eti programs overview

Globally, an estimated one billion people live with some form of disability. Even though approximately 1 out of 7 people have a disability, persons with disabilities, on average, are most likely to experience adverse socioeconomic outcomes, less education, and fewer employment rates in comparison to persons without a disability. Of the 285 million visually impaired in the world, an estimated 19 million are children and only 2% are educated. In fact, less than 10% of youth with disabilities worldwide receive an education. This is a very disempowering narrative, fueled by social stigma—a stigma that ETI strives to eliminate.

Ranging from total erasure and silencing of persons with disabilities to "charity narrative," painting persons with disabilities as dependent recipients of aid, this insidious narrative is one that has not only been embodied by society, but also by persons with disabilities themselves. This carries great implications not only in the developing world where we carry out our youth programs, but also in the United States.


As a result, ETI focuses on addressing this social stigma and lack of inclusion, beginning with an individual, grassroots, holistic focus. This approach allows us to enact change on both the individual and societal levels. ETI employs a two-pronged model that bridges Empowerment and Integration programs, in order to achieve our mission of inclusion for all. The Empowerment Programs take place on the ground, with the youth and their families working. The Integration Programs partner with the general public and major societal stakeholders in order to propel each community towards being more inclusive.