Students with Disabilities


students study at table

Accommodation for people with disabilities varies by country and city. If you are registered with Disability Resources and are eligible for on-campus accommodation, work with Disability Resources and Study Abroad, early in your process to learn about which locations may offer accommodations based on your needs.

Advisors as Your Resource 

We strongly encourage proactive planning for all study abroad participants. This is especially crucial for students with disabilities. It is important to communicate your needs and consider alternative ways to meet them while abroad. In addition to meeting with your academic or professional advisor and a study abroad coordinator for location information—we encourage you to speak with someone in the UMD Office of Disability Resources. It’s imperative to be upfront and discuss your concerns about your disability, especially if you are going to study in a new country.

Accessibility Overseas

Identify your needs, consider alternative ways to meet them and research reasonable accommodations prior to your departure abroad.

This video was developed by the University of Minnesota Global Programs and Strategy Alliance and offers good information for Students with Disabilities Studying Abroad

Quick Tips

  1. Disclose your disability needs to program staff early, so appropriate arrangements and reasonable accommodations can be made in advance.
  2. Remember that other cultures may provide disability access in a different way. Learn what types of accommodation are typically provided in your host country, and be flexible and open to different ways of accommodating your disability.
  3. Find out as much as you can before you go. Learn about your host culture and how they view disability. Talk to other students and attend pre-departure orientation sessions. The more you know, the better prepared you will be for the interaction between your disability and the new environment.
  4. 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.

Other things to consider when choosing a host country

  • What are the physical environments like?
  • Is learning mainly from lecture, readings, independent research, etc.?
  • What housing options exist?
  • Do you need to do your own cooking? Laundry?
  • Is transportation available and accessible?

Additional resources at UMD:

Office of Disability Resources
258 Kirby Student Center
1120 Kirby Drive
Duluth, MN 55812
(218) 726-6130

They serve any student with a documented disability who needs to arrange academic accommodations for their classes. This includes students who have the following disabilities:

  • ADHD
  • Mental Health Conditions
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Acquired Brain Injury
  • Sensory (seeing, hearing, etc.)
  • Mobility
  • Learning
  • Medically Restricted Diets

They also work with students who may have not yet been diagnosed and are in need of more support or resources. They can help connect you with what you may need.