New Global Resource Center Project Promotes Inclusion and Disability Advocacy

Tue Oct 18 2016
ICI's Brian Abery speaks to a group in Armenia in October 2016.

The U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, has awarded an 18-month, $500,000 grant to ICI's Global Resource Center on Inclusive Education (ICI/GRC) to create an international community of learning that promotes inclusive education, disability advocacy and policy, and community inclusion.

Funded as a 2016 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Anniversary Program grant, the project began  and is led by ICI/GRC in collaboration with the University of Minnesota's Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (Dr. Christopher Johnstone) and Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs (Dr. Sherry Gray), as well as Arizona State University's Division of Educational Leadership and Innovation (Dr. Iris Drower). Additionally, they are partnering with universities and NGOs in four other countries:

India: Tata Institute of Social Sciences

Kazakhstan: Nazarbayev University Graduate School of Education and Bilim-Central Asia Educational Center

Armenia: UNICEF-Armenia  and Armenian State Pedagogical University

Ukraine: Vasyl Stefanyk Precarpathian National University  and Odessa Development Fund.

A total of 28 fellows will participate in a 4-6 week exchange in Minnesota or Arizona. "The exchange will focus on inclusive education and be based on the principles of experiential learning, reflective practice, inclusive service learning, and person-centered planning," says project co-director Renáta Tichá. Sixteen participants who serve as mentors for the fellows while in the U.S. will travel to the respective countries to follow-up on their inclusive education grand challenges, conduct workshops, and provide technical assistance."

The fellowship program is preparing the next generation of international faculty and trainers in inclusive education. They will be able to use what they learn to support the wider and more effective implementation of inclusive education in their home countries," says project co-director Brian Abery (pictured speaking in Armenia this October).