Dr Megan Peters’s passion for international travel and new cultural experiences is both what led her to want to host a PFP-IDE fellow, and what made her an exciting participant in the outbound program.
She had the opportunity to experience both far away travel and an explosion of cultural experiences as she traveled from her home of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to Kampala, Uganda. In Uganda, she assisted Hassan Waddimba, program associate for the East Africa Center for Disability Law and Policy and her mentee during the spring 2018 fellowship, in implementing his follow along project. Dr Peters works as the Director of Education and Training for the Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics section of the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center (OUHSC) as well as the Training Director for the Oklahoma Interdisciplinary Leadership Education in Neuro- developmental and related Disabilities (LEND) program. The project that she and Hassan worked on was titled ‘Building Sustainable Collaborations to Promote Long-term Employment of Persons with Disabilities in Uganda.’ Together they sampled a selection of government ministries, departments, agencies, and local governments to determine the extent to which individuals with disabilities are employed in the public sector in Uganda, and the perceived benefits of this employment to the individual and community. In the long term, it aims to develop recommendations and to inform policy development to improve employment for persons with disabilities in Uganda.
The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center is located in Oklahoma City. Hassan Waddimba collaborated with the Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics section of the College of Medicine and had extensive opportunities to observe various inclusiveemployment programs that the Center implements across the state of Oklahoma. These include The Disability Coalition, which operates under the Sooner SUCCESS program, which is a major initiative that promotes positive long-term outcomes for youth with disabilities by ensures comprehensive educational, health and social services. The Center also administers several projects focused on educating private sector employers about the value of hiring individuals with disabilities and how to provide appropriate supports. Additionally, the Center provides key services to people with disabilities in partnership with both the state and federal government, and leads two major federally funded projects: Add UsIn (funded by the U.S. Office of Disability Employment Policy), and the Work Incentives Planning and Assistance Project (funded by the U.S. Social Security Administration). Hassan Waddimba had the opportunity to observe its partnerships and will learn critical lessons on how to engage public and private sector stakeholders in advancing inclusion.
Oklahoma is a rural state, but Oklahoma City is a large city with a lot of character and diversity. Placement in this unique community will exposed Hassan Waddimba to a subset of American culture that is different to what they would encounter in many other parts of the United States. The Center has provided educational exchange opportunities many international trainees from Africa and Asia and is currently hosting a research fellow from Japan.
Megan K. Peters, PT, D.Sc., PCS is a clinical assistant professor and director of teaching and education. She was thrilled to host Hassan Waddimba and to continue to engage in her already extensive international experience. Dr. Peters has lived in Europe and Canada, has familial roots in the United Kingdom, Kenya and Uganda, and is eager to continue to provide mentorship to Hassan Waddimba and collaborate on developing an innovative inclusive employment project.