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Debra Ruh

  Employability & Technology


Former Australian Parliamentary Secretary for International Development to Join Disability Rights Fund as Ambassador

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November 8, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                      

Contact: Diana Samarasan, Director

Telephone: 617-261-4593


– Former Australian Parliamentary Secretary for International Development, Bob McMullan, is joining the Disability Rights Fund in an ambassadorial role. Mr. McMullan, who spearheaded the development of Australia’s Development for All strategy, which explicitly includes persons with disabilities in Australia’s international development program, will support DRF to link development and governmental representatives to DRF grantees, furthering DPO visibility and inclusion.

“Mr. McMullan’s decision to join DRF in this role underscores Australia’s commitment to inclusion of the 650 million people with disabilities around the world, particularly those in the developing world who live in situations of extreme poverty,”  stated DRF’s Director Diana Samarasan.

Utilizing the framework of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CPRD), DRF supports the human rights advocacy of DPOs in 25 countries in the Global South and Eastern Europe/former Soviet Union. Through its unique governance structure, the Fund is a partnership between donors and the worldwide disability community. A global advisory panel provides recommendations on grantmaking strategies; and panel representatives also serve on the Fund’s grantmaking decision body together with donors. Panel members come from five continents and reflect a broad cross-section of the disability community.

Mr. McMullan stated, “I have chosen to take on this role with DRF because I value the important work it does…Good people doing good work in a principled way is a combination anyone should be pleased to be associated with.”  

From launch of the Fund in March 2008 to present date, DRF has given out $3.4 million in grants to 108 organizations in fifteen countries. Grantees include a new national umbrella organization of disabled persons’ organizations in the Federated States of Micronesia, a grassroots network in Bangladesh of women-led disabled persons’ organizations, and a Ugandan organization of lawyers with disabilities. For a full list of grantees and more information about DRF, see

Donors to DRF include: an anonymous founding donor, the American Jewish World Service, the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), the Leir Foundation, the Open Society Institute, The Sigrid Rausing Trust, and the UK Department for International Development (DFID).