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The Ohio State UniversityOffice of International Affairs

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Accommodations and Disabilities

Buckeyes abroad in IcelandThe Ohio State University strives to make all learning experiences as accessible as possible. If you anticipate or experience barriers based on your disability (including mental health, chronic or temporary medical conditions), please inform the Office of International Affairs or your program coordinator to privately discuss options. Just as cultures differ from country to country, so do perceptions of disability and reasonable accommodations. In collaboration with the Office of Student Life Disability Services (SLDS), OIA seeks to enable all students to pursue an international experience.

When to Disclose Your Disability

Students admitted to university managed programs can voluntarily disclose any disabilities and request accommodations after admission to their program by completing the Disabilities and Accommodations Form in the post acceptance materials. Planning ahead prior to admission can be a critical component in determining accessibility on specific programs or certain locations. Students are advised to start their research at least one year in advance of their travel to determine potential accessibility, issues and reasonable accommodations. Voluntary disclosure of your disability and accommodation requests can assist others in supporting your exploration. Predisclosed disabilities and accommodation requests are not factored into the application process.

Considerations for Accessibility

Students planning to travel abroad are advised to prepare in advance by fully researching the country and potential education abroad experience. The following questions represent some initial considerations for researching reasonable accommodations and discussing opportunities with resident directors, program coordinators or an SLDS access specialist. 

  • How might traveling abroad differ from the United States? Does studying abroad require adjustments or additional arrangements to successfully engage in the experience?
  • What does having a disability mean in the country I plan to travel to? What are the cultural attitudes, beliefs and norms of the local host culture regarding people with disabilities? Does the country have comparable access legislation?
  • How might factors including local diet and food preparation techniques, weather and climate or language capacity impact my experience?
  • What resources are available to people with disabilities in the country I plan to travel to or on the program I plan to study on? Will I be able to access public transportation, auxiliary aids, assistive devices or other accommodations?
  • How accessible are the physical spaces and accommodations in the country I plan to travel to?
  • Will I have access to medical resources, including trained medical providers, prescription medicines and needed medical equipment in the location(s) I travel to?
  • Would the inaccessibility of a specific program activity or excursion – e.g. long tours, historical sites or hiking – prevent me from participating fully in a program?
  • Am I willing to disclose my disability to others prior to and during my travels? What are the impacts if I decide not to request or utilize accommodations abroad?

General Resources