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Students with Disabilities

Students with disabilities may find new challenges to address before and during study abroad.  Laws and cultural norms that impact accessibility vary from country to country.  In the US, wheelchair accessibility or study aids for visual impairment are examples of disability related needs that US universities address on a regular basis, and federal laws govern how these issues are handled.  Depending on the program and location you choose, your own needs may present a relatively uncommon scenario for a study abroad program provider to consider in an environment governed by different disability laws and social norms.  While potentially challenging, these considerations are manageable and should not inhibit an international experience.  Any student who may need accommodation based on the potential impact of a disability is strongly encouraged to study abroad, however advance planning is essential.

  1. PLAN early – at least one year in advance of studying abroad - and communicate with advisors at the Disability Resource Center (DRC) and the Study Abroad Office (SAO).
  2. GATHER information from your departmental academic advisor as soon as possible.  Discuss how study abroad can fit with your academic program.
  3. RESEARCH various study abroad program options.  Consider the connections to your educational and personal goals as well as the requirements for acceptance to a study abroad program.
  4. ATTEND the fall ASU Study Abroad Fair to speak with faculty and previous student participants about their programs.
  5. IDENTIFY accommodations that would minimize barriers and enhance your participation and enjoyment while abroad.  Keep in mind that due to differing environments, you may need accommodations or assistance abroad that you may not typically need in the United States.  As soon as you are comfortable, disclose your needs to a Study Abroad Office staff member.
  6. COMPILE information on each program relating to your individual needs (e.g. arranged and public transportation, housing, alternative test taking, course requirements, etc.).  ASU can work with you to find compatible sites in the host country that best coincide with your educational and disability needs.  Keep in mind that other countries have their own rules and regulations concerning the accommodation of learning disabilities and mobility limitations and are not obligated to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations.
  7. NARROW your options to one or two programs of interest.
  8. SPEAK to the International Coordinator in the SAO responsible for your selected site(s).
  9. DEVELOP a budget and a financial plan for accomplishing your goal.  If you require a personal care attendant, keep in mind that it will be your responsibility to make such arrangements.  There will likely be a significant cost to you for any personal care assistance, so plan ahead to ensure that you can afford the necessary arrangements well in advance of your program.
  10. SELECT a study abroad program and apply!


PLEASE NOTE: Individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation in any ASU study abroad program’s locations very different from what you find in the United States.  Depending on the program, there may be a great deal of walking or the regular use of public transportation.  The Study Abroad Office cannot guarantee access to public transportation, buildings, or public sites on any Study Abroad Office program. 

Although ASU cannot guarantee the accessibility of all program sites, students with disabilities can and do study abroad.  Upon request, the ASU Study Abroad Office can provide information about the availability of accommodations and accessible facilities on the specific program and can help you determine whether your preferred program can meet your accommodation needs.
 


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