When people are getting ready to graduate from high school, most are trying to figure out what college to go to. They consider things like their major, how far away they will be from family, and tuition costs, among other things. However, if someone is physically disabled, there are a lot of other things that they also have to consider. If someone has physical disabilities, things like if there are accommodations to be able to live on campus, and how they will be getting to and from class become huge considerations.
According to information from the Disability Statistics Center at the University of California, there are over a million physically disabled college undergraduates in the United States, and they take up about 6 percent of all students. However, there are few colleges that are meeting the needs of these students, especially if the needs of the student are severe enough to have an effect on their day to day living.
The author of “College Success for Students with Physical Disabilities” Chris Wise Tiedemann states that there are only five colleges that are able to house a student with serious physical disabilities on campus. Those schools are the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Houston, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and Wright State University in Ohio. Wise states that if a person has severe disabilities, these are the colleges that they should look into.
If a person has physical disabilities that do not require as much accommodation they can look into other universities, but it is important that they do research and make contact before selecting a school to attend. These students should if at all possible tour the school, and they should make sure that they speak with senior members of the admissions department to make their needs clear. It is important that a person with disabilities is sure that they can traverse the campus. If there are issues with curbs or ramps not being available, it is not out of line to request they be put in for students that need them.
Be aware though that high schools frequently make these types of changes with little or no issue, but colleges do not always adhere to the same requirements that high schools do. Some older universities also have buildings that, due to historical significance, do not require them to be changed to accommodate student needs.
Students that need help getting dressed and ready should also look into hiring aids to assist them in doing day to day things if need be. It is important to have these types of things set up before they arrive at college.
By being prepared, students with physical disabilities will have a much higher likelihood of success.