There are many concerns in choosing a college–especially for students whose mobility is compromised by physical disabilities. While the newest college buildings on college campuses have been designed and built in compliance with the Federal Americans with Disabilities Act, most campuses also have older buildings that were designed over a century before. I have been to schools that are built into hills, for example. A wheelchair-bound student would have tremendous difficulty going up those hills. Clearly the topography of a campus should be a consideration for a student who must travel in a wheelchair or use a cane.
But I’ve come to learn that there are several other questions such as:
I am fortunate to have earned a master’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, one of the most accommodating schools for college students with physical disabilities. Not only is the campus flat; walkways are well-marked and well-lit and access ramps are part of every building. The mass transit district has very good customer service. The housing office has worked with private landlords on a regular basis since GIs arrived on campus after World War II. Not all schools are as barrier-free as the University of Illinois. But I’m proud that they set a high bar for the rest to follow.
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