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2023 Board of Directors Election Ballot

2023 USICD Board Elections

2023 Board of Directors Election Ballot

Please recall that USICD members must be in "good standing", including being up to date with membership dues payments, in order to vote.  If you have not yet paid your membership dues for this year, please do so now at this link. If you unsure about your membership status then please contact us via email at

Please Check the Yes (Y) or No (N) box to vote for or against these candidates for membership in the USICD Board of Directors. Per USICD's bylaws, USICD shall ensure that at least 51 percent of its member organizations are consumer controlled and that at least 51 percent of the members of the Board of Directors and its Executive Committee are people with disabilities. The Board of Directors of USICD shall be composed of not less than three (3) nor more than twenty-five (25) voting directors, with a goal to have at least sixteen (16) voting directors.  USICD currently has 10 members on the board of directors (5 with disabilities) who are not slated for re-election. 

Note that this ballot has two parts. The first part asks for you to vote on who should be in the USICD board of directors. The second part asks for you to vote on who within the board should be officers, such as Secretary.

1. Dr. Patricia Morrissey

Dr. Morrissey is the former USICD President. She served as the Commissioner of the Administration on Developmental Disabilities within the Administration for Family and Children in the US Department of Health and Human Services and was the Director of the Center on Disabilities Studies in the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa College of Education.  As leader of the Center, she oversaw a multi-million-dollar center, which conducts research, training, demonstration, evaluation, and dissemination activities to build capacity and systems change in Hawaii and Pacific Island Nations, so that individuals with disabilities participate in community life – in education and through access to employment, housing, transportation, health care, and leisure activities. Her strengths are strategic relationship building, project management, design and evaluation, and disability policy development. She views herself as a problem solver. She believes everyone is entitled to a full, satisfying life. She is committed to making it happen for the full range of individuals with disabilities. 

2. William M. Abrams

William M. Abrams currently serves on USICD's board of directors and retired recently as the President of Trickle Up and was leading the international development organization in its mission of helping people in extreme poverty and vulnerability advance their economic and social well-being. During his tenure, Trickle Up’s reach and impact grew dramatically. He joined Trickle Up in 2005, following a career as a senior executive and journalist for The New York Times, ABC News, and The Wall Street Journal.

Mr. Abrams has a master's degrees in journalism and business from Columbia University and a bachelor's degree from Tufts University. He has also served for six years on the board of InterAction.
3. Janet Lord

Janet Lord currently serves on USICD's board of directors and is an international human rights lawyer who has worked on disability rights advocacy for 15 years. She participated in the drafting of the CRPD, written extensively on disability rights issues, and worked with disabled peoples’ organizations (DPOs) around the world. She serves on the Board of Amnesty International USA and teaches international disability rights at American University.
4. Carolyn P. Osolinik

Carolyn's experience with individuals with disabilities began with her mother, who had a mobility impairment from a stroke in the mid-1950’s at age 34. Carolyn has been treated for major clinical depression all of her adult life. 

In 1981, she joined the staff of Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) and became his chief counsel, with responsibility for judicial nominations and all civil rights issues. She was his key staff person for the Civil Rights Restoration Act, the Fair Housing Act Amendments of 1988, the Civil Rights Act of 1991, and the Americans with Disabilities Act, for which she was the senior Senate staff negotiator with the House of Representatives and the George H.W. Bush Administration.

As a former government relations partner at the law firm Mayer Brown, LLP, she counseled businesses on the requirements of federal disability rights laws. As outside pro bono counsel to USICD, I helped lead the effort for U.S. ratification of CRPD in 2012. As a long-time board member, Chair, and now Chair Emeritus of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights Education Fund, I have worked to make sure the organization includes disability issues in all its initiatives.
I embrace the vision and mission in USICD’s Strategic Plan. In particular, USICD should strive to engage the U.S. government and the private sector to act as catalysts to achieve the Council’s mission. Full participation of individuals with disabilities around the world in all aspects of life is a critical goal. 
5. Dr. Abigail Akande

 Dr. Abigail Akande is an Assistant Professor of Rehabilitation & Human Services at the Pennsylvania State University – Abington College. Her research is rooted in global issues related to people with disabilities, specifically women. She understands the roles that legislation and advocacy play in this work. And partnerships with stakeholders, service providers, and individuals with disabilities themselves that are grounded in cultural humility are indispensable.

She has positioned herself to be a resource through her work, to help shed light on the ways that countries like the U.S. can support nations that are striving to achieve and maintain the rights of people with disabilities in their countries.
She conducted research in Sri Lanka, through an NGO partnership, to explore barriers faced by women with disabilities seeking independence. She has also developed a study abroad program for my students to Bangalore, India to spend time observing medical/rehabilitation professionals in clinical settings. She currently serves on the board as the U.S. Representative, for the World Disability and Rehabilitation Association, and also in her local community as a board member for a behavioral health agency. She is a member of the Research to Policy Collaboration, a non-partisan consortium of U.S. researchers who work with congressional staff to provide an evidence base for policy development. Dr. Akande believes that she would bring a unique array of experiences and genuine passion to the board of the USICD - as the daughter of immigrants, a clinician, an educator, a researcher, and a community servant.
6. Officers Election Ballot
 Vote Yes for whole officers slate (If I do not intend to vote yes for all officers, then I will vote on them individually below)
7. Candace Cable - President

Candace Cable served as the Vice President of USICD and has been a member of USICD since 2012. Candace worked with USICD to engage athletes in the push for US ratification for the CRPD. Candace is an integral voice in adapted sport, both through her athletic and post-athletic career. She is a nine-time Paralympian who competed in three sports: track and field, alpine skiing and Nordic skiing winning 12 medals. She also had the opportunity to compete on an Olympic stage, when wheelchair racing was an exhibition event, in 1984, 1988 and 1992 and won two bronze medals. She was the first American woman to win medals in both the Summer and Winter Paralympic Games. She has demonstrated a continued commitment to the future of sport, including at the time of her Team USA Hall of Fame induction, serving as the vice chair for the bid to bring the Olympic and Paralympic Games to LA in 2028.

During her athletic career she understood that advocacy is a learned skill and everyone needs that skill, she is committed to teaching how to be an advocate. She created two programs to educate about the human experience we will all have, disability. Her programs and consulting are Understanding Disability for adults and Disability is Possibility for youth. Candace worked with Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation as a writer, webcast host, and visual media creator, Open Doors Org on international education to create inclusive tourism, contributed to UNICEF inclusive education booklet and has been contributing to the CRPD and SDG conversations during the Conference of the States Parties at the UN and various groups across the world to create a more inclusive and equitable environments. 
8. Jerry McCloskey – Treasurer

Jerry McCloskey is a graduate of Marquette University and has served as a Board member of Independence First, Milwaukee, WI, executive and advocacy committees. Jerry just retired as Chairman of the Independent Living Council of Wisconsin; currently Board member of Post Polio Resource Group of Southeastern WI. Jerry was a founding father of Milwaukee Irish Fest, the premier event of Irish Music and Cultural presentations in the world and still is involved. Jerry has been very involved working with USICD on the quest for ratification of the CRPD, and is a polio survivor.