5 Universities that Offer Programs or Services
for People with Disabilities

 

By Stephanie Kocer

Texas A&M recently announced a new on-campus program for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The four-year postsecondary education program is called Aggie ACHIEVE. It’s a certificate-based program that aims to help young adults with disabilities expand their interests while preparing them for employment. Through Aggie ACHIEVE students will graduate with a certificate acknowledging their completion of the program. The goal of this new program at Texas A&M is to give someone a college experience they might not have been able to receive with rigorous academics and employment experience that will give them the skills to go out into their communities after graduation and get a job that they are interested in that matches their strengths.

Aggie ACHIEVE is divided into two different sections, with the first two years being focused on teaching students about living independently, career awareness, and self-determination, while the last two years focus on career development and field specialization. Students enrolled in the program live on campus , take part in classes, and serve in student clubs and organizations. There will also be current students who volunteer to be “Aggie ACHIEVEmates,” and will have a one-on-one relationship with the Aggie ACHIEVE students to promote a community of inclusion on the university’s campus.

In the spirit of Texas A&M’s new program, here are some other universities that offer similar programs and services for young adults with disabilities:

 

University of Iowa

Iowa’s UI REACH (Realizing Educational and Career Hopes) is a comprehensive transition program for students ages 18-25 with intellectual, cognitive, and learning disabilities. UI REACH offers an integrated college experience in a caring and structured environment. Students will receive a Big 10 college experience while attending courses that help them learn academic skill building, career preparation, independent living, and self-advocacy. The program also teaches workplace readiness skills through coursework, mock interviews, internships, field trips, and presentations. UI REACH students receive a certificate of completion at the end of their experience.
Check out the website

 

Augsburg University

Augsburg University in Minneapolis offers students with disabilities the CLASS (Center for Learning and Accessible Student Services) resources that promote access and inclusion for students with disabilities by partnering with the campus community to provide accommodations, resources, and education. The CLASS staff includes a director, disability specialists, and an assistive technology and accommodations specialist who are all experienced in serving students with disabilities. The program helps determine appropriate accommodations for students, individual support, instruction in learning strategies, help with time management and organizational skills, and assistance with course selection. CLASS also offers several on-campus accommodations like alternative testing, assistive technology, alternative format textbooks and course materials, note taking support, housing accommodations, and classroom accommodations.
Check out the website

 

University of Connecticut

UConn’s Center for Students with Disabilities or CSD has a mission to enhance the college experience for students with disabilities. Their goal is to ensure a comprehensively accessible university experience so students with disabilities have the same access to programs, opportunities, and activities as all others. The center also works to promote access and awareness to all members of the community and has a large staff and over 200 student employees. The campus provides 11 accessible residence halls for its over 700 students with disabilities. The campus is known for it’s modified sidewalks, ramps, and elevators in less-accessible areas. The CSD’s services include academic advising, access to personal assistants, and technology assistance through a program called CSDTech.
Check out the website

 

DePaul University

DePaul’s Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD) offers services for a range of disabilities, including physical, learning, medical, mental health, and sensory disabilities. With the exception of a small fee for students who require weekly clinician services, the CSD services are free for all DePaul students. The center’s services include testing accommodations, note taking assistance, adaptive equipment, assistive technology, sign language interpreters, advocacy, priority registration, and course selection advising. There is also physical access across the campus, including on-campus housing. The Center offers supports to students to achieve their academic goals while promoting their independence. CSD is a resource to the many university departments that share the responsibility of supporting the members of our diverse learning community.​
Check out the website 

 

University of Michigan

The University of Michigan’s Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) provides assistance regarding academic, economic, social, and recreational activities to students with disabilities. Specific services include counseling, classroom assistance, volunteer readers and note takers, sign language and oral interpreters, peer tutors, accessible transportation, orientation and registration assistance, special scholarship, tape recorders and talking calculators, aids for reading and studying, braille and large print materials, adaptive computer technology, and telecommunication devices. The program’s main goal is to assist students in negotiating disability-related barriers to the pursuit of their education, while trying to improve access to university programs, activities, and facilities for students with disabilities. The SSD also strives to promote awareness of disability issues on campus.
Check out the website

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