(Albuquerque)- On Saturday, August 26, 2017, Lisa Rossignol, MA, Albuquerque native and UNM graduate, traveled to the country of Hungary on a 14-day junket to train policy makers, providers, families, and individuals with disabilities about designing public policy and payment models that improve the lives of children with disabilities.
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs, Office of Citizen Exchanges, Professional Fellow Division, Rossignol was selected for her ten years as a disability policy historian and advocate. She maintains the public information website: http://www.nmdisabilitystory.org and provides disability consultation across the country.
“It is such an honor to be able to meet with this group of committed parents and professionals who believe that children with disabilities should have the right to go to school and live in the community,” Rossignol says. “This is an emerging democracy, in a very conservative region, but there is excitement about improving public policy for kids who have traditionally been left behind.”
In April 2017, Rossignol hosted a professional fellow, Eszter Dancsa from Hungary for four weeks. Dancsa, who works for a parent support organization in Budapest, was stunned by the sheer size of the state of New Mexico (nearly four times the size of Hungary with only a quarter of the population) and the complexity of disability policy—school, healthcare, transition, adult services, etc. She and Rossignol visited the Navajo Nation, and each of the four corner areas to explore the way disability policy has unfolded in each region. Rossignol and Dancsa, along with members of the U.S. State Department, will travel around the country of Hungary to provide training to families and providers and to meet with politicians and ambassadors. Rossignol hopes to build an internet based learning collaborative by using the Project ECHO platform to support future policy development between the United States and Hungary.