Awareness of disabilities in pharmacy program recruitment material: are we doing enough?
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Introduction: Targeted recruitment of students with disabilities is a novel area in pharmacy education and may help to attract qualified students in light of decreasing applicant numbers. Therefore, the aim of this study was to explore the visibility of disabilities within online recruitment material for pharmacy programs and to determine the location of targeted information available to prospective students with disabilities. Methods: The top 50 ranked programs offering a professional pharmacy degree under the Pharmacy and Pharmacology QS subject rankings were identified and included if recruitment material was published in English. Online recruitment material was reviewed for presence of persons with disabilities in photos, presence or description of persons with disabilities in videos, information specific to disabilities on the program website, and information specific to disabilities on the university website (if not located on the program website). Results: For inclusion, 41 out of 50 pharmacy schools met the criteria. No institutions displayed visual student disabilities in pictures or videos of recruitment material. Overall, the majority of institutions (88%) provided information for prospective students with disabilities. The type of information offered was highly variable across institutions. Of the top 50 pharmacy schools in the USA, 85% have information on student disability through the pharmacy homepage and 75% of institutions in Europe provided information through the university homepage. Interestingly, 62.5% of schools in Asia did not provide student disability information. Conclusions: Recruitment material for pharmacy degree programs should be current, inclusive, and reflective of student populations eligible to be admitted. This study found a distinct underrepresentation of students with disabilities and information pertaining to disabilities within recruitment material for a sample of international pharmacy programs.( *This study has now been published. Hussain FN, Smith A, Wilby K. The Visibility of Disabilities within Pharmacy Program Recruitment Material. INNOVATIONS in pharmacy. 2020;11(3). doi: https://doi.org/10.24926/iip.v11i3.3339.)
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