Mobility offers young people opportunities for self-development and enhances their future employability. Participation in exchange programmes is a challenging for young people, as they are facing an unfamiliar environment, such as a new language and culture. It can be even more difficult for students with disabilities who may face inaccessible environments or disability-related stereotypes. As recognition of such challenges, Erasmus Student Network developed the ExchangeAbility project to make our organisation accessible and to help remove obstacles to enhance participation in exchange programme. The ExchangeAbility project was also initiated due to recognition of the situation regarding the very low participation of students with disabilities in Erasmus study mobility.

In 2013 Erasmus Student Network have been granted by the Council of Europe (CoE), European Youth Foundation for a project called MapAbility. It is a sub-part of ExchangeAbility with the aim to create a map (a web-based information tool) about the accessibility and services of European Higher Education Institutions for students with disabilities, in order to provide practical information to HEIs and students with disabilities to be confident participating in study mobility programs. To accomplish the main aim, information is gathered through an online questionnaire by the HEIs with the cooperation of local ESN Volunteers. ESN Volunteers who are active in working with and for international students are charge of implementing the project and directly benefiting from it. The project enables them to develop their skills in volunteering with students with disabilities and enhance their tolerance and mutual understanding towards diverse groups of society including people with disabilities. The gathered information about accessibility of higher education institutions and services for students with disabilities will be available and maintained on the ESN’s webpage. The web-based tool will help the work of HE professionals and students with disabilities when con sidering study abroad. ExchangeAbility itself is part of ESN long strategic framework to promote the opportunities and support offered for students with disabilities to study abroad. ExchangeAbility works with ESN sections, HEIs and organisations that are experts in the field to create the best conditions possible for students with disabilities during their stay abroad. 

Generally you can contact the ExchangeAbility Team by writing to exchangeability@esn.org.For further information please visit:website: www.exchangeability.eu and also exchangeability.esn.org and  https://www.facebook.com/ExchangeAbility  & https://twitter.com/ExchangeAbility