AUCD Professional Fellows Alumni: Innovations in Inclusion in 2020

December 11, 2020

AUCD celebrated the UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities by showcasing innovative global leadership in inclusion by our Professional Fellows alumni in Africa. AUCD Professional Fellows are disability rights advocates from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda who have learned best practices in inclusive employment at U.S. disability rights centers via an international exchange program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. AUCD implements the Professional Fellows Program on Inclusive Disability Employment (PFP-IDE) with ICI-UMass Boston and Humanity & Inclusion.

AUCD's alumni have created many innovative initiatives that are enhancing inclusion despite difficult conditions. See below to learn more about their work:

Bijal Lal (Tanzania - Ohio UCEDD/LEND)

  • Created AMSEN-OSU ECHO Tanzania Program, which enables monthly virtual trainings between Ohio UCEDD faculty, special education teachers in Tanzania, and Ohio LEND trainees. The new program promotes professional collaboration, shares network resources globally, and lets LEND trainees learn about disability inclusion overseas.

Vincent Ogutu (Kenya - Mississippi UCEDD)

  • Led the Social Innovation Lab Project, an inclusive livelihoods and self-advocacy programs that helps young Africans with disabilities become small entrepreneurs and survive COVID-19's economic damage.

Gwaliwa Mashaka (Tanzania - Ohio UCEDD)

  • Created Employable Africa, an award-winning online platform that connects individuals with disabilities to employers and provides guidance on reasonable accommodations and CART transcription across Africa, which is unprecedented.

Maria Omare (Kenya - Massachusetts UCEDD)

  • Created Somesha, an Android app with digital books, mental health tools, inclusive teaching guides, and accurate COVID-19 news for children, families, and teachers.

Archy Gomba (Tanzania - Iowa UCEDD)

  • Led public awareness and handwashing campaign to promote knowledge of how to stay safe from COVID-19 in villages with limited news and health resources.

Jackline Lidubwi (Kenya - Massachusetts UCEDD)

  • Led a campaign for inclusive, accessible media reform and an initiative to hire more journalists with disabilities.

Bernadette Muyomi (Kenya - South Dakota UCEDD)

  • Advocated for inclusive response in rural villages to government officials and created mental health hotlines in isolated communities affected by COVID-19.

Noella Luka (Kenya - Rooted in Rights)

  • Directed award-winning documentary on mental health that uses personal storytelling to challenge stigma and raise awareness in Kenya.

Susan Sabano (Uganda - Virtual)

  • Conducted Show Abilities Uganda, an initiative that trains individuals with disabilities in self-employment and vocational skills to ensure independent living during COVID-19