IIE Networker - Spring 2011 - (Page 43)

DIVERSITY CULTURE Best Practices for When Diversity Is Commonplace By Michele Scheib EACH CULTURE HAS its folklore, and in disability culture I heard a story about a pioneering disability leader, Ed Roberts, that went like this: He would roll onto the stage to deliver a keynote speech in his power wheelchair and ask all the people in the audience, who could, to stand. As he spoke, people in the audience began shifting and squirming, and a few bold folks would take their seat. Only then would he make his point. He said roughly, “For all of you who did not bring your chair with you today, I applaud the conference sponsors who have seamlessly budgeted $5 a chair into the cost of the conference for you to be accommodated.” In international education we have the opportunity to recognize the essential aspects of our programs and evaluate them for what we choose to include and what, or whom, we do not. As a field, we work against provincialism in the name of global understanding. We believe insights into different cultures and collaboration beyond borders opens the world to new solutions. The same is true for diversity. Research suggests that some students with disabilities are participating in study abroad in similar proportion to their numbers on campuses, but how well are these students included into all aspects of programs? If students with and without disabilities are to be equitably considered in international education, what must change? The following best practices for including people with disabilities highlight opportunities to change our programs to accommodate everyone. Best Practice Concept: Universal Design Following the principles of universal design, education abroad professionals look at what is usable by the widest range of people in the widest range of situations. Let’s take the case of a wheelchair user on a program, although this concept is applicable to all disability types. A recent presentation by a coordinator in Spain receiving U.S. students revealed that she had changed the location of a field excursion to accommodate a student who used a wheelchair, Ming Canaday (front), a wheelchair user and sophomore majoring in International Studies and Chinese at the University of Oregon, studied abroad with CIEE in Shanghai, China, in summer 2010. 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 en ta l r Ot he Le a Di No Figure 1: Percent of Students in Each Disability Type Who Studied Abroad and indicated they will be keeping the new excursion site for future groups regardless of whether or not they have students with disabilities. The location change resulted in unexpected benefits, such as a site closer to town which made it easier for transportation and timing of activities. She learned that when one door closes, another one opens. 43 De ve lo p n- M Se ns or M Ov er al l d y l l g ta bl e rn en ilit sa m M ob ed ica in y

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IIE Networker - Spring 2011

IIE Networker - Spring 2011
A Message from Allan E. Goodman
IIENetworker University Presidents Interview Series
2011 IIE Andrew Heiskell Awards: Innovation in International Education
100,000 Strong: Building Strategic Trust in U.S.-China Relations through Education
Experiencing Difference: The Meaning of Globalization at a Diverse Institution
Diversity in International Education: The Time Is Now
Diversity in Education Abroad: A Plan for Our Campuses
Best Practices for Diversifying Study Abroad on Your Campus
The Ethnorelative Engineer: Culturally Immersive Study Abroad Programs for Engineering Students
NanoJapan: Preparing Globally Savvy Researchers
Minority Faculty: The Key to Diversifying Study Abroad
Best Practices for When Diversity Is Commonplace
Advertisers’ Index
IIE Program Profile

IIE Networker - Spring 2011