Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

EdD Educational Leadership


Educational Services and Leadership


College of Education


Walpole, MaryBeth

Committee Member 1

Rose, Steven

Committee Member 2

Ieva, Kara


Disabilities, Disability Etiquette, Ethic of Care, Learning Disabilities, Social Justice, Theory of Justice


College students with disabilities; Community colleges--Faculty


Community College Leadership | Disability and Equity in Education | Higher Education


The purpose of this qualitative case study (Yin, 2018) was to explore the perceptions of 11 full time English faculty who teach at least one section of ENG 101-College Composition I, regarding interactions with students with disabilities (SWD) and learning disabilities (LD) at Friendship County Community College (FCCC), an urban community college in the northeastern region of the United States. Of the 11 faculty sampled, 11 participated in one-on-one interviews and a review of 24 de-identified disability accommodation letters was conducted. Using the Theory of Justice (Rawls, 1971, 2001) and the Ethic of Care (Noddings, 1984), data was collected to gain an understanding of faculty experiences with training for interaction with all SWD, along with providing accommodations. Faculty knowledge of disability etiquette (DE) was also explored. Four key themes emerged from the data. First, faculty training at the institution was inconsistent, even as faculty yearned for more professional development. Second, all faculty exhibited positive attitudes, with implied DE, when interacting with all SWD. Third, the college policy forbidding faculty recommendation of accommodations was prohibitive and created a stalemate in the faculty-student relationship. Faculty respected confidentiality of students to self-identify, yet some needed to know the disability of each student. Fourth, faculty had positive and negative perceptions of the DSS Director and the staff. Implications for theory, research, practice, and policy demonstrate the need to better prepare all community college faculty and staff on making the process of originating accommodations easier for all SWD.