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Educating Students With Disabilities in Higher Education

Students with disabilities have the same right as other students to participate in higher education. According to the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD), “While ‘reasonable accommodations’ (auxiliary aids and services and academic adjustments) are just one path to access, they, along with campus-wide consultation and training, are often necessary to afford access to individuals with disabilities. Decisions regarding whether an accommodation is appropriate requires an individualized, interactive process and an understanding of the context.”

The following ASHA policies and documents are provided as a resource to faculty educating students with disabilities in higher education and CSD academic programs.

Resources on Educating Students with Disabilities

Students With Disabilities in Classroom and Clinic: Business as Usual
In this Academics & Research in Context article, author Jane Jarrow discusses the “do’s and don’ts” of responding to the needs of students with disabilities in academic and clinical settings when providing equal access to educational opportunities.

National Center for College Students with Disabilities (NCCSD) 
The National Center for College Students with Disabilities (NCCSD) is a federally-funded project under the U.S. Department of Education (P116D150005) and administered through the  Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE). Faculty may visit or refer students to the NCCSD website for more information related to educating students with disabilities in higher education.

Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD)
The Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) is a professional membership association for higher education personnel committed to equity for persons with disabilities in higher education and invested in creating welcoming higher education experiences for individuals with disabilities.

National Joint Committee for the Communication Needs of Persons With Severe Disabilities (NJC)
The National Joint Committee for the Communication Needs of Persons With Severe Disabilities (NJC) advocates for individuals with significant communication support needs resulting from intellectual disability, that may coexist with autism, sensory and/or motor limitation. The NJC provides many resources to enhance communication effectiveness for individuals with severe disabilities.

Alliance for Disability in Health Care Education (ADHCE)
The Alliance for Disability in Health Care Education (ADHCE) is an organization of health care educators who are working to integrate disability-related content and experiences into health care education and training programs. In Fall 2019, the ASHA Board of Directors (BOD) approved the ADHCE’s Core Competencies on Disability for Health Care Education [PDF], a document that outlines disability standards for health care education.

ASHA Policy Documents

Learning Disabilities: Issues in Higher Education
This paper addresses emerging issues relative to students with learning disabilities on college and university campuses.

Secondary to Postsecondary Education Transition Planning for Students With Learning Disabilities
Many students with learning disabilities should select postsecondary options, and they can succeed in their pursuit of them if their transition plans are designed and implemented effectively.

Code of Fair Testing Practices in Education
A guide for professionals in fulfilling their obligation to provide and use tests that are fair to all test takers regardless of age, gender, disability, race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, linguistic background, or other personal characteristics.

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