Inclusive Recruitment & Outreach
Disability inclusive international exchange program recruitment suggestions and resources.
In this Tipsheet:
Whether you are marketing a U.S. outbound or inbound academic, volunteer, cultural or professional program, disability inclusive recruitment will increase diversity in your international exchange programs. Learn concrete ways to make outreach efforts inclusive of youth and adults with disabilities.
Did you know there are an estimated one billion people worldwide who have a disability? Or that, of the world’s children, an estimated 10% have a disability? People with disabilities are 15% of the U.S. population, which means they also make up a significant portion of any student body (9% at most U.S. universities). The most cutting-edge international exchange organizations weave diversity into all elements of their programs—from program design to implementation—by including individuals with disabilities as participants, volunteers, staff and host families.
People with disabilities make important contributions toward cross-cultural understanding and have as much to gain from international exchange experiences as their non-disabled peers. They have the right to fully participate in international exchange programs sponsored by the U.S. government and/or administered by U.S. organizations. Making your programs inclusive starts with how you include people with disabilities in your program outreach strategies. With these simple ideas and steps, your organization can begin engaging all of our world’s citizens.
- Add Promotional Messages and Welcoming Language
- Broaden Media Resources
- Provide Scholarships
- Utilize Peer and Family Connections
- Promote Disability Inclusion as an Organizational Value
- Budget for Reasonable Accommodations
- Train Staff and Volunteers
- Network with Local, Regional and National Organizations
- Provide Equal Access to the Screening and Selection Process
- Diversify Staff and Volunteers
- Add Welcoming Language to Promotional Materials
- Make Program and Application Materials Available in Alternative Formats
- Partner with Leaders in the Disability Community
- Include Schools and Community Organizations that Involve Youth with Disabilities in Outreach Efforts
- Factor in Family and Peer Considerations
- Target Students with Disabilities for English Language Programs
- Invest in Staff and Volunteer Training
Save time by using free outreach products to catch the attention of people with disabilities and let them know about international opportunities. Have you checked the accessibility of your website? Use online tools to ensure information is accessible to prospective applicants and, if needed, learn how to make simple fixes.
- Tools for Exchange Professionals
- How to create inclusive exchange programs, and technical assistance on accommodating a student with a specific disability
- Written as part of the Council on International Educational Exchange "Knowledge Series", this brochure provides encouragement and resources to students with disabilities planning to study abroad and is available to read online or to order copies of for display in college-level study abroad and disability services offices.
- Free Postcards: Travel with a Purpose
- 6" x 9" full-color postcard for international exchange offices and disability organizations.
- Free Poster: Study Abroad - Open the World
- 24" x 36" full-color poster for study abroad, international exchange, disability services and counseling offices on high school and higher education campuses.
- Link to Mobility International USA
- Link to us from your organization’s website to connect with valuable resources, strategies and stories on people with disabilities' participation in international exchange programs and signal your organization's commitment to inclusion globally.
- Links to Online Directories of Disability Organizations Worldwide
- Learn about worldwide associations for people with specific disabilities and links to national level disability organizations in various countries.
- University of Pittsburgh produced this video, Making it Happen: Study Abroad Students with Disabilities, now available online. It features overseas footage, interviews with students with apparent and non-apparent disabilities, and discussions with disability services staff.
- Website Accessibility Resources
- Various tools used to access websites for people with disabilities and to evaluate the accessibility of websites for use by people with disabilities.