Match your best intentions with best practices! Successfully include someone with a disability in your international program.
"Santiago embodies the Lorraine Matusak award. He does not wait for change. He boldly empowers others to be change agents."
- Susan Sygall, CEO of MIUSA in her presentation of the award to Santiago at the Kellogg Fellows Leadership Alliance Global Summit in December 2018
With a mission to advance leadership and disability rights globally, every day at MIUSA is International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
Working with more than 2300 alumni from over 135 countries, we put our trust and hopes in the thousands of disabled activists and allies we have been privileged to work with over the past 38 years.
When a prospective or accepted international exchange participant with a disability contacts you, how can you be a knowledgeable and approachable advisor? We have developed tipsheets you can use to build your capacity for access and inclusion as well as disability assessment forms and guiding questions that you can use to get valuable details from the individual.
While each situation is different, the process is straightforward:
REVISIÓN DE SOLICITUD Y PROGRAMA
Mobility International USA (MIUSA) es una organización estadounidense sin fines de lucro, cuya misión es empoderar a las personas con discapacidad alrededor del mundo para que alcancen sus derechos humanos mediante intercambios internacionales y desarrollo internacional.
PROGRAM AND APPLICATION OVERVIEW
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.
The RightsNow! Consortium and Mexican partner organization, MADIJAL, implemented a successful three-day Seminar on “Access to Justice for People with Disabilities” in Guadalajara during April 2018. U.S. and Mexican disability lawyers worked with local government officials to provide workshops and presentations to 133 participants from government, universities, the legal community, civil associations and disabled people’s organizations. Seminar topics included:
Why Caption Your Video?
In addition to supporting communication access for Deaf and hard of hearing viewers, captions can also benefit hearing people who are watching your video with the sound off or in loud environments, people whose primary language is not the language of your video, and others.
Up to 85% of Facebook video is watched without sound according to multiple publications. All the more reason to ensure your videos are captioned!
People with disabilities are often treated as objects of charity and pity. The charity model is an older and outdated model of disability.
What it looks like: People in your community assume you will always need help and pity you. You are considered a burden requiring charitable resources for support.
People with disabilities do not have a real equal right to participate if they are deemed individually responsible to overcome the barriers and historical ways of doing things that exclude them.
For example, the right of a wheelchair user to enter a building is an empty right if the building only has stairs. The right of a person who is deaf to attend a good university is meaningless if they do not have access to the content of the classes through a sign language interpreter.
Inclusion is not the same as simply “not excluding”. Inclusion is proactive. Inclusion is intentional. It takes some initial investment to ensure that people with disabilities are being reached and participating fully in your organizations and programs.
Whether you want to find personal services, get your equipment repaired, or try adaptive sports, find what you need in your host community.
People with disabilities are powerful leaders influencing national policies, advocating for changes, organizing regional alliances and increasing their participation in mainstream development projects that directly impact their lives. Engage disabled leaders in your efforts.
Do you have a disability and wonder what it would be like to study, volunteer, or intern in another country? Let us help you reach your goal to participate in a meaningful overseas experience.