Transgender is an umbrella term that includes individuals whose sense of gender identity does not match the sex assigned at birth. Transgender students with physical or psychiatric disabilities face additional barriers on college campuses due to the compounded effects of prejudice towards transgender identity (transphobia) and prejudice towards disability (ableism). Transgender individuals with disabilities often experience double stigma that may involve institutional barriers such as unemployment, educational discrimination, or residential segregation (Mizock & Lewis, 2008). In addition, transgender individuals with disabilities report ableism, such as being stared at, avoided, infantilized, harassed, threatened, or ignored (Clare, 2001). Experiences of mistreatment may vary depending on the degree to which a student’s transgender identity, or physical or psychiatric disability, is visibly discernible to others. The literature has generally overlooked the unique needs of transgender students with disabilities. When transgender individuals are mentioned in the literature, they are often lumped within the broader grouping of lesbian, gay, and bisexual students (together, LGBT) despite the differences between issues of sexual identity and those of gender identity (Mizock & Fleming, 2011). Higher education faculty and staff can develop awareness of the prejudice and discrimination that transgender students with disabilities face in order to provide support and raise awareness of the needs of this population on campus. Best practices for inclusion will be presented in this brief report to assist college professionals in addressing the needs of transgender students with psychiatric and physical disabilities.
Mizock, L., Covello, C., & Ferreira, C. (2013). Brief Report on Transgender Students with Disabilities: Best Practices for Higher Education. Pedagogy and the Human Sciences, 3 (1), 25-33. Retrieved from http://scholarworks.merrimack.edu/phs/vol3/iss1/2