Disability-Friendly Universities in the World

5 minute read
Disability-Friendly Universities in the World

Post-secondary education is a big deal for any aspiring college student. However, for students with a disability, this becomes an entirely different ball game as they have to navigate through academics as not all universities are disabled-friendly or equipped to enable students with disability. There are a number of colleges that are specifically for students with disability, such as Gallaudet University, which serves students who are deaf or hard of hearing. 

However, a majority of students with physical disabilities choose a course with their non-disabled peers when seeking a college education. In fact, statistics show that 11% of college students have a documented disability. One of the reasons behind this may be that the students with disability very frequently aspire to study at top colleges and institutions, that have a majority of non-disabled students. Thankfully, many of these top institutions have infrastructure that is disability-friendly. To know more about disability-friendly universities, keep reading this blog!

Top Colleges/University for People with Disability

Following are some of the top universities that are disabled-friendly. These universities also rank at the top positions in the world’s best universities. 

Stanford University

Stanford University has a comprehensive resource centre that supports students with disabilities. This has become a hub for students to identify their disabilities as well as find a place to reside. Moreover, it is also a place students rely on when they are looking for any facility access or adaptive device access application forms. The centre provides knowledge and data, including various videos in order to help students with disabilities, all talking about other people with similar experiences. The university also helps students find accessible host families or arrange for their accommodation.  

The University of Michigan is Michigan – Ann Arbor

The University of Michigan’s Student Services for Persons with Disabilities provides housing and access to students with disabilities for a period of 40 years. The university boasts of supervision options for assistive technology testing, non-resident testing and accessible housing. 

As part of the University of Michigan’s efforts to create a multicultural and diverse community, the university has made several other efforts to support the full inclusion of people with disabilities. Moreover, all services to students are available at no additional charge. Student Services and Disability Coordinators are committed to creating an inclusive campus environment through support, professional advocacy, and academic services. 

Cornell University 

Cornell University provides the students with appropriate accommodation as per their needs. Students discuss their needs in staff meetings, so they can decide on the program and services the student will need. They provide adaptive technology and other resources to save all the sensitive disclosure documents of the student and give them to all campus initiatives. 

Transport Help and psychological services are also provided, which can be particularly useful for all students from high school to university. All Cornell University libraries have adaptive software that allows students to work with staff. Cornell also has a list of organizations and clubs that cater to students with disabilities.

Disability friendly University

University of Florida 

University of Florida’s Disability Resource Center connects students with the required on-campus collaborations and hence forms an institution accessible to participants of all abilities. The students after proving the documentation of their diagnosed disability will participate in an initial appointment with a learning specialist. During this session, the specialists do a thorough assessment of the learning experiences of students with disabilities. 

This is where the student and specialist begin to collaborate on possible programs and interventions which can make that student’s life easier. The on-campus facilities include access to counselling services, adaptive technologies and software, and in some cases also make alterations to physical environments in order to make it according to the student’s needs.

Ball State University

The Ball State University has a welcoming campus, with accessible housing for wheelchair sports and attendant care. Special chairs and tables in the classroom allow students with disabilities to have a comfortable and easy way to learn. Ball State also provides transport services for those who need them. 

For living, students are assigned some accommodations based on what necessities they might have. If necessary, the institution will help the student to find if they need a personal assistant which could help them with everyday tasks such as cleaning, cooking, showering, and more. 

Harvard University

Harvard University has many services, particularly for students with physical or learning disabilities. Local Student Disability Coordinators (LDC), that specialize in helping students with disabilities at all academic levels on housing issues, are one of the most unique features of the university’s disability services.

However, Local Student Disability Coordinators is not the only self-help group for students of this university. Other student organizations, such as follows, distinguish this university:

  • Student Mental Health Liaisons
  • PBHA’s Deaf Awareness Club
  • Raising Autism Awareness (HURAA)
  • Under the Surface: Mental Health Magazine
  • Eating Concerns Hotline and Outreach

It can be for sure said that the University of Harvard is one of the best-equipped universities that strive to accommodate students with disabilities.

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Missouri State University

The Missouri State University reviews accessibility services for students with disabilities on a regular basis. The university has developed a strategy of inclusiveness and diversity to better represent as well as embrace people from all walks of life, especially people with disabilities.

Accommodations in Disability-Friendly Universities

Accommodations for students can come in many shapes and sizes. It might look a little different for every individual student. Students with physical and learning disabilities require extra support which can include: audio recording or note-taking services, longer test-taking times, technology or specialized apps that include dictation software. The classroom or lab can also be moved to a more accessible building. 

Some schools also offer access to on-campus support groups for disabled students. Moreover, these schools considered a universal design while establishing their curriculum and infrastructure.


What is the most common disability among college students?

The most commonly noted disability among undergraduate students in private 4-year US colleges is as follows: 1) ADD or ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) – 26%, 2) Specific learning disabilities – 36%, 3) Health impairment/condition, including chronic conditions – 11%, and 4)Mental illness/psychological or psychiatric condition – 13%.

What is a disability-friendly University/college?

The idea of a disability-friendly college is to provide the students with disability with equal access to programs, and not just fixate on the ramps and elevators. The services that universities provide range from accommodations and basic academic resources to “one-stop shops” offering strikingly comprehensive services.

What is meant by disabled friendly?

Disability-friendly means those facilities that identify and cater to the needs of the disabled. For eg by offering wheelchair access to those with impaired vision.

There are many disability-friendly universities across the world. However, if the aspirants want a bright future ahead, they should check out the best university that provides adequate resources, facilities and infrastructure according to their needs. We know choosing the right course and university that runs parallel to your interests is very important. For this, I’m sure you’ll be pleased to take the assistance of an AI-based tool that gives you personalised suggestions based on your skills, qualifications and interests. Contact our experts at Leverage Edu they will assist you in your study abroad endeavour. To get a free consultation from us call us at 1800 572 000 now!

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