Partners of Refugees in Illinois Disability Employment (PRIDE) Celebration

Group photo of everyone who attended the PRIDE program

December 4, 2019

UIC came together on December 4, 2019 with Illinois's Department of Human Services, advocacy organizations, and refugee/asylee communities to celebrate the culmination of a three-year project, Partners of Refugees in Illinois Disability Employment (PRIDE).

UIC faculty Rooshey Hasnain and Mansha Mirza initiated the project, which is designed to offer support for disabled refugees and asylees who wish to seek employment. Participants spoke of isolation, barriers to communication access, unfamiliarity with the particularities of American support programs, and cultural shifts in levels of accessibility, compared to their home countries. One gap that PRIDE addresses is a lack of familiarity and expertise about disability and accessing employment among organizations and agencies that serve refugee populations. Among other achievements, the project has developed and disseminated trainings for service providers, so that they are better equipped to connect refugees/asylees with disabilities to employment, based on Person-Centered Planning. The program has also developed a strong peer mentoring network, which provides ongoing community for empowerment and access.

The celebration was also a call to action to continue the work of advocating for those living at the intersection of refugee or asylee status and disability status, building coalitions across disability-focused advocacy groups and immigration-focused advocacy groups.

Learn more about the PRIDE project: