Lily Mae’s Response to Jay Timothy Dolmage’s Introduction from “Academic Ablesim; Disability and Higher”

In the academic piece, Academic Ableism: Disability and Higher, Dolmage
introduces the reader to the world of disability and provides the reader with some of
the history surrounding early disability movements. Dolmage gives an insight into the
struggles students with disabilities are still facing within higher education communities
and after reading through Dolmage’s introduction, I chose to focus on the section titled
Snapshot of Exclusion, in order to provide a passage analysis for this assignment. The
key points within this section include the difficult road in acquiring the correct
accommodations those with disabilities may need within universities, as well as, the
higher student debt accrued by students with disabilities in comparison to students
without disabilities.
Schools and universities across the country have accommodations that are
included in their programs for students with certain disabilities to have access to in
order to help them in their road of education. Although the idea behind
accommodations is wonderful, finding the correct accommodations for a student with
disabilities, without help, is a long and often difficult road. Finding the correct
accommodations alone may be difficult for students especially when they are not given
the whole story, “For most students who seek accommodations for our classes, they
aren’t allowed to know what the actual range of accommodations might be” (Dolmage
18). While the practice of offering accommodations in the world of academics is
certainly a big step in the right direction in helping students with disabilities achieve
their degrees, there is certainly more work that should be completed. In order for

students with disabilities to be able to achieve their success in a less complicated
manner there should be more training for those in positions of guidance, as well as,
students should have the opportunity to receive all the information regarding
Dolmage also speaks of the issues of student debt and the financial strain that
are often placed on students with disabilities and how these numbers correspond to
students without disabilities. In this paper, Dolmage explains that students with
disabilities, by the time they graduate, have almost sixty percent more student debt in
comparison to the students without disabilities (Dolmage 15). Dolmage states, “debt is
particularly onerous for students with disabilities who consequently require more time
to complete their degree or diploma and this is a major contributing factor to person
with disabilities having lower application, admission, and graduation rates…” (Dolmage
15). Thusly, students with disabilities often take longer to graduate which means that
their student debt numbers are significantly higher by the time they are able to
graduate. Students with disabilities should not feel so impacted by the student debt
that they may accrue that it steers them away completely from higher education.

There is no doubt that after reading Dolamge’s piece that there is a certain
ableist dynamic in the world of higher education. Students with or without disabilities
should have the same path to their college degree and significant student debt
experienced by some students with disabilities should not be a deterrent from
accomplishing their educational goals. Certain relief programs and scholarships placed
for students with disabilities to receive them would certainly be a step in order to help
make these degrees more attainable because in the world of education there should

certainly not be an ableist dynamic on the road to achieving higher education. College
degrees should be equally as attainable to students with or without disabilities; this
could also aide in the stigma toward disabilities. The inadvertent exclusionary practices
within some universities certainly can be improved upon for students with disabilities
ensuring the same opportunities that those without disabilities have.

Leave a Reply