In 1998, the UNESCO World Declaration on Higher Education, based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (WHO, 1948), forged a new vision of higher education, which underscores the right of every person to an education and equal rights of access to higher studies for all. Fuerthemore, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN, 2006) stated that persons with disabilities must be ensured access to higher education, professional training, adult education and life-long learning.
In Spain, Organic Law 4/2007 on universities had already referred to the inclusion of persons with disabilities at universities. It also included the obligation for university environments to be accessible, and inclusion of the principles of universal accessibility and respect for all in plans of study.
The number of university students with disabilities is increasing (Debram & Salzberg, 2005). In this sense, universities should be inclusive and respond to the needs of the entire student body. Ferni and Henning (2006) explain that participation in educational environments is restricted by inaccessible curricula, negative attitudes of faculty and physical barriers. The social model of disability (Oliver, 1990) poses the need for restructuring these environments in such a way that the entire student body can participate and learn in them.
Many studies have been developed and highlighted that students with disabilities have to cope with continuing barriers, whether in the macro-institutional environment (inaccessible buildings and virtual environments, unending administrative bureaucracy, unapplied regulations, etc.) or in the micro-institutional classroom environment (negative attitudes and uniformed faculty members, strict, non-inclusive curricula, absence of adjustments, etc.) (Moriña, López, & Molina, 2014). In this sense, students with an invisible disability, many often prefer not to reveal their disability because they are perceived negatively by others (Riddell & Weedon, 2014). This is worrying because although in some cases, faculty members have helped the student and shown a positive attitude, many faculty has not been sufficiently sensitive or has shown a complete lack of training in how to attend these students in the classroom (Moswela & Mukhopahdyay, 2011). This is important, and some of the key factors to success of students with disabilities include knowing the professors, and professors’ attitudes or willingness to adapt curricula (Leyser, Greenberger, Sharoni, & Vogel, 2011). Hadjikakou and Hartas (2008), mention that most faculty members have neither training nor previous experience in the subject of disability. In this sense, it is necessary to train and inform faculty members in matters referring to disability.
The main objective of this paper is to identity, describe and explain barriers and aids related to faculty that students with disabilities experience in classroom.
Debram, C. C., & Salzberg, C. H. (2005). A validated curriculum to provide training to faculty regarding students with disabilities in Higher Education. Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability, 18 (1), 49-62. Frank, A. W. (2011). Practicing Dialogical Narrative Analysis. En J.A. Holstein & J. F. Gubrium (Eds.), Varieties of narrative analysis (pp. 33-52). Los Angeles: Sage Publications. Ferni, T., & Henning, M. (2006). From a disabling world to a new vision. En M. Adams and S. Brown (Eds.), Towards inclusive learning in higher education, pp.23-31. London: Routledge. Goodley, D. Lawthom, R. Clough, P., & Moore, M. (2004). Researching life stories. London: Routledge. Hadjikakou, K., & Hartas, D. (2008). Higher education provision for students with disabilities in Cyprus. Higher Education, 55, 103-119. doi: 10.1007/s10734-007-9070-8. Healey, M., Jenkins, A., Leach, J., & Roberts, C. (2001). Issues in Providing Learning Support for Disabled Students Undertaking Fieldwork and Related Activities. Leyser, Y., Greenberger, L., Sharoni, V., & Vogel, G. (2011). Students with disabilities in teacher education: Changes in faculty attitudes toward accommodations over ten years. International Journal of Special Education, 26 (1), 162-174. Miles, M.B., & Huberman, A.M. (1994). Qualitative data analysis. CA, USA: Sage Publications. Moriña, A., López, R., & Molina, V. (2014). Students with disabilities in higher education: a biographical-narrative approach to the role of lecturers. Higher Education Research & Development. 34 (1), 147-159. doi: 10.1080/07294360.2014.934329 Moswela, E., & Mukhopadhyay, S. (2011). Asking for too much? The voices of students with disabilities in Botswana. Disability & Society, 26, 307-319. doi:10.1080/09687599.2011.560414. Oliver, M. (1990). The politics of disablement. Basingstoke: Macmillan. Riddell, S., & Weedon, E. (2014). Disabled students in higher education: Discourses of disability and the negotiation of identity. International Journal of Educational Research, 63, 38-46. Riessman, C. K. (2008). Narrative methods for the human sciences. Los Ángeles: Sage Publications. Teachability (2002). Teachability project: Creating an accessible curriculum for students with disabilities. Glasgow: University of Strathclyde. United Nations (UN) (2006). Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Optional Protocol. Retrieved from http://www.un.org/disabilities/documents/convention/convoptprot-e.pdf World Health Organization (WHO) (2001). International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health. WHO: Geneva Switzerland. Recuperated from file:///C:/Users/anabel/Downloads/ICF_18.pdf
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Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
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