Monday, March 19, 2012

Journal of Nursing Education: Leveling the Playing Field for Nursing Students With Disabilities: Implications of the Amendments to the Americans With Disabilities Act



Journal of Nursing Education: Leveling the Playing Field for Nursing Students With Disabilities: Implications of the Amendments to the Americans With Disabilities Act

Faculty have reported a significant increase in the number of nursing students with disabilities; however, misinformation regarding legislated changes in the definition of a disability, as enacted in 2008 under the American with Disabilities Act Amendments Act, has contributed to faculty confusion when working with students with disabilities. This article identifies the circumstances under which nursing faculty are legally required to provide reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities, as defined under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 as amended in 2008, and the strategies faculty may use to assist students to successfully complete core requirements. When this knowledge is integrated into a nursing program’s culture and curriculum, students with sensory loss, paralysis, mental illness, learning disabilities, limb differences, chronic illnesses, or other disabilities associated with impaired bodily functions can successfully complete nursing programs and provide excellent care to clients, the profession, and their communities.

Ms. Dupler, Dr. Allen, and Dr. Fleming are Clinical Associate Professors; and Ms. Allen is Instructor, Washington State University College of Nursing, Spokane, Washington; Dr. Maheady is Adjunct Faculty, Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida.

The authors have disclosed no potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise.
Address correspondence to Alice E. Dupler, JD, APRN-BC, Clinical Associate Professor, Washington State University College of Nursing, P.O. Box 1495, Spokane, WA 99210; e-mail: adupler@wsu.edu.