A great video to introduce the concept of inclusivity.
We are a group of students dedicated to creating positive change for university campuses
Our goal is to promote diversity and inclusion of disabled students and to convince administration and the general public that this is an important issue. Our goal is not to file a lawsuit or to attempt to receive monetary compensation for any wrongs that may have been committed. We feel that diversity and inclusion are things that will greatly benefit universities and all students who attend, including disabled students. Any mention of legal violations in our report or on our website is only given to show that this is indeed important, not to cause fear of legal action. We understand that everyone’s perspective is different and that many administrators and staff at universities may not have had the same life experiences that have led us to see the value of equal access. Therefore, all of our efforts are directed at enhancing each person’s perspective to see the important duty and vast benefit of promoting inclusion through disability rights and equal access. BYU has been our case study to display the voice of disabled students and recommendations that can be implemented in all places of higher education.
Higher education is a wonderful opportunity for many people in the United States, and it's not always easy. Those who are able to access higher education know that it comes with financial burdens, late nights, difficult classes, and general stress. However, many people who are disabled do not get an opportunity to obtain higher education based on their physical, mental, and/or emotional health, not their credentials. People with disabilities are less likely to go to college, and many drop out of high school because of unequal access. Despite being almost 20% of the US total population, disabled people attend college in low numbers because their accessibility rights are often left unmet. The ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act Of 1973 were created to protect the accessibility rights of disabled people in all areas of life, including both public and private education.
Without true accessibility, universities are severely restricting the basic human right of education. It is a grave misinterpretation of rights to assume that disabled students do not deserve equal opportunities in education. Disabled students want to attend without being forced to give up their rights of equal access. Unfortunately, many disabled students are reluctant to advocate for themselves because they feel that they lack power and influence. This report is intended to give those students a voice. This report is not a condemnation nor contradiction of BYU or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but rather a tool for analysis and discussion. We believe that through constructive dialogue, BYU can become a model institution for treatment and accommodation of people with disabilities. Our findings can be applied broadly across many schools in the nation. Disabled individuals are truly an asset to society through their hard work and unique resilience.
We hope that this website will help raise awareness of disabled rights and needs and facilitate the discussions that need to happen to allow for equal access at BYU.
BYU has been our case study in providing in-depth recommendations and feasible solutions. While our current research focuses on BYU, we are discussing with other universities to increase access for all higher education facilities. BYU is the first of many colleges that can provide their students with equal access and reconciliation as they have been provided the resource they need to help students there. We intend to continue to bring awareness to many other universities. The Commission’s published data comes specifically from BYU, but other universities will soon have completed data to upload as well.
What We've Achieved
Researched disability and civil rights laws to understand policy intricacies
Contacted legislative bodies of Utah to discuss recommendations
Given a voice to BYU students who would not otherwise have a platform
Chosen to be a presenter in the 68th UN Conference
Submitted specific recommendations to Brigham Young University and over 3,000 faculty
Currently drafting a bipartisan bill to enhance disability civil rights legislation in Utah
Discussed feasible recommendations and purpose with the Accessibility Center