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Student Suggestions for Improving Learning at University for Those with Learning Challenges/Disability

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Strategies for Supporting Inclusion and Diversity in the Academy

Abstract

Students with disability (SWD) have increased proportionally in higher education internationally over the past decade. The legal requirement to accommodate disability through ‘reasonable adjustment’ has driven an approach in most higher education systems focused on amelioration of individual deficit due to impairment and provides institutions with a way to deny accommodation if it proves ‘unreasonable’. Recent research has shown a significant proportion of SWD do not disclose, nor receive accommodations, to support their learning. All students enroll in higher education to learn and achieve success through learning. Supporting learning for all students requires an understanding of the inter-relationships that shape student learning experiences. This requires an ecological approach that addresses barriers to learning within institutions that may create disability for those students with impairments. This chapter presents the perspective of students on what would improve learning for them in their university. Their suggestions illustrate the impacts that result from lack of inclusive practice and accommodation of their impairment. Improving their learning, students suggest, requires increased flexibility in delivery, variety in how learning is designed and delivered, increased interaction with both teachers and peers, and improving their sense of ‘belonging. Higher education institutions need to change, and students have detailed suggestions on what needs to happen.

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The study institution supported this work through an equity grant and permission has been given by the university executive to publish these results.

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Correspondence to Susan Grimes .

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Grimes, S. (2020). Student Suggestions for Improving Learning at University for Those with Learning Challenges/Disability. In: Crimmins, G. (eds) Strategies for Supporting Inclusion and Diversity in the Academy. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-43593-6_17

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-43593-6_17

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