Rotary Voices

New club makes disability advocacy a priority

In collaboration with members of the District 5890 literacy committee in Houston, members of the Rotary Clubs of El Campo and Wharton, Texas, USA, and other volunteers distribute books to at-risk students in Wharton County. The event was part of a partnership between the nonprofit organization First Book, the television network ABC, and the network’s parent organization, The Walt Disney Company. 27 March 2021.

By Ken Masson, President, The Rotary Club of World Disability Advocacy

Ken Masson

The need for human rights for people with disabilities is worldwide. From the largest to the smallest countries, there are opportunities for Rotary to improve the dignity, respect, and quality of lives for people with disabilities. That is why we chartered the Rotary Club of World Disability Advocacy. We saw so many possibilities of what Rotary could do.

We reached out to disability advocates around the world, and many were willing to team up for the cause by agreeing to be charter members of this unique club  Disability advocates do not always get the recognition they deserve but they all are extremely passionate about human rights.

As a result, we formed a uniquely diverse club. Our 20 charter members represent eight countries – and 18 of our members are new to Rotary. We are also a comparably young club, with our average age being around 32.

We are a cause-related e-club and are affiliated with the district’s Rotary Disabilities Advisers Group. Since early this year, the group has been focusing on helping Rotary become more welcoming to people with disabilities.

There is no other club quite like this. Disability rights have always been lower in priority in many human rights endeavors. However, for us, it is our top priority – and we plan on having an impact in many counties and many people’s lives.

We are thankful for the support we are receiving from other Rotary members. If you have a passion for increasing human rights for those with disabilities, contact us at

Learn more about Rotary’s DEI statement, what DEI means, and how you can put it into practice to create positive experiences.