Journal of Human Rights and Social Work

, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp 183–190 | Cite as

Human Rights Advocacy for Students with Disabilities: Challenging Stigma and Promoting Opportunity in Social Work Education

  • Jessica L. Sniatecki
  • Jessica A. Pelz
  • Trevor G. GatesEmail author


Students with disabilities are participating in postsecondary education at increased rates, and social work educators are increasingly involved in improving accessibility for these students. In these roles, social work educators must actively work to challenge social and institutional discrimination against people with disabilities. Using a conceptual framework of stigma, this paper examines the cultural attitudes and beliefs that have marginalized people with disabilities, and explores opportunities and barriers for students with disabilities in postsecondary education. Additionally, this paper examines the role of the social work educator in advocating for greater access and opportunities in postsecondary education for these students by making interventions in practice, policy, and research.


Disabilities Postsecondary education Social work Stigma Advocacy 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jessica L. Sniatecki
    • 1
  • Jessica A. Pelz
    • 1
  • Trevor G. Gates
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.The College at Brockport, State University of New YorkBrockportUSA
  2. 2.Faculty of Arts, Business, and Law, School of Social SciencesUniversity of the Sunshine CoastMaroochydore DCAustralia

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