Access to all aspects of the college experience is a critical component of the work we do in higher education. Since the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act 26 years ago, all campuses have seen an increase in accommodations—mobility ramps, adjusted restrooms, braille signage, and more—leading to a more diverse campus population. But recent, successful law suits brought by students against several universities across the country should remind us there is much more to be done, and it begins with being open to thinking about access in all its many forms.
The National Technical Institute for the Deaf, one of the nine colleges of Rochester Institute of Technology, was established nearly 50 years ago as the first and largest technological college in the world for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. It was designed with accessibility in mind and can serve as a model for other campuses to follow.
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