MIUSA, PACER Center and Accessible College hosted a webinar for parents

Group of students, including Jay who is a wheelchair user, pose on a small bridge in the countryside.
"How and why should my child with a disability study abroad?"
September 20, 2018


The National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange (NCDE), PACER Center and Accessible College presented a webinar to parents to address the benefits and common concerns regarding their children with disabilities participating in studying or volunteering abroad. 


Whether they are in high school or college, you might have a lot of concerns when your child tells you that they want to study or volunteer abroad. Some of the concerns might be disability related. "How will they get their medications while abroad?" "Will they be accepted by other students or people in the host country?"  "Will they receive the support they need in order to succeed?" Other concerns might be those that any parent would have. "What if they get lost?" "What if something happens to them?"

We attempted to answer those questions and more in our webinar collaboration with Accessible College and PACER, a national parent center for families of children and young adults with all types of disabilities.


The webinar was on Thursday September 20th, 5:30- 7PM Eastern Standard Time. A transcript and recording were made available after.


Justin Harford

Justin is a Program Coordinator at Mobility International USA. He works to increase the participation of people with disabilities in mainstream international exchange by filling the information gaps for professionals and PWD through direct advising, developing a collection of online materials, and organizing workshops. Justin spent the summer of 2008 studying Spanish in Mexico, and the 2010-2011 academic year at the Pontifical Catholic University in Santiago, Chile making progress on his Bachelor of Arts degree in Latin American history.

Jay Ruckelshaus (did not attend)

Jay is a Rhodes Scholar and PhD candidate in politics at the University of Oxford in the UK. Originally from Indianapolis, Jay uses a power wheelchair and requires the help of a personal care attendant. He first navigated the complexities of studying abroad with a disability while an undergraduate at Duke, and has returned overseas for graduate school. Jay is happy to share his experiences (the good and the bad) to make studying abroad more common for people with disabilities.

Annie Tulkin

Annie Tulkin is the Founder/Lead Consultant at AccessibleCollege where she provides students with physical disabilities and health conditions, and their families, with supports to ensure a successful transition to higher education. Prior to this position, Annie was the Associate Director of the Academic Resource Center at Georgetown University, where she supported students with physical disabilities and health conditions. Annie was a Fulbright Fellow in Mongolia, where she conducted research on Mongolian teachers’ perceptions of disability in the classroom. Annie earned a certificate in Health Coaching from Georgetown University in 2014. She completed a Master’s degree in Special Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2008. Annie graduated from DePaul University, Chicago with a degree in Secondary Education in 2003, and served in the United States Peace Corps, Choibalsan City, Mongolia 2003-2005.

Gretchen Godfrey

Gretchen Godfrey is Assistant Director of PACER Center and co-director of PACER’s National Parent Center on Transition and Employment (NPCTE). The NPCTE provides training, technical assistance, and resources to families and professionals that support youth with disabilities’ transitioning to postsecondary education, employment, and independent living.

The National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange is a project of the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, designed to increase the participation of people with disabilities in international exchange between the United States and other countries, and is supported in its implementation by Mobility International USA.