Creating an accepting academic environment starts with making education attainable to all. Accommodating the needs of students who live with physical, mental, or sensory disabilities creates equal opportunities for students to learn.
While faculty and staff at SNHU recognize the importance of accessibility, students share their personal experiences regarding on-campus accessibility.
“The campus and all the buildings are very accessible, I’ve never had any problems accessing a space with [my] mobility aid,” said J Rodriguez (’26). “All my teachers are very understanding when a medical problem comes up, whether it be physical or mental health-related, and they are always willing to meet if I need extra help.”
Awareness of overall health, especially during unfamiliar college experiences, gives students the flexibility to pursue their passions in education without becoming overly stressed. Rodriguez describes her experience navigating campus and the resources that provide her with proper accommodations.
“The Campus Accessibility Center [CAC] is very helpful with getting usable accommodations and are always there to help if issues come up,” said Rodriguez. “Overall, SNHU was one of the most accessible campuses I visited when I was looking at colleges back in high school.”
Students have also shared their concerns regarding academic accommodations at SNHU.
“It’s common that my professors won’t fully understand [my] IEP, and it can cause more harm than good,” said Esther Blood (’25). “I have high anxiety, and my accommodations state that the teacher shouldn’t call on me in class unless I have my hand raised. But there’s common miscommunication where professors interpret it as ‘don’t talk to me,’ even outside of class hours. It almost makes me feel physically separated from the rest of the class.”
Academic accommodations reduce barriers so students may learn and participate in the classroom. Eliminating these barriers lets students gain equal access to course material; this allows them to complete assignments, properly show their understanding of the curriculum, and be included in the regular course of study.
“Professors either don’t listen to the IEP, and I have to advocate for myself more than I reasonably should, or they take it too seriously and make it impossible to communicate,” said Blood.
Accommodations are meant to increase accessibility for all students regardless of their disability. Accommodations should not be treated as a disability, nor be seen in a bad light because it deviates from the way another student accesses the same material.
“Fun fact, the ADA handicapped buttons can legally be put too high for people to press them,” said Joe “xxMakeAWishKidxx” Miller (‘25), transfer student and commentator for the SNHU Esports Arena.
“I feel like with SNHU specifically, they’ve done a lot,” said Miller. “Even if a law says a specific thing, they will go outside the bounds of it to actually help. In Kingston, they did something really nice and gave me this garage door opener for the two front doors. Which helps a lot because I can now get in and out of the building myself. They didn’t have to do that, they could’ve just said ‘hit the button better, they’re in the legal requirement’ but they actually gave me something helpful.”
Miller further states his experiences at other colleges compared to SNHU.
“When I went to UMass Lowell, the way I had to get into every building was this weird side entrance away from the main area, up in this tiny ramp off to the side, or I had to go through a back janitor’s door,” said Miller. “It felt like I was separated from everyone else. And here, it’s perfectly fine because they built their buildings without stairs.”
Presenting kindness, patience, and understanding towards each other is a step in creating a friendlier and more accessible environment. From a social aspect, SNHU’s range of accessibility has allowed students to feel more included and involved on campus.
Students who want more information on accommodations can visit the Campus Accessibility Center, located in Suite 120 of the Green Center. Their office can also be contacted via phone at 603.644.3118, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.