The ADA and Higher Education

Penn State World Campus is proud to serve students from differing backgrounds and experience levels, including those who have differing levels of ability. This year, we celebrate 30 years since the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, an important piece of legislation that helps guide the services we provide to students.

According to the ADA National Network, the ADA was the world’s first comprehensive declaration of equality for people with disabilities. The ADA ensures that citizens with disabilities have all the rights other American citizens have and are entitled to certain legal protections that ensure they have equal opportunity and access to exercise those rights.

The Penn State World Campus Student Disability Services office is dedicated to helping students get that equal opportunity and access. More than 600 students are served by this office, which strives to significantly decrease or eliminate the barriers that students with disabilities face in online learning environments.

Students who utilize Student Disability Services work with a counselor to define the challenges they are facing and determine accommodations that might help them in their work, like more time on an exam or transcripts of video lectures. The office also provides education and training to other staff members, so that they are aware of what is available to students and can refer them appropriately. You can learn more about student and staff involvement.

The ADA impacts higher education and Penn State World Campus students each day, making sure that students with disabilities have the tools and access they need. Watch this video with messages from Student Affairs staff about what the ADA means to them.