TASH Partners with U.S. Department of State to Bolster Disability Rights in Mongolia

Press Release

Washington, DC – TASH has been selected to participate in a U.S. Department of State sponsored Professional Fellows EMPOWER Program, administered by Mobility International USA (MIUSA). This two-way international exchange program aims to expand the capacity of organizations in the U.S. and abroad to promote inclusive communities and advance the rights of persons with disabilities around the world.

TASH has partnered with two Mongolia-based organizations, the All for Education! National Civil Society Coalition and the Association of Parents with Disabled Children, to implement a long-term project to build capacity to advocate for equity, opportunity, and inclusion for children with disabilities in Mongolia.

In August 2013, TASH sent Rima J. Hatoum, Ph.D., Chair of the International Committee, Member of the Board of Directors, to Mongolia for a preliminary exchange visit with the partnering organizations to gain an understanding of disability issues and inclusion in their communities, as well as to lay the foundation for a collaborative project and an effective ongoing professional relationship.

One representative from each Mongolian organization is currently being hosted by MIUSA, Oct. 14-19, in Eugene, Oregon. These representatives will be hosted by TASH, Oct. 19 – 29, in Washington, DC, where they will work alongside American counterparts to gain first-hand experience on how issues in their field are addressed in the United States. Activities of this exchange will include site visits to inclusive education and secondary transition programs in the local school system; workshops on inclusive education, secondary transition, post-secondary education, adult services, employment, advocacy and self-advocacy; meetings with parents of children with disabilities and self-advocates; meetings with staff of the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services; a secondary transition fair; a community forum; and a town hall meeting.

TASH is one of 19 U.S.-based organizations and institutions competitively selected to host approximately 38 disability rights advocates and leaders from 38 international organizations in 19 different countries. Projects range from inclusive education, independent living, healthcare rights, laws and policy, recreation and sports, access to public services, and advocacy for all persons with disabilities.

At the conclusion of the U.S. program, all overseas participants and their U.S. hosts will gather in Washington, D.C., for a three-day conference facilitated by MIUSA, Oct. 29- Nov. 2. Participants will have the opportunity to network with other leaders in their field, and share plans for long-term programming that will be implemented upon their return home.