College of Arts and Sciences


Communication and Media

Faculty Mentor

Julie Homchick Crowe, PhD

Faculty Editor

Christopher A. Paul, PhD

Student Editor

Elena Selthun


This project explores the language of disability services syllabi statements. Using Van Dijk’s concept of Critical Discourse Analysis, I analyze the semiotic choices made within the statements of west coast public universities and Jesuit universities. I ask: How do disability services syllabi statements represent the people they are meant to serve? Through a critical discourse analysis of the use of language and semiotic choices, I argue that disability services syllabi statements can function to suppress the power of disabled students, minimizing their agency while promoting ableist ideologies.

Keywords: Critical discourse analysis, semiotic choices, disability services syllabi statements