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Blog #28: Common Accommodations Provided By Colleges For Students With Disabilities

Updated: Aug 16, 2022

This is Part 3 of a three-part blog series on the process for students with disabilities to access reasonable accommodations in college.

Colleges can provide a range of accommodations for students with disabilities. Qualifying college students with disabilities can request accommodations pertinent to their college experience, including in housing, dining, transportation and assistive technology. Reasonable accommodations in a college or university setting are adjustments made in programs or services that give qualified students with disabilities equal and effective access needed to participate in college. Some examples are set out here.

Housing Accommodations Students with physical disabilities and health conditions may require housing accommodations in order to be able to live on campus. Reasonable accommodations will give students equal access to housing and communal living in their college community. Examples of reasonable accommodations in college housing include:

· Arranging for a private bathroom and/or an ADA accessible bathroom

· Allowing for a single room

· Waiving a “no pet” policy to allow for an assistance animal

· Assigning an accessible parking space near a residence hall entrance or room

· Allowing a move to the ground floor due to limits or changes in a student’s ability to use stairs

· Emergency strobe light/bed shaker in a dorm room (for the hearing impaired)

· Access to a private or shared kitchen facility

· Guaranteed on-campus housing during the academic year

Dining Accommodations

Students with food-related disabilities (food allergies or special diets) that limit their ability to fully participate in a college meal plan may seek an accommodation. These accommodations can entail:

· Pre-ordering meal choices from a specialized menu

· Special food preparation of existing menu items, or the ability to request menu substitutions without certain ingredients, such as dairy, tree nuts, gluten, and having meals prepared in an allergy-free area

· Exemption from meal plan requirements

Transportation Accommodations

Students with disabilities affecting mobility may seek transportation accommodations. These accommodations can include:

· Free bus passes

· The purchase of, or free, accessible parking permit on campus

· Use of college-provided paratransit and shuttle services that are wheelchair accessible and give rides to on-campus classes, appointments and extra-curricular activities

· Pre-scheduled door-to-door transit services

Assistive Technology/Other Services

· Making audio recordings of lectures or meetings (for classes and college clubs)

· Facilitation of qualified interpreters

· Materials in alternative formats, such as texts in braille, recorded, or as digital files

· Access to voice-recognition software

· Access to text-to-speech programs

· Regular meetings with an accessibility counselor and/or learning specialist

· Alternate ways to evaluate academic performance, e.g. projects or oral presentations instead of written tests

If your college student has a disability, it is important that they seek to access the accommodations that address their disability. This will help put them on equal footing with their peers and ensure that they have full and equal access to the wide range of services, programs and facilities provided by the college. Academic accommodations, which are designed to reduce or eliminate barriers in the learning environment, will help ensure students with disabilities have equal access and opportunity to learn and participate fully in their college's educational programs. Inquire early with your college about getting any needed accommodations put into place!



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