Note on Accessibility

What to Expect / Physical Health:

Because travel in the University of Dallas Summer Programs can often involve heightened medical stresses due, for instance, to differences in language and culture, full schedules, extensive walking, variable weather, uneven terrain, climbing stairs at monuments and other locations not handicapped accessible, difficulty in accommodating special dietary needs, and lack of access to medical assistance/facilities, the University therefore asks each traveler to provide complete and accurate health information in order to determine our group's specific needs in connection with participation in the program. To help ensure a traveler's safe participation, the University may ask that a traveler have a physician's examination or provide additional documentation to verify the traveler's physical and/or emotional ability to participate in the Summer Program.

All participants must be in good health and fully able to participate in all tour activities. Any medical conditions must have been stable for four months prior to the program and must be stable such that no need for medical intervention is anticipated. This program includes long touring days with extensive walking over uneven surfaces and climbing stairs at monuments and other locations not handicapped accessible. There is no elevator at several of the museums and sites, and there are no grab bars in the bathrooms of the University dormitory.

There are no medical facilities on campus. In emergencies we use the nearest emergency facility in the Italian public health system. When available and time permitting we may access private physicians and facilities for which students must pay all costs upfront in cash and then apply for reimbursement from their insurer when they return home. For extended concerns students would have to return home at their own expense. We recommend medical evacuation insurance.

ADA Accomodations:

Any condition that may require assistance or special medical attention must be reported at the time of your registration. Disabilities must be disclosed no later than March 20. If you think you may need ADA accommodations, please visit our ADA page, and submit a request for accommodations as soon as possible.

Here is the link to our ADA webpage:

In addition to our own policies, the following information is quoted directly from the US Department of State Country Specific Information on Italy and the Holy See

Accessibility: While in Italy, travelers with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation different from what is found in the United States. Many find Italy's narrow cobbled streets and storied monuments charming; they can, however, be a challenge for physically impaired travelers. Many Italian sidewalks lack ramps, some Italian streets lack sidewalks altogether, or for instance in the case of Venice, may feature staircases and narrow pedestrian bridges. While some major sights and hotels have put time and planning into ensuring accessibility, there are others that lack ramps, elevators, or handicap-accessible bathrooms.  Advance planning can go a long way in making a difference in accommodation for disabled travelers. Inform airlines and hotels of your disabilities when making reservations as some time may be needed to prepare accommodations. Call ahead to restaurants, museums, and other facilities to find out if they are wheelchair-accessible. Most, but not all train stations in Italy have accommodations for those traveling in wheelchairs. With advance notice, personal assistance can be provided to a disabled person traveling through a particular station. More information is available at Trenitalia's website addressing disabled travelers. Remember that Italy functions on 220 volt current. To recharge an electric wheelchair motor you may require a transformer to change the 220 current to 110 volts, as well as an adaptor to adjust the plug to fit Italian electric sockets.  

Medical Facilities and Health Information: Medical facilities are available, but may be limited outside urban areas. Public hospitals, though generally free of charge for emergency services, sometimes do not maintain the same standards as hospitals in the United States, so you are encouraged to obtain insurance that would cover a stay in a private Italian hospital or clinic. It is almost impossible to obtain an itemized hospital bill from public hospitals, as required by many U.S. insurance companies, because the Italian National Health Service charges one inclusive rate (care services, room and board).

You can find good information on vaccinations and other health precautions, on the CDC website.  For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the World Health Organization (WHO) website. The WHO website also contains additional health information for travelers, including detailed country-specific health information.

Medical Insurance: You can't assume your insurance will go with you when you travel.  It's very important to find out BEFORE you leave. You need to ask your insurance company two questions:

  • Does my policy apply when I'm out of the U.S.?
  • Will it cover emergencies like a trip to a foreign hospital or a medical evacuation?

In many places, doctors and hospitals still expect payment in cash at the time of service. Your regular U.S. health insurance may not cover doctors' and hospital visits in other countries. If your policy doesn't go with you when you travel, it's a very good idea to take out another one for your trip. For more information, please see our medical insurance overseas page.