Best value, best business professors, best for public service—UT regularly lands on dozens of best-of lists. Now we have another accolade to celebrate: being named one of America’s best colleges for physically disabled students.
College Success for Students with Physical Disabilities, released this month by Austin’s Prufrock Press, was written by a mother-and-son team who knows what they’re talking about. Tommy Tiedemann is a college student with cerebral palsy who worked with his mother, Chris, to research the range of disability services at colleges across the country.
Their book names UT as one of 70 colleges that goes beyond legal requirements to make accommodations for physically disabled students. The list is not ranked.
According to the Tiedemanns’ book, only five colleges provide outstanding full services for disabled students (the book adds the University of Houston to the four listed on their website).
UT’s Services for Students with Disabilities program serves 1,600 students per year. The majority of students the office serves have learning disabilities or psychological disabilities, while a smaller group has mobility or physical disabilities.
Kelli Bradley, a disability services coordinator at the office, says she sees students decide on UT for its disability services “all the time.”
“We get phone calls and visits on a near-daily basis from prospective students wanting to know if they’ll be accommodated here,” Bradley says. “Since UT is such a huge school, it’s a challenge to serve everyone, but we rise to that challenge.”
While smaller schools may offer more one-on-one attention, Bradley says, UT has the resources to provide an ample range of accommodations—from an Alternative Technology Lab that converts textbooks into audiobooks for the blind to special services for students with anxiety or depression.
UT is also one of just 67 colleges nationwide to have a Center for Disability Studies, which offers classes and an academic portfolio (much like a minor) for both undergrads and grad students. The center also conducts policy research and community education.
Not to mention our killer Texas Murderball team (pictured above).
Photo courtesy Emily Shryock.