Addressing Accessibility Issues in Institutional Review Board Policies

Meg Milligan, Suzanne Tew-Washburn, Kanessa Miller Doss, Joseph P. Giambrone


Legislation mandates addressing accessibility issues in educational practices to foster equal access for all students and faculty. Educational practices include research. Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) can contribute to equality in higher education by requiring equal opportunity for persons with different abilities to participate in or conduct research, an area overlooked by IRBs. We contend this is a legal and ethical responsibility under IRBs' protection from harm requirement as well as laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). A keyword search of the 55 original land grant universities in the United States' IRB policies and related documents produced no evidence of accessibility concerns for general research participant pools or researchers. Recommendations to correct this oversight and areas for further study are included.


accessibility; disability; Institutional Review Board; research policies

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Copyright (c) 2019 Meg Milligan, Suzanne Tew-Washburn, Kanessa Miller Doss, Joseph P. Giambrone

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