School of Behavioral Sciences


Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education and Supervision (PhD)


Mary Deacon


Academic accommodations, disability support services, gatekeeping, invisible disabilities, remediation


Counseling | Education


Academic accommodations exist through Section 504 of The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amended Act of 2008. Graduate counseling students with invisible disabilities may be unaware of all available accommodations or find incomplete information on disability support services websites. Such lack of awareness creates academic and emotional barriers for students with an invisible disability. While these issues are not isolated to one university, this quantitative study analyzed responses to an anonymous survey that invited current graduate counseling students enrolled in a CACREP counseling program who identified as having ADHD, autism, dyslexia, traumatic brain injury, or other neurodivergent disorder to evaluate the effects of perceived availability and usefulness of academic accommodations, academic support, and academic self-efficacy. The study's findings indicated that most students were unaware of available academic accommodations beyond more time to take exams and submit assignments. Furthermore, students indicated they would likely use other accommodations that may better suit their academic needs. The results also suggest that more awareness of available accommodations is needed beyond more time to take exams and submit assignments to provide students with clear information when deciding to disclose their disability and request accommodations. The scales used in the study provided suggestions for future qualitative research on how lack of awareness about academic accommodations creates barriers for students and educators who have or work with individuals with invisible disabilities.