U.S. Department of State 2019 International Professional Fellows Program on Inclusive Disability Employment for east Africans (Fully Funded to USA)

Application Deadline: November 19th 2018

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the Professional Fellows Program on Inclusive Disability Employment (PFP-IDE) supports 20 mid-career professionals (Fellows) from Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, who are committed to advancing inclusive employment for individuals with disabilities. Fellows will participate in an intensive five-week program at a university-based research and education center for disabilities in the U.S. They will learn innovative strategies to promote economic empowerment of individuals with disabilities through the growth of inclusive employment opportunities. 

Eligibility Criteria

  1. Be between the ages of 25 and 40;
  1. Be currently living and working in Kenya, Uganda or Tanzania;
  1. Be eligible to receive a U.S. J-1 visa;
  1. Be proficient in spoken and written English;
  • Speaking proficiency means that you are able to participate effectively in most formal and informal conversations on practical, social, and professional topics. Communication in spoken English as interpreted by a sign language interpreter (which will be provided by the Fellowship program) through use of American, Kenyan or Ugandan Sign Language qualifies you for speaking proficiency.
  • Reading proficiency means you are able to read standard newspaper items, routine correspondence, reports, and technical materials in your special field.
  1. Have at least two (2) or more years of relevant work experience with or for non-governmental organizations (NGOs), government offices, universities, schools or community-based organizations;
  1. Have professional interest and/or experience in inclusive employment and disabilities;
  1. Be self-directed and able to work effectively in a cross-cultural setting;
  1. Have demonstrated leadership and collaborative skills;
  1. Be able to participate in the Professional Fellows Program on Inclusive Disability Employment in the US either in the spring (April 27- May 27, 2019)
  1. Be committed to returning to your home country for a period of two (2) years after completion of the program; and
  1. Be committed to implementing an individual project that will benefit young people with disabilities and promote greater inclusive employment in your region, country, or community following completion of the program.


Fellows receive funding for their Fellowship-related travel to and within the U.S.,
accommodations in the U.S., and more, including:
• Visa
• Round-trip travel between home country and U.S.
• Accident and health insurance for the duration of the Fellowship in the U.S.
• Living allowance (or equivalent supports) to cover costs of meals, housing, and
incidental expenses
• Disability-related arrangements, if needed

Key Program Activities:
Fellows will engage in:
1. An orientation to the program and life in the U.S. Fellows will learn about the U.S.
disability movement and disability rights, with a focus on inclusive employment.
2. A Professional Fellows Congress which will provide an opportunity to meet with hundreds
of other Professional Fellows from many countries who are participating in other exchange
programs. During the Congress, Fellows will engage in discussions and professional trainings to support the development of projects at home.
3. A homestay with an American family at least one week (or four weekends) in duration.
4. A Fellowship at a host site in the U.S., likely a university-based research andeducation
center or community-based organization at which Fellows will work alongside experts, and
study policies and practices in inclusive employment. Fellows will be placed with a host whose expertise matches their individual professional goals.
5. Weekly group seminars in which Fellows will discuss their host site placements, share
experiences, and learn about leadership and inclusive employment with mentors andpeers.
6. An individualized inclusive employment project that is developed with support from host
mentors and implemented upon the Fellow’s return home. Project implementation may include a technical assistance trip by a host site mentor to the Fellow’s home country.
7. Ongoing access to alumni from other programs sponsored by the U.S. Department of
State, which will provide opportunities to share information and experiences, and to seek peer support and mentoring.

Selection Process:

Applicant Screening. PFP- IDE staff will review all applications and select those individuals whose applications best meet the program objectives. Successful applicants will be invited to participate in an interview.

Candidate Interviews. Selected candidates will be invited to participate in a 45-minute individual interview with a program staff member and a Cultural Affairs Officer from the U.S. Embassy in their home country. The interview will:

  • Explore the candidate’s ideas for a proposed project that addresses a policy or practice-related issue concerning inclusive employment and disability in his or her home country;
  • Assess candidate’s English language proficiency through conversation about the project in question, prior experience and other matters.

The interview will take place either in person or remotely via an online communication platform such as Skype.

Candidate Selection and Next Steps: The interview panel and the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs will select Fellows after interviewing all potential candidates. Both successful and unsuccessful candidates will be notified of the final selection decisions.

Successful candidates will be matched with a university center in the U.S. that will serve as their Fellowship host site. They will be connected with a mentor from the university faculty who shares their specialized interest in inclusive employment and will guide their individual Fellowship training.

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the 2019 International Professional Fellows Program on Inclusive Disability Employment 


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