US Foreign Policy and Disability

Donor: National Council on Disability (NCD) Timeframe: Sept. 2016 – Nov. 2017

Progress and Promises: Inclusion of Individuals with Disabilities in U.S. Foreign Policy

IDP worked with the National Council on Disability (NCD) in 2017 to provide an up-to-date review of the inclusion of people with disabilities in U.S. foreign policy efforts. As part of a series of reports, our review included a current analysis of federal disability rights law, executive orders and implementing regulations, and foreign assistance and human rights related to disability inclusion. In addition, we reviewed the inclusion of people with disabilities in policies and practices of four federal agencies responsible for either funding or executing U.S. foreign assistance activities. Agencies included the U.S. Department of State, USAID, the Peace Corps, and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). The results were transmitted the President of the United States and Congress in March of 2018.

Project Highlights

  • Conducted an extensive desk review of each federal agency’s applicable legal and policy documents, key informant interviews with agency staff and program participants, and a survey to assess the accessibility of agency programs and facilities, including information, attitude, and physical access
  • Investigated the following core areas: 
    • Employment of people with disabilities within federal agencies
    • Access to information and physical accessibility of federal agencies
    • Inclusion of people with disabilities in foreign assistance programs.
  • Reported the following results:
    • Some progress has been made regarding the inclusion of people with disabilities, yet efforts often suffer from the “silo effect” and lack sustained and coordinated engagement
    • A persistent lack of accountability—through data collection, monitoring, and evaluation—diffuses responsibility for ensuring the inclusion of people with disabilities in programs and policies agencywide.

Project Resources