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The Changing Nature of Educational Support for Students with Disabilities

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Educational Developments, Practices and Effectiveness

Abstract

Adaptation to a higher education environment is an experience with which students with disabilities may require assistance. The transition from university to the workforce may also be difficult for these students (Gillies, 2012). Traditionally, the supports available for students with disabilities have consisted mainly of physical adaptations. Students with obvious disabilities, such as paraplegia or visual impairment, were among those who were first granted assistance and whose disabilities were first understood in the university environment. The learning environment within universities today has evolved to accommodate a varying range of visible and invisible disabilities (Werth, 2012). The responsibility for facilitating such an inclusive setting falls to student services departments, whose staff members negotiate accommodations and implement legal obligations within the university. The range of disabilities with which students arrive now requires a variety of responses that include changes to assessment, assistance with notetaking in lectures and the necessary advocacy to achieve these developments. While vital, these more common forms of support leave a gap in relation to the transition of students from a support framework to one of self-support, especially within a work environment.

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© 2015 Shalene Werth and Shaunaugh Brady

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Werth, S., Brady, S. (2015). The Changing Nature of Educational Support for Students with Disabilities. In: Lock, J., Redmond, P., Danaher, P.A. (eds) Educational Developments, Practices and Effectiveness. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137469939_4

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