UMN to host 20 ADA Fellows from Armenia, India, Kazakhstan & Ukraine in April 2017

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Anniversary Inclusive Education Fellowship Program

The ADA Anniversary Fellowship Program in Inclusive Education will enable 28 participants from Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Armenia, and India to participate in a six-week intensive fellowship program at a wide variety of organizations in Minnesota or Arizona that support the educational inclusion of children with disabilities. The program, sponsored by the United States Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, is administered by the University of Minnesota (Institute for Community Education or ICI and the Humphrey School of Public Affairs or HHH) and Arizona State University in collaboration with international partners including Nazarbayev University & Bilim Central Asia Education Center in Kazakhstan; Armenian State Pedagogical University in Armenia; National Precarpathian University and the Odessa Development Fund in Ukraine; and the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in India. 

Seal of the Department of State of the United States of America.The ICI team and project heads are Brian Abery and Renáta Tichá.  Sherry Gray and Merrie Benasutti of the Humphrey School and Christopher Johnstone of the College of Education and Human Development round out the project team.  Staff members and students at the ICI, CEHD, and the HHH will contribute to the project implementation.

Truly inclusive education means that all children, including those with disabilities, are educated with their peers without disabilities in general education classrooms in their local schools. It involves more than such children being physically present and includes their active participation in all aspects of classroom life.

Over the course of their stay in the United States, ADA Anniversary Fellows will work and form connections with mentors from host organizations whose work focuses on the inclusion of persons with disabilities in varied settings. Participants will learn about the work of their mentors as well as contribute to an inclusion-based project being implemented within the organization. Based on their experiences in Minnesota or Arizona and the inclusive education needs in their countries, fellows with develop both a concept and action plan for an Inclusive Education Grand Challenge Project that will be implemented in their home country upon return. These projects will be implemented by fellows from each country as part of a team that includes partner organizations in the country as well as Minnesota or Arizona mentors.

For additional information, please contact: Brian Abery ( or Renáta Tichá ( at the University of Minnesota.

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