Campus Internationalization and Disability Tips

Campus Internationalization and Disability Tips


Global competence has become an important skill for students entering the 21st-century workforce and key for a higher education. Not all students can study abroad, so many colleges and universities work to bring the world to their students. These are only two of the different objectives achieved through what is known as campus internationalization.

For campus internationalization to be optimally effective and impactful, it needs to incorporate Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) in such efforts, serving the campus community broadly, including people with disabilities. Your internationalization efforts, therefore, should be aligned with your institution’s DEIA commitments. Such campus internationalization activities at a college or university may include:

  • Providing opportunities for students with and without disabilities to study or abroad
  • Attracting international students with disabilities who bring global perspectives to campus
  • Supporting faculty with disabilities to conduct research involving other countries
  • Supporting faculty with disabilities to teach abroad and to lead exchange programs for students
  • Working to educate all students on the home campus about global issues through course curricula, speakers, and co-curricular activities
  • Expanding foreign language course offerings for students with and without disabilities

Education Abroad

International exchange can be an important part of every student’s education. Utilize the resources on the NCDE website to ensure that disability is not a reason why students decide to stay home.

  • Advising
  • Reasonable Accommodation Forms for International Exchange
  • Survey for Access Abroad
  • Funding Strategies
  • Medications
  • Insurance
  • Personal Assistance Services

Attract and Support International Students With Disabilities

Include students with disabilities in your international student recruitment efforts. Some helpful strategies include: use disability-positive language encouraging students with disabilities to apply; include photos of students with apparent disabilities in promotional materials; provide ample information about disability-related resources and support services available to students; and share stories of alumni with disabilities.

Take the necessary steps to ensure that your campus is welcoming to international students with disabilities with the tips and best practices from the NCDE website. Be able to advise about:

  • Reasonable Accommodations on Standardized Tests for People with Disabilities
  • Visa considerations for those bringing a PCA or requesting a reduced course load
  • Supporting students to get disability documentation in the U.S.
  • Global Disability Culture 101
  • Disability resources in the community
  • Disability organizations in the U.S.
  • Disability resources on-campus
  • Language considerations for Deaf students studying in the USA
  • Teaching English as a second language to students with learning disabilities