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Faculty Attitudes and Practices Regarding Students with Disabilities: Two Decades After Implementati... - page 58 / 67





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helped them be more productive in work. They had not received formal assistance in the job seeking process in terms of structuring their job search, incorporating reasonable accommodations in the placement planning process, or following through on the outcomes of their j ob seeking plans. The literature contains examples of university-based programs that provide these enhanced technology transfer and career planning services. For example, the Career Connections Project and Project Career developed programs and materials for involving students with disabilities in technology training, mentoring by successful employees in the student's field of interest, career counseling and case management, accommodated and supervised work experience in the community, support groups, and systematic technology and placement planning seminars (Aune et al., 1995; Rumrill et al., 1995).

6. Determine whether students have the behavioral proficiency to match their self-confidence in their abilities to request and make on-the-job accommodations. Unlike the students in Thompson and Dooley Dickey's (1994) study, the college graduates in this sample reported surprisingly high levels of self-confidence regarding their abilities to request and secure on-the-job accommodations. While important, high levels of technology transfer and accommodation self-efficacy may be necessary but not sufficient. Several reasons exist for this assertion. In a recent report entitled "ADA Watch-Year One," the National Council on Disability (1993) stressed that the provision of reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities remained an area of unmet need. Hence, one might assume that many individuals do not actually have the skills to request and implement reasonable accommodations when they are needed. Furthermore the research literature documents the presence of deficiencies in self-advocacy skills among college students with disabilities when they role-play requesting classroom accommodations from instructors (Roessler, Rumrill, & Brown, 1997). Therefore, student personnel professionals should determine whether students could match their confidence with the performances needed to self-advocate for accommodations and provide self-advocacy training for students who demonstrate skill deficiencies.


Recommendations based on these data must be considered with respect to several shortcomings of the study. The small sample was drawn from only one institution of higher learning, and it consisted of people with different types of disabilities who had the need for different types of assistive technology. Because some individuals could not be reached, they were dropped from the sample; this may have biased the results to some degree. Moreover, the pool of participants was comprised solely of graduates with disabilities who maintained a current address and telephone number with the Alumni Office. Although acknowledging that the results are exploratory in nature, we believe that they are consistent with findings from other studies completed in similar settings (e.g., Carroll & Johnson Bown, 1996; Coomber, 1996; Friehe et al., 1996) which support the need for more comprehensive technology training for people with disabilities enrolled in postsecondary education. Further research is needed to determine whether programmatic changes such as those suggested improve technology skills for students with disabilities.

Recommendations for Future Research

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