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Authors: András Tilcsik, Lauren Rivera 

For parents of children with disabilities, the stakes of finding a good school could scarcely be higher. Parents’ concerns range from whether a school will have the right services and supports to help their child advance academically, to whether the school can keep their child physically safe.

“In some cases and for some kids, having that information can be life-saving,” says Lauren Rivera, a professor of management and organizations at the Kellogg School.

But according to new research from Rivera and András Tilcsik of the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, discrimination prevents families from gaining such crucial knowledge. Their study found that public school principals are less responsive to parents of disabled children when it comes to providing information about schools. This is especially true when the parent of a disabled child is perceived to be Black.

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