Education is the cornerstone of realizing the ADA’s goals of full participation, independent living, economic self-sufficiency, and equal opportunity.
Portrait of woman in wheelchair on graduation day.

AAPD is committed to promoting access to education from preschool through post-graduate work. We take a comprehensive approach to educational access, including advocacy, partnerships with educational institutions, and programs designed to break down barriers to education.

Access to education requires thoughtful, robust engagement in policy. AAPD works with a broad coalition that includes civil rights groups, educators to promote education policy that benefits students with disabilities.

30 Seconds: AAPD’s Campaign to Stop Bullying
Students with disabilities are bullied and harassed at a much higher rate than their peers. A recent study by the National Center for Education Statistics indicates that, in reality, up to 85 percent of students with disabilities experience bullying. Students cannot be expected to learn in an environment of fear. To promote access to educational opportunity, AAPD works to make schools safer places for students.
Seclusion and Restraint
Students with disabilities are disproportionately subjected to harsh and often dangerous physical restraint and seclusion in their schools. Schools must do everything possible to ensure that restraint is not used, except in cases when the student poses a threat to his/herself or others.
Principles for School Safety, Privacy, and Equity

AAPD and 39 other education, privacy, disability rights, and civil rights organizations released ten principles to protect all students’ safety, privacy, and right to an equal education. The principles are meant to serve as a starting point for conversations with policymakers and school officials about how to keep students safe while respecting their dignity and encouraging their individual growth.

NBCUniversal Tony Coelho Media Scholarship
AAPD seeks to make higher education affordable for all individuals with disabilities. AAPD is working with NBCUniversal to promote access to higher education by helping to eliminate the funding barriers people with disabilities face when seeking higher education.
Other Scholarships
Higher Education
Access to higher education is crucial to succeeding in most sectors of the 21st-century workforce. College, graduate school, and professional schools not only prepare students for the workforce, they are the setting in which many young people transition to adult life. Although unprecedented numbers of students with disabilities now pursue college and graduate school, students with disabilities still face barriers to education. As the nation’s largest cross-disability membership organization, AAPD is committed to increasing the success of students in higher education.