PDE Search

In order to assist Pennsylvania students with disabilities in the area of higher education, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) provides the following resources. These resources should help both students and their families by providing information on general resources, legal resources, financial aid resources, and technology for special needs to help with both physical and learning disabilities. This list is provided for information purposes only. PDE does not guarantee the quality of the services provided and is not responsible for the information or service provided from any of these organizations.

If a person with disabilities is the victim of bias, prejudice or discrimination in Pennsylvania, a complaint should be filed with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission for investigation. Please see the legal framework section below for contact information.

General resources:

  • The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR), Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, 909 Green Street, Harrisburg, PA 17102, Voice: 717-787-5244, http://www.dli.state.pa.us/landi/site/default.asp: at the website select ‘Disability Services’ or consult the website or phone book for the regional OVR nearest you for postsecondary assistance with services, technology or perhaps tuition monies in addressing documented needs.
  • The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Service, Rehabilitation Services Administration, US Department of Education, http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/osers/index.html?src=mr: works cooperatively with other US agencies, such as the Office of Special Education programs and the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research.
  • Learning Disabilities Association of America, 4156 Library Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15234-1349, Voice: 412-341-1515, works with the Learning Disabilities Association of Pennsylvania, which has numerous chapters across the state. Contact the organization to find the one nearest you.
  • Special Education Resources on the Internet (SERI), http://www.seriweb.com/: a collection of Internet accessible information resources, originally compiled under the auspices of Hood College in Maryland, by disability type and other topics including ‘University Based Information.’

Legal framework and resources to address complaints:

  • Americans with Disabilities Act, US Department of Justice, 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section – NYAVE, Washington, D.C. 20530, www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/adahom1.htm, or call Voice: 800-514-0301 or (TTY) 800-514-0383 with questions or concerns.
  • Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) information at http://idea.ed.gov/ or call Voice: 900-IDEAINFO.
  • Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, Riverfront Office Center, 1101-1125 S. Front Street, 5th Floor, Harrisburg, PA 17104-2515. Voice: 717-787-9784, Text Telephone: 717- 787-7279, or other offices throughout Pennsylvania see the web page or telephone book, http://www.phrc.state.pa.us: deals with complaints of discrimination, prejudice and bias.
  • The Disabilities Law Project provides free legal assistance to people with disabilities, their families, and organizations and advocates on their behalf. Contact: www.uclid.org, voice: 412-692-6300, or write The UCLID Center at the University of Pittsburgh, 3414 Fifth Avenue, 2nd Floor, Children's Hospital Office Building, Pittsburgh, PA 15213.
  • American Bar Association, Robert D. Evans, Director, Washington Office, American Bar Association, Voice: 202-662-1765, http://www.abanet.org: provides information on and lists of low cost or pro bono lawyers.
  • Center for Law and Education, Educational Rights of Students with Disabilities Project, 1875 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 510, Washington, D.C. 20009, Voice: 202-986-3000, www.cleweb.org.

Financial aid resources:

  • The George Washington University HEATH Resource Center, 2121 K Street, NW, Suite 220, Washington, D.C. 20037, Voice: 800-544-3284, Email: askheath@gwu.edu is a clearinghouse on postsecondary education information for individuals with disabilities, including resources on financial aid. To order their publication Creating Options: 2007 Financial Aid for Students with Disabilities, call Voice: 202-994-3365 or download it from their website, http://www.heath.gwu.edu.

Information on technology for special needs:

  • Web Accessibility Initiative http://www.w3.org/WAI
  • Center for Rehabilitation Technology and Environmental Access (CATEA), Georgia Institute of Technology, College of Architecture, 490 Tenth Street, NW, Atlanta, Georgia 30332-0156, 404-894-4960 (V/TTY), www.catea.org
  • CPB/WGBH National Center for Accessible Media, 125 Western Avenue, Boston, MA 02134, Voice: 617-300-3400, TTY: 617.300.2489, http://ncam.wgbh.org
  • Research Institute for Assistive and Training Technologies at the National Association of State Directors of Special Education, 1800 Diagonal Road, Suite 320, Alexandria, VA 22314, Voice: 888-438-1938, www.nasdse.com

For additional information, please contact:

Division of Higher & Career Education |
Pennsylvania Department of Education - Postsecondary and Adult Education
333 Market Street, 12th Fl | Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333
Phone: 717.783.8228 | Fax: 717.722.3622
ra-collunivseminfo@pa.gov | www.education.state.pa.us