Awards & Accomplishments

Phillips Exeter Academy John Phillips Award (2015)
Eric Rosenthal, Founder and Executive Director of Disability Rights International, was awarded the John Phillips Award from Phillips Exeter Academy. Each year, the John Phillips Award recognizes an Exeter alum whose life demonstrates the school’s ideal of goodness and knowledge united in noble character and usefulness to mankind. Watch  a video of Eric’s speech accepting the award, below.

Georgetown University Law Center Robert F. Drinan Chair in Human Rights (2015)
Eric Rosenthal, Founder and Executive Director of Disability Rights International, was appointed to the Robert F. Drinan Chair in Human Rights at the Georgetown University Law Center for the 2015-2016 academic year. As the Drinan Chair holder, Rosenthal will teach a course during the fall semester of 2015 focused on international human rights advocacy for children and adults with disabilities.

 2013 Top Non-Profit (2013) 2013 Top Non-Profit, Philanthropedia, A division of Guidestar
Disability Rights International was identified by 74 experts, through Philanthropedia (a division of Guidestar), in the top ten high-impact nonprofits working in the field of people with disabilities.

The Charles Bronfman Prize (2013)
Eric Rosenthal, Founder and Executive Director of Disability Rights International, was awarded the Charles Bronfman Prize in 2013 for fighting worldwide to end segregation and abuse of people with disabilities. The award was created by the Bronfman family to celebrate the vision and endeavor of an individual or team under 50 years of age whose humanitarian work has contributed significantly to the betterment of the world.

Henry Viscardi Achievement Award (2013)
Laurie Ahern, President of DRI, was awarded the Henry Viscardi Achievement Award by the Viscardi Center in 2013. The Henry Viscardi Achievement Awards were established to honor the legacy and vision of The Viscardi Center’s founder, Dr. Henry Viscardi, Jr., who himself wore prosthetic legs. As one of the world’s leading advocates for people with disabilities he served as a disability advisor to eight presidents, from Franklin D. Roosevelt to Jimmy Carter.

The University of Chicago Alumni Association Public Service Award (2012)
Eric Rosenthal was awarded the 2012 Public Service Award. Created in 1941, the Public Service Awards honor individuals who have fulfilled the obligations of their education through creative leadership in service that has benefited society and reflected credit on the University.

Senator Paul and Mrs. Sheila Wellstone Mental Health Visionary Award (2009)
Disability Rights International was awarded the 2009 Wellstone Award. The Award was established by the Washington Psychiatric Society to recognize visionary work and actions benefiting parity in mental health, and fighting the stigma of discrimination of mental illness.

American Psychiatric Association’s Human Rights Award (2009)
Disability Rights International was awarded the APA’s 2009 Human Rights Award, bestowed by the Council on Global Psychiatry, a component of the APA. The Human Rights Award was established in 1990 to recognize individuals and organizations that exemplify the capacity of human beings to protect others from damage related to the professional, scientific, and clinical dimensions of mental health, at the hands of other human beings. Past recipients of the APA Human Rights Award include President Jimmy Carter and Roselyn Carter, Senators Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici, Justice Richard Goldstone and Physicians for Human Rights.

Henry B. Betts Award (2008)
Eric Rosenthal, Executive Director of Disability Rights International was awarded the prestigious Henry B. Betts Award by the American Association of People with Disabilities. The Betts Award is named in honor of Henry B. Betts, M.D., a pioneer in the field of rehabilitation medicine who started his career with the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago in 1964 and has devoted himself to improving the quality of life for people with disabilities.

Thomas J. Dodd Award in International Justice and Human Rights (2007)
The Thomas J. Dodd Research Center at the University of Connecticut awarded Disability Rights International the 2007 Thomas J. Dodd Prize in International Justice and Human Rights Prize. Disability Rights International was awarded for its efforts in advancing the cause of international justice and global human rights.

Since 1993, Disability Rights International has:

  • Brought about worldwide recognition of disability rights as international human rights
  • Documented abuses and supported activists in 25 countries of Central and Eastern Europe, the Americas, Asia and the Middle East
  • Helped to draft the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, recently signed by President Obama and ratified by more than 70 countries
  • Exposed and closed abusive institutions and fostered the creation of human and dignified services, allowing people with disabilities to live in the community
  • Eradicated the use of cages in several countries where children and adults with disabilities were imprisoned for years
  • Used international human rights legal systems to protect the human rights of people with disabilities
  • Stopped the use of unmodified ECT (shock treatment without anesthesia) in Turkey to which more than 15,000 children and adults were subject every year
  • Pressured the European Union (EU) to add disability rights to the EU’s human rights considerations for EU membership
  • Created disability advocacy movements in countries where there were none
  • Succeeded in including protection for children and adults with disabilities, warehoused and abused for a lifetime, under the United Nations Convention Against Torture