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The Office of International Education and Global Initiatives believes students with disabilities can successfully study abroad with the proper accommodations and support.
If you are a student with a disability, you may feel unsure of how realistic education abroad is. As a student with a learning disability, you may be have concerns about whether your academic accommodations will be available on your education abroad program. For students with physical disabilities or otherwise, there's the consideration of what accessibility looks like in another location and what support services you may receive during your education abroad experience. IEGI welcomes your questions and will answer your inquiry to the best of our ability and/or refer you to others with the expertise that you need. Let's talk.
You can make an appointment by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We can talk through your options and work together with you in conjunction with the Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) office towards a solution and determining reasonable accommodation for your term abroad. Please note that you must meet the standard eligibility requirements for your program of interest. Communication about your concerns, questions, and needs is key. We also encourage you to review the following resources which may be helpful as you research and prepare to study abroad.
Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) office
The mission of Mobility International USA (MIUSA) is "to empower people with disabilities around the world to achieve their human rights through international exchange and international development." In addition to student stories, the MIUSA site is a launching point for advocacy and other resources.
If you would like to know more about accessibility in a program location of interest, visit the "Local Laws and Special Circumstances" on the respective country information page available below.
Country Information, U.S. Department of State
For additional resources, including questions to consider as you plan an education abroad experience, check out this "Ability Abroad" webpage by UMass Amherst.
The following session is an hour long audio recording sponsored by MIUSA in which a panel of education abroad alum discuss how to study abroad with a disability. (Access the webinar transcript, Access the presentation slides)
Ripple Effects: Travelers with Disabilities Abroad
Tips and Student Experiences:
The following are articles written by education abroad alumni who successfully studied abroad (MIUSA).
You may be negotiating an invisible, non-visible, and/or non-apparent disability such as a chronic illness, disorder, or learning disability.
GoAbroad.com has a thorough guide on navigating chronic illness abroad.
Here are a two articles with tips for studying abroad with a food allergy.
Survival Kit: Studying Abroad with a Food Allergy, Emma Rattenborg (GoAbroad.com)
9 Tips for Studying Abroad and Traveling with a Food Allergy, Anna Egan (IES Abroad)
The following are articles written by or about education abroad alumni who successfully studied abroad with a learning disability (MIUSA).
For more information on what you may expect when transiting the airport (domestically), see this TSA web page with embedded video.
Disabilities and Medical Conditions, Transportation Security Authority (TSA)
It is illegal for an airline to discriminate against a person due to their disability. The U.S. Department of Transportation, which enforces the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA), has a collection of helpful materials for both airline personnel and the traveling public.
Traveling with a Disability, U.S. Department of Transportation
The U.S. State Department also has a site with groupings of topics to consider from a travel perspective. Head to the following U.S. government web page to learn more.
Traveling with Disabilities, U.S. Department of State
How do I get more information?
Email IEGI at email@example.com or visit the Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) office website below.
Contact Services for Students with Disabilities
Please note: The content within the resources provided were last reviewed in July 2021 and as such could have changed. Views expressed in links provided or in sub-links within the document do not necessarily reflect the views of the Office of International Education and Global Initiatives.