Can-Do-Ability: Answers and Solutions from my personal experiences of living with a disability

Loud, Proud and Passionate!

14 Jan 2011A group of very passionate women with disabilities from all over the world came together to attend a three week leadership program in Oregon last year. It’s the 5th time that the ‘Women’s Institute on Leadership and Disability’ or ‘WILD’ program has been held by “Mobility International USA”.

Women’s Institute on Leadership and Disabilities CEO; Susan Sygall’s vision for the program is to strengthen leadership skills, create new visions and to build international networks of support.

Throughout the program, the women partake in numerous workshops and discussions that will assist with important issues such as; leadership for economic empowerment; educational rights and opportunities; career planning and higher education; employment strategies; health and family issues; using the media and coalition building; inclusive international development programs; cultural and team building; mentorship, networking, goals and action plans.

The 29 women who were selected to take part in last year’s program are a mixture of either emerging or established women leaders with disabilities, from around the world who were able to demonstrate their personal experience with disability, an understanding of issues and a commitment to working for the rights of women and girls with disabilities. They also come from organizations that are led by and for people with disabilities or employment programs that are committed to the inclusion of women and girls with disabilities. As well as optimizing employment opportunities for women with disabilities in the community or their home country.

The WILD program, that began in 1997, is sponsored by the Walmart Foundation, Mobility International USA, (MIUSA) and other local businesses in Oregon. It has been held also in the years 2000, 2003, 2006, 2008 and now 2010. If you would like to make a donation to MIUSA to help them continue their amazing work, click here: http://www.miusa.org/donate/donate

During last year’s program, the group created a film clip all about embracing powerful women with disabilities called Loud, Proud and Passionate. The women sing their own lyrics and the video even features signers to interpret for the hearing impaired. The clip is very uplifting and inspirational and is getting great feedback from all around the world. To view their film clip, click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxxomUVsSik

MIUSA’s target countries are Mali and Ethiopia in Africa, Albania which is located in Europe, Columbia, Ecuador and Guatemala in Latin America and Jordan in the Middle East. By empowering these women from underdeveloped countries, in the sense of independent disabled individuals, the women can go back to their countries with new knowledge and tools, that will enable them to reach the level of disabled independence that the western world have achieved and are continuing to achieving.

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