Enabling the full participation of university students with disabilities: seeking best practices for a barrier-free language centre
Tuomi, M., & Jauhojärvi-Koskelo, C. (2015). Enabling the full participation of university students with disabilities: seeking best practices for a barrier-free language centre. In J. Jalkanen, E. Jokinen, & P. Taalas (Eds.), Voices of pedagogical development : expanding, enhancing and exploring higher education language learning (pp. 159-170). Research-publishing.net. https://doi.org/10.14705/rpnet.2015.000291
© 2015 the Author & Research-publishing.net. This is an open access article published under the Attribution-NonCommercial -NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Under this licence, the contents are freely available online (as PDF files) for anybody to read, download, copy, and redistribute provided that the author(s), editorial team, and publisher are properly cited. Commercial use and derivative works are, however, not permitted.
Recent research has shown that 3.4% of university students in Finland have a diagnosed or observed illness or disability that affects their learning at the university level. The University of Jyväskylä Language Centre embarked on an organised, ongoing research and intervention project to enable appropriate teaching practices to suit the needs of all students. The process, thus far, has shown there is a need to clarify the rights and obligations of students and teachers to enable an atmosphere of mutual trust. A survey of the Language Centre teachers showed that all had taught students with disabilities during their university careers. Teachers wanted more information about disabilities, such as how to recognise disabilities if they have not been diagnosed or if students are not forthcoming with the information. Most importantly, they wanted to know the extent of their obligations as university teachers. Students also needed guidelines. They wanted to know if they could trust that their teachers would take them seriously or if disclosure of their disabilities would cause more difficulties. To date, university students and staff have been involved in the development of two websites, one for teachers and one for students, to clarify key areas for appropriate information and maximum suitability. ...
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