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Faculty Attitudes and Practices Regarding Students with Disabilities: Two Decades After Implementati... - page 50 / 67





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research that addresses how students with disabilities cope with these career development needs at the postsecondary lever (Friehe, Aune, & Leuenberger, 1996).

Evidence supports the value of increasing students' knowledge of assistive technology and of their rights to request and use such technology in educational and employment settings. Programs such as Career Connections at the University of Minnesota (Aune, Mueller, Johnson, Gaipa, Kiu, & Lorsung, 1995) and Project Career at the University of Arkansas (Rumrill, Roessler, Boen, & Brown, 1995) have informed students of their rights to accommodations in both educational and employment settings, assisted students in analyzing their technology needs and in developing reasonable accommodation plans that apply in both settings, and supervised students in accommodated work experience opportunities in the community . Outcome statistics reported by the Career Connections project reported an 88% employment rate 6 to 12 months after graduation (Aune et al., 1995), an employment rate that compares very favorably with the general employment rate of 66% for college graduates with disabilities (Gingerich, 1996).

Assisting students with disabilities with their technology-related needs in college is an important step toward enhancing their success both in school and work. Differences of opinion, however, exist regarding the preferred means of providing such assistance. The debate centers on whether such programs should be provided by specialized support centers, such as those endorsed under Section 504, or by "generic or generally available service" (Enright, Conyers, & Szymanski, 1996). Concern exists that generic service providers may not (a) have the expertise to provide specialized training on assistive technology, (b) be able to facilitate classroom accommodation request procedures, and (c) be knowledgeable about disclosure and accommodation provisions of Title I of the ADA. On the other hand, Jones (1996) and Enright et al. (1996) stress the importance of inclusive service delivery in which faculty, academic advisors, career service counselors, and student affairs personnel provide high quality assistance for students with disabilities.

Regardless of the method of service provision, the first step that researchers must take involves gathering information about the comprehensiveness of technology training services currently available to college students with disabilities. Hence, the purpose of this study was to identify the types and quality of technology services received by a group of 40 recent graduates with disabilities from a large state university. Students were also asked to comment on (a) the improvements needed in technology services while in school, (b) their self-perceived knowledge of protections contained in the ADA, and (c) their confidence in their ability to identify and implement accommodations in the workplace.

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