Degree Name

MA in International Education

First Advisor

Dr. Sora Friedman

Second Advisor

Dr. Alla Korzh


In 2015­­­­–2016, 8.8 percent of students with disabilities studied abroad, a significant increase from the academic year of 2014–2015 where 5.3 percent of students with disabilities studied abroad. Despite the small percentage, several organizations are working to increase access within international education. The initiative Generation Study Abroad aims to double the number of students who study abroad by 2020. Students and professionals are creating resources, offering scholarships, and more to increase student participation in study abroad. As a person with a disability, and a professional who works closely with universities and students around access, I designed a program on behalf of Abroad With Disabilities (AWD) introducing Universal Design for Learning (UDL). International Studies Abroad (ISA, third-party provider) will provide support with the design and implementation. The program is four weeks total—two weeks online and two weeks in person in Costa Rica. The purpose of the program is to develop Education Abroad professionals’ awareness of UDL for purposes of increasing access within study abroad. UDL is meant to be used in conjunction with a curriculum to increase access for multiple individuals.

The proposed program Applying Universal Design for Learning to Study Abroad Programs: A Best Practices Model for Education Abroad Professionals will invite 8-18 individuals to participate online and abroad. During the program participants will observe how UDL can be modeled and develop tools, skills, and knowledge, to increase access at their workplaces. After completing all program requirements, participants will receive a certificate of completion emphasizing their knowledge, skills, awareness, and work with UDL within Education Abroad. This capstone paper demonstrates how this program will be designed, and introduces methods on how to increase access during the program design phase for professionals to reference in their work.


Curriculum and Instruction | Disability and Equity in Education | Higher Education | International and Comparative Education | Other Teacher Education and Professional Development | Teacher Education and Professional Development