Peruvian Prototype Site, the Ann Sullivan Center, Promotes the GDRL

On Tuesday, May 9, six of the largest media outlets in Lima, Peru, attended a press conference introducing the deployment of the Global Disabilities Rights Library (GDRL) at the Ann Sullivan Center of Peru (CASP).

CASP is one of four prototype sites chosen to evaluate the GDRL and is highly enthusiastic about the opportunity to evaluate the current library content and to contribute additional Spanish language resources. With a computer room of 15-20 computers and a solid Internet connection, the Ann Sullivan Center is an ideal place to evaluate the GDRL, a project funded by a grant from USAID. Andrew Herscowitz, the Deputy Director of the USAID mission in Peru, participated in the news conference and expressed his appreciation to CASP and the University of Iowa for their participation in this innovative project.

The Ann Sullivan Center of Peru was founded by Liliana Mayo in 1981 as a school for children with special needs. Today the Center is home to over 400 students and conducts monthly distance-education seminars that reach a network of 60 other sites throughout Latin America. Hosted by the University of Iowa’s Elluminate video conferencing system, these seminars are known as “Saturdays of Hope” and engage nearly 2,000 people from across the region in discussions of persons with “different abilities” and disability rights.  Thomas Cook, Co-Director of the Global Disability Rights Library Project and WiderNet Project executive committee member, explains that CASP and the broader Lima community are “enthusiastic about having access to new information and excited to be part of a global project”.

The Ann Sullivan Center is planning to develop several regional resource centers, including ones in the remote upper Amazon region. The Center staff feels that the Global Disabilities Rights Library will be an important resource for informing and educating those without adequate Internet access, especially in regards to children with special needs.