Disability Pride Guide

2023 Alex's Great State Race finishers pose for a photos with the interim president and Sparty.

MSU is recognizing October as Disability Pride Month. This month includes recognition for National Disability Employment Awareness Month, Down Syndrome Awareness Month and World Mental Health, among others. MSU is dedicated to celebrating the accomplishments of people with disabilities and furthering advocacy. 

Accessibility is a central tenet of diversity, equity and inclusion at MSU to support visible and invisible disabilities and create opportunities to maximize ability through partnership.

This guide provides stories, perspectives and resources to learn about disability and our campus community. Submit feedback to inclusion@msu.edu

 The concept of this guide and the identification of its resources is attributed to Access Specialist Colleen Floyd in the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities, or RCPD. We thank Colleen and RCPD for increasing MSU's understanding of the need to support access for all.

Campus stories

Additional stories

STRIDE Center was launched to help individuals with disabilities

RCPD celebrated its 50th anniversary in spring 2022

Student finds a place that maximizes ability

Campus partnerships ensure success for Spartans with disabilities

Accommodations specialist advocates for ensuring accessibility and employee success


Disability perspectives 


Supporting Spartans with Disabilities in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion


Supporting Spartans with Disabilities in Registered Student Organizations


Visible: MSU Students' Stories of Hidden Disabilities


My Body Doesn't Oppress Me, Society Does



I'm Not Your Inspiration, Thank You Very Much



Disability Visibility hosted by Alice Wong

Disability Activist and Media Maker Alice Wong talks about life through a disabled lens. The podcast features conversations on politics, culture and media with disabled people.

Image of woman cartoon girl with headphones

The Loudest Girl in the World hosted by Lauren Ober

Host and Producer Lauren Ober shares the understanding and journey of what it means to be on the autism spectrum, and how to navigate life as a newly diagnosed autistic person.

Image of cartoon girl


Disability Visibility: First Person Stories from the 21st Century, edited by Alice Wong

As a collection of contemporary essays written by disabled people, this book brings the conversation of disability justice to the forefront and explores the urgency and importance of being represented in the media.

Book sleeve of Disability Visibility


Upcoming events and ways to get involved

Bessey Hall, Spill the Tea on ADHD. Friday Oct. 20th 2-4pm. Tea and refreshments. Speakers: RCPD, CAPS, MSU Psychological Clinic, RCPD Students

Spill the Tea on ADHD

Those curious to learn more about attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, are invited to “Spill the Tea on ADHD,” an event held by the Resource Center of Persons with Disabilities, or RCPD, in collaboration with campus partners. The event will take place on Friday, Oct. 20th from 2-4 p.m. in Bessey Hall (room TBD, registrants will get information via email) or via Zoom. Register by Weds., Oct. 18th here to attend in person or here to attend online. The Zoom will have auto-captions enabled. For those in need of disability requirements, the in-person registration link has a space for requests and online accommodations can be arranged through Kelsey Foote by email at footeke1@msu.edu.

Clinical Medical Education Speaker Series Presents: Disability in Medical Education

Clinical Medical Education Speaker Series Presents: Disability in Medical Education Featuring: Dr. Lisa Meeks Executive Director of Docs with Disabilities Initiative. October 26, 2023 7-8pm on zoom. Executive Director of Docs with Dyabilities Initiative Dr. Lisa Meeks is an expert in disabilities in medical education. She is an administrative leader and researcher, and advocates for policy and best practice in the area of disability inclusion for medical education, training and practice. On Oct. 26 from 7-8 p.m., Dr. Meeks will be joining MSU via zoom to speak about improving access to medical education for learners with disabilities, student/resident well-being, reducing health care disparities in patient disabilities and more. Register to attend here.



Council of Students with Disabilities

CSD is an undergraduate student organization at MSU for students with disabilities and their support system that focuses on awareness, advocacy and support. The group strives to empower students with disabilities by offering a safe and welcoming environment where conversations can be had about concerns, experiences and ideas. The CSD hosts meetings throughout the semester as well as engaging and accessibility events. This fall, the group meets on Tuesdays from 6-7 p.m. in Bessey Hall Rm 114. Find more information on their Instagram.

Alex Powell Spartan Experience Leadership Endowment

Alex’s Great State Race occurs each year in honor of Alex Powell to raise money to support students with disabilities. Proceeds from the race support the Alex Powell Spartan Experience Leadership Endowment, which provides funding for professional development focused on capacity and specialized assistance to those facing challenges around difficult disability dynamics. To donate and learn more, visit the giving page.


Accessibility on campus

How families can help students with disabilities as they begin working

Connie Sung, professor and director of the master’s rehabilitation counseling program, and Marisa Fisher, a board-certified behavior analyst and associate professor of special education, share advice for support systems on how to prepare students with disabilities as they enter the workforce after graduation.

Learn more about digital accessibility to help remove barriers at MSU

Accessible Design helps to remove barriers when it comes to internet usage as a way to ensure the success of internet users. MSU provides resources, training and guidance on the Accessibility and Universal Design website.

Inclusive restrooms on campus

MSU has restrooms on campus designed for single-occupancy. Students, employees and visitors may use restrooms that correspond with their gender identity. There is a map that provides the locations of accessible and inclusive restrooms throughout campus, with instructions on how to differentiate between the various types of bathrooms available.

Multi-sensory patio at Bessey Hall

RCPD has partnered with Infrastruture Planning and Facilities Campus Planner Steve Troost and IPF Landscape Architect Yun Cao to create a multi-sensory patio area at Bessey Hall. The construction has created a place for occupants, students, visitors and community members to experience multi-seasonal visuals, smells and textures from the varied plantings and hardscaping elements used.

Outreach services to support employee readiness

The STRIDE Center provides various outreach services to ensure and support employee readiness. Each of the programs focus on accommodation and training, which can be found on the STRIDE website. 

Disability and Reasonable Accommodation Policy

MSU is committed to full inclusion of persons with disabilities. To ensure that inclusion is supported and incorporated on campus, the Office for Civil Rights and Title IX Education and Compliance created a Disability and Reasonable Accommodation Policy.


Tools and support

Disability and accommodation training (Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities)

The self-enroll D2L course, RCPD Disability and Accommodation Training, helps MSU instructional staff become more informed about the experiences of disabled students and improve their effectiveness with facilitating accommodations. Using text, videos and resources from various disability scholars and activists, the course covers disability education, RCPD office and accommodation information and accessibility best practices.

Assistive technology support

RCPD Assistant Director of Assisitive Technology Innovation Tyler Smeltekop is available to meet with students to help with Assistive Technology by appointment both in person and virtually. Connect with him via email to set up an appointment (smeltek5@msu.edu).

Assignment tracker

The Assignment Tracker is a tool that can be used to input homework, projects and other assignments from your classes to have them organized by their due date. This template can be copied and used for future semesters.

Tower Guard support

Tower Guard is a second-year student organization that volunteers with RCPD to support all students in an effort to make MSU a more accessibility community. Students can complete this form to submit a request and be matched with a Tower Guard member.


MSU places

Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities

The Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities, or RCPD, was created as a response for equal access to a university education for all students. The center strives to create a welcoming environment, fortify capacity and compassionately challenge each person to reach their fullest ability. Team RCPD assists students, employees and visitors with resources that build a community of opportunity through a variety of sources. 

Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders

The Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences seeks to advance the understanding of speech, language, voice, swallowing and hearing. They strive to translate scientific discovery to improve diagnostic and treatment approaches for individuals with disorders through cultivating knowledge. The department offers a masters and doctoral degree, as well as several undergraduate preparatory classes.


STRIDE is a Center designed to support and train underserved people with disabilities, their families and other community stakeholders. The Center aims to provide training, conduct research, engage with communities and fulfill the land-grant missions of MSU. STRIDE offers a variety of services and programs to help aid in creating a more accessible community.

Office of the ADA Coordinator

The Office of the Americans with Disabilities Act Coordinator facilitates MSU’s compliance with its Disability and Reasonable Accommodation, Anti-Discrimination and Web Accessibility policies, as well as the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008, Michigan’s Persons with Disabilities Act of 1975 and other laws and regulations prohibiting disability discrimination and harassment. In addition, the office oversees the Presidents Advisory Committee on Disability Issues that ensures broad institutional input on matters relating to persons with disabilities of all characteristics at MSU.

Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education

CEPSE is a department within the College of Education, and is dedicated to the study of human learning and development in individuals. The department has five program areas of different levels and modes of study with the opportunity to learn and collaborate across disciplines.

Master of Arts in Rehabilitation Counseling Program

The College of Education offers a Master of Arts in Rehabilitation Counseling Program offers opportunities to advance expertise in the areas of counseling, the social and psychological aspects of disability, the vocational rehabilitation process, case management, ethical practices, independent living, disability management, transition from school to work, vocational assessment, career development and employment strategies. The degree program is dedicated to preparation and promotion in effective delivery of rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities.


Student organizations

Council of Students with Disabilities (CSD)

Graduate Student Accessibility and Support Network (GSASN)

Spartan Alliance for Disability Inclusion and Equity (SADIE)


Additional resources

Disability as DEI presentation (RCPD)

Inclusive Communications Guide

Guidelines for inclusive online spaces


Join the conversation


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Council of Students with Disabilities at MSU (@msucsd) • Instagram photos and videos