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Global Disability Rights Library (GDRL)

The Global Disability Rights Library (GDRL), is supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and provides a wealth of information to organizations and individuals in developing countries that seek to promote the rights of people with disabilities but lack adequate Internet access.


Global Disability Rights Library

What is the Global Disability Rights Library?

The Global Disability Rights Library (GDRL) is an enhanced version of the WiderNet Project’s eGranary Digital Library, an off-line information storage and collaboration platform that provides Internet-like access to digital resources without requiring Internet connectivity. The University of Iowa’s WiderNet Project is collaborating with the United States International Council on Disabilities (USICD) to produce and distribute a Global Disability Rights Library for use in both developed and developing countries.

What is the inspiration for the GDRL?

This project has been inspired by the growing international disability rights movement and the new international treaty, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Today, more than 140 nations have signed the treaty and more than half have fully ratified it. The growing sector of disabled people’s organizations (DPOs) operating at the local and national levels around the world are leading the implementation of the treaty in their countries and empowering their diverse disability communities with information and resources. However, many policymakers and disability advocates lack access to the information they need to fully implement the CRPD so that people with disabilities can enjoy the same human rights as their neighbors without disabilities.

What is the goal of the Global Disability Rights Library?

The Global Disability Rights Library seeks to build a bridge between global information sources and millions of people with disabilities, advocates, and policymakers around the world by making it easier for them to access hundreds of thousands of educational and organizational resources on disability rights, whether or not they have access to the Internet.

What information does the library include?

The library’s collection includes resources such as information on independent living, advocacy, education, transportation, public policy, employment, vocational rehabilitation, and other topics.

Who is the primary user of the GDRL?

The Global Disability Rights Library helps bring a wealth of information to organizations that serve people with disabilities in developing countries but lack adequate Internet access. DPOs located in communities without Internet access will be the primary recipient of the library in an electronic storage device. People around the world who have Web access will be able to use the new Global Disability Rights Library via the web.

How does one use the Global Disability Rights Library on the eGranary Digital Library?

The eGranary Digital Library will typically be stored either in a stand-alone, 2 terabyte USB drive or in a server. The drive or server would be installed within existing local area (LAN) or wide area (WAN) networks so that users may share the library directly from the storage device without needing Internet access. The information in the library is easily searchable, using an interface similar to popular search engines, and also via portals that organize selected materials by dozens of thematic topics.





Learn more:

WiderNet Grant to Provide Disability Resources in Developing Countries
(UI College of Public Health - November 19, 2009)

USICD Collaborates to Develop Global Disability Rights Library
(U.S. International Council on Disabilities - March 4, 2010)




US Agency for International Development

US International Council on Disabilities

eGranary Digital Library