7 Steps for #Access2USA

International student rides down a ramp using her wheelchair in front of the "International House Cafe".
There are seven days of the week, seven colors of the rainbow, seven seas, seven continents, and seven steps to study in the USA as a student with a disability! We encourage you to follow these steps to find your #Access2USA.

Step 1: Start Looking!

Remember that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) gives you the right to access educational programs offered on U.S. soil, so find an opportunity that fits your interest.

Step 2: Apply!

You have the right to an accessible application and admission process, if needed.  Many programs will allow you access to an advisor who will provide assistance.

Step 3: Start studying!

You have the right to an accessible test for admission purposes, such as the TOEFL and GRE, if needed.  Start studying and preparing for the exams.

Step 4: Prepare!

If you need disability-related accommodations, request them as soon as possible. The testing agencies will provide you reasonable accommodations for exams such the GRE, TOEFL, and SAT’s, but you need to request them far in advance. 

Step 5: Learn!

You should have access to classrooms, labs, libraries, housing, transportation, and cafeterias to ensure you can focus on your academic goals.

Step 6: Ask!

While you will have many resources and opportunities available, no one is going to assume that you want them. Don’t be afraid to speak up, and advocate for yourself.

Step 7: Have fun!

Engage in adaptive sports, recreation, and other exciting on-campus activities. Many find that this is a great way to make friends and feel more included.

There are many more steps to take, such as confirming funding options, health insurance, and immigration matters. Start early and don’t forget the steps above! Check out more tips and resources for studying in the United States in our Plan Your Travel - Coming to the USA webpage.