Latest NCD Study Shows U.S. Foreign Aid Programs Often Leave People with Disabilities Behind

March 8, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Council on Disability (NCD) – an independent, nonpartisan federal agency that advises the President, Congress and other federal agencies on disability policy – today released a study, U.S. Foreign Policy and Disability: Progress and Promise 2017, that reveals that the development programs of the Department of State (DOS), the Peace Corps, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and Millenium Challenge Corporation often leave people with disabilities behind – despite their great potential for mainstreaming inclusion of disability and increasing the quality of life for people with disabilities in developing countries.

The full U.S. Foreign Policy and Disability: Progress and Promise 2017 report is available for download Here.

About the National Council on Disability (NCD): First established as an advisory Council within the Department of Education in 1978, NCD became an independent federal agency in 1984. In 1986, NCD recommended enactment of an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and drafted the first version of the bill which was introduced in the House and Senate in 1988. Since enactment of the ADA in 1990, NCD has continued to play a leading role in crafting disability policy, and advising the President, Congress and other federal agencies on disability policies, programs, and practices.

Announcing Spring 2018 Host/ Fellow Pairs

The Professional Fellows Program on Inclusive Disability Employment (PFP- IDE) Team is thrilled to announce the placement of all of our Spring 2018 Fellows with host sites for the Leadership Summit portion of their fellowship experience. Fellows have been placed in sites that correspond to their specialized interests in the realm of inclusive employment. The Leadership Summit will run from April 30- May 25 and provide fellows with the opportunity to learn and work alongside a professional in the field. Please join us in congratulating the following hosts and fellows on making the first step in what is sure to be an engaging and enlightening partnership.

Bernadette Muyomi will be working alongside Wendy Parent-Johnson at The University of South Dakota Center for Disabilities.

Hassan Waddimba will be working alongside Megan Peters at The Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics section of the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

Novath Rukwago will be working alongside Derrick Willis at The University of Iowa Center for Disabilities and Development (CDD).

Raphael Mwambalaswa will be working alongside Derrick Willis at The University of Iowa Center for Disabilities and Development (CDD).

Ronald Kasule will be working alongside Isabel Hodge at The United States International Council on Disabilities (USICD).

Samuel Odawo will be working alongside Kaitlyn Richardson at The Strong Center for Developmental Disabilities is located at the University of Rochester.

Stephen Areba will be working alongside Evan Dean at The Kansas University Center on Developmental Disabilities (KUCDD).

Sylivia Kalungi will be working alongside Bryan Dague at The University of Vermont Center on Disability and Community Inclusion (CDCI).

Victoria Lihiru will be working alongside Bryan Dague at The University of Vermont Center on Disability and Community Inclusion (CDCI).

Vincent Ogutu will be working alongside Jerry Alliston at The Institute for Disability Studies at the University of Southern Mississippi.

Opportunity to Participate in Campaign for Disability Employment Twitter Chat

The Campaign for Disability Employment will be hosting a Twitter chat on January 17, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. EST. The Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) will be participating as featured guests to discuss “Inclusion@Work,” EARN’s employer policy framework outlining seven core components of a disability-inclusive workplace.

This is an excellent opportunity to engage with core principles of inclusive employment as well as to share and listen to how different inclusive employment practices are being put into practice for businesses large and small

For more information on the framework, visit: To join the conversation, use the hashtag #CDEInclusion.

Administration for Community Living (ACL) celebrates National Disability Employment Awareness Month

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month and the Administration for Community Living or ACL is marking the occasion with reflection and meditation on future efforts that must be made. ACL has long been known to champion the efforts of Inclusive Employment not just in words but also in actions, having a robust staff of both disabled and non- disabled employees. This month more than usual, however, they mourn the fact that this is not typical. ‘The latest data from the Employment Policy and Measurement Rehabilitation and Research Training Center indicates that 33 percent of working-age people with disabilities participate in the labor force, compared to 77 percent of their peers without disabilities.’ ACL is quick to remind everyone that when people with disabilities cannot work, the impact is profound. Everyone misses out: potential employees, potential employers, and communities at large suffer from this loss of potential. 

‘At ACL we are working with our partners across federal government, with states and communities, and with people with disabilities to identify – and then demolish – the obstacles that keep people with disabilities out of the workforce.’ These obstacles, ACL notes, are usually misconceptions held by employers. The skills of disabled employees are often highly underestimated and the cost of accommodations needed are often highly overestimated. The providing of reasonable accommodations is thought to be potentially overbearing when in reality, a ‘survey of employers found that nearly 60% of accommodations cost nothing at all, and the rest had an average cost of $500.’ ACL remains committed to correcting these public misconceptions that are preventing more people with disabilities from gaining meaningful and fulfilling employment. They are working hard to advance and promote an ‘Employment First’ approach within their organization, the goal of which is ‘increasing expectations – both for people with disabilities and for our systems that help them access the opportunities they need to succeed.’

Both in this letter and in their work, ACL reminds us that the practice of National Disability Employment Awareness Month should not be limited to the month of October, but rather should be a yearlong pursuit. ‘Our country and our economy can’t afford to overlook the potential that people with disabilities represent.’


To Read ACL’s full statement or learn more about their work, click Here: 


AUCD, ICI, and HI Launch Professional Fellows Program for Inclusive Disability Employment

                              PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                  AUCD:  Sarah DeMaio
October 25, 2017                                                 U.S. Department of State:

SILVER SPRING, MD – The Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD), the Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) at the University of Massachusetts Boston and Handicap International are pleased to announce that they will host participants from the U.S. Department of State’s Professional Fellows Program in April and May of 2018. As part of the fellowship, 10 mid-level emerging leaders from Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda will travel to cities around the United States to broaden their professional skills and expertise.

The participants will arrive in the United States on April 26, 2018 and will be placed at University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDDs) for individually tailored professional development experiences. The Fellows will build a network with their American counterparts as they develop a deeper understanding of U.S. society. Participants will also develop individual action plans to address a challenge in their community or region to be implemented when they return home…

Download the full press release on the 2018 Professional Fellows Program for Inclusive Disability Employment here.