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Pioneering advocate for the disabled to speak

Susan Sygall, Co-Founder and CEO of Mobility International USA (MIUSA), comes to the Rogue Valley Wednesday and Thursday, March 14 and 15, to talk about the origin and successes of MIUSA, which was founded to empower women and girls by advancing global disability rights and creating leadership capacity through an innovative training program.

Her life was transformed after an accident long ago. She has had a personal and professional commitment to disability rights and women’s issues for 40 years. Her work has helped enable over 240 people with disabilities from 83 countries to become leaders in their communities.

A member of the Rotary Club of Eugene since 2000, Sygall was the first person with disabilities to receive a Rotary Scholarship in 1978-79. She is an internationally recognized expert in educational exchange and leadership programs, lecturing throughout the world on inclusive development, international exchange, and disability rights.

In 1995, President Bill Clinton presented Sygall with the President's Award, recognizing her dynamic leadership in international exchange programs, mentorship, and for advancing employment opportunities for people with disabilities all over the world. She is the recipient of an honorary doctorate from Chapman University, a MacArthur Fellowship, an Ashoka Senior Fellowship, a Matusak Courageous Leadership Award, a Rotary Scholarship for graduate study at the University of Queensland, and a Rotary Scholar Alumni Achievement Award.

She will speak at noon Wednesday to the Medford Rogue Rotary Club at Inn at The Commons, Medford, and at noon Thursday to the Rotary Club of Ashland in Wesley Hall at First United Methodist Church, Ashland.

Sygall will also meet with Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Southern Oregon University, leaders of ACCESS Services, and Southern Oregon members of the International Women’s Forum.