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Equal Access for Students with Disabilities: A Study on How Executive Functioning Enhances Performance


Presenter: Glenda H. Ballard

Institution: Texas A&M University-Texarkana

Professional Title: Dean, College of Education and Liberal Arts

Glenda Ballard is Dean of Education and Liberal Arts at Texas A&M University-Texarkana. With 30 years in education, from K-12, Community College, Adult Literacy, and University, Dr. Ballard has witnessed learning differences in all levels of students. She possesses a doctorate in adult and continuing education from Virginia Tech, MS in Counseling and Guidance and BS in English from A&M University-Commerce, and additional coursework in technology education. Dr. Ballard’s research interests focus on teaching writing, experiential learning and leadership in higher education.


Marlena-Coco-150x150.jpgPresenter: Marlena Coco

Institution: Lynn University

Professional Title: Academic Coach

Marlena Coco is a doctoral student in Educational Leadership and Research Methodology at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. She received an MA in College Student Development from St. Edwards University and BS in Psychology from University of Texas-Austin. She currently works as an Academic Coach and Adjunct Professor at Lynn University in Boca Raton. She is working on Associate Certified Coach credentials with International Coaching Federation. Marlena is published in Developing and Sustaining Adult Learners and Southern Regional Association of Teacher Education.



Legal cases based on academic accommodations have increased since ADA began in 1990. Approximately 11% of students report a disability; Lynn University reports 25%. This presentation addresses equal access for students with disabilities; reviews accommodations, services and behaviors that improve educational experiences; presents findings from recent study which examined executive functioning and transitioning for students with disabilities compared to students without disabilities; confirms that students with disabilities who incorporate executive functioning activities into their daily lives experience higher access.

Learning Outcomes: 

  • articulate the basis for the Americans with Disabilities Act
  • identify common accommodations, services and behaviors that students with disabilities may use
  • recognize that, through executive functioning, students with disabilities may experience equal access to higher education