(WIP) About Us, Without Us: A Review of U.S. Disability-Related Insitutional Policies and Practices

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Students with disabilities∗, including those in engineering, are well known to face a multitude of challenges, including social, physical, emotional, and economic barriers, while navigating higher education. Institutional policies and practices are key drivers to the functioning of a university and, as such, play an important role in the protections, experiences, inclusion, and support of disabled students. This Work-in-Progress Research paper reviews institutional disability-related policies and practices at five U.S. higher education institutions. The five institutions were selected to represent a range of institutional types (private vs. public), geographic locations, and sizes (of their engineering programs). Building on the University Disability Inclusion Dashboard developed by The Johns Hopkins Disability Health Research Center, we focus our analysis on two specific aspects of institutional policies and practices: (1) accommodations for disabled students and (2) public image around disability inclusion. Our analysis found that vagueness within the accommodations process and limitations to publicly available information contributes to weakened robustness in the accommodations, support, and protections currently provided to disabled students across universities. This research represents a needed first step to assess the current state of structural, institutional support (or lack thereof) for disabled students in engineering. ∗In this paper, we chose to rotate between the usage of the terms 'students with disabilities' (SWDs) and 'disabled students' in an attempt to include all students and their identity-first or person-first language preferences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2023 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2023 - Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9798350336429
StatePublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes
Event53rd IEEE ASEE Frontiers in Education International Conference, FIE 2023 - College Station, United States
Duration: Oct 18 2023Oct 21 2023

Publication series

NameProceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE


Conference53rd IEEE ASEE Frontiers in Education International Conference, FIE 2023
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityCollege Station


  • Students with disabilities
  • education policy
  • higher education
  • institutional change
  • student support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications


Dive into the research topics of '(WIP) About Us, Without Us: A Review of U.S. Disability-Related Insitutional Policies and Practices'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this