How does a student who is blind learn to navigate around campus?

Orientation and mobility (O & M) specialists work with individuals with visual impairments to help them learn how to safely navigate their environment. On a postsecondary campus, an O & M specialist could help an individual plan campus routes, apply techniques for safe indoor and outdoor mobility, and analyze intersections and traffic patterns. These services are typically available through state agencies that coordinate services for people who are blind.


The Opportunities! newsletter helps students with disabilities learn about technology, locate campus resources, apply for internships and scholarships, access community and campus resources, engage in research, and attend local events such as job fairs.

The DO-IT Center partners with postsecondary institutions nationwide to create customized newsletters for each campus. You can view the most recent editions by clicking the links below. 

What are my institution's responsibilities regarding the care of students' service animals?

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) of 2008 service animals should be welcome in campus buildings. This includes residence halls and dining facilities. However, the sole responsibility for controlling, keeping, feeding, and otherwise caring for any service animal rests with the individual with a disability who is using the animal's services.

Must student clubs and organizations provide accommodations to allow students with disabilities to participate?

Yes. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), along with its 2008 Amendments, prohibit discrimination against students with disabilities. Student clubs and organizations are covered by this legislation and should assure that students with disabilities can fully participate in their programs, activities, and events.

Do campus tutors have to write or type work for students with disabilities?

The role of a tutor is typically to help students understand single problems or concepts that have been presented in class. Students need to come prepared to ask specific questions about the material. Writing tutors assist students with the writing process, but they usually do not write or type papers for students. If writing and typing papers is the responsibility of individual students, this rule should apply to students with disabilities as well.

Are drivers responsible for assisting students with disabilities by carrying personal items such as books and backpacks or helping them enter a building by opening doors?

The job of a "driver" is typically to provide transportation. Students with disabilities who are unable to open doors or carry books and backpacks should use the services of a Personal Care Attendant, also called a Personal Care Assistant (PCA). When a PCA is needed, students can often work with Vocational Rehabilitation State Offices to obtain this accommodation.

How do financial aid staff assist students with visual impairments in filling out forms?

It is important that all staff in the financial aid office be familiar with accommodation options to assist students with special needs. It is best if online forms are fully accessible to individuals with disabilities. To explore ways to make forms directly accessible to students who have visual impairments, consult How can I develop accessible web-based forms?

Are campuses required to provide tutoring for students with disabilities throughout their college career?

Some colleges and universities provide tutoring to the general student population. In this case, the tutoring center and its materials should be accessible to students with disabilities. In addition, staff and volunteers should receive training about working with students who have disabilities. If tutoring is not provided to all students on campus, it is unlikely to be required as a "reasonable accommodation" for a student who has a disability. Consult your disabled student services office or legal counsel regarding a specific case on your campus.

Does the campus need to provide housing that is accessible to students with disabilities?

Universities must provide accessible housing to students with disabilities if such housing is available to other students. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 require that goods, services, and activities associated with student life be accessible to students with disabilities. Students with disabilities should not be denied access to comparable housing or segregated from the general student population.