Accommodating Disability at University

Cynthia Bruce, M. Lynn Aylward


Disabled students in Canadian universities obtain academic accommodations through an individualized service approach. The implementation of these learning supports is dependent on students' ability to navigate institutional policies and procedures that require engagement with faculty who are variably willing to respond. This study documents the experiences of disabled students and their professors as they worked to make these individual arrangements on three Nova Scotia university campuses. Findings centre the relational elements of accommodation procedures and expose their potential to reinforce and naturalize the marginal status of disabled learners while also elucidating the possibility for meaningful systemic change. Findings also situate the student/faculty relationship as an important site of inquiry and analysis for Canadian post-secondary institutions working to become more accessible for a diversity of disabled students.


Accommodation; Inclusion; Accessibility; Ableism

Full Text:



Copyright (c) 2021 Cynthia Bruce, M. Lynn Aylward

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Volume 1 through Volume 20, no. 3 of Disability Studies Quarterly is archived on the Knowledge Bank site; Volume 20, no. 4 through the present can be found on this site under Archives.

Beginning with Volume 36, Issue No. 4 (2016), Disability Studies Quarterly is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives license unless otherwise indicated. 

Disability Studies Quarterly is published by The Ohio State University Libraries in partnership with the Society for Disability Studies.

If you encounter problems with the site or have comments to offer, including any access difficulty due to incompatibility with adaptive technology, please contact

ISSN: 2159-8371 (Online); 1041-5718 (Print)