Which Types of Colleges Have the Most Undergraduates With Disabilities?

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Here’s a sector-by-sector look at the percentage of undergraduates who reported a disability to the campus’s office of disability services, or a similar office, in the academic years 2016-17 to 2019-20. Undergraduate students with disabilities are those who reported that they had one or more of the following conditions: a specific learning disability, a visual impairment, a hearing difficulty or deafness, a speech impairment, an orthopedic impairment, or another health impairment. The diversity and related offices provide these students with such services as note-takers and American Sign Language interpreters.

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Source: Chronicle analysis of U.S. Department of Education data

Notes: Only four-year and two-year public, private nonprofit, and for-profit degree-granting U.S. institutions that were eligible to participate in the federal Title IV financial-aid program were considered for this analysis. Institutions that did not report a percentage of students registered with disabilities, or those that reported “not applicable” were omitted. Undergraduates who were enrolled in the fall of 2019 and formally registered with their campus’s disabilities-services office or its equivalent were counted. Students are not required to inform their colleges that they have a disability. If they want an adjustment to accommodate the disability, however, they should report it. Percentages of students reporting disabilities may reflect awareness and the level of availability of services at colleges, along with the prevalence of disabilities. Percentages may not add up to 100 because of rounding. Institutions with zero students reported are counted as 3 percent or fewer.

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