A leading accessibility publication has named Ball State University one of the top 10 “wheelchair friendly colleges” in the nation.
In its recent “Wheels on Campus” edition, New Mobility magazine ranked Ball State among “ten schools that set the bar high” by offering “a wide range of inclusive opportunities in a truly accessible setting.” The magazine surveyed hundreds of colleges and interviewed more than 80 students in wheelchairs as well as university disability services leaders to inform its ranking.
“Accessibility has been a long-standing tradition at Ball State,” said President Geoff Mearns. “I am grateful to everyone who works in our Office of Disability Services, which empowers students and creates an environment that fosters access and opportunities for all.
Inclusive Excellence is one of Ball State University’s five goals in its Strategic Plan, Destination 2040: Our Flight Path. We are committed to ensure our vibrant campus is accessible to all students and that all students feel welcome on our campus.
“The Office of Disability Services is honored to be included within New Mobility’s ranking of the top 10 colleges that create wheelchair-friendly campuses and cultures,” said Courtney Jarrett, the Director of Disability Services at Ball State. We have more than 1,300 students registered with our department and we are proud to be recognized for our work.”
Key indicators used by the magazine included Ball State’s wheelchair-friendly infrastructure, the percentage of accessible buildings, and the integrated accessible housing options. The magazine also scored Ball State’s personal assistance programs, adaptive sports and recreation opportunities, accessible on-campus transportation, and adaptive computer labs, among other criteria.
“Wheels on Campus” project editor Tim Gilmer interviewed two Ball State students, Georgana Nichols and Lizzie Ford, who talked about their positive experiences at the Ball State.
Nichols told the publication meeting new people was a priority when she chose Ball State University. She explained that because every dorm has accessible units, she was able to live where she wanted, which made it easier to connect with fellow students.
In the article, Gilmer described Ball State has having “a full range of accommodations available to students with disabilities.” He noted Ball State’s Office of Disability Services provides personal aides to help students in labs and on field trips if needed. Further, he wrote, Ball State supports students in wheelchairs by helping them navigate around campus in inclement weather, advising them where to get physical therapy services, and connecting them with the appropriate people off-campus when their wheelchairs need repaired.
New Mobility, which started in 1989, is one of the premier wheelchair lifestyle publications in the world. The 2020 “Wheels on Campus” edition is available at www.newmobility.com/wheels-on-campus.
This latest ranking comes after Ball State was designated in 2019 by College Magazine as the best campus in the country for students with disabilities.
For more information about the accommodations, services, or resources for students with disabilities at Ball State, please visit the Office of Disability Services website.