How One College is Evaluating ADA Compliance


A good business will routinely evaluate how they are meeting the needs of their customers. This evaluation should include verification of ADA compliance.

One college, Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s, has plans to evaluate its ADA compliance efforts. Earlier this spring, officials sent a low-flying plane to create an aerial survey of the university campus.  In addition to evaluating ADA compliance and accessibility, the survey will provide campus topography and a description of surface shapes.  The University also plans to develop a new campus base map.

The aerial survey will be used to determine proximity and grade of handicap accessible walkways. The timing of the survey is critical as it must be completed in appropriate weather before leaves appear on trees and obstruct views.

The most recent aerial survey of the campus was done close to 25 years ago. Many changes have been implemented since that time including modifications to achieve ADA compliance. A ground survey will also be completed as part of the project.

Knowing your rights is essential for advocacy.

Colleges are expected to meet ADA requirement and is important that advocates are aware of their rights and responsibilities because students may need to request accommodations in postsecondary education settings. Knowing your rights is essential for advocacy.

State funded schools are covered under Title II whereas private colleges are covered under Title III. In addition if a school receives federal money it is also covered by regulations of Section 504. Since most private and public schools receive some federal money they are covered by this section requiring the schools to make programs accessible to students with disabilities.

Details of Section 504 include:

  • A postsecondary program must not screen out people with physical or mental disabilities via eligibility requirements or application form questions.
  • Programs can not serve students with disabilities differently.
  • The school must insure that all programs offered are accessible to students with disabilities.  This includes extracurricular activies.
  • Buildings constructed or modified after 1977 must be accessible.  Those constructed before 1977 do not need to made accessible IF the school can show that students with disabilities can access the full range of programs in an integrated setting.  Often architectural access modifications are the only way to achieve this.
  • Schools that provide housing for students must offer comparable accessible dorm rooms at the same cost.

For more information about ADA compliance or if you have faced any such inaccessibility. please contact us.