Gregoria Barazandeh

Political Science

Gregoria Barazandeh was appointed to the Disability Services Center (DSC) Student Advisory Board in the Summer of 2002. Through her work at the DSC, she became aware of the difficulties students with disabilities have in discussing their needs with faculty. Her research on the subject led to the development of the Disability Fact Sheet Handbook, which she has presented at a number of conferences, symposia and conventions. The Handbook has been well received, and Gregoria has been asked to revise it for other campuses within the UC system. In keeping with the themes of her research at UCI, Gregoria hopes to work as a public policy analyst and civil rights attorney, specializing in disability law. triangle.gif (504 bytes)




The number of students with disabilities, especially those with “hidden” disabilities, has increased dramatically. Federal regulations implementing Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act establish that reasonable and appropriate academic accommodations must be provided to students with disabilities to allow equal access to educational opportunities. Yet, despite current enforcement of regulations and statutes, persistent barriers remain in the academic environment for students with disabilities. These barriers include a lack of knowledge about disabilities, faculty and student misconceptions, negative attitudes, and insufficiency of effective educational tools. As a result, students with disabilities are not always given equal opportunity to use the accommodations that are available to them. This paper offers an overview of disability law, a preliminary literature review of research addressing the discrimination arising from social stigma and negative assumptions about disabilities, and a survey of students with disabilities at UCI to determine the perceptions of such barriers to learning. It includes a sample fact sheet for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder from the Disability Fact Sheet Handbook. The Handbook can be used by students and faculty to improve student/faculty communication and better implement appropriate and legally mandated accommodations for students with disabilities. triangle.gif (504 bytes)

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Faculty Mentor                                                                                                                

Caesar D. Sereseres

School of Social Sciences

It has been my good fortune and honor to work for nearly two years with Gregoria Barazandeh. Her research on the attitudes toward disabilities at the university is timely and policy relevant. Gregoria is one of the most impassioned and focused students that I have mentored in the past ten years. The most appropriate words that describe her personal virtues are patience, persistence and passion. Gregoria’s passion for the subject of this UROP-sponsored research derives from her own observations and experiences. Her research is an excellent example of a solid scholarly research endeavor that may lead to consequential policy reforms in disability accommodations on the campuses of the University of California. triangle.gif (504 bytes)

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