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Dr Suanne Gibson (University of Plymouth) and Mrs Lynne Kendall (Liverpool John Moores University) 12 th Annual International Conference on Education May.

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Presentation on theme: "Dr Suanne Gibson (University of Plymouth) and Mrs Lynne Kendall (Liverpool John Moores University) 12 th Annual International Conference on Education May."— Presentation transcript:

1 Dr Suanne Gibson (University of Plymouth) and Mrs Lynne Kendall (Liverpool John Moores University) 12 th Annual International Conference on Education May 2010 Athens

2 Understanding disabled students’ experiences as learners National Policy- 1995 DDA, 1997 Dis Rights Task Force, SENDA 2001. Related research: Wright, 2005; Goode, 2007; Madriaga, 2007; Avramidis and Skidmore, 2004 Our research project- HEA funded 2009/10- Plymouth and John Moores Year 1 BA Education Studies course

3 Structure of Research Project 2 phases: Phase 1: Students experience of access and transition- anecdotes stories form the inside Phase 2: Students connections with Disability Discourse- the question of the student as active stakeholder in policy matters.

4 Research methodology Qualitative research methodology (Goodley and Moore, 2000) As Kitchen highlights (2000, p.25-26): In recent years there has been much discussion within the disability studies literature concerning how disability research should be conducted, who should conduct such research and the ideology underlying research practice […] there is no denying that disabled people have largely been excluded from disability discourse. […] Many disabled academics [..] call for the adoption of strategies that are both emancipatory and empowering.

5 Butler-Kisber (2007) visual/diagram Who? Why as a research tool? Used as a tool to facilitate discussion



8 ‘First findings’ Phase 1- HEA funded study 2009/10 The importance and significance of students with disability having a named contact/personal tutor whom they trust and can turn to with questions/concerns as and when they arise. The need to ensure that other lecturers/tutors are clear on the particular learning needs of all students and that this information is relayed in confidence and in advance of the students attendance The difficulty experienced in establishing trusting friendships at school/college Self-esteem issues The change at University level where students are more mature than friends at school/college. The benefit of Disability assist services at University having a high profile

9 ‘First findings’ Phase 1- HEA funded study 2009/10 The benefit of meeting with course representatives from 2 nd and 3 rd year groups in the induction week of first year The benefit of having a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) where lecturers ensure that PowerPoint’s and other additional reading material is posted on in advance or straight after lectures/seminars The need for the student to take responsibility for their own learning and to show commitment to their studies by attending timetabled lectures, seminars and doing necessary independent study. The benefit of faculties/universities ensuring information regarding their Disability assist services and contacts is provided to students with disabilities in advance of induction week/registration. The need and benefit of core first year lecturers/tutors addressing this issue as part of the induction week lecture.

10 Recommendations for practice on basis findings Use of named personal tutor Regular evaluation and provision of staff development seminars re disability Liaison with school/FE regarding effective widening participation practices Induction week: connection with students, personal tutors and disability University services

11 Questions arising from research phase 1 Lack of respondent responses to request for involvement Timing of the invitation (linked to ethics protocol delay) Issue of disclosure Personal knowledge of the tutor (trust issue)

12 Questions arising from research phase 1 Issue of gaining ethics protocol approval in 2 institutions Ethical approval needed from both institutions Standard forms? Ethics committee practices and make up Timing of committee meetings

13 Phase 2 –Interview questions Prior to coming to University, did you have any knowledge of policy/legislation relating to Disability? What do you understand by the term stakeholder? Do you perceive yourself as a ‘stakeholder’ in the area of University policy and provision for students with disabilities? Do you perceive yourself as an agent for change?

14 Phase 2- Interview Questions In what capacity/ies are you involved in University initiatives to raise the profile of disability awareness? How do you think the University might do better to access your voice/views on its provision for students with disabilities? What is your view on University wide training for students and staff on Disability awareness?

15 Final thought from Ellie: ‘I think generally everywhere that I have been, people know about cerebral palsy. If I was tired they would help, everyone knew and the teachers never went; ‘Oh I had to help as she’s got cerebral palsy’. No one was ever funny or rude about it, ‘That’s Ellie and that’s Ellie, yeah,yeah’ rather then ‘Ellie has CP’ or ‘There is the girl who has CP called Ellie’ you know.’

16 References: Avramedis, E. And Skidmore, D. (2004), Reappraising Learning Support in Higher Education, Research in Post-compulsory Education, 9,1,63-82 Butler-Kisber, L. (2007), Collage in qualitative inquiry, in, G. Knowles and A. Cole, (Eds.), Handbook of the Arts in Qualitative Inquiry. Perspectives, methodologies, examples and issues, (p.230-242), Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Centre for Disability Studies at the University of Leeds, (2009), Evaluation of Provision and Support for Disabled Students in Higher Education, HEFCE and HEFCW Chappell, A. 2000, ‘Emergence of participatory methodology in learning difficulty research: understanding the context’ British Journal of Learning Disabilities, 28, pp38-43 Davies, Mark,(2004), 'The Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001--The implications for higher education', Education and the Law, 15:1, 19 – 45 DfES, (2001), Special Educational Needs and Disability Act, HMO, London

17 References: Fuller, M. Bradley, A. and Healey, M. (2004), ‘Incorporating disabled students within an inclusive higher education environment’, Disability and Society, 19, 5, pp.455-468 Gibson, S. (2006), ‘Beyond a ‘culture of silence’: inclusive education and the liberation of ‘voice’’, Disability and Society, Vol. 21, No. 4 Gibson, S. and Blandford, S (2005), Inclusion: Managing Special Educational Needs in Primary and Secondary schools, London, Sage. Goode, J. (2007), Managing Disability: early experiences of university students with disabilities, Disability and Society, 22,1, 35-48 Goodley, D. (2004), Researching life stories: method, theory, and analyses in a biographical age, London, Routledge

18 References: Holloway, S. (2001), The Experience of Higher Education from the Perspective of Disabled Students, Disability and Society, 16, 4, pp597- 615 Kendall, L., 'Now he has a label, we can cope!' in R, Sage. (2009) Meeting the Needs of Students with Diverse Backgrounds, London, Continuum Kitchen, R. (2000), The Researched Opinions of Research: disabled people and disability research, Disability and Society, 15, 1, pp25-47 Madriaga, M. (2007), Enduring Disabilism: students with dyslexia and their pathways into UP higher education and beyond, Disability ND Society, 22, 4, 399-41 May, H and Bridger, K. (2009), Developing and embedding inclusive policy and practice in higher education, Higher Education Academy. elopingEmbeddingInclusive_SummaryandReport elopingEmbeddingInclusive_SummaryandReport

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