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Navigating the academy in the absence of graduate disability accommodation policies

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2022 CoNECD (Collaborative Network for Engineering & Computing Diversity)


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

February 20, 2022

Start Date

February 20, 2022

End Date

July 20, 2022

Conference Session

Technical Session 1 - Paper 5: Navigating the academy in the absence of graduate disability accommodation policies

Tagged Topics

Diversity and CoNECD Paper Sessions

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Paper Authors


D. C. Beardmore University of Colorado Boulder Orcid 16x16

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Mx. Beardmore is currently a PhD student at the University of Colorado, Boulder. They study inclusive engineering education and construction engineering risk management. Their full bio and current and historical positionality statements can be found on their website at

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University accommodation policies and departmental practices often overlook engineering graduate students with disabilities. The failure of policies and programs to consider graduate students with disabilities is reflected by the dearth in the literature pertaining to them. Responding to this gap in knowledge, I conduct an exploratory qualitative study. I explore the experiences of two engineering graduate students who identify as having invisible disabilities or different abilities. Using a dialogic serial interview process, the participants and I co-develop a rich-vivid phenomenology. I include a portion of the findings in this manuscript. Specifically, I focus on the participant’s experiences with accommodation policies and practices while navigating their graduate programs. I discuss the findings as they relate to concepts in literature and my own auto-ethnographic experience. I also provide researchers, students, faculty, staff, and policymakers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) academia with recommendations. Finally, I present the research community with areas for further academic study.

Beardmore, D. C. (2022, February), Navigating the academy in the absence of graduate disability accommodation policies Paper presented at 2022 CoNECD (Collaborative Network for Engineering & Computing Diversity) , New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/1-2--39130

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