My Rights May
Spring has definitely sprung, and we got some great options for inexpensive exploration in Choose Your Own Adventure April. Now, we’ll delve into the laws that protect our right to travel independently in My Rights May.
- May 2: Guide Dogs and Ride-shares/Cabs
- May 9: Guide Dogs and Public Places
- May 16: White Canes
- May 23: Airport Transportation
- May 30: Mobility International USA
In this fifth installment of our “My Rights May” series, we share with you a great organization that is dedicated to supporting blind/low vision individuals seeking to travel internationally.
Mobility International USA
Mobility International USA (MIUSA) has three main focus areas: Access the World, Women’s Leadership and Empowerment, and International Disability Rights and Advocacy. In this Transition Tip, we discuss the resources it provides with respect to international travel: both for Americans with disabilities traveling to other countries and for disabled individuals traveling to the United States.
Please note that MIUSA is a pan-disability organization. This means that they provide information and support for individuals with all disabilities; they do not focus on blindness/low vision. Nevertheless, they do have a good bit of information specific to the needs of blind/low vision individuals, and their other resources can be useful for individuals with any disability and for individuals with multiple disabilities.
MIUSA also provides support to established student exchange programs, including the Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) program and the Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program. These programs serve high school students studying abroad.
MIUSA administers the National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange (NCDE). This online archive contains hundreds of resources, including tip sheets, personal stories, videos, and podcasts. While many of the materials focus on student exchange programs (which are usually somewhat structured), the information is also relevant for individuals wanting to travel internationally on their own.
NCDE has curated this webpage to gather resources about U.S. travelers abroad. Users may further narrow their searches by experience (high school/college exchange, volunteer opportunities) or by disability category. Additionally, users can focus on the type of resource provided (personal stories, tip sheets, etc.).
Like the “Americans Going Abroad” page listed above, this landing page helps to filter results for users interested in coming to the U.S. Also, U.S. students may find good information for their own travels – both in the U.S. and internationally.
While NCDE curated this page for professionals who support exchange students, these resources can be quite useful for the students themselves. From accommodations and community resources to medications and travel, students will find useful information here.
Currently, MIUSA does not have any job openings, and their advertised Spring Internship ends soon. However, if you are interested in working with MIUSA, please reach out to them, or contact the Bridges Helpdesk, and we will support you in this endeavor.
Jobs at related organizations
MIUSA sponsors the Excellence in Development and Disability Inclusion (EDDI) initiative. MIUSA’s Career Opportunities with EDDI Member Organizations web page sets forth several job opportunities and is current through May 2023.
If you are interested in gaining employment in a foreign country, MIUSA’s Get Your Foot in the Door for a Career in International Education web page is a great place to start. This page contains information about and links to fellowships, internships, and agencies that provide international employment. The page also sets forth links to relevant professional organizations.
Follow the Bridges Helpdesk Facebook page for more transition tips, and please contact the Bridges Technical Assistance Center’s Free Helpdesk for Maryland Blind/Low Vision Transition Students, Families, and Educators anytime using:
- Our Accessible web form
- Email: Helpdesk@IMAGEmd.org
- Text or Leave a Voice mail message: (410) 357-1546
- Bridges Helpdesk Facebook page or Facebook Messenger
This unique project is being coordinated through The IMAGE Center of Maryland, a center for independent living in Towson, and it is funded by a grant from the Maryland Department of Education Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services.