Empowerment Through Integration (ETI) Empowerment Programs are designed to equip youth with disabilities with the confidence and competence to become change agents in their own lives and communities. ETI’s Empowerment Programs operate in regions where youth with disabilities are severely marginalized due to social and cultural stigma. ETI’s flagship Empowerment Program, currently being implemented throughout the nation-state of Lebanon, provides local communities with the skills and value-changes necessary to create a narrative of empowerment surrounding disability.
The ETI Empowerment Programs consist of a cycle of youth and family-focused grassroots-level programs which run on a yearly basis to address local stigma and empower individuals living with disabilities.
Volunteer Capacity Training Program: This comprehensive program educates ETI volunteers and interns on how to facilitate the empowerment and inclusion of all children by equipping individuals with the tools necessary to build inclusive spaces.
Life Skills Intensive Program: This two-week intensive training program sits at the heart of The ETI Empowerment Programs. It provides abbreviated training in orientation and mobility with a white cane, independent living, and social literacy skills to blind and visually-impaired youth.
Life Skills Extension Program: As a supplement to the Life Skills Intensive Program, the Extension Program begins in the fall and consists of 9-10 months of personalized, one-on-one Life Skills Training for blind and visually impaired youth in their homes and communities to build and maintain the skills introduced in the intensive programs.
Parent Workshops: This component targets the parents, family members, and friends of the blind and visually-impaired youth to ensure that the environment and mindset created in our programs are maintained within the youths’ homes and communities.
Social Project Program: This program leverages the skills, confidence, and philosophy developed during ETI’s summer programs to enable the blind and sighted youth to work side-by-side to carry out various community service projects through collaborations with local organizations.
Community Commencement Ceremony: Our annual Community Commencement Celebration is the culmination of the programs and brings together leaders from the local government and NGOs, as well as the education and private sectors to learn about ETI and how to implement ETI’s mission in their own workplaces and organizations.
The Expansion of Empowerment
As The ETI Empowerment Programs continue to grow and thrive in the flagship country of Lebanon, ETI is working to identify and form a new regional hub in another global location in order to spread the individual, familial and community impact internationally.