Students with Disabilities
The Office of Global Opportunities encourages students with disabilities to consider studying abroad and/or enrolling in our domestic programs. We are committed to helping you find a program that suits your needs and provides a positive experience abroad. We will also work with students and the Office of Accessibility Services (SAS) to determine if their needs can be accommodated.
Many students with disabilities study abroad. According to the Open Doors 2009 Report on International Educational Exchange, 3% of students who traveled abroad in 2008 had a disability. Click here for more information: http://opendoors.iienetwork.org
Disabilities can be broken down into two categories: visible and invisible. There are many different types of disabilities including:
- Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
- Autism Spectrum Disorder:
- Blind and Low Vision
- Brain Injury
- Deaf, Hard-of-Hearing
- Head Injuries
- Learning Disability
- Mobility Impairments
Source: NAFSA Publication
Things to Consider Before Going Abroad
The University of California's website contains a useful list of questions for students with disabilities to consider before traveling abroad.
Ohio University Programs: If you plan to participate in an Ohio University-sponsored study abroad program and wish to request accommodation, you should contact the Office of Accessibility Services (SAS) to schedule an appointment to complete a Global Opportunities Disability Accommodation Request Form. We recommend you do this as early as possible to allow sufficient time for accommodations to be made.
After your request is submitted, it will be reviewed by the Office of Global Opportunities. The Office of Global Opportunities will conduct research and consult with both Accessibility Services and the Program Director to determine possible accommodations. You will be notified to discuss these possibilities. In the event that the accommodation you requested is not possible, our Office will discuss alternative options with you.
Ohio University Exchange Programs: Students participating in an Ohio University exchange program should communicate with their program coordinator in the Office of Global Opportunities on how to request accommodation from the partner institution. Third Party or Affiliate Programs: Students participating in programs through other universities or providers should contact the sponsor of the program for information on how to request accommodation for a disability.
Other Quick Tips for Students with Disabilities Going Abroad
- Disclose your disability needs to program staff early, so appropriate arrangements 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.
Web Resources for Students with Disabilities
"Empowering people with disabilities around the world to achieve their human rights through international exchange and international development"
Also provides an online store and free resources regarding travel with disabilities.
Access Abroad is a website for students, advisors, disability professionals and overseas staff which strives to create an interactive community in order to promote education abroad for students with disabilities.
Access-Able provides an array of information regarding destinations, accessibility, destination guidesand rentals for travelers with disabilities.