Students with Disabilities
Welcome to the Messiah University Intercultural Office where you can take the first step to a journey that will change your life. Messiah programs scan the globe and operate on every continent except Antarctica! As you walk through the pages of this web site, you will discover the places you can go as a Messiah student.
We’re excited that you have chosen to explore the many options for off-campus study at Messiah University!
Before you embark on this new journey, here are a few things you may want to do:
- Explore your options.
- Stop by the Intercultural Office for more information on the many opportunities for off-campus study. Find out which programs best fit your interests and needs.
- Set up an appointment to meet with Katie Rousopoulos and Amy Slody .
- Meet with the Director of Disability Services and Intercultural Office administrators to discuss your personal needs and to determine what accommodations are available at various sites off campus.
- Do some research on your own.
- Check out the additional resources provided by this web site for links to and names of other organizations that may be helpful in making your study abroad experience all that it can be.
- Do research specific to your disability. The information provided here is general, so you may want to find more specific information on your own.
A few things you may want to consider before going abroad:
The Access Abroad web site at the University of Minnesota has provided some of these quick tips for students with disabilities going abroad:
- Start early.
- Disclose your disability needs to program staff early so that appropriate arrangements can be made in advance.
- Know your host country.
- Flexibility is key. Remember that other countries are not required to abide by ADA standards. Accordingly, cultures may provide disability access in different ways or, accommodations may not be available (Example: students may be expected to climb stairs, traverse cobblestone streets, and utilize transportation without accessible characteristics). Learn about what types of accommodations are typically provided in your host country, and be flexible and open to different ways of accommodating your disability.
- Know your host culture.
- Before you go, find out as much as you can about your host culture and how they view disabilities by reading, talking to other students, and attending pre-departure orientation sessions.
- Remember that disabilities may be culturally defined and attitudes toward disabilities, as well as levels of accessibility, can vary greatly between countries
- The more you know, the better prepared you will be for the interaction between your disability and the new environment.
- Be ready to answer questions.
- 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.