Hidden / Invisible Disabilities

Why Focus on Disability?

An increasing number of students with disabilities are entering colleges and universities. Their enrollment has tripled since the 1970s. We estimate that students with disabilities comprise 12% of the student population at the University of Hawai‘i. Why estimate? Don’t we know exactly?

Colleges and Universities may not ask students about their disability status. There is no box marked “disability” to check on an admission application. Students with disabilities decide when and whether or not to disclose their disabilities to the college.

Faculty are often unaware or confused about what it means to have students with disabilities in their classes.