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Personal Story
Group of wheelchair athletes

When Sports Spark Social Change, Everyone Wins

Organized sports can be much more than a pastime. They can also be a way to teach leadership skills, encourage inclusiveness, and build confidence. In the right situation, sports can even be a tool for social change.

It was with that mindset that Trooper Johnson and Carlie Cook traveled to Morocco and Algeria as part of the U.S. Department of State’s Sports Envoy program to promote inclusion and transform attitudes that marginalize people with disabilities.

Best Practice
About two dozen Bangladeshi men and women stand in a room before a projector screen

Creating a Culture of Inclusion: One EducationUSA Adviser’s Quest

Sausan Rahmatullah has always enjoyed volunteering. So when she heard that an organization in her home of Dhaka, Bangladesh was hosting a scholarship competition for high-achieving Bangladeshi students with physical disabilities, she immediately volunteered as a judge.

Having been introduced to so many talented students with disabilities through the volunteer experience, Sausan felt compelled to do more. Fortunately, the answer was right up her alley.

Event
A group of six individuals grouped outdoors. Some hold white canes. One is seated in a wheelchair.

MIUSA Open House

Disability rights. Empowerment. Leadership. International experiences. Global activism.

Did you know that the organization Mobility International USA (MIUSA) is working on these issues right here in Eugene, Oregon? In recognition of Disability Mentoring Day, we welcomed local youth with disabilities and others into our office to learn about our work and to explore opportunities for becoming global leaders and world travelers.

Event
A teacher showing 3 international students a magnifier and iPad.

Turning to Technology for Global Access

For this year's CIEE annual conference, the theme looks at students today as having been "born digital":

They have never known a world without broadband internet, smartphones, or the ability to reach into their pocket for the answer to almost any question. They are resourceful researchers and future-focused pragmatists who fully expect to be successful on their own terms.

Tipsheet
A young Pakistani girl with no legs or hands digs in a garden alongside a pet cat.

Volunteer in the U.S.A.

Volunteerism, also known as community service, is highly valued in the United States. Anyone can be a volunteer, and many international visitors with disabilities have volunteered in their U.S. host communities. Although volunteer positions are unpaid, there are many possible benefits. Make a difference in your U.S. host community by volunteering your time and talent!

News
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."

Tipsheet
infographic of 3 circular images: 1) 3 students sitting at their desks arranged in a circle, 2) hand writing on a piece of paper with pencil, 3) 2 people speaking face to face.

Infographic: No-Cost Universal Design Examples

No-Cost! Universal Design Examples to Increase Access to Language Learning

From gathering information, to expressing ideas, and staying engaged – individuals learn in various ways.

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American man seated in a wheelchair extends his hand to two Chinese delegates.

People-to-People Exchanges

MIUSA implements short-term international exchange programs in the United States and abroad and has worked with over 2,300 alumni with and without disabilities from over 135 countries. These alumni leaders are part of a global MIUSA family. Our unique programs focus on youth, young adults, parents, professionals and women in a world where people with disabilities commonly face discrimination, barriers and isolation, especially as they become leaders. These alumni leaders are part of a global MIUSA family.

Tipsheet
A large group of international students laughing as they sit in a circle in their chairs in a classroom. There is a man typing in front of the circle and there is a woman to the right using hand gestures to signal to one student, as he looks to her using sign language.

Teaching Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students Language

Considerations:

While deaf and hard of hearing (D/HH) students can face challenges with hearing and listening, their experiences are not generalizable. Some people who are completely deaf are still oral, while others prefer to use sign language. Others are nonsigning and prefer captions. Others simply have difficulty hearing, and can supplement their limited hearing with lipreading. What works for one person might not work for the next, so keep an open dialogue with your students.

Books/Journals/Podcasts
postcard graphic. Over a cartoon world map background reads "Greetings from Travelers Abroad: Life After Exchange" in stylized text. Inside each of the bubble letters of "Abroad" are photos of travelers with diverse disabilities exploring landmarks, speaking or signing, and working

Ripple Effects Season 3: #LifeAfterExchange

Ripple Effects: Travelers with Disabilities Abroad is a podcast brought to you by the National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange, a project sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and administered by MIUSA. Enjoy vivid stories from people with disabilities going abroad and the positive impact these experiences have on demonstrating what is possible.

Listen Now for available episodes for Season 3 on SoundCloud. Access transcripts for each episode from the Table of Contents.

Tipsheet
Colorful image of "bridging support to build student success" written over the world map

Infographic: Bridging Support to Build Student Success

Studying in the U.S. offers many opportunities to reach your academic goals:

  • English Learning
  • Community College
  • University or College
  • Graduate School

There are many support sources available to provide students the tools to succeed:

National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange (NCDE)

  • Pre-Arrival Support
  • U.S. Disability Rights and Culture
  • Funding Options
  • Connect with other students with disabilities

Educational Institution

Tipsheet
Room full of students talking and sitting at their desks in small groups with blue books on their desk and pens in hand.

Teaching English as a Second Language to Students with Learning Disabilities

Students with learning disabilities (LDs) may struggle in a language classroom, but ultimately reap the same benefits as others.
Consider viewing our discussion on the definition of a learning disability as well as methods of identification by referring to the related resources section at the bottom of this page.

According to Ann Sax Mabbott, who has provided case studies of several students with LDs, many achieve success as language learners and even become foreign language teachers.

News
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.

Tipsheet
A smiling blind man in a suit holds a cane while greeting a man in a formal suit.

Gain Professional Experience

Professional exchanges, such as internships and fellowships, provide opportunities for international visitors to gain career experience or to share their knowledge or skills while living in the United States. These exchanges can last from a few weeks to a few years. Many people with disabilities have traveled to the U.S. to gain career experience or to share their expertise in a variety of professional fields.

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Study Abroad advisor meets with a blind student

Exchange Professionals

You deal with many diverse locations and programs -- now learn how a diversity of people can take part in what you do.

Disability is diversity. If a person with a disability meets the qualifications and is eligible, start with YES! Accept them first and then focus on how to provide reasonable accommodations that make the program accessible. It's about equal opportunity.

By building flexibility into your programs, you meet more people's needs. What works for someone with a disability can benefit others too.

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