SRU named a top online school for students with disabilities

student with laptop surfing web

Slippery Rock University was one of only 47 schools named a 2017 Top Online School for Students with Disabilities. A major goal of SRU’s June 2015 website redesign was to optimize its website for users with disabilities.

April 26, 2017

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Slippery Rock University was one of only 47 colleges or universities in the nation to be named a "2017 Top Online Schools for Students with Disabilities" by the SR Education Group.

SR Education Group evaluated more than 1,200 schools to compile a list of 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." Schools on the list received high scores in categories for thoroughness of resources, design for learning and training, distance-learning accommodations and other services provided.

Additionally, SRU was named to the group's list of "2017 Most Affordable Online Colleges for Students with Disabilities" for offering low-cost online degree options, superior resources and accommodations for students who experience disabilities from visual or hearing impairment to learning disabilities.

To be considered for these lists, schools must offer four or more online degrees or 10 or more online programs including certificates. SRU has a combined 26 online programs, including 16 online master's programs, five online degree completion programs for undergraduates, four online certificates/endorsements and an online doctoral program in special education.

SRU continually optimizes its website for users with disabilities, including a significant enhancement in June 2015 when the University redesigned its website. All coding and design was done to meet Americans with Disabilities Act Section 508 compliance, as it applies to website communication, as SRU's Web Communications Department manually migrated more than 1,000 pages of content to assure all items met ADA and search-engine optimization requirements.

"Improving the design for people with disabilities was one of the major goals when we redesigned the website," said Darcy White, SRU web communication and development director. "The entire project involved a culture shift across campus to be more mindful and accommodating to people with disabilities."

According to White, the website enhancements included improved readability for people with visual disabilities, streamlined navigation so that people with learning disabilities can easily digest content and video captioning for those with hearing impairments. There also were improvements to the color-contrast ratios, font styles and sizes and responsive options.

"This award is meaningful to show how we've evolved from having no intentional thoughts, to effecting change and then to being recognized as a leader among our peers," White said. "We will continue to keep our digital assets ADA-friendly and remain on the forefront as we adapt and make improvements."

For more information about the "2017 Top Online Schools for Students with Disabilities," including a complete list of schools recognized, visit: http://www.guidetoonlineschools.com/online-schools/students-with-disabilities.

MEDIA CONTACT: Justin Zackal | 724.738.4854 | justin.zackal@sru.edu