Disability Rights: Equal Access for All – A Regional Project for South Asia

In late fall of 2019, Meridian programmed a Regional International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) visit for six visitors from four South Asian countries under the topic, Disability Rights – Equal Access for All.  The project focused, in part, on federal, state, and local access laws, including the history of and implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  Another point of concentration was how government agencies, NGOs, and advocacy organizations can influence policy and raise awareness about disability issues.  The group spent three days in Washington, D.C. where their meetings included staff from the Disability Rights Section of the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Access Board, which focuses on accessibility, the American Council for the Blind, and the State Department.  Next they traveled to Orlando and Jacksonville, Florida where their visit included appointments with the nation’s only Disability Chamber of Commerce, Disney World’s Accessibility Manager, and Florida’s Coastal School for Law, where they met students and faculty from the schools legal clinic that focuses on the states employment law as it applies to people with disabilities.   In traveling to Boston, a major plus for this group was a tour of the city’s Science Museum with facilities that accommodated both the blind and wheelchair user visitors.  This visit also included meetings at the Boston’s Center for Independent Living and the Institute for Human Center Design.  In the final two city stops in Colorado, their meetings included staff from Disability Law Colorado, the School of Engineering’s Assistive Technology Partners, disabled cast member of the Phamaly Theater Company, the U.S. Olympic Training Center and Team USA Paralympics, and they attended an accessible voting equipment training.

A meeting with the Executive Director, Mr. David Capozzi, of the U.S. Access Board.




Sponsors and Partners

U.S. Department of State
International Visitor Leadership Program, U.S. Department of State
Colorado Springs World Affairs Council
World Affairs Council of Central Florida

Project summary

Disability Rights: Equal Access for All – A Regional Project for South Asia
Number of Visitors: 4
Regions: South and Central Asia
Countries: Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan
Impact Areas: Civic Engagement, Human and Civil Rights
Program Areas: Global Leadership