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International Programs for Accessible 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 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 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. 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.

Institute on International Education (IIE). 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.

IESabroad offers education abroad programs in over countries worldwide for college level students. Scholarships available for students with disabilities.

New Directions Travel. 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. Facilitates long-term volunteer service opportunities throughout the world. Many people with disabilities have been Peace Corps volunteers.

Rotary International. Offers youth exchange programs, college level scholarships for study and Language Learning 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.

Servas International 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.

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