Not All Accessibility is the Same
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) mandates equal access to university-sponsored programs and services to students with disabilities. For study abroad professionals, providing access according to these US standards can pose unique challenges. The expectation on the part of US students and institutions of higher education is that reasonable efforts to accommodate students to the same degree whenever possible will be made. Depending on the country and culture, there may be different ways to define accessibility and different expectations in terms of accommodations that can or should be made. Each study abroad office should work with their partners to determine what accommodations can be made. The following tools can be used in order to begin these conversations.
- Access Assessment: A comprehensive survey that can be sent to overseas sites to assess accessibility for students with a variety of disabilities.
- Site Accessibility Questionnaire: A list of broader questions for study abroad staff to consider when conducting a site visit overseas to assess a site's accessibility and the country's attudinal outlook on disabilities.