Everyone wants to be inclusive. Being inclusive is being respectful and welcoming.
But in practical terms what does being inclusive look like? How can disability topics be addressed outside of one-on-one conversations with an individual? There are a number of strategies you can use to market study abroad programs in a disability inclusive manner.
Here, I have laid out specific examples of ways to be inclusive of people with disabilities on a website. There are a lot of options to suit different departmental and organizational dynamics.
While this guide highlights two websites for each strategy you will notice that many of these websites use several of the strategies outlined here. For the sake of highlighting each specific strategy I have intentionally chosen to focus on grouping the examples by strategy rather than dissecting every strategy used on each website.
I hope these examples encourage you to find practical ways of being inclusive of people with disabilities in your study abroad program marketing in the future!
Provide a PDF guide
Provides a PDF document specifically guiding students with disabilities through the study abroad process in detail.
Provides a PDF guide to study abroad for all students with a section of detailed information dedicated to students with disabilities.
Provide detailed questions to consider
Provides detailed questions for students to consider which are organized by category.
Provides detailed questions to consider which are organized by disability type.
Provide detailed info for various disability types
Provides links to travel information produced by Mobility International USA based on disability type.
Provides detailed information based on disability type including specific action steps.
Provide a welcome video
Shares a short video (~4 mins) with interview clips from study abroad alumni with disabilities sharing their experiences.
Shares an orientation video (~11 mins) specifically for students with disabilities explaining the study abroad process.
Link accommodation request forms
Provides a link to the student accommodation request form in PDF format.
Provides links to the student accommodation request forms in electronic format. There are two different forms for different program types.
Provide detailed program information
Provides detailed, non-disability specific information organized by country with specific program details such as typical housing options.
Provides detailed accessibility information for select university sponsored (developed) programs around the world. Check out the Site Accessibility Questionnaire to provide similar information about programs.
Provide links to additional resources
Provides links to other websites to give students with disabilities more information on study abroad.
Provides links to other websites including the Transportation Security Administration (airport guidelines) and International Narcotics Control Board (country specific guidelines on medication regulations) to give students with disabilities more information on study abroad.
Provide a detailed explanation of disclosure
Explains why disclosure is important and how disclosure is helpful in a non-intimidating manner. How staff will be able to assist students with program information when accessibility needs are disclosed is clear.
Explains disability disclosure and accommodations through a series of FAQs. This is located specifically on the Office of Disability Services webpage and a link is listed on the Office of International & Summer Programs webpage. There is also a link to electronically request a study abroad accommodation letter from the department.
Share stories from alumni with disabilities
Provides tips from students with disabilities who have studied abroad in the form of a Q&A.
Provides reflections on study abroad experiences from students with a variety of disabilities in a searchable database. Linked here is the disability tag but there are other diversity ambassadors in the database too.