October is National Disability Awareness Month

Did you know . . . . .

  • In the U.S. the number of people with reported disabilities is 11.9%

That’s 36,399,700 people! **

  • In Michigan the number of people with reported disabilities is 13.5%

That’s 1,316,000 people! **

  • Just over 1 in 4 of today’s 20 year olds will become disabled before they retire. *
  • We are running 1531 class sections this fall. Students with reported disabilities are enrolled in 854 sections . . . that’s 56%.

*   Council for Disability Awareness, http://www.disabilitycanhappen.org 2012

** US Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, 2010

Important Facts for Instructors:

  • Faculty should expect to have students with disabilities in their courses.
  • Faculty should have the same expectations of students with disabilities as other students, and maintain the same academic performance standards while providing the appropriate accommodations as given listed on the student Accommodations Agreement from the Disability Support Services Office (DSS).
  • When students with disabilities graduate, they are as successful as other graduates.

Many Shades of Disability:

Defining the various categories of disability does not have black and white clarity. Professionals in the field have their own terminology. Below are a few categories often used and some examples associated with each:

  • Psychiatric Disorders- schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, anxiety
  • Physical Disabilities- cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury, amputation
  • Auditory and Visual Impairment- range from partial to total loss
  • Brain Injury- traumatic brain injury (damage from an external source) and acquired brain injury (tumors, stroke, degenerative diseases)
  • Health Impairments- lupus, epilepsy, cancer, Tourette’s syndrome
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders- has range of severity, with Asperger’s Syndrome being the mildest form.