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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

International Disability Rights

The Special Advisor for International Disability Rights (SADR) leads the U.S. comprehensive strategy to promote and protect the rights of persons with disabilities internationally. The United States, as part of our foreign policy, works to remove barriers and create a world in which disabled people enjoy dignity and full inclusion. Discrimination against people with disabilities is not simply unjust; it hinders economic development, limits democracy, and erodes societies.

The position of Special Advisor for International Disability Rights was created following U.S. signature of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Disabilities Treaty) and resides in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL). As the senior-level disability human rights position at the State Department, the Special Advisor leads on disability human rights issues across the Department.

Date: 07/12/2010 Description: Judith E. Heumann as Special Advisor for International Disability Rights © Official State Dept Image

The Special Advisor for International Disability Rights Judith Heumann, also coordinates the interagency process for the ratification of the Disabilities Treaty; ensures that foreign assistance incorporates persons with disabilities; leads on disability human rights issues; ensures that the needs of persons with disabilities are addressed in international emergency situations; and conducts public diplomacy, including with civil society, on disability issues.

Follow the Special Advisor on Twitter: @IntDisability and on Facebook:


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