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Students With Disabilities - Travel Checklist

Nov 8, 2011
Accessibility Information



A Checklist For Before You Travel

So, you have found your study abroad program, been accepted and now its time to make your travel arrangements. There are a number of important factors for students with a disability to consider before traveling (e.g. transport accessibility, visas, transporting luggage, visas, immunisation and drug prescriptions).

This checklist will help students to plan their move in advance, making the journey as smooth as possible.

  • Contact the airline to find out about your rights as an airline traveler with a disability, making sure to know the information you will need to provide them at least one month prior to your flight. Prepare to be assertive about your needs and rights. Talk to peers with similar disabilities for air travel tips.
  • Know how to prepare your adaptive equipment or guide animals for the flight.
  • Break up your flights in segments if you cannot physically tolerate several hours on a plane.
  • Be ready for security screening at the airport including pat-downs and understand your privacy rights.
  • Research your own health insurance and the program's health insurance – Will it meet your needs?
  • Prepare emotionally, know that things may be difficult at times, but be ready to problem solve and to keep a positive attitude.
  • Plan if you think you will need a personal assistant, sign interpreter, a note-taker or other similar support person (such as a service dog) while participating in the program. This decision will require honest discussions with the program agency and/or country contact. You need to decide if the person needs to travel with you from home or if you can hire someone in the host country. And you may need to consider how to fundraise if the program can't cover all the costs.
  • Carefully plan your luggage and have a plan for how you will manage it if you need assistance or if the luggage or your adaptive equipment is lost or broken.
  • Have your prescriptions properly labeled and information about the prescription and disability condition written in the language of the country of destination for customs officials. See the MIUSA tipsheet on Medications and International Travel.

This guide was developed in association with Mobility International USA.
Keystone Team


The Keystone Team is comprised of experienced educators and advisors dedicated to providing valuable resources and advice to students all over the world.