Picking a college isn’t as easy as learning your ABC’s, especially when you have a disability


Today’s post has to do with important topic in terms of people with disabilities and their education. The topic is: disability friendly environment colleges. I have to admit I was one of the lucky ones because I found a college willing to do anything to anything they could to make my college experience a successful one. But I realize not everyone is that lucky because of a variety of circumstances. Whether it be financial or otherwise. For that reason, I chose those topic. I know the article I am summarizing is a couple of years old, but I think it still has good advice.

Since they were unable to evaluate every college or university, New Mobility Magazine used the top 50 colleges and universities listed in US news & World Report as a standard. Unfortunately, only 34 of the responded in time for inclusion in the article. The schools are ranked in no
particular order or category. Out of those 34, some generalizations could be made in terms of accommodations made for people with disabilities. These accommodations range from a basic (i.e. handicapped accessible classrooms, adaptive technology) to the more comprehensive programs (help with career planning and to programs focused on disability management . Some of these colleges are listed below.

  1. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    At one point, this college was known for its college assistance in helping to provide everything disability related. This includes everything from personal assistance to on-site course assessment. During this process, a disability advisor looks over a student’s course schedule and notes possible barriers to a student’s success. They look at the whole picture in terms of disability, personality, social life, and academics. This includes advising students based on personal differences such as endurance (in completing assignments), travel time etc. While they still provide background checks as they did in 1994 to students hiring personal care assistants, they now leave it up to the students to hire and fire care assistants on their own.

  2. University of California at Berkeley

    This university also focuses on such topics as “student empowerment”. For example, the personal assistant program is primarily for students who had no prior experience directing their own care. Like Illinois, potential assistants are screened by the program manager, but it is left up to the student to go through the interview process. After two years, they are able to live independently on their own. The University also provides such services as wheelchair maintenance and their own transportation system that provides service for anyone who is disabled and whose calls are within the city limits.

  3. Edinboro, University of Pennsylvania

    University of Pennsylvania is well known for its on-site residence where personal care assistants and disabled students live in the same building. In the Schaeffer and scanton residence hall, there is personal care assistants available 24/7 seven days a week .

  4. University of Wisconsin

    On the Madison campus, the college is best known for its Disability Resource Center as well as mentoring program. As part of the program, staff workers provide a list of accommodations that this student needs. Then, all the student needs to do is present it to the teacher and then they work together and negotiate changes. It also offers people with disabilities access to course materials and homework electronically.

    The Whitewater campus is also known for being the most accessible across the nation. Along with being physically accessible, but campus also ensures for their physical needs, by providing physical as well as occupational therapy.

Ross, Rachel. “Disability-friendly Colleges.” newmobility.com September 1998 . 21 March 2007 http://www.newmobility.com/review_article.cfm?id=122&action=browse

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