Students with Disabilities
Just as cultures differ, so do disability accommodations and perceptions. The key for any study abroad participant is flexibility. Students are encouraged to communicate their needs and consider alternative ways to meet them. Disability Services and the Office of Study Abroad are here to assist you before and during your trip abroad.
Quick Tips for Students with Disabilities Going Abroad
- Disclose your disability needs to program staff early, so appropriate arrangements and reasonable accommodations can be made in advance.
- Remember that other cultures may provide disability access in a different way—learn about what types of accommodation are typically provided in your host country, and be flexible and open to different ways of accommodating your disability.
- Before you go, find out as much as you can about your host culture and how they view disability by reading, talking to other students, and attending pre-departure orientation sessions. The more you know, the better prepared you will be for the interaction between your disability and the new environment.
- Think about how you will answer questions about your disability in the language of your host country—look up key vocabulary words ahead of time.
Preparing to Depart
- What is the contact information for local disabilities services organizations in my host country?
- If I wish to take a service animal with me, what are the domestic and international regulations on doing so?
- What mobile apps or other tools that could help me abroad?
- Are my medications legal in my host country and other countries I may be traveling in or through?
- Are the same accommodations I receive at KU available to me abroad?
- Will I have the same access to medication and physical or mental health services abroad?
- Will my housing accommodate my needs?
- What solutions can I plan for now to manage new challenges I might face abroad?
Mobility International USA (MIUSA) aspires to empower people with disabilities through international exchange, information, technical assistance and training, to ensure the inclusion of people with disabilities in international exchange and development programs.
- National Clearninghouse on Disability Exchange - by Mobility International USA. A comprehensive one-stop resource for people with disabilities, exchange and disability staff interested in study, work, intern, volunteer, research or teach abroad programs.
- Personal stories- Stories excerpted from A World Awaits You (AWAY), a free, annual journal of stories by people with disabilities who have participated in a wide range of international exchange programs. Published by Mobility International USA.
- Financial Resources for students with disabilities - An extensive listing of fellowships, scholarships, and other financial resources for individuals with disabilities to help fund study abroad and other international opportunities.
Diversity Abroad Guide
Every country has different attitudes to people with disabilities. Resources for students with disabilities who study abroad.
Support for Students with Disabilities
Resources for students with disabilities who study abroad. Sponsored by SAFETI Clearinghouse.
Traveling with Disabilities
Travel.State.Gov tips and resources for students who travel abroad.
University of Minnesota's Access Abroad
Resource for students with disabilities and study abroad. Materials were developed as part of a federally funded project and seeks to enhance existing study abroad opportunities for students with disabilities.
University of California Education Abroad Program
UCEAP encourages the participation of students with disabilities to study abroad. A project sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and administered by Mobility International USA
Transitions Abroad: Disability Travel
A collection of first-hand articles, websites and agencies by this award-winning, respected travel magazine.