Disability and Health Accommodations
DIS is committed to working with students with disability- and health-accommodation needs in partnership with the student’s home university.
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/Health 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.
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.
Each student’s needs are unique and warrant a conversation. However, the below information is provided to help you begin to consider if DIS is right for you. If you have any accommodation questions, you are also encouraged to contact the DIS North American Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Daily life at DIS includes navigating Copenhagen. Overall, there is some infrastructure to help accommodate individuals with disabilities in the city. General observations:
- Living and traveling in Europe requires more walking than in most parts of the U.S.
- Copenhagen, as with many other European cities, has a medieval city center with cobblestoned-streets and narrow sidewalks. Curb cuts exist throughout Copenhagen, but not consistently, and wheelchair ramps are rare.
- There are traffic signals at major crosswalks in Copenhagen, many of which have auditory signal, but not all
- Many buildings have steep stairs and elevators are nearly non-existent outside of hotels and shopping malls
- All students have a commute (walking, biking, or by public transit) between housing and class. Many train stations in Denmark have elevators or are otherwise accessible. Buses are technically handicap accessible, though DIS has received reports of bus drivers not always providing this service
DIS Copenhagen Buildings
DIS consists of administrative offices, classrooms, and a library which are within a few blocks of each other in central Copenhagen. Many of these buildings do not have elevators, and it is not possible to install an elevator as the buildings are listed as Danish National Heritage buildings. Most staircases are steeper than you may be used to in the U.S., and sometimes it is necessary to climb many flights of stairs to reach a destination. There are no wheelchair ramps leading into or within DIS Copenhagen buildings.
Students enrolled in a course held at an external university, or students in the Medical Practice & Policy program who take courses at various hospitals in the region, should discuss those additional spaces in detail with DIS.
Other Relevant Information to Consider
Academics and Learning Accommodations
DIS is primarily an academic program and all students must abide by DIS Academic Regulations. Students who receive learning accommodations on their home campus can often receive similar accommodations at DIS.
Consider the following general guidance:
- Previous students have received accommodations including assistance with note taking, extra test time or a reduced credit load
- Reading technology (including braille printers or captioning) and audio version of course materials are not available, though DIS has successfully had students provide their own or partnered with students and their home schools to find creative solutions to providing access to courses and course materials
- Danish Sign Language is similar but not exactly the same as American sign language – read more about Danish sign language here (click Info in English on the right-hand side)
Field Studies and Study Tours
Field studies in Copenhagen and Program Study Tours in Europe are a core part of the academic experience at DIS. In addition, many students choose to supplement their learning with Optional Study Tours and DIScovery Trips. Consider the following:
- Field studies and study tours can be particularly challenging for students with mobility disabilities as they involve travel, tight schedules, and a lot of walking around cities, museums, historical sites, etc.
- Generally, there are not alternative activities available for those who are not able to participate in any activity while on tour
Housing and Food Services
DIS students have a number of choices for housing and the ability to accommodate specific needs will differ depending on housing preferences. Read about DIS Housing here.
Consider the following:
- Housing options are spread throughout the Copenhagen area, and there are a few Kollegiums and Residential Communities that have elevators. However, there are no housing options in the center of the city/near DIS that have elevators, so elevator access comes with a commute
- Each housing offers different options for access to meals, yet none provides a full meal plan so students will have to cook or purchase at least some of their own meals
- Though DIS has been able to accommodate documented health/disability needs for single rooms, private kitchens and private bathrooms, our ability to do so is limited by the number of rooms that provide this option