Resource Library

Tip Sheets
Buildings under construction

Disability and Humanitarian Assistance

Disability inclusion in all phases of emergency response and preparedness is crucial, from disaster risk reduction preparedness, prevention and mitigation to disaster relief, rehabilitation and recovery. Utilize the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) to ensure international cooperation provides accessible and inclusive humanitarian responses.

Tip Sheets
A young American woman dines at an outdoor restaurant.

Autism Basics for Exchange Professionals

Will you be welcoming an autistic exchange student or participant on your program for the first time? Great! Brush up on your understanding of neurological differences, respectful language and related lingo so you can advise your participant with confidence.

Tip Sheets
Rainbow and castle behind a young man

Autism & International Exchange Tips for Travelers

Have you ever felt like an anthropologist, having to figure out the social habits of those around you? Have you ever had to find new ways to communicate with other people, or had to interpret the slang or figures of speech used by other people? These can be common experiences for people on the autism spectrum, but they are also very common experiences for international exchange travelers! Why not be both?

Tip Sheets
Black and white photo of people, including several women wheelchair users, sitting in a circle listening to a speaker.

Economic Inclusion

People with disabilities in developing countries often represent the poorest of the poor, yet they are typically overlooked in the development agenda. Poverty reduction strategies must include people with disabilities to achieve development goals.

Economic development programs such as microfinance have revolutionized efforts to fight poverty by providing financial services to people previously conceived as dependent on charity. Such financial services have empowered and enabled people, particularly women, to take control of their lives and contribute to their societies.

Personal Stories
Employee at Pyunic pushes manual wheelchair

Sports Play a Role in Disability Advocacy

Get to know one of MIUSA's partners for a SportsUnited Exchange program in Armenia. Founded to provide relief to children with disabilities following a major earthquake, the Armenian Association for the Disabled (Pyunic) has since grown to empower people with disabilities to be involved in culture. MIUSA talked to Mr. Hakob Abrahamyan, Pyunic's president to find out how sports and recreation play a role in disability rights in Armenia.

Tip Sheets
Two women in manual wheelchairs holding hands up in the air, one from Indonesia, the other from Bangladesh

The Power of Disabled Women Activists

Women with disabilities are among the most marginalized, under-served populations in the world, yet they offer tremendous potential for leadership and to transform communities. There are many ways development organizations can ensure women with disabilities are included. Here are five starting points.

Tip Sheets
WILD delegate from Kenya speaking with a representative of an international development organization

Partnership Building Strategies

So, you secured a meeting with a potential partner! Maybe it is with a representative from the US Embassy, USAID, an international development organization, or a local nonprofit. Here are a few things to keep in mind going into that meeting. This is a two-way meeting, both about what you can do for them and what they can do for you; about what you can offer and what they can bring to the table.

Tip Sheets
Two women signing. Photo by Melissa Mankins

5 Ways to Build Your Professional Experience

You know professional development is valuable for individuals and organizations, but how do you fit skill building into your organization’s already tight budget and work load? Consider using these five strategies to start making connections and securing funding to build staff skills and increase organizational impact.

Tip Sheets
Susan Sygall publicly thanking two individuals

Tips from Grant Funders

Several international NGO professionals share their top tips for disability rights organizations worldwide on building relationships with grant funders. From collaborating with other DPOs to building strong partnerships for grant proposals to being realistic and clear about what you can and cannot do, read on for tips on each stage of the grant process.

Tip Sheets
A woman from Myanmar, who has cerebral palsy, bowing in a fashion show in traditional dress

Moving from Inclusion to Infiltration

Begin a new strategy of working toward inclusion by practicing “infiltration” - proactively participating in the services which, as members of your communities, are rightfully yours.

Billions of foreign assistance dollars are allocated toward improving communities through programs such as, entrepreneurship and job training, microfinance, health, education, political participation, emergency response, food security, water and sanitation, leadership training, and women and girls empowerment. These are your programs.

Personal Stories
Temple and gardens

Touching Down in Taiwan

When Molly Rogers was a professor at the University of Oregon, she visited the island of Penghu, Taiwan, to present a paper on Kansei Engineering and Emotion Research, it was the first time she’d traveled solo since becoming a wheelchair user. Molly, who is a member of Mobility International USA’s board of directors, was excited to visit a new place, but also admitted to being a little nervous.

“Taiwan is a very long way from home, and I don’t read or speak the language,” she says. “I knew I would have to rely entirely on myself to solve problems or get to places I wanted to go.”

Personal Stories
Guida Leicester in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Nothing About Us Without Us

When Guida Leicester arrived in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for a six week program through a Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Summer Fellowship, one thing quickly became apparent to her. “The staff and faculty had discussed what I could and could not do, but they had failed to include me in the conversation.”

Personal Stories
Photo of Ganga Rayamajhi. Photo by Darcy Kiefel

Influencing Policy for Social Change in Nepal

In the remote mountainous Gulmi District of Nepal, Ms. Ganga Rayamajhi of Nepal, a double amputee, serves as chairwoman for Hope Disability Centre.

Following her participation in MIUSA Women’s Institute on Leadership and Disability (WILD), her organization hosted a campaign to advocate for disability rights and ending violence against women and people with disabilities in Nepal. During the campaign, Ganga participated in interviews on the radio and television to influence policy makers toward justice and social change.

Best Practices
Student smiling in a field of flowers.

Area Coordinator Reflects on Placing a Student with a Disability

When Annie Reifsnyder became an Area Coordinator for CCI Greenheart, a non-profit organization that places international high school exchange students in the United States, she found a way to connect with students from around the world.

One Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) student from Russia in particular caught her attention. “I received Natasha’s bio and was kind of enamored by it,” Reifsnyder says. “I just thought how neat, how cool, how amazing, obviously a student who wanted to come to the U.S., but one who is blind.”

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