Raphael Adam Mwambalaswa spent his Professional Fellowship at The University of Iowa Center for Disabilities and Development (CDD).
“While here, I have made a lot of friends from different programs. I have their contacts and I will be communicating with them. […] Whatever aspect they have that needs to be incorporated into my project that I implement, I’ll seek their advice, I’ll seek from them whatever resources they have.”
Raphael Adam Mwambalaswa has extensive experience working in the fields of inclusive education and inclusive employment in his home country of Tanzania. He has worked in education for five years, and is currently a tutor at Morogoro Teachers’ College, where he supports students and teachers and carries out research and consultancy activities. Raphael hopes to use his education platform as a starting point to become a catalyst of social justice in the disability field.
Living with a visual impairment himself, Raphael has experienced firsthand the lack of employment that exists for people with disabilities in institutions of higher learning in Tanzania. Using his own personal and professional experience and fueled by a frustration with the system as it currently stands, Raphael has made it his goal to change this.
Raphael intends to use his fellowship experience to raise awareness of employers at higher learning institutions about the benefits of employing people with disabilities. He intends to do so by providing people with disabilities with knowledge and skills to facilitate easy communication between them and their non-disabled peers, eradicating negative attitudes of professionals and other community members towards people with disabilities, and advocating for inclusive education and employment for people with disabilities in broader contexts.