Why is it more challenging for a student with disabilities to go to college?

It is more challenging for a student with disabilities to go to college due to the lack of accessibility in physical infrastructure and educational materials, limited support services, and social barriers that may hinder their participation and inclusivity on campus.

Detailed responses to the query

As an expert with practical knowledge in the field, I can provide a detailed answer to why it is more challenging for a student with disabilities to go to college. While the brief answer states the main reasons, let’s delve deeper into each aspect.

  1. Lack of accessibility in physical infrastructure and educational materials:

Students with disabilities often face physical barriers when accessing college campuses. Many institutions lack proper ramps, elevators, or assistive technologies to accommodate students with mobility impairments. Additionally, educational materials, such as textbooks or online resources, may not be accessible for students with visual or hearing impairments, posing further challenges.

“Accessibility is a basic human right, not an add-on feature.” – Haben Girma, disability rights advocate.

  1. Limited support services:

Students with disabilities may require additional support services to succeed academically. Unfortunately, not all colleges have well-established disability support offices or staff trained specifically in catering to diverse disabilities. This can lead to inadequate accommodations and adjustments, making it more challenging for these students to fully participate in their courses.

“Disability is a matter of perception. If you can do just one thing well, you’re needed by someone.” – Martina Navratilova, former professional tennis player.

  1. Social barriers hindering participation and inclusivity on campus:
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In addition to physical and educational barriers, students with disabilities may face social barriers. These include stereotypes, stigma, and lack of awareness among their peers and faculty members. Negative attitudes or misconceptions about disabilities can isolate these students and hinder their social integration, leading to a less inclusive college experience.

“Disability is not a brave struggle or ‘courage in the face of adversity.’ Disability is an art. It’s an ingenious way to live.” – Neil Marcus, performance artist.

Interesting facts:

  1. According to a study by the National Center for Education Statistics, the percentage of students with disabilities enrolling in higher education has increased over the years, from 6% in 1999 to 11% in 2016.
  2. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), enacted in 1990, mandates that institutions of higher education provide reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities.
  3. Each disability requires unique accommodations. For instance, students with mobility impairments may require accessible classrooms and dormitories, while students with learning disabilities may benefit from note-taking support or extended time for exams.
  4. Assistive technologies, such as screen readers, captioning tools, or electronic Braille displays, can significantly enhance accessibility and educational opportunities for students with disabilities.


Here’s a table summarizing the challenges faced by students with disabilities in college:

Challenges for students with disabilities in college
Lack of accessibility in physical infrastructure and educational materials
Limited support services
Social barriers hindering participation and inclusivity on campus
Stereotypes and stigma
Insufficient disability support offices and trained staff
Inaccessible educational materials
Physical barriers on campuses

In conclusion, students with disabilities face various challenges that make it more difficult for them to pursue higher education. These challenges include the lack of accessibility, limited support services, and social barriers. By recognizing and addressing these barriers, colleges can create a more inclusive environment that enables all students to thrive academically and socially.

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Answer to your inquiry in video form

This video highlights the importance of understanding the differences in accessing services and accommodations for college students with disabilities. It emphasizes reaching out to Disability Support Services (DSS) at Montgomery College through an online application. The application is reviewed, and a DSS counselor then schedules an appointment with the student to discuss goals and accommodations. Common accommodations include extended testing time and note-taking assistance. The DSS counselor continues to work closely with the student, generating an accommodation letter that can be presented to professors. DSS also offers academic support centers, tutoring, and assistive technology. Utilizing these services can greatly impact a student’s success at Montgomery College.

See more answer options

Professionals who work with postsecondary students with disabilities report the following range of challenges students with disabilities encounter that negatively impact successful transition to four-year schools: Differences in academic requirements. Poor study skills. Inadequate self-advocacy skills.

  • Differences in academic requirements
  • Poor study skills
  • Inadequate self-advocacy skills
  • Inadequate academic preparation
  • Financial support
  • Lack of mentors with disabilities
  • Differences in disabled student services

In addition, people are interested

Is it easier to get into college with a learning disability?
Response: No, students with a learning disability do not get any advantages when it comes to getting into college.
What is the most significant challenge facing students with learning disabilities?
As a response to this: Challenge: A student with a disability may find it difficult to sit still or focus during a lesson. Classroom decorations, classmates, and other stimuli may be distracting for a student with a disability, making it nearly impossible to pay attention to the teacher.
What are the barriers to education for students with disabilities?
As a response to this: Physical Inaccessibility: Students with disabilities continue to encounter physical barriers to educational services, such as a lack of ramps and/or elevators in multi-level school buildings, heavy doors, inaccessible washrooms, and/or inaccessible transportation to and from school.
How learning disabilities affect college students?
The answer is: Students with learning disabilities generally take longer to process the information they are learning, and extra time is an often needed accommodation. Sometimes the student will need double the amount of time to complete assignments and take tests.

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