Comparisons of Other University Successes
Through discussion with other universities, we have been able to see a glimpse into a bright future for BYU. Through phone and email communications with the following colleges, we asked the question, “What does your accessibility center do?” Using their answers, along with research we gathered from online measures, we have compiled a list of universities who are leaders in accessibility. BYU can become a leader in inclusion as they work towards executing recommendations the Commission has suggested. Comparing universities has been vital in helping us create accurate and feasible recommendations, which have been implemented at other universities. BYU has declined to comment on this question.
Utah Valley University
Very proactive in meeting with future students about accommodations and providing resources upfront.
Has actively worked with BYU students to test and implement new accessibility technology
Spends about 2 million on their accessibility center
University of Utah
Handles accommodations on a case-by-case basis, to serve students and their unique needs
“Our disability center covers any classroom accommodations. Let’s say a student is deaf, they would get an interpreter to help them during class. Or if it's a person with low vision or blind they can get a smart scribe that read back to them. During exams, they'll be provided a scribe or a different place to test.”
Responds promptly to broken accessible features
“We would take care of broken handicap buttons. One of our advisers knows how to get that fixed, and generally within a day that would get fixed.”
Accessibility is put as top priority over things like classrooms
“We would call up maintenance with classroom accommodations. If there's a building without wheelchair access, we would move the class to a different building so that student could be accommodated.”
Physical campus is thoughtfully considered for equal access needs
“There was a case for one blind student who couldn't hear the crossing walk. Our director handled that personally and he sent essentially a letter to the UTA TRAX and got it resolved. We don't think it's fair that U of U students don't feel safe when they're crossing.”
Personally checks accessible doors on campus
Creates dialogue with the students to make sure they have the right features for them.
“I check all the accessible doors. It’s a small campus but I am excited to improve our university to become leaders in accessibility. I want to be a top university for accessibility. My worst fear would be if I saw some student in a wheelchair struggling to open the door on our campus, or being locked out. I have two kids with disabilities so I get it. I also broke my knee a few days ago, so I also benefit from accessibility features! My main goal as the Disability Director is to have my university be a leader in disability access.”
University of Miami:
“It's my job to keep campus accessible, we have an office of staff responsible for checking buttons and ramps to make sure they are accessible and for liabilities reasons. This is not only altruistic, but keeps us functioning without liabilities”
University of San Diego:
After a student has properly initiated a request for services, the DLDRC staff shall be responsible to do all the following:
Review the documentation provided by the student to determine the eligibility of the student services.
Make an initial determination of the accommodations and services to be provided for the student (if eligible) based on an individualized review of the student's needs.
Provide the student with a Verification of Disability Memo for each instructor or program (depending on the policy of the student's school/program), as indicated on the Notification of Instructors form or as required by the student's school/program. completed by the student at the beginning of each semester.
The Verification of Disability memo shall verify that the student has a documented disability and shall list accommodations that are appropriate for that student. The DLDRC will assure that the student receives appropriate accommodations. In support of this responsibility, the DLDRC may need to assist the student by arranging for auxiliary aids, off-campus agencies, negotiating the logistics of accommodations with faculty or staff, and addressing circumstances where appropriate accommodations were not provided in a satisfactory manner.
To facilitate the resolution of disputes concerning documentation, services or accommodations in a timely manner and in accordance with our procedures.
“Yes, we try to monitor accessibility overall and campus and part of that includes making sure the accessible paddles on doors are working. We try to be proactive as possible but are also open to taking concerns from the campus (students, staff, etc.) when there are issues that need solving, etc. If something is not working for some reason, we like to be aware of that and be a part of the process to find options to make things work.
We have accessible parking spaces located near and around the law school on campus.
We would take a look at your accommodations you had in undergrad and review them for relevance and implementation in law school. It would simply depend on what the accommodations are. The process would be that students submit documentation from their off campus provider (medical, psychiatric, etc.) which typically lists what the diagnosis is and what accommodations they recommend. Sometimes this is supplemented by accommodations memos from past educational institutions also. Then we would meet with you to have an intake appointment and approve accommodations for USD. The final step would be meeting with someone from Law Student Affairs who would explain how some of the accommodations implementation might look.
We want the campus, it's programs and curriculum to be accessible to all students. We believe accommodations can help with that but also advocate for as much as possible designing things in a universal way.
Ball State has supported and been a part of adaptive recreation since the 1970's, and that tradition has carried on throughout the years. Adaptive recreation is decided based on interest and availability, but in the past we've done Goalball, Power, Soccer, Wheelchair Basketball, and more. The current wheelchair basketball program is a partnership between our campus Recreation Center and our office.
Ball State includes disability as part of our diversity statement, and we see our students with disabilities as contributing to the rich diversity of Ball State. We view our students as self-advocates and we work with them to ensure they get equal access in the classroom.