UW-Stevens Point Special Needs Aquatic Program partners to bolster disability rights in China
The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Special Needs Aquatic Program (SNAP) has been selected to participate in a U.S. Department of State-sponsored international exchange program. Joanne Suomi, SNAP aquatic instructor, will travel to Guangzhou, China in August.
The Professional Fellows EMPOWER Program, administered by Mobility International USA, aims to promote inclusive communities and advance the rights of persons with disabilities worldwide.
UW-Stevens Point’s SNAP will partner with two China-based organizations, Guangzhou Sport University and Guangzhou English Training Center for Handicapped, to develop long-term inclusive aquatic programs for persons with disabilities.
Suomi will travel to the Guangzhou Sport University for a preliminary visit to learn about disability issues and inclusion in this community and to lay the foundation for a collaborative project and an effective professional relationship.
A representative from Guangzhou English Training Center for Handicapped will visit SNAP at UW-Stevens Point Oct. 19-29 to gain experience on how issues in their field are addressed in the United States. This includes seeing various aquatic programs offered at UW-Stevens Point for those ages 6 months to 85 years.
SNAP is one of 20 U.S.-based organizations and institutions competitively selected to host approximately 40 disability rights advocates and leaders from 40 international organizations in 20 different countries. Projects range from inclusive education, independent living, health care rights, laws and policy, recreation and sports, access to public services and advocacy for all persons with disabilities. Learn more about the projects here.

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