The DRF (and DRAF) Grantmaking Committees are Committees of the Boards responsible for contributions to grantmaking strategy and pooled fund grants decisions. The Committees are made up of institutional donors to the Funds and global disability activists. Current activist members are listed below.
Jenipher ‘Jane’ Akinyi
Jenipher ‘Jane’ Akinyi is an advocate for persons with intellectual disabilities. She has been actively involved in advocacy since 2005 when she joined the Kenya Association of the Intellectually Handicapped (KAIH) as a self-advocate and member. She is well versed with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and uses it as a basis for training other self-advocates. Jane has a mild intellectual disability, which means she has difficulty in reading, writing, and conceptual skills, but this has not stopped her from speaking out about discrimination against persons with intellectual disabilities. She is an active member of Inclusion Africa and Inclusion International and has participated in numerous meetings both in and out of Kenya. She continues to champion the rights of persons with intellectual disabilities with the goal of equal rights for all, including the rights to independent living and legal capacity.
Pratima Gurung is an indigenous woman with disability, who has been an activist on the rights of Indigenous Peoples and women with disabilities in Nepal and Asia since 2008. She is currently serving as Secretary General of the Nepal Indigenous Disabled Association (NIDA) and president of the National Indigenous Disabled Women Association Nepal (NIDWAN) based in Kathmandu. She is also a Steering Committee member of the Indigenous Persons with Disabilities Global Network (funded by the Disability Rights Advocacy Fund). Previous to this position, she was a fellow in Geneva under the International Disability Alliance (IDA) and worked with several Nepalese organizations and the Nepalese government as a researcher and advisor on gender, disability and ethnicity issues. Pratima has a Masters in philosophy and teaches in the oldest college providing education to girls in Nepal.
Sanja Tarczay was born in Zagreb, as a deaf child in a deaf family and later became DeafBlind. In 1994, she established the Croatian Association of Deafblind Persons – Dodir –where she currently serves as President. She is the creator of a Croatian Sign Language course, courses for Service Support Providers (SSPs), courses for Deafblind interpreters and the founder of the Croatian Sign Language Interpreting Centre. Since 2008, Sanja has been the practicum leader for a module on Deafblindness at the Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Zagreb, and a lecturer on Sign Language at the University of Applied Health Studies in Zagreb. She has also lectured at numerous other universities at home and abroad as a guest lecturer. She has published several expert and research papers, both as a sole contributor and as co-author and has participated in 40 conferences at home and abroad. In 2013, she was elected President of the European Deafblind Union. Sanja earned her Doctorate degree in 2014; her thesis was titled, ”Meeting Challenges – Deafblind Interpreting From a User’s Perspective.“ She is fluent in five Sign Languages including: Croatian Sign Language, British Sign Language (BSL), International Sign Language (ISL), Swedish Sign Language and American Sign Language. She received the “Award for the Promotion of Rights of the Child” in 2016 from the Croatian Ministry of Demography, Family, Youth and Social Welfare for “outstanding achievement in protecting the welfare, rights and interests of children.”
Alberto Vásquez is President of the Peruvian NGO, Society & Disability (SODIS) and a member of the Technical Resource Group of the World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry (WNUSP). Alberto graduated in Law from the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru and holds an LL.M in International and Comparative Disability Law and Policy from the National University of Ireland, Galway. He has worked at the Peruvian Ombudsman Office and at the Congress of the Republic of Peru on disability-related issues. He has also worked as a consultant to a number of UN agencies including ILO, OHCHR and with the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.