July 26, 2020 marks the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). To celebrate this groundbreaking legislation, the Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) has launched the Access for All campaign to highlight the State Department’s continued commitment to promoting equal opportunities for persons with disabilities, as well as ECA’s successes in inclusive exchange programs.
Since the passage of this legislation in 1990, the ADA has inspired disability civil rights laws around the world. ECA programs such as FLEX empower participants to advance disability rights, improve accessibility, and promote mainstream education and employment in their home countries.
FLEX is committed to making the program accessible to all eligible candidates and encourages interested students with disabilities to apply. During recruitment, accommodated testing materials are available. While on program in the United States, finalists with disabilities also have access to certain accommodations and additional support from their placement organizations, host families, and host schools, to ensure that their ability to have a successful program experience is the same as that of their peers.
students with disabilities have taken part in FLEX, and describe it as a powerful path to independence and increased self-confidence.