The challenges experienced by students with a physical disability (SWPD) at a higher education institution in South Africa

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The research is a qualitative investigation into the challenges experienced by Students with Physical Disabilities (SWPDs) at the University of Limpopo. The study uses Thematic Content Analysis as both a framework and a mode of data analysis in the study. Interviews using a semistructured questionnaire were used to investigate the phenomena. Themes found in the data of the study indicated that disabled students generally find that there is inadequate physical infrastructure which compromises their physical access within the institution. The participants also had to deal with discrimination from peers and staff. Furthermore, participants reported that being provided with proper amenities, such as laptops and wheelchairs, would help them find the environment less challenging. Educating able-bodied staff and students was also seen as necessary in order to combat discrimination. The poor infrastructure at the university provides many challenges and barriers to the disabled being able to move freely which, at times, leads them to staying in their rooms thus increasing their isolation

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... These obstacles represented employees' lack of experience in dealing with students with visual impairments, lack of supportive educational aids and technologies, challenges related to educational practices, and academic challenges related to students with visual impairments [19]. Nel et al. (2015) investigated students' difficulties with physical disabilities at the University of Limpopo, South Africa. The study used the content analysis method, interviews, and open questionnaires. ...
... The study results showed that students with physical disabilities indicated the inadequacy of the university's infrastructure and facilities as a primary barrier to learning. In addition, the students reported negative attitudes from their colleagues and faculty members and a lack of accessibility [20]. ...
... Physical environment, modifications, and lack of support were the major educational obstacle faced by students with disabilities, especially concerning exams, access to information, curriculum, and accessibility. This finding is also consistent with Nel et al.'s (2015) study [20], which showed that students with physical disabilities indicated the lack and inadequacy of the University's infrastructure and facilities and students' inability to access educational resources because of these challenges. These findings reflect that the inclusive education practices used with students with disabilities in Jordanian universities are still below expectations compared to methods used in foreign universities. ...
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This study aimed to identify potential challenges of implementing inclusive education practices at X University, Jordan, as perceived by students with disabilities. The study used a qualitative case study methodology by interviewing ten students with sensory and physical disabilities. Semi-structured interviews and descriptive coding strategies were used to collect and analyze the data. The findings identified five themes that represented the main challenges with inclusive educational practices faced by the students with disabilities at the university: physical environment, modifications, personal attitudes, assistive technologies, support, and administrative procedures. This study suggests a set of recommendations that could provide the best inclusive education practices in Jordanian universities.
... Challenges faced by students with disabilities are further compounded by the fact that they often isolate themselves from others because of rejection, fear of rejection and misunderstanding of their conditions and abilities. Their experiences of simultaneous hypervisibility and invisibility leave them feeling misunderstood by their non-disabled peers and lecturers (Nel et al., 2015). According to Maotoana (2014), students living with disabilities are often discriminated against in their personal and social lives, experiences which tend to be mirrored in their academic involvements. ...
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Society’s inadequate response to disability impacts people’s physical health, social relationships and lives in general which can be perceived in the realms of family, friends, neighbours, psychological state and level of independence. The consequences of a disability can have an impact on multiple levels, the personal, interpersonal, family and social (Catherin & Shanbhang, 2015). These impacts are mirrored – and in some ways exaggerated – in the lives of students living with disabilities. Students living with physical disabilities at universities of technology may experience challenges that negatively affect their studies. The purpose of the study reported in this article was to explore the experiences of students who are living with physical disabilities at a selected university of technology in KwaZulu-Natal. The study adopted a qualitative design. Semi-structured interviews with open-ended questions were employed to collect data from the 10 participants. And participation of students living with physical disabilities was secured through the snowball sampling technique. The findings of the research revealed a variety of challenges that students with physical disabilities encounter at the selected university of technology.
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Academic Ableism brings together disability studies and institutional critique to recognize the ways that disability is composed in and by higher education, and rewrites the spaces, times, and economies of disability in higher education to place disability front and center. For too long, argues Jay Timothy Dolmage, disability has been constructed as the antithesis of higher education, often positioned as a distraction, a drain, a problem to be solved. The ethic of higher education encourages students and teachers alike to accentuate ability, valorize perfection, and stigmatize anything that hints at intellectual, mental, or physical weakness, even as we gesture toward the value of diversity and innovation. Examining everything from campus accommodation processes, to architecture, to popular films about college life, Dolmage argues that disability is central to higher education, and that building more inclusive schools allows better education for all.
Background: Legislation and policy changes have enhanced enrolment of students with disabilities in higher education. These changes include establishing a duty to make 'reasonable' accommodations to educational institutions for the provision of accessible facilities and services in order to minimize barriers to equal participation in education. Objectives: To identify universal and personal accommodations that students with disabilities use; to assess students' appraisal of the accommodations' efficacy; to establish validity and reliability of the Physical, Human and Academic Accommodation Services (PHAAS), that evaluates the use of accommodations and their efficacy. Method: Study participants were 170 students with various disabilities from higher-educational institutions. Research tools included the PHAAS scale, and the College Student Experiences Questionnaire (CSEQ). Results: Revealed significant correlations between the use of accommodations and: Grades Point Average, participation in student experiences, satisfaction with participation, and appraisal of the institution as a facilitating environment. Conclusions: Evaluating efficacy of accommodations is crucial to improve participation of students with disabilities in higher education. The study uncovered gaps in the application of accessibility and universal design principles, and lacunas in services provided. Thus, the evidence presented can aid managers and policy makers in high education and in workplaces to create an inclusive accessible environment.
Globally, almost 180 million young people between the ages of 10-24 live with a physical, sensory, intellectual or mental health disability significant enough to make a difference in their daily lives. The vast majority of these young people, some 150 million (80%) live in the Developing world. Routinely excluded from most educational, economic, social and cultural opportunities, they are among the poorest and most marginalized of all the world's young people. Recent World Bank estimates suggest that individuals with disability may account for as many as one in five of the world's poorest. Because of this, disability is now increasingly recognized as a key development issue and its importance in relation to poverty, human rights and the achievement of internationally agreed upon development goals is receiving mounting recognition. This paper reviews issues that must be considered in assessing the needs of disabled young people and urges the inclusion of this all too frequently overlooked group in all international development policies and programming.
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