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Students with Disabilities

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Accessibility Services for Students with Disabilities

Yale students with disabilities participate in a wide range of study abroad programs around the world. Early planning is key to identifying a program that is a good match for your goals and interests and for determining which types of accommodations will be available abroad, if needed. As you research your options, consider the following recommendations and resources: 

Questions to Consider

FAQ: Who is a student with a disability?

Yale's Student Accessibility Services (SAS) defines having a disability as being someone "who has an impairment or condition which substantially limits a major life activity such as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working. An impairment substantially limits a major life activity when the individual’s major life activity is restricted as to the conditions, manner, or duration under which the activity can be performed in comparison to most people. Such an impairment can be a chronic or temporary condition."

FAQ: Will I need a disability-related accommodation abroad?

  • If you have a disability, we encourage you to register with Yale's Student Accessibility Services (SAS). Registering with SAS is a required first step for students who wish to request a disability-related accommodation or service.
  • If you’re not sure you will need an accommodation abroad, we would still recommend that you contact SAS to discuss your options. Any information shared with SAS advisers will be kept confidential.
  • In addition to registering with SAS, we encourage you to disclose your disability to your study abroad program. Perceptions, laws, and the extent to which accommodations can be provided will vary by location. Study abroad advisers will partner with you and SAS to identify the types of support available abroad. If you have concerns about disclosing your disability to a program or a study abroad adviser, SAS can help you navigate the considerations and conversations.

FAQ: Will the same accommodations I have at Yale be available in my host-country?

The same accommodations available at Yale might not be possible abroad. U.S. accessibility laws, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), might not be extended to your study abroad program. Programs are subject to the accessibility laws of the host country and legally-required protections and services vary. However, you can work with SAS, Yale Study Abroad, and your study abroad program to brainstorm alternative solutions that might fit your needs.

FAQ: Should I disclose my disability-related needs to the program provider?

Accommodations require advanced notice to arrange. Disclosing information about your disability-related needs to your study abroad program well in advance of your program start date will help your program staff to arrange reasonable accommodations to the extent possible. They can provide detailed information about what is feasible in terms of housing, academics, excursions, transportation, and other aspects of daily life. They can also share details about any disability-related services that might be available through the host community. If you have concerns about disclosing your disability to a program provider, SAS can help you navigate the considerations and conversations.

FAQ: Are there special considerations for bringing prescription medication abroad?

Many common medications in the U.S. are banned or considered controlled substances in other countries. If you take prescription medication, it is important to research your host country’s drug laws and ask for guidance on how to successfully travel with your medication. Yale's emergency assistance provider, International SOS, can provide you with guidance on bringing prescription medication abroad.

FAQ: How are disabilities perceived in my intended host-country?

  • Talk with your program provider or study abroad adviser and use the resources listed below to research how disabilities are perceived in your intended host-country. 
  • You may find yourself in situations abroad where host nationals ask you about your disability. If you want to answer, it can be helpful to learn some basic phrases in the host language. You might also find that you are offered unsolicited help from strangers abroad. Consider how you might respond to these offers.
  • If your disability is not visible or apparent, consider if there are others in the program, such as your host family or roommates, with whom you might want to share information about your disability.


Question: Looking for resources related to Mental Health & Wellness? Please visit our Health, Safety & Well-Being section.

Question: Do you have additional resources to share? If so, we'd love to hear from you.