Higher Education Accommodation Decision-Making and Positionality: A Survey of Disability Resource Professionals
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Keywords

disability resources
accommodations
college
decision-making
higher education

How to Cite

Strimel, M., Francis, G., & Duke, J. (2023). Higher Education Accommodation Decision-Making and Positionality: A Survey of Disability Resource Professionals . Journal of Postsecondary Student Success, 3(1), 80–100. https://doi.org/10.33009/fsop_jpss132666

Abstract

In higher education settings, the central function of a disability resource professional (DRP) is determining accommodations in collaboration with disabled college students, making their role in the outcomes of students with disabilities paramount. Despite this importance, research on the process of determining accommodations is minimal, and professional guidance on the matter can be interpreted in varied ways, leading DRPs to rely on their professional judgment to reach final decisions. What subtly informs this professional judgment, particularly concerning DRPs’ positionalities and student identities, is largely unexplored. The purpose of this study was to explore the perspectives of U.S. DRPs related to their accommodation decision-making processes, experiences, and perceptions. Based on the results of this exploratory national survey of DRPs, accommodation decision-making processes described by participants can be divided into four components: (a) forming initial opinions, (b) engaging with students, (c) consulting with others, and (d) making final decisions. Notably, participants’ perceptions of positionality and identities in the accommodations process situated those of students to be more heavily considered than their own. Following a presentation of findings, the authors conclude with implications for the field and recommendations for future research.

https://doi.org/10.33009/fsop_jpss132666
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Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Copyright (c) 2023 Morgan M. Strimel, Grace L. Francis, Jodi M. Duke

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