcing the Rights of Persons with Disabilities consortium. Mr. Morrissey presented on the topic of "Coalition Building" to COAMEX, CONFE, and other disability organizations working to strengthen communities through disability rights implementation. Visit the Global Disability Rights Now website to learn more about the project and our important work in Mexico.

USICD Joins Global Call to Action for Disability Inclusion

USICD has joined various other international organizations in endorsing a global call for all agencies planning and implementing international development and humanitarian projects to be more inclusive of people with disabilities in everything they do. 
The coalition of organizations behind the call to actionThe title in green says Global Call to Action for Disability Inclusion dated Dec 2016 The picture shows an image of various men and women seated and interacting with each other with smiles acknowledge there has been significant progress, in part due to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the inclusion of people with disabilities in some of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). But they also note that people with disabilities are still being excluded from many significant initiatives meant to reduce poverty levels, improve education access for all children, or provide humanitarian relief around the world.