Going Abroad is for Everyone
Going abroad is one of the most effective ways to prepare college graduates to contribute to an increasingly global and interdependent society. Students with disabilities represent an important segment of the nontraditional student population, yet a survey of the Big Ten institutions revealed that they represented less than 1% of the students who study abroad. All study offices should be partnering with their Disability Resource Center to communicate early and often that study abroad should be for everyone.
Potential Barriers (Real & Perceived)
- insufficient awareness of available international programs
- uncertainty regarding the accessibility of the sites
- lack of accessible sites to which to send students
- lack of financial resources
- concerns about long-term study abroad being high-risk
- insufficient awareness of the ability to use accommodations when studying abroad
Tools to Make Study Abroad More Accessible
- Student Advising: Study abroad and disability services offices will collaborate to use the interactive process with the student to determine reasonable accommodations.
- Determining Site Accessibility: A necessary step in promoting study abroad for students with disabilities.
- Accommodation Request Form: Encourages early and thorough disclosure through an interactive process.
Program Promotion Tips
- Add disability statements to all study abroad program publications.
- Include photos of students with disabilities in all promotional materials.
- Include information on your website that encourages students to disclose their disability early.
- Keep Disability Specialists informed of information sessions and new program initiatives.
- Advertise study abroad events or scholarships in the Disability Resource Center.
- Highlight financial assistance and travel grants for study abroad.
- Put students in touch with other students with disabilities.