University Scoring

Background

This scoring system was created to allow comparisons between universities based on metrics of accessibility and disability inclusion. Scoring was limited to information publicly available on university websites, as that is the information available to potential applicants. While this dashboard does not assess every aspect of disability inclusion, nor does a favorable score ensure an inclusive student experience, it identifies areas for improvement and can be used to track progress in publicly provided information.

Scoring criteria were based on policies, practices, and legal requirements that support disability inclusion and accessibility. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), all programs of postsecondary institutions must be accessible to students with disabilities. The ADA requires almost all postsecondary institutions to have a disability services coordinator and grievance procedures that ensure concerns with accommodation requests are managed fairly, timely, and equitably. The Rehabilitation Act mandates that all institutions receiving federal funding ensure that people with disabilities have equal access to programs, services, and activities, including websites. Compliance with the ADA and Rehabilitation Act intends to guard against discrimination on the basis of disability but often is not enough for equitable inclusion. Therefore, scoring criteria were not based on legal compliance alone.

Table 2. The Johns Hopkins Disability Health Research Center (DHRC) University Disability Inclusion Scoring Data and National Institutes of Health (NIH) Funding for Undergraduate Universities, November 2021

Table 3. WebAIM Website Accessibility Scores and National Institutes of Health (NIH) Funding for Undergraduate Universities, November 2021 (higher scores indicate better accessibility)

wdt_ID Funding Rank University NIH Funding (FY $, 2020) Website Accessibility Rank Total Score Automated Score Manual Score Home Page URL
1 1 JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY $807,432,003 48 6.23 4.90 7.56 https://www.jhu.edu/
2 2 UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LOS ANGELES $673,201,228 7 8.56 8.90 8.21 https://www.ucla.edu/
3 3 UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN AT ANN ARBOR $641,965,656 35 7.55 7.20 7.90 https://umich.edu/
4 4 DUKE UNIVERSITY $607,172,798 16 8.29 8.60 7.98 https://duke.edu
5 5 UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA $593,605,914 4 8.85 8.90 8.80 https://www.upenn.edu/
6 6 UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH AT PITTSBURGH $570,146,095 35 7.55 7.30 7.79 https://www.pitt.edu/
7 7 STANFORD UNIVERSITY $560,644,462 13 8.32 8.00 8.64 https://www.stanford.edu
8 8 YALE UNIVERSITY $550,947,887 39 7.47 6.00 8.94 https://www.yale.edu
9 9 WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY $533,594,881 2 8.92 9.00 8.84 https://wustl.edu
10 10 UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON $533,302,350 45 6.63 6.20 7.06 https://www.washington.edu
Funding Rank University NIH Funding (FY $, 2020) Website Accessibility Rank Total Score Automated Score Manual Score Home Page URL

Methodology

Table 2 shows the data collected for each university. Each university’s score is the sum of the four sub-categories, as outlined below.

Built environment: assessed if campus maps outline accessible paths, bathrooms, parking, and entrances.
  • A university scored 10 points if 3-4 of these criteria listed above are marked on a publicly available campus map.
  • A university scored 5 points if 1-2 of the criteria are marked on a publicly available campus map.
  • A university scored 0 points if available campus maps do not include any of this accessibility information.
Virtual environment: aassessed website accessibility and the impact on users with disabilities (Table 3). WebAIM conducted automated and manual testing of university websites. The total website accessibility scores are the average of the automated and manual scores. Total scores were categorized into three groups based on tertile cut-points derived from a separate dataset of 1 million websites. Higher scores indicate better accessibility.
  • A school received 10 points if its total web accessibility score was 7 or above.
  • A school received 5 points if its total web accessibility score was below 7 and at or above 4.3
  • A school received 0 points if its total web accessibility score was below 4.3
Disability accommodation office statements: assessed compliance of student disability accommodation statements with the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act. Only statements listed on disability services office websites were reviewed.
  • A university scored 10 points if the disability accommodation office statement included encouraging or supportive language.
  • A university scored 5 points if the disability accommodation office statement only included the required ADA and Rehabilitation Act compliance language.
  • A university scored 0 points if there was not a disability accommodation office statement.
Statistics on disabled students, staff, and faculty: assessed the availability of statistics on university or disability services websites or on admissions websites when presented with other protected class information.
  • A university scored 10 points if statistics on student, staff, and faculty with disabilities were publicly available.
  • A university scored 5 points if only statistics on students with disabilities were publicly available.
  • A university scored 0 points if statistics on student, staff, and faculty with disabilities were not publicly available.
Only university disability accommodation office websites were searched for this information. Contact information: assessed the available contact information for students to obtain disability accommodations.
  • A university scored 10 points if the disability accommodation office website lists a telephone number and email address, or includes a method to register for accommodations.
  • A university scored 5 points if the disability accommodation office website lists only a telephone number or an email address to register for accommodations.
  • A university scored 0 points if the disability accommodation office website does not include information on how to register for accommodations.
Confidentiality in the disability accommodation process: assessed statements outlining who was responsible for maintaining confidentiality during the accommodation process.
  • A university scored 10 points for having disability accommodations confidentiality statements and information about who must maintain this confidentiality.
  • A university scored 5 points for having disability accommodations confidentiality statements, but no information about who must maintain this confidentiality.
  • A university scored 0 points for not having disability accommodations confidentiality statements and no information about who must maintain this confidentiality.
Rights and responsibilities of students and disability service staff: assessed the availability of information about the rights and responsibilities of students and disability services staff during the accommodation process.
  • A university scored 10 points if the rights and responsibilities of students and accessibility services staff are listed on the accommodation services office websites.
  • A university scored 5 points if the rights or responsibilities of students and accessibility services staff are listed on the accommodation services office websites.
  • A university scored 0 points if the rights and responsibilities of students and accessibility services staff are not listed on the accommodation services office websites.
Rights and responsibilities of faculty: assessed the availability of information about the rights and responsibilities of faculty during the student accommodation process.
  • A university scored 10 points if the rights and responsibilities of faculty are listed on the accommodation services office websites.
  • A university scored 5 points if the rights or responsibilities of faculty are listed on the accommodation services office websites.
  • A university scored 0 points if the rights and responsibilities of faculty are not listed on the accommodation services office websites.
Timeline for disability accommodations: assessed information about the timeline for requesting and approving disability accommodations.
  • A university scored 10 points if there is a flexible timeframe for submitting accommodation requests and a timeline for responding to requests.
  • A university scored 5 points if there is a fixed timeframe for submitting accommodation requests, but a timeline for responding to requests is not provided.
  • A university scored 0 points if there is not a timeline for requesting and receiving accommodations.
Disability-related grievance policies: aassessed the policies to manage grievances with disability discrimination and availability of information about grievance policies on disability services or equivalent websites.
  • A university scored 10 points if a third party manages grievances, and information about the grievance policy was available on the disability services or equivalent website.
  • A university scored 5 points if a third party manages grievances, but information about the grievance policy was not available on the disability services or equivalent website.
  • A university scored 0 points if the disability services office manages grievances, or information about the grievance policy was not available on the disability services or equivalent website.

Limitations

These scores and NIH funding may change over time. Data was abstracted and adjudicated on a rolling basis between June and November 2021 and may not capture current university information or accessibility indicators.

These data only include information about policies, procedures, and accessibility that is publicly available on university websites. While this dashboard does not assess every aspect of disability inclusion, nor does a favorable score ensure an inclusive student experience, it identifies areas for improvement and can be used to track progress in publicly provided information.

Citation

The use of data, figures, or graphs from this dashboard should be cited as: The Johns Hopkins Disability Health Research Center University Disability Inclusion Dashboard. 2021. https://disabilityhealth.jhu.edu/

Contact Information

If you have questions or need the data in an alternate accessible format, contact us at: disabilityhealth@jhu.edu.
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