Volume 19, Number 1, Summer 2006

The Process: Development of the Revised AHEAD Program Standards and Performance

Abstract: In 1999, AHEAD formally approved its first set of Program Standards.
The Standards spelled out the services considered essential for ensuring equal
access to education for students with disabilities. In addition, the Standards
were intended to establish the parameters of what practitioners do as well
as assert the credibility and uniqueness of the Office For Students With Disabilities
(Jarrow, 1997). The Standard’s utility diminished due to a number of
factors, but especially the changing nature of disability services. Thus, a
survey consisting of 30 service components and 147 performance indicators was
completed by a group of postsecondary disability services experts to get a
current look at today’s services. This survey led to the updated AHEAD
Program Standards and Performance Indicators, which were formally approved
in November 2004.

Postsecondary Disability Program Standards and Performance Indicators: Minimum
Essentials for the Office for Students with Disabilities

Abstract: The development and dissemination of Program Standards and Performance
Indicators for disability services in higher education provides research-based
direction for postsecondary institutions, consumers and governmental agencies
with respect to the services necessary to provide equal access for college
students with disabilities. Twenty-eight Program Standards and 90 Performance
Indicators are presented. The implications of the specific Performance Indicators
for services for students with disabilities in postsecondary education are

Career-Focused Experiential Education for Students with Disabilities: An Outline
of the Legal Terrain

Abstract: While experiential education has been part of higher education for
a long time, access for students with disabilities is an emerging topic, broadening
the scope of work for disability service providers. Participation in career-focused
experiential education, such as internships and cooperative education, is an
especially important learning experience for students with disabilities as
a way of preparing them for the challenges of employment after graduation.
To further understanding of the intersection of career-focused experiential
education and disability service provision, this paper outlines the U.S. statutes,
regulations, and a small number of key court and agency cases that impact students
with disabilities who participate in career-focused experiential education
at U.S. institutions of higher education.

Employment and Career Development Concerns of Postsecondary Students with Disabilities:
Service and Policy Implications

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to (a) examine the employment concerns
of postsecondary students with disabilities and (b) develop strategies for
improving their post-graduation employment outcomes. Utilizing an established
methodology grounded in the ideals of participatory action research, the researchers
surveyed a 208 students with various disabilities in four states, representing
seven colleges and universities, regarding their views on employment concerns.
Once data from the survey were collected, the researchers convened focus groups
of university faculty members, student service professionals, rehabilitation
professionals, and students with disabilities to assist in interpreting of
results and formulating of strategies for improving career services for students
with disabilities.

Perceptions of Academic Quality and Approaches to Studying Among Students with
Print Disabilities Enrolled in Distance Education

Abstract: A mailed survey compared the experiences of distance-learning students
with print disabilities who were supported by audio recordings of materials,
the experiences of students with print disabilities who were supported by an
electronic system that permitted more effective access to the same materials,
and the experiences of students with no disability. Findings showed that the
students with print disabilities rated their courses less favorably and were
more likely to adopt a surface approach to studying than were students with
no disability. However, the students with print disabilities were just as likely
to adopt a deep or a strategic approach to studying as were the students with
no disability, and there was no significant difference in the satisfaction
ratings of the students with and without print disabilities. Finally, there
were no significant differences between the experiences of the students with
print disabilities who used the electronic system and the experiences of those
who used audio recordings, and no significant differences between the experiences
of the students with print disabilities who were visually impaired and the
experiences of those with another kind of disability.

Student Perceptions Of The Accommodation Process in Postsecondary Education

Abstract: One cause of the underrepresentation of students with disabilities
in postsecondary education may be a lack of appropriate and effective accommodations
(e.g., West et al., 1993). This study hypothesized that ineffective and inappropriate
accommodations result from an accommodation selection process that focuses
on disability type rather than students’ contextual and functional needs.
Quantitative and qualitative methodologies were used to obtain students’ perspectives
of the accommodation process and experienced or potential barriers to their
participation in postsecondary education. Students with disabilities completed
surveys (n=108) and participated in focus groups (n=104). These students, who
had various disability conditions, attended 15 community and technical colleges
in California, Minnesota and Kansas. Participants’ responses reflected
satisfaction with certain practices and procedures as well as a need for improvements
in others. More individualized methods of accommodation selection that consider
the context of students’ lives, individual functional needs, trade-offs
between immediate and long-term costs and benefits and incorporate systemwide
universal design concepts are presented as an alternative framework for consideration
by Disability Support Services staff.

Improving the Transition to Career for College Students with Learning Disabilities:
Suggestions from Graduates

Abstract: There is a lack of literature on the transition to career for college
graduates with learning disabilities (LD). The present study presents the results
of 170 college graduates’ written, open-ended responses related to how
the transition to career may be improved. Responses focused upon two main categories,
Suggestions for Programs and Suggestions for Students. Within Suggestions for
Programs, the subcategories of Internships, Mentoring Programs, Specific Courses
or Seminars, ADA Knowledge and Follow-Up with Graduates were identified. The
Suggestions for Students responses were subdivided into two categories, Self-Understanding
and Workplace Accommodations. Specific insights from graduates are offered
within each of the categories, and recommendations for postsecondary LD programs
and career service programs are offered.

I’m Not the Gingerbread Man! Exploring the Experiences of College Students
Diagnosed with ADHD

Abstract: This study explored how undergraduate students diagnosed with AD/HD
remain in college. Using a qualitative research design from a grounded theory
perspective, the researchers captured the personal stories of 10 college students
from two universities similar in location, size, and liberal arts tradition.
The findings included themes related to attitudes about their diagnosis, adapting
to college, and recommendations for students, college personnel, and parents.