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Disability as Diversity

A Guidebook for Inclusion in Medicine, Nursing, and the Health Professions

  • Book
  • © 2020


  • Critically needed information that builds on prior work addressing gaps
  • Includes lots of examples, templates and exemplars from all health sciences, especially in nursing Includes program development guidance

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Table of contents (14 chapters)


About this book

Administrators and faculty  in medical, nursing and health science programs are witnessing a substantial increase in the number of students with disabilities entering their programs. Concurrently, the benefits of diversity in healthcare are becoming increasingly apparent and important. Provider-patient concordance is a known mechanism for reducing health care disparities.  By developing a workforce that mirrors the patient population, we can appropriately inform disability care, reducing health care disparities while embracing the tenets of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), namely equal opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency for qualified individuals with disabilities.
One in five individuals will experience disability at some point in their lives, making this the largest minority in the US. A commitment to disability inclusion for qualified students should be a high-level goal of nursing, medical, and other health science programs. To support this goal, leaders in these areas must develop robust programs and an understanding of the best practices for inclusion. This first-of-its-kind title is designed to help deans, program directors, faculty, student affairs personnel and disability resource professionals thoughtfully plan for the growing population of health-care professionals with disabilities. The content helps stakeholders contextualize disability inclusion in health-care education as a function of social justice and a mechanism of reducing health care disparities for patients. It offers pragmatic advice, grounded in research, best practice, and case law to address the highly nuanced approach to determining and implementing accommodations in a high-stakes clinical environment. 
Disability as Diversity connects the moving parts necessary to ensure equal access for qualified students and provides a blueprint for crafting policy, proactive messaging, improving climate, adhering to accreditation standards, addressing licensing and board exams, responding to student failure, all while remaining compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and applicable Federal regulations. This text provides educators with the perspectives and skills they need to bring disability inclusion to the forefront of health education.


Editors and Affiliations

  • Department of Family Medicine, The University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, USA

    Lisa M. Meeks

  • Solomont School of Nursing, University of Massachusetts Lowell, Lowell, USA

    Leslie Neal-Boylan

About the editors

Lisa M. Meeks, PhD, MA

Department of Family Medicine

The University of Michigan Medical School

Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

Leslie Neal-Boylan, PhD, APRN, CRRN, FAAN

Solomont School of Nursing

University of Massachusetts

Lowell, MA, USA

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Disability as Diversity

  • Book Subtitle: A Guidebook for Inclusion in Medicine, Nursing, and the Health Professions

  • Editors: Lisa M. Meeks, Leslie Neal-Boylan

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Cham

  • eBook Packages: Medicine, Medicine (R0)

  • Copyright Information: Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-030-46186-7Published: 18 June 2020

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-030-46187-4Published: 17 June 2020

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XVIII, 318

  • Number of Illustrations: 12 b/w illustrations, 14 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: Internal Medicine, Business and Management, general, Nursing

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