Monday, December 10, 2018

Closing Remarks at the USICD Fundraising Gala


I was unable to attend the fundraising gala of the United States International Council on Disabilities on December 6th, but sent along some remarks. I hope after you read my remarks you will consider giving a year-end donation to USICD and/or joining it.


Patricia Morrissey
United States International Council on Disabilities
December 6, 2018

It was fitting that you observed a moment of silence to honor our 41st President, George Herbert Walker Bush. I had the honor to work on his second presidential campaign in 1992. He was, perhaps, the last president to see the real connection between international peace and domestic harmony. I suspect everyone here tonight understands the importance of that connection. It is based on simple universal principles.

Support for meaningful inclusion
Promotion of sustained engagement
Respect for locally driven decision making
Commitment to building empowerment, capacity, and system change
And most of all, protection of all human rights

I know that in 2019 you will make a renewed push and help the U.S. International Council on Disabilities in its advocacy, convening, and training to demonstrate these principles in action.

When you do -
Parents will no longer be separated from their children 
All children will live within a family
Pathways and doors, and what is beyond them, will be accessible and welcoming
Supports and services will be truly person-centered and -directed
Opportunities to contribute will be redefined and limitless

The last time I saw George Bush I had my picture taken with him. I had lost an earring and my hair was falling down. When friends later saw the picture they said, "It looks like the President was holding you up and you just got out of bed." The first statement was true. This is what the President said to me. "Pat, thanks for helping me. Each of us has a job to do. Each job is important. Remember everyone is a potential ally or resource. Together we can make the world a better place for all. We did the ADA, when they thought we wouldn't or couldn't. We can bring it around the world."

He's right. It is happening. Help the U.S. International Council on Disabilities reach further, reach more, build bridges, strengthen connections, and THRIVE in its promotion of disability rights.

Thank you.

Aloha from Hawaii.