X hits on this document

Word document

Faculty Attitudes and Practices Regarding Students with Disabilities: Two Decades After Implementati... - page 12 / 67





12 / 67

and to implement various ongoing faculty development activities on mainstreaming. It was not surprising, however, that with the reported increases in the percent of students with learning disabilities in higher education (Henderson, 1995), more faculty in 1996 indicated having teaching experiences with this group of students. Fewer, however, mentioned experience with students with visual, hearing, and orthopedic impairments and psychiatric disabilities. Data revealed that more faculty in the present study reported having training in special education as compared to about three-fourths in 1985. Many faculty in both studies noted that they did not have knowledge about programs and services for students with disabilities on campus and that they had never used these services. Finally, faculty in 1996 were less familiar than their counterparts in 1985, with earlier disability legislation namely, Section 504 passed in 1973. However, a majority of faculty in 1996 were familiar with recent legislation, i.e., ADA of 1990. It seems that the Deans' grant activities in the 1980s had some impact on faculty, yet with more recent legislation, the mainstreaming and inclusion movements, and the push for supporting the rights of individuals with disabilities in the 1990s, faculty have become more aware and knowledgeable.


Results from this survey have a number of implications for practice and for future research. Considering the fact that many faculty reported limited training in disabilities, limited knowledge, and skills for making accommodations, and unfamiliarity with disability laws and university resources, there is a major need for training and development activities for faculty. Almost all faculty, however, were supportive of the integration of students with disabilities and, despite their limited knowledge have implemented various accommodations in their classrooms for these students. Busy schedules, time constraints, and the perceptions by faculty that they have made accommodations may have resulted in the finding that only about one-third expressed a desire to participate in training or work-shops on topics such as testing, instructional accommodations, and services and programs. Faculty comments, however, provided input suggesting that they are interested in receiving information through print materials, i.e., newsletters, pamphlets, handbooks, one page outlines, or booklets (possibly through campus e-mail and the internet). Indeed, these communication channels, in addition to a university newspaper, should be used by personnel in the office for students with disabilities on campus to disseminate ongoing and updated information about disabilities, legislation, programs, technology, and instructional adaptations. Recognizing the different needs or training and inservice by faculty, short ongoing workshops on these topics and on others as requested by faculty, could be offered at the department level and across experiences and strategies. The special education faculty in conjunction with support service providers could offer technical assistance to faculty who desire such help and also take an active role in training activities and in the dissemination of information.


Several shortcomings of this survey need to be noted. First, the findings and recommendations could have limited generalizability to other universities because they were based on data collected from only one university. Still, it should be stressed that the

Document info
Document views98
Page views98
Page last viewedTue Oct 25 16:41:59 UTC 2016