Disabled students’ rights to receive an education and accommodations are protected under two important policies. The Americans with Disabilities (Act) prohibits the discrimination of Americans who are disabled, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 states that all colleges and universities that receive federal funding (most public and private institutions) have to provide accommodations to disabled students.
Though these policies exist, disabled college students receive pushback from their colleges and professors in accessing and acknowledging the accommodations they need to succeed in the classroom. These barriers impede on students’ ability to engage, learn, and feel included and respected. The growing trend of ignoring that accommodations are vital and not a hindrance is one that must be addressed.
As we prepare to celebrate the 27th anniversary of the ADA on July 26th, and the start of the 2017-2018 academic year in a few weeks, it is fitting for students, professors, and social workers to understand the barriers disabled students on campuses experience, and how to advocate for their rights.
Here are a few resources that goes in-depth about the mandates that protect disabled college students, stories of failing to receive or allow accommodations, and how to advocate:
A Comparison of ADA, IDEA, & Section 504
Despite accommodations, some UMN students clash with professors over “unseen” disabilities
How Can Universities Better Support Disabled Students to Graduate
Why I Dread the Accommodations Talk
The Neglected Demographic: Faculty Members with Disabilities
Self-Advocacy: Know Yourself, Know What You Need, Know How to Get It
Our #MacroSW Partner facilitating the chat is Vilissa Thompson (@VilissaThompson).
Here are the questions we hope to discuss during the chat:
- Is the thinking about accommodations for disabled students tied to ableism, ignorance, or both?
- Has your college campus prioritized ensuring that students receive the accommodations they have a right to? Why or why not?
- Have you witnessed or experienced resistance to acknowledging the accommodations of disabled students?
- Academics: How do you view providing accommodations to students in your classrooms?
- Students: Do you feel that professors understand why accommodations are important? Why or why not?
- All: What can be done to eliminate stigma and resistance to respecting the accommodation needs of disabled students?