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Dec. 3, 2002 -- Today was proclaimed "International Day of Disabled Persons" by the United Nations in the early 1980s. The intent was to commemorate the anniversary of the World Program of Action concerning Disabled Persons, adopted by the U. N. General Assembly to promote understanding about disability issues and to increase awareness of gains to be derived from integrating disabled persons into all aspects of political, social, economic and cultural life.

The World Bank hosts its one-day Conference on Disability and Development in Washington, DC today, bringing together representatives of the governments of both developed and developing countries, as well as international disability organizations. During November, a web-based discussion group explored a number of issues related to the conference. To read the discussions, go to

The latest issue of DisabilityWorld, an international webzine of news and views produced by the World Institute on Disability, contains reports of progress in technology, accessibility, employment and others areas affecting people with disabilities in 25 countries. The magazine, published in English and Spanish, is available only on the web ( ). It's supported by a grant from the National Institute for Disability & Rehabilitation Research, administered by the World Institute on Disability in collaboration with Rehabilitation International, Independent Living Research Utilization & the Inter-American Institute on Disability.

The Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund's new book, a global analysis of disability from the perspective of civil and human rights, titled "Disability Rights Law and Policy: International and National Perspectives" (Transnational Publishers, 2002), analyzes the legal, social and policy changes wrought by disability community advocacy work around the world during the past quarter century (order online at ). DREDF staff and Board members traveled to 17 countries, including Bosnia-Herzegovina, Uzbekistan, Ecuador, Vietnam, Germany, Japan, Sweden, Israel, Australia, Palau, South Africa, Cuba, and Costa Rica, to train local activists. Visit the DREDF website at

Information about the National Organization on Disability's World Committee on Disability is available onine at

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