Disabled Grad Students & Disability Offices


August 27, 2012 by badacademic2

Were you registered with your undergrad institutions Disability Office? And likely had a good experience in undergrad because you know, you wanted to keep going in this whole academia thing and decided on grad school? Did you think that things would be similar in grad school?

I did.

Boy, was I wrong. The disability office is geared towards undergrads. Note taking in classes and extra time on tests are easy. Getting accessible formats for textbooks, no problem. Something else? Yah, problem.

There are usually no tests, just comps/quals. A notetaker? Well in small seminars typical of grad classes, that is hard too. Because what do they offer? Pay someone not in the class, likely an undergrad, to go to the class and take notes. Umm, I’m going to guess that most of the class will be over their heads and they don’t yet know how to “take notes” in grad school seminar discussions.

Accessible format? Awesome, they are on that. That is good. Super helpful. But if I have to hear one more professor complain about having to get things done earlier, ie you need your syllabus way early in order to get that to happen. Yes, professors, especially at R1s where they have so many demands on their time, have another thing added to their list of things to do. They have to figure out OCR and the like on their own, etc. Instead of demanding more support from Disability Offices, asking for training, etc, they blame the students. Well, not blame, but gripe.

It’s super fun to be a disabled grad student hearing all the profs gripe about making their courses accessible. Quite a supportive environment.


One thought on “Disabled Grad Students & Disability Offices

  1. NTE says:

    My grad/undergrad were with the same institution and (mostly) the same professors, so I lucked out there, but there were still some obstacles I didn’t expect. And that bit about complaining to the student about the accommodations? Yeah, I just don’t get that either.

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