The Center on Disability and Inclusion generates and disseminates research related to disability and inclusion in school and community settings.

Research In Progress

Inclusive Higher Education

Postsecondary Education Program Admissions Requirements: Analysis of the Systemic Barriers Created by IPSE Program Admissions Requirements

This survey research investigates the application and admissions procedures at IPSEs across the country. Through responses from directors of IPSE programs and website analysis, we have begun to determine common practices and criteria of admission. This work is informed by a desire to determine barriers to IPSE for multiply-marginalized student populations.

  • Beth Myers, Syracuse University
  • Katie Ducett, SUNY Cortland

Inclusive Postsecondary Education from the Student Perspective. International Review of Research in Developmental Disabilities.

  • Beth Myers, Syracuse University
  • Clare Papay, Think College
  • Meg Grigal, Think College

Word and Deed: Understanding Academic and Social Experiences of Neurodivergent College Students

This interview study explores the experiences of neurodivergent college students at a historically inclusive institute of higher education. We consider challenges related to accessing the full range of academic and social opportunities on campus and the types of supports and services that have been, or would be, most beneficial. Key themes include interactions with the disability services office and social interaction with peers.

  • Christy Ashby, Syracuse University
  • Nathan Hughes, Syracuse University

A Critical Discourse Analysis of University Syllabi: Modifications for IPSE Students

We propose a critical discourse analysis of syllabi for introductory courses taught at a large research university in the Northeast, seeking to answer the question “How do university syllabi construct the normative college student?” Through the use of DisCrit as an analytical tool, we describe the ways in which racism and ableism collude in these syllabi to construct this normative student as being white, nondisabled, and monolingual. Our findings will be discussed in a manuscript in a special issue of Excelsior.

  • Emilie Baker, Syracuse University
  • Nikkia Borowski, Syracuse University
  • Katie Ducett, SUNY Cortland
  • Sara Jo Soldovieri, Syracuse University

A Scoping Review of Inclusive Higher Education: Understanding Past Research and Future Considerations 

The scoping literature review focuses on Inclusive Higher Education (IHE) to understand the overall research landscape and identify potential future considerations for fully inclusive programs. The review is designed to guide our understanding of the advancements occurring in the field of IHE and to identify gaps in the research. This review is a collaborative project with the Taishoff Center and six doctoral students.

  • Beth Myers, Syracuse University
  • Sara Jo Soldovieri, Syracuse University
  • Katie Ducett, SUNY Cortland
  • Emilee Baker, Syracuse University
  • Nikkia Borowski, Syracuse University
  • Terrance King, Syracuse University
  • Jean Molly Ameru, Syracuse University

Why students with Intellectual Disability (ID) choose to go to college

This study is a document analysis of inclusive higher education applications that examines reasons prospective students with intellectual disability report their desire to attend college.

  • Sara Jo Soldovieri, Syracuse University
  • Beth Myers, Syracuse University

Building a Life: Examining the Social Experiences of Students with IDD in IPSE (completed)

This study investigates the ways social experiences during IPSE programs have been discussed in previous literature. We examine the outcomes that have been researched and the skills gained through IPSE related to social interaction. This research is being written as an invited manuscript for the International Review of Research in Developmental Disabilities.

  • Beth Myers, Syracuse University
  • Katie Ducett, SUNY Cortland

Transition Planning into Employment: Supporting Students with Intellectual Disability in Communication

This qualitative research study conducts semi-structured interviews with former college students with intellectual disability who had participated in an internship program through their IPSE program. Themes include communication aspects of employment, resources needed to gain employment, and benefits of internship programs during IPSE.

  • Beth Myers, Syracuse University
  • Brianna Shults, Syracuse University
  • Katie Ducett, SUNY Cortland
  • Megan Cartier, College of St. Rose

Sexual Assault Research as an Ableized Social Practice: A Critical Review of Research on Sexual Assault and Higher Education

This systematic literature review looked to find intersecting research related to Higher Education, Sexual Assault, and Intellectual and Developmental Disability. When this intersection did not exist in the literature, we split our search to encompass two main phases; Sexual Assault and IDD, and Disability, Higher Education, and Sexual Assault. This research is in review to be published and urges Institutions of Higher Education to create sexual assault related services with IDD students in mind.

  • Sara Jo Soldovieri, Syracuse University
  • Katie Ducett, SUNY Cortland

Self-Advocacy Education in IPSE

This inclusive work is looking at the ways in which IPSE programs talk about and “teach” self-advocacy to their students. This research is being conducted with IPSE students who have participated in self-advocacy training nationally.

  • Brianna Shults, Syracuse University
  • Katie Ducett, SUNY Cortland
  • Olivia Baist, Syracuse University
  • Mackenzie Gleason, Syracuse University
Inclusive PreK-12

Bridging Inclusive and Social Justice Education through the Experiences of Student Teachers

Through a Disability Studies in Education framework, this study explores the complex practice of teaching and programming which specifically seek to address the needs of students with disabilities (SWD). This research explores the teaching ideologies of student teachers and the sub themes of: (1) skepticism and desire transforming into witnessing and experience, (2) co-teaching as the embodiment of inclusion, and (3) becoming a teacher. The findings will be presented at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) in March 2023.

  • Christy Ashby, Syracuse University
  • Emilee Baker, Syracuse University

Critical Perspectives on Disability and the Special Education Workforce

This invited book chapter to be included in the AERA Research Handbook titled, Transforming the Special Education Workforce: Research and Complex Systems Perspectives addresses the need to center critical perspectives in any attempt to address the special education teacher workforce shortage. Drawing specifically on Disability Studies in Education and Dis/Crit theoretical frameworks, we discuss how to re-imagine teacher education, workforce recruitment, and retention from critical, intersectional, and equity-focused  perspectives.

  • Christy Ashby, Syracuse University
  • Carrie Rood Gotham, SUNY Cortland

Funding Segregation: An Analysis of Educational Service Agencies, Access, and Outcomes for Students with Disabilities

Educational Service Agencies (ESAs) provide special education services to the districts that they serve, but in varying ways—some use funds to provide indirect services through professional development, training, assessment, and related services while others provide direct special education services through separate schools of programs The purpose of this quantitative study is to probe for state level variables to help explain the ways that the use of ESAs by states affords or limits equitable access to educational opportunities in general education classrooms for SWD.

  • Julia M. White, Syracuse University
  • Christy Ashby, Syracuse University
  • Qiu Wang, Syracuse University

Sexual Health Education for Individuals with Disabilities in K-12 Education

This survey research is currently being created and is still in its preliminary stages. We hope to understand the inclusion of students with disabilities in K-12 sexual health education and how much choice they and their families have in their access. In conjunction with our other study on sexual assault, IDD and higher education, this work may shed light onto the prevalence of individuals with IDD being victim to sexual assault at high rates.

  • Sara Jo Soldovieri, Syracuse University
  • Katie Ducett, SUNY Cortland

Counter-narratives of Online Learning 

This qualitative research uses phenomenological and narrative inquiry methods to explore the ways some students with disabilities found affordances and barriers during pandemic remote learning and how this knowledge informs efforts toward inclusive anti-oppressive education. By surfacing these counter-narratives of online learning, the researchers highlight holistic student strengths and needs beyond simple content delivery and into the very structures that constitute schooling. This study also seeks to examine the ways in which remote learning impacts students with disabilities differentially across lines of race, class, and gender to reveal significant and critical information around opportunities for access and justice in education that were exposed during remote learning.

  • Meaghan Krazinski, Syracuse University
  • Alan Foley, Syracuse University
Communication

Whose Truth Matters? Communication Access and Training Against a Backdrop of Controversy

This qualitative research uses Critical Rhetorical Studies to examine the ways typing to communicate trainers understand the controversy and describe the rhetorical moves they make to maintain access and provide communication training in the face of skepticism and outright denial. We ask who decides what forms of communication are valued? Whose “truth” matters? How can we expand the notion of evidence to include the experiences of typers and privilege their voices in this work?

  • Christy Ashby, Syracuse University
  • Nikkia Borowski, Syracuse University

Confounding Normativity: Disrupting Exclusion at the Crossroads of Language and Disability in Language Policies

This project uses a narrative discourse analysis of guidance documents and position statements from New York State Education Department (NYSED) and the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA), which is responsible for the licensing and education of speech language pathologists and audiologists. Through this analysis, we argue that the assumptions about the standard teacher, practitioner, and student stifle progress toward a more liberatory and linguistically just educational experience for emergent bilinguals with complex communication needs.

  • Chelsea Stinson, SUNY Cortland
  • Nikkia Borowski, Syracuse University
  • Valentina Migliarini, Syracuse University
Social Justice

Sociopolitical Context Infiltrating Classrooms

Using data collected from a qualitative interview study analyzing the experiences of student teachers, this paper reflects upon how the sociopolitical context impacts student teachers while they are in preservice placements. The findings will be discussed in a manuscript in a special issue of Excelsior: Leadership in Teaching and Learning.

  • Christy Ashby, Syracuse University
  • Emilie Baker, Syracuse University

“What good are ideas?” Critical Narratives of Student Teaching from Two Social Justice-Oriented Teacher Candidates

Using a collaborative narrative inquiry, this study explores the experiences of two social justice-oriented teacher candidates during student teaching. Applying a DisCrit lens, this study explores the challenges these educators faced in the field, coping strategies they engaged in, and the programmatic supports they needed but found lacking.

  • Nikkia Borowski, Syracuse University
  • Teukie Martin, Syracuse University

Arts-based Research Project Around Neuroqueerness

This qualitative research explores how arts-based research can create points of access in educational spaces to illuminate complex ideas around neuroqueerness; and specifically, intersections of disability, neurodivergence, gender, and identity. Using visual, installation, and performance art as data generation, this project responds to the question, how can the arts provide methodological interventions that transform research and educational spaces into sites of collective care for non-normative body/minds?

  • Meaghan Krazinski, Syracuse University
Recently Completed/Published

Myers, B., and Gill, M. (2023). Creating Our Own Lives: Students with Intellectual Disability in College. University of Minnesota Press.

Myers, B., and Smith, P. “Looking for the Experts: Examining Course Accommodations and Modifications for Students with Intellectual Disability in Inclusive Higher Education.” Higher Education Research and Development. (Under Review.)

Smith, P. S., and Myers, B. (2024). “Narrating Access and Agency: Students with Intellectual Disability Share Their Experiences with Higher Education.” Remedial and Special Education

Smith, P. and Myers, B. (2024). “Instructor Experiences Providing Accommodations and Modifications for Students with Intellectual Disability in Inclusive Higher Education.” International Journal of Inclusive Education.

Ducett, K. & Myers, B. (2023). “Building a Life: Examining the Advocacy and Social Experiences of Students with IntellectualDisability in Inclusive Postsecondary Education.” International Review of Research Developmental Disabilities.