This special report examines the challenges that students, academics, and colleges face in dealing with disability on campus. It includes the voices of people who struggle with physical disabilities that make it difficult to navigate older buildings and lovely grounds, and of others who have less-visible conditions such as bipolar or autism-spectrum disorders. Some scholars, having learned how to manage their own conditions, have built successful academic careers despite having blanked out in the middle of a speech or being forced to suddenly cancel class or take a medical leave. Our coverage also reflects some continuing debates relating to disability, including whether the philosophy of universal design — design that is meant to benefit everybody — sufficiently accommodates those with special needs.
Recent federal decisions have upended college policies on two important questions: whether students may keep emotional-support animals in dorms, and whether colleges may bar suicidal students from campus.
Scholars with mental, neurobiological, or learning disorders often find themselves struggling in silence. Several of them tell how they have found ways to succeed.
These campuses have advanced from doing the minimum necessary to meet the needs of those with mobility impairments to understanding that their experience should be the same as anyone else’s.
Even students who aren’t enrolled at Landmark College can attend its summer program, where they develop strategies to help them succeed when they return to their home campuses.
Colleges must be prepared to engage in difficult conversations about mental illness with students and their families, writes a professor with dual perspectives on the problem.
Presenting the classroom as an emotionally neutral space does a disservice to students trying to make sense of the racial realities unfolding around them.