Graduation Date

Spring 2023

Document Type



Master of Arts degree with a major in Psychology, option Academic Research

Committee Chair Name

Dr. Kauyumari Sanchez

Committee Chair Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Second Committee Member Name

Dr. Amber Gaffney

Second Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Third Committee Member Name

Dr. Kathleen Bogart

Third Committee Member Affiliation

Community Member or Outside Professional


Disabilities, Accommodations, Disability accommodations, Faculty accommodations, Students with disabilities, Recognizable disabilities, Unrecognizable disabilities, Reasonable, Willingness

Subject Categories



Because not all disabilities look the same it is difficult to label a person with disabilities just by looking at them. Given that our knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions impact how we interpret our world and our willingness to act, people, including professors, may be biased toward providing accommodations for those with easily recognizable disabilities and biased against those with non-recognizable disabilities, and this may impact the disabled person’s ability to learn. This thesis aims to address whether professors’ disability-related attitudes, perceptions of accommodation reasonableness, and willingness to provide accommodations differ when the disability is recognizable (student is pictured in a wheelchair) compared to unrecognizable (student is pictured in a chair) and whether their level of disability-related knowledge and perceptions of institutional support mediates this relationship. The results suggest that disability recognizability did not significantly affect disability-related attitudes in this sample (n = 35), that disability recognizability did not significantly affect willingness to provide accommodations nor perceptions of accommodations reasonableness. Additionally, the results did not support the research hypothesis that disability-related attitudes would be significantly related to knowledge scores suggesting that knowledge is not a strong predictor of disability related knowledge in this sample of postsecondary faculty members. To truly provide equal opportunity to people with disabilities it is imperative that we collectively work to understand the perceptions of people with disabilities, especially within the institutions of higher education that we all depend on for the promotion of social justice and equality.

Citation Style


Martin_Alicia_thesis_IRB_Spring_2023.pdf (148 kB)
IRB Approval Memorandum


Thesis/Project Location


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