The champions for inclusive international experiences are out there—and you’re likely among them! Find out how a national project is bringing them together and building their capacity as change-makers.
It’s not always easy being a champion for disability inclusion in international education. However, finding allies can make all the difference for driving change at our own institutions and organizations. It can lead to building the critical mass needed to make a lasting impact in the field.
Enter the Clearinghouse
A project of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange is 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 (MIUSA). Since 1995, the Clearinghouse has supported champions to innovate strategies and develop best practices that increase and enhance the participation of people with disabilities in international exchange.
Many international exchange programs are already taking action towards implementing practices of inclusion and inviting the Clearinghouse to be part of the process.
As part of its core services, the Clearinghouse offers extensive online resources on the MIUSA website, trainings and conference presentations, and one-on-one technical assistance to anyone seeking information on access to international exchange. Collaborations with higher education institutions, international exchange organizations, ECA staff and partners, and others have led to unique opportunities such as:
- Organizing a symposium on international exchange and disability
- Convening a consortium of international exchange organizations and disability organizations
- Facilitating webinars and conference exhibit tables for people with disabilities to learn about international opportunities
- Leading trainings hosted by the ECA, University of Denver, Missouri State University, World Learning and others
The Clearinghouse is continuously reaching out to exchange organizations to learn about their disability inclusion practices, note trends, and capture lessons learned from international exchange alumni. Consider inviting the Clearinghouse to connect with you and your team to explore ways to take the next step in your commitment to inclusion!
There are a number of ways your institution, office, organization can connect with the Clearinghouse! Find ideas below and then contact us using our online form.
Presentations and Trainings
- Invite the Clearinghouse to introduce its staff, resources and services on a conference call with your team
- Invite the Clearinghouse to conduct
- a training or workshop for your staff, faculty, and/or participants with disabilities, virtually or on your campus/offices
- Request referrals to international exchange alumni with disabilities who can present at your event
- Put in a session proposal with Clearinghouse staff
- Ask the Clearinghouse to review your conference proposal and provide feedback
- Request template presentation slides or talking points to incorporate in your presentation
Materials and Publications
- Request NCDE brochures, posters, and A World Awaits You (AWAY) journals—all with disability-positive images and messages—to be sent to you in print and accessible formats
- Have a best practice to share? Contact us for an interview, so we can highlight you on our website or in a future publication!
This article is part of the AWAY Journal – Champions for Inclusion Issue.