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Faculty Attitudes and Practices Regarding Students with Disabilities: Two Decades After Implementati... - page 54 / 67





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The participants were somewhat more positive about what they had learned about technology in college, providing midrange ratings (M = 2.9, SD = 1.3) of how much they had learned. Sixteen of the students (40%) believed that they had learned nothing or very little while 16 (40%) believed that they had learned a great deal or everything they needed to know. Respondents received information about technology throughout their time at the university, and they were satisfied with the quality of the information they received (M = 3.6, SD = 1.14). Gaining information on technology by their own efforts (13%, n = 4), they also used other sources such as OCA (29%, n = 9); students/friends (23%, n = 7); professors (23%, n = 7); and computer course, parents, campus police, and orientation staff (3%, n = 1) respectively.

Participants described the general technology skills training that they received in their postsecondary education. The majority of the participants (60%, n = 24) completed introductory training in use of the personal computer, and a significant number (45%, n = 18) learned how to use a word processor program. Other computer-based technology addressed included using info-links (the on-line computer catalog and search engine, 37%, n = 15), spreadsheet programs (35%, n = 14), e-mail (27%, n = 11), presentation software (20%, n = 8), and the internet (15%, n = 6). The vast majority of participants (92%, n = 37) reported that they were introduced to technology that did not meet their needs, although 35% (n =14) of the group believed that they did not take advantage of the training experiences available to them. The most frequent reasons for not taking advantage of technology training were lack of knowledge about such services (17%, n = 7) and limited access to services (15%, n = 6), with 1 to 3 of the respondents noting other reasons such as intimidation, embarrassment, bureaucracy, finances, lack of assistance, and lack of time. In reflecting on their college careers, from 5 to 9 of the respondents had the following advice for current students with disabilities: learn computer skills (22%, n = 9), use OCA (22%, n = 9), make the effort to learn about technology (22%, n = 9), and be persistent (12%, n = 5).

Services Received Regarding Technology Needs in Employment

While they were students, the respondents reported that they rarely discussed how to apply technology at work with advisors, instructors, or OCA staff. Eighty-seven percent of the sample (n = 34) indicated that they did not receive any training about how to use assistive technology or accommodations in the workplace. Only a few respondents learned how to use (a) computer software applicable to business settings, (b) the overhead instead of the blackboard, and (c) technology from OCA staff or a rehabilitation counselor. Several participants volunteered ideas about how the university could improve technology transfer services (e.g., teach students about the different types of assistive technology used by employees with disabilities and about appropriate ways to communicate one's technology needs to the employer).

Just as technology transfer was rarely discussed during college, respondents did not participate in activities to help them plan their approach to securing employment upon graduation. Seventy-five percent of the participants (n = 30) did not receive formal job seeking assistance, and none of the participants developed reasonable accommodation strategies as part of their placement planning. Respondents who had employment plans

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