High school exchange students in front of YMCA.

Exchange Students with Disabilities Return Home

This spring, nearly 2,000 students on high school exchange programs sponsored by the U.S. Department of State will say good-bye to their U.S. host families and travel home to countries around the world. Tearful departures and emotional reunions await these students and their families.

Among them are 29 students with disabilities who lived, studied, and volunteered in host communities in twenty U.S. states this year, from Maine to Michigan to Hawaii.

A group of U.S. and Armenian adults stand on a brick street in front of a building. Several group members use wheelchairs.

RightsNow! Project Expands to Armenia

MIUSA and the RightsNow! U.S. Consortium are building upon our work in Kenya, Mexico and Vietnam, by expanding technical assistance and trainings to Armenia and working in collaboration with the Agate Center, a local disabled peoples’ organization founded and led by MIUSA’s WILD alumna Ms. Karine Grigoryan.

“We need effective mechanisms to monitor the implementation of laws. Through this project, we hope to learn experiences not only in U.S., but also project countries: Kenya, Mexico and Vietnam.” – Karine Grigoryan, Agate Center

Two women, one who is blind, walking through the desert in Jordan.

The #BlindAbroad Campaign: Highlights

 “All my life, people told me my disability would not stop me from doing whatever I wanted to do. Successfully completing a trip abroad allowed me to really believe that.” –Haben Girma

The National Clearinghouse on Disability & Exchange (NCDE), a project sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and administered by MIUSA, launched the #BlindAbroad campaign Summer 2015 to increase the participation of people who are blind or low vision in international exchange.

We made a call for ALL to participate and you have and you are!

Zero Project Innovative Practice Winner 2015

Zero Project Recognizes WILD as Innovative Practice

On February 25, 2015, Mobility International USA received an innovative practice award from the Zero Project at the United Nations Headquarters in Vienna, for its signature women's leadership training, the Women's Institute on Leadership and Disability (WILD). WILD was recognized as one of 39 "Innovative Practices" for 2015 at the international summit which was attended by more than 400 experts in the field of disability rights and inclusion from over 50 countries.

Two women with microphone

Preserving Stories of People with Disabilities

The ADA has expanded opportunities for a generation of people with disabilities since its passage in 1990. Help us represent the diverse global experiences of the U.S. disability community by taking part in the Disability Visibility Project. This project encourages people to record and archive their unique and powerful stories with StoryCorps, a national non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the oral history of individuals of all backgrounds and beliefs.

A large group of women and men with and without disabilities stand in a building on stairs.

RightsNow! Project Focuses on Disability Rights Implementation

MIUSA's "RightsNow! Strong Communities through Enforcing the Rights of Persons with Disabilities" project is creating change where it matters most: the lives of people with disabilities. This project is developing tools, resources, training, and networks of disability leaders to advance the rights of people with disabilities through effective implementation and enforcement of legislation in six target countries: Armenia, Guatemala, Kenya, Mexico, Peru, and Vietnam.

U.S. Department of State logo and Evan Ryan

Welcome from Evan Ryan

I am proud that the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs continues to be a leader in promoting, sponsoring, and endorsing opportunities for people with disabilities. International exchange programs change lives, and we firmly believe that the benefits of people-to-people exchange should be available to everyone. We are committed to leading by example as we demonstrate fairness, equity, and inclusion.