The United States International Council on Disabilities (USICD) is one of the most renowned and influential international disability rights organizations in the U.S. Based in Washington D.C., USICD conducts extensive research, analysis and consulting on human rights issues related to people with disabilities and performs trainings for government officials, disability advocates and other key stakeholders in many countries. USICD works closely with UN officials and many other disabled persons’ organizations (DPOs) to design and implement initiatives that educate civil society members about the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). USICD has developed multiple global research and training initiatives oriented around specific parts of CRPD, including the right to inclusive education, employment, and political representation of people with disabilities.
As the United States’ premier organization for international disability advocacy and training, USICD has played a key role in advising governments around the world. It has spearheaded efforts to secure ratification of CRPD in many countries and co-represents disability rights NGOs from the U.S. at the UN Conference of States Parties (COSP) on CRPD every year. It has also jointly developed the Global Disability Rights Library (GDRL), which documents advocacy, legislation and civil rights cases from around the world, serving as an essential reference point for advocates who want to educate professionals in their home countries about inclusion within the community and education. USICD has utilized the GDRL to inform and support projects managed by UNICEF, the U.S. State Department, USAID, and many national governments. In 2017, USICD hosted a Professional Fellow through AUCD and the U.S. Department of State and collaborated on the planning of an inclusive education and vocational training program in Iringa, Tanzania.
USICD currently oversees multiple consulting projects, professional workshops and in-country trainings for disability advocates in countries across Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia. It has also supported professional development visits from disability rights advocates from Kenya, Myanmar, Peru, Mexico, Guatemala, Georgia, Vietnam and several other countries in the past.
The Fellow who was based at USICD had the opportunity to engage with ongoing projects and learn strategies for educating colleagues, community members and other stakeholders about inclusion and disability rights. There were many unique opportunities to connect with influential disability rights advocates in Washington D.C. and pioneering leaders in inclusive employment.
Isabel Hodge, the Executive Director of USICD, and Andrea Shettle, Programs Manager will supervised Ronald Kasule during his work on his Fellowship project. They look forward to continuing collaborating with him.