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|Title:||Accommodating disability in higher education: a closer look at the evidence for a mainstream framework of learning support|
|Keywords:||Learning for All Questionnaire (LfAQ);Disability;Learning support issues;Students;Higher education (HE)|
|Publisher:||Taylor & Francis|
|Citation:||Research in Post-Compulsory Education, 2005, 10 (1), pp. 121 - 144|
|Abstract:||In a recently published research article in this journal, Avramidis & Skidmore (2004) argued that it is time we placed issues of disability provision more in the context of provision for the generic student. They presented a study based on the Learning for All Questionnaire (LfAQ), which investigated certain implied issues. Findings indicated a need for improved educational provision for all students. No differences were found between disabled and non-disabled students in perceived level of needs or support for university, tutoring and lecturing systems. This null finding was the same for the learning support needs of disabled versus non-disabled students, with both groups wanting identical changes to the way the university's central learning support service responds to learning needs. These findings were taken as calling for a move away from a ‘specialist’ framework of disability provision and towards a ‘mainstream’ framework instead, in which the needs of disabled students are accommodated within improvements made in learning for all. Further, the Disabled Students' Allowance should be given over to departments in order to help fund this change in ‘institutional habitus’. In this article, four serious failings of the study and analyses are outlined. When these are addressed in a disability-theoretic reanalysis of the LfAQ data, every main finding is reversed. It is concluded that educational provisions are generally adequate. Students would welcome changes but these are more to do with increasing levels of convenience rather than learning support issues. Furthermore, the LfAQ data actually refute rather than support a mainstream framework of disability provision.|
|Appears in Collections:||Dept of Life Sciences Research Papers|
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