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.
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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.
Mobility International USA (MIUSA), in partnership with three leading U.S. organizations, welcomed a delegation of 25 disability rights leaders from six countries to Washington D.C. for the RightsNow!: Exploring the U.S. Model conference during one week in September 2016. This prestigious and high-level conference was a part of the RightsNow!: Strong Communities through Enforcing the Rights of Persons with Disabilities project, funded by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor of the U.S. Department of State and administered by MIUSA.
The Brilliant & Resilient photo exhibition displayed at the World Bank for two weeks in September 2016. The exhibition event launched on September 21, 2016 with a reception and panel discussion on how women with disabilities across the globe are working as change agents to empower women and girls with disabilities in their communities.
This interactive session at 10:30-11:30 am on September 16, 2016, "Students with disabilities: A primer for mobility advisers," educated attendees at the European Association for International Education (EAIE) conference on strategies to resolve access barriers in study abroad. Activities sought to dispel misconceptions about specific disabilities, guide in respectful interactions, and build confidence to champion inclusion.