News

Jenny Chinchilla, smiling, holds up a sign that reads: "Derecho a una vida autonoma"

MIUSA Alumna Awarded Fellowship for English Studies

As part of the #AccessLanguages campaign, to increase access for students with disabilities learning and teaching a foreign language abroad, MIUSA awards the Mike and Lisa Sygall Fellowship to WILD alumna, Jenny Chinchilla!

In partnership with the University of Oregon, American English Institute (AEI), the award will provide 10 weeks of enrollment in an intensive English course, an internship with MIUSA, and host family placement in Eugene, Oregon this fall.

Photo collage of four people with disabilities during their travels to or from Africa

A World Awaits You in Africa

“It doesn't matter where you come from or how you look, you can be whatever you want to be. African young persons can broaden their mind instead of just staying in one place and accepting the status quo as it is." – Hilda Muluh Bih, Mandela Washington Fellow alumna from Cameroon, person with a disability

Group of participants with and without disabilities sit at a board room table listening and taking notes

Celebrating the Essence of the ADA

We at MIUSA celebrate the ADA every day, but we especially want to take a moment on this great occasion to acknowledge and commend the strategic, unyielding, and hard-won fight - led by disability rights leaders and allies - to craft and enact this powerful, inclusive, and enforceable law. Without the hard work and commitment of cross-disability coalitions, grassroots organizers, lawyers, parents, government champions, and allies from other rights movements, we would not be where we are today. 

Close up of collage of old travel photos featuring people with disabilities plus a union jack postcard and ticket stub

There's #LifeAfterExchange: Linking Disability, Employability and International Exchange

By venturing to other countries, people with disabilities have demonstrated to themselves - and the world - that they are independent and successful, resilient and adaptable. They've gone on to work in the fields of law, disability advocacy, international education, journalism, and more. Their stories show how international exchange can be a profoundly transformative experience for those with disabilities—and their careers, skill sets, and personal development.

Judy Heumann smiles, looking up and out. Blurred figures and American flag in background.

InterAction Honors Judy Heumann with Lifetime Achievement Award

The award recognizes the international development community’s innovative efforts to promote disability inclusion as a human rights issue.

MIUSA CEO Susan Sygall, who has known Ms. Heumann for more than 40 years, was thrilled at the nomination, describing her as "a true disability activist, someone who works day and night, 24/7, to enhance the lives of people with disabilities both in the US and around the world." This nomination was brought forth from InterAction's Disability Working Group.

Group of participants with different types of disabilities pose for a group photo

Creating a Policy Platform for Disability Rights

In late January 2017, RightsNow! technical expert and IFES Senior Access and Inclusion Specialist, Virginia Atkinson, traveled to Yerevan, Armenia to collaborate with RightsNow! partners on several initiatives. These efforts supported government stakeholders in implementing inclusive electoral laws and policies.

In addition, RightsNow! partners assisted disabled person’s organizations (DPO) and civil society stakeholders in advocating for increased access to the political process ahead of the April 2nd elections.

Three WILD women laughing and smiling

Be Bold, Be WILD on International Women’s Day

Disabled women throughout the world are leaders -- as elected government officials, executive directors of NGOs, CEOs, artists, activists, mothers, daughters, and sisters. 

On March 8th, International Women's Day, we honor all the disabled women activists and their allies throughout the world. We especially want to thank our 220 Women's Institute on Leadership and Disability (WILD) alumni from over 83 countries and our alumni who have led their own WILD trainings in their communities.

Four women, all wheelchair users, seated in a row. Susan Sygall and Judith Heumann are among them with two international delegates.

"A True Disability Activist": Honoring the Service of Judy Heumann

For six and a half years, Judith Heumann, an internationally-recognized leader in the disability community and a lifelong civil rights advocate, has served the United States Department of State as the Special Advisor for International Disability Rights. Furthermore, since the establishment of Mobility International USA, she has strongly supported its efforts and has been an actively involved in MIUSA’s international and national programs and events.

A group of women including Susan Sygall hold hands before a colorful mural

International Day of Persons with Disabilities: A Day of Gratitude to the Change-Makers

On behalf of everyone at Mobility International USA, I want to wish all of our alumni, allies, supporters and disability rights activists everywhere a heartfelt thank you for all the work that each of you is doing to advance the disability rights movement.

It is an honor to be the CEO of MIUSA, whose mission is to advance disability rights and leadership globally so that people with disabilities can take their rightful place in society. We envision that people with disabilities are not only productive citizens, but also leaders of their communities in their countries.

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