Resources for Students with Disabilities

International students with physical, mental, intellectual or learning disabilities should be aware of the many resources available to them during their time on U.S. campuses.

The below links and information are meant to provide insight into the resources available at U.S. colleges and universities and through organizations committed to empowering students with disabilities in the United States. Many individual campuses also have student services and associations that offer further information.

Diversity Abroad: The mission of Diversity Abroad is to ensure that students from diverse economic, educational, ethnic and social backgrounds are aware, have equal access and take advantage of the benefits and opportunities afforded through global education exchanges.

Mobility International USA (MIUSA): Mobility International USA empowers people with disabilities to achieve their human rights through international exchange and international development.

Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD):  The Association on Higher Education And Disability (AHEAD) is the leading professional membership association for individuals committed to equity for persons with disabilities in higher education.  

The Society for Accessible Travel & Hospitality (SATH): SATH is an educational nonprofit that works to raise awareness of the needs of all travelers with disabilities, remove physical and attitudinal barriers to free access and expand travel opportunities in the U.S. and abroad.

United States Government Support for Persons with Disabilities: The United States is committed to advancing empowerment, dignity, and equal rights for persons with disabilities. We believe that all people, in every country, deserve full and equal access to all spheres of society.

Understand Your Legal Rights: Public colleges and universities in the U.S. are required by law to make reasonable accommodations to promote an accessible environment for students with disabilities. Learn more about how these laws might ease your experience on campus.

Three Noteworthy Laws

  • Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) – Title II of the ADA covers state funded schools such as universities, community colleges and vocational schools. Title III of the ADA covers private colleges and vocational schools.
  • Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) – Schools receiving federal dollars regardless of whether it is private or public is also covered by the regulations of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act requiring schools to make their programs accessible to qualified students with disabilities.
  • Air Carrier Access Act of 1986 – The Air Carrier Access Act prohibits discrimination in air transportation by domestic and foreign carriers. Contact the Department of Transportation, Aviation Consumer Protection Division for questions about air travel.

A guide to information about each of the U.S. disability rights laws is available at https://www.ada.gov/cguide.pdf. This guide covers the following laws: Americans with Disabilities Act; Telecommunications Act; Fair Housing Act; Air Carrier Access Act; Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act; National Voter Registration Act; Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act; Individuals with Disabilities Education Act; Rehabilitation Act; Architectural Barriers Act

ADA National Network:  The ADA National Network provides information, guidance and training on how to implement the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in order to support the mission of the ADA to “assure equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency for individuals with disabilities.”

Disclaimer: The Information Provided Is Not Legal Advice. Information Is Subject To Change Without Notice And The Viewpoints Expressed By The Private And Non-Profit Organizations Listed Do Not Necessarily Represent The Viewpoints Of The Department Of State. For Further Information, Please Refer To The Resources Available At The Respective Schools To Which You Will Be Applying.