Advancing Disability Rights through Capacity-Building Training in Armenia

Armenian disability activitst pose for a photo in a conference room in Yerevan after the end of a two-day forum on rights advocacy in October 2015
Disability rights leaders gather for a two-day forum during the October 2015 RightsNow! visit to Yerevan
U.S. disability experts are heading to Armenia to conduct disability rights training with DPOs, civil society leaders, and government representatives.
May 23, 2016 - May 28, 2016

Monday, May 23, 2016 marks the start of five days of intensive RightsNow! training in Armenia. The training has been tailored to the needs of Disabled People’s Organizations (DPOs) and other key disability rights actors following analysis of the findings of the October 2015 introductory visit to Yerevan. The practical skill-building sessions will be divided into two main thematic areas: Advocacy and Disability Law Capacity.

During the Advocacy sessions, participants will compare and contrast Armenian and U.S. disability laws, discuss inclusive education and physical access in Armenia, and develop action plans to conduct follow-on activities using the skills developed during training. The Disability Law Capacity training will focus on enforcement mechanisms and how to build political advocacy, using the U.S. experience of implementing disability rights law to support positive change in Armenia.

RightsNow! is working closely with the AGATE Center for Women with Special Needs, a local disabled women’s organization, to implement the training and provide ongoing technical assistance to promote sustainable change in Armenia.

The training team

  • John Wodatch, former head of the U.S. Department of Justice section in charge of enforcing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • Pat Wright, former Director of Government Affairs for DREDF (Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund), who coordinated the campaign to enact the ADA
  • Susie Grimes, international disability expert, MIUSA
  • Armenian disability rights experts

The RightsNow! project held trainings in Vietnam and Mexico in 2015, and in Kenya in early 2016. Learn more about the RightsNow! project and the recently launched Global Disability Rights Now! website.

Event location: 

Yerevan, Armenia