World ENABLED is an educational non-profit organization that promotes the rights and dignities of persons with disabilities. Our fieldwork and research initiatives further an inclusive human and civil rights approach to disability programs and policies. With our international partners we work to build inclusive societies where people with disabilities can develop their talents, skills and abilities and reach their full potential.
Our success is based on our integrated holistic approach. Our highly skilled team carries out research, technical assistance, and capacity building initiatives in partnership with research institutions, government agencies, multilateral organizations as well as with persons with disabilities and their allies.
Dr. Victor Pineda is the President of World ENABLED, Chancellor’s Research Fellow, and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of California at Berkeley. He is a leading global expert on disability rights, policy, planning and design and has worked closely with the U.S. Department of the Treasury, World Bank, United Nations, UNESCO, UNICEF, and cabinet level officials in the UAE, Qatar, Venezuela, and Serbia among others to develop policies and programs that include persons with disabilities as equal stakeholders in development. Dr. Pineda is the recipient of a National Science Foundation (NSF) innovative research grant, a Fulbright-Hays Fellowship, the Thomas Jefferson Award, the Tom Clausen Fellowship for Business and Policy, and the Paul G. Hearne Award. Dr. Pineda holds a Ph.D. from the Luskin School for Public Affairs at the University of California at Los Angeles and a Master’s in City and Regional Planning, a B.A. in Political Economy, and a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of California at Berkeley.
Dr. Molly A. Martínez currently serves as the Director of Special Projects for the Pineda Foundation / World Enabled, overseeing the strategy, operations, and implementation of capacity-building and communications initiatives in partnership with government agencies, research institutions, and multilateral organizations alike. Prior to the Pineda Foundation, Dr. Martínez has lent her operations and management expertise to organizations such as International Disability Alliance—the largest global organization representing persons with disabilities at the United Nations—and Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities, the leading national organization assisting disabled veterans in re-entering the workforce. In addition to her work in rights for persons with disability, Dr. Martínez brings nearly 10 years of experience in the private sector in strategic operations and communications, overseeing multi-million dollar national and international campaign initiatives during which time she earned industry awards for her achievements including 40 Under 40 (Collaborate Magazine, 2013), Expo Elite Top 20 (Expo Magazine 2012 and 2013), and ranked among Women of Influence by Venues Today (2010). Molly holds an M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. in sociology from Yale University.
Valerie Karr, Ph.D. is an expert in the field of disability rights and public awareness strategies and campaigning, with a strong clinical background in special education and a track record of effective rights-based advocacy internationally. Dr. Karr is an author and consultant and currently works as an Assistant Professor at the University of Massachusetts Boston at the School for Global Inclusion and Social Development. She also serves as the Research Director for World Enabled, the only youth-focused international disability rights organization. Past projects include co-editing of Crisis, Conflict, and Disability: Ensuring Equality, authoring UNICEF's human rights education manual for youth with disabilities based on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), co-authorship of Human Rights. YES!, and the development of participatory human rights education curricula for person with disabilities. She served as a key educational advisor to the Shafallah Center’s International Forums in Qatar for 8 years and currently advises Autism Speaks, the largest autism advocacy organization in the United States. Dr. Karr has extensive experience in evaluation methods, assessment, and instrument design and validation. Dr. Karr’s research interests incorporate instrument design for assessment of the human rights of persons with disabilities under UNCRPD and its relation to the improvement of quality of life and social change at an international level as well as issues related to disability awareness and youth inclusion.
Stephen Meyers is an Associate with World Enabled. Stephen works with a variety of international and grassroots development organizations and serves as an External Consultant to the International Labour Organization’s Disability Team. Mr. Meyers develops internal disability inclusion training materials for the Employment Sector staff at the ILO. This work builds off of Mr. Meyers’ experience as an international projects director for an international NGO initiating physical and socio-economic rehabilitation projects benefitting landmine survivors and other persons with disabilities in Central America and Africa. In the past, Mr. Meyers has also worked as a supervising residential counselor for Boys Hope Girls Hope New Orleans, a non-profit, college preparatory, small group home for academically-talented at-risk teens. Mr. Meyers is currently a PhD Candidate in Sociology at UC, San Diego. He earned his BA from Loyola University in New Orleans and has received Masters degrees from Harvard University and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Research Associate based in Manilla. Mr. Cruz, is a recipient of a Fulbright award and completed his Master’s in Disability and Development. He is supporting our research initiatives around Inclusive Cities. Mr. Cruz also works at G3 ICT.
Alejandra is a recent UC Berkeley graduate with a B.A. in Political Science and Social Welfare. As an undergraduate student, she has worked with Dr. Pineda on a research project focused in the history of disability rights in the city of Berkeley. Ms. Chaidez has worked with Dr. Pineda for about 2 years and she is currently working to plan and coordinate fundraising opportunities for World Enabled. Alejandra is passionate about improving, more specifically, the opportunities for people with mental disabilities and the supportive systems for their families. Other areas of her interest include transnational and immigration issues, and bilingual and English as a Second Language education.
Dagnachew Bogale Wakene
Dagnachew ('Dag') B. Wakene is a researcher, writer, advocate and consultant from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, specializing in disciplines of Inclusive Development, Human Rights and Legal Studies. He received his first degree in Law (LL.B) from the Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia; and his second degree is a Master of Philosophy (M.Phil) in Rehabilitation, Disability and Development, which he completed at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. In addition to his part-time involvement as a Research Associate and Africa Programs Coordinator at World Enabled, Dag is currently serving as a Campaign Associate and Delegate in ongoing regional and international deliberations of the ‘Post-2015 Development Agenda,’ representing the disability cause and his continent. He is also a Board Member and Youth Representative at the Secretariat of the African Decade for Persons with Disabilities (SADPD). Having grown up with a potentially impeding post-polio physical disability in one of the least-developed nations of the world, Dagnachew brings with him a profound and proven blend of interest, passion and qualifications that can robustly support efforts of uplifting the cause of rights-based development across Africa and the Global South.
Ruth finished her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration major in Economics at Mindanao State University, Philippines. Her previous work experiences included being an Accounting Staff and as a Consumer Store Supervisor. Decided to work remotely in 2012 as a virtual assistant and this year joined the World Enabled team as an Administrative Assistant for Dr. Pineda.
Diana is an Administrative Assistant from the Philippines and she’s been working with Dr. Pineda since August 2014. Being new to the industry, Dr. Pineda has become an inspiration to her and learned a lot about the foundation. She respects the deeds World Enabled has contributed for the welfare of our differently abled fellowmen. When Diana is not working she participates in fun runs for a cause. She’s extremely in love with cats of all sizes but favourited the Siberian Tigers.
Bernardo Carlos Spaulonci Chiachia Matos de Oliveira
PhD candidate in Social Sciences at Catholic University of Sao Paulo (PUC) (Fellow Capes). Fulbright scholar 2014-2015 Teachers College / Columbia University, Department of International and Transcultural Studies. Master in Administration (2012) (area of concentration Management and Socioenvironmental Policy) from State University of Londrina. (Fellow Capes). Researcher Associate Complexity Studies Center at PUC/SP. Research Associate World Enabled Foundation. Areas of interest: Socialenvironmental Management; Behavior and practices of Consumption. Social inclusion and policies to people with disabilities.
Ben currently works at UC Berkeley as the Campus Access Specialist with the Disabled Students' Program. He supports the campus' accessibility goals through disability education and training in best practices for faculty, staff, and students. Ben graduated from Cal in 2013 with a degree in Political Economy. His areas of interest include risk models and mitigation strategies and organizational development/change management in the nonprofit sector.
Jon is a recent graduate of UC Berkeley with a degree in History and Political Science, and will be attending Santa Clara Law in the Fall. Jon’s main research area concerns the implementation of the CRPD in African countries. His hobbies include reading and watching Japanese animation.
Galyna got her Masters in Urban Planning supported by Fulbright from the University of Kansas in 2016. Summer 2015 Galyna came to the Ohio State University as an Edmund S. Muskie Intern working with Dr. Jennifer Evans-Cowley, AICP, Professor and Vice Provost for Capital Planning and Regional Campuses. Currently Galyna is a PhD student at the Knowlton School of Architecture, OSU, doing the research focusing on Complete Streets Policy and accessibility, inspired by the World Enabled Foundation. Galyna’s previous experience included an emphasis on making connections and working cooperatively, including internationally. For two years, she facilitated international conferences for the Ukraine-USA Foundation. During ten years working for the city of Cherkasy (population 290,000), she acted as liaison between city government and nongovernmental organizations, political parties, law enforcement, and mass media; represented the city in European-Union sponsored conferences in Georgia, Tunisia, and Turkey, and was selected for the 2013 Warsaw Euro-Atlantic College of Europe Summer Academy. Within the United States, she studied two years at Missouri State University and spent a month working with Illinois State Senator Pamela Althoff as part of the American Council for International Education Legislative Fellowship Program; subsequently, she won an international grant competition among graduates of this program for a project to empower Ukrainians who are blind or have compromised eyesight. Her varied public policy and planning interests include the use of information technology in governmental and corporate planning and practice. She initiated website use in Cherkasy city government, and beginning November 2013, she served as project manager for programmers at N3W Normal LLC, a Ukrainian company now registered also in the United States. Through this employment, Galyna established and maintains connections with a wide range of technology experts, both governmental and private, in Ukraine. Her specialization within Masters of Urban Planning program at the University of Kansas was Sustainable Land Use Planning, and she was more generally interested in public policy processes, institutional decision-making, and connecting theoretical abstractions to practical situations.
After obtaining bachelor in Psychology, I have worked for NGO "Psychoanalytic Association" for six years providing rehabilitation social services for young people with mental and physical disabilities. In 2014 I was accepted to get my Master's degree in Social Work at the University of South Carolina as a Fulbright Scholar from Kazakhstan. Currently I'm involved in to the project "Training Cafe" which is the first open project in Central Asia providing workplaces for people with mental disabilities.
Alina is a Master’s of Mass Communication candidate graduating in Spring 2016 with international educational experience and combined internship experience. Growing up, going to universities, working and participating in educational events in countries as diverse as Uzbekistan, Russia, Germany, Japan, Thailand and the USA enabled her to develop her research interests and it created a hunger to learn. Alina’s academic interest is in Place Marketing and Branding. Any place, be it a big city or a small town or a particular region has and “does” something that people need and come for. She is interested in researching and creating driving forces bringing people to specific places.
Asma is a passionate advocate for educational equity and began her career as a teacher, working with children with and without disabilities in the United States and the United Arab Emirates. She transitioned from teaching into the public sector determined to impact inclusion more profoundly. Her work with the Government of Dubai included engaging with stakeholders, conducting research, developing programs and strategies for education reform, with much time spent focusing on the development of early childhood and inclusive education policy. Asma then went on to establish Dubai’s first inclusive early childhood center. Launched in 2010, Inspire Children’s Nursery serves children from 3 months to 4 years, through the provision of an individualized, child and family centered approach, following a play-based curriculum. Under her leadership, Inspire grew to accommodate 130 children, won numerous awards, and gained recognition from the Community Development Authority, Government of Dubai as a model inclusive early childhood center. After managing Inspire for 5 years, Asma’s growing interest in educational access and equity for marginalized populations brought her back to the US to pursue a Masters degree in International Education Policy. At Harvard, Asma began developing ApnaTXT - a program that aims to improve maternal early childhood development knowledge through the use of mobile technology - gaining residency at the Harvard Innovation Lab. She also collaborated with organizations such as Save the Children, UNICEF, and The World Bank Group on projects in inclusive education and early childhood education. Post graduation, Asma strives to continue her work in advocacy, policy and program development in inclusive education. She is currently a research fellow at the Pineda Foundation / World Enabled, where she is undertaking research on inclusive education and accessibility in major global cities. Asma holds a B.Sc. in Human Development and Family Sciences from The University of Texas at Austin, an M.A. in Special Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, and an Ed.M. in International Education Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Hamza Jaka is a graduate of the University of California-Berkeley, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, and is a member of the incoming class of 2018 at Berkeley law hoping to become an employment attorney and policymaker. Hamza has been an active leader in Disability and Human Rights in the US and abroad. He was co-chair of the Kids As Self Advocates (KASA) Advisory Board for two years and a board member for the past seven year years. He has also interned for the US Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (through the AAPD internship program), working on youth and minority employment issues, and has interned with the Wisconsin State Council on Independent Living examining housing policy. He is a graduate of the UNESCO Human Rights Institute’s 8th Annual Intergenerational Leadership Program. Hamza interned with the Department of State’s Office of Global Youth Issues in the summer of 2013 to help build and update a Global Youth Affairs curricula. He was featured as a young leader to watch by the State Department for Black History Month. As co-president of the UC-Berkeley Disabled Students Union from 2010-2013, Hamza handled disability affairs for UC Berkeley students. In addition to his years as co-president, Hamza served as a board member of the group in 2014. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Berkeley Student Cooperative for the 2011-2012 and 2013-2014 school years. He has served on the United States Business Leadership Network’s Student Advisory Council from 2012 to today, creating the Affiliate Liaison position, and serves as an advisor to the Enabled Muslim project. Hamza also started the non-profit project, the Global connection, with supports and provides resources to a disability organization, Milestone, in Pakistan. In his free time, Hamza loves to read, study, exercise and spend time with his family.
Shafiq Ur-Rehman is president of Milestone, the premiere independent living organization in Pakistan. His expertise came from his experiences in the educational system, as well as training from the Independent Living Centers in Japan. As a person with post-polio syndrome, Shafiq strives to make sure his communities are as inclusive and active as possible. He has helped create an adaptive cricket team in Pakistan, holds sports festivals, and founded the first Disabled Persons Organization coalition in Pakistan, and serves on disability policy boards in Islamabad.Shafiq and Milestone also helped with rescues and mobility training for victims of the major Pakistani earthquake in 2007. Shafiq is also a family man, but as he puts it, his greatest romance is with the disability movement.
Sana Jahani is from Los Angeles, California and finished her studies at U.C. Berkeley with a B.A. in Architecture and a minor in City & Regional Planning in May, 2015. Sana grew up in a multilingual environment, speaking English and Farsi at home and studying Arabic and Spanish at school. She hopes to drive disability rights across lingual, cultural and socio-economical boundaries while still practicing architecture on a professional level.
An English degree graduate from Queen Mary, University of London, where she also read Renaissance Studies for Masters Degree and currently researching for a PhD thesis entitled ' The role of servants in political matters in Early Modern Drama'. Raya is a freelance translator, writer and proof-reader, she has also taught English to refugees and migrants as a volunteer at The Migrants Resource Centre and worked at both Amnesty International and Equality and Human Rights Commission. Currently she is volunteers at various charity projects and Research centres, such as Scope, Muscular Dystrophy UK. Raya is a keen blogger and campaigner for disability rights issues and has her own site 'Careless' http://www.accessless.com/. Her main interest is promoting disability awareness especially among Arabs and Muslims.
Fatima Al Otaiby
Fatima Al-Obaidly is currently working in the Ministry of development planning and statistics since 2014. She plays a significant role as a development specialist at the Ministry where she works closely with professionals and experts specialised in evidence based policy, planning, and right based development. Before that she was the acting director of the Department of Family Policies in the Supreme Council for Family Affairs. Moving through a number of departments at SCFA, from the Childhood Department to the Department of Research and Studies and then to the Family Policies Department. Fatima led a number of projects and programmes related to the field of human rights, family policy, planning and development, paying a particular attention on issues related to older persons and people with disabilities . Fatima participated in many of legal committees to draft and review legislations related to people in vulnerable situations.
She participated in a number of occasions and conferences related aforementioned field particularly at the United Nations, Arab League, the Corporation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, Economic and Social and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA). Fatima has a Bachelor Degree of Sociology from the Department of Social Sciences in Qatar University (2006).