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MEAF E-NEWS                                     August 2015
Americans with Disabilities Act Turns 25

ADA 25 Logo

In July, MEAF celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Kevin Webb, Sr. Director, presented at the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) Conference with former American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) summer interns on the importance of internship opportunities for future employment.

The history of the ADA and the independent living movement sparked changes worldwide, as demonstrated by a group of 60 youth with disabilities from Japan who attended the conference and spoke about inclusion efforts and disability rights efforts in Japan.

Tara Havlicek, Program Officer, also volunteered at the Smithsonian ADA Festival meeting youth from across the country committed to inclusion as the ADA continues to improve lives.

In this newsletter MEAF invites you to learn how national grantees along with Mitsubishi Electric employee volunteers are promoting inclusion in the U.S. from access to arts, sports to leadership, and ultimately independence and employment.     

Disability Rights are Civil Rights...happy ADA!

Headshots of 6 USICD interns from the 2015 class
Access and Ability Awareness

MEAF was honored to meet the 2015 class of US International Council on Disabilities interns in Washington, DC. These interns are part of a MEAF-supported program that places students with disabilities in foreign affairs and international exchange organizations. The students also have the opportunity to blog about their experiences and ideas to strengthen inclusion practices around the world. Check out this blog post on the importance of access in elections. 

Employment and Leadership 

MEAF is proud to support the Career Link Mentoring Program with US Business Leadership Network. This program matches 72 college students with professional mentors around the nation for a six month mentoring relationship. Students participating in the program gain exposure to career opportunities in their field of interest, learn to network with others, and practice leadership development skills, which in turn prepares them for the world of work upon graduation.

I am Norm
Education and Inclusion

In 2010, MEAF supported a youth summit where 20 students with and without disabilities came together and came up with the I am Norm Campaign, dedicated to redefining "normal" and promoting inclusion in schools and communities everywhere.  The youth went on to speak at conferences as disability leaders and advocates. One participant, Tia Holmes, is starting her freshman year at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill and was featured on their website still advocating for inclusion, this time while pursuing her degree in Computer Science. 

Did You Know?
If you are a college graduate on the Autism Spectrum you can apply for a paid internship at Freddie Mac in Virginia. Learn all about it here and send your resume to by 5pm EST on August 24.
22 Japanese Expats pose near a garden at the Hope School in California
Environment and Health

This summer, the DREAM Committee at MEUS/Cypress, CA and MEAF showed 22 Japanese Expatriates the importance of philanthropy and giving back to your community. The volunteers prepared an experiential learning garden for the Hope Special Education School where students with disabilities can learn more about nature and nutrition.
HOPE Committee from MEPPI Warrendale, PA takes a group photo at the Lifesteps Softball Tournament
Sports and Community

The HOPE Committee from MEPPI/Warrendale, PA participated in a softball tournament to raise money for a local organization, Lifesteps, which helps people with and without disabilities in the community. Mitsubishi Electric volunteers across the US participate in sports like 5ks, softball tournaments, and golf outings to events with Special Olympics and Miracle League making sure all children have access to activities in their communities.   
VISION Committee from MEAU Vernon Hills, IL poses for a group picture at NWSRA Day Camp Olympics
Arts and Culture

The VISION Committee from MEAU/Vernon Hills, IL volunteered with Northwest Special Recreation Association to host a family day for children with disabilities and their loved ones. Volunteers worked one-on-one with the students as they explored the arts and culture of Hawaii - from feeling sand between their fingers, making music, and learning about the Aloha State. 
M>PWR Events / Deadlines / Reminders
National Grantees 
- Final Decisions made by December 1

Mitsubishi Electric Volunteer Committees 
- Spend/Commit Deadline is September 30
- Quarterly Reports due October 6