United States

A group of students from different countries, including a student in a wheelchair, share a group hug.

Find a Program in the U.S.

Find opportunities to study, learn, and grow professionally in the U.S., whatever your disability. Your options are endless. As a person with a disability, you have the same right as everyone else to gain professional experience, study at a college or high school, learn English, or volunteer in the U.S.

A young Latin American blind woman exits a public bus as a sighted American woman guides her.

Getting What You Need in the U.S.

If you come to the U.S. on a professional program, internship, or cultural exchange, you will need to find resources and services in your U.S. host community that can meet your disability-related needs. International students, scholars and teachers can access disability services at their U.S. school but will sometimes need to find community resources, too.

A young Pakistani man in a suit stands in front of the Capitol building in Washington, D.C.

Your Rights and Responsibilities

In recent U.S. history, disability rights activists have fought to ensure that every person with a disability may have the opportunity to live up to his or her full potential. While you are in the U.S., you will benefit from the same disability rights possessed by U.S. citizens with disabilities, and you will also be expected to fulfill certain responsibilities.

Safira gardening as a volunteer with other exchange students

My Golden Year in America

I am 17 years old and an ASSE YES Exchange student from Karachi, Pakistan. I was very excited to get the opportunity to come to the United States of America. This was something that I prayed for and it was like a dream come true.

I am visually impaired and have had very little vision my entire life. In Pakistan, where I attended a school for the blind, there are many challenges and few opportunities for blind people. I’ve learned the opposite is true here in the U.S. What I’ve learned here [in the US] is more than I could possibly write about in a few short paragraphs.

Luu Thi Anh Loan wearing a graduation cap and gown

Breaking through Barriers in Vietnam

A neighbor once told to my mom that there was no space for people with disabilities after graduation, that I should stay home to learn sewing, embroidering, or doing housework.

Handiwork and household jobs were popular for girls with disabilities in the 1990s, and I recognized many people with disabilities in general stopped their education because of discrimination. I tried to convince my parents to give me an opportunity to study further and expressed my expectation to live independently. It took me long time to get an approval from my parents.

Franz Knupfer, who has a cochlear implant, sits in a window overlooking in Udaipur Rajasthan, India

Should I Disclose My Disability?

Like many other people with disabilities, I struggle with the issue of disclosure. Legally, I’m not required to disclose that I am Deaf unless I plan to ask for accommodations. At the same time, I’ve learned that I need to disclose my disability at some point in the process of applying for an international exchange program, school, or job in order to be successful. I can’t hide my disability, and nor should I feel I have to.

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