The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Amendments Act of 2008 ensures that people with disabilities can equally embark on their educational and professional endeavors. Whether you have an apparent or nonapparent disability, Office of Education Abroad staff are committed to helping you find the best program to meet your needs and goals.
THINGS TO CONSIDER
Disclosure and Choosing A Program: We encourage you to disclose your needs to your Education Abroad Adviser as early as possible (ideally at least 6 months before you go). Disclosed information will be held strictly confidential unless a disclosure waiver is signed, and it will not have a bearing on your acceptance into the program. Advisers are available to discuss your priorities for a study abroad experience as well as any concerns, and they will help you explore program options. Many programs can provide specific information regarding accommodations, but we encourage you to research your destination(s) in order to address your specific concerns and needs. It is also important to work with the Davidson College Academic Access and Disability Resources Office so that they are aware of your plans to study abroad and can assist with accommodations. Note that the Office of Education Abroad and the Office of Academic Access and Disability Resources work together to best support students with their study abroad plans.
Cultural Differences and Flexibility: By studying abroad, you will learn about cultural differences as well as how your disability is addressed in your host country. The first part of the lesson is practical: U.S. laws and society recognize specific physical, mental, learning, and health conditions as disabilities, but these conditions may not be legally recognized in the same way in other parts of the world. This could affect if and how you receive accommodations for your disability abroad. The second part of the lesson is more abstract but equally important: views on disability, independence, confidentiality, respect for authority, and individual rights differ from country to country, and these views will also affect your experience abroad. In the United States, we tend to see independence as being able to accomplish what we want with little (or no) assistance that we control and that is guaranteed by law. In other cultures, independence often includes relying on assistance from family, friends, or even strangers. These differences mean that it is necessary to consider new ways of doing things, something that is required of every student who studies abroad. (Adapted from CIEE Disability Knowledge Brochure)
Campus Resources: Additional Resources:
- Mobility International USA
- Diversity Abroad: Students with Disabilities Abroad
- IES Abroad: Disability, Mental Health & Self-Care Resources
- IFSA Unpacked: Do Not Let Disability Hold You Back Abroad
- U.S. Department of State: Travelers with Disabilities
- CDC: Travelers with Disabilities
- Ripple Effects: Travelers with Disabilities Abroad
- University of Minnesota: Learning Abroad Center – Cultural Views on Disabilities