Key drivers that influence space design in today's higher education environment are technology, changing demographics,
increased focus on student engagement, and carbon footprint. Just as important, but not typically on the
list, is the growing population of students with Learning Disabilities (LD) for which the physical environment plays an
increasingly important role in successful learning outcomes. The research goal was to examine the role of "place" as
a component of academic success for those students with LD. Methodology included both literature review and the
development of a case study analysis of three post-secondary institutions in the United States. The universities were
chosen based on the size of the university, the campus setting, and the mission of the Disabilities Services team. The
conclusion of the research surfaced three specific components of the physical environment that hold an increased value
for a student with LD. These components are wayfinding, formal learning spaces, and disability services spaces. The
key to integrating a sense of place with the needs of students with LD is moving beyond meeting the minimum standards
of the legal mandates and bridging the principles of universal design to the built environment.
Keywords : Accessibility, Inclusive Design, Learning Spaces.
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