I will be in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil one month from today.  As a student with a disability, I have been networking like crazy for the last two months, trying to set up my living situation while in RJ, participating in the language/culture program at the Instituto Brasileiro Estados Unidos (IBEU) for six weeks.  I also need to rent a power wheelchair to get me back and forth to classes each day.  My hope is that I will have an accessible room/bathroom close enough to IBEU to ‘drive’ to classes each day in the power chair.  I haven’t even figured out whether I’ll need assistance for a few hours each day, and how I’ll organize that, if needed.

I feel a bit chaotic but am working on Plan A and Plan B, as recommended by my Portuguese Professor to make everything happen as it should.  Pre-planning is essential.  I have a lot of  networking and contacts already made to people here in the USA, at the University of Florida, their Disability Services Department, UNM’s Accessibility Resource Center, IBEU, and with Brazilian contacts in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.  Now for aggressive follow-up…


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