Launch of the #DisabilityAbroad Experiential Campaign

American on a scooter talks with local cypriot children
Experience is key – join us to create the buzz among Americans with disabilities about taking part in mainstream international experiential opportunities

"What’s really interesting for me is seeing different international development strategies applied in the local context." Antonia DeMichiel, who has cerebral palsy and served in Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Chile

According to the 2016 Open Doors report by the Institute for International Education (funded by the U.S. Department of State), 22,000 U.S. students participated in noncredit work, internship, and volunteer activities in the 2013-2014 academic year, and universities are reporting that interest in these kinds of study abroad experiences is growing. It is a fact that will not surprise many, given the increasing emphasis that employers are placing on experience in addition to degrees.

The #DisabilityAbroad campaign in May and June 2016 celebrates people with disabilities of all ages who participate in international experiential exchange. By offering tips and encouragement to those who are thinking about it, or who may not even know that it is possible, the National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange (NCDE) shows how to get started.

With employment rates in the disability community around 30%, who could benefit more from volunteer and intern experience abroad than people with disabilities? Join the NCDE in making sure that students with disabilities are not left out.


  • U.S. people with disabilities
  • Institutions, organizations, and agencies providing overseas experiential opportunities


  • Are you a U.S. person with a disability who has done an internship, volunteer or teaching experience abroad or have you had people with disabilities participate on your program? Tell us your story for a feature on our website or to submit to disability or travel magazines.
  • Share on Social Media! Download and share the InfoGraphics on Flickr (below) or post your story, photos, or videos volunteering, interning, teaching, performing, or other experiential exchanges internationally using the hashtags: #DisabilityAbroad, #VolunteerAbroad, #InternAbroad, #DisabilityTravel, #PWD
  • Consider participating in noncredit experiential education overseas to boost your resume and share your skills with an amazing project abroad, or share with the disability community about overseas opportunities that your organization or institution offers.

Sample Tweets

  • #PWD should #VolunteerAbroad because…
  • 22,000 US students volunteered or interned abroad in one year. Make sure #PWD are among them. #VolunteerAbroad #InternAbroad
  • Support #DisabilityAbroad experiential campaign to increase #InternAbroad and #VolunteerAbroad in #PWD community.

Sample Facebook Posts

  • I want to #InternAbroad or #VolunteerAbroad because…
  • Check out what the National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange is doing with its #DisabilityAbroad experiential campaign to increase #VolunteerAbroad and #InternAbroad in the disability community.
  • People with disabilities like Tracy have a unique contribution to offer. #VolunteerAbroad #Intern Abroad

“There’s just a far greater need out there, and I wonder what responsibility I have, do we have, to be aware of that need and to help when we can. I think I’d have a broader perspective if I’d had the nerve to go abroad earlier in my life.” Sean Whalen, who is blind, is in Nicaragua learning how his policy and advocacy work translates across cultures. Read his and other stories in the A World Awaits You publication.

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