Ensure Your Institution Accommodates Students With Disabilities

March 12, 2020

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) — designed to prohibit discrimination and ensure people with disabilities have the same opportunities as those who don’t — was signed into law 30 years ago. While many colleges and universities have taken important steps to accommodate students with disabilities, some institutions have more steps to take.

In a March 2020 report, NBC News interviewed more than a dozen college students with disabilities. The students contended that they have faced difficulties with accessibility and accommodation on their campuses; they explained how those difficulties have affected their sense of belonging.

Ensuring students with disabilities have equal opportunities and accessibility is crucial — especially since a large percentage of students have disabilities.

Data show that about 20% of undergraduate students in 2015-16 reported having disabilities.

Meanwhile, about one-third of students with disabilities who enroll in a four-year college or university graduate within eight years, according to a 2017 analysis by The Hechinger Report. At two-year schools, 41% graduate.

Colleges and universities seeking to accommodate students should consider providing Canopy Programs’ Accommodating Students With Disabilities learning program to faculty and staff. Among the key things the program explains:

  • How common types of disabilities affect students
  • Common accommodations for different types of disabilities
  • The professor’s role in the accommodation process
  • The disability service office’s role in initiating and facilitating student accommodations
  • How accommodations for students with disabilities can benefit students who are not disabled

Canopy Programs Resources
Accommodating Students With Disabilities

Additional Resources
30 Years After Americans With Disabilities Act, College Students With Disabilities say law is not Enough
ADA Anniversary