WILD 2021: Call for Applications

Three women wearing pink WILD logo t-shirts smile joyfully; one holds a white cane; one is seated in a wheelchair
Photo by Kiefel Photography
Twenty-five women with disabilities around the world will be selected to attend the 10th International Women's Institute on Leadership and Disability (WILD) program to be held in Eugene, Oregon, USA from August 21 - September 11, 2021.

Deadline to apply: Friday, December 11, 2020



Mobility International USA (MIUSA) is a U.S.-based, non-profit organization whose mission is to empower people with disabilities around the world to achieve their human rights through international exchange and international development.


MIUSA’s Women’s Institute on Leadership and Disability (WILD) will bring together approximately 25 women leaders with disabilities from approximately 25 different countries, to strengthen leadership capacity, create new visions and build international networks of support for inclusive international development programming.

During the three-week program, participants will take part in workshops, seminars and discussions, conduct on-site visits, and participate in team-building activities, to explore challenges and exchange strategies for increasing leadership opportunities and participation of women and girls with disabilities in international development programs. 

The WILD program is contingent upon grant and donor-based funding. MIUSA reserves the right to cancel the program for any reason it deems necessary and will return program fees in the event that the program is cancelled.


To be eligible for WILD, you MUST be a:

  • Citizen and/or resident of a country in the following regions: 
    • Africa
    • Asia
    • Eastern Europe
    • Latin America & Caribbean
    • Middle East
    • Pacific Islands
  • Established leader and/or professional who is:
    • At least 21 years of age and older 
    • NOT an alumna of previous MIUSA exchange program that took place in the U.S.
    • Use at least ONE of the following languages:
      • Conversational English (minimum)
      • Spanish
      • Sign Language with at least conversational American Sign Language (ASL)


To qualify for WILD, you must demonstrate:

  • Personal experience with disability, an understanding of issues, and a commitment to working for the rights of women and girls with disabilities
  • Membership in an organization led by and for people with disabilities, or by and for women, with particular attention to issues of women and girls with disabilities; or civil society or other organizations committed to the inclusion of women and girls with disabilities
  • Commitment to and capacity for increasing leadership opportunities of women with disabilities in the community and/or country
  • Commitment to and capacity for increasing the participation of women and girls with disabilities in international development programs
  • Commitment and capacity to complete the following activities over a one year program (from March 2021 – March 2022): 
    • Establish and develop relationships with committed organizations in your community prior to the training. This includes one organization which you will represent and at least one community partner organization.
    • Participate in a three-week WILD program in Eugene, Oregon held August 21 - September 11, 2021.
    • Design and implement a plan to conduct a leadership workshop for women with disabilities using the WILD model within four months after WILD.
    • Apply for and administer a small grant for the leadership workshop.
    • Complete required monitoring and evaluation activities, including timely submission of monitoring and evaluation reports to MIUSA.
    • Share lessons learned and challenges with MIUSA and other stakeholders.

MIUSA will strive for diversity of geographic region, age, ethnic background, and types of disability in final selection of qualified participants. Applicants meeting the following criteria are especially encouraged to apply: 

  • From rural communities
  • Members of indigenous groups
  • Have not visited the United States


The WILD program will include interactive workshops, site visits and practical activities on priority issues for women and girls with disabilities which may include: 

  • Strategies for implementing national and international policies and legislation, including the UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Disability Policy
  • Educational rights and opportunities including higher education, specialized and inclusive schools, policy and legal rights, services and accommodations for accessibility
  • Health and family issues including parenting, women’s health, HIV/AIDS, reproductive health
  • Violence prevention
  • Using the media
  • Strategies for leadership, including networking and coalition building 
  • Organizational development and sustainability, including funding resources and strategies, and fostering partnerships with community organizations and businesses
  • Inclusive international development, including exchanging strategies for inclusion with representatives from U.S-based international development organizations and/or human rights organizations
  • Cultural and team-building experiences, including living with a local host family
  • Goals and action planning sessions, including plans for the transfer of information from WILD to other women and girls with disabilities


  • Simple and shared lodging at a modest hotel, local homestays, and three nights at a beautiful rustic outdoor retreat center will also be provided.
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be provided each day. All supplemental meals, snacks, or personal incidentals will be at the expense of each delegate.
  • Accessible public transportation will be provided. 
    Note: Please do not expect “luxury” accommodations, meals, or transportation.


  • The official languages of the WILD program are American Sign Language (ASL), English and Spanish.
  • Spoken and sign language interpretation will be provided during formal program activities, workshops, discussions and site visits only.
  • MIUSA uses a team of ASL sign language interpreters and Certified Deaf Interpreters (CDI) who are experienced and skilled at providing interpretation for individuals who use different sign languages. 


Accepted participants will be responsible for:

  • $250 USD program fee. 
  • NOTE: Scholarships are available based on applicant’s demonstrated financial need.  Accepted participants can apply for a scholarship AFTER they have been accepted to the WILD program. 
  • Costs related to obtaining a current, valid passport and U.S. visa, including  travel costs to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the home country
  • Personal incidentals, including laundry at the hotel, batteries, soap, toothpaste, international calling cards and mobile SIM cards
  • Supplemental meals, snacks and beverage.

MIUSA will provide: 

  • Documentation to support applications for a B1/B2 U.S. visa
  • Roundtrip airplane tickets in economy class for participants to travel from home countries to Eugene, Oregon, USA
  • Travel health insurance during the WILD program
  • All main meals, lodging, program activities and accessible transportation during the WILD program
  • Spoken and sign language interpretation during formal program activities, workshops, discussion and site visits
  • Disability-related accommodations, including sign language interpreters, travel costs for personal assistants, etc


ONE: Apply early!

We receive a large number of applications, please submit your application as soon as possible to allow sufficient time in the selection process and to obtain the US B1 / B2 visa if selected.

TWO: Complete ALL SECTIONS of the application, which includes:

Section 1: Candidate Information

Section 2: Disability Information

Section 3: Professional Information

Section 4: Essay Questions

Section 5: Additional Information

THREE: Ensure two reference persons complete recommendations forms.

Two recommendation forms are required to complete the WILD 2021 application process. These MUST be completed by two people familiar with the applicant’s work and qualities as a leader. Family members cannot complete recommendations. Suggested references include employers, government agencies, or non-governmental organizations (i.e. a women’s group, disabled people’s organization, community based organization, education, social services, etc.).

FOUR: Ensure your completed application and recommendations are submitted to MIUSA by December 11, 2020.

Incomplete applications will NOT be reviewed. Please make sure ALL sections are completed and submitted to MIUSA by the deadline.

FIVE: Application review and response

  • MIUSA will review all completed applications
  • Applications in English are strongly preferred
  • Applications submitted in Spanish will result in a slower review process
  • MIUSA will notify ALL applicants before January 25, 2021 by email about the status of their application.


​There are two options for completing the WILD 2021 Application and Recommendation forms:

  1. Complete the WILD 2021 Online Application Form and the WILD 2021 Online Recommendation Form. Applications and recommendations completed online are strongly preferred.
  2. Download the printable word version of the application form and the recommendation form in the documents section. Word version of application and recommendations must be submitted by email to womenleaders [at] miusa.org.