Resource Library

Personal Story
Green welcome mat in front of a door reads "Welcome"

Rolling Out the Welcome Mat to International Visitors

I first got involved as a homestay host in my city of Akron, Ohio when a fellow member of the National Association of the Physically Handicapped (NAPH) contacted my housemate and asked if we would be interested in hosting someone through Global Ties Akron.

In the past, I have hosted international guests for dinner. Although those occasions were only a couple of hours, our time together was very worthwhile. It was very interesting to talk to doctors from Vietnam and a delegation from Kyrgyzstan, who told us about the services for people with disabilities in their countries.

Best Practice
Wailing Wall and Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, Israel

Empowering Self-Advocates with Intellectual Disabilities

Stephanie Blum, who is a personal agent at Full Access in Eugene, Oregon, traveled to Jerusalem and Kiryat Ono, Israel as a part of MIUSA’s Empower Partnerships for Inclusive Communities program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. While there, she partnered with a nonprofit for people with disabilities along with a higher education institution to work on self-advocacy and independence for people who have intellectual disabilities.

Tipsheet
Blind woman feels a braille embossed document

Disability Documentation When Studying in the U.S.

Although disability-related accommodations and services are provided at no cost to the student, disability office staff may request documentation from the student prior to his or her arrival on campus in order to arrange them. Often, international students to the U.S. will be asked to provide a written report or disability assessment by a qualified diagnostician. For students who are blind or low vision, a school may request a current visual acuity test or functional vision assessment. For Deaf or hard of hearing students, a school may request a recent audiogram. 

Tipsheet
Low slope ramp with double handrails and tactile surface

Which U.S. School or University is Best to Place a Student with a Disability?

A qualified student, regardless of where the student is living when applying, cannot be refused admissions based on disability or anticipated accommodation needs.

Most disability service staff on campus or in the school district and disability organizations in the community can locate and provide what is needed for the student though it may take time, funds, and energy to find a good match for the student in regards to accommodation needs. The student may want to choose schools based on what is already available on campus and in the community.

Best Practice
School building

Texas School Welcomes Blind Egyptian Student

When Stan Sowers, the principal of Eustace High School, learned that a blind exchange student would be spending a year at his school, he was apprehensive. His first thought was, “Oh, my goodness, why would we want to take on something like that, you know?”

Tipsheet
WILD woman in a wheelchair holding arms up in success. Photo by Brian Lanker

Celebrating the Brilliant and Resilient Photo Exhibit

The Brilliant & Resilient project features a collection of photographs and personal stories of 50 women with different types of disabilities representing 41 countries. Their powerful portraits and vignettes illustrate the issues that significantly impact their lives, including access to education, employment, political power, reproductive health services, and HIV/AIDS and violence prevention.

Page
Young professional woman who uses a power wheelchair at the bus station on her way to work

Employment

Job Postings

There are no postings at this time.

Internships

Apply now for a fall internship with MIUSA! This is a three-month (approximate) internship at MIUSA's office in downtown Eugene, Oregon, USA between October - December 2018. 10 - 20/hours week preferred.

Apply by September 30, 2018 for priority consideration. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until position is filled. 

Page
Susan Sygall, CEO. Photo by www.kiefelphotography.com

Staff

We are incredibly proud of the team of experts with and without disabilities that make MIUSA a powerful organization and an invigorating place to work.

Page
Black and White Photo from the first years of MIUSA shows Susan Sygall and Barbara Williams-Sheng

History

Mobility International USA (MIUSA) was co-founded in 1981 by Susan Sygall and Barbara Williams-Sheng, both graduate students at the University of Oregon. Susan Sygall, a wheelchair rider, had recently finished a year studying abroad as a Rotary Scholar in Australia.

Page
A man who uses a wheelchair shakes hands with partners in China

Partners

We believe strongly in the power of partnerships. Learn about our partners, networks and collaborations.

Mobility International USA (MIUSA) partners with organization through a variety of ways including memberships, alliances, subawards, joint projects, MOUs, and more. Our partnerships include both formal and informal relationships.

Page
Woman from Mongolia wearing traditional dress makes the "I Love You" sign in sign language

Donate

Like many non-profit organizations, individual donors are critical to our work. Your support ensures that we can continue the life-changing work of advancing the rights of people with disabilities. Whether your donation supports a scholarship for a woman with a disability to become a new leader, or provides funding for activities that engage our community, your donations are supporting the programs that make a real difference in the lives of disabled people worldwide.

Tipsheet
Young woman seated very low in her airline seat smiles

Transferring Tips for Air Travel

While I was excited about the opportunity to go abroad to Costa Rica on an exchange program, as a disabled person I worried about how my experience getting on and off the plane would be.

I learned quickly that airline personnel don’t always know what to do when it comes to helping to transfer a person with a disability. Although they may have received formal training, it is different having to help in a real situation. Each person with a disability is different, and what may work for one person doesn’t mean it will work for another. Here are four tips that have worked for me:

Tipsheet
A college student with a physical disability gets lifted piggyback up stairs in China while her friends carry up her empty wheelchair

Staying in Control on Stairs

At some point in your international travels, you may come upon a flight of stairs that need scaling, whether out of necessity (e.g. exiting a Parisian metro stop with a broken lift) or sheer desire (mounting the last bit of the Eiffel Tower for an incredible view).  If you will need assistance from others to lift you and your wheelchair, there are some ways to make this tricky situation a little less harrowing.

Tipsheet
Hand of someone reading braille on the edge of a public bus posted schedule

An Overview of Braille around the World

You need to access the same information as everyone else who is on your exchange program or when navigating your new adventures overseas. The differences from home may mean you need to learn contracted Braille or specialized symbols specific to a foreign language.

Personal Story
A women using a power-wheelchair wheels in front of historic buildings in spain.

3 Cups of Tea and an Accessible Bathroom

I’ve gone in a shed, I’ve gone in the forest and I’ve gone in the middle of the desert. I’ve gone on top of a mountain, and yes, ladies and gentlemen, I have gone behind a bus.

Pages