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Enabled Abroad

Study abroad staff actively collaborate with Disability Resources and Educational Services (DRES) to facilitate equal access for students with visible and non-visible disabilities interested in participating in a study abroad program.

On-site accessibility information for programs can be provided and, if necessary, on-site support can be arranged. Study abroad staff will be available to assist you throughout the entirety of your study abroad process to ensure that your experience is positive and meaningful.

With Illinois: Students With Disabilities Realize Study Abroad Dreams (Video)

Questions to Consider, Tips, & Resources

  • How might my experience with my disability abroad differ from my experience in the United States?
  • How might I meet my needs regarding my disability while abroad and is there a program that offers this kind of support?
  • What does having a disability mean in my host country? What terminology is utilized in the host language to refer to people with disabilities?
  • What does the population of people with disabilities look like in my host country? How visible and large is it?
  • What are the cultural attitudes, beliefs, and norms of the host culture regarding people with disabilities?
  • What resources are available to people with disabilities in my program or in my host country?
  • How should I respond if people give me unsolicited help in my host country?
  • Am I willing to disclose my disability to others?
  • How accessible are the physical spaces, resources, and services in my host country?
  • Will the inaccessibility of a program activity or excursion prevent me from participating?
  • Students registered with DRES who are eligible for on-campus accommodations are encouraged to speak with their DRES representative and a study abroad staff member as early in the process as possible so that options for disability-related accommodations can be identified.
  • Find out as much as you can about your host culture and how they view different disabilities by reading, talking to other students who have studied abroad with a disability, and consulting with units on campus and abroad.
  • 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.
  • Reflect on the challenges you anticipate from your host environment and how you plan to find positive and creative ways to overcome these challenges before they arise.