Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Special Education

Major Professor

Ann Cranston-Gingras, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Amber Dumford, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Brenda L. Walker, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Zorka Karanxha, Ph.D.


accommodations, inclusion, postsecondary, social model of disability


Students with disabilities are entering higher education at increased rates (National Center Educational Statistics, 2016). The aim of this study was to investigate graduate teaching assistants’ knowledge, attitudes, and professional development needs regarding students with disabilities in higher education. A modification of Sniatecki’s (2015) Faculty Attitudes and Knowledge Regarding College Students with Disabilities Survey was used to gather responses from graduate teaching assistants through an online format. Results of the study indicate that graduate teaching assistants have positive attitudes towards students with disabilities yet lack specific knowledge on accommodations, disability law, and disability support services. Further, respondents expressed a willingness to participate in professional development regarding students with disabilities in higher education, as well as universal design for instruction.