Ripple Effects

Ripple Effects: Travelers with Disabilities Abroad is a podcast brought to you by Mobility International USA, where we listen to the vivid stories from people with disabilities going abroad and the positive impact these experiences have on shifting ideas of what is possible. For our first podcast series, we will hear from people who are blind or have low vision as part of our #BlindAbroad campaign from our National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange project, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. We hope the heart of their stories resonates with you the listeners…to then share with others.
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Ripple Effects




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Oct 30, 2018

When Annie Tulkin went to teach English in rural Mongolia, she was not expecting to teach students with disabilities, and yet when she got there she found students with and without disabilities going to the same school, and to the same classes, and things just worked. She shared her experience with us in episode 6, and the conversation drove home the fact that you don't have to limit yourself to "developed" countries to feel included, and sometimes the more interesting experiences come from seeing how other people make accessibility happen. podcast/Mongolia

Oct 23, 2018

Assistive technology is any technology that can assist us to reach our goals, such as volunteering or studying abroad. Mark Bookman not only utilized assistive technology during his times in Japan, he also discovered an interest in developing his own AT solution, and we got to spend episode 5 talking about where he sees it going. podcast/ATJapan

Oct 16, 2018

Get a better sense of how to study abroad with Suzanne Sears of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Teneisha Ellis of the University of Northern Colorado from this conversation in which they shared tips on how to approach your study abroad and disability service offices while taking charge of your exchange experience. podcast/insiders

Oct 9, 2018

Whether you spend a semester or more studying abroad, or volunteer teaching English after you graduate, chances are you will end up going with a third party exchange provider. Third-party providers can be a great option for studying or volunteering abroad, because they have the scale and expertise to offer a safe, structured and accessible experience overseas in a wide selection of countries. In episode 3, Justin spoke with Maritheresa Frain and Morgan Reiss from the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) to get a sense of when it is best to choose a third-party provider. podcast/third-party


Oct 2, 2018

If you have a disability, your college wants you to study abroad. In this episode, Justin talks with Stephanie Roberts and Chuck Eade of Denver University about how your college benefits when you study abroad, as well as the work that institutions like DU are doing to make their programs more accessible. podcast/DUAbroad

Sep 25, 2018

 If you are first-generation, a person of color, LGBTQ, low income, a person with a disability, or a mix of those identities, you have a valuable contribution to make. Mobility International USA, Abroad with Disabilities and Diversity Abroad are 3 organizations actively working to promote an international exchange field where all identities and perspectives are included. In episode 1, Justin talks with Trixie Cordoba, Associate Director of Diversity Abroad and Juanita Lillie, President of Abroad with Disabilities about the uniquely distinct work that we do to make international exchange better for everyone.

Sep 25, 2018

Over the last decade, the international exchange field has experienced a renaissance in disability access. In season 4 of Ripple Effects, we took a closer look at some of those changes, and the reasons why people with disabilities should seriously think about studying or volunteering abroad. Join our host, Justin Harford, as he gives an overview of season 4. podcast/youcan

Dec 19, 2017

Jessica discovered that study abroad can resonate even working stateside. Find out how.

Dec 5, 2017

Communication is contextual. Find out what that meant for Joseph Hill, a deaf African-American researcher focusing on the way that culture influences languages.

Nov 21, 2017

After many international exchange experiences including two Fulbright's, Kenny fries, a person with a physical disability, shares his career as a researcher, writer and teacher with Goddard College in Vermont.

Oct 31, 2017

Some people find their way to international development through a masters program. Anjali found her way on the racetrack.

Oct 24, 2017

A teacher, a leader in the Ugandan disability community and a woman who loves to sing, Flavia has come far since getting her MA from UT Austin. Find out how she defied the odds.

Oct 10, 2017

This disability community organizer learned to think on his feet and go with the flow while abroad in Russia and Japan.

Sep 26, 2017

Twenty years and four languages later, Stacy has dedicated her career connecting with others through language and enabling them to express themselves. To think it all started with a high school year abroad in Germany!

Oct 25, 2016

Funding graduate education in the United States is intimidating
for many international students, with and without disabilities, but it
doesn't have to be. Join us as we discuss some well-known and not so
well-known methods of taking your funding strategy to the next level.

For more information and transcription of this episode, visit

Oct 11, 2016

After finishing three degrees and learning two languages in the United States Wei Wang has learned that creativity is the key to achieving her dreams.

For a video version of this episode, visit

For more information and transcription of this episode, visit

Sep 27, 2016

Can you imagine a scholarship that focuses on networking and
social justice issues? That was just one of the pleasant surprises that
Sergio found on his Fulbright program at Boston University.

For more information and transcription of this episode, visit

Sep 13, 2016

Growing up in New Delhi, India with obvious physical
disabilities, Shivangi Agrawal lived life to the fullest. Yet, something was
missing.  Upon completing her Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and Bio
Cultural Anthropology from Oregon State University Corvallis, she discovered
what that was.

For more information and transcription of this episode, visit

Aug 30, 2016

After struggling to learn English in Palestine, Sameh decided
that he wanted to make the path for other blind students less bumpy. Thanks
to a scholarship from the US agency for international development, he is
closer to that goal than ever.

For more information and transcription of this episode, visit

Aug 16, 2016

Sheriff Rasheed, a Nigerian man with polio, was motivated to complete his graduate education in the United States after learning about the many opportunities available to people with disabilities. Eventually his dream came true, and what he found far exceeded his expectations. Listen to our conversation with him to learn how.

For more information and transcription of this episode, visit

Oct 20, 2015

Emily Molchan, who is blind, has gone on a number of international exchange programs. Listen as we read a story Emily wrote about being fearless abroad. As this marks the final episode of the #BlindAbroad series, make sure to hearour closing with campaign highlights and take aways.

For more information and transcription of this episode, visit

Oct 15, 2015

Serena Olsen, a current Peace Corps volunteer serving in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan encountered some obstacles with the application process as well as challenges with the placement process. Serena stayed persistent, creative, and focused on achieving this dream though. Listen how she made it work and also listen how this opportunity has impacted her and her community.

For more information and transcription of this episode, visit

Sep 28, 2015

Adriana Pulido, was one of the first persons with a disability in Colombia to receive a Fulbright scholarship. Let’s hear as she tells us about applying for the Fulbright and the impact it had for her personally and professionally.

For more information and transcription of this episode, visit

Sep 10, 2015

Erinn Snoeyink, a blind woman, has studied and taught abroad in Spain and loves her independence. Listen as she speaks about both international exchange programs and how integrating into her community helped her maintain her independence abroad.

For more information and transcription of this episode, visit

Sep 2, 2015

Erdem Yigitoglu, a blind man from Turkey, was accepted to a summer international honors program at Stanford University in California. He speaks about the hesitations of locals leaving a collectivistic disability culture and entering a more independent culture in the U.S. Hear from Erdem about his experience in the U.S and his first time surfing!


For more information and transcription of this episode, visit

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