Advising Students with Disabilities Community

Members in this group seek to raise awareness of the legal and ethical responsibilities of institutions of higher education for the students with disabilities who attend institutions of higher education. It serves as a resource by providing models for administrators, faculty, and staff whose primary responsibility is providing advising services for students with disabilities. The community seeks to establish standards of good practice in such areas as protection of privacy, documentation of disability, and determination of reasonable accommodation. It maintains an e-mail list through NACADA and hopes to produce an advising manual.

Online Discussions

Past Online Event Discussion Recordings: are located on NACADA's Advising Communities Division's homepage. Login to your NACADA member profile to view a full listing of past Advising Community online event recordings.

September 2023

Hot Topic Discussion: Bridging the Gap between Advising and Students Struggling with Mental Wellness
Tuesday, September 5, 2023, at 3:00 PM CT

Event Description: Collaboration with the Small Colleges and Universities Advising Community - This Hot Topic Discussion will explore ways students are struggling with mental health concerns and how we as advisors can help guide them through these difficulties. Although most of us are not trained mental health professionals, it is important for us to recognize the difficulties students are facing and how we can connect them with the resources that can help promote mental wellness. 


  • Jill Oberfeitinger, Tusculum University
  • Julie Stanwood, Lesley University


  • Marika Cerbone, Lesley University

Supporting Neurodiversity in Advising Student-Athletes
Wednesday, September 20, 2023, at 3:00 PM CT

Event Description: What is neurodiversity? How do we effectively support neurodiversity in our academic advising practices, including in our work with student-athletes? In this collaborative panel co-hosted by Advising Student Athletes and Advising Students with Disabilities, representatives from both communities will discuss strategies and practices for supporting student-athlete learning, success, inclusion, and identity development through academic advising. In addition to establishing key definitions around neurodiversity, this panel will engage in critical conversation. Topics may include helping students navigate the transition from high school to college as well as identifying and accessing relevant institutional structures, services, and resources.


  • Alanna Bitzel, The University of Texas at Austin
  • Julie Stanwood, Lesley University


March 2023

Monday Motivational Musings: Recent Research on Pet Therapy Programs for College Students
Monday, March 13, 2023, at 3:00 PM CT

Event Description: Learn about the latest research on pet therapy programs on college campuses across the United States, specifically as they relate to stress and anxiety reduction, animal-assisted activities, and fostering student wellness. 


  • Matthew Kerchner, Indiana University
March 2019

Lunch & Learn: Autism Spectrum Disorders and Advising Students on the Spectrum
Friday, March 22, 2019, at 7:30 AM CT

Event Description: Join us four times per year for free professional development dedicated to our Community members on growing trends.  Our featured guest for this inaugural session is Dr. Clarissa Barnes, Associate Professor of Special Education and Faculty Chair at Defiance College in Ohio. In this session we will 1) List and describe the unique needs of college students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) 2) Identify barriers to participation in higher education for students with ASD 3) Describe strategies that can be used to effectively advise students with ASD, You can find out more about Dr. Barnes and her research and teaching interests on her faculty page.


  • Robert Detwiler, Defiance College


  • Clarissa Barnes, Defiance College

View the Recording

Current Chair

Julie Stanwood
Lesley University

Current Term: 2022-2024