Disability Awareness 101: A Case Study on Students with Disabilities and College Admissions Offices Staff

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Background

My name is Amy. I have a speech impairment, although my speech is clear enough to be understood by most people. I am a high school senior, and I plan to attend a local community college after I graduate.

Access Issue

I went to the community college admissions office to get some help with my application. I was immediately referred to the college's disabled student services office.

Solution

When I arrived at the disabled student services office, I explained that I had questions about the application. The disabled student services coordinator took me back to admissions to make sure they provided me with the assistance that I requested. We explained that I was not looking for accommodations but that I simply needed an explanation about some of the information requested to complete the forms.

Conclusion

This case study demonstrates the following:

  1. Admissions office staff, as well as staff of other student services offices, need to clearly understand the role of the disabled student services office.
  2. A student with a disability may not need accommodations; often their questions are the same as those that might be asked by other students.
  3. Front-line personnel need to be trained to meet the needs of students with disabilities and understand when referrals to disabled student services should be made for disability-related accommodations.

Last update or review: January 18, 2013