Advancing disability rights and leadership globally®

Equalizing the Field at NAFSA


So many great ideas were shared in Los Angeles at the NAFSA conference in making education, both national and international, an equalizer for all.

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.

When staff from the National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange, a project administered by Mobility International USA (MIUSA) and sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, went to the annual NAFSA conference in May, we asked “Why not use that same doctrine with international exchange?”

Thank you to those who joined us for a panel discussion, in which our Project Specialist, Michele Scheib, and other seasoned professionals from the USA, Pakistan, and Zimbabwe discussed the advantages and methods for recruiting, advising, and supporting marginalized groups as international students in U.S. higher education. Download the Powerpoint presentation in PDF or Rich Text format under Documents below.

We also enjoyed talking with those who dropped by the MIG meeting and our poster session on techniques for creating more inclusive study abroad programs. By meeting others at the poster session and MIG meeting too, it was a chance to speak with experienced exchange professionals on techniques for including people with disabilities in study abroad programs, as well as study abroad alumni with disabilities who can personally testify to the unique challenges and advantages that they accrued from their study abroad experiences.

Wednesday, May 31

2:45 PM – 3:45 PM Member Interest Group Meeting: International Education for Persons with Disabilities

Thursday, June 1

8:00 AM – 9:00 AM Concurrent Session: Meaningful Pursuits: Recruitment, Advising, and Research of Marginalized International Students

2:00 PM – 3:30 PM Poster Session: Increasing Diversity Outreach and Support in International Education

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The National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange is a project of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, designed to increase the participation of people with disabilities in international exchange between the United States and other countries, and is supported in its implementation by Mobility International USA.

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