FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 21, 2016
Disability Leaders from Six Nations Meet at ECNV to Learn About the Independent Living Movement
Arlington, VA, September 21, 2016 - The ENDependence Center of Northern Virginia (ECNV) was honored to host an international panel discussion about independent living at its headquarters in Arlington, VA. The twenty-four disability rights leaders, from six different countries, were visiting the United States for the RightsNow!: Exploring the U.S. Model conference, September 17 – 24. This prestigious and high-level conference is a part of the RightsNow!: Strong Communities through Enforcing the Rights of Persons with Disabilities project, funded by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor of the U.S. Department of State, and administered by Mobility International USA (MIUSA).
During their visit to ECNV, representatives from Armenia, Guatemala, Kenya, Mexico, Peru and Vietnam, met with ECNV staff, NCIL president Kelly Buckland, and USCID Executive Director David Morrissey to discuss the independent living movement as well as the rights of people with disabilities. The international delegation included leaders from disabled persons’ organizations, human rights organizations and government agencies who are spearheading initiatives to strengthen the implementation and enforcement of disability rights legislation, as well as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, at national and local levels.
“It was an absolute pleasure meeting with the international delegates to discuss best practices for setting up independent living centers, and to share with them some of the wonderful work that ECNV does in helping people with disabilities live the lives that they want. Said ECNV Executive Director, James Garrett.”
Throughout the conference, delegates also met with U.S. disability rights experts and government leaders who have played key roles in the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act and other key legislation. Delegates also met with leading agencies and specialists in the fields of inclusive education, employment, coalition building, and other key priority areas to gain insights into principles, strategies, and lessons learned from implementation and enforcement of U.S. laws and policies.
“Disability leaders around the world are so eager to learn about programs in the U.S. that make independent living possible for people with disabilities. Sharing what is happening at the ECNV with this group of visiting leaders from six countries was a perfect opportunity to build bridges with other cultures. I can’t thank the team at the ECNV enough for giving their time, and sharing their knowledge with these dynamic disability leaders. They are returning to their home countries now with new information, new colleagues, and high energy to promote disability rights and independent living. Said USCID Executive Director, David Morrissey.”
CONTACT: Amir Abdolrahimi, Communications Manager