U.S. Department of State Increases Access to Learning English

A woman stands with her Empower Blind People Kyrgyz blind students wearing a traditional Kyrgyz dress holding her white cane.
Learn about the ways that the US Department Of State seeks to increase #AccessLanguages to people with disabilities everywhere!

The English Access Microscholarship Program (Access) provides a foundation of English language skills to talented non-elite 14–18 year-olds through after-school classes and intensive summer sessions.

ACCESS: Disability-Related Country Spotlights

Mongolia: The Regional English Language Office (RELO) assisted with the creation of a program for Deaf and Blind students to gain knowledge of American Sign Language, Braille tactile writing skills, and enriched knowledge about American culture, friendship and opportunities towards the students’ future.

China: More than 200 students with disabilities have learned English through the Access Program, including partnerships with the Guangzhou School for the Blind and with the Guangzhou English Training Center for the Handicapped (GETCH).

Kyrgyzstan: Access program in Kyrgyzstan sponsors “Empower Blind People” for inclusive work combining residential programs, immersive orientation and blindness skills training, and workshops for parents of blind children.

The following are other examples of RELOs engaged in supporting inclusive English language programs.

Russia: Assisted a coalition of English teachers to develop curricula and materials for teachers of students with vision disabilities, both in mainstream classrooms and at specialized schools for students with disabilities. As part of this project, six teachers from Russia had an opportunity to travel to the United States where they consulted with experts in inclusive education.

Colombia: Worked in partnership with the Colombian military to provide teacher training to Colombian law enforcement officers who acquired a disability. The goal was to provide new employment opportunities, while meeting the rising demand for highly qualified English teachers. The program included a 9-month English instruction program in Colombia then traveling to Texas for six months of teacher training.

Bahrain: Embarked on a partnership with the Ministry of Social Development to bring an English Language Specialist to that country to teach English and American Sign Language (ASL) to youth and adults who are Deaf to build awareness of opportunities for further study in Bahrain and the United States.

Learn more about the U.S. Department of State, Office of English Language Programs, including scholarships and fellowships for U.S. citizens who are ESL/EFL specialists.

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