Innovative Practices 2015 on Independent Living and Political Participation

“Infiltration strategy” for women and girls with disabilities

The three-week Women’s Institute on Leadership and Disability (WILD) program of Mobility International USA (MIUSA) has trained more than 200 women with disabilities from over 80 countries on strategies for improving the lives of women and girls with disabilities. Utilizing the innovative WILD strategy to move from exclusion to infiltration they have formed partnerships with development organizations and governments.

“WILD has succeeded in raising strong and dynamic women who are assertive enough to engage their community leaders to promote the issues of women and girls with disabilities in their countries. I am such an example; my level of confidence has tripled since WILD.”

About the practice at a glance
Name of Innovative Practice:“Infiltration strategy” for women and girls with disabilities
Organisation:Mobility International USA (MIUSA)
of Implementation


    • The 200-plus disabled women activists are followed and measured in terms of their impact and accomplishments.
    • Within 6 months of attending WILD:
      • 72% of WILD alumni received funding or in-kind support from sources they acquired through WILD,
      • 500 more women and girls with disabilities received training from WILD alumni,
      • 92% of international development organization staff report that they had made changes to their organization’s policies, programs and practices to be more inclusive as a result of their participation in WILD.
    • Videos documenting the WILD program received Merit Awards at the Superfest International Disability Film Festival in 2008 and 2011.

089 WILD somen singing Darcy photo markedMIUSA is a place to gain confidence and pride, and to build the skills needed to be a force for change.


Founded in 1981, MIUSA is a disability-led non-profit organization headquartered in Eugene, Oregon, working to advance the rights of people with disabilities globally. By implementing innovative programs, MIUSA is building bridges to create a new era in which people with disabilities will take their rightful place in the world community. Women with disabilities are one of the most marginalized, under-served populations in the world, yet they offer tremendous potential for leadership and the ability to transform communities.


  • Creating a unique space for rights-based leadership training specifically for women and girls with disabilities. This is a place to gain confidence and pride, and to build the skills needed to be a force for change.
  • Promoting the strategy of infiltration for both disabled women activists and international development organizations. Disabled women activists must proactively become involved in  existing mainstream development programs. International development organizations and women leaders with disabilities must build partnerships to make such inclusion sustainable.


Utilizing these strategies, disabled women activists and the development community can break the strong links between poverty and disability – championing the inclusion of women and girls with disabilities as beneficiaries and leaders in the many life-enhancing and life-saving development programs that are changing their communities.


Susan DUNN
Project Manager
Mobility International USA
132 E. Broadway suite 343
Eugene, OR 97405
Phone: 1 (541) 343-1284 ext. 17
Cell: 1 (541) 731-1356