Global Disability Caucus

  • Welcome to the Global Disability Caucus (GDC)!

    Over 1 billion people across the globe live with a disability.  

    We speak for them.

    The mission of the Democrats Abroad Global Disability Caucus is to provide a voice for individuals with disabilities across its global membership; to help organize the group’s agenda; to work with allies within other Democratic parties and disability rights groups to ensure that all activities and venues are accessible; and to educate and empower Democrats Abroad members and leaders about the issues impacting individuals with disabilities.  Our members are not only persons with disabilities but also their allies.  We all believe that




    • Provide a voice for individuals with disabilities across Democrats Abroad global membership.
    • Ensure that the organization is fully ADA compliant.
    • Advocate on proposed legislation addressing disability rights.
    • Educate, empower and activate Democrats Abroad members and leaders about the issues impacting persons with disabilities.
    • Facilitate GOTV efforts for Americans with disabilities living overseas.

    Join Us!  Sign up to get news and information or volunteer to join our team!  Click JOIN THE CAUCUS button!

    An individual with a disability is defined by the ADA as a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment. The ADA does not specifically name all of the impairments that are covered.

    CDC describes 7 major categories of primary barriers to participation for people with disabilities - they are described in this article and listed below.

    1. Attitudinal
    2. Communications
    3. Physical
    4. Policy
    5. Programmatic
    6. Social
    7. Transportation


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    Learn more about the Global Disability Caucus and read our caucus founding document, the Terms of ReferenceYou can write to us at [email protected].

    DA Global Disability Caucus Leadership:

    marnie delaney
    | Chair - Global Disability Caucus, Leader - GWC Violence Against Women Action Team; Global Women's Caucus Steering Committee; Medicare Portability Task Force
    Anthony Nitz
    | Global Disability Caucus Steering Committee
    Caroline Ruchonnet
    | DPCA Representative, UK ExCom, UK Scotland Chapter Vice Chair, EMEA Deputy RVC
    Denise Roig
    | GDC Member-at-Large - Americas | GDC Allyship Initiative | Global Women’s Caucus Comms Team
    See all Leaders


    International Day of Persons with Disabilities

    Today is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.  For us, it is an opportunity to reiterate the importance of strengthening our efforts to build a more inclusive and accessible Democrats Abroad.


    We hope that each Chapter and Country Committee will consider identifying a member who can monitor opportunities for more accessible communications, events and information.  Easy fixes include avoiding small typefaces, reminding participants online how they can access closed captioning and other tools, ensuring accessibility for “live” events and recognizing the disruptive effects of chat entries for people using screen readers.

    One resource is the Justice Department’s new ADA website:

    Comments About Vigilance for Rights and Protections vs. Unreasonable Attacks

    We’ve been reminded by recent events of a particular issue plaguing our community,  the active blaming and marginalizing of people with disabilities in lieu of the strengthening of access, services and support.

    Conflating homelessness with mental illness, New York Mayor Eric Adams has initiated a policy which requires the, according to the New York Times, “involuntarily hospitalizing people who were a danger to themselves, even if they posed no risk of harm to others, arguing the city had a “moral obligation” to help them.”

    “The common misunderstanding persists that we cannot provide involuntary assistance unless the person is violent,” Mr. Adams said in an address at City Hall. “Going forward, we will make every effort to assist those who are suffering from mental illness.”

    “The mayor’s announcement comes at a heated moment in the national debate about rising crime and the role of the police, especially in dealing with people who are already in fragile mental health. Republicans, as well as tough-on-crime Democrats like Mr. Adams, a former police captain, have argued that growing disorder calls for more aggressive measures. Left-leaning advocates and officials who dominate New York politics say that deploying the police as auxiliary social workers may do more harm than good.”

    Mental illness is the most often-used default when Republicans want to avoid acknowledging the extreme need for much stronger gun regulations.  There is a certain irony in the absence of concern for the actual creation of disabilities as a result of those who survive gun violence. The issue is also being used as a diversion, not as an expression of genuine concern or understanding.

    These same people would undoubtedly erupt if the perpetrators of gun crimes actually use mental illness as an element of their defense.  While there is no doubt that there is a strong need for better policy, laws and practices to support people with disabilities but for the vast majority of people who need these changes, violent behavior isn’t the reason.

    One Goal for 2023

    Please encourage at least one of your members to join the Global Disability Caucus.  We need allies, whether or not they are currently experiencing a disability.  The addition of new leaders and volunteers could greatly expand our (and your) ability to inform, educate, coordinate action and impact legislation.  They can reach us at [email protected]

    Congratulations on your mighty efforts to defend Democracy during the midterms and thank you for your support of the candidates and policies which help ensure better lives for all Americans.

    Take care,

    Marnie Delaney
    Chair, Global Disability Caucus


    read more

    A Disability Discourse - Podcast

    A Disability Discourse - Podcast with Heather Cox Richardson and Joanne Freeman

    PodcastDC.pngHow has America historically defined physical disabilities? How have disability rights activists achieved hard-fought wins? And how does the current debate over mask mandates and pandemic restrictions leave out those with disabilities or chronic illness? 
    Heather Cox Richardson and Joanne Freeman discuss the impact of pensions for disabled war veterans in the Revolutionary and Civil War periods, the interlocking histories of racism, sexism, and ableism, and the impact of the 1970s disability rights movement. 


    read more
    See all posts

    Upcoming Events

    Sunday, February 19, 2023 at 08:30 AM Eastern Time (US & Canada) · 49 rsvps

    Medicare - What You Need to Know

    Medicare and Americans Abroad

    Join us on February 19th for a practical explanation of what Medicare is, how it is funded, to whom it is available and the nature of coverage it does or can include.  Find out what kind of decisions you will have to make – either now or in the future – and how these decisions and programs can significantly impact your future financial and insurance coverage situation.  These decisions are important for people with disabilities and seniors, but knowing what is coming is important for all Americans overseas – whether you plan to stay abroad or move back to the US.

    Our panelists are Democrats Abroad members and Americans living abroad who are working on legislation to better the opportunities of Americans abroad and who will share their knowledge, experience and plans for the future with you. Please note that this panel will give neither financial advice nor expert opinion on individual situations.  The webinar will be recorded, and all the documents presented in this webinar will be sent to anyone who RSVPS for the event.

    RSVP Below!

    Our Panelists:

    Heather Stone, Chair Medicare Medical Portability Task Force
    Philippe Blumenthal, CEO of the Government Savings Institute
    Toni Kamins, Medicare Medical Portability Task Force and Chair of GSC Medicare Part B Committee

    This event is co-hosted by DA's Global Seniors Caucus, Medical Portability Task Force, and Global Disability Caucus.

    Vancouver, CA 5:30 AM
    Washington DC 8:30 AM
    London, UK 1:30 PM
    Berlin, Germany 2:30 PM
    Tel Aviv, IL 3:30 PM
    Nairobi KE 4:30 PM
    Mumbai, IN 7:00 PM
    Beijing, CN 9:30 PM
    Tokyo, JP 10:30 PM

    Friday, February 24, 2023 at 09:00 AM Eastern Time (US & Canada) · 6 rsvps
    Zoom in Washington, DC

    Monthly Friday Casual Social

    Democrats Abroad Global Seniors and Disability Caucuses invite you to join us for our monthly Social -- a time for Seniors and members of the Disability Caucus to connect with one another and discuss topics of concern and information. We will reflect, discuss, plan, and strategize together from the comfort of our own homes and with no duties or assignments! This will be fun as we can discuss freely any topic we would like.


    Vancouver CA 6:00 AM
    Washington DC 9:00 AM
    London UK 2:00 PM
    Berlin DE 3:00 PM
    Nairobi KE 4:00 PM
    Beijing CN 9:00 PM
    Tokyo JP 10:00 PM