During the 2011-12 school year, students with disabilities comprised 11% of college enrollment.
|Type of Disability||Percentage|
|Specific learning disabilities||31|
|ADD or ADHD3||18|
|Mental illness/psychological or psychiatric condition5||15|
|Health impairment/condition, including chronic conditions||11|
|Mobility limitation/orthopedic impairment||7|
The all others category includes audio, visual, and language impairments, as well as autism.
HEATH can be a resource for prospective college students with disabilities.
The HEATH Resource Center is an online clearinghouse on postsecondary education for individuals with disabilities. Since 2000, the HEATH Resource Center has served as a national clearinghouse on postsecondary education for individuals with disabilities, managed by The George Washington University Graduate School of Education and Human Development. Now, The HSC Foundation has partnered with The George Washington University to expand the content of this resource and to designate it as the official site of The HSC Foundation’s National Youth Transitions Center.
Some colleges provide extra support services.
Almost all colleges provide some level of services for students with disabilities. The American Educational Guidance Center provides a list of some that “go a step further…they offer programs, some quite comprehensive, designed to support students with learning disabilities”.
While 94 percent of high school students with learning disabilities get some kind of help, just 17 percent of college students do.
Along with “18-year-olds’ natural inclination to go it alone”, another problem is finances.
Many college disability centers require documentation of a student’s learning disability. A set of tests used to verify whether a student has a disability, necessary for those who have no documentation or haven’t been tested before, costs as much as $5,000, according to academic-support and disability-services coordinators at several colleges and universities — a price tag K-12 schools pay but many higher-education institutions won’t.
While more and more colleges offer innovative programs in which staff members work closely with learning-disabled students, many charge extra for those, too. Some schools have turned to grants and private donors to cover this cost, but students often are expected to pay for the programs.
It’s probably safe to say that most college professors are not knowledgeable about instruction for learning disabled students.
“I think we have to always remember that while professors are amazing experts in content areas, many of them have had no training in pedagogy,” said Williams, who is introducing UDL to three North Carolina campuses. “We have to find practical ways to help them know how to do that.”
Advocates for the deaf on Thursday filed federal lawsuits against Harvard and M.I.T., saying both universities violated antidiscrimination laws by failing to provide closed captioning in their online lectures, courses, podcasts and other educational materials.