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Accessibility Studies

New book on equity and inclusion features CWU's Accessibility Studies Program

A new book,  Perspectives on Diverse Student Identities in Higher Education: International Perspectives on Equity and Inclusionwas recently published featuring CWU's Accessibility Studies Program. This is volume 14 in the Innovations in Higher Education Teaching and Learning Series published by International higher Education Teaching and Learning Association through Emerald Publishing. The authors were honored that their chapter, "Accessibility and Acceptance for University Students with Diverse Abilities" was selected to open the book

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was enacted in 1990, comprehensively addressing the life needs and civil rights of people with disabilities (PWDs). Although the ADA would prohibit discrimination in the workforce, public services, transportation, and information, therefore spurring efforts by private and public institutions to plan for and adopt accessible environments and practices, the actual voice and experience of PWDs often remains unacknowledged, even on university campuses and in academic programs that purport to have progressive ideals.

This chapter examines the efforts made by one midsized, comprehensive, American university not only to remove architectural, social, and academic barriers to student success as required by law, but to establish an academic voice for the disability experience and the disability rights movement through the newly founded Accessibility Studies Program.

Only a year old, the program is becoming established in the catalog of minors and certificates at CWU. ASP 325 Universal Design was overenrolled this Winter and the current cohort progressing through the program are likely to fill ASP 435 to be offered in Spring. All four ASP courses will also be offered in summer plus a new elective course ASP 498 Media Portrayals of Disability. With the new General Education Program commencing in Fall, ASP will be offering a First Year Seminar in ASP 187  Freaks, Geeks, & Heroes: Portrayals of Disability in Popular Media. 

You can apply to the program online or contact Dr. Petersen at for more information.


Naomi Jeffery Petersen ,  Sandra J. Gruberg , (2018), Accessibility and Acceptance for University Students with Diverse Abilities, in Jaimie Hoffman , Patrick Blessinger , Mandla Makhanya , (ed.) Perspectives on Diverse Student Identities in Higher Education: International Perspectives on Equity and Inclusion (Innovations in Higher Education Teaching and Learning, Volume 14) Emerald Publishing Limited, pp.13 - 28


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