How Edinboro Univ. Goes Above and Beyond ADA Standards
This Pennsylvania Institution of higher education partnered with its long-time integrator to provide greater accessibility and independence to students with disabilities.
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For nearly 25 years, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has served as one of the most comprehensive articles of U.S. legislation. The law prohibits discrimination while offering a lasting promise for people living with disabilities – a guarantee that they will “have the same opportunities as everyone else to participate in the mainstream of American life.”
Today, the dream to achieve an undergraduate, and, in some cases, a postgraduate degree holds a wealth of promise for all students – regardless of disabilities. As institutions work to comply with ADA standards in order to provide a full, well-rounded campus life for all students, there are a few colleges and universities in the United States that have accomplished a quality of service to students with disabilities that remain a cut above the rest.
Unquestionably, one of those is Edinboro University (EU) in Pennsylvania.
Nestled in the rural expanse of Edinboro, Pa., EU is a public liberal arts university with an enrollment of just over 7,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Boasting 80 baccalaureate degree programs and 17 graduate programs, the university provides a supportive environment that encourages excellence in all students. With developed curriculums in the sciences, graphic design, education, business and humanities, Edinboro champions students to achieve “intellectual and personal growth in an inclusive environment.”
And, it’s been this school’s pledge to uphold and maintain an “inclusive environment” that has solidified EU as a sought-after university for students with physical and cognitive disabilities. According to Chris Wise Tiedemann, the author of College Success for Students with Physical Disabilities (2012), Edinboro ranks among only five universities in the country adequately equipped to meet the needs of roughly 5.9% of the U.S. undergraduate population – approximately 1.1 million students – with disabilities. In addition to its course offerings, Edinboro has created a campus environment that is committed to the success of students with challenges, and especially those with physical disabilities.
School Expands Programs for Students with Disabilities
In 1974, EU was designated as a wheelchair-accessible campus for the state by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Over the past 40 years, the university has continually expanded its programs for students with disabilities, assuming a niche of service and responsibility to campus residents. The school currently has 574 students enrolled with disabilities, ranging from physical to cognitive, including 74 students in wheelchairs.
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