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Hotline: Students with Disabilities Speak Out! 1 1 Adaptech Research Network 2 Dawson College Presentation at the AQICESH Conference Montreal, Quebec,

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Presentation on theme: "Hotline: Students with Disabilities Speak Out! 1 1 Adaptech Research Network 2 Dawson College Presentation at the AQICESH Conference Montreal, Quebec,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Hotline: Students with Disabilities Speak Out! 1 1 Adaptech Research Network 2 Dawson College Presentation at the AQICESH Conference Montreal, Quebec, June 6, 2012 Natalie Martiniello 1, Maria Barile 1, Jillian Budd 1, Mai N. Nguyen 1, Catherine S. Fichten 1,2

2 Introduction  Adaptech Research Network  The Study: What & Why  Team Members  Funder: SSHRC/CRSH 2

3 Agenda  Methodology  Pre-Employment  Self-Management and Course Workload  Disability Related Academic/Access Supports  Financial Concerns  Access to Information/Environment  Recommendations 3

4 Methodology  Academic retention of postsecondary students with disabilities and graduation  Data collected in 2010 and 2011  Online questionnaire  Open-ended question: “ Please indicate any other issues related to your education and/or job search experiences that are important to you.” 4

5 How Responses Were Evaluated  A coding manual was developed  Two coders  Coded up to 3 comments  10 distinct categories  Categories of comments coded as  Positive or negative  Based on how comments were written 5

6 Open Ended Demographics  397 participants  Female: 67%  Male: 33%  English: 70%  French: 30%  Provided up to 3 comments  497 comments total 6

7 Academic Status  75% Current students  20% Recent graduates (past 2 years) No longer studying  5% Leavers (left without completing their program) 7

8 Ranking by % of Responses  Negative  Pre-employment concerns 23%  Self-management and course workload 17%  Disability related academic/access supports17%  Accessing information/school environments 7%  Financial barriers due to disability 7%  Positive  Disability related academic/access supports 7%  Self-management and course workload 2% 8

9 Pre-Employment - Negative “I am very concerned about having a job, because I don't foresee there existing any job flexible enough to accommodate me.” 9

10 Pre-Employment - Negative  Top concern  22.9% of the responses  20% of current students  38% of graduates  14% of leavers  Specific concerns  Accommodations  Disability disclosure  Need for interview and job readiness skills 10

11 Pre-Employment - Negative  Of greatest concern to  Those with speech/communication and hearing impairments  Participants with low vision (33%) vs. participants who are blind (22%)  Participants in career/technical and professional programs  Female participants (25%) vs. male participants (20%) 11

12 Self-Management and Course Workload - Negative “I wish [the] disability services would concentrate not only on the accessibility issues on campus, but also how to live with a disability in our academic and professional lives.” 12

13 Self-Management and Course Workload - Negative  Awareness of difficulties in managing one’s course load  17% of the comments were negative  20% of females, 12% of males  2% of comments about their workload were positive 13

14 Disability Related Academic / Access Supports - Negative “They seem NOT to understand that if someone is ill with pain, the last thing they need to add to their already hard-to-balance schedule and life is another doctor's appointment for something that is already registered with Disability Services.” 14

15 Disability Related Academic / Access Supports - Negative  Poor services provided by the OSD, individual professors, and the university at large  Availability  Negatively perceived by 67 participants (19% of females, 13% of males)  Some professors view accommodations as lowering standards  Teaching assistants often unequipped to accommodate 15

16 Disability Related Academic / Access Supports - Negative  Onerous documentation and "proof" requirements  Lack of assistive technology and training  7% females and 6% of males offered positive comments  7% of comments received about Disability Related Academic/Access Supports were positive 16

17 Disability Related Academic / Access Supports - Positive “The accessibility services at [U of XX] have made my university career much easier and much more enjoyable” 17

18 Access to Information / Environments - Negative “I find waiting for textbooks for courses to be converted to PDF format or having to buy new books so that we can get them converted is wrong […]. The lack of audio books, and the lack of digital books for research (so that we can use our programs to read them) is a challenge.” 18

19 Access to Information / Environments - Negative  Mentioned by 8.1% of respondents  English: 6%, French: 10%  Negative comments from 8% of current students, 4% of graduates, 5% of leavers  Physical barriers (inside and outside)  Difficulty accessing course materials 19

20 Financial Concerns - Negative « Au niveau de l'aide financière aux études, ces formes d'aide financière (bourses) ne reflètent plus la réalité monétaire de nos besoins de base : loyer, électricité, chauffage, téléphone, Internet, assurances, nourriture et passe d'autobus… » 20

21 Financial Concerns - Negative  Disability-related financial concerns as a hindrance for  7% of current students  8% of graduates  14% of leavers  Leavers expressed the most concern about financial burdens caused by disability 21

22 Recommendations 22

23 Pre Employment  Inform students about employment counselling services and other organizations  Provide interview skills workshops  Consider mentorship opportunities 23

24 Workload Management  Organize study skills workshops  Stress management support  Importance of time management  Importance of obtaining course material in advance  Inform that reduced load is available for “full time” students 24

25 Disability Related Academic / Access Supports  Public education: disability awareness and universal design instructions  Training on adaptive and general use information and communication technologies 25

26 Financial Concerns  Provide information about bursary programs and scholarships for students with disabilities  Provide help with complex government forms  Educate students about free and inexpensive adaptive software 26

27 Access to Information and School Environments  Encourage professors to finalize course material in advance  Encourage publishers to provide alternative formats  Educate students about adaptive technology (e.g. scanning software)  Advocate for universal design from the start (e.g. school websites) 27

28 Universal Design: Built Environment  Accessibility starts in the parking lot  Choice of classroom set up  Quiet places for studying and exams  Environmental sensitivity issues 28

29  Management issues  Snow-free ramps  Working elevators  Keep accessible spaces free 29 Universal Design: Built Environment

30 Universal Design of Instruction  Learn the benefits & limitations of UDI  Create links with diversity of students in your institutions  Be flexible in required paper work  Create links with community resources that can assist students 30

31 Universal Design of Instruction  Advise faculty to:  Provide their course outline in print & online from the first class  Hold flexible office hours and use different meeting methods (in person, phone, MSN, etc.)  Indicate an openness to any discussion related to courses to all their students  Provide an estimate of costs of various course materials 31

32 Universal Design of Instruction  Assist students to communicate directly with faculty and other institutional personnel  Address students’ concerns 32

33 Universal Design of Instruction  Encourage the administration to provide workshops on  The needs of diverse student populations (based on gender, culture, disability, learning style, etc.)  Understand how to apply UDI at all levels of the educational institution 33

34 Questions  Have you noticed similar concerns in your institution/country?  How have these been addressed? 34

35 This project was funded by 35

36 Adaptech Research Network Authors Natalie Martiniello, Maria Barile, Jillian Budd, Mai N. Nguyen, Catherine S. Fichten 36

37 Information Natalie Martiniello Maria Barile Adaptech Research Network To download this presentation: 37


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