Advancing disability rights and leadership globally®

The Numbers Tell the Story Infographic

Pie chart with data below on First-Year International Students

You are not imagining it! The majority of disabled international students who arrive on U.S. campuses, and Americans with disabilities who study abroad, have non-apparent disabilities.

Are you a visual learner? Download the designed PDF of this infographic to fully see these statistics and characteristics. Find it under Documents.

How Many U.S. College Seniors Have Disabilities?

  • Disabled Students are 8.8% On U.S. Campuses
  • Disabled Students are 7.8% In Study Abroad

Types of Disabilities in Study Abroad

  • Learning 39%
  • Mental 19%
  • Other 11%
  • Multiple 19%
  • Sensory 9%
  • Mobility 6%

Study Abroad Follows U.S. Campus Trends: Numbers Grow over 4 Years

  • +41% Learning Disability on U.S. Campus
  • +39% Learning Disability in Study Abroad
  • +5% Mental Disability on U.S. Campus
  • +12% Mental Disability in Study Abroad
  • +64% Other Disability on U.S. Campus
  • +67% Other Disability in Study Abroad

Who are Study Abroad Students with Non-Apparent Disabilities?

  • 1 in 5 Women with Mental or Learning Disabilities Have Studied Abroad
  • 1 in 4 Student Leaders with Mental or Learning Disabilities Have Chosen to Study Abroad

Study abroad students with mental and learning disabilities are:

  • More Likely to Be White 80%
  • 47-48 % Have Highly Educated Parent(s)
  • Least Likely 1% to Be Military Veterans

Study Abroad Students with Other or Multiple Disabilities Are More Likely 8-11% to Be Military Veterans

Source: The National Survey on Student Engagement 2014 and 2010. All study abroad data is taken from senior college student responses.

How prepared are education abroad programs?

  • Cover Mental Health in Pre-Departure Orientations 81%
  • Include Mental Health in Crisis Management Plan 57%
  • Require Mental Health Insurance Coverage 52%
  • Cover Accommodation Needs in Student Legal Documents 50%
  • Have Counseling Staff as Part of Crisis Response Team 44%
  • Have Campus Policies for Pre-Travel Health Checks 41%
  • Have Campus Policies for Participation Approval Based on Health 23%

Source: Risk Management in International Education: National Survey Results, 2014, David Engberg and Andrea Wagner

First-Year International Students

  • Disabled International Students 4%

Types of Disabilities

  • Learning Disability 35%
  • Mental Disability 10%
  • Other Disability 12%
  • Multiple Disabilities 14%
  • Mobility Disability 6%
  • Sensory Disability 20%

How have the Numbers of International Students with Non-Apparent Disabilities Changed in 4 years?

  • + 1% Learning Disability
  • +3% Mental Disability
  • +15% Other Disability

Learning, Other, or Multiple Disabilities Compared with All International Students Rate Less:

Learning Support Services

  • 69% vs. 76% rate these services “quite a bit” to “very much” satisfaction

Support for Overall Well-Being

  • 62% vs. 69% rate this support as “quite a bit” to “very much” satisfaction

Source: The demographic statistics are from National Survey on Student Engagement 2014 and 2010. All international student data is from the first year student responses. Satisfaction informaiton is from i-graduate’s International Student Barometer 2015, a globally benchmarked study of international students.


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