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


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.

Are postsecondary institutions required to purchase adaptive software for a specific course if only one student needs it?

Any course an institution offers must be accessible to qualified students with disabilities. A student with a disability may require specialized adaptive hardware or software to access the electronic information and to fully participate in the computer assignments for a course. Work with the student, disabled student services staff, and an adaptive technology specialist, if available on your campus, to determine the access issues and the appropriate assistive technology solutions.

How can I communicate with colleagues regarding making our library accessible to patrons with disabilities?

Internet-based electronic discussion lists provide opportunities for collaboration with librarians and other colleagues about accessibility issues.

In the ADAPT-L listserv group, librarians discuss assistive technology for making electronic resources accessible to all patrons. To join, send email to with no subject but one line of text: "subscribe adapt-l Firstname Lastname".

What can disabled student services offices do to help students with disabilities successfully transition from two- to four-year colleges?

Students with disabilities often face challenges as they transfer from two-year to four-year institutions of higher education. There are many things that the institutions can do, individually and cooperatively, to ease this transition. Forty-six staff and faculty from two- and four-year institutions representing a total of twenty-four states made suggestions as part of five focused discussions hosted by DO-IT at the University of Washington. Listed below are some of their ideas.

How can our career services office work with employers to ensure program access to students with disabilities?

Many employers are aware of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and are interested in employing students with disabilities. Career counselors, cooperative education staff, and internship coordinators can work with employers to make successful placements for students with disabilities. The following suggestions may assist you in working with employers as you place students with disabilities:

Reconsidering Policies: A Case Study on Hardship Withdrawals and a Student with a Psychiatric Disability


Suzanne is a junior with a psychiatric impairment. She had an episode of depression, which resulted in her inability to attend classes for several days. Due to her absence, she fell behind in her coursework and petitioned to drop one of her three classes as a "hardship withdrawal."

The Equestrian Team: A Case Study on Access to Student Organizations


Susan is a sophomore who is blind. She has joined several campus organizations and would also like to join the equestrian team.

Access Issue

The advisor and trainer of the equestrian team called the disabled student services director to discuss whether this student should join the team. She was concerned about how Susan could handle this type of activity, as well as the liability of the university if she had an accident.