News

Graphic of world map with points and thumbnail photos of people in Mexico, Peru, Sri Lanka, Armenia and Pakistan

MIUSA Celebrates International Day of Persons with Disabilities

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:

A group of women in India work on an action plan.

Regional WILD in Asia

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.

MIUSA Launches New Membership for Inclusive Excellence

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.

Justin standing with a coat and scarf, holding a white cane, in the middle of a food market.

Access Languages to Access Opportunities

"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."

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.

Graphic of two postage stamps depicting African continent and United States

A World Awaits You in Africa

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:

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.

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