September 25, 2018  

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Institute for Disability Studies to Host ADA Early Education Fellow

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Nuala Ribeiro

Nuala Ribeiro’s passion for helping children with disabilities in her home country of Kenya has enabled her to secure an internship with the Institute of Disability Studies at The University of Southern Mississippi. Ribeiro comes to Hattiesburg, Miss., as part of the ADA International Fellowship Program.

Because marginalized communities in the U.S. share similar challenges to excluded communities in Kenya, Ribeiro, who has also worked in the United Kingdom, will join the Mississippi Early Childhood Inclusion Center at IDS to learn about and adapt programs for her young students back home. Her internship begins later this month.

“We are excited to welcome Nuala Ribeiro to Southern Miss, said Dr. Alicia Westbrook, director of the Mississippi Early Childhood Inclusion Center. “She will be completing her fellowship with MECIC; a statewide program that provides quality training and technical assistance to early childhood educators who teach infant, toddler, and preschoolers with disabilities in their childcare centers and preschool programs. 

Westbrook notes that while here, Ribeiro will develop an inclusive education project that she will implement upon returning to her home country. This project will be closely connected to the work being done at MECIC. Riberiro will work with the MECIC team for four weeks before returning to Kenya.

The ADA International Fellowship Program is part of the Professional Fellows Program, an exchange initiative sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. The program is administered by the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) and the Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts Boston (ICI).

“IDS is honored to have this opportunity to host an ADA International Fellow at Mississippi’s University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities,” said Dr. Rebekah Young, IDS interim director. “We look forward having Nuala at The University of Southern Mississippi and being able to contribute to her work to enhance access to education for children with disabilities in Kenya.”

For more information about the MECIC, contact Dr. Alicia Westbrook at