Change-Maker, Party of One

Group of colleagues at a round table
Think about your own circle of influence and what aspects of your work you have decision-making power over. Start today with some of these ideas for creating change.

If you are like most international exchange professionals, some of the best moments of your job have been making the dream of going abroad possible for someone who thought it was out of reach. Maybe it was money. Maybe it was lack of family support. Others didn’t have a role model. And some have faced discrimination and rejection. Have you ever thought about how you – just one person – can make a difference for people with disabilities?

  • Recruit an intern with a disability to work in your office
  • Choose pictures for a flyer, brochure or web page that shows someone with a disability
  • Organize a brown bag lunch and invite a local disability organization to share resources available in the community
  • Show a disability documentary film for a staff inservice or team training (see this Media & Disability list)
  • Choose a disability topic for an enrichment or field visit part of the student’s program
  • Model respectful disability language to others in your presentations, writing and editing
  • Plan an event to celebrate the upcoming 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Take a survey of your office to find out what others are doing to create more inclusive programs
  • Find out if the health coverage insurance policy you use for programs covers equipment repair and does not exclude pre-existing conditions.

Soon enough, your efforts as a party of one will turn into dinner for eight.



Cerise Roth-Vinson