Social work admissions and academic accommodations for students with disabilities: An exploratory study


The Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) protects students wth disabilities from discrimination by academic and professional programs in higher education. A student with a disability cannot be denied admission to an educational program because of his or her disability if the student is otherwise qualified. This means that a student with a disability who is qualified for an academic or professional educational program cannot be denied admission to a program based solely on the student’s disability. This educational requirement mandated by the ADA applies to all educational fields including social work education. The purpose of this study was to explore how social work programs are dealing with these requirements in their admission and academic accommodation procedures. Twelve social work programs located in the mid-western United States participated in the study. Representatives of each of these programs were given an in-depth interview focusing on their admissions process, academic accommodations, and general topics related to social work education and disabilities. All programs taking part in the research were accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). The CSWE is the national accreditation body for social work education within the United States.

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Academic accommodations, Academic programs, Ada, Admissions requirements, Americans with disabilities act, Section 504 of the rehabilitation act of 1973, Social work education

Publication Date


Journal Title

Journal of Social Work in Disability and Rehabilitation