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Spotlight Student Jaclyn Perlman TCNJ ’21

B.A. Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Jaclyn’s academic career and campus life involvement during her time at TCNJ made her a leader in our campus community and moved forward the discussion of disability, diversity, equity and inclusion.

 

Jaclyn’s Work at TCNJ:

Click to see Jaclyn’s Honors Thesis, entitled:  The Analysis of How Students With Disabilities on College Campuses are Supported as a Group Through an Intersectional Lens

Click to see Jaclyn’s project, a panel discussion entitled Critical Conversation: Discussion of Disability in Higher Education.

Click to see Jaclyn’s “Mini Toolkit” that provides an introduction and orientation to the Accessibility Resource Center and the breadth of the work that it does.

 

Get to Know Jaclyn:

Research Topic:  The Analysis of How Students with Disabilities on College Campuses are Supported as a Group Through an Intersectional Lens: In conducting this research, I did both individual and group interviews to highlight the college experience for students with disabilities. For the honors part of my thesis, I formed a discussion panel to hear perspectives of students, faculty and staff.  I am hopeful that, in the future, not just for TCNJ but other higher education institutions, there is more inclusion of students with any sort of disability.

 Some surprising findings from my research included: There is little to no scholarly research that talks about students of color with disabilities in higher education, first-generation college students or other intersections.  I was also surprised that there was so much research about learning disabilities.  This finding brought up a question for me:  With the lack of this information, how are higher education institutions supposed to support these groups of students?

 This year, you were a member of the ARC Advisory Board.  Can you talk a little bit about that experience?  What were your take-aways as a board member?  This last fall and spring, a group of students affiliated with ARC and staff and faculty from across campus were able to have discussions about accessibility and inclusion as an entire advisory board as well as in small subcommittees. I was fortunate enough to be a member of a few committees such as the Physical Accessibility Committee, Education & Outreach Committee, and the Advocacy Committee. On these committees, I was able to hear and learn from different perspectives and insights that I would otherwise not know about.

Some critical College, regional and national resources for students with disabilities include:  There are so many different resources on all levels that I am unable to list them all, however I will leave some links below of useful resources for students: Accessibility Resource Center: The College of New Jersey, Department of Human Services – Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired | History of CBVI , LIME, What is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?.

  What advice would you give to an incoming TCNJ student?  For incoming students, there are several pieces of advice I would give. The first piece of advice is to work on and improve your self-advocacy skills. Unlike in K-12, you have to tell your professors what accommodations you have and make sure you receive your accommodations. On the same line, everyone is here to support you especially your professors and the people in the Accessibility Resource Center. My second piece of advice is to expand your horizons whether it is joining a club that is different from what you usually do or have wanted to be a part of, also take a course or more that makes you think differently then you have in the past or a major you did not know the college had or thought you would never take a certain type of course.

Now that you are graduating from TCNJ, what’s next? After learning and reading more about students with disabilities in higher education, I have switched my career path. I will be attending the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education where I will be majoring in and earning a degree in higher education. I am looking forward to this next step.

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