AHEAD Code of Ethics

Preamble

The Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) is a professional organization comprised of disability resource and affiliated professionals who strive to uphold, support, and advance access, equity, and inclusion of disabled people within higher education and broader society.  As AHEAD members, we agree that these principles are the Code of Ethics for postsecondary disability resource and affiliated professionals.  Members of AHEAD agree to monitor themselves and their peers in accordance with the provisions and spirit of this code, as delineated by the following principles: (1) Equity and Inclusion; (2) Respect and Acknowledgment; (3) Professional Competence; and (4) Laws and Standards of Practice. 

Purpose

The primary intent of the AHEAD Code of Ethics is to set forth a general set of ethical expectations for professionals that make up the membership of the organization with an emphasis upon the disability resource and affiliated professionals providing services to disabled people and mitigating barriers in higher education settings. First and foremost, the Code reinforces and expands upon the mission of AHEAD. Second, the Code serves as the foundation for and preamble to both the AHEAD Professional and Program Standards. These documents are intended to be complementary to one another. Third, the Code and Standards communicate to the profession, those that aspire to the profession and those served by the profession the values, responsibility, and commitment to promoting socially just environments that empower disabled people to meet their postsecondary academic and personal goals. AHEAD affiliated personnel agree to guide and regulate their professional behavior based upon the Code and the supporting Standards.

Principles

Equity and Inclusion

  • Postsecondary disability resource and affiliated professionals act as leaders and advocates for equitable and inclusive policies, procedures, and systems in all facets of campus and community life.
  • Postsecondary disability resource and affiliated professionals facilitate and advocate for the highest levels of access, inclusion, and equity for all disabled people.
  • Postsecondary disability resource and affiliated professionals strive to utilize and facilitate high quality and effective processes, procedures, and services to promote equity and inclusion for disabled people within disability resources offices and the institution.
  • Postsecondary disability resource and affiliated professionals recognize and value the importance of collaborating with the campus and community to promote access, equity, and inclusion.

Respect and Acknowledgment

  • Postsecondary disability resource and affiliated professionals act in ways that acknowledge, consider, and respect disabled peoples' voices, lived experiences, and complex intersectional identities.
  • Postsecondary disability resource and affiliated professionals strive to respect the dignity, worth, and self-determination of all people.
  • Postsecondary disability resource and affiliated professionals take steps to develop awareness of their potential biases, the boundaries of their competence, and the limitations of their experience to ensure that they do not lead to or condone unjust practices.
  • Postsecondary disability resource and affiliated professionals act in ways that respect and acknowledge diversity within higher education and work to create inclusive, equitable, and socially just environments for all.
  • Postsecondary disability resource and affiliated professionals act in ways that respect and acknowledge the professional expertise of campus and community colleagues, while recognizing that professionals may have differing opinions.

Professional Competence

  • Postsecondary disability resource and affiliated professionals work to achieve and maintain the highest levels of competence and integrity in their work to mitigate barriers to disabled people with various intersecting identities.
  • Postsecondary disability resource and affiliated professionals use objective professional judgment in making decisions that impact equitable access and inclusion.
  • Postsecondary disability resource and affiliated professionals continually participate in professional activities and educational opportunities to promote effective disability advocacy, social justice, resources, and services.
  • Postsecondary disability resource and affiliated professionals who engage in scholarly activity contribute to the knowledge base of the profession in ways that respect participants, are accessible, and adhere to standards of federal, institutional, and local research ethics.
  • Postsecondary disability resource and affiliated professionals use a social justice perspective to work collaboratively with students and relevant campus and community stakeholders to support the profession.

Laws and Standards of Practice

  • Postsecondary disability resource professionals support and clarify applicable local and federal laws to foster equity for disabled people.
  • Postsecondary disability resource professionals value and act in ways that respect the confidential nature of records and information about disabled individuals as outlined by relevant federal and local laws.
  • Postsecondary disability resource and affiliated professionals value and carry out their responsibilities in accordance with the AHEAD Professional Standards and Program Standards. When certified, licensed, or affiliated with other professions or organizations, they value and comply with those professional guidelines as appropriate.