UM Named Among Top Online Colleges for Students With Disabilities

April 21, 2017

MISSOULA – The University of Montana has landed at No. 8 on a national list naming the top online schools for students with disabilities. UM also ranked No. 11 for being an affordable online college for people with disabilities.

The rankings were done by SR Education Group, an education research publisher. The lists are online at http://bit.ly/2pjTrO6. UM was the only Montana university to make either list.

“We are proud to be recognized by these rankings,” said Amy Capolupo, director of UM’s Disability Services for Students. “We strive to exceed compliance standards whenever possible, and providing access to education is something we take very seriously. Our faculty and staff members not only understand their obligations in terms of access, but seek to go beyond the basics to make campus a welcoming and hospitable environment for all students.”

SR Education Group evaluated the services of 1,265 colleges and universities to find those that represent the most disability-friendly online schools for provided the highest level of support, the widest breadth of accommodations and the most comprehensive resources for students with disabilities.

UM was lauded for its 15 online offerings, which includes an associate degree, a bachelor’s degree, six master’s degrees and seven certificates.

The statement accompanying the No. 8 ranking said, “(UM’s) Disability Services for Students provides a web-based platform so that online students can easily access important documents and information. Faculty members are provided with resources to help them create online classes and materials that are accessible to online students with disabilities. These benefits make it possible for students to participate in online courses.

“The University delivers its online classes through the learning management system Moodle and the communication system Blackboard Collaborate Ultra,” the article continues. “Both systems have features that make them accessible to students with various disabilities. The University also takes part in the Montana Accessibility Interest Group, a group which meets in an online web conference once a month to discuss issues related to accessibility for (UM) students with disabilities.”

The write-up accompanying the No. 11 ranking for affordability said, “UM online students can earn degrees such as an AAS in Energy Technology or a BA in Media Arts. Graduate level students can earn their master’s degrees in several fields that include public administration, public health or music education. Disability Services for Students works with faculty and staff in departments throughout the University to facilitate equal access to education for students with disabilities. Online students who register with DSS have easy access to the center’s online services and staff through the ‘accommodate’ database on the (UM) website.”

For more information about disability services at UM, visit http://www.umt.edu/dss/.

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Contact: Amy Capolupo, director, UM Disability Services for Students, 406-243-4584, amy.capolupo@mso.umt.edu.