Document Type


Date of Original Version



The purposes of this article are to (1) review the literature on students with disabilities (SWD) in higher education with a particular focus on allied health and related professions, and (2) propose an analytical decision-making model for assessing students' needs and providing reasonable accommodations in allied health education. Increasing numbers of SWD are entering higher education, but the rate of success for these students is lower than the rate for their nondisabled peers. A multitude of factors impact SWD, including the direct effects of the disabilities on learning and performing essential functions, academic and clinical faculty knowledge of the impact of disability in educational settings and their experience implementing accommodations, and the impact of legislation and institutional policies on service delivery. While all of these are important, the most critical issues appear to be academic and clinical faculty knowledge about how to address disability-related challenges in the educational environment and the support of SWD by those faculty. The proposed analytical decision-making model will assist allied health faculty in assessing students' needs and providing reasonable accommodations. This, in turn, will enable allied health faculty to support SWD to meet essential components while upholding academic integrity and meeting the requirements of the law.