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My Summer in D.C.

July 29, 2015
Neelam Dhadankar smiles at camera

Neelam Dhadankar

By Neelam Dhadankar

This summer I am one of six participants in the United States International Council on Disabilities (USICD) Youth in International Development and Foreign Affairs internship program. When I first learned about USCID from my professor at the University of Wisconsin Madison, I was intrigued by their advocacy and vision of a world in which people with disabilities are empowered and able to participate fully in society. My placement for this internship program at World Learning where I spent eight weeks learning about how an organization promotes inclusive practices and promotes disability inclusion in all their work in education, exchanges and sustainable development.

World Learning is a unique organization because of its diversity. For me, it is this quality that sets it apart from other organizations. I have held many internships at various organizations, but have never come across an organization where there are people of so many nationalities, ethnicities, religions, and abilities all working together in one place. As someone who wants to have a global impact and promote inclusion of people with disabilities, being at such a diverse organization and having an opportunity to meet a network of international leaders in the disability field has helped me understand strategies for meeting the global challenges to inclusion.

Group of about 25 people smile at camera

Interns from internship programs coordinated by the U.S. International Council on Disabilities (USICD) and the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) came together at World Learning for a presentation on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities with Dr. Patricia Morrissey (far left, blue jacket)

Neelam Dhadankar is one of the participants in the 2015 USICD Youth in International Development and Foreign Affairs internship program.  She and other USICD program interns are writing a series of blog posts about their experiences with USICD’s internship program, to be posted at this blog.  USICD coordinates the internship program, which brings a cohort of students and recent graduates with disabilities to Washington, DC, each summer to complete internships at various international organizations in the Washington, DC, area.  Neelam Dhadankar completed her internship at World Learning Learn more about the internship program at  Read Neelam Dhadankar’s, and the biographies of other interns in the summer 2015 program, at  The views and opinions expressed at this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of USICD or World Learning.


One Comment leave one →
  1. July 30, 2015 12:40 am

    We are so lucky to have you active in our organization. It is my greatest hope that she will take these experiences and carry them for the rest of your life in your heart. It will not be easy out there, there are times you’re going to be discouraged, there are days when you will low on hope however, remember that one day A young person will be looking up to you. You can and will make a difference in this world!

    PS. Your professor seems pretty awesome too so buy them lunch!

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