First Advisor

Christine Cress

Term of Graduation

Winter 2023

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership: Postsecondary Education


Educational Leadership and Policy





Physical Description

1 online resource (vi, 148 pages)


Colleges and universities rely on the individualized accommodation process to ensure access for students with disabilities, however, there is ample evidence that educational inequity is pervasive. This study used a critical and comparative quantitative methodology (n=6,500) to investigate data from a large urban community college, analyzing the relationship between final grades and accommodation eligibility and use across academic disciplines and curricular modalities (in-person vs. on-line) to identify implications for the academic success of students with disabilities. Results indicate disability inequity varies across racial identity groups and racial inequity persists across disability status groups. Results also indicate that accommodation may be most impactful for students with lower cumulative grade point averages, students taking courses at the 100 level, students taking online courses, and students taking courses in disciplines such as math. There appear to be benefits to a connection with Disability Services even when students do not notify faculty of their eligibility for accommodation. Recommendations include the inclusion of disability as a demographic within institutional reporting; professional development for faculty, staff, and student leaders that goes beyond compliance to address implications of the intersections of gender, race, identity, and disability; and inclusion of disabled student voices to improve access and inclusion throughout curricular and co-curricular programs and activities.


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