For two weeks in April 2017, ten professional leaders and policy-makers with and without disabilities from Pakistan will convene in Eugene, Oregon and Berkeley, California, for the U.S./Pakistan Disability Policy Professional Exchange Program. The intensive 13-day program will empower people with disabilities, and their allies in government and civil society, to implement and enforce the rights of persons with disabilities in Pakistan.
Investment by higher education institutions, national governments, and foundations all play a part in ensuring social justice in cross-border mobility. Postsecondary education systems have traditionally catered to elites, though changes in education reaching the masses has been growing based on equity and access concerns. In promoting the many benefits for studying in the U.S., we should remember that education is an equalizer. It provides opportunities for people of all backgrounds to gain exposure and education that will benefit society and equip them to be changemakers.
Students with disabilities are among those diverse groups of students who continue to be either underrepresented or underserved in education abroad, while at the same time data from the Institute of International Education’s (IIE) most recent Open Doors Survey indicate an increase in their numbers compared to previous years. In response to these trends, several institutions, organizations, and individuals are taking innovative approaches to championing disability inclusion, recognizing and valuing disability as part of diversity.
The celebration of women leaders with disabilities and the international traveling exhibit will feature portraits and vignettes of 30 women activists with disabilities from around the world.
The exhibition will be a space to promote networking and partnerships between women leaders with disabilities, human rights, development, and government agencies. The event will also include, as featured presenters, 25 women leaders with disabilities from throughout the country, who will be participating in the Women's Institute on Leadership and Disability (WILD) - Panama.
As the largest organization for English language educators, TESOL International Association hosts more than 6,500 people annually from around the world at its convention. Educators at all levels attend to exchange ideas and connect with a dynamic professional community.
The NCDE has launched the #AccessLanguages campaign to encourage more people with disabilities to learn and teach a foreign language abroad, including ESL/EFL.
Disability is often misunderstood on a deeper level by people who are otherwise knowledgeable of diversity issues.
Co-moderators of this interactive session will dive right into intercultural exercises that will help to make visible some of the hidden assumptions that people make about people with disabilities, and then discuss the underlying values, such as paternalism, that drive these perceptions. Different models of disability will be shown and explained to aid in a shift in thinking.
To increase the number of people with disabilities involved in international exchange, study abroad, research and volunteer service overseas, we count on the guidance and support of advocates in the fields of international exchange and disability rights and services. That's why MIUSA co-leads the National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange (NCDE) Roundtable Consortium along with NCDE's sponsor, the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
In February, MIUSA joined high school exchange students currently in the United States on the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program in Washington, DC, for the Civic Education Workshop (CEW).
At the annual meeting of the Youth Programs Division of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, MIUSA joined representatives of international exchange organizations to discuss trends and best practices in sponsored youth programs, including the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) and Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) programs.
MIUSA conducted a one-day arrival orientation in New York, NY, on January 20, 2017, for two high school exchange students with disabilities from Malaysia selected to participate in the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. The students joined eleven academic-year YES students with disabilities already living and studying in host communities across the United States.
In late November 2016, a RightsNow! team of U.S. disability experts traveled to Lima, Peru to meet with disability leaders, other leaders of civil society organizations, and government representatives. The RightsNow! team gathered information to analyze the status of implementation and enforcement of the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD) and national legal frameworks safeguarding the rights of people with disabilities, while identifying topics for future support to promote the enforcement of national disability laws.
The benefits of learning a foreign language have been well documented. It leads to greater employability and cultural competence. It can also enhance one's ability to learn in all sorts of areas.
Learning a language can offer unique advantages to people with disabilities as well, such as enabling a blind person to experience a destination through the verbal descriptions of folks they meet along the way, or facilitating the independence of a wheelchair user as they direct the assistance of others.