In the next decades, I hope we look at students who experienced these barriers and found ways to go abroad anyways. These alumni hold the solutions, which may be replicable for others. They showed barriers can be negligible when we focus on the how.
NAFSA's Tri-Regional conference brings together international educators from NAFSA Regions I, II, & IV, covering the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, the Mountain States, and parts of the Midwest, respectively.
Our goals for participating in NAFSA's Tri-Regional conference this year in Denver include reaching international educators who do not attend NAFSA's national conference and bolstering the capacity of international educators at the regional level to be leaders in disability inclusion.
The most fascinating, and therefore rewarding, part of my U.S. experience was being in Washington, DC during a U.S. presidential election (2004). Through the U.S. Department of State’s Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program, I had an opportunity to conduct research at the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) during a sabbatical leave from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.
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.
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.
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.
Visa fees, airfare, health insurance, tuition, test fees, housing... International exchange expenses to the U.S. can add up quickly! Are you prepared?
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.
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:
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.
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.
In May 2017, U.S. disability legal experts traveled to Guatemala City to support and build on the progress made by Disabled Persons' Organizations (DPOs) and human rights advocates.
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."
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.
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.