Skip to content

Students with Disabilities

keyboard with disability icons
Students with disabilities are encouraged to pursue opportunities to study off campus. If you have a documented disability and may require accommodation while you are on your program, contact the Accessibility and Disability Services office. The OCS Office and Coordinator for Disability Resources can help explore the possible arrangements, bearing in mind the different economic, legal, cultural and logistical realities in which off-campus study programs operate.

You are encouraged, but not required to notify the Accessibility and Disability Services staff or the OCS Office prior to submitting the Grinnell Approval Application to Study Off Campus. Disability status or accommodations are not considered in the Grinnell Approval Application process. At a minimum, students should be prepared to let a program provider know about needs as soon as possible after receiving Grinnell approval to study off-campus. Students should be prepared to adjust plans if certain accommodations cannot be met.

The Disability Resources Office offers information on disability resources for students on GrinnellShare.(Login required)

Things to consider for off-campus study:
  • Will my disability affect which programs I consider? 
  • Will I disclose my condition to my program? 
  • How will I plan ahead to manage my condition before going abroad? 
  • How will I adjust to living in a foreign country? (re: housing, food, culture, language, etc.) 
  • What barriers might I encounter (both in planning to go abroad, and while abroad), and how will I overcome them? 
  • If I utilize academic, medical, psychological, or other resources will I utilize resources abroad? Where can I find the resources I need? 
  • If you are taking a prescription medication, make sure to research how you will access this medication abroad. Start this process early! 
  • First, talk with your prescribing physician well in advance about getting the supply you need for going abroad. Find out if your medication is available abroad. You will want to bring an adequate supply in the original container, and a prescription with your physician's explanation of the condition and the generic and brand names of the medication and dosage information. Check with the embassies of the countries you expect to visit to make sure your medications are not illegal there. For more information visit  Mobility International’s medications tip sheet. Do not plan on sending medications abroad since it will require customs paperwork and may be delayed in delivery.  
  • 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. 

On-line resources for study abroad and disability:
Access Abroad run by the University of Minnesota's Learn Abroad Center
Mobility International
Diversity Abroad

Updated July 2023