Skip to content

I have a disability.


We are so happy you’re considering Samford Abroad! 

Students who have a disability that are interested in studying abroad must have a report on file with Disability Resources. You may contact Disability Resources Director, Katy Goodgame. Without a report on file with their office, you will not be given accommodations abroad. 

For students already receiving accommodations, please inform Disability Resources Director, Katy Goodgame, of your decision to study abroad including where you are wanting to study and the duration of travel. She will be able to talk with you about considerations relating to your specific accommodations.  

Students with disabilities are also highly encouraged to talk with Samford Abroad Advisor, Alexis Whiting, early in the application process. She can talk you through program considerations based on activity level, city infrastructure, housing accommodations, and on-site support. All these criteria vary per program type and destination and may help inform you of programs best suited for your needs. 

It is important to note that the Americans with Disabilities Act is not recognized internationally. It may be possible that accommodations you receive on campus will not be honored abroad.   

Here are some additional considerations from Diversity Abroad
  • Keep in mind that places abroad may not be as accessible as you are used to. 
  • Remember that people with disabilities may be treated differently than you are accustomed to. Research before you go so you have some idea of what to expect. 
  • Be flexible and think creatively about how you can accommodate your disability abroad. 

The following information is provided by Director of Disability Resources, Katy Goodgame:

Study Abroad Travel Checklist for Students with Disabilities or Health Concerns
 
  • Students who are registered in Disability Resources may want to discuss reasonable accommodations for study abroad courses, and physical access accommodations for traveling to program locations.
  • Students who have a medical condition, or may be unsure if they qualify for accommodations are encouraged to meet with Disability Resources. Contact: Disability Resources, 103 Dwight Beeson Hall, 205.726.4078, disability@samford.edu

Know Before You Go
 
  • Meet with faculty member supervising program abroad in advance to discuss required course expectations so as to have an idea of what accommodations you may need to request.
    • Similar questions related to requesting accommodations could be:Students might need to have access to computer on exams, private space, notetaking. A daily schedule, itinerary for travels; how long will the student be in the bus? How many food/restroom breaks? How much will the students be walking? How far are nearby hospitals, stores for food, shopping access (for a student with diabetes, digestive disorders, allergies)
    • Disability Resources can provide an accommodation letter to your faculty member for your academic accommodations.
 
  • Consult with your physician before traveling overseas to identify health care needs during your trip.
    • Carry medical alert information and a letter from your health care provider describing your medical condition, medications, potential complications, and other pertinent medical information.
    • Carry sufficient prescription medication to last your entire trip, including extra medicine in case of delay. Some prescription medications that are legal in the United States are illegal in other countries
    • Always carry your prescriptions in their labeled containers, not in a pill pack. 
    • Bring an ample supply of medication to cover you for your trip, and if possible, a few extra days in case there are delays.
    • Carry a letter from the attending physician that describes the medical condition and any prescription medications, including the generic name of prescribed drugs.
    • Consult with doctors regarding change of intake of medication due to change of time zones
    • See travel.state.gov/destination for the specific area where you will be traveling, and contact the foreign embassy or consulate for more information.
    • http://www.miusa.org/resource/tipsheet/medications
 
  • Consult with your mental health clinician for medication concerns for experiencing travel anxiety. Prepare relaxation techniques and strategies for traveling including informing your faculty member of your travel concerns and meet with Disability Resources for accommodations.Preparation tips for experiencing anxiety: https://www.verywellmind.com/panic-disorder-and-traveling-2584091; https://www.travelschecklist.com/
 
Service Animals

 
  • Before traveling, you should research taking a service animal abroad.
  • Contact the U.S. embassy or consulate of your destination country for information on possible restrictions and cultural norms about service animals. Find out about any quarantine, vaccination, and documentation requirements.
  • Talk with your vet about tips for traveling with your service animal.
  • Make sure your hotel will accommodate your service animal.Assistive Equipment
Assistive Equipment
 
  • Find out if there are specific policies for devices such as wheelchairs, portable machines, batteries, respirators, and oxygen.
  • Research the availability of wheelchair and medical equipment providers.
  • Consider manual vs. power wheel chairs, including:
    • Voltage of electricity
    • Type of electrical plug
    • Reliability of electrical system 24/7
  • Because airline personnel may not be familiar with your particular assistive device, consider:
    • Providing written instructions detailing the disassembly, assembly, and stowage of your device; and
    • Taking a picture of your device before your flight to capture its condition.
  • Airlines must have a priority space for at least one folding manual wheelchair on aircraft with 100 or more seats; you must request to pre-board the flight in order to have the opportunity to stow your wheelchair in the aircraft cabin.
  • Carry medicine or other assistive devices like syringes as a carry-on item.  Passengers, at times, get separated unexpectedly from checked baggage. If you do decide to carry medication or other assistive devices with you on board, the items cannot be counted towards your carry-on baggage limit.
  • Bring photocopies of instructions about the assembly and disassembly of wheelchairs and other assistive devices when you access air transportation may be a good idea. You can provide that information to carrier personnel storing or checking your wheelchair or assistive device. 
 
 If a student chooses to not disclose disability related needs prior to arrival at his or her host site, Global Engagement, Disability Resources, and the host site will determine if accommodations are possible. It may not be feasible to make arrangements for accommodations requested too close to departure date or once on site.

It is important to remember that the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act are not in force outside of the United States. It is the student’s responsibility to disclose any disability that requires accommodation and to make plans for his or her needs. Accommodations which represent a fundamental alteration of the program or that create an undue hardship will not be provided. All decisions regarding accommodations will be made on a case-by case basis. If accommodations are needed and not available at a particular site, then students may not be qualified to participate in that specific program.


Learn more by watching this video from Disability Resources Director, Katy Goodgame.