Uganda

Global Development Studies

Accessibility

This information is provided to assist you in identifying possible accessibility barriers and preparing for an accessible educational experience with SIT Study Abroad. You should be aware that while in-country conditions and resources vary by site, every effort is made to work collaboratively with qualified individuals to facilitate disability-related accommodation. Students with disabilities are encouraged to contact SIT Disability Services at disabilityservices@sit.edu for additional information related to access abroad and to discuss possible accommodations.

Academics

During the coursework phase of the program, you will have lectures at the program site. These are augmented by site visits and excursions in the field at selected study sites. They include but are not limited to development institutions, government departments, and international nongovernmental and civil society organizations. Learning is typically assessed through individual take-home assignments, in-class assignments, written assignments, and independent study papers or internship reports. You will be provided with specifications for each assignment. In some cases, group assignments will also be done, especially during orientation and rural stay parts of the program. The language course is unique: it has simulation exercises, quizzes, and take-home assignments. All course readings and in-class materials are available in digital formats and in some cases in hard copies.

If you have questions about alternate format materials, testing accommodations, or other academic accommodations, you are encouraged to contact the Office of Disability Services as early as possible. In cases where there are extenuating circumstances, such as temporary disabilities, the academic director may grant extensions to the student to hand in work.

Program Center

The SIT program office is accessible by a ramp, an automatic door opener, lift, or accessible door handle. The building has two accessible elevators. The program’s study/library space, classrooms, pathways, and restrooms have doors at least 32 in. (82 cm.) wide. Accessible handles are widely available. The restroom has a raised toilet seat and running water.

Activities/Excursions

The program includes single- and multi-day excursions to different regions of Uganda and neighboring Rwanda, which hold historical, cultural, and economic significance. Program excursions sometimes involve long travel, short and long hikes, and short walks to select site visits. You will always be provided with a packing list, which will indicate the nature of shoes required for a specific site visit and excursion. Program excursions may occasionally vary to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities.

Housing

Each program’s homestay coordinator will be responsible for placing students in homestays. These placements are made based, first, on safety and security concerns, health considerations, allergies, and dietary needs. Homestays offer meals with family, basic laundry services, regular access to electricity to charge devices, and a refrigerator for storing medication. Homestays should be within approximately thirty minutes to one hour from the SIT resource center. When students choose to stay in town after their regular classes and site visits, they are required to use an Uber service of a special hire car, which will be recommended by the homestay parents in conjunction with the academic director and homestay coordinator. Preparation for a homestay for a student with a disability may require earlier communication with the student by Student Affairs at SIT. This is done to ensure that the student needs are met.

Dietary Needs

Ugandan communities have multiple staple foods. A staple of the diet of the urban homestays is mainly plantain, vegetables, and meats. In the rural homestays, millet bread, corn, and vegetables are very common. Meat is also served and considered a delicacy. SIT Study Abroad works with students, program staff, homestay families, home colleges and universities, and others to accommodate student dietary needs whenever possible. For more information on dietary needs and dietary preferences, please review the Student Support section of the Student Health, Safety, and Support web page.

Transportation

Students typically travel 30–90 minutes by taxi or mini bus between their primary homestay, classes, and/or placement sites. During Independent Study Projects (ISPs) and internships, commute time from rented accommodations to study and internship sites is similar. Those who choose to conduct their ISPs or internships in rural areas may travel for 1–5 hours between the program site and rural NGOs. Thereafter, they are encouraged to obtain accommodation very near their study sites or internship organizations. Public transportation lacks lifts, ramps, and room to stand and stretch. Some roads are well paved with curbs and easy access, while others are rough. Crosswalks do not have auditory signals.

Technology

You are advised to bring your own academic technology, including laptop, recording device, and assistive technology. Additionally, you will need to bring or buy in-country power adapters and power stabilizers. It is recommended that you fully insure your electronic property against loss or theft. The program center provides a scanner, printer, and one laptop for printing assignments. You will be provided with an internet modem and a phone to enhance your communication. If you have questions about assistive technology, note-taking accommodations, or other academic accommodations, you are encouraged to contact the Office of Disability Services as early as possible.

Health Resources

Medical facilities in Uganda range from public referral hospitals, regional hospitals, and health centers I to IV to rural private clinics and public health centers I to IV. Public and private hospitals are equipped to handle medical emergencies, major and minor surgeries, and outreaches should the need arise. While surgical capabilities may be inadequate and blood supplies may be insufficient in the rural health facilities, the program has contingency plans to transfer a sick student from a rural area to an urban area to access the required medical attention. Payment for medical services is covered by our health insurance provided by ISOS. A student is required to call them on the number provided to allow an expedited processing of payment. While it is a requirement that ISOS be notified prior to or during the medical service, the student may be triaged through the emergency system of the hospital as consultations with ISOS are going on. This is to ensure that the student is provided with the required treatment in a timely manner. Unless advised otherwise, the preferred health provider for ISOS in Kampala is the International Hospital Kampala in Kisugu.

Once admitted, you are encouraged to discuss any questions or concerns about accessing health services or medication while abroad during the health review process. Read more about the health review process and the summary of benefits for student health insurance.

Requesting Disability-Related Accommodations

To request disability-related accommodations once admitted, you should contact the Office of Disability Services. For more information about the accommodation process, documentation guidelines and a link to the accommodation request form, please visit the Office of Disability Services website.

Students with disabilities are encouraged to contact Disability Services at disabilityservices@sit.edu or 802 258-3390 as early as possible for information and support.

Additional Support Resources

MIUSA (Mobility International USA) is a cross-disability organization serving those with cognitive, hearing, learning, mental health, physical, systemic, vision, and other disabilities. It offers numerous resources for persons with disabilities who wish to study abroad and/or engage in international development opportunities.

Abroad with Disabilities (AWD) is a Michigan nonprofit organization founded in 2015 with the goal of promoting the belief that persons with disabilities can and should go abroad. AWD works diligently to empower clients to pursue study, work, volunteer, and/or internship opportunities outside of the United States by creating dialogue, sharing resources, and spreading awareness.