Cheryl L. Spear

Cheryl L. Spear

Brooklyn College



Mentor: Jane A. Nisbet, Ph.D., Director, Institute on Disability, & David Hagner, Ph.D., Project Coordinator, Insitute on Disability

Post-Secondary Institutional Policy: Its Implementation and Monitoring Practices

Approximately 800,000 students with disabilities enter institutions of higher education (IHE) each year. In response to the growing demand for "reasonable accomodations," IHEs are reviewing legislative mandates, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in order to understand the reciprocal responsibilities expected between its students and itself. The purpose of this research is to examine the knowledge of Disability Service Providers (DSP), the persons primarily responsible for connecting policy to student needs.

Telephone surveys were conducted with DSPs at 15 public and 15 private IHEs. Questions were asked in five content areas related to their: (a) institution's policy, (b) circulation of policies, (c)policy translation, (d) beneficiaries of policy, and (e) policy implementation

Results suggest that Disability Service Providers are aware of policies specific to students with disabilities amd most policies receive routine reviews. However, circulation and translation of policy, and training on policy were arbitrary rather than uniform practices. If institutions of higher education are going to adequately meet the increased demands for support services specific to students with disabilities, collaborative and top-down support will be imperative.

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