Independent Living Institute

Disabled Youth too can be Trainees or Volunteers
- Independent Living Institute Newsletter, April 2005

Newsletter Index and Info

Dear Colleague,

People with disabilities are under-represented in the workforce and in traineeships and volunteer opportunities, especially those requiring travel to another country. With support from the Swedish government the Independent Living Institute compiles information about university study, traineeships and volunteer work for all, including people with disabilities. Our online database covers many countries. It is in English, access is free of charge and open to anyone.

We encourage businesses, national and international government agencies as well as non-governmental organizations within and outside the disability field, everywhere, to include disabled people when offering traineeship or volunteer positions.

People with disabilities differ in their need for access or workplace adaptation. What may be inaccessible to one person, may not be an obstacle to another: an upstairs office without elevator is not a problem for a person with a hearing impairment.

To help businesses and organizations include disabled people we offer a resource kit with a checklist for assessing organizations’ accessibility, suggestions for a disability policy and similar resources.

Here’s how you can make a difference:

- if you are associated with an organization that offers traineeships or volunteer work, please have the human resources department fill in the form below
- if you know people working in an organization, business or governmental agency, anywhere – and who doesn’t – please forward this message to them
- spread this message within your networks through newsletters, announcements, websites and word of mouth

Please, be part of this effort and register your organization at


Adolf Ratzka, Ph.D.
Independent Living Institute

Other Services from the Independent Living Institute

Study and Work Abroad for All: In addition to information about traineeships and volunteer positions this free online database lists universities offering services for disabled students. Presently over 1,100 universities in 36 countries are covered. The database is in English, free of charge and open to anyone.

Accessible Vacation Home Exchange: lists offers for home exchanges for vacations. Next time you go for a vacation swap your home with somebody with similar accessibility needs in such destinations as France, Egypt, the UK or Canada. We have almost 200 homes in our free online database.

Assistant Referral Service: matches disabled assistance users and assistants in their hometown or in other parts of the world, for live-in or part- time positions or as travel companions. Assistants help with the activities of daily living, such as getting bathed and dressed, going shopping, driving, etc.

Global Networking: currently lists 300 organizations of and for persons with disabilities from around the world looking partner organizations for joint projects, events, sharing resource persons for lectures, training or technical assistance, for study visits, internships or other cooperation including funding.

Online full text Library: contains hundreds of articles, guides or manuals on independent living, Universal Design, human rights, legislation, women with disabilities, assistive devices.

Independent Living Discussion Forum: Regardless of what you have on your mind, you'll find an appropriate discussion forum that allows you direct contact with the thousands of visitors to our site each month.

Get Published: Expose your articles, reports, training manuals or other resources to people with disabilities, researchers, service providers and policymakers all over the world.

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