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Zina Jawadi and Ana Sophia Mifsud organized the “Ask Me About My Disability” event held in White Plaza where Stanford students met with classmates and the community to answer questions about their disabilities. Credit: Linda A. Cicero / Stanford News Service

Charge for Disability Task Force

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Former Vice Provost for Student Affairs Susie Brubaker-Cole and Vice Provost for Institutional Equity, Access, and Community Patrick Dunkley jointly charged this task force to examine the current educational experience of students with disabilities and to recommend steps Stanford could take to advance further equitable access to opportunities for students with disabilities. 


Federally Mandated Accommodations

The task force considered ways to improve the delivery of federally mandated accommodations, such as those facilitated by the Office of Accessible Education, as well as ways to enhance the educational experiences of students with disabilities through measures that go above and beyond legal requirements.  We are defining educational experiences broadly to include curricular learning as well as learning in the residences, student organizations and experiential learning such as public service.  

We asked that the task force explore these four primary themes:

The lawn at the Wilbur dorms complex is painted with the block S logo for Move-In Day. Credit:  Linda A. Cicero / Stanford News Service

Seamless Coordination

What steps should Stanford take to ensure strong coordination across the range of actors (OAE, faculty, R&DE, residential staff, etc.) on the accommodation landscape, including consideration of administrative structural concerns?

Grace Baysinger, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Librarian, meets with a group of students to conduct an orientation to the science library. Robin Li and Melissa Ma Science Library in the Sapp Center for Science Teaching and Learning. Credit:  Linda A. Cicero / Stanford News Service

Academic Accommodations

What is the optimal model for delivery of academic accommodations (including testing), particularly regarding the various roles that students, centralized offices (OAE, Diversity and Access), local departments and individual instructors can and should play in the accommodation process?  What training is needed to implement recommendations and on an ongoing basis?  

Supreme court of united states columns. Credit: @lunamarina, via Freepik

Federal Mandates

What services, resources and facilities should Stanford provide above and beyond federally mandated accommodations, and what should the order of priority be across the specific areas identified?

Hands reading braille notebook. Credit: Freepik

Equitable Access

How can Stanford remove barriers and ensure equitable access to educational opportunities (Haas, BOSP, certain types of courses that currently aren’t available)?

Additional Areas for Consideration

  • Training:  What training is needed for faculty and staff to ensure they understand what is required to support students and their corresponding responsibilities?
  • Community & Space:  Should there be a permanent community center for the disability community?
  • Communication:  How can communications from the university more carefully consider and address disability needs?
  • Broader Campus Application:  What learnings from this task force should be applied to future considerations of staff and faculty disability access issues?  

The task force’s final report was to include key findings about the strengths and weaknesses of the current landscape and recommendations for changes and improvement with an indication of priorities for action now or in the future.  

Architectural details of the sandstone arcades in the Main Quadrangle of Stanford University. Credit: Linda A. Cicero / Stanford University News Service

Deliverable and Timeline

  • The initial report was to include recommended areas of additional examination.
  • After delivering the report, the university planned to examine specific issues.