Dungarvin Nevada Participates in the Open World Program

Apr 17
Charlotte McClanahan, Senior Director
Dungarvin Nevada
Photo: Delegates and hosts at the governor’s mansion.

In March, Dungarvin’s Carson City, Nevada operation was asked to participate in the Open World Program sponsored by the Reno Club and the Open World Leadership Center with support from the U.S. state department. The Open World Leadership Center , an independent government agency of the United States Congress, sponsors and funds the Open World program, bringing emerging leaders from Eurasian countries to the United States in order to give them firsthand exposure to the American system of participatory democracy and free enterprise. Open World delegations consist of committed leaders (average age 38) who experience in-depth programming in themes of interest to Congress and of transnational impact including human-trafficking prevention, government and court transparency, and social challenges. The Open World program has nearly 18,000 alumni and a network of some 7,100 U.S. host families.

This year, the northern Nevada program targeted vocational supports for people with disabilities, and five professionals from Chelyabinsk, Russia were hosted in Reno. The delegation included:

  • The assistant to the Chelyabinsk Region Children’s Ombudsman for Public Relations, who focuses on the execution of special projects aimed at addressing various problems of disabled children.
  • Associate Professor at Far Eastern State Humanities University’s Department of Social and Human Technologies.
  • Editor in Chief of the Saturday Edition of Irkutsk Region News and Business Paper, who publishes pieces about the good works of the Rotarians of their city’s and children’s institutions.
  • General Counsel and head of the department in charge of systemizing company-related legal precedents and contracts, whose objective is to change the general
  • public’s attitude towards disabled people.
  • The Founder and Executive Director of Meteor Shower Organization for Children, an organization that provides assistance to children with Down syndrome, autism, paralysis, and other disabilities.

Activities of this exchange included tours and discussions at the governor’s mansion with the state director of health and human services, a specialty school for medically fragile children, a agency for full spectrum of work and day programs, Early Intervention, Vocational Rehabilitation, Nevada Mental Health, University of Nevada’s Center of Excellence on Disabilities and the Applied Behavioral Analysis Department, Center for Independent Living, Prosthetic Consulting Services, and Dungarvin.
Dungarvin Nevada’s Senior Director, Charlotte McClanahan, was involved in the planning of this exchange, the discussion about funding and the legislative process with the state director of health and human services, and hosted the final professional activity of the week in Carson City. The last discussion centered on the importance of residential/full spectrum supports to increase the probability of successful employment and/or vocational training and concluded with a tour of one of Dungarvin’s group homes.
While learning about the supports available in the United States, the delegates shared the status of disability services in Russia. It was apparent that services lag behind those in the U.S. by 20-30 years. The delegates were encouraged to see the possibilities and were surprised to learn that we still battle many of the same social challenges that they do. The week was educational and insightful for all participants, and Dungarvin Nevada hopes to be allowed the privilege of participating again.

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  1. DeAnna,

    I think it is great, and support for all, so very important; teamwork.