Resource Library

Tipsheet
3 people, one in a scooter talking

What Statistics Tell Us about People with Disabilities in International Exchange

Mobility International USA is always looking for surveys or research in the disability or international education fields that have the potential to shine a light on the participation and experiences of people with disabilities in international exchange. If surveys ask both "Do you have a disability?" and "Did you [study, volunteer, intern, teach, research] abroad?," then we do our best to request and report on the data, so we can all learn more from the findings.

Books/Journals/Podcasts
Book cover of Celebrating MIUSA's Story Featuring Graphic Lettering of "MIUSA"

Celebrating MIUSA's Story

"Celebrating MIUSA's Story" is a tribute to Mobility International USA's amazing accomplishments since 1981, made possible by our wonderful staff, donors, partners, host families, and alumni around the world.

This book provides an account of our signature projects and programs, upholds testimonials from individuals touched by our work, maps the origins of our hundreds of alumni, and traces a timeline of our major exchange programs, publications and other milestones.

Personal Story
Seated at a kitchen table, exchange student Pinar holds a bouquet of flowers in one hand while supporting a sign that reads "Welcome" with her other. She is smiling and wearing a bright yellow tank top.

Last Minute Decision Leads to Unforgettable Hosting Experience

Melissa Gulledge, CIEE Regional Director from South Carolina, has years of experience placing international exchange students from all over the world with American families, but a last minute decision to host a teenager with a disability led to one of her own family’s most meaningful hosting experiences.

The clock was ticking to match Pinar, a young woman from Turkey who is blind, with a host family and school.

Event
Hilmi and Syafiqah smile at airport

MIUSA Welcomed Malaysian Youth with Disabilities to the U.S.

MIUSA conducted a one-day arrival orientation in New York, NY, on January 20, 2017, for two high school exchange students with disabilities from Malaysia selected to participate in the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. The students joined eleven academic-year YES students with disabilities already living and studying in host communities across the United States.

Event
Speakers at podium and head table

Equalizing the Field at NAFSA

For many years now education has been viewed as a tool to level the playing field between the haves and have-nots, between elites and groups which have been traditionally marginalized. The idea is that if you give people with disadvantages a hand up, they will turn around and pay it forward in their communities.

Event
On an excursion in Spain - a group of American students from diverse racial/ethnic and disability backgrounds

Understanding Disability through a Diversity and Intercultural Lens

Disability is often misunderstood on a deeper level by people who are otherwise knowledgeable of diversity issues.

Co-moderators of this interactive session will dive right into intercultural exercises that will help to make visible some of the hidden assumptions that people make about people with disabilities, and then discuss the underlying values, such as paternalism, that drive these perceptions. Different models of disability will be shown and explained to aid in a shift in thinking.

Event
Pakistani delegation stand outside the Ed Roberts Campus

Supporting Champions for Inclusion in Pakistan

For two weeks in April 2017, ten professional leaders and policy-makers with and without disabilities from Pakistan convened in Eugene, Oregon and Berkeley, California, for the U.S./Pakistan Disability Policy Professional Exchange Program. The intensive 13-day program empowered people with disabilities, and their allies in government and civil society, to implement and enforce the rights of persons with disabilities in Pakistan. 

News
[Image: colorful illustration of five seated individuals immersed in reading language books or conversation. One figure reads from a book labeled "English." Another has a white cane folded at his feet and accesses his text via a tablet with headphones. A couple read from an ASL book and sign with each other. The last person is seated in a wheelchair and reads from a book labeled "Arabic." The backdrop is a world map illustration. #ACCESSLANGUAGES (hashtag Access Languages) is below, with MIUSA and US State

People with Disabilities #AccessLanguages Abroad

The NCDE, a project sponsored by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) and administered by MIUSA, launched a campaign to encourage more people with disabilities to learn and teach a foreign language abroad, including English as a Second or Foreign Language (ESL/EFL)! We have some great resources to share from that campaign initiative, and we hope that you will continue to promote and share the message of #AccessLanguages for people with and without disabilities.

News
A group of women including Susan Sygall hold hands before a colorful mural

International Day of Persons with Disabilities: A Day of Gratitude to the Change-Makers

On behalf of everyone at Mobility International USA, I want to wish all of our alumni, allies, supporters and disability rights activists everywhere a heartfelt thank you for all the work that each of you is doing to advance the disability rights movement.

It is an honor to be the CEO of MIUSA, whose mission is to advance disability rights and leadership globally so that people with disabilities can take their rightful place in society. We envision that people with disabilities are not only productive citizens, but also leaders of their communities in their countries.

Blog
A group of people, including a woman who is blind, under a waterfall with rock climbing gear on

Challenge by Choice

In the years I have led disability leadership programs for young leaders with all types of disabilities to places far and wide. Camping under the stars (and bugs!), rolling along on a ferry boat, and pushing to the top of a medieval castle were all part of the program. Was access perfect? No. Were some students more adventurous than others? Yes.

News
Two women gleefully lock arms and laugh

New Video Celebrates MIUSA's 35 Years

Sometimes it takes a village to make a dream come true. In our 35th Anniversary year of MIUSA, we have had the privilege of seeing countless communities come together to create possibility and opportunity.

It is our honor to share with you the debut of our new video celebrating MIUSA's story, chronicling how two friends with a shared vision laid the foundation for today's global network of youth, women, and men advancing the status of people with disabilities everywhere.

Blog
NCDE staff showing outreach materials to students at study abroad fair.

More than Just “Making it Work” for ESL Students with Disabilities

Before I worked at MIUSA on the National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange project, I advised hundreds of international students coming to the U.S. to learn English at a major university. Although I also managed the admissions process, I rarely saw students with disabilities come through. I was waiting for them to reach me.

Event
Students in a classroom listening to a presentation

A Conversation on Learning Disabilities & Study Abroad

While students may have established academic accommodations at their U.S. institutions, when they choose to study abroad they also choose to accept the challenge of studying in a new educational system that may or may not offer the same accommodations.

This NAFSA: Association of International Educators sponsored Collegial Conversation was a live chat on November 10, 2016, to respond to questions from the field on what is required and possible in making arrangements for U.S. study abroad students with learning disabilities or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

Tipsheet
four young people smiling

How to Welcome Staff and Interns with Disabilities to Your International Education Organization

Here, we asked people with disabilities to share their tips for what international education organizations can do to fill jobs, internships, or practicum positions with talented professionals and interns with disabilities. You might notice that many of these tips also apply to including people with disabilities as participants in your international exchange programs!

Tipsheet
2 women smilling, wearing professional attire

People with Disabilities Needed in International Education Careers

As part of our ongoing work on the National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange (NCDE) project, we reach out to professionals in the international exchange field - from study abroad advisors to program administrators to faculty leaders - to broaden their understanding of disability inclusion and access and how it can increase the diversity of their participants.

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