Best Colleges For Students With Physical Disabilities

Student with disability studyingApproximately 6% of college undergrads have a physical disability, according to US Census Bureau data from 2010.
When physically disabled high school students are looking for a college, they need to do some homework and start well in advance, certainly during Junior year and possibly during sophomore.
 
There are many services that colleges can offer, and if you are able to visit a college campus, you can see firsthand how extensive the support and inclusion services are.  One important stop on a campus visit would be the Office of Disability Services; it may have a different name on each campus, but you need to locate the office to make sure there is one.  Be sure to be honest about your needs, so that you can be sure the college can and will meet them.  You don’t want to go to a college where they are not able to support you as you need.
 
Some schools that are well known for being very supportive of physically challenged students include:
Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
Location: Endinboro, PA
Type: Public
Students: 7,462
Tuition: $6,240 in state / $9,360 out of state
Michigan State University
Location: East Lansing, MI
Type: Public
Students: 48,783
Tuition: $12,769 in state / $31,639 out of state
Ohio State University
Location: Columbus, OH
Type: Public
Students: 56,387
Tuition: $8,856 in state / $23,751 out of state
Temple University
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Type: Public
Students: 36,744
Tuition: $13,006 in state / $22,832 out of state
University of Arizona
Location: Tucson, AZ
Type: Public
Students: 40,223
Tuition: $8,364 in state / $24,574 out of state
University of California, Berkeley
Location: Berkeley, CA
Type: Public
Students: 35,893
Tuition: $11,220 in state / $34,098 out of state
University of Houston
Location: Houston, TX
Type: Public
Students: 40,747
Tuition: $5,173 in state / $12,685 out of state
University of Illinois
Location: Champaign, IL
Type: Public
Students: 44,520
Tuition: $11,847 in state / $27,219 out of state
University of Texas, Austin
Location: Austin, TX
Type: Public
Students: 52,186
Tuition: $9,794 in state / $32,506 out of state
Wright State University
Location: Dayton, OH
Type: Public
Students: 16,780
Tuition: $7,781 in state / $15,344 out of state
 
Schools can offer a wide variety of services, and be sure to examine the full list of offerings when you visit, research or call.  Make a list of what you really need, and then track which colleges have most of your needs. In this way you can make a great placement.  Don’t forget to make sure the college offers two majors that interest you!
 
Disability support services can include:

  • Having an office of disabled services
  • Snow removal on campus
  • Elevator
  • Support groups
  • Clubs
  • Adaptive sports
  • Tunnels on campus
  • Curb cuts
  • Ramps
  • Accessible buses
  • Academic support services
  • Personal support services
  • Medical services
  • Wheelchair maintenance services
  • Accessible buildings

Be sure that all of the schools on your final college list offer exactly what you will need to be academically successful.  And finally, a great book to check out on this topic is College Success for Students with Disabilitieswritten by mother-son team Chris and Tom Tiedemann. The Tiedemann’s book lists 70 colleges that are excellent at serving physically challenged students.  Do your research and set yourself up for success.  Yay, college!

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