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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.
We had a full room of attendees on Friday, November 18, 2016 at 10:30 - 11:45 am to discuss growing trends in education abroad to attract a greater number and diversity of students, including those with disabilities. These trends focus on making education abroad interesting, and of interest to, traditionally underrepresented groups, and by targeting these diverse groups and including faculty/staff in the planning, it results in more participation.
While students may have established academic accommodations at their U.S. institutions, when they choose to study abroad they also choose to accept the challenge of studying in a new educational system that may or may not offer the same accommodations.
This NAFSA: Association of International Educators sponsored Collegial Conversation was a live chat on November 10, 2016, to respond to questions from the field on what is required and possible in making arrangements for U.S. study abroad students with learning disabilities or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
It is a story that we see often. An exchange program gets a student with a disability asking about wheelchair access, ASL interpreters, or personal assistance, the program is just weeks out and the staff are caught like deer in the headlights scurrying around to make it work.
In October 2016, RightsNow! representatives traveled to Guatemala to meet with disability rights leaders and other key stakeholders in order to learn about the status of and priorities for greater enforcement of disability rights. Working in close collaboration with Colectivo Vida Independiente de Guatemala, a local cross-disability Disabled People's Organization (DPO), the RightsNow! team met with a range of stakeholders within the disability sector.
The UN CRPD is a powerful tool for implementing law and policy for women with disabilities at the regional, national, and international levels. It is nevertheless true that many women with disabilities, States Parties, and even NGOs lack the experience and resources for developing and implementing relevant articles of the UN CRPD into concrete action.
With sponsorship from USAID/Vietnam and the Institute of International Education (IIE), Mobility International USA (MIUSA) organized and facilitated a 10‐day Study Tour in Washington, D.C. for a high-level delegation from Vietnam. In October 2016, delegates engaged in professional meetings, interactive seminars and workshops, panel discussions, site visits, and strategic planning sessions.
For the very first time, International Women's Forum members from around the world were asked to compete to present their leading-edge ideas and inventions for building a better world—and better lives. MIUSA CEO Susan Sygall, a member of IWF Oregon, was one of three plenary speakers selected to take the stage and make lightning-round presentations about compelling concepts fitting the theme, "Ideas Remaking the World."
In commemoration of the Peace Corps' 55th Anniversary, the National Peace Corps Association hosted Peace Corps Beyond to highlight the work being done by members of its community to foster world peace worldwide.
In the 75+ years that the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) has sponsored academic, professional, cultural, and sports exchange programs between the U.S. and countries worldwide, it has led the way in ensuring that people with disabilities are included and represented in citizen diplomacy.