I have been teaching at Berkeley for some time, and the number of students with disabilities in my classes seems to increase every semester. Are more students with disabilities attending Berkeley? Why do the numbers seem to keep going up?

In 2008, the Americans with Disabilities Act was amended, broadening the definition of disability to include more persons with non-apparent disabilities (for example, chronic health conditions and psychological disabilities). In addition, IDEA, the law that governs K-12 services for students with disabilities, has provided greater opportunity for students with disabilities to excel academically, graduate high school, and successfully matriculate to higher education.

Universities nationwide are experiencing unprecedented growth in the numbers of students who qualify for and apply for disability services. Nationally, 10%-15% of college students are students with disabilities. At UC Berkeley, 9% of undergraduates and 1.8% of graduate students are students with disabilities who utilize DSP services. We anticipate serving more than 4,000 students with disabilities by 2022. It is important to note that as the campus continues to increase enrollments, the number of students with disabilities who require services will increase as well.