Are postsecondary institutions responsible for accessibility at off-campus events?

If an off-campus event, such as a graduation ceremony or a course, is sponsored by an institution, the institution is responsible for ensuring that it is accessible to qualified students and guests with disabilities. When planning the event, inspect the meeting rooms, parking areas, restrooms, and other facilities ahead of time to ensure that they are accessible to people with mobility impairments and other types of disabilities. Also include a statement in event publications and websites that tells how to request disability-related accommodations.

Alternative Access: A Case Study on the Benefits of Assistive Technology for Students with Temporary Disabilities


My name is Carol. I am a nontraditional student who was recently diagnosed with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, a repetitive motion injury that affects my wrists. As a journalism major, I have many writing assignments that require the use of a computer.

Access Issue

I could not complete my coursework and assignments because my injury prevented me from using the standard computer keyboard.

Disability and the Culinary Arts: A Case Study on Access to a Person of Short Stature


My name is Michael and I am a student of short stature. I have to do an internship as part of my course requirements in the culinary arts. I was working with career services to set up this internship when access issues emerged in the conversation.

Access Issue

Career services was concerned that I would not be able to reach into the oven as far as I would need to without causing danger to myself and/or other people. They were also concerned that if an accident happened, the internship site would no longer want to work with their program.

If a student with a disability qualifies for accommodations in high school, will they receive the same accommodations in college?

High schools are entities covered under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. When they attend college, students with disabilities will not necessarily continue to receive the same accommodations that they received in high school.

What adaptive technology is typically provided to students with disabilities on postsecondary campuses?

A wide variety of hardware and software is available to students with disabilities on postsecondary campuses. Some schools provide it in an adaptive technology lab operated by the disabled student services office or the central computing organization. Often this area is integrated within a general access computing lab that is available to all students.

For an example of products provided in such a facility, consult Access Technology Center.

Must postsecondary institutions provide accommodations for prospective student visitors or their family members?

Yes, it is the responsibility of the postsecondary institution to provide reasonable accommodations to ensure that a campus program or event is accessible to a participant with a disability. For example, prospective students and their family members who are visiting the campus for a college preview day have the right to reasonable disability-related accommodations.