The Vermont Connection


Sarah Hoffert


When student affairs professionals talk about diversity or culture, we tend to think about people of color, the Queer community, socioeconomic class, religion, or region. Student affairs professionals, however, are often not consciously aware of people with disabilities. During an experience in the Office of Students with Disabilities Services at the University of Vermont in 2006, I was exposed to another cultural group: people with disabilities. I intend to raise awareness of this group’s history and culture. I will then explore what disability is, the history of this population, the obstacles facing this marginalized group, and why people with disabilities are rarely acknowledged in society and higher education. I will conclude with tangible examples of this issue being addressed at certain institutions.