A delegation of ten professionals from Kyiv, Ukraine will spend three weeks in the southern Virginia meeting their U.S. professional counterparts and studying how government, non-profit, academia, and business provide services to those with disabilities through an inclusive approach. The program is funded by USAID through the Alliance for Quality Education.
Inclusive Education in Ukraine
The Ukrainian Constitution declares that “The state guarantees free access to pre-school, secondary, vocational and high education”, but in practice, a very small percentage of children with disabilities are provided for. Kyiv is the center of educational policy making in Ukraine’s highly centralized education system. It is also home to a critical mass of NGO’s, institutions and educators who have the potential to develop a feasible model for Inclusive Education.
Goals of the Program
To support development of various forms of Inclusive Education in Ukraine by introducing basics of socialization and equal access to quality education for children with special needs.
Participants will study how Federal, State and Local governments in the U.S. are involved in implementing the guarantees for a free and appropriate public education. They will explore the cooperation among non-governmental, governmental and private organizations that work with people with special needs.
The U.S. experience will be used in Kyiv and shared with other regions in Ukraine by returning participants. During the Inclusive Education Program Ukrainian experts will be introduced to models and benefits of Inclusive Education, methods of lobbying for change, addressing concerns of parents, volunteer programs that support Inclusive Education, funding challenges, the role of teachers and administrations and collaborations between business, non-profit and academic institutions.
Backgrounds of Delegates
The Delegates from Kyiv will include ten persons who represent government and academic institutions and non-profit organizations.
About Community Connections
The program is designed to promote public diplomacy through the exchange of cultural ideas and values among participants, U.S. families and local community host organizations. It seeks to establish and strengthen links between U.S. communities and communities in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Ukraine.
Since 1994, over 500 business people, government officials, physicians, and other professionals were hosted by more than 250 companies, NGOs and families in the Roanoke, Bedford and Lynchburg areas as part of Legacy’s Community Connections program.