FAU’s online college ranked one of the ‘best’ online schools for students with disabilities

SR Education Group, who has been helping students find online colleges since 2004, found FAU to be suitable for students with audio, visual, and learning disabilities.


SR Education Group is a resource for students researching online colleges. Illustration by Israel Fontoura

Kimberly Swan, Contributing Writer

FAU’s online college was rated among the top colleges in the nation for accommodating students with disabilities, according to a recent ranking. 


SR Education Group, which has helped students find online colleges since 2004, released their 2019 Best Online Colleges for Student with Disabilities list last month. The organization split the rankings into best online colleges for students with audio, visual, and learning disabilities. 


FAU reached the list based on their criteria of having 37 online degrees at the associate level or higher, and having at least 5 percent of students with disabilities in the student body, according to outreach marketing specialist for SR Education Group Adria Vaughan. The data collected for the list was also recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. 


SR Education Group also looked at specific services, according to Vaughan, like offering alternative testing accommodations and course substitution options to students with learning disabilities. For students with visual disabilities, FAU offers note-taking services where other students volunteer to take notes for them. 


The online college also offers Communication Access Real-Time (CART) services, which provide subtitles on the screen when others talk, to students with auditory disabilities so they can understand them, Vaughan said. 


Nicole Hopler, the marketing manager at SR Education Group, said these were some of the factors the score was based on: zero accessibility violations on FAU’s homepage, the mention of accessibility for online programs, and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) compliance, which is a series of guidelines that helps users navigate websites easily, on FAU’s website.


She also said FAU’s Canvas learning management system also helps provide a “disability-friendly environment” online for students.  


FAU’s disability-friendly score was 73.31 percent, and the minimum score to get on the list was 70 percent, Hopler said via email.


The National Center for Education Statistics and College Board also provided the data for this list, according to Vaughan. The list selected over 30 schools across the country for each category. 


Vaughan said once the criteria was taken into account, 68 schools were eligible for the rankings.


The University Press reached out to SAS but has not received a response as of publication time. 


Kimberly Swan is a contributing writer of the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected]