- Over the last two years, American universities have come under intense, unprecedented scrutiny for how they handle sexual assault, stalking, and domestic or dating violence.
It’s an issue that has been elevated by the president’s bully pulpit and by the hundreds of students who have charged that their institutions violated Title IX, a federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex. To date, at least 95 schools are under federal investigation on charges that they failed to address these issues adequately.
But under this unprecedented national spotlight, there has been virtually no public attention paid to how universities handle reports of sexual violence from the millions of students with disabilities around the country, who make up an estimated 11 percent of the U.S. undergraduate population.
- I spent months investigating the issue for a story that revealed important gaps in how colleges respond.
- The investigation gained significant traction within disability communities, and was re-printed in Deaf Life Magazine as the July 2015 cover story. It also sparked a broader national conversation, becoming a staple resource regularly cited by government agencies, universities, and disability and Title IX rights organizations.