Advancing disability rights and leadership globally®

Creating a Policy Platform for Disability Rights

Technical assistance visit supports political advocacy for disability rights in Armenia.

In late January 2017, RightsNow! technical expert and IFES Senior Access and Inclusion Specialist, Virginia Atkinson, traveled to Yerevan, Armenia to collaborate with RightsNow! partners on several initiatives. These efforts supported government stakeholders in implementing inclusive electoral laws and policies.

In addition, RightsNow! partners assisted disabled person’s organizations (DPO) and civil society stakeholders in advocating for increased access to the political process ahead of the April 2nd elections.

The visit was coordinated by AGATE Center for Women with Special Needs President, Karine Grigoryan, and AGATE coordinator, Gayane Grigoryan with planning assistance from RightsNow! participants and disability leaders Suren Maghakyan, Vardine Grigoryan, and Zara Batoyan.

In workshops and meetings during the week, participants identified eight key areas for strategic engagement on political rights of people with disabilities:

  • Accessibility
  • Assistive Devices/Technology
  • Education
  • Employment
  • Healthcare
  • Legal Framework
  • Political Participation
  • Social Services

The participants also worked with the Central Election Commission to provide quick reference materials for poll worker training on disability inclusion. The convening of DPOs, civil society organizations, and lawyers, also led to collaboratively drafting a policy platform – the first in Armenia.

Member of Parliament Candidates Event

As an outcome of the visit, the participants planned a public event in Yerevan on March 18, 2017 organized by AGATE Center, for candidates for Parliament to sign on to the policy platform. At this Candidate's event, 55 people attended and each party representative gave a ten minute presentation on their party’s plans to address disability issues in Armenia.

Eight of the nine political parties signed the disability policy platform created during the RightsNow! technical assistance visit.

Also attending were representatives from NGOs, political party members, international NGO representatives, and U.S. officials. The event was covered by four television stations, in newspapers, and on social media.

The RightsNow! project aims to strengthen DPOs, build sustainable coalitions, and advance disability rights through enforcement of legislation and other strategies. Read more about the project on the Global Disability RightsNow! website, and follow MIUSA and RightsNow! progress on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #RightsNow.

Follow our RightsNow! Armenia news

RightsNow! Expands to Armenia

RightsNow! Project Activities Begin in Armenia

Advancing Disability Rights through Capacity-Building Training in Armenia

Related Resources:


Sign up for our E-News

Read Next

Spring 2023 Access to Exchange Externs

Date: 05/05/2023
A colorful mural on a brick wall shows a group of women with different disabilities and diverse backgrounds singing and signing. The words "Loud, Proud and Passionate!" appear in English, Spanish, French and Arabic.

International Women’s Day 2023

Date: 03/07/2023
A group of ten or so young people in front of a castle on a clear day smile and wave energetically at camera. Many are people of color and one person uses a power wheelchair while others stand.

NCDE Opens The 2023 Call for Applicants to the Access to Exchange Externship

Date: 01/25/2023
Group photo of EREO staff, MIUSA staff, and U.S. expert team at EREO ILRC in Armenia.

Mobility International USA (MIUSA) Leads a Delegation of U.S. Experts to Armenia

Date: 11/14/2022
About 50-60 people gathered in a circle in an indoor conference room, seated in a semi circle. Susan Sygall is seen facing the crowd.

USAID Administrator Delivers Keynote at MIUSA’s Gender and Disability Conference

Date: 08/24/2022

Advancing disability rights and leadership globally®

Also Search our NCDE Web Resource Library

Contact Us