The school year is fast approaching, and soon high school seniors will be filling out college applications. Finding the right college is always a challenge, and wheelchair users have even more factors to consider when choosing their dream school. These colleges go above and beyond when providing accessibility on-campus:
1. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: Urbana, IL
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has a history of exceptional wheelchair access. They were the one of the first to implement a wheelchair-accessible bus system and a competitive wheelchair sports program. These are in addition to their extensive academic, accommodation, and campus life support programs. Check out their Disability Resources and Educational Services website here.
2. Edinboro University: Edinboro, PA
Edinboro University’s Office for Students with Disabilities advocates for universal design for both the physical design of the campus facilities as well as the instructional design of curriculums. Though the snowy Pennsylvania winters may present more challenges than a university in a warmer climate, the fantastic programs (such as the Assistive Technology and Life Skills Centers) offered by Edinboro University more than make up for it.
3. Hofstra University—Long Island, NY
Hofstra University also has a wheelchair-accessible transit system, and their Services for Students with Disabilities Office offers assistive technology, academic and career coaching, an annual FULLAccess Student Summit, and assistance getting accessible housing. The campus itself is also wheelchair-friendly, as it was designed with wheelchair users in mind.
4. UC Berkeley—Berkeley, CA
The Disabled Students’ Program at UC Berkeley is dedicated to providing each student with individually designed services based on that student’s unique needs. With a Disabled Students’ Residence Program, accessible transportation, a Campus Access Guide, and more, UC Berkeley has an incredible number of resources available for students with disabilities. The city of Berkeley is also very accessible, making it easy to get around both on and off-campus.
5. Stanford University—Stanford, CA
The Diversity and Access Office, in conjunction with the Office of Accessible Education, oversees disability services at Stanford University. Their Campus Access Guide provides detailed information about how to access each building on campus. The campus transit system is wheelchair accessible, and their DisGo Cart Service provides disabled students, faculty, and staff free transportation around campus as well.
6. University of Arizona—Tucson, AZ
The flat campus and warm temperatures of the University of Arizona make it great for wheelchair users, but it’s their Disability Resource Center that puts them above and beyond. They offer an amazing adaptive athletics program, extensive career services, and accessible study abroad programs, on top of the standard accessible transportation and residence halls.
The most important thing to do if you are applying to college with any type of disability is to contact the school’s disability services office and make sure they know what your needs are. You are your own best advocate! And, most of all, choose a college that feels right for you.
From all of us at 101 Mobility, best of luck with your applications!