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ERIC Number: EJ931817
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 10
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 10
ISSN: ISSN-0271-0560
Disability-Friendly University Environments: Conducting a Climate Assessment
Stodden, Robert A.; Brown, Steven E.; Roberts, Kelly
New Directions for Higher Education, n154 p83-92 Sum 2011
What constitutes a supportive environment for all students with disabilities in postsecondary settings? After more than ten years of collecting data focused on the provision of educational supports to students with disabilities in postsecondary education, the authors have discovered numerous intervening variables that contribute to a supportive environment. In many postsecondary situations, accommodating college environments are linked to a generalized climate of support for all students, especially those learners most in need of accommodation and assistance. This line of inquiry led researchers at the Center on Disability Studies (CDS) at the University of Hawaii at Manoa to utilize and study institutional climate assessment (CA) processes to assess the contexts related to supportive higher education settings for students and faculty with disabilities. Climate assessment is defined as "the systematic measuring of effectiveness in an institution or program area so that an action plan for program improvement can be created and set in motion as a means of inducing change." In university settings there are many benefits to using a CA. One of the most valuable is use by faculty involved in program development. Other benefits of CAs may be related to accommodations. This could include: (1) informing faculty about the existence and different types of accommodations; (2) differentiating between how students and staff perceive accommodations and their use; (3) thinking creatively about providing accommodations; and (4) determining where and how to implement accommodations. In addition, CAs can help assess differences including diverse learning needs, styles, and cultures. The dynamic process of CAs and possibly resulting change in program delivery can assist faculty in understanding their own biases and preconceptions and has the potential to ameliorate the teaching and learning experience--for everyone involved. (Contains 2 exhibits.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A