What the ADA Means to Me

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) changed my life. It allowed me to feel the respect that I deserve, to feel protected by a non-discrimination policy. The underlying principles of the ADA have served as a blueprint for other strong enforceable disability rights laws throughout the world.

Disability rights activists throughout the world have adapted these principles and used them to create laws and policies that work in their own countries and cultures.

Summer 2021 "Access to Exchange" Externs Announced

We are pleased to announce our ten Access to Exchange Externs for Summer 2021. We are excited to share that this year's externs are exchange alumni of both inbound and outbound international exchanges. These externs will each be working on their own virtual outreach projects to promote the participation of people with disabilities in international exchange opportunities. Their projects will reach people with disabilities around the world in different languages in the form of blogs, webinar series, disability culture guides, and information hubs. 

Presenters for Joining Hands Virtual Symposium session on "Innovation and Impact" included NCDE's Externs (pictured bottom row, left to right): Sheila Xu, Johna Wright, and Bobbi-Angelica Morris. Also pictured (top row): MIUSA staff Johileny Merán, ASL interpreter Jan, and MIUSA staff Justin Harford.

Be an Access to Exchange Extern - Applications closed for Summer '21!

The National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange (NCDE) is offering opportunities to become an Access to Exchange Extern for alumni of both inbound and outbound international exchange programs.

Through the NCDE Externship, you can help promote the message to more people with disabilities about access to all types of international exchange programs, such as studying and volunteering abroad, by carrying out a virtual outreach activity in your local community. 

International youth with disabilities sit in a circle in a classroom smiling and talking.

NCDE "Access to Exchange" Externship: Inbound Alumni Applicants

Are you a person with a disability who has studied or interned in the United States? We want your help to spread the message to more people with disabilities globally about access to all types of international exchange programs! The externship is a project to be conducted virtually. All you have to do is share your interest for inclusion with the NCDE by submitting your proposal and if your idea is chosen, you conduct the activity and we will provide funds to offset any project costs. 

A group of men and women wearing masks pose for a group photo in a room with windows

Trainings Enhance the Knowledge of Deaf Advocates and Allies on the Kenyan Lawmaking Process

MIUSA collaborated with the Kenya National Association of the Deaf (KNAD), the U.S. National Association of the Deaf (NAD), Kenyan legal experts and sign language interpreter educators to train Kenyan Deaf leaders and KSL interpreters on legislative processes and advocacy skills, and to strengthen their collaboration to advocate for passage of a KSL rights bill. 

Commissioner Washington Sati dressed in a suit, stands and signs at the front of a conference room. Behind him is a projector screen with the words 'Summary of the draft KSL Bill'

Promoting Rights-Based Kenyan Sign Language (KSL) Legislation in Kenya

The Kenyan Constitution of 2010 recognizes KSL as a national language, thanks to successful advocacy by Deaf leaders, disabled people and the 2008 ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons of Disabilities (UNCRPD).  However, Deaf individuals do not have access to qualified KSL interpreters, creating barriers to education, employment, public information, justice systems and more.  

Close group of women gathered facing towards one another, smiling. One woman holds a white cane in her hands. They are women of color.

International Women's Day 2021: Disabled Women Activists Lead the Way

Here are some ideas to get started:

Watch and share our 4-minute video to learn how disabled women activists are protecting against gender-based violence towards women with disabilities during the pandemic.

Give the gift of our photobook, Brilliant and Resilient: Celebrating the Power of Disabled Women Activists, to a brilliant woman in your life. Order your copy here.

Stylized bubble letters read "Greetings from Travelers Abroad: Life after exchange" with images of travelers with disabilities filling in the letters of 'Abroad"

NCDE Spring 2021 Webinar Series

The NCDE is excited to bring you its upcoming Spring Webinar Series. This season we hear from diverse alumni with disabilities of youth exchange programs, get the answers to our most burning disability-related questions straight from International educators, and learn about how to take an exchange experience to the next level by connecting with disability communities abroad.

Generation ADA Goes Global: An NCDE Campaign

"Traveling abroad has been a huge part of my development as a person. When I came back from Mali, my first trip abroad, my parents noticed a difference in me. I was more confident. And they felt more confident in me going and doing things on my own."

- Haben Girma, U.S. disability rights advocate who volunteered abroad as a teen, "Moving Out Into the World" video (embedded).