Access, Accommodation, and Reasoned Action among Collegians with Disabilities

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Of the 13 million students attending community colleges, 12 percent are classified a person with a disability. While extant research depicts disability services at community colleges as responsive to the unique needs of the disabled, other studies discuss existing challenges with disability services at two-year institutions. Further insight is needed about persons with disabilities’ attitudes related to the broader campus climate, not just their experience with accommodation services. This study sought to situate and bring light to the experiences of persons with disabilities at community colleges. The following themes emerged from interviewing individuals with disabilities about their collegiate experiences: (a) Disparity in services; (b) Course or classroom structure and influence on the use of accommodation services; (c) Faculty-student interactions and impact on the request for accommodations; (d) Peer attitudes towards disability and the use of accommodation. Overall, findings from this research suggest that focusing on the actions and choices of students with disabilities as they pertain to college choice, academic support services, and/or accommodations during their time at two- and four-year institutions would aid alignment between accommodation requests and the individual’s planned behavior/reasoned actions, which could improve the collegiate experience, satisfaction, and matriculation to completion among students with disabilities.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-106
JournalJournal of Applied Research in the Community College
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2017


  • accommodations
  • students with disabilities
  • college
  • qualitative research


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