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 inclusive employment 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.