The World report on disability is launched nationally in the United States of America
On 12-13 September 2011, in Arlington, Virginia nearly 150 policy makers, academics and representatives of disabled people's organizations and non-governmental organizations attended the national launch and symposium on the World report on disability in the USA.
The launch was hosted by the Centre for International Rehabilitation Research Information and Exchange (CIRRIE) along with the Interagency Committee on Disability Research (ICDR), the United States International Council on Disability, the World Bank and WHO with support from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR).
The event was opened by Mr Kareem Dale, the Special Assistant to the President for disability policy with introductory remarks from Dr Socorro Gross Galiano, Assistant Director of PAHO, and Mr Bassam Ramadan, Social Protection Sector Manager, World Bank.
A high-level panel, chaired by Ms Judy Heumann, Special Advisor for International Disability Rights at the Department of State, initiated discussions on the implications of the Report for domestic policy as well as international cooperation. Panel members included:
- Mr Henry Claypool, Director, Office on Disability of the Department for Health and Human Services;
- Ms Alexa Posny, Assist Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services of the Department of Education;
- Mr Richard Devylder, Senior Advisor for Accessible Transportation at the Department of Transportation;
- Ms Kathleen Martinez, Assistant Secretary of the Department of Labour;
- Ms Charlotte McClain-Nhalpo, Coordinator of the Office of Disability of the United States Agency for International Development.
The next day and a half provided an opportunity to present the different chapters of the Report, discuss their implications and identify possible follow-up actions. The event provided an important opportunity for participants to assess progress in the United States in light of the global recommendations and to explore partnership opportunities and identify strategies to implement key goals and recommendations outlined in the Report. For example the Interagency Committee on Disability Research will bring together federal agency representatives to explore how the Report might inform disability and rehabilitation research activities for the next few years.
The co-chairs for the event were Professor John Stone, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Rehabilitation Science at CIRRIE and Professor Kate Seelman, Associate Dean for Disability Programs at the University of Pennsylvania.
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