Recruiting Students with Disabilities
Students with disabilities may not have the same access to the typical recruitment information and events used by graduate and professional programs
The strategies below can help ensure that individuals with disabilities are included in your recruitment efforts:
- Include information in your promotional information encouraging students with disabilities to apply and how they can request accommodations in the application or interview stage.
- Develop procedures and train staff to respond to accommodation requests appropriately and effectively.
- Disseminate information about your program to disability-related advocacy/resource organizations and career centers at colleges and universities.
- In diversity information, include the value of persons with disabilities, include images of persons with disabilities and highlight the accomplishments of students, faculty, and staff with disabilities.
- Contact the Disability Services offices at your target universities with your promotional information so that they can share the information with students registered with the office.
- Make the interview process accessible. Plan in advance about potential accommodations that applicants may require (e.g.: sign language interpreters, wheelchair access, accessible transportation, materials in accessible formats).
- Recruit faculty and staff with disabilities who can be mentors.
- Work with Admissions staff to ensure that the applications are accessible and offer applications in a variety of accessible formats (e.g., online, print).
Establish procedures for handling voluntary self-disclosure in the application stage. For example, disability-related information should be separate from application materials and sent to the disability services office when appropriate.
- Faculty and staff on application review committees must be apprised of disability-related laws, program policies, and ways to avoid discrimination against qualified students with disabilities.
- Training directors, faculty, and staff can take a number of steps to welcome students with disabilities.
- Provide on-campus disability-related resources to all newly-admitted students shortly after they have been accepted into the program. Encourage students to contact the disability services office well in advance of the start of the term so that necessary accommodations will be in place as the semester begins.
- Identify “look-alike” mentors. Find mentors within the academic program who have disabilities or similar research interests.