The word accessibility tends to evoke wheelchair ramps and signs in Braille. While much of Wheaton College’s campus has been made accessible for students, faculty, staff and visitors with physical disabilities, the day-to-day work of campus-wide accessibility most often deals with the needs of students whose disabilities are less evident to a stranger’s eye.

Approximately 90% of the students that the Learning and Accessibility Services office serves are those with invisible disabilities, according to a chart from that office. This is consistent with national data — as of 2020, 96% of severe disabilities in America are not visibly identifiable. Of those, a significant majority come in for mental health reasons, which include depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and eating disorders, many of which the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated. Read more…


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