I was the only child in my Mongolian elementary school who was losing her hearing. At first I was considered disruptive and someone who should be sent home, but gradually my teachers realized I could study just as well as my classmates. Today, if I compare myself to them, I’m living better than most.
“Ensuring people with disabilities have access to health care in your communities largely depends on you.” This was Christiana Yaghr’s message, communicated in sign language, to 27 women with diverse disabilities in the small northern Ghanaian town of Wa. Representing regions throughout the country, many of the participants had traveled for hours to this workshop, the first of its kind, to learn not only about HIV/AIDS prevention but also about how to ensure that women with disabilities have access to services and information.
While pursuing her Master’s degree in Deaf Education at the University of Arizona, Mallory Watts sought an opportunity to expand her professional knowledge by teaching abroad.
Maegan, who is Deaf, lives by her principle of speaking out against injustices. Her first experience abroad opened up her eyes to international disability advocacy, a field that she’s dedicated herself to ever since.
Yet simply spending time in another country might not be enough. Use these tips to get started on planning for an international exchange program, so that you can get the most out of the experience.