I saw on a website for students with disabilities that the campus is very accessible...It's not really something out of the ordinary and they just treat you like any other person and that is what I hope for. I think it's better there than in the U.S.
-- New Zealand, Fall 2009
One of the most fulfilling aspects of study abroad is the opportunity to discover another culture and thanks to that process, to understand oneself better. It is important to be aware of the cultural differences about disability and accommodations in order to have a successful and safe experience abroad.
Begin preparing now by doing the following:
Disclose your disability needs to program staff early, so appropriate arrangements can be made in advance.
Remember that other cultures may provide disability access in a different way -- learn about what types of accommodation are typically provided in your host country, and be flexible and open to different ways of accommodating your disability.
Before you go, find out as much as you can about your host culture and how they view disability by reading, talking to other students, and attending pre-departure orientation sessions. The more you know, the better prepared you will be for the interaction between your disability and the new environment.
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.
And continue learning while you are abroad by talking with your new friends, host family, conversation partner, teacher, etc.
Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: The Country Reports on Human Rights Practices are submitted annually by the U.S. Department of State to the U.S. Congress. They cover internationally recognized individual, civil, political, and worker rights as set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and include summaries of policies toward individuals with disabilities.
CU-Boulder International Student Organizations : a list of local with contact information; international students usually enjoy discussing their home culture and they can privide great insight into the differences between their culture and American culture
Global Access: This disabled travel network is a forum for disabled travelers to share their experiences. Find travel tips and articles on a wide variety of destinations. If you have traveled with a disability, submit your own story to this site.
Mobility International USA Mobility International USA (MIUSA) aspires to empower people with disabilities through international exchange, information, technical assistance and training, to ensure the inclusion of people with disabilities in international exchange and development programs.