#MacroSW Chat 7/6: ADA & Section 504: Disabled Students’ Rights on College Campuses

Image of an empty classroom. Classroom has three rows of tables with blue chairs. In front of the classroom is 3 large white boards.
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Chat archive available!

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
https://dredf.org/advocacy/comparison.html

Despite accommodations, some UMN students clash with professors over “unseen” disabilities
http://www.mndaily.com/article/2017/04/despite-accommodations-some-umn-students-clash-with-professors-over-unseen-disabilities

How Can Universities Better Support Disabled Students to Graduate
http://www.rootedinrights.org/how-can-universities-better-support-disabled-students-to-graduate/

Why I Dread the Accommodations Talk
http://www.chronicle.com/article/Why-I-Dread-the-Accommodations/239571

The Neglected Demographic:  Faculty Members with Disabilities
http://www.chronicle.com/article/The-Neglected-Demographic-/240439

Self-Advocacy:  Know Yourself, Know What You Need, Know How to Get It
http://www.wrightslaw.com/info/sec504.selfadvo.ld.johnson.htm

Our #MacroSW Partner facilitating the chat is Vilissa Thompson (@VilissaThompson).

Here are the questions we hope to discuss during the chat:

  1. Is the thinking about accommodations for disabled students tied to ableism, ignorance, or both?
  2. Has your college campus prioritized ensuring that students receive the accommodations they have a right to?  Why or why not?
  3. Have you witnessed or experienced resistance to acknowledging the accommodations of disabled students?
  4. Academics: How do you view providing accommodations to students in your classrooms?
  5. Students: Do you feel that professors understand why accommodations are important?  Why or why not?
  6. All: What can be done to eliminate stigma and resistance to respecting the accommodation needs of disabled students?

 

#MacroSW Media Night 10.13.16 – Online Disability Advocacy:  What is the role of allies?

Update: Chat archive now available!

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For our October Media Night, we will be discussing how social workers can become effective allies within online disability advocacy, and what does that mean and look like from members of the disabled community.

There is no denying the power online advocacy has played in ushering the disability rights movement into the 21st century.  Disabled advocates are able to discuss issues, policies, ableism, and combatting multiple identities with members of the disabled community across the country and globe, as well as paint a more rightfully diverse and genuine images of the disabled experience.  Our chat will explore how the social work profession and social workers can become effective allies, and in what ways disabled advocates desire for us to work alongside them.   

Here are a few resources that goes in-depth about what disability advocacy is, what good allyship looks like, the use of identity-first language versus person-first language, and why the social model of disability is preferred by members of the disabled community:  

What is Disability Advocacy?
http://www.daru.org.au/what-is-advocacy

So You Call Yourself An Ally?:  10 Things All ‘Allies’ Should Know
http://everydayfeminism.com/2013/11/things-allies-need-to-know/

Identity First Language
http://autisticadvocacy.org/home/about-asan/identity-first-language/

The Social Model of Disability
http://www.scope.org.uk/about-us/our-brand/social-model-of-disability

Our guest expert will be Dr. Casey Bohrman, who is the Assistant Chair of Undergraduate Social Work at West Chester University.  She teaches direct practice and social policy courses.  She integrates Twitter into her introduction to social policy class, including an assignment that requires students to document and tweet about accessibility issues in their local communities.  

Our #MacroSW Partner facilitating the chat is Vilissa Thompson (@VilissaThompson).

Here are the questions we hope to discuss during the chat:

  1. What does it mean to be a good ally to communities that you do not have membership to?
  2. Is there a need for allies within advocacy movements?  Why or why not?  
  3. How has social media played an important role in propelling online advocacy?  
  4. Which technologies/social media platforms have been instrumental to online advocacy, and are most favored among advocates?  
  5. Does the social work profession have an out-of-date view and understanding of disability?  
  6. What can we do as social workers to better connect with the disabled community, and be effective allies?

About #MacroSW:

#MacroSW is a collaboration of social workers, organizations, social work schools, and individuals working to promote macro social work practice. Macro social work practice focuses on changing larger systems, such as communities and organizations. It encompasses a broad spectrum of actions and ideas, ranging from community organizing and education to legislative advocacy and policy analysis. The chats are held weekly on Twitter every Thursday at 9 p.m. EST (6 p.m. PST). Click here for a list of chat partners. For information about how to participate in the #MacroSW chat, view our FAQs. For chat schedule and chat archives check out: http://macrosw.com.

About #MacroSW Media Nights:

Tune in for our once a month #MacroSW Media Night to talk about different social problems highlighted by the press. We’ll feature a video, podcast, blog post or article that features a hot topic. These chats are ideal for class assignment or extra credit opportunity.  For the chat schedule: https://macrosw.com/special-events/.