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  • Ondrea Li

Disability Rights: A Project for Tajikistan Program Recap

From June 20th to 23rd, we hosted “Disability Rights: A Project for Tajikistan” in eastern Iowa. The program welcomed five delegates from Tajikistan. During their visit to eastern Iowa, the delegation engaged with various professionals to enhance their knowledge and skills of civil society organizations working on disability issues.

Following the delegation’s arrival in Iowa City, Iowa from Des Moines, the next day, they began their program with a meeting with the University of Iowa REACH Program at the Linquist Center.

John Achrazoglou, a Global Ties Iowa Board Member, accompanied the delegation as they met with the Director of the UI REACH Program Bill Loyd, and Associate Research Scientist Erica Kaldenberg. They discussed the program’s objectives and exchanged ideas about empowering youth with disabilities through enhanced educational opportunities.

Following the UI REACH Program meeting, the delegation enjoyed some refreshments before continuing their meeting with ADA Coordinator Tiffini Stevenson Early from the University of Iowa Office of Institutional Equity. Another Global Ties Iowa Board Member Melissa Meisterheim accompanied the delegation as they learned about how the Americans with Disability Act is executed at a local level.

The next morning, the delegation was accompanied by Global Ties Iowa Executive Director Amy Alice Chastain and U.S. Department of State Office of International Visitors Deputy Director Ali Baskey on the way to their first meeting of the day with Combined Efforts Theatre at the Englert Theatre. The delegation then met with Ken Gayley for a private screening of a recent documentary, “Combined Efforts – Changing Perspectives of Disabilities through Performance” and engaged in discussion afterward with members of the Combined Efforts Board of Directors. After their meeting, the delegation had the opportunity to enjoy the rest of the afternoon in downtown Iowa City.

The delegation’s time in eastern Iowa came to an end on Friday morning as they departed for Chicago.

We would like to extend our appreciation to the UI REACH program, the University of Iowa ADA Coordinator, Office of Institutional Equity, and Combined Efforts Theatre for their professional engagement with the delegation! Thank you to our volunteers John Achrazoglou and Melissa Meisterheim for taking the time to accompany the delegation. Additionally, we would also like to thank Deputy Director Ali Baskey and Amy Alice Chastain for their enthusiastic engagement with the delegation!


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