Thursday, October 24, 2019

Office of International Disability Rights Act.. October 2019


In 2017, then US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson eliminated the Special Advisor for International Disability Rights, a position established under the Obama Administration and held by long-time disability activist, Judith Heumann. USICD wrote to both Secretary Tillerson and Secretary Pompeo with our concerns and no acknowledgment or response was ever received. The Trump administration has not appointed a Special Advisor. Letters can be found on our website.

USICD is asking our members, the US disability community and our allies, to respond by communicating your support for the bipartisan Office of International Disability Rights Act (HR 3373). The Bill was introduced on 20 June 2019 by Congresswoman Dina TItus (D-NV) and has six co-sponsors as of today. We have one Republican co-sponsor (Representative Don Young R-AK) and need more to show strong bipartisan support for the bill.

The Office of International Disability Act establishes a permanent office at the US Department of State. The bill also requires the appointment of a Special Advisor and mandatory disability inclusion training for all civil service, foreign service personnel, and chiefs of mission. Read the Office of International Disability Rights Act.

Please visit the USICD Call to Action web page to learn more and to download the Call to Action Packet. The packet contains a letter from USICD's President, Dr. Patricia Morrissey and a sample letter to send to members of the House of Representatives. The last page of the packet contains a list of Representatives we would like you to contact as soon as possible. Please share this important announcement with your friends, family and colleagues! 

Establishing a permanent Office of International Disability Rights has been a key advocacy priority for USICD.

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