Disability Support Resources, Disability, Higher education, Postsecondary education, Disability services


Education | Higher Education | Special Education Administration | Special Education and Teaching


Julia Snider


In order to receive support and accommodations in postsecondary education, students must self-report their disability to the institution they attend. Due to this policy, there are many barriers that students may face in their pursuit of these services. Barriers include fear of negative perceptions of disabilities by faculty or peers, negative perceptions of accommodations, and lengthy documentation requirements. This study aimed to determine the potential barriers for students at Grand Valley State University (GVSU) and what the university is doing to address these barriers. In this study, a total of 28 undergraduate students at GVSU were surveyed and one staff member from the Disability Support Resources (DSR) office was interviewed. The results of the survey showed that respondents reported positive experiences with faculty and that the process of obtaining accommodations was easy. The majority of respondents also disagreed that accommodations were an unfair advantage, and agreed that they are necessary for some students to succeed in college. However, some students reported that they had negative experiences with faculty, and the interviewee stated that there are occasionally problems with faculty giving accommodations. Additionally, some students reported that the reason they chose not to receive accommodations was fear of negative faculty or peer perceptions.