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International Programs for Accessible Travel

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

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

AFS Intercultural Programs
AFS makes exchanges possible for high school students and educators in various countries and has experience accommodating participants with a range of disabilities.

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)
IIE provides information on international study, language, and internship opportunities. IIE assists thousands of individuals annually on exchanges, including those with disabilities, and makes available an online financial aid/scholarship database. It also administers the Freeman Asia, Gilman, and other grant programs that offer aid to students with and without disabilities.

IES offers study abroad programs for college-level students in countries worldwide. Scholarships are available for students with disabilities.

New Directions Travel
New Directions 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 have opportunities for choice.

Peace Corps
The renowned organization facilitates long-term volunteer service opportunities throughout the world. Many people with disabilities have been Peace Corps volunteers

Rotary International
Rotary 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
The organization links travelers with hosts in many countries, hoping to build 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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