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CEA Disability Policy


CEA Statement on Accommodation for Students with Special Needs

CEA is fully supportive of students with the need for special accommodation(s) applying for its study abroad programs. The passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990 has helped sensitize study abroad offices, international exchange programs, and volunteer service projects regarding the need to provide reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities who choose to study outside of the United States.
In order for CEA to best determine if a student’s special needs can be accommodated in a specific program and location abroad, it is critical that the student disclose and document the accommodation(s) needed early in the application process. Home campus offices can be helpful in providing the needed documentation. The information provided will remain confidential and the student will work closely with a CEA staff member in the U.S. That staff member will coordinate efforts with faculty and staff in the location of the student’s interest. A written statement of accommodation(s) that CEA can provide will be submitted to the student for review and signature. In the course of this review, the student may wish to reconsider participating in a particular program and/or location because of limiting factors beyond CEA’s control.
Although CEA faculty and staff abroad and its partner universities abroad are supportive of the inclusion of students with disabilities, the extent to which accommodations can be provided depends on the nature of the accommodation needed, the general situation in that particular country regarding accessibility and available services, and the creativity and flexibility of the student and staff/faculty in planning for the experience abroad. As stated above, a written statement of accommodation(s) that CEA can provide will be available, and there may be some limiting factors that may require the student to reconsider a particular program and/or location. Moreover, in some situations, additional costs may be incurred by the student to accommodate the special living, study and/or travel arrangements required to meet a special need.
If assistance is needed while traveling, or for the duration of the student’s stay abroad, this must be planned well in advance of traveling. Also, some disability-related supplies and medications may not be readily available abroad. Students will need to research what supplies are available and the regulations for bringing medications into the country. In some cases, it may be necessary to bring sufficient supplies for the entire duration of the study abroad program.
Resources Available
CEA strongly recommends that students interested in studying aboard explore the excellent resources that are available through the following organizations:
Mobility International USA
MIUSA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to expanding opportunities for people with disabilities in international exchange, leadership development, disability rights training and community service. MIUSA also publishes a semi-annual journal, books, videos and brochures with useful information for those with disabilities who are planning international opportunities. Contact MIUSA at:
Mobility International USA
PO Box 10767
Eugene, OR 97440
Phone: 541-343-1284
(voice/TTY) Fax: 541-343-6812
Organizations for those with Disabilities in the Host Country
Once you've chosen a country, contact organizations there for people with disabilities. They can tell you what conditions are like in their country for people with disabilities. The National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange can assist in connecting you with these organizations (see contact information for MIUSA listed above).
U.S. airlines are required to accommodate travelers with Disabilities. A publication called New Horizons for Air Travel with a Disability will tell you about your rights. This is available free of charge by contacting:
Department of Transportation Office of Consumer Affairs
400 Seventh St SW, Room 10454
Washington, DC 20590
Phone: 202-366-2220 (voice) or 202-755-7687
(TTY) E-mail:
On foreign carriers, accessibility varies. If you plan to travel on a non-U.S. airline, find out what their policy is regarding Individuals with disabilities and let them know what you need well In advance of departure. General travel and accessibility information is available from:
Society for the Accessible Travel and Hospitality (SATH)
347 Fifth Avenue, Ste. 610
New York, NY 10016
Phone: 212-447-7284
Fax: 212-725-8523
* Additional information is available at