Higher Learning Research Communications

Orcid iD

Anna M. Wright, http://orcid.org/0000-0002-0168-2168 Kevin Meyer, https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8149-9258


The willingness and flexibility of university instructors to comply with and provide accommodations for students with disabilities is critical to academic success. The authors examine how communication between students needing accommodations and university instructors impacts instructor self-efficacy, or instructors’ perception that they can meet the accommodation. Specifically, the authors’ explored the relationship between student self-disclosure of a disability and instructor empathy, flexibility, and self-efficacy in meeting student accommodation needs. Results revealed that the more a student self-discloses about a needed accommodation, the more self-efficacy an instructor has in making that accommodation. For the low-disclosure condition, empathy and flexibility were both significant predictors of self-efficacy, whereas, for the high-disclosure condition, only flexibility was a significant predictor of self-efficacy. Finally, instructors’ levels of empathy and flexibility both decreased after reading both the high and low self-disclosure scenarios.