Graduate School and Students with Disabilities

Graduate School and Students with Disabilities


[Music]>>Narrator: Graduate students
with disabilities, working with faculty
and disability services, can have successful
graduate school experiences, complete their degrees, and
go on to rewarding careers.>>Kayla: My name is Kayla and I
have a form of muscular dystrophy. So essentially I just use a wheelchair
because my muscles are weak and I also have panic attacks and
anxiety as my invisible disability. Graduate school was very daunting. I didn’t know what to expect. And I think that, you know,
when you have a disability, that stress is just amplified.>>Shiri: My name is Shiri Azenkot. I’m an assistant professor at Cornell Tech. I started researching graduate programs and actually found Richard Ladner’s work
online and I started reading about it and I just had this moment where
like, things clicked and suddenly I realized,
wait a second, I don’t like assistive technology but I can
actually change that and make it better.>>Taffey: I’m Dr. Taffey Cunnien
and I’m the Assistant Dean/Director of the Office of Disability Services at
the Georgia Institute of Technology. Anyone looking at graduate school,
just understanding that it’s, it’s a lifestyle commitment. Right? Like it’s not just something
you’re going to do on the side. This is going to be something that
you’re going to be integrating fully into your life and so
understanding how that is, how you’re going to navigate that
with your disability.>>Cindy: I’m Cindy and
I’m a third year PhD student in the Department of Human
Centered Design and Engineering at the University
of Washington. I’m totally blind. The GRE does have a department
for requesting accommodations and it does take extra time so I
allowed about six months of planning.>>Taffey: I think, the earlier the better and the more sort of creating
that team of support is always going to be important
for any student with disabilities and so finding those faculty members,
finding those staff members, finding those peers, you know,
that sort of create that environment of support
for that student is going to be important for their
success as they move forward.>>Narrator: Some students may find
they need different accommodations than those they used during
their undergraduate work.>>Shiri: I knew myself
a whole lot better. I knew what accommodations I needed,
how I could best learn. And I knew how to communicate
my disability better and tell other people
how I could best learn and also the type of learning
that was required was completely different.>>Jon: My name’s Jon McGough
and I’m the Associate Director of Disability Resources for Students
here at the UW. Frequent accommodations in graduate school
could be looking at the timeline toward degree completion. Setting up a process so that students
and faculty can exchange information and work toward the goal of
defending a thesis, for example, and this may take longer depending upon
the students’ experience and condition.>>Narrator: Faculty and staff can
provide support for students with disabilities by creating a welcoming climate.>>Taffey: Getting to know
the person as an individual rather than seeing them as a diagnosis
or a set of impairments. And getting to see the whole person, what their strengths are,
what their challenges are.>>Richard: I’m Richard Ladner, professor in Computer Science and Engineering
at the University of Washington. It’s up to the student,
actually, the student whether they disclose
or not their disability. If they do disclose it
and they do indicate that they do have some accessibility issues,
then a conversation would be in order and if the student
does not initiate it then probably you
should not initiate it. If you do have a
National Science Foundation grant and that student
does have an access need then you can apply for a
supplement for your grant through the FASED program,
F-A-S-E-D.>>Shiri: I actively recruit
students with disabilities. I’ve had students with, I had one student who had
very severe dyslexia and that was really interesting because
he actually showed me a few tricks for how to read things
more effectively. And we were able to brainstorm some really
interesting project ideas about… for technologies for
reading better with audio output. So that was a lot of fun.

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