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"The contributions of the extraordinary women of the Women’s Institute on Leadership and Disability (WILD) not only improve the lives of women and girls with disabilities in their home countries, they also play a critical role in combating discrimination, promoting inclusion, and defending human rights the world over."
- Hillary Rodham Clinton, 67th U.S. Secretary of State
WILD is a highly selective, intensive three-week training that brings together women with disabilities from around the world. The training is held in Eugene, Oregon, a model city that embraces human rights, diversity and inclusion.
Women with disabilities who are selected for the WILD program demonstrate leadership potential. WILD is an investment in that potential which will “trampoline” them to the next level.
The WILD Training Method
At WILD workshops, critical information on topics such as reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, violence prevention and inclusive education is presented. Historically, this information has not been provided to women with disabilities.
Public speaking, advocacy for policy change, cross-cultural communication, cross-disability organizing and action planning are key skills gained during WILD which are critical for leadership development.
FOSTERING NETWORKS OF SUPPORT
WILD is a place for reciprocal exchange and relationship building between WILD participants themselves, as well as with international development professionals. A key goal of WILD is catalyzing development policies and practices to be more inclusive of women with disabilities.
WILD is an opportunity for women with disabilities to challenge society’s preconceived notions about what is possible and sometimes even their own. They climb 70 feet in the air, raft down rapids, present their ideas to hundreds of people, learn self-defense and adapt to another culture by living with a host family.
The Power of Diversity
WILD participants represent diverse backgrounds and fields of expertise, but they are all united by their passion and dedication to improving the lives of women and girls with disabilities.
WILD brings together women with different disabilities — women who are blind, women who use wheelchairs, women who are deaf, women who have psychosocial disabilities, learning disabilities and others.
For many, it is the first time they have had the chance to feel the power of being surrounded by like-minded activists with different types of disabilities.
To accommodate a more diverse group, WILD is also delivered in multiple languages, including English, Spanish, French, Arabic, Russian and Sign Language.
Today’s WILD Network
WILD women embrace the motto LOUD, PROUD & PASSIONATE®
WILD women are change agents in their communities. They are addressing critical issues, such as civil and human rights advocacy, reproductive health, education, literacy, economic empowerment, HIV/AIDS and gender-based violence.
WILD women are starting their own organizations and businesses, serving as consultants and advisors to international organizations, drafting policy and legislation, and running for political offices.
WILD women participate in MIUSA’s alumni network for continued exchange of opportunities, information and ideas. Read more about Measuring the Impact of WILD in the Table of Contents section.
Scaling Up WILD
WILD alumni are already playing a critical role in contributing to the development of their communities.
Now, we have an opportunity to significantly expand the impact of WILD.
With a Facilitator’s Guide and a Train-the-Trainer approach, every WILD Woman will be equipped with the tools and skills to replicate WILD trainings in their own countries.
Read more about The Power of WILD Seed Grants in the Table of Contents section.
Join us in partnership to revolutionize the status of women with disabilities! Donate to WILD
We are currently accepting applications for Regional WILD - Asia. Apply today!
WILD communications materials are available for download in the documents section.