The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is one of America’s most important laws, both in general and with respect to individuals with disabilities. Originally passed in 1990, the ADA recently celebrated its 30th anniversary. While ADA offers protection against discrimination for individuals with disabilities in a broad sense, it also offers specific protections for students with disabilities who enter into postsecondary education. Over the years, there has been a steady increase in the number of students with disabilities who have entered postsecondary education (Madaus, 2011), though these students have experienced and continue to experience barriers to their success, retention, and graduation (Kim & Lee, 2016). Various research has been conducted to reveal the barriers these students face and how to minimize or remove such barriers, in order to increase access and equity (Alamri & Tyler-Wood, 2016; Barnar-Brak, Davis, et al., 2009; Fichten et al., 2012; Quinlan et al., 2012). There is much research regarding student and faculty perspectives and accommodation use, as well as faculty interaction and student disclosure (Kim & Lee, 2016; Mamiseishvili & Koch, 2011; Yssel et al., 2016). Unfortunately, there is a lack of research surrounding the office of disability services (ODS) at postsecondary institutions and how these offices operate, specifically with how they develop and provide accommodations to students and how they make decisions that impact students, staff, and faculty alike. It is critical to understand more about these offices and how they operate, in order to understand how they implement federal disability policy, including ADA. This policy analysis study combines document and content analysis of institutional ODS unit web materials with semi-structured interviews of ODS unit directors, in order to investigate how ADA is implemented through the accommodations process and in directorial and office decision-making at private postsecondary institutions in the Eastern Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. The findings of the study provide pathways toward filling various gaps in the literature and result in key recommendations for practitioners, policy actors, and researchers.
|Advisor:||Tuckwiller, Elizabeth D.|
|Commitee:||Klasik, Daniel, Sirianni, Jim|
|School:||The George Washington University|
|Department:||Educational Leadership & Administration|
|School Location:||United States -- District of Columbia|
|Source:||DAI-A 82/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Higher Education Administration, Secondary education, Disability studies, Education Policy|
|Keywords:||Americans with Disabilities Act, Students with disabilities, Postsecondary education, Office of Disability Services|
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