Ability and Education Abroad

Ability Abroad

The UMass IPO believes that students with disabilities can study abroad successfully with ongoing support and accommodation. It is important to plan ahead, and learn about the attitudes and accommodations where you want to study, as they vary by country and program. Understanding your accommodation needs will help you find a country, program, or host institution poised to accommodate psychological, learning (neurodiversity) and/or physical disabilities, and chronic health conditions. While the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil law enforced in the United States, it cannot be applied to countries outside of United States; however, study abroad programs do their best to accommodate all students and it is important to find a program that is right for you.  

Think about:

  • How will my disability affect which study abroad programs I consider?
  • Are there planned excursions or activities that I will not be able to participate in due to my condition?
  • Are there academic accommodations tailored to support my needs or concerns? 
  • How will I plan ahead to manage my condition before going abroad? 
  • What obstacles might I encounter in planning to go abroad & while abroad, and how will I overcome them?

Before You Go:

  • By disclosing your accommodation needs or concerns to your study abroad advisor early on, appropriate accommodations can be made to tailor the study abroad advising process and experience.
  • Work with your advisor to learn about the types of accommodations typically provided in the host country.
  • Find out as much as you can about your host culture and how they view disability by reading and talking to other students with disabilities to learn about their experiences abroad.
  • Visit UMass Disability Services to find out about accommodations and scholarships available. 
  • Discuss your plans with your family whenever possible, and make sure they are aware of their role in supporting you through the process if necessary. 
  • Family members are encouraged to reach out to student’s Education Abroad advisors with any health & safety concerns and general questions.

UMass Amherst Campus Resources

  • UMass Disability Services 
  • Assistive Technology Centerlocated on the Lower Level of the W.E.B. DuBois Library in the Learning Commons, the ATC offers instruction, training, and support for assistive technology tools to any member of the University community.

Useful Sites to Begin Your Exploration