Students with Disabilities-Study Abroad - Carnegie Mellon University

Students with Disabilities

Students with all types of disabilities are studying abroad today. Study abroad programs are committed to making their programs accommodating to students with physical, mental, learning or other disabilities. The Office of International Education at Carnegie Mellon is committed to ensuring all students have the opportunity to study abroad, and we are happy to assist students in finding a program that can meet their needs.

Remember that many other countries are not as accessible as we may think they should be. Research the laws of the host country regarding persons with disabilities and the availability of services and accommodations that can be found in the host country. Attitudes toward disabilities vary by location.

Mobility International, Accessible Journeys and disABILITY are excellent online sources of information on international travel for students with disabilities.

Learning Disabilities

Students with learning disabilities should notify the study abroad program and explain the required accommodations. American providers are generally able to easily accommodate students with learning disabilities. Direct enrolling in a foreign institution may or may not present accommodation challenges to students with learning disabilities, depending on the pervading attitude toward learning disabilities in that location. Be prepared to explain in detail. Failure to disclose this information, though within a student’s right to do so, is not recommended. The added stress of foreign study coupled with not having the appropriate accommodations could prove to be overwhelming.

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate!

The key to a successful study abroad experience for a student with a disability is communication. The Office of International Education and the study abroad program should be aware of any special needs or accommodations required. The Equal Opportunity & Disability Services at Carnegie Mellon is another crucial partner in this process. Students with documented disabilities should work with the Disability Services Office to provide a detailed description of the disability and the accommodations required to the study abroad program or school.

Be sure to inquire about additional costs, if any, for services. Do not assume that such services will be free as they are here. If services are not provided free of charge, please contact the study abroad staff, Equal Opportunity & Disability Services  at Carnegie Mellon, and/or Mobility International. They can work with the program or school to find a solution.