In 2009, agreements reached by the United Nations regarding the rights of persons with disabilities went into effect. In accordance with article 24 of the convention, signatories shall ensure that people with disabilities "have access to general higher education and lifelong learning opportunities without discrimination and on equal footing with others."

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) provides support for the exchange of students and researchers from abroad and domestically, thereby making possible accessibility to the best possible education and research opportunities. People with disabilities and chronic illnesses in particular rely on a high qualification to improve their chances for a job matching their abilities. For this reason the DAAD supports the grants provided by the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities based on equal opportunity study conditions and encourages students with disabilities and chronic illnesses to spend part of the their degree course abroad, improve their foreign language skills and establish international contacts.

The best way to ensure a successful stay abroad is to secure financial aid that not only covers the costs of studying and living expenses, but also aid that covers all additional costs resulting from a disability, such as medical care, nursing care and student nurses. The federal and state governments and social benefits organizations should ensure that the corresponding general framework is in place. The regulations governing the social welfare of disabled persons has not yet been (sufficiently) adjusted to modern education settings.

For that reason, the DAAD provides financial aid for additional costs not covered by another sponsor and resulting from a stay abroad and from a disability or chronic illness. This applies for both individual grants and the DAAD's multifaceted project grants. In the past the DAAD has been committed to improving insurance protection for its scholarship recipients and will continue to do so in the future.

1. DAAD Financial Aid for Individuals:

German scholarship recipients To facility mobility abroad for German scholarship recipients with disabilities or chronic illnesses and for those eligible to apply, the DAAD will cover the additional costs incurred due to a stay abroad and resulting from a disability or chronic illness with the maximum limit of cover usually totalling €10,000.00. This will apply assuming that a preceding review confirms that these costs will not be paid by other organizations or covered by health insurance.

International scholarship recipients Likewise the DAAD provides financial aid for foreign scholarship recipients with disabilities or chronic illnesses (students, graduates, Ph.D. candidates) to cover the additional costs incurred in Germany due to a disability or chronic illness assuming that a previous review confirms that these costs will not be paid for by another organization, by the DAAD's group insurance or that the costs will not be paid for in full. For foreign scholarship recipients (students, graduates and Ph.D. candidates), the DAAD has been able to set up increased insurance protection in a DAAD group contract for illnesses incurred prior to the contract, which covers nearly 100% of all prior illnesses. Due to the complex nature of the topic no general regulation could be defined, and all inquiries in this regard will require individual review.

2. DAAD Financial Aid for Projects: There is also DAAD financial aid for mobility related costs in the case of projects that is made available to eligible German and international students, Ph.D. candidates and researchers who apply assuming that these costs are due to a disability or chronic illness and will not be paid for by any other organization. The maximum limit is usually €10,000.00. The same opportunities and limitations apply as those for individual aid.

If you are interested in a stay abroad, talk to the Erasmus coordinator at your campus: Helena Fonseca (for the Giessen campus) and Stefanie Müller-Eibich (for the Friedberg campus).

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