Innovative Practice 2019 on Independent Living and Political Participation

Supporting DPOs in six countries to bring the UN CRPD to life

Mobility International USA (MIUSA) is an American non-profit led by persons with disabilities, headquartered in Oregon, working to advance disability rights globally. MIUSA’s Global Disability RightsNow! (RN!) project partners disability organizations and legal experts in the US with disabled persons organisations (DPOs) in six countries to assist enforcing national law in line with the UN CRPD. Experts provide technical assistance and mentorship to support DPOs in coordinating in-country plans to strengthen legislation and increase political participation. Between 2015 and 2018, 1,000 persons with disabilities and over 250 DPOs received trainings and consultations.

“The best thing we have done with the RightsNow! project is to involve the government. Now they are much more proactive, a key player, and working with us on disability rights.”

About the practice at a glance
Name of Innovative Practice:Global Disability RightsNow!
Organisation:Mobility International USA
of Implementation
Armenia, Guatemala, Kenya, Mexico, Peru, Viet Nam


  • Active in six countries and seeking to expand to others as well.
  • Engaged with 205 government agency or ministry representatives in 2018, up from just 16 two years earlier.
  • In 2017, 552 people were trained and nearly 20,000 used the organization’s online resources.


Many countries have enacted national disability rights laws, but they may have limited effect at mitigating discrimination if there are few or no implementation measures, such as policies, detailed standards and political advocacy training for DPOs.


U.S. experts providing direct consultation in Armenia

RN! identifies DPOs that are trying to enforce national law in line with the UN CRPD, and works in Armenia, Kenya, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, and Viet Nam. The project provides technical assistance and mentorship in person and via video, phone, and email to DPO leaders. Assistance includes policy advocacy strategy, engaging political candidates, training lawyers, using the media, and providing advice on how to file disability discrimination complaints.

Workplans are adapted to the local political and legal contexts and may focus on comprehensive disability rights or on specific laws, such as those addressing health care, deinstitutionalization, and justice issues. DPOs also have access to an accessible online resource offering practical, innovative tools in four languages and international sign.

Between 2015 and 2018, 250 DPOs across six countries received trainings and consultations, and over 1,000 individuals with disabilities received technical training. This has led to greater influence of public policy, for example, enabling the first successful disability discrimination prosecution in Guatemala and incorporating recommendations into the final five-year National Accessibility Plan in Peru.


Mobility International USA leads the project, in collaboration with the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund, International Foundation for Electoral Systems, and the U.S. International Council on Disabilities and has a full project budget of $3,167,216 from 2014 to 2018.

RN! is encouraging participating DPOs to explore additional opportunities for national and international networking to further share best practices and lessons learned. In addition, it is seeking further funding to provide more targeted assistance in countries where it is currently working and to expand into new countries.

U.S expert working with DPO leaders in Kenya  on plans of action.


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