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Travel Abroad Disability Travel International Programs for Disability Travel

International Programs for Disability Travel

Lynn Atkinson and her friend Leo at the Sphinx in Giza, Egypt.

There are countless exchange programs available, and people with disabilities can explore the many options by starting with the resources listed below.

AFS Intercultural Programs, 71 W. 23rd St., 17th Fl., New York, NY 10010; 800-AFS-INFO or 212-807-8686, fax 212-807-1001;, Offers exchanges for high school students and educators to a variety of countries and has experience accommodating participants with a range of disabilities.

Council of International Programs (CIP), 1700 E. 13th St., Ste. 4ME, Cleveland, OH 44114-3213; 216-566-1088, fax 216-566-1490;, Brings mid-career professionals from around the world to the U.S. for practical training in fields such as human services, education, law, non-profit management and public administration. CIP welcomes participants with disabilities and representatives of disability organizations and also arranges homestays with families that have members with disabilities. Scholarships are sometimes available.

CIEE: Council on International Educational Exchange,300 Fore St., Portland, ME 04101; 1.800.40.STUDY or 207.553.4000, fax 207.553.4299;, Offers study and teach abroad programs in many countries around the world and encourages people with disabilities to apply. People with various disabilities have participated in CIEE study programs in Australia, Brazil, Spain, Thailand, etc.

Cross Cultural Solutions, 2 Clinton Pl., Rochelle, NY 10801; 800-380-4777 or 914-632-0022, fax 914-632-8494;, Coordinates 1-12 week volunteer and internship programs in ten countries worldwide, and encourages people with disabilities to participate.

Global Deaf Connection, 2901 - 38th Ave. South, Minneapolis, MN 55406; tel/tty 612- 724-8565, fax 612-729-3839;, Organizes deaf education teachers and community members to go on short-term summer programs to volunteer at the schools for deaf children in Kenya, Jamaica, or the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Global Explorers, 420 S. Howes, Suite B300, Fort Collins, CO 80521, (877) 627-1425,, Global explorers designs educational expeditions for groups of middle school, high school, and college-aged students and their educators. Each adventure emphasizes leadership, culture, service, and science. International destinations include Peru, the Arctic, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Tanzania.
Developed in partnership with world-renowned blind athlete Erik Weihenmayer, the Leading the Way program is individual-enrollment and open to students of all physical abilities, ages 14 to 21. Summer 2010 destinations include the Grand Canyon and the Maya Yucatan in Mexico. This program challenges and prepares students to act on the passions they discover.

Institute on International Education (IIE), 809 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017-3580; 212-984-5400, fax 212-984-5452;, Provides information on international study, language and internship opportunities. IIE assists thousands of individuals annually on exchanges, including those with disabilities, and produces numerous exchange-related publications and an online financial aid/scholarship database. It also administers the Fulbright, Freeman Asia, Gilman and other grant programs that have been awarded to students with and without disabilities.

Institute for the International Education of Students (IES), 33 N. LaSalle St., 15th fl., Chicago, Illinois, 60602; 800-995-2300 or 312-944-1750, fax 312-944-1448;, Offers education abroad programs in 15 countries for college level students. Scholarships available for students with disabilities.

International Studies Abroad, 1112 W. Ben White Blvd. Austin, TX 78704, 800-580-8826 or 512-480-8522;, Provides college level study abroad programs to 22 destinations, and opportunities for volunteer, internship, independent enrollment and high school programs.

New Directions, 5276 Hollister Ave., Ste. 207, Santa Barbara, CA 93111; 888-967-2841 or 805-967-2841, fax 805-964-7344;, Coordinates international travel programs each year for people with cognitive disabilities. The emphasis is on enriching educational travel opportunities to expand experiential learning and enhance the self-esteem of every traveler. Each program includes personal attention and service. Itineraries are structured but include opportunities for choice.

Peace Corps, 1111 20th St. NW; Washington, DC 20526; 800-424-8580; Facilitates long-term volunteer service opportunities throughout the world. Many people with disabilities have been Peace Corps volunteers.

Rotary International, One Rotary Ctr., 1560 Sherman Ave., Evanston, IL 60201; 847-866-3000, fax 847-328-8554; Offers youth exchange programs, college level scholarships for study and language study overseas, and exchanges for teachers and mid-career professionals. People with disabilities have participated in the past and are encouraged to contact their local Rotary Club to apply.

Scuola Toscana Firenze Via dei Benci 23- Via Garibaldi 5, Florence, Italy; 011-39-055 244583,, Provides Italian language and culture courses located in the center of Florence, offering courses in small groups for beginners to advanced speakers. Teachers offer a complete program of activities, from art excursions to wine tasting. Wheelchair accessibility with ramps, ground floor access and EU-retrofitted facilities. Located in the historic section with wider streets and near accessible hotels and the railway station.

SERVAS/U.S. SERVAS Committee,, Links travelers with hosts in many countries with the hope of building world peace through understanding and friendship. SERVAS encourages people with disabilities to join, and it has a prepared listing of accessible and semi-accessible homes with hosts able to accommodate travelers with hearing, vision, or mobility disabilities.

Success Oriented Achievement Realized (SOAR), P.O. Box 388, Balsam, NC 28707, 828-456-3435, fax 828-456-3449;, Serves youth with learning disabilities or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder who want to build life skills through adventure opportunities in the U.S. and Latin America.

Undiscovered Britain & Ireland, Inc., Disability Travel and Senior Travel. We specialize in travel to the U.K. & Ireland and offer totally accessible small group tours for mature travelers or slow walkers, where we use fully accessible transportation, hotels and sightseeing. Please visit our website call 215-969-0542 for further details.

U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, SA-44, 301 4th St. NW, Rm. 234, Washington, DC 20547, 202-453-8153, fax 202-453-8125,, Promotes mutual understanding between the U.S. citizens and people from other countries worldwide through academic, professional and cultural exchange programs and activities. People with disabilities received fellowships and are encouraged to participate in its programs.

Volunteers for Peace,, Offers over 3000 short-term international community service workcamps in 90 countries worldwide for people from different backgrounds and countries to volunteer on projects together.

Wilderness Inquiry, 808 14th Ave. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414, 800-728-0719 or 612-676-9400, TTY 612-676-9475, fax 612-676-9401,, Organizes a wide variety of canoe, sea kayak, dogsled, rafting, horse pack, and hiking trips in Africa, North America, Oceania, and other regions of the world. All trips include people with and without disabilities working together to make the outdoor adventures open to everyone.

Youth for Understanding USA, 6400 Goldsboro Rd. Suite 100, Bethesda, MD 20817; 800.TEENAGE; Tel. 240-235-2100;, Youth For Understanding (YFU) offers the learning adventure of a lifetime to high school students. A YFU study abroad program is an experience that will immerse you in the lives, cultures and communities of a real family in one of over 40 countries around the globe. You can choose from summer, semester, year or gap year programs. Change Your Life, Change Your World! Study Abroad with Youth For Understanding, one of the oldest and most respected student exchange organizations.

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