Sometimes you can't dream what you've never experienced.
These words ring loud and true, especially for people with disabilities, government officials, and other leaders who are working towards equal opportunity and disability rights throughout the world.
Is this you? If so, in your heart and mind you know that:
Children with all types of disabilities should have the same opportunity to learn, in the same schools, as non-disabled children. You need to know how to make that possible, what training is necessary, and what laws and policies protect and promote that right.
People with all types of disabilities should have the right to ride public buses and other public transit systems. You are looking for ways to implement these ideas and how to fund them.
Laws and policies in the U.S. and other countries ensure that the rights of people with disabilitie are more than just words on paper, by incorporating specific language on implementation, enforcement and remedies. You want to know how you can strengthen the laws and policies in your country so that people with all disabilities can have their rights and equal opportunities.
People with disabilities should be proud of who they are, proud of their disability identity. You’re looking for ways to make changes in your community so that individuals with disabilities are included, respected and supported on their journey to be leaders.
Attitudes and behaviors are often shaped by the media - on radio, TV, print and social media. You want to utililize the voice of leaders with disabilities to convey the message that disability issues are human rights issues, not medical or charity problems.
Reasonable accommodations are essential for disabled people to thrive in their communities. You want to gather best practices for providing and budgeting for reasonable accommodations.
“The exchange program was very informative and helped us see best practices and policies and how we can adapt them according to our needs.” - Member of Parliament from Pakistan
Leaders in Leadership
For over 35 years, the disability-led organization Mobility International USA (MIUSA) has trained more than 2300 people with and without diverse disabilities — disability rights activists, government officials, parliamentarians, parents of disabled children and youth — from throughout the U.S. and around the world through our disability rights and leadership programs. MIUSA alumni have gone on to make huge changes in their lives and the lives of those in their home communities.
"The opportunity to get to know the experience in the United States has been extremeley enriching. We can truly appreciate that if we, as persons with disabilities, do not endeavor to ensure that our rights be recognized, we will not advance." - MIUSA participant from Peru
Be Part of the Dream
Until now, most MIUSA programs have had very focused eligiblity requirements and did not always focus on all countries and regions. Many individuals have requested to attend these life-changing programs but have not been able to because of this structure.
Now for the first time MIUSA will be accepting applications for the MIUSA Experience, to be held in 2020 in Eugene, Oregon. Eugene is more than just MIUSA's headquarters; it's also one of the most accessible cities in the world!
This is a unique opportunity to visit Oregon, known for its coastline, mountains, rivers, fishing, wine, and most of all its friendly, welcoming people.
The MIUSA Experience Core Program is 5 days and explores the topics of:
- Inclusive Education and Early Intervention
- Higher Education
- International Exchange
- International Development
- Global & U.S. Laws and Policy
- Disability Rights, History and Culture
- Accessible Transportation
Additional days may be added, with workshops and activities focused on your priority issues. Select from:
Women and Girls with Disabilities Block (2-3 additional days)
- Women and Girls with Disabilities' Leadership: Utilizing our evidence-based curriculum on global disabled women's leadership
- Women’s Health (e.g. Reproductive Health, Sexual Abuse & Violence Prevention, Parenting and Childbirth, HIV/AIDS Care & Prevention)
- Self-Defense for Women and Girls with Disabilities
Inclusive Sports and Recreation Block (2-3 additional days)
- Fitness and Recreation (e.g. cycling, weight lifting, swimming, yoga, inclusive fitness center, etc.)
- Sports (e.g. wheelchair sports and others)
- Challenge by Choice outdoor ropes course
- River Rafting
Eugene Culture and Hospitality (1-2 additional days)
- Spend a day with a local family
- Trip to the coast, featuring wheelchair-accessible trails and beach wheelchairs
- Half-day site-visit customized to your specific interests (e.g. focus on people with developmental disabilities, Deaf education, etc.)
The program will be in English and American Sign Language.
Participants who need translation in other languages are encouraged to bring their own interpreters at their own cost.
Cost per person to be posted. There will be a non-refundable application fee which will be applied towards your registration. Space is limited.
No scholarships will be available. We encourage participants to do their own fundraising or find sponsors.
We strongly encourage parents of disabled children, disabled people’s organizations and others to fundraise to support one or more representatives to attend this program and share information upon their return to their community.
Participants must arrange their own flights and overnight lodging. MIUSA will provide information about accessible options for hotels, transportation and other services in the area.
Who Should Attend
This program is for people who want to make real change, from the individual level to the community and the national level. All who believe in meaningful change and promoting disability rights and justice are welcome. This includes:
- Individuals with and without disabilities
- Family members or parents of a person with a disability
Professionals who want to advance their understanding or expertise in disability inclusion are also strongly encouraged to attend. This includes:
- Educators (including special education professionals)
- Parliamentarians and Ministry officials in Education, Health and Transportation
- Doctors and other health professionals
- Physical, occupational and recreational therapists
MIUSA alumni are strongly encouraged to attend to further enhance their skills.
Youth under the age of 18 are welcome and must be accompanied by an adult.
“My experience has enabled me to feel more confident about myself and my capabilities. I learned about grant writing and inclusive education and now I have more resources to support my work.” - MIUSA alum with a physical disability from Malaysia
About Our Staff
Mobility International USA staff are people with and without disabilities who are knowledgeable and passionate about disability rights, women’s rights, international development, and international exchange.
If you are interested in participating in this program, subscribe to MIUSA's Global Impact newsletter, where we will be posting applications and costs soon. You can do this by filling in the form at the bottom of this page.