Study Abroad for Students with Disabilities

UNCP cultivates an international perspective, rooted in our service to and appreciation of our multi-ethnic regional society, which prepares citizens for engagement in global society. Students are encouraged to participate in activities that develop their intellectual curiosity and mold them into responsible stewards of the world.

Study abroad is an excellent opportunity to improve intercultural understanding, to expand your worldview and to diversify your educational experience. The offices of Global Engagement (OGE) and Accessibility Resource Center (ARC) staff encourage all students to take advantage of this opportunity.

Students with disabilities considering study abroad may choose to disclose their disability early in the process of exploring a study abroad opportunity. ARC and the Study Abroad Coordinator will work together to assist students with disabilities in their decision to participate and to help ensure the best possible experience.

When students disclose any disability, the Study Abroad Coordinator will refer them to ARC staff to assist with possible accommodations. The role of ARC staff is to discuss with the students how the disability may impact them in a study abroad program.  If the students will have accommodation needs and are not registered with Accessibility Resource Center, they will be asked to go through the intake and eligibility process.  

When students disclose their disability prior to program application, they will be encouraged to identify several programs that meet their academic interests and explore the availability of accommodations prior to selecting a program. ARC staff, the Study Abroad Coordinator and the overseas contact will collaborate to determine whether or not accommodations are possible, which accommodations are possible, and how they will be implemented.

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

The liability waiver signed 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 students cannot perform the essential requirements of a program, with or without accommodations, then they are 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 students' physical health or safety, they may not be qualified to participate in the program.

If additional accommodation needs arise while students are abroad, students will discuss these needs with Accessibility Resource Center and the overseas contact to determine whether the additional accommodations are reasonable and appropriate.

If students do not disclose disability-related needs until abroad, the site abroad, Study Abroad Coordinator, and ARC staff 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 Coordinator and ARC staff 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 ARC staff, the Study Abroad Coordinator, the overseas contact person, and the student studying abroad.

Please note: all processes and procedures for study abroad and the advising of all students participating in study abroad programs are the responsibility of the Study Abroad Coordinator. Additionally, the Study Abroad Office recommends that all students apply for study abroad at least six months prior to any overseas excursion and that students with disabilities apply and contact ARC at least six months in advance to navigate accommodations.

Click this link for more information about Student Abroad: UNCP Study Abroad

For guidance and tips for travelers having disabilities contact Mobility International USA

Last Revised 03/23/2020