Where Do YOUR Senate Candidates Stand on CRPD Ratification?

With national elections coming up this November, USICD is asking candidates in open races for election to the U.S. Senate one question: what is their position on U.S. ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The CRPD, also informally known as the "Disability Treaty," is the first international agreement among countries to uphold and protect the human rights of people with disabilities.

We are maintaining a web page that shows the latest information on which Senate candidates say they support U.S. ratification of the CRPD, which candidates oppose ratification, and which candidates have not yet responded to our survey. Visit the page now to learn if the candidates for your state support the CRPD!

Call for Applications! USICD's Youth in International Development and Foreign Affairs Internships!

The summer 2017 Youth in International Development and Foreign Affairs internship program is open for applications until January 10, 2017.
The United States International Council on Disabilities (USICD) launched its internship program in 2013.  USICD's internship program focuses on U.S. citizen youth with disabilities who intend to pursue careers in international development or foreign affairs.  
Young woman with shoulder length dark hair seated at her desk in an office cubicleThe summer 2017 internship program will bring a group of talented U.S. citizen graduate students, recent graduates, and rising college juniors and seniors with disabilities from across the U.S. to Washington, DC, for nine weeks.  This will include a one-week training and orientation program followed by an eight-week internship at an international organization in the Washington, DC, area.  USICD will cover the cost of accessible housing during the program, reimburse travel expenses to and from DC, and provide a limited stipend.  It is anticipated that the program will run from May 28 to July 29, 2017.

To learn more, please visit http://usicd.org/template/page.cfm?id=257.

Our internship program would not be possible without the funding support of the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation, for which we are grateful.
The application deadline for USICD's summer 2017 internship program is January 10, 2017.

USICD's Triple I Initiative

Invest in Inclusion Internationally!!

Disability Advocates Attending a Senate Hearing

USICD's Triple I initiative is focused on appropriations to the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for disability inclusion.

USICD needs your help in convincing 27 members of Congress  from 22 states to adequately fund and staff the USAID's Disability Coordinator position and office, and also the U.S. Department of State's Office of the International Disability Rights Advisor.  These members of Congress serve on either the Senate or House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs.

Please visit our Triple I Initiative page to learn more.

USICD Submits Feedback on World Bank Environmental and Social Framework

USICD recently submitted feedback to the World Bank on their second draft Environmental and Social Framework (ESF). This framework is used as a tool to protect poor people and the environment in World Bank investment projects. The World Bank, which is supported with funds from more than 100 country governments, provides funding to a wide range of projects in developing countries meant to alleviate poverty, improve theLine drawing of a globe next to the words World Bank Groupnational economy, enable farmers and private sector businesses to access international markets, increase access to education and basic healthcare, and other needs.  

The ESF, also called "safeguards", are meant to ensure that investment projects do not inadvertently cause harm to poor people or to the environment. USICD's feedback requested stronger language protecting the needs of people with disabilities.

Learn more about the consultation process for the World Bank's Environmental and Social Framework.

Review feedback on the second draft World Bank ESF submitted by other organizations.

Read USICD's feedback.

Save the Date for USICD's 2016 Gala!

USICD will celebrate the 2016 International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 1 December 2016, at our third annual Gala reception, hosted at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C.  

Every year at our Gala, we honor an American policymaker with the Dole-Harkin award for distinction in public services to the global disability community. USICD also honors an international disability rights advocate each year for their outstanding service in advancing the rights, opportunities, and dignity of persons with disabilities. 

Please save the date in your calendar and sign up for our newsletter to ensure you receive important updates about the Gala!    

Enjoy our pictures from USICD's second annual Gala!

Disability Coalition Building in Myanmar

USICD continues to support cross-disability coalition building in Myanmar with USAID and World Learning.  In May, USICD Consultant Allison deFranco continued USICD's training on disability advocacy and introduced participants to alternative report research methods. Allison also attended the 20th Anniversary Celebration of the Myanmar National Association of the Blind.

Training Being Conducted in Mandalay.

2016 Cohort of Youth in International Development and Foreign Affairs Interns Arrive in DC!

Group of four women in a row one seated in a wheelchair the other three standingUSICD welcomes its fourth cohort of interns to participate in the Youth in International Development and Foreign Affairs internship program!  Each year, USICD's internship program brings students and recent graduates with disabilities from across the United States to Washington, DC, to complete summer internships at various international organizations in the DC area.  Our 2016 cohort of interns include (from left to right in the picture) Elizabeth Heideman, Shafeka Hashash, Vivian Fridas, and Hannah Chadwick-Dias.
This program is made possible by the generous support of the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation.  During the first three years of the program, USICD placed 21 interns at 15 different host organizations in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.

Each intern will be learning more about prospective future careers in international development or foreign affairs during their internship placements. USICD also will be assisting them with networking among new professional contacts in international development--a crucial skill for attaining a successful career in the field.  If any USICD member feels they are in a position to help introduce any of our incoming interns to relevant contacts in the field, please communicate with USICD program manager Andrea Shettle at ashettle@usicd.org.
Learn more about USICD's Youth in International Development and Foreign Affairs internship program for emerging professionals with disabilities who aspire to internationally oriented careers.
Read blogs by our 2016 interns--and by interns in earlier years of the program!