Last month, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced that the Department of Education was formally withdrawing some Obama-era Title IX guidelines, including the 2011 Dear Colleague letter that charged colleges and universities with taking “immediate and effective steps to end sexual harassment and sexual violence.” Survivors and their advocates are concerned that the changes regarding Title IX—which bans sex-based discrimination in schools—will lead to less reporting and investigations of assaults, especially among historically marginalized communities.

And given that people with disabilities are already far less likely to ever report their abuse and often encounter numerous challenges—such as inaccessibility of services, if they decide to disclose—the estimated 11 percent of U.S. college students with disabilities will almost certainly be disproportionately affected by DeVos’ actions.

By Robyn Powell

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