GDC Strategic Plan


2022 Strategic Plan

GDC Steering Committee

GDC Steering Committee


Marnie Delaney




Pierre Filatov


Lissette Wright


Elizabeth Blackbourn

Education & Awareness

Allyssa Schoenemann


Mike Nitz



DNC Liaison

Ken Sherman


Caroline Ruchonnet


Denise Roig   


Mike Nitz


Heather Stone




The mission of Democrats Abroad Global Disability Caucus is to provide a voice for individuals with disabilities across its global membership. As defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), an individual with a disability is a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. The Democrats Abroad Global Disability Caucus will organize a disability rights agenda; work with allies within the Democratic Party and disability rights groups to ensure that all activities and venues are accessible; advocate on proposed legislation addressing disability rights; and educate and empower Democrats Abroad members and leaders about the issues impacting persons with disabilities.


  • Increase caucus membership to 200 by year end 2022.

  • Upgrade accessibility within Democrats Abroad to be consistent with ADA guidelines +

  • Build awareness of disability issues and importance of accessibility and diversity amongst membership

  • Provide opportunities to build a community of members with disabilities and with allies

  • Engage with voters, especially those with disabilities and provide assistance with voting process

  • Engage in advocacy for legislation of importance to this community

  • Provide information on resources available to people with disabilities

Overall Goal for Primary Targets: “Drive them to the Middle”


  • Members of our caucus 

  • Other members of DA (including potential caucus members/volunteers)

  • Non-members abroad (esp.those with disabilities)

  • Voters voting in targeted races who need extra attention           


  • DNC leadership & staff (esp. Disability Caucus)

  • Elected officials (Federal and State)

  • ExCom and other leadership

  • Potential donors

  • Accessibility and education partners

 Strategies & Tactics

    Enhancing Accessibility

  • Develop and roll out a plan to enhance accessibility for all members of Democrats Abroad.Implementation should include guidelines, training and guidance about resources

  • Conduct on-going awareness campaign using all media

  • Create focused education efforts around accessibility needs/issues as well as around various specific topics such as “invisible disabilities”, “chronic illnesses”, “mental health crisis”, “language”, “identity,” etc.

  • Build sustained communications to reinforce consciousness of scope of conditions which fall under the disability umbrella by on-going recognition of month/week/day dates

Building Safe & Supportive Community

  • Incorporate “understanding disabilities” into accessibility program training

  • Use social media and website to provide “snapshots” of  positive behavior

  • Establish regular “chat room” gatherings for members with conversation starter and then free exchange of ideas and comments

  • Build repository of resources available for potential help to members

  • Demonstrate the benefit of an attitude of acceptance, patience and the understanding that almost everyone is carrying some kind of burden which may well be “invisible”

Increase  Awareness & Understanding of Disabilities and Disability Issues 

  • Conduct periodic educational events

  • Develop resource/information library

  • Recognize “Month/Week/Day of” dates and provide key facts to enhance awareness and understanding

  • Identify ways to demonstrate the  experience of various disability situations

  • Include profiles of members and public figures with disabilities in our media

  • Create “event-in-a-box” program for countries

  • Request opportunity to present Information and accessibility plan at Annual Meeting and regional meetings

Developing Strong Leaders

  • Provide opportunities for Steering Committee members to lead events

  • Ensure that Steering Committee members are aware of DA organization, priorities, policies and challenges and have opportunities to participate in both global and local activities

  • As appropriate, encourage volunteers to implement their ideas for the Caucus

  • Develop strong, collaborative relationships with other caucus teams to enable broader views of what can be done within DA and how

  • Encourage Steering Committee members to develop their own teams of volunteers and to provide meaningful responsibilities for each of them

Engaging & Activating Voters

  • Quarterly coordination with Global GOTV objectives 

  • Provide information for all registration, GOTV and Voter Assistance workers to enhance the effectiveness of our efforts with voters with disabilities. Promote and train using this information

  • Ensure that VFA website is as accessible as possible

  • Assess potential contribution to Global targets

  • Collaborate with State Teams, VFA, CC

  • Ensure members participate in Voter Engagement Training

  • Set up and publicize training and action opportunities with other teams

  • Identify opportunities to support and build on global strategies

  • Target races with significant Caucus relevance or balance-of-power implications

Attracting New Members for Democrats Abroad

  • Public relations campaign focusing on disability issues and the need/process to vote (VFA makes it simple and easy and can help with special situations)

  • Social media push directed to members of other Americans abroad groups\

  • Support efforts to reach those of voter lists of citizens abroad

  • Reach out to disability service organizations in countries to provide information for any American clients

  • Caucus member outreach to Americans in their circle of friends and acquaintances

  • Campus and company outreach,positioning VFA as a help for Americans Abroad  - including those with disabilities   

Build Membership to 200 and significantly increase Volunteer Numbers & Participation

Build an active and dynamic presence in DA globally

Support and encourage country leadership with “events in a box” and ensure their members are aware and supportive of Global activities as well

  • Welcome new members, identify ways to become involved in a range of different ways (be specific and take action asap) - don’t let potential volunteers “die on the vine” - pass them on if you can't give them a rewarding project right away   

  • Share info and results with members generously - they like to feel like “insiders” and are more apt to stay involved

  • Connect via regions to reach countries efficiently with info and opportunities to become engaged

  • Build a clear connection  between advocating for issues and voter engagement

  • Leverage opportunities to build awareness of DA via other organizations/groups

  • Identify potential new members within major communities with U.S. populations, including universities, business, gov’t, military,as appropriate and allowable

  • Where appropriate, given health situations, seek high-visibility locations with U.S. citizen populations and regularly promote Caucus issues as well as doing registration/GOTV 

  • Execute communications program which is member-focused, accessible, coordinated and consistent, and which reaches our audience efficiently and effectively

  • Use voter registration efforts as opportunity to connect with voters and encourage membership/volunteerism

  • Use global, regional, local and caucus “help wanted” systems for recruitment of volunteers to enhance awareness of needs and options to ensure better “fit” and higher/longer level of commitment.

  • Develop format for volunteer needs description 

  • Recruit for specific projects/needs

  • Establish central process for receiving and managing volunteer requests 

  • Develop plan for obtaining feedback from all volunteers


  • Execute communications program which is member-focused, accessible, coordinated and consistent, and which reaches our audience efficiently and effectively

  • Coordinate with Global Calendar/priorities and amplify Global GOTV, fundraising, member recruitment, etc. plans and schedules where possible within framework of Caucus calendar 

  • Explore creative vehicles for messaging

  • Identify ways to elicit significant press coverage

  • Establish strong and on-going social media presence

  • Maximize use of Internal DA communications

  • Encourage amplification of all communications by other Global and local entities


  • Help raise the funds necessary (goal is $75k in first quarter) for DA to execute overall plans, build and retain membership, strengthen resources and improve overall efficiency and impact.  Goal: $200+ 

  • Tag all messaging with fundraising ask

  • Consider special event to help support GOTV efforts with caucus constituency - provide information on the challenges most relevant to our group

Assessment & Follow-up

  • Need to build into the process (assessment plans to be developed Q1):

    • Goals

    • Measurement

    • Analysis

    • Continuous improvement

    • Knowledge management

Priorities by Quarter 


  • Develop accessibility plan

  • Membership drive

  • Build voter engagement plan

  • Support overall DA request-your-ballot plans

  • Commence awareness/education program

  • Explore community-building opportunities with members

  • February (tbd) DNC Disability Caucus event

  • March (tbd) allyship event

  • Fine-tune goals and assessment process


  • Build issue arguments - build the case for caucus members/constituents

  • Confirm legislative advocacy plans   

  • Continue member recruitment and education/advocacy efforts

  • Establish community interaction opportunities

  • Support overall DA voter registration efforts 

  • Roll out accessibility plan 

  • Voter engagement training roll-out

  • April 7 - World Health Day - event on the huge range of disabilities 

  • May 20 - Global Accessibility Awareness Day - ******global meeting*******


  • Continue to support voter engagement efforts

  • Build case/sense of urgency based on issues for people with disabilities

  • Disability issues for voters – communications push

  • Resource/library/communications

  • July 26 - ADA Anniversary - Speaker tbd and legislative update - why you must vote

  • Explore fundraising component for ADA anniversary

  • Disability Pride Month (July)


  • Support DA GOTV efforts with focus on support for voters with disabilities

  • Monitor, document and address accessibility issues encountered by members and    

        others who contact VFA or other voter-registration platforms

  • October 10 - World Mental Health Day - mental health panel or speaker event

  • International Day of the Disabled Person - Caucus confab event (2nd annual)



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