2018 Best Online Schools for Students with Disabilities

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These 55 colleges represent the most disability-friendly online schools for providing the highest level of support, the widest breadth of accommodations, and the most comprehensive resources for students with disabilities. All schools on this list received a Disability-Friendly score greater than 55, receiving high marks in most, if not all, of the following categories: thoroughness of resources, Universal Design for Learning training, availability of distance learning accommodations, and variety of services provided. In addition to this list, we feature the best 15 online schools and the 25 most affordable online schools for students with disabilities.

View our methodology or learn more about SR Education Group.

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Comprehensive List of Disability-Friendly Accredited Online Schools (55)

School Annual Tuition Disability-Friendly Score
American University Annual Tuition $24,630 Disability-Friendly Score 74.85
Auburn University Annual Tuition $14,580 Disability-Friendly Score 62.21
Carnegie Mellon University Annual Tuition $12,510 Disability-Friendly Score 80.66
Case Western Reserve University Annual Tuition $22,260 Disability-Friendly Score 56.15
Catholic University of America Annual Tuition $14,100 Disability-Friendly Score 72.15
Cedarville University Annual Tuition $10,728 Disability-Friendly Score 61.29
Central Washington University Annual Tuition $19,713 Disability-Friendly Score 76.49
Chatham University Annual Tuition $15,900 Disability-Friendly Score 77.58
Cleveland State University Annual Tuition $7,200 Disability-Friendly Score 70.59
Edinboro University of Pennsylvania Annual Tuition $8,250 Disability-Friendly Score 75.09
Endicott College Annual Tuition $11,840 Disability-Friendly Score 67.22
Florida State University Annual Tuition $20,581 Disability-Friendly Score 74.71
Gonzaga University Annual Tuition $11,200 Disability-Friendly Score 56.90
Hamline University Annual Tuition $7,922 Disability-Friendly Score 61.49
Humboldt State University Annual Tuition $27,428 Disability-Friendly Score 75.99
Lesley University Annual Tuition $12,600 Disability-Friendly Score 77.74
Missouri University of Science and Technology Annual Tuition $25,696 Disability-Friendly Score 71.34
Murray State University Annual Tuition $12,975 Disability-Friendly Score 56.60
Northwestern University Annual Tuition $19,806 Disability-Friendly Score 68.60
Rochester Institute of Technology Annual Tuition $28,080 Disability-Friendly Score 97.85
Saint Joseph's University Annual Tuition $17,520 Disability-Friendly Score 78.75
Seton Hall University Annual Tuition $18,180 Disability-Friendly Score 65.72
Stanford University Annual Tuition $32,200 Disability-Friendly Score 97.76
Suffolk University Annual Tuition $25,322 Disability-Friendly Score 63.40
SUNY College of Technology at Canton Annual Tuition $8,000 Disability-Friendly Score 75.90
Syracuse University Annual Tuition $22,500 Disability-Friendly Score 74.91
Texas State University Annual Tuition $12,322 Disability-Friendly Score 77.78
Texas Tech University Annual Tuition $9,150 Disability-Friendly Score 84.29
University of Arizona Annual Tuition $14,700 Disability-Friendly Score 95.32
University of Arkansas Annual Tuition $8,283 Disability-Friendly Score 71.47
University of Colorado Boulder Annual Tuition $37,290 Disability-Friendly Score 67.39
University of Colorado Denver Annual Tuition $15,430 Disability-Friendly Score 61.77
University of Connecticut Annual Tuition $12,375 Disability-Friendly Score 83.33
University of Dayton Annual Tuition $41,750 Disability-Friendly Score 62.50
University of Denver Annual Tuition $27,855 Disability-Friendly Score 62.33
University of Louisiana-Lafayette Annual Tuition $10,776 Disability-Friendly Score 79.97
University of Massachusetts - Amherst Annual Tuition $11,700 Disability-Friendly Score 70.58
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor Annual Tuition $35,406 Disability-Friendly Score 67.78
University of Minnesota Digital Campus Annual Tuition $11,864 Disability-Friendly Score 60.24
The University of Montana Annual Tuition $13,315 Disability-Friendly Score 85.75
University of Nevada - Reno Annual Tuition $18,496 Disability-Friendly Score 63.33
University of North Carolina at Greensboro Annual Tuition $20,992 Disability-Friendly Score 71.90
University of North Carolina at Wilmington Annual Tuition $18,465 Disability-Friendly Score 69.16
University of North Georgia Annual Tuition $7,350 Disability-Friendly Score 67.97
University of Vermont Annual Tuition $48,900 Disability-Friendly Score 72.99
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Annual Tuition $11,700 Disability-Friendly Score 64.66
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Annual Tuition $11,670 Disability-Friendly Score 64.42
Utica College Annual Tuition $12,945 Disability-Friendly Score 76.92
Villanova University Annual Tuition $52,578 Disability-Friendly Score 62.48
Waldorf University Annual Tuition $8,700 Disability-Friendly Score 66.79
Wayne State University Annual Tuition $30,609 Disability-Friendly Score 72.07
West Virginia University Annual Tuition $11,970 Disability-Friendly Score 66.49
Western New England University Annual Tuition $66,676 Disability-Friendly Score 60.71
Worcester Polytechnic Institute Annual Tuition $21,885 Disability-Friendly Score 66.60
Youngstown State University Annual Tuition $8,087 Disability-Friendly Score 60.74

Best Online Schools for Students with Disabilities

These 15 online schools received the highest Disability-Friendly scores from the list above and are ranked by strength of score. The scores are determined using several data points that are indicative of inclusivity and awareness of students who have disabilities. Schools were assessed across several categories and assigned scores based on performance. Each category’s scores were then weighted based on relative importance and combined with the other category scores to determine an overall Disability-Friendly score. These categories include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Types of Services Provided: Schools receive high marks in this category for providing services for the hearing-, visually-, and speech-impaired, as well as offering comprehensive services for those with learning disabilities.
  • Throughness of Online Resources: Schools receive high marks in this category for clearly and thoroughly explaining processes and available services, for providing multiple resources including ones specific to distance-learning students, addressing common concerns and questions, and providing the contact information faculty advisors.
  • Universal Design for Learning Training: UDL is the gold standard for ensuring accessible learning experiences. While faculty training does not ensure that these principles are implemented, it is an indicator that the school is aware of issues regarding accessibility and is working to improve learning environments. Schools receive high marks in this category if faculty training is required.

You can read our full methodology here.

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  • Online Degrees: 50
  • Annual Tuition: $28,080
  • Disability-Friendly Score: 97.85
  • Accreditation: MSCHE
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At Rochester Institute of Technology, the Disability Services Office aims to support students with disabilities by helping them gain full access to academic programs and support services. Online students should register with the office to receive accommodations such as textbooks in alternate formats, alternative testing procedures, as well as Reading, Writing, Notetaking Software. Students can receive assistance with updating their skill sets, learning new subjects, balancing workload with family and work obligations, and turning their professional experience into academic credit. Distance students can also audit career-focused RITx courses for free in order to see if online learning is right for them.

Online Associate Degrees (2)

Online Bachelor's Degrees (2)

Online Master's Degrees (25)

Online Certificate Programs (21)

  • Online Degrees: 51
  • Annual Tuition: $32,200
  • Disability-Friendly Score: 97.76
  • Accreditation: WASC WSCUC
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The Diversity and Access Office provides technical assistance, training opportunities and disability-related information regarding assistive technology, and more to ensure equal access for all students at Stanford University. Stanford University is dedicated to providing resources to foster the creation of accessible websites. To reach this goal, the university created the Stanford Online Accessibility Program (SOAP), which gives staff members access to tools to assist them in creating accessible online content. Staff resources include presentations on web accessibility and website reviews to determine accessibility issues. To accommodate distance learners, the university also implements a Web Accessibility Policy which states that all web applications must be accessible to all students with disabilities. Online courses are delivered using the learning management system Canvas, which has many features that make it accessible to students. For instance, recorded videos have closed captioning, and students can ask to have recorded chat sessions captioned as well.

Online Master's Degrees (17)

Online Certificate Programs (34)

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  • Online Degrees: 100
  • Annual Tuition: $14,700
  • Disability-Friendly Score: 95.32
  • Accreditation: HLC
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Committed to inclusion and access, the Disability Resource Center at the University of Arizona aims to ensure access to UA Online classes, programs, and activities for students with disabilities. Working with individuals, DRC facilitates access either by redesigning aspects of the University experience or determining a reasonable accommodation through an interactive process. The IT Accessibility team also serves as a resource for disabled individuals. As an online resource, the IT Accessibility Team provides website content, PDF documents, email communications, Microsoft Office documents, and more to be accessible to any student. Students can pursue online degrees in fields such as history, informatics, public health, and psychology.

Online Bachelor's Degrees (32)

Online Master's Degrees (30)

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Online Doctoral Degrees (6)

Online Certificate Programs (32)

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  • Online Degrees: 18
  • Annual Tuition: $13,315
  • Disability-Friendly Score: 85.75
  • Accreditation: NWCCU
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At the University of Montana, the Disability Services for Students ensures that programs are as accessible and usable by students with disabilities and collaborates with UM faculty, staff, and departments to ensure students have equal accessible access to educational opportunities at UM. Students with registered disabilities at the school can utilize a web-based database and communication system, called Accommodate, to access their letter of verification and more. Accommodations include note-taking services, priority registration, test modifications, alternative formats, assistive technology, axillary aids and services, and more. Available online degrees include a Bachelor of Arts in Art, Master in Public Health, and a Master in Public Administration.

  • Online Degrees: 93
  • Annual Tuition: $9,150
  • Disability-Friendly Score: 84.29
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
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The Student Disability Services (SDS) at Texas Tech University aims to enhance every student's learning by making programs and services for students with disabilities as accessible as possible. Services can include priority registration, supplemental note-taking services, books in electronic format, assistance in working with instructors, and consultation, counseling, and assistance in resolving problems. Students with disabilities can also apply for scholarships, including Clyde and Ouida Black Scholarship, Connally S. Wheat Scholarship, David R. and Brenda Hughes Nelson Scholarship, among many more. Texas Tech also provides specialized services for veterans with disabilities. With respect to online learning, Texas Tech University makes every effort to ensure all e-learning and information technology is accessible to students with disabilities. Those who are interested in pursuing online degrees can explore programs such as early child care, human sciences, and political science.

Online Bachelor's Degrees (11)

Online Master's Degrees (46)

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Online Doctoral Degrees (8)

Online Certificate Programs (28)

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  • Online Degrees: 26
  • Annual Tuition: $12,375
  • Disability-Friendly Score: 83.33
  • Accreditation: NEASC CIHE
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At the University of Connecticut, students can choose from a wide variety of online degrees, including graduate studies in survey research, accounting, or human resource management. To make online courses accessible, the University of Connecticut is part of the UDI Online project which gives teachers access to Universal Design instruction tools. Faculty members are provided with various tools and training methods to assist them in creating accessible online courses for students of all backgrounds. The university also offers accommodations to students with disabilities through its Center for Students with Disabilities. Services available include access to alternative textbook formats, such as audio books or Braille, test-taking accommodations, and early registration for classes.

Online Master's Degrees (5)

Online Certificate Programs (21)

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  • Online Degrees: 20
  • Annual Tuition: $12,510
  • Disability-Friendly Score: 80.66
  • Accreditation: MSCHE
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The Office of Disability Resources at Carnegie Mellon University aims to provide reasonable and responsive accommodations to students with disabilities to ensure each student has equal access to learning resources. CMU recognizes disabilities such as physical, sensory, emotional, and cognitive disabilities. The office also encourages students to share their Summary of Accommodations Memorandum with faculty early in the semester so that arrangements can be made as quickly as possible. The university uses Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) to ensure that students with disabilities can access web-based digital content required for their courses. Some WCAG standards implemented by Carnegie Mellon include captions for all multimedia as well as alternative text for digital content. The university s Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence and Educational Innovation assists faculty and graduate assistants in designing course materials that meet WCAG standards. Students can choose from a variety of MBA programs such as concentrations in finance, marketing, and operations management.

Online Master's Degrees (17)

Online Certificate Programs (3)

  • Online Degrees: 33
  • Annual Tuition: $10,776
  • Disability-Friendly Score: 79.97
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
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The University of Louisiana-Lafayette's Office of Disability Services is dedicated to ensuring that all university-related websites are accessible to every students, regardless of disability. The University of Louisiana-Lafayette delivers its online courses through the learning management system Moodle, which meets international standards for accessibility and has accessibility features such as compatibility with screen readers. Additionally, Moodle developers have expressed a commitment to improving the system's accessibility on a continual basis. Students can choose from graduate-level certificates, a doctoral degree, master's programs, and bachelor's degrees. Fields of study include kinesiology, nursing, and systems technology.

Online Bachelor's Degrees (4)

Online Master's Degrees (24)

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Online Doctoral Degrees (2)

Online Certificate Programs (3)

  • Online Degrees: 45
  • Annual Tuition: $17,520
  • Disability-Friendly Score: 78.75
  • Accreditation: MSCHE
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As part of the university's Success Center, Saint Joseph's University's Office of Student Disability Services coordinates support services and determines appropriate academic accommodations based on the needs of the students as supported by their documentation. To ensure equal education opportunities, the Office serves as a liaison between faculty and student and acts as an informational and referral source for students. Accommodations available include exams provided in alternative formats, note-takers, captionists, books in an alternative format, and assistive technology. Saint Joseph's University also offers a wide variety of online degrees including a BLS in Autism Concentration or an MS in Criminal Justice.

Online Associate Degrees (1)

Online Bachelor's Degrees (5)

Online Master's Degrees (28)

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Online Certificate Programs (11)

  • Online Degrees: 8
  • Annual Tuition: $12,322
  • Disability-Friendly Score: 77.78
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
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Texas State University's Office of Disability Services offers a variety of services for distance education students with disabilities. Services include access to assistive and adaptive technologies as well as the chance to register for classes before general registration opens. Other accommodations include testing assistance and alternative delivery formats. Distance education programs are available at graduate levels and include programs such as a Master of Social work, Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies, Master of Science in Nursing – Family Nurse Practitioner, and an MS Interdisciplinary Studies.

  • Online Degrees: 46
  • Annual Tuition: $12,600
  • Disability-Friendly Score: 77.74
  • Accreditation: NEASC CIHE
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Lesley University's Disability Support Services office is committed to the full participation of students in all programs, and aims to provide a range of individualized support services for students with disabilities. Working with faculty, staff, and students, the office creates and implements accommodations to help maximize each student's educational potential. Accommodations can include auxiliary aids and services, extended time on course requirements, and note-takers. Online students can contact a specific disability services administrator for assistance. Lesley University offers degrees at both the undergraduate and graduate levels in fields of study such as business management, human services, and education.

Online Bachelor's Degrees (13)

Online Master's Degrees (23)

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Online Certificate Programs (10)

  • Online Degrees: 31
  • Annual Tuition: $15,900
  • Disability-Friendly Score: 77.58
  • Accreditation: MSCHE
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Chatham University's PACE Center aims to create a support system to promote academic access, student success and retention, and self-advocacy through a holistic approach to disability support services. To maximize a student's potential, Chatham University provides accommodations in college courses such as extended time for testing, note-taker services, assistive technology, and alternate test and exam formats. Students can explore degree programs at both the undergraduate and graduate level. The fields of study that are available include psychology, business administration, nursing, and occupational therapy.

Online Bachelor's Degrees (4)

Online Master's Degrees (22)

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Online Doctoral Degrees (4)

Online Certificate Programs (1)

  • Online Degrees: 56
  • Annual Tuition: $12,945
  • Disability-Friendly Score: 76.92
  • Accreditation: MSCHE
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Utica College offers resources for students with a variety of disabilities through its Office of Learning Services. Utica College also offers a wide variety of support services that are available to all online students. These support services include the Office of Career Services, Office of Learning Services, Office of Student Success, and Tutorial Services. Students with disabilities can use these services at any time during their study if they feel like they need extra support. Online students with disabilities are granted additional time to study and prepare for all tests within their program. Students can also request alternative textbook formats to better suit their learning needs. Online degree programs offered at Utica College range from undergraduate to graduate and include subjects such as nursing, cybersecurity, business administration, data science, financial crime, physical therapy, criminal justice, and liberal studies.

Online Bachelor's Degrees (16)

Online Master's Degrees (28)

Online Doctoral Degrees (1)

Online Certificate Programs (11)

  • Online Degrees: 42
  • Annual Tuition: $19,713
  • Disability-Friendly Score: 76.49
  • Accreditation: NWCCU
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Central Washington University aims to support and sustain an inclusive learning environment that recognizes disability as diversity and is committed to providing students with disabilities with equal access and opportunities to fully participate in the educational process. Academic Accommodations include extended exam time and print materials in an alternative format, which need to be officially authorized by Disability Services. Central Access is CWU's service provider that produces alternative media to support independence for all individual in their education, providing full and equal access to print materials. CWU also provides a number of online degrees including information technology, psychology, sociology, and public health.

Online Bachelor's Degrees (18)

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Online Master's Degrees (13)

Online Certificate Programs (11)

  • Online Degrees: 10
  • Annual Tuition: $27,428
  • Disability-Friendly Score: 75.99
  • Accreditation: WASC WSCUC
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The Student Disability Resource Center at Humboldt State University provides support services to students with disabilities including access to assistive technologies, early registration, and alternative text forms such as Braille or audio books. Humboldt State University also participates in the Accessible Technology Initiative which mandates that all degree programs in the California State University system be accessible to all students. The initiative also provides resources to instructors through the Professional Development for Accessible Technology website. Humboldt also utilizes Universal Design and a quality assurance program which evaluates fully online courses to ensure that best practices are followed. Individuals interested in earning online degrees at Humboldt can choose from a few undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Fields of study include anthropology, social work, and leadership studies.

References

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