Contact: Starlet Hayes,
Development & Communications Director
414-226-8305 V/Relay

International visit to improve disability inclusion

From life-saving vaccines to more user-friendly consumer electronics to advances in water filtration technology, international collaboration has positively impacted the lives of millions of people across the world. IndependenceFirst, a Milwaukee nonprofit providing services that enable people with disabilities to live independently in the community, is pleased to host visitors from the Independent Living Movement in Japan and Costa Rica from July 30 through August 3 for cross-cultural information sharing to improve the lives of people with disabilities in our respective countries and beyond.
During the visit, representatives from the Independent Living Movement in the three countries will share information about the rights, achievements and barriers impacting people with disabilities in each of our countries, as well as discuss the work that our organizations do to advance full inclusion in every aspect of our communities.
IndependenceFirst is one of the largest Independent Living Centers in the nation and is a leader in both the state and nation in a number of areas including our Bathroom Assistive Technology (BAT) Demonstration Lab (also known as the “BAT Cave”), our Mobility Store equipment re-use program, our Personal Assistance Services program and our Independent Living Services program, and we look forward to sharing our expertise with the visitors and learning from them.
IndependenceFirst will also share some of Milwaukee’s celebrated accessible attractions with the visitors, such as the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Harley-Davidson Museum and Miller Park. We are looking forward to this time of cross-cultural information sharing to strengthen our respective Independent Living Movements.
About IndependenceFirst: Metro Milwaukee's FIRST nonprofit resource when people have questions regarding access and disability. We offer more than 20 programs and services for people with disabilities of all kinds, in all age groups. Over 50 percent of internal staff, management and board members are individuals with disabilities.
About the Global Independent Living Movement: There are more than one billion people with disabilities worldwide—comprising 15 percent of the world’s population—according to the World Report on Disability. The rights and access that people with disabilities have varies greatly across the world, and the Global Independent Living Movement, led by people with disabilities, works for equal access and full inclusion for people with disabilities, wherever they live. 

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