Disability and AIDS Networking Zone
USICD joined nine other organizations in creating a space for participants at the July 2012 World AIDS Conference in Washington, DC, to network with each other around issues related to disability and HIV/AIDS. A large exhibition area at the conference was used to create a publicly-accessible Global Village in which organizations from around the world hosted exhibit tables or spaces called “networking zones.” Each networking zone was centered on a particular geographic area, such as Africa, or on a particular population, such as youth with AIDS or aging populations with AIDS. This included a space set aside for empowering the disability community. Visitors to the disability networking zone were able read posters, pick up handouts and publications related to disability and AIDS, participate in group discussions with like-minded peers from around the world, or attend presentations on a range of topics relevant to disability and AIDS.
USICD Executive Director David Morrissey provided remarks at the opening ceremony of the disability networking zone and said, “On behalf of USICD, I am so pleased to be able to join the other sponsoring organizations in raising awareness around the topic of disability inclusion in HIV/AIDS programming, and in creating a space for members of the disability community at the conference to network with each other. As an national DPO based in the host city, I wish to welcome you to Washington, DC. This is your World AIDS Conference and your networking zone.”
Two USICD staff members had the opportunity to present in the networking zone during the week-long conference. Disability Rights Program Manager Esme Grant presented on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Program Manager Andrea Shettle presented about the Global Disability Rights Library (GDRL) project.
In addition to USICD, other sponsoring organizations included Handicap International, Gallaudet University, the International Disability and Development Consortium, and the Disability, HIV and AIDS Trust.