Strengthening Inclusive Education in Ukraine

Mon May 13 2019
Several of the ADA Fellows from Ukraine at the University of Minnesota in 2017 with ICI's Renáta Tichá and Brian Abery.

Renáta Tichá and Brian Abery, co-directors of ICI’s Global Resource Center (GRC) on Inclusive Education, are collaborating with young professionals in Ukraine to strengthen inclusive education at the university and public school levels in six of that country’s regions through lectures, a train-the-trainer model, and mentoring. These activities, conducted by the GRC co-directors and six community consultants from Minnesota, are designed to positively affect pre-service trainees and practicing teachers, policymakers, students with and without disabilities, and families across Ukraine. The project, Developing Leadership Capacity in Inclusive Education: A U.S.–Ukrainian Partnership, focuses on universities and schools outside the Kiev region where resources tend to be significantly fewer than in the capital region. Grant activities will include U.S. staff traveling to Ukraine to support the continued development and expansion of Inclusion Without Borders, a national inclusive education community-of-learning initiative. The project builds on a partnership with Ukraine on inclusive education that began in 2017 when Ukrainian Fellows in the GRC's ADA Anniversary International Fellowship Program in Inclusive Education visited Minnesota (several of whom are pictured), followed by U.S. mentors visiting different regions of Ukraine.

“It is exciting to be part of a movement that started with our ADA Anniversary Fellowship program in Minnesota two years ago and blossomed into local and systems changes for teachers and students with disabilities in multiple regions of Ukraine,” says project co-director Tichá (extreme left in picture).

Abery (extreme right in picture), her co-director, agrees. “The strength and motivation of the project team and the work they are doing to facilitate inclusive education in Ukraine is amazing, with former fellows from all over the country making significant contributions,” he says. “Collaborating with each other on a regular basis, in spite of great distances between them, this group of educators truly exemplifies the maxim, ‘Together we are Better’.”

The project is funded with a $24,000 award from the U.S. Embassy Ukraine that began April 15, 2019 and ends June 30, 2020.