Joining Forces

Reprinted from PN/Paraplegia News October 2013

Twenty countries to share information in advancing disability rights.

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Change is coming to disability issues worldwide.

Disability and civil society organizations from 20 countries are teaming up with the U.S. Department of State to participate in their Professional Fellows EMPOWER Program.

The two-way exchange program plans to expand the number of organizations and unite the existing to advance disability rights in participating countries (Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, India, Israel, Kenya, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Nigeria, Serbia, Republic of Korea, Tajikistan, Ukraine and the United States).

U.S. participants spent August and September traveling to partner countries to gather information on disability issues in the areas of inclusive education, independent living, healthcare, law and policy, legal aid, recreation and sports, access to public services and advocacy.

This month, international participants will gather in the U.S. to consolidate the information gathered and develop solutions leading up to a Oct. 31–Nov. 2 conference at Galaudet University in Washington, D.C. EMPOWER leaders will put their heads together and begin efforts to promote more equal, just and inclusive society to improve human rights around the world.

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