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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. 

Blog
Susan speaks to a group of disabled women sitting in a circle

Infiltration is the New Inclusion

Let’s face it: inclusion is taking waaay too long!

So what can we do?

I believe now’s the time to adopt a strategy of moving from inclusion to infiltration.

During a session at the recent InterAction Forum in Washington, D.C. (an annual event bringing together leaders from the international development field), I presented the idea of infiltration in the context of people with disabilities not waiting for life-saving programs to include them.

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Group photo with delegates, MIUSA staff and Eugene community members all pointing up to their right.

Supporting Independent Living in Pakistan

In July 2017, nine men and women with disabilities from Pakistan convened in Eugene, Oregon and Washington, DC, for the U.S./Pakistan Independent Living Exchange program. As disability rights leaders representing Disabled People’s Organizations (DPOs), the delegates were interested in exploring strategies for strengthening the disability rights movement in Pakistan, with a focus on building the Independent Living movement. 

Tipsheet
Collection of foreign currency.

Find Exchange Funding to the U.S.

Visa fees, airfare, health insurance, tuition, test fees, housing... International exchange expenses to the U.S. can add up quickly! Are you prepared?

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Group of student's at Spencer's Butte Challenge Course

Arrival Orientation for International High School Students

Twenty-eight international high school exchange students with diverse disabilities traveled to Eugene, Oregon, in August for an orientation prior to the start of their academic year in host communities across the United States.  

The students represented 17 diverse countries and are all recipients of prestigious scholarships from the U.S. Department of State. 

During the MIUSA orientation, students had the opportunity to learn disability rights laws, visit a U.S. high school, try adaptive bicycling, and volunteer with local organizations. 

Tipsheet
black and yellow butterfly

Flying with a TBI: What You Should Know

The 1986 Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) requires that airlines and airports make reasonable efforts to provide accommodations to people with disabilities. Reasonable accommodations available to individuals with TBI include:

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MIUSA CEO and wheelchair rider, Susan Sygall, smiles next to EducationUSA banner.

Pathways to Inclusion at EducationUSA Forum 2017

EducationUSA is one of the most critical resources for international students seeking information on higher education opportunities in the United States.  It is a U.S. Department of State network of over 400 international student advising centers in more than 170 countries!  

The EducationUSA Forum is designed for professionals at accredited U.S. colleges and universities seeking to recruit, enroll, and support international students. 

Tipsheet
Young American man in the distance looking at some livestock in Norway

Including Exchange Participants with Traumatic Brain Injuries

In the right situation with the right supports, an individual with a traumatic brain injury can increase the boundaries of their potential while recovering abilities and a sense of identity.

A traumatic brain injury (TBI), in contrast to an intellectual disability or learning disability, is acquired through a blow or jolt to the head causing a disruption in brain function. It can involve reduced capacity in cognitive, sensory, physical, or psychosocial abilities, which previously might have been easy for the individual. 

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Global Perspectives on Independent Living at NCIL

The National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) called on the disability community - from the U.S. and around the world - to attend its 2017 annual conference in Washington, D.C., centered around the theme "Revolution: A Global Independent Living Movement."

Blog
Justin standing with work colleagues in front of brick wall outside.

Reflecting on my #LifeAfterExchange

It has been about six years since I returned home from my last international exchange. I spent the academic year of 2010-2011 studying Spanish literature and Latin American history at the Pontifical Catholic University in Santiago Chile. Since then I have been wondering just what it was about my exchange that gave my employment prospects such a boost. We recently launched the Clearinghouse's #LifeAfterExchange campaign looking at the long-term benefits of international exchange, so this seemed like a good time for further exploration.

Tipsheet
A group of students from different countries, including a student in a wheelchair, share a group hug.

Find a Program in the U.S.

Find opportunities to study, learn, and grow professionally in the U.S., whatever your disability. Your options are endless. As a person with a disability, you have the same right as everyone else to gain professional experience, study at a college or high school, learn English, or volunteer in the U.S.

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Seven women (one with a cane) and one man stand and face the camera; a wheelchair user is seated at center--she is smiling

Strengthening Implementation and Enforcement of Disability Rights Laws in Peru

As the first Latin American country to ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and Optional Protocol (in 2008), Peru is often held up as an example by other countries in the region. In December 2012, Peru passed the General Law on Persons with Disabilities (No. 29973), which is considered closely in line with the CRPD.

Personal Story
Chart in graduation regalia

Accessing U.S. Studies to Advance Disability Rights in Thailand

Chart traveled to the United States from Thailand to get a Master's Degree in International Public Policy and Management from the University of Southern California (USC) with the support of the Ford Foundation’s International Fellowships Program (IFP). At the time, he just wanted to get the top-notch education that the American system would open up for him. Just what he would do with that master’s degree would come later.

Having grown up as a blind man in a small town about three hours from Bangkok, Chart knew what it was like to live in a place with limited resources.

Books/Journals/Podcasts
Stylized bubble letters read "Greetings from Travelers Abroad: Life after exchange" with images of travelers with disabilities filling in the letters of 'Abroad"

Commemorate in a Postcard Your #LifeAfterExchange

Who says your exchange experience has to end when you get home? We know that going abroad - for study, volunteerism, professional exchange and more - has a lasting impact on Deaf and disabled people's lives in many ways.

Did it have an impact on you? Create your own #LifeAfterExchange digital postcard to commemorate your time abroad and celebrate what it's helped you accomplish.

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