Hesperian staff member Jane Maxwell recently attended the 25th anniversary and alumni reunion of MIUSA (Mobility International USA) in Eugene, Oregon. This inspiring event brought together many men and women with disabilities from around the world who have participated in the international leadership trainings and exchange programs MIUSA has held since 1981. These programs have enabled disabled people from some of the poorest countries in the world to travel outside their countries for the first time, share their experiences, and learn about and promote successes for disability rights.
Some of the women attending this year’s meeting (Beatriz Satizabal from Brazil, Ekaete Judith Umoh from Nigeria, Silvina Casey from Argentina, Alicia Contreras from Mexico, Andrea Shettle from the USA) were among the many women with disabilities–from 40 countries–who have been involved with Jane in developing Hesperian’s upcoming publication A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities. We’re looking forward to releasing this long-awaited guide in November 2006. This same group of women also contributed to issue #11 of the Women’s Health Exchange “Access to Healthcare for Women with Disabilities.”
Tina Bregvadze of the Gori Disables Club, Republic of Georgia, commented about how unique a resource the book will be: “Your work to publish this book is very valuable. There are a lot of disabled women in the world who live in the extreme living conditions. They have not even enough food, not to say anything about buying books or getting education or searching useful information. This book is not an additional manual. This book is the ONLY GUIDE for them to solve or to reduce their health problems or needs.”