You are Browsing the Category Education

Individuals With Disabilities Still Carry Burden of Accessibility at Universities, Panelists Say

MAY 24, 2023

When Alicia-Ann Pauld was earning her bachelor’s degree in sociology and sexuality studies in Montreal a few years ago, one of her classes was changed to a location that was inaccessible for her.

Pauld, who has a physical disability, notified the university’s access centre.

“They told me to talk to my professor.- My professor told me to reach out to the access centre. So it was just this – back and forth that seemed to never end. My professor was not reading the emails in their entirety, which meant I had to resend.-

“The burden of accessibility shouldn’t be on the student.”

Ableism in the Academy

Disabled scholars say they often rely on ad hoc agreements to get the accommodations they need to do their jobs. The lack of formal recognition has left many feeling unprotected and unwelcome in the academic workplace. BY JOHN LOEPPKY
APR 26 2023

VĂ©ro Leduc didn’t intend to become the first Deaf full-time professor at a Quebec university. “I didn’t really want to become a university teacher. It was not necessarily my dream career,” she says. “I feel, you know, like someone who [got] pregnant and didn’t think about it beforehand.”

Supreme Court Unanimously Rules for Deaf Student in Education Case

Politics Mar 21, 2023

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Tuesday for a deaf student who sued his public school system for providing an inadequate education. The case is significant for other disabled students who allege they were failed by school officials.

The case the justices ruled in involves Miguel Luna Perez, who attended public school in Sturgis, Michigan. Perez’s lawyers told the court that for 12 years the school system neglected the boy and lied to his parents about the progress he was making, permanently stunting his ability to communicate.

Canadian Universities Need To Be More Inclusive for Para Athletes, Says Paralympic Athletes’ Council Chair

Erica Gavel says U.S., U.K. schools do better job for Para athletes Mark Keast ,for CBC Sports
Posted: Mar 15, 2023

There’s a yawning chasm between committing to inclusion and acting on it.

That’s the assertion of Erica Gavel, a Paralympic athlete and the new chair of the Canadian Paralympic Athletes’ Council. In particular, she’s concerned that true inclusion for Para athletes isn’t happening at the university level in Canada.

“I feel as Canadians we really pride ourselves on being inclusive,” said Gavel, who competed first as an able-bodied basketball player at the University of Saskatchewan, and after seriously damaging her knee, as a Paralympian. “But in order for a Para athlete to actually participate in a university Para sport athletic program they either need to go to the United States or they need to move overseas to the U.K.”

Disabilities and Edtech: How the Pandemic Sparked a Revolution

Students provided digital textbooks can use Kurzweil 3000, a disability solutions software, to download files and convert them to .mp3 audio files. Google and Microsoft provide similar services. By Alcino Donadel
March 2, 2023

When students and faculty were forced to migrate online during the pandemic, that included disabled students with learning impairments. Since then, students and faculty-and therefore, curricula-have changed the way they look at learning in higher education.

“I think the pandemic accelerated the trend that was there, and the trend that’s there is more and more training going online,” said Tim Springer from Level Access, an accessibility compliance service. “Even on-campus student experiences now are a mix of virtual learning and in-classroom experience.”

Unified Sports, Unified Schools: Program Builds Bonds that Break Down Barriers

Shawne Wickham, The New Hampshire Union Leader, Manchester
Sat, February 4, 2023

The atmosphere is buzzing inside the Milford High School gym, where a basketball game is underway, the score seesawing as the clock ticks down.

Milford is up by two with seconds to go. Then a player on the visiting Souhegan team scores, and the place erupts in cheers.

This is unified basketball, a co-educational sport in which students with and without intellectual disabilities play together.

Players, coaches and parents say it has changed their schools, and their lives.

“In its purest form, it’s the best of sport,” says Jeffrey Collins, executive director of the New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association.

Universities ‘Illegally Hitting Disabled Students with Extra Housing Costs’

Exclusive: Students told openDemocracy of receiving unfair charges for adapted rooms or for carers’ accommodation Francesca Hughes
Originally posted 9 November 2022

Students with disabilities say they are being illegally charged extra for necessary adaptations to their accommodation or allocated unsuitable rooms miles from campuses, openDemocracy can reveal.

Students told of the “stress and exhaustion” they have suffered as a result of universities’ failures to provide accommodation that is suitable for their needs at no extra cost.

openDemocracy spoke to a deaf student who says she was asked to pay for a specialist fire alarm, a wheelchair user who claims they were offered unsuitable accommodation more than two miles from campus, and a student who was initially charged extra for a room for an essential personal assistant.

How to Make Post-Secondary Study More Accessible: Collaboration Between Instructors and Disability Counsellors

Published: January 9, 2023
Author: Philip Burge
Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Queen’s University, Ontario

Forty years after the enactment of Canada’s first children’s special education laws, universities and colleges have made significant strides in accessible education for adult students with disabilities.

But positive change is not coming fast enough. And accessibility issues are not about some small minority of students. Twenty-two per cent of Canadians aged 15 years or older have at least one disability. This percentage is roughly echoed in higher education.

Many important practical approaches that galvanize post-secondary institutions’ pro-inclusion policies are carried out by disability counsellors (sometimes referred to as accessibility consultants) attached to student wellness units.

Mom Faces Felony For Recording Daughter’s Self-Contained Classroom

by Jacqueline Derobertis, The Advocate/TNS | December 12, 2022

BATON ROUGE, La. – Before she was arrested for sending a secret recording device into a Livingston Parish high school in an attempt to protect her daughter with special needs, Amanda Carter’s family tried to get cameras installed in their child’s classroom, her husband said.

It’s part of a larger conversation in Louisiana about how to use classroom cameras to help parents safeguard children who can’t speak for themselves, while still respecting the privacy rights of teachers and other students.

Experts on Accessibility, Ableism and Inclusion Across Canada Gather for Second National Dialogues and Action Reports and Proceedings


Cassandra Hartblay recalls a time in graduate school when a senior scholar in her field wasn’t able to give feedback on a research presentation she gave at an academic conference.

The scholar, it turned out, missed the session because a requested accommodation wasn’t available.

Not being able to receive feedback from a prominent scholar in her field was a stark reminder for Hartblay that failing to meet even basic standards of accessibility can interrupt teaching and learning on many levels.

“It was true for me as a disabilities studies researcher, but it may be true for someone working in a science lab that also isn’t accessible,” said Hartblay, an assistant professor and director of the Centre for Global Disability Studies at U of T Scarborough.