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Job Titles

What is current practice?

Job titles for professions working in disability resource offices commonly include:

  • Disability Specialist
  • Deaf Specialist
  • LD Specialist
  • Disability Management Coordinator
  • Disability Counselor
  • Disability Support Coordinator
  • ADA Advisor

What are the implicit messages?

  • Nondisabled professionals can be experts on disability.
  • Disabled people have more problems than nondisabled people and need lots of support.
  • The role is to ensure compliance.
  • Students are not the expert and their experiences are suspect until verified by the disability service office.
  • Access is only possible because of the expertise of the professional—students, instructors and other campus personnel cannot find solutions without the intervention of the disability service expert.

How might this be different?

Job titles can focus on facilitating access, collaborating with the campus community and promoting inclusive design. Here are some examples:

  • Digital Access Consultant
  • Learning Strategist
  • Physical Access Coordinator
  • Access Consultant
  • Access Associate
  • Access Facilitation Specialist

What is the potential impact of this change? 

  • The job titles emphasize the primary role of collaboration and consultant to facilitate designs and practices that reduce the need for individual accommodations. 
  • The problem and the solution belong to the entire campus community, not solely disability resource staff. 
  • Disabled students’ experiences are valued in determining access solutions. 
  • The campus commitment is not simply a reaction to legal requirements but a part of a larger institutional commitment to diversity, social justice, and equity. 

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