Students with Disabilities Abroad
According to the Institute of International Education’s Open Doors Project about 5.3 percent of all students who studied abroad in 2014/2015 reported some type of disability, which is an increase from previous years. Now you may be asking yourself, is study abroad right for me? With so many destinations and programs to choose from, the options may seem endless. However, we are here to support you through the study abroad process so that you can find the program and destination that best fits your goals and aspirations.
Tip: One of the best things students with disabilities can do to make their study abroad experience a success is to disclose specific accommodation needs early in the planning process to either their disability services and/or study abroad advisor. This will help you in program selection and having not only the best adventure of your life, but also one where you will thrive!
We encourage you to start discussing any potential accommodations, concerns, or questions that you may have with study abroad advisor during the initial program selection stage. Your advisor can work with you in exploring the various options available and finding the program that best meets your interests, goals, and needs. Specifically, your advisor can help research what resources and accommodations are available at a given study abroad program site.
While many of our international partners are well equipped with the services needed to accommodate students with disabilities, it is important that both your team at Loyola as well as the provider is aware of your needs. Due to cultural differences, the amount of services available may be more limited than in the U.S.
Resources on campus include:
- Your LUC Study Abroad Advisor: Can help you find more information about the country you plan to go to and connect you with LUC peers who have studied in that country before. Additionally, program evaluations available in the office are a good way to learn what former students have to say about your host country and what you may encounter abroad.
- Services for Students with Disabilities (SSWD): SSWD's mission is to support, service, and empower Loyola University Chicago students with disabilities. A representative from SSWD will work closely with both you and your study abroad advisor during the study abroad process. Note: It is important that you contact SSWD to request an accommodation letter for your study abroad advisor, or directly to their program of interest, to confirm that the needed accommodations can be granted.
- Check out the Disability Accommodations flyer for general information.
- API Diversity and Identity Abroad: API is a Loyola Global Provider and houses useful information on diversity abroad.
- IES: IES, a Loyola Global Provider, offers disability grants and provides useful country-specific resources related to access abroad.
- Mobility International USA’s National Clearinghouse on Disability & Exchange: Travel tips, country accessibility information, student accounts, scholarship opportunities and program suggestions for students with cognitive, hearing, learning, mental health-related, physical, systemic, vision, and other disabilities.
- Abroad With Disabilities: Resources, advice, and strategies on everything from navigating through the airport to getting that extra confidence boost to decide to travel.
- Disability Rights and Education Defense Fund: This national civil rights law and policy center, directed by individuals with disabilities and parents who have children with disabilities, provides information on the legal rights of disabled persons in a variety of countries.
- Transitions Abroad: This website houses resources for those who want to live, work, or volunteer abroad, including those will be living abroad with disabilities.
- Diversity Abroad: An organization that provides resources on diversity abroad, including materials specific to those with disabilities.
- U.S. State Department: The U.S. government provides resources and a list of items to consider for those who will be travelling with disabilities.
Loyola offers more than 150 programs in 70 programs across the world, a full list of programs and locations is available here.