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(Not Quite) Farewell to USICD

July 22, 2011

Rachel Garaghty on Capitol Hill

A Note from A Summer Intern

This summer, USICD welcomed me as an intern working on the Global Disability Rights Library (GDRL).  I am close to finishing my degree as a Master of Public Policy at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs in Minnesota.  The opportunity to be in Washington, D.C. working on an international disability rights project and researching those issues in depth has been truly wonderful.

My role as a librarian has focused primarily on strengthening one of the GDRL’s new portals on Capacity Building for NGOs and Non-Profits.  As librarian for the GDRL, I am discovering the truth behind the adage that, “Knowledge is power.”  The GDRL is testimony to the growing importance that disability issues have at the international level.  Only a few years ago, the volume of information on international disability issues contained in the GDRL would not have been available … I know, I used to spend hours searching for it!  Now, the amount of new information waiting to be found can be pleasantly overwhelming.

Being part of the process of finding and cataloguing these resources is very exciting, but it hasn’t been the only work I did for USICD this summer.  I had the opportunity to be an active participant in USICD’s CRPD Education & Advocacy Campaign and to contribute to the day-to-day work of USICD’s amazing staff members.  Although my time in D.C. is coming to an end soon, I will also be able to represent USICD and the GDRL while traveling in Tanzania later this summer.  My trip abroad is an independent study for my graduate program, but it will also give me the chance to visit two GDRL deployment sites in Dar es Salaam.  There, I will meet with members and staff at both sites and give a demonstration of how to install and use the GDRL.  I will also gather firsthand feedback from these sites on how the GDRL could be improved to best meet their needs.  This fall, I will continue working with USICD on the GDRL, but remotely from my home state of Minnesota as I finish up my degree.

All in all, a summer spent with USICD is a summer well-spent indeed!

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