Disability Awareness, Training, and Empowerment: A New Paradigm for Raising Disability Awareness on a University Campus for Faculty, Staff, and Students

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2803

Article | Open Access

Disability Awareness, Training, and Empowerment: A New Paradigm for Raising Disability Awareness on a University Campus for Faculty, Staff, and Students


  • Dana Roth Disability Services (Ross Center), University of Massachusetts, USA
  • Timothy Pure Learning Skills Program, Solebury School, New Hope, USA
  • Samuel Rabinowitz School of Business, Rutgers University-Camden, Camden, USA
  • Carol Kaufman-Scarborough School of Business, Rutgers University-Camden, Camden, USA


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Abstract:  A select committee of faculty, staff, administrators and students collaborated to create and implement the Disability Awareness, Training, and Empowerment (DATE) program on the campus of a midsize public state institution in the Northeastern United States. Based on studies of existing literature in the field, as well as campus climate information, the committee created a unique training program that has, to date, seen the training of over 350 faculty members, staff and administrators. This article will explore the literature that was surveyed to form the philosophical underpinnings of the program. The starting place for the training was No Pity: People with Disabilities Forging a New Civil Rights Movement (Shapiro, 1993), as well as the research of Cole and Cawthon (2015), Hehir and Schifter (2015), and Oliver (1990). After surveying this supporting literature, the article will then explore the evolution and facilitation of the training program, including the various iterations of the training as it took its final form. The article will conclude with an exploration of possible new directions for disability awareness training programs on university campuses. The discussion also includes an expansion to the student body and a corresponding fulfillment of the university’s civic engagement course requirements.

Keywords:  accessibility; accommodation; disability; disability awareness; disability rights; empowerment; faculty; higher education; student; training; university

Published:   6 December 2018


DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/si.v6i4.1636


© Dana Roth, Timothy Pure, Samuel Rabinowitz, Carol Kaufman-Scarborough. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.