Disability Accommodations

Your first step is to go to your university’s Disability Services Office/Disability Resource Center to discuss your needs and any support they can offer you (including financial) for study abroad.

As a part of Student Registration, you complete a Disability Accommodation Request Form. The information is private and shared only as relevant to your accommodation requests. After reviewing the Form, DIS staff will contact you to prompt a dialogue and explore options.

In most cases, submitting your accommodation request through the Form allows plenty of time for you and DIS to dialogue about options. However, if you have a more extensive need for accommodations, you are encouraged to reach out to begin this dialogue as soon as possible. See more information in the section on roles below.

The DIS Approach to Accommodation Requests

As a private Danish organization, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) does not apply to DIS and DIS does not have the same resources as an American college or university. However, as a study abroad organization supporting students from American universities, we are committed to making reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities on their home campus. Further, DIS aims to help students understand the realities they will face in their daily lives abroad. For more information about this, read about the infrastructure of Copenhagen and DIS here.

If you have any accommodation questions, you are also encouraged to contact the DIS North American office by writing health.accomodation@dis.dk

Roles

Student

  • Discuss needs with their disability services office before applying to study with DIS. Discuss details of requested accommodations and financial assistance through the campus/other resources. Note that in most cases, a U.S. institution will not finance a personal attendant and not all universities see study abroad accommodations requests as reasonable. As a result, the student should understand what expenses they may need to consider covering themselves
  • Make disability accommodation needs known to DIS as soon as possible. Understand that the likelihood of accommodations being possible/successful increases with the length of time that the student, home university, and DIS are able to plan/prepare together. Not all needs will be able to be accommodated and requests made within 90 days of the program start date are especially difficult to grant
  • Be realistic about their disability accommodation needs
  • Keep an open-mind and lines of communication: What is considered standard in the U.S. may not be available overseas. When a particular accommodation is not available, be creative and open to different solutions but realistic if the solution isn’t workable. DIS is considering the comprehensive life of the student while abroad and not just academics
  • If disability needs change while overseas, students should notify their disability specialist on their home campus and DIS to promptly to discuss options. Not all needs will be able to be accommodated

The Student’s Home School

  • Discuss study abroad and accommodation requests/needs with the student. Even if students feel that little or no accommodation is needed overseas, help them think about how the new environment and culture affect their accommodation needs as well as their personal planning considerations
  • Provide documentation of the student’s registered disability and detailed accommodations the student receives on campus as well as any thoughts as to accommodations necessary abroad
  • Be prepared to address the associated financials related to accommodations
  • Keep an open-mind and lines of communication: What is considered standard in the U.S. may not be available overseas. When a particular accommodation is not available, be creative and open to different solutions. Also, DIS may need more information about a disability than would normally be disclosed to a professor because DIS is considering the comprehensive life of the student while abroad and not just academics.

DIS

  • Receive a student’s accommodation request
  • Communicate with the student and home university to discuss requests including possible alternatives for those that are not reasonable or possible
  • Approach requests objectively — disclose the realities of the program location and program structure including both the good and bad — and keep an open mind
  • Provide financial estimates for accommodation needs to assist the student and their home school in budgeting
  • Keep an open-mind and lines of communication: When a particular accommodation is not available, be creative and open to different solutions in collaboration with the student and their home school