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Faculty Attitudes and Practices Regarding Students with Disabilities: Two Decades After Implementati... - page 53 / 67





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given item. Therefore, percentages reported are based on a smaller number of responses. Correlations among selected variables were also calculated.


Types of Disability-Related Limitations and Accommodations

The participants described how disability related limitations had affected their performance in college and how accommodations had helped them cope with those problems. Reflecting the diversity of people and disabilities contained in the sample, a number of different barriers and accommodative solutions were noted. Nevertheless, several trends occurred in the symptom and accommodation data. When they were asked to describe performance related areas affected by their disabilities, at least 10% (n > 4) or more of the sample identified the following issues: mobility/walking (35%, n = 14), reading problems (25%, nn =10), taking longer to do work (17%, n = 7), writing (15%, n = 6), fatigue (12%, n = 5), and vision (10%, nn = 4). Consistent with the fact that about 45% (n =18) of the sample reported learning disabilities, frequently used accommodations (i.e., mentioned by four or more of the students) included computer software such as spellchecker (25%, n = 10), tape recorders (17%, n = 7), and taped texts (12%, n = 5). Of those participants specifying that they used accommodations (n = 21), 13 (62%) said they paid for them, 7 (33%) said that OCA paid for them, and one participant reported sharing accommodation costs with OCA. Overall, the participants rated their accommodations as very adequate for meeting classroom needs (M = 4.14, SD =1.19 on a 5-point scale).

In an open-ended question about accommodation use, the participants voluntarily described frequently used strategies. Twelve percent or more of the sample had experience with the following: extended time for tests (50%, n = 20), non-distracting testing environment (32%, n = 13), handicapped parking permit (22%, n = 9), note-taker (22%, n = 9), reader (17%, n = 7), recording of lectures (17%, n = 7), scribe (15%, n = 6), reading material on tape (15%, n = 6), and van service (12%, n = 5). Unfortunately, accommodations provided were not always sufficient; 15 of the participants (37%) reported that they needed other accommodations in college.

Services Received Regarding Technology Needs in College

In their postsecondary education experiences during the early to mid 90's, the vast majority of respondents (92%, n = 37) did not participate in an evaluation of their technology needs. Some of the participants were fortunate in that they found their academic advisors to be very knowledgeable about such issues; however, most did not. On a 5-point rating from not knowledgeable (1) to very knowledgeable (5), the average rating of faculty advisor's knowledge was 2.4 (SD = 1.66). In fact, the majority of the participants who responded to this item (53%, n = 17) believed that their faculty advisors had very little to no knowledge about technology and how it could be used by students with disabilities.

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