Each higher education institution, by signing the Erasmus Charter for Higher Education, commits to ensuring equal access and opportunities to participants from all backgrounds. Therefore, students and staff with physical, mental or health related conditions can benefit from the support services that the receiving institution offers to its local students and staff.
To ensure that a person whose individual physical, mental or health-related conditions are such that his/her participation in Erasmus+ would not be possible without extra financial support can take full advantage of European mobility arrangements, Erasmus+ pays particular attention to guidance, reception, physical accessibility, pedagogical and technical support services, and, especially, financing the extra costs.
Several higher education student and staff Ambassadors selected to promote the Erasmus+ programme are persons with disabilities. Jessica from Ireland expressed her willingness to participate in Erasmus+ with these words:
“I decided to go. As someone who does not give up, I wanted to rise to the challenge. I didn’t let my disability hold me back. I think in fact it made me even more determined to make my Erasmus experience a success.”
Additional funding is available for participants with physical, mental or health-related conditions via the Erasmus+ special needs support. Erasmus+ grants may therefore be higher than the regular study, traineeship or staff grants to offset the specific difficulties faced by the participant (such as adapted accommodation, travel assistance, medical attendance, supportive equipment, adaption of learning material, an accompanying person for students and staff with disabilities). This additional support grant is a contribution based on real costs.
Higher education institutions should describe on their website how students and staff with physical, mental or health-related conditions can request such additional grant support.
Extra funding for students and staff with physical, mental or health-related conditions may be provided also from other sources at local, regional and/or national level.
In preparation of the Erasmus+ mobility period, a participant with physical, mental or health-related conditions should indicate her/his needs and extra costs in order to apply for the Erasmus+ special needs support grant with the support of their sending higher education institution.
Ask the Erasmus+ coordinator of your sending higher education institution about the application procedure (application deadline, where you can obtain the application form, where to submit your application form etc.).
The higher education institution and/or National Agency will assess your application and will decide on the additional amount you may receive.
In general, your sending higher education institution should ensure that the necessary arrangements are being made at the receiving institution to meet your specific needs, provided that you have disclosed your physical, mental or health-related conditions.
To find out more on the sort of facilities available at your receiving higher education institution before going abroad, you can get into direct contact with the person who is responsible for these matters at your prospective receiving higher education institution. The international relations office of your sending university should be able to assist you.
In order to better identify what services each institution can offer to mobile participants, higher education institutions can specify whether they have the infrastructure to welcome students and staff with physical, mental or health related conditions in their Inter-Institutional Agreements with their partner institutions, and outlining what kind of support services are offered to students.
You can also ask your National Agency to provide you with more information on specific issues that are of concern to you when planning your exchange period abroad.
The European Agency for Development in Special Needs and Inclusive Education provides a network of contact persons, appointed by ministries in each of the EU/EEA countries, who are available to answer questions and give advice on issues concerning equipment and accessible facilities for disabled students.