Students with disabilities, Educational equity, Self-advocacy, Accommodations, ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Mobility Impairment, DSR services, Grand Valley State University, Qualtrics Survey


Dr. Beth Macauley


The purpose of this project is to identify areas of equity and inequity for students with disabilities at Grand Valley State University (GVSU) pertaining to their ability to successfully complete their degrees. GVSU has a history of being at the forefront of accommodations with their creation of the LINKS program for students with autism spectrum disorders and their policies on assistance and service animals in the classroom. However, it is not known whether the accommodations and policies currently in place offer the students with disabilities an equitable opportunity for academic success as GVSU students without disabilities. To obtain this information, a survey on equitable treatment including access to classrooms, helpfulness of accommodations, the flexibility of faculty, and use of Blackboard was sent anonymously to a random sample of GVSU students, targeting those who have registered with Disability Support Resources. Results were compared across all students with disabilities as well as within individual disabilities in each area of interest. Data revealed that a majority of DSR registered students are content with the level of educational equity that they receive at GVSU. However, DSR satisfaction tended to be significantly lower, especially for questions related to achieving more group-related, interactive goals. Based on the results, recommendations were proposed for DSR to increase accessibility of their services, as well as encourage self-advocacy skills.