The EMPOWER program supports two-way professional exchanges designed to bolster disability rights around the world. This exchange enhances the ability of individuals and organizations to serve as leading disability advocates in their respective communities. The program aims to create sustainable organizational partnerships between U.S. and international organizations, expanding the capacity of each organization to promote disability inclusive communities, and to advance disability rights.

The program has two components: one for individuals (U.S. citizens) and one for U.S. nonprofit organizations. Individuals can apply to spend up to three weeks in designated countries overseas to engage with key stakeholders in the disability rights community in an effort to develop creative solutions to the challenges facing persons with disabilities in those countries. U.S.-based nonprofit organizations working on disability-related issues can apply to be matched with an organization from one of 20 participating foreign countries, and will provide ongoing technical assistance, opportunities for international exchange, project implement support, and foster long-term, mutually beneficial relationships.

Program Length

2-3 weeks

Eligibility and Application Overview

Public applications are accepted.

Participants must:

  • Be leaders in the disability rights community, with a demonstrated record and interest in effecting positive change in their institutions and communities;
  • Be mid-level professionals with leadership potential and experience or current employment in the disability rights community;
  • Be self-directed, able to work effectively in a cross-cultural setting, and have demonstrated leadership abilities;
  • Be an American citizen fluent in American Sign Language and available to travel for up to three weeks in November 2014, or be a U.S. nonprofit organization working in disability rights with 1-2 representatives fluent in American sign language and available to travel for up to three weeks in September – October 2013.

Additional eligibility requirements for this program may vary by country. Individuals or NGOs who are interested should contact the partnering non-profit organizations, Mobility International and Discovering Deaf Worlds.

Country-Specific Information

Application Contact Information

Mobility International USA

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