Individuals with Disabilities

Individuals with Disabilities

Recruitment for all educational exchange programs is based on open, and fair national competition, and on individual merit and academic excellence. Transparency in the selection process is assured. Fulbright Greece is fully committed to recognizing the inherent dignity and worth of every person, and to the provision of equal rights and opportunities.

The above quote is not just a slogan but a statement in which we believe. The Fulbright Foundation in Greece is committed to opening up all scholarship programs to the broadest possible audience of potential candidates. This includes all individuals – students, researchers, faculty staff members, artists, and teachers – with a disability.

Disabilities do not always require assistive equipment such as a wheelchair or a crutch that are obvious to the onlooker. On the contrary, most disabilities are not visible. They may include symptoms as debilitating fatigue, pain, cognitive dysfunctions and mental disorders, as well as hearing and eyesight impairments and more.

Traveling abroad as a grantee with a disability poses its unique set of challenges. Grantees with disabilities have to navigate a new country, a new culture, a new language, and also succeed in their courses. They have to do these things all while navigating a shift in expectations from their home country regarding what it means be a person with disabilities. Whether or not grantees need assistance, they are first and foremost grantees, visiting a host institution to learn, to grow, and evolve—the same as every other grantee.

Key factors in in ensuring a successful grant experience are: careful preparation and proper communication. On this page, we try to give you some guidelines that might make your trip to the US or to Greece easier.

U.S. Grantees Traveling to Greece
Greece and its millennia old history, its awesome archaeological sites, its embracing natural beauty and the magic of island life, are just a few of the main reasons why every year millions of people from all over the world visit the country. Some years ago one could say that Greece was not designed for people with physical or intellectual disabilities. Few provisions had been made to accommodate special needs. The Paralympic Games, which the city of Athens hosted in 2004, and then again the Special Olympics in 2011 have greatly contributed to the improvement of services and accessibility. Now, the government stimulated by the travel and tourism industry and by a more vocal, active and demanding group of disabled people in Greece is creating awareness and addressing some of the issues.

Greece is not necessarily on par yet with other model countries but good preparation and timely communication will go a long way to make your stay satisfactory and successful.

Unfortunately, not all resources have yet been translated into English and the below listing contains the most important sites, whether available in Greek and/or in English.

Disability and Exchange

Disability Inclusion and International Exchange

Disabled People’s Organisations

The national assembly representing disabled people’s organizations is:

National Confederation of Disabled People (ESAEA), which represents more than 35 full member organizations. About 43% of the executive council of the Confederation are disabled people. ESAEA was established in 1989 in order to advocate for the interests of all disabled people and to constitute a strong and independent representative of disabled people in Greek society and the state. Today, ESAEA is an official Social Partner of the state promoting policies that contribute to the full participation of disabled people in the social, economic, political and cultural life of the country.

Other important organizations of disabled people include:

Panhellenic Association of the Blind (PST) established in 1932, it is the first user-led organization of blind people, and disabled people in general, in Greece. P.A.B. is the exclusive representative of the Greek blind in the ESAEA and in all the official international organizations of the blind.

Panhellenic Association of Paraplegic (PASPA) established in 1977, it is the first association of people with severe physical impairments. It is a founding member of ESAEA and of the National Federation of Physically Disabled, representative of Greek people with paraplegia in Disabled People’s International and a pioneer in establishing athletics for physically disabled people in the country.

Panhellenic Union of Paraplegic & Physically Disabled (PASIPKA) established in 1992 by a large group of physically disabled people, operates 18 departments with social, educational, vocational, artistic, athletic as well as awareness raising activities.

National Federation of Physically Disabled,(EOKA) was established in 2000 as a unifying legal entity of all associations of people with paraplegia and other physical impairments.

Greek Federation of the Deaf (OMKE) established in 2004 as a representative of all associations of deaf people, in order to support and promote the rights of deaf communities, contribute to the education and vocational training of deaf people and the development and dissemination of the Greek Sign Language.

Panhellenic Federation of People with Kidney Conditions (PON) is an umbrella organization aiming at supporting and improving the quality of life of people with kidney conditions.

Panhellenic Federation of Societies of Parents and Guardians of Disabled People, (POSGAMEA) currently representing more than 184 member organizations, was first established in the early 1960s by groups of parents of severely disabled children concerned about the lack of state support. Today, the Federation participates in various relevant policy making bodies, such as the Department of Special Education of the Pedagogic Institute of the Ministry of Education, while it organizes seminars, camps and training on issues that concern the care of disabled children.

First Panhellenic Federation Of Families For Mental Health (PESOPSI) established in 1993, provides peer support for families facing mental health issues, raises awareness and lobbies for the rights of people with mental health issues.

Greek Thalassaemia Federation (EOTHA) established in 1991, it represents 26 member associations aiming at the improvement of health services provided to patients, vocational rehabilitation and social integration, campaigning against marginalization.

Disabled independent website run by Greek individuals with physical disabilities.

Disability and Education

Students with disabilities may attend mainstream schools, although an accessible school must be found. Separate schools exist for visual and sight impaired students, and for students with other physical disabilities, such as cerebral palsy.

The Voice and Vision of Special Education

In this page you will find an evolving source of information on Special Education and pedagogical practices seen from the perspectives of the educators, parents, administrators, people with disabilities and everyone who has something important to say about special education and its aspects in all levels of learning.

Disability and Travel


Travel agents based in Athens and specialized in accessible travel around Greece.

Disability and Equipment Rental


Disability and Telephone Services

A number of services are provided for disabled clients by the Greek Telecommunications Company (COSMOTE). These include reduced-cost telephone sets with screen and keyboard, and an operator service for hearing impaired clients, rebates for the visually impaired and those with severe motor disabilities, and discounted Internet packages for people with severe disabilities.

Operator service for hearing impaired - T 210 881 5555

Disability and Technology

The main objective of the Centre for Universal Access & Assistive Technologies is to support the equal participation and socio-economic integration of people with disabilities and elderly people in the Information Society, by designing products and services accessible and usable by the widest possible end-user population. Its activities include studies on e-Inclusion, as well as on industrial design practices, user assessment, accessibility guidelines and policy interventions at national and European level.

Disability and Transport

The HELLENIC Institute of Transport is a research Institute for the accessibility of transport and mobility service for older people and people with disabilities.

The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only. The information is provided by the Fulbright Foundation Greece. While we endeavor to keep the information up-to-date and correct, we make no representations or guaranties of any kind, expressly or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability, or availability with respect to the website or the information, services, or related graphics contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.

Through this website you are able to link to other websites that are not under the control of the Fulbright Foundation Greece. We have no control over the nature, content, and availability of those sites. The inclusion of any links does not imply a recommendation or endorsement of the views expressed within them.