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On December 3, 2017, Mobility International USA observes International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) by recognizing disabled leaders and allies who are moving this agenda forward through policy and legislation. In partnership with powerful disabled people’s organizations (DPOs) and allies around the world, MIUSA’s efforts are strengthening both the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and national disability rights laws.
Here are a few highlights from around the globe worth celebrating:
Mobility International USA is honored to announce its International Advisory Committee!
The eighteen inaugural members of the Committee represent diverse fields and experiences. Their expertise and commitment to advancing disability rights and leadership globally will assist MIUSA to continue to reach its goals to:
Sixteen women with disabilities from China, India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka will be selected to participate in an eight-day WILD program in Sri Lanka to exchange experiences, explore strategies, strengthen a regional network of support, and create collaborative plans to promote inclusion of women with disabilities in community development efforts.
Every NGO wants to ensure that they reach the world’s most vulnerable populations and have diversity in their staff and populations they reach. Now, through a new membership initiative of Mobility International USA called Excellence in Development & Disability Inclusion (EDDI), innovative organizations can harness the expertise of MIUSA's network to build inclusive programs, establish access to services, remove barriers, and protect the rights of people with disabilities.
"It's a stuffed bell pepper with rice, meat and different kinds of vegetables." My parents listened intently as I translated the waiter's explanation of this traditional Peruvian dish.
As a blind person, I was used to having a sighted intermediary explain the menu, and tell the waiter what I wanted. But this was different. Everything on the menu and all the conversation around us was in Spanish and I was the only one of our group who could understand it. I turn to the waiter and referring to my parents, I explained, "She'll have the stuffed bell pepper and he wants the soup."
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.
There’s a world to explore beyond Western Europe and Australia. Although these parts of the world factor heavily into mainstream media and popular culture, we’re less likely to get portrayals of people living and thriving in Sub-Saharan Africa. We must seek them out to create a comprehensive view, and there’s no better way to do that than to travel to Africa or to host an international visitor yourself!
So what is it about the region of Sub-Saharan Africa that is creating a buzz of international exchange travel to and from the United States, and why should people with disabilities be paying attention? Here are just a few reasons:
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.
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.
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.