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Resolution Reaffirms U.S. Commitment to Disability-Inclusive International Development

Washington, D.C. - As individuals with disabilities continue to face unique struggles around the world, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) and U.S. Representative Dina Titus (D-NV-1) led a bicameral delegation in the introduction of a resolution recognizing International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) on December 3. The legislation highlights the unique struggles faced by individuals with disabilities and reiterates Congressional support for efforts to promote inclusivity and accessibility for people with disabilities around the world.

“Persons with disabilities are often excluded from the labor market, political participation and meaningful involvement in public life and are more likely to experience poverty, discrimination, social stigmatization, and lack of access to vital and inclusive resources… the inclusion of people with disabilities is a fundamental part of democracy, and essential to the full realization of human rights,” the Members of Congress noted in the resolution.

The resolution affirms the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) stated goals surrounding disability-inclusive development, which include:

  • Improving the quality and accessibility of education for students with disabilities.
  • Increasing participation of people with disabilities in political processes.
  • Strengthening organizations run by and for people with disabilities to advocate on their own behalf.
  • Supporting the economic independence of women with disabilities.
  • Integrating youth and adults with disabilities into the competitive workforce.
  • Ensuring community health care providers and disaster response experts include people with disabilities in their programs.

The United Nations General Assembly established December 3 as the International Day of Persons with Disabilities in 1992 (Resolution 47/3). Observing IDPD will promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. IDPD also seeks to increase awareness of gains to be derived from the integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.

Senators supporting the resolution include: Chris Coons (D-DE), Doug Jones (D-AL), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Dick Durbin (D-IL). Other Representatives supporting the resolution include David Cicilline (D-RI-1), Jim Costa (D-CA-16), Don Young (R-AK), Susan Wild (D-PA-7), Deb Haaland (D-NM-1), Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX-15) and Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC).

This resolution has been endorsed by Humanity & Inclusion, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems and Disability Rights International.