Statement on disabilities

T32 GM007546

Plans for Outreach and Recruitment of Students with Disabilities

The University of California, San Francisco and the Graduate Group in the Clinical Pharmacology, Drug Action and Pharmacogenetics postdoctoral training program are committed to providing an accessible and inclusive experience in which all students can thrive. All efforts to reach, recruit and support students with disabilities are undertaken in collaboration with Student Disability Services (SDS). Strategies for effective and comprehensive outreach and recruitment are developed, refined, and improved on an ongoing basis through conversations among the graduate program director and administrators, Graduate Division Associate Dean Liz Silva, Director of Diversity and Outreach D’Anne Duncan, and Director of Student Disability Services Tim Montgomery. Tim Montgomery is a national leader in student disability services. He is co-founder and President of the Coalition for Disability Access in Health Science and Medical Education, and is the lead author of a chapter on myths about students with disabilities in the book, “The Guide to Assisting Students with Disabilities: Equal Access in Health Science and Professional Education.”

UCSF’s Student Disability Services (SDS) office

Student Disability Services (SDS) provides services to students with a variety of disabilities, collaborates with faculty and programs to implement approved accommodations, and serves as a confidential resource for students to discuss their disability-related needs. Accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis, taking into account documented need and student self-report. To promote the inclusion of individuals with disabilities at UCSF, Student Disability Services:

  • Provides supports and provides services to students to ensure equal access and opportunity to programs. Services available through SDS include note-takers, readers, sign language interpreters, real-time captioners, accessible parking, photocopying and print enlargements, consultations with the Learning Disability Specialist, and assistance with Campus Housing.
  • Provides disability training and education to faculty and staff on a yearly basis and offers self-paced training modules for faculty via our faculty support website.
  • Ensures that physical space and facilities are ADA compliant. The university provides funds to support any additional physical accommodations needed for lab work.

SDS has worked with our faculty to include a statement about these accommodations on the course syllabi, and we are working to implement direct outreach to prospective students during recruitment weekends, to communicate the services and resources that are available, and to provide the opportunity to meet individually with SDS staff.

Online Outreach and Recruitment

The program includes a prominent statement on the admissions website acknowledging our commitment to the training of students with disabilities Clinical Pharmacology, Drug Action and Pharmacogenetics and inviting students to contact student disability services.

On an annual basis, coincident with other recruitment efforts undertaken at the time of the fall application cycle, information about our program is sent to hundreds of disability service providers via multiple listservs. This information reaches the members of the four organizations:

  1. Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD)
  2. The Coalition for Disability Access in Health Science and Medical Education
  3. Big Ten Disability Directors Group
  4. University of California Disability Directors Group

Members are asked to share this information with students interested in the health and basic sciences, as well as other staff/faculty and undergraduate advisors. The information emphasizes the program’s interest in recruiting talented science undergraduates with disabilities and highlights the services provided by UCSF’s SDS.

The program is advertised on the AHEAD website in advance of the admissions deadline. We will also explore the feasibility of advertising in major magazines that serve student disability service professionals, including Disability Compliance for Higher Education, which publishes a monthly column from the UCSF coalition for Disability Access in Health Science and Medical Education.

Recruitment through Attendance at Disability Services Conferences

Attendance at disability services meetings at both the state and national levels allows us to raise our profile in the communities they represent. UCSF’s graduate programs are represented yearly at the AHEAD annual meeting and The Coalition for Disability Access in Health Science and Medical Education annual symposium, which allows us to advertise the program and meet key players in student disability services. UCSF’s student disability services Director will continue to represent the UCSF graduate programs on the University of California Disability Directors Group. The University of California campuses are key feeders to our PhD programs: approximately one-quarter of matriculating students come to UCSF from the nine campuses. The SDS Directors on ten campuses of the University of California meet twice per year, which represents a key opportunity to disseminate our commitment to support students with disabilities.

Peer Support

UCSF students founded the Disability Advocacy and Support Group, an official Registered Campus Organization with the following mission statement:

We are an open group for all UCSF students with disabilities and chronic illnesses, as well as their allies. We aim to provide a space for students with disabilities to share their stories. We also strive to confront ableism and increase awareness of disability in the UCSF community.

Leadership of the Graduate Group in Clinical Pharmacology, Drug Action and Pharmacogenetics postdoctoral training program are working to raise awareness of this group and the work it does, and will coordinate with them on student recruitment.