Worldwide, for most students with specific learning disability (LD), ADHD, Asperger’s syndrome (ASD) or mental health conditions considering higher education, ongoing or unrecognized educational difficulties have adversely affected how many view themselves and their opportunities for the future. Difficulties in making major decisions about one’s future are a normal part of life, and are not solely applicable to college capable, non-traditional students with learning, attention, or social difficulties. Even with increasing awareness and legislation designed to facilitate inclusion, many find it difficult to identify what institutions and institutional resources are best suited to help advance themselves or how to make a solid, informed choice about such a complex decision.
The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the European Disability Strategy mirror in many aspects, the Americans with Disabilities Amendment Act (ADAA) as collectively, they are all united through statutory requirements focused on equality of educational and training opportunities for young disabled people in European countries (1 in 6 or 80 million) and the nearly 1 billion school/working age adults worldwide and on measuring/evaluating these outcomes for evidence of county progress towards full education inclusion.
Education and training is a very broad area, which can include: school education, further and higher education, vocational skills training, and lifelong learning opportunities. For each piece of disability rights legislation or treaty, there are priorities linking inclusion within the public school system and transitions for young disabled people to next level education, training and employment outcomes.
One 2004 UK publication sees that historically, a major limiting factor (besides trained staff) for international higher education inclusion has been an unfounded attitudinal belief that these non-traditional students are academically unfit. The authors contend that many UK faculty and staff now generally accept that their ideas and learning abilities are as strong as any other student. Reported ongoing barriers such as accessing the curriculum would require a culture change within higher education, particularly older universities, with a shift towards more accessible teaching practices and the wider availability of learning support for all students.
What kinds of accessibility are we talking about?
Relatively simple adjustments, such as routinely providing course notes and handouts on-line, for example, would effectively remove some students