Study Abroad for Students with Disabilities Policy & Procedure

It is to the students advantage/benefit to disclose early in the process of exploring a study abroad opportunity. Accessibility Resource Centerand the Study Abroad Office will work together by:

  • A brochure on study abroad for students with disabilities available in the Accessibility Resource Center office and in the Study Abroad Office.
  • Posting of this brochure to both departments’ websites
  • Statements in the study abroad information distributed to all students which encourages students to disclose any disabilities and begin planning early
  • Discussion of the importance of disclosure and early planning in study abroad group presentations
  • Discussion of study abroad in group presentations to students with disabilities


When a student discloses any disability, the Study Abroad Office will refer him/her to the Accessibility Resource Center office. 


Accessibility Resource Center role is to discuss with the student how the disability may impact them in a study abroad program.  If the student will have accommodation needs and is not registered with Accessibility Resource Center, he/she will be asked to go through the intake and eligibility process.  Accessibility Resource Center will work with the student to fill out a Study Abroad: Student Accommodation Request Form.


When a student discloses their disability prior to program application, he/she will be encouraged to identify several programs that meet his/her academic interests, and explore the availability of accommodations prior to selecting a program.


Usual processes for study abroad advising of all students will be followed by the Study Abroad Office.


All students who apply for study abroad will be sent a Disability Disclosure for Study Abroad form, to be returned to Accessibility Resource Center if the student has a disability.  Accessibility Resource Center staff will work with the student to assure accommodations are addressed and complete a Study Abroad: Student Accommodation Request Form.  The completed Study Abroad: Student Accommodation Request Forms will be faxed to contact people at the overseas site. Accessibility Resource Center and the Study Abroad Office will provide the student with any existing knowledge of accessibility at that particular site, and work to identify any local disability organizations that may be able to provide information to the student. 


The overseas contact person will return information showing what requested accommodations will be available, and suggestions for alternative ways of accommodating the student.


Students will be asked to copy the Study Abroad Office andAccessibility Resource Center on any email communication with the overseas contact people and local disability organizations.


The liability waiversigned by all students will include language explaining that the Americans with Disabilities act is not in force outside the United States, and that students are responsible to disclose any disabilities and plan for their accommodation needs.


Accommodations which would require a fundamental alteration of the program or would present an undue hardship will not be provided. All decisions on accommodations will be made on a case-by-case basis.  If a student cannot perform the essential requirements of a program, with or without accommodations, then he/she is not qualified to participate. If accommodations are needed and not available at a given site, then the student may not be qualified to participate in that particular program.  If there is something that would pose a direct threat to the student's physical health or safety, he/she may not be qualified to participate in the program.


If additional accommodation needs arise while the student is abroad, the student will discuss these needs with Accessibility Resource Centerand the site abroad to determine whether the additional accommodations are reasonable and appropriate.


If a student does not disclose the disability-related needs until abroad, the site abroad, Study Abroad Office, and Accessibility Resource Center will need to determine whether accommodations are possible.  It may not be feasible to act on accommodation requests made too close to the date of departure or once on site.


Upon the student's return, the Study Abroad Office and Accessibility Resource Center will gather disability access and accommodation information from the student and the site abroad about the student's experiences and identify any suggestions that should be conveyed to future students.  It is suggested that this be accomplished via an After Action Report compiled by Accessibility Resource Center, the Study Abroad Office, the overseas contact person, and the student studying abroad.