Sun setting on the Louvre in Paris.

Dear NCDE: How Do We Support a Blind American in Paris?


We have a blind student registered with our disability services office who plans to study abroad in France during the following academic school year. Our office is working with the university’s study abroad program to facilitate this endeavor. Could you help us locate funding or resources that would assist in making sure the student is fully accommodated while studying in France?

Two young white people, one who has an apparent disability, chat while a young man wearing a hat and holding a white cane stands in background facing them.

Dear NCDE: How do we get disability documentation for international students

Dear NCDE:

We typically need documentation in order to verify that a student has a disability before reasonable accommodations can be provided. How should we go about this in the case of international students?

Justin's response:

Disclaimer: The information in this blog post is provided for general informational purposes only. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. 

Group photo of a dozen people - including women and men, people with physical disabilities, non-disabled people, and people of color. Two women in the center are identifiable as Susan Sygall and Judy Heumann.

Spring into an International Career!

Promoting citizen diplomacy. Being an ambassador. Helping communities around the world access vital services.

These are just some of the perks of working in the fields of international exchange and/or international development. Imagine if more people with disabilities entered careers in these fields and became the leaders and decision-makers. Might we see a shift in how these fields engage disabled people so that they are represented in citizen diplomacy, and reached by humanitarian efforts?

A medium-sized brown dog with black nose and floppy ears lays at the feet of three unseen people seated on a bench.

Dear NCDE: What About Emotional Support Animals and Exchange?

More and more students with mental health disabilities are bringing emotional support animals (ESAs) on overseas programs. Conflicts between cross-border definitions of assistance animals and peers who have severe allergies to pet dander have left professionals scrambling to respond. Here are some of our suggestions for one professional who contacted us through our Inquiry and Referral service:

A woman and a blind high school student smile as they work together to prune an overgrown raspberry plant in an outdoor garden

My Internship with MIUSA

Sitting at my desk on a freezing cold February day, while working at the University of Minnesota’s Learning Abroad Center, I clicked on a website link for the National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange, which took me to the webpage of a nonprofit I had not yet heard of, a disability-led NGO called Mobility International USA (MIUSA). I decided to make myself a note to take a closer look through MIUSA’s website and resources to see what kind of work they do.

A group of people with and without disabilities hold up signs with words in Vietnamese and English while posing for a photo at the ACDC office

Identifying the Gaps to Deaf Inclusion, and Taking Action

By Lydia Shula, Program Manager

My eyes dart around the room, while my fingers jump between laptop keys, camera clicks and my translation headset. There are papers with words posted all over the walls, visually shouting in both Vietnamese and English: ‘access’, ‘justice’, ‘ dignity’, ‘enforcement’, ‘autonomy’. Up on a screen, paused mid-play, is a video of Linh, a leading force in the Deaf rights movement, signing in front of a blue backdrop with text displayed to his right.

Four women seated and talking and taking notes around a round table with a sign labeled "Loud Proud and Passionate, disabled women as leaders in inclusive development"

Full Circle Access at Gender 360 Summit

By Ashley Holben, Program Specialist

How do you get people with disabilities to the table? And is simply getting them to that proverbial table enough? What's the next step?

These are some of the questions we were thinking about when, for the first time (hopefully the first of many!), MIUSA had the opportunity to attend the Gender 360 Summit hosted by FHI 360, a member of MIUSA's EDDI initiative.

Three young women stand on a high ledge facing out towards the view

Re-Defining the “Success” Story

International exchange is one of those experiences that can have high stakes for someone with a disability.

A disabled exchange participant might invest so much energy convincing others that nothing bad will happen if they go abroad, that it stings that much worse if an accident does occur. Worse still, even a minor incident might result in a program to question the participant’s abilities or to project doubts on future participants with disabilities.