Program Details

Learn more about the Professional Fellows Program on Inclusive Disability Employment, and learn about application processes for Fellows and Hosts. The timeline of program activities is included as well.

The Professional Fellows Program on Inclusive Disability Employment (PFP-IDE) supports 20 mid-career professionals (Fellows) from Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania, selected through a competitive process, to participate in a five-week intensive fellowship program at a university-based research and education center for disabilities in the U.S. This fellowship is intended for current and potential leaders or advocates in the government, civil society, or the private sector who are committed to serving persons with disabilities.

The program specifically targets individuals between the ages of 25 and 40 who are employers, program administrators, policymakers, or other stakeholders in employment for people with disabilities in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania.

Individuals from diverse backgrounds, including people with disabilities, are encouraged to apply. Reasonable accommodations, including materials in alternative formats (e.g. Braille, electronic, large print), are provided upon request.

For more information about the eligibility criteria, please visit Am I Eligible?

“My capacity as a leader has been developed so I will be able to coach and mentor other people. So it is not only about me but we can build an institution that cascades learning across borders.”

– Vincent Ogutu, Fall 2018 Fellow

How will participants and their institutions benefit?

Fellows in this program will learn approaches that can inform their efforts to strengthen employment access for people with disabilities in their home countries. They will also form connections with mentors at the university centers that serve as their host sites, and will plan an inclusive employment project that they will implement in their home countries with support from their host mentors.

When and where will the training take place, and what are the key program activities?  

Fellows will participate in one of two cohorts scheduled for late April through late-May and mid-October through mid-November.

The core of the program is an individual fellowship with a university-based research and education center for disabilities in the U.S. The fellowship will address a key policy or practice issue related to disability and employment in the Fellow’s country or local community. The fellowship training will be complemented with weekly leadership seminars, mentorship, and community service.

Key program activities include:

  1. An orientation to the program and life in the U.S. During the one- day orientation, which will take place in Washington, D.C., Fellows will learn about the U.S. disability movement and disability rights, with a focus on inclusive employment.
  2. A Professional Fellows Congress which will provide an opportunity to meet with hundreds of other Professional Fellows from many countries who are participating in other exchange programs. During the Congress, Fellows will have the opportunity to engage in discussions and professional trainings designed to further support the projects that Fellows are developing and that they will be implemented upon return to their home countries.
  3. Individual Fellowship Training at a host site in the U.S., usually a university-based research and education center for disabilities in the U.S. where Fellows will work alongside experts and study policies and practices in inclusive employment. Fellows will be placed with a host whose expertise best matches their individual professional goals.
  1. Weekly group seminars where Fellows will discuss their host site placement and share personal experiences and progress with developing their individual fellowship projects. These seminars will be facilitated by the PFP-IDE Program staff (AUCD, ICI & HI).
  2. An individualized inclusive employment project that each Fellow will develop in the course of their onsite fellowship training with support from the host mentor. Fellows will implement the projects upon return to their home countries.
  3. Additional in- country support for Fellows’ project provided by their host mentor. Fellows’ project implementation may include additional in-country support (training, mentoring, and/or technical assistance) provided by the Fellow’s host mentor through an outbound trip. Approximately 6 hosts will receive funding to travel to their Fellow’s home country to assist directly with the project implementation.

“The biggest takeaway from my outbound trip and what’s interesting to me is that In Tanzania, there is no need to convince anybody why this [inclusive disability employment] is important, [but] they don’t have the resources and infrastructure to make it happen. We have the opposite problem in the U.S. We have the infrastructure, the resources, and the know-how. We don’t have the buy-in.  So …This is a bi-directional learning opportunity.”

— Dr. Julie Christensen, Spring 2018 Outbound U.S. Fellow

  1. Ongoing access to alumni from other Professional Fellows Programs sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, which will provide opportunities to share information and experiences, and seek peer support and mentoring.

Fellows will work with their host on devising an inclusive employment project to be implemented in the Fellow’s home country upon their return at the end of the program. The project plan may include a proposed work visit by a host staff member to the Fellow’s country. Approximately 6 hosts will receive funding to travel to a Fellow’s home country to assist directly with project implementation.

What expenses does the Fellowship cover?

Fellows will receive funding for their fellowship-related travel to and within the U.S., accommodations in the U.S., and more including:

  • Visa
  • Round trip travel between home country and U.S.
  • Accident and health insurance for the duration of the fellowship in the U.S.
  • Living allowance (or equivalent supports) to cover costs of meals, housing and incidental expenses (these funds, or some portion of them, can go directly to hosts if needed)
  • Reasonable disability-related accommodations, if needed

For more information about fellowship coverage, or if you have questions, please contact