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Disabledgapyears.org

Gap Year Opportunities for Disabled Young People

Case studies of young people with disabilities
who have undertaken challenging gap years

Our mission is to encourage and enable young people with disabilities to take a gap year or shorter break from formal education. You will find case studies written by young people with disabilities who have undertaken challenging gap year projects overseas or in the UK.

We also provide relevant information and good advice to anyone, whether disabled or not, wishing to take a gap break.

FOREWARD
by David Blunkett, former MP and Secretary of State for Education and Employment
As one who has been blind from birth, I warmly welcome this initiative aimed at young people with disabilities. A well-spent challenging gap year, usually taken between school and university, and including commitment to a working project, can provide young people with skills and experiences that universities and employers value, and can broaden their perspectives so they become citizens of the world. I would have welcomed the opportunity to take a gap year myself but sadly they didn’t exist in my day. Today gap years, whether taken in the UK or overseas, should be open to all young people.. Disabilities may impose certain limitations but should not be seen as a barrier.

I congratulate Callum Russell, who like me has been blind from birth. He was a volunteer on a gap year project in Peru, and has drawn on his experiences to put together this challenging project. I commend Gap Year Fairs for providing technical back-up and advice.

I congratulate the individual contributors who had to overcome their own challenges. Their gap year stories are inspiring, and the core message from all of them is the same. Don’t regard your disability as a barrier; you can always find a way.   

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USEFUL INFORMATION IN THE WEBSITE
Gap Year Guidelines: general information and advice on planning a gap year
Database of recommended gap year organisations
Fundraising Guide: how much might it cost and how to raise the money
Travel safety advice

HOW TO USE THIS WEBSITE
Apart from the information provided, you can contact us on any aspect of taking a full gap year or shorter break from formal education. For example:

  • I have decided to take a gap year; where do I start?
  • You might ask us to suggest reputable organisations with projects that match your interests.
  • You might find an organisation on the internet but not on our database, and ask if we know it.

Email us through our website