The Fulbright Finland Foundation is grateful to announce the Bruce A. Fowler Fund for Fulbrighters with Disabilities, created by a generous gift to the Foundation.
A disability may lead to additional costs during the Fulbright exchange. The purpose of the new fund is to provide extra funding support for grantees with disabilities whether related to mobility, vision, hearing, or any other type, in order to help them get the most from their Fulbright experience. This financial support will help ensure that all excellent candidates apply for the Foundation’s Fulbright awards and will not hesitate due to concerns over extra costs due to their disability. The funding can be used, for instance, to assist with specialized housing needs, in-country transport, or specialized assistance, and it is available for the Foundation’s U.S. and Finnish Fulbright grantees.
The special fund was created by a generous gift of USD 10 000 to the Foundation by Dr. Bruce A. Fowler, an internationally recognized expert on the toxicology of metals, and a private consultant in toxicology and risk assessment. He is also Adjunct Professor at the Emory School of Public Health, and Presidents Professor of Biomedical Science at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. Dr. Fowler was a Fulbright scholar in Sweden in 1994-95, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Fulbright Association in the United States.
“My motivation for establishing the fund is based on my own mobility issue which obliges me to carry a cane for safety in walking,” Dr. Fowler says. “It has been estimated by the U.S. CDC that approximately 26% of adults in the U.S. have some sort a disability. This is not a trivial number of people. Disabilities arise at all ages, as a result of a variety of causes. For instance, disabilities causing mobility issues create extra challenges in simply getting around safely, dealing with adverse weather conditions, and accessing facilities which are not equipped to help persons with disabilities. In the case of Fulbrighters, it may mean that these very special and carefully selected people may not be able to fully utilize their Fulbright experience because of mobility, or other issues that limit them from doing so. This is a loss both to them as well as the Fulbright Program. An even greater loss would be those gifted persons who conclude that they could not function in another country of interest to them because of a disability so that they consequently do not apply to become Fulbrighters.”
“We are deeply grateful for this generous gift from Dr. Fowler,” says the Fulbright Finland Foundation CEO Terhi Mölsä. “His gift sends a critically important message about access and equity: Fulbright is for everyone, and it is upon all of us to ensure that that is indeed the case also in practice. There remains a lot to do to support efforts to make it possible for diverse candidates to participate in international exchanges.”
“We are also deeply grateful for the trust that Dr. Fowler has in the work of our Foundation,” Terhi Mölsä adds. “Donors have a very important role in the mission of our Foundation. Their contributions help bring critical support for important areas in the exchanges. They leave a lasting legacy.”
The new Fulbright Finland - Bruce A. Fowler Fund for Fulbrighters with Disabilities joins the similar and already established Bruce A. Fowler sister funds in Iceland and Mexico. “It is my hope that these funds will help address the challenges for the disabled and provide working models and data for the development of expanded programs to help Fulbrighters with disabilities,” Dr. Fowler concludes.
More information on the Fund and how to apply for the support will be made available on the Foundation’s website under the Fulbright grant programs: www.fulbright.fi
More information on how to support the Fulbright Finland Foundation: www.fulbright.fi/work-with-us/donate
Dr. Bruce A. Fowler is an internationally recognized expert on the toxicology of metals, and a private consultant in toxicology and risk assessment. He is also Adjunct Professor at the Emory School of Public Health, and Presidents Professor of Biomedical Science at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. Dr. Fowler was a Fulbright scholar in Sweden in 1994-95, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Fulbright Association in the United States.