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The EDUCAUSE 2020 Student Technology Research Reveals Students’ Experience with IT Across 71 US Institutions

October 21, 2020

Key Findings

  • Mental health disorders and learning disabilities are the most common types of disabilities students report, with more female students than male students reporting having a mental health disorder.
  • Nearly half of students with disabilities do not register with their institution's disability services office for support.
  • One in three students with disabilities do not have positive responses to how their institution supports their need for accessible content and/or technology accommodations.

Actions You Can Take

  • Utilize the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework when designing learning experiences and services to optimize learning for all people. Many students with disabilities choose not to register for disability services, and students age 18 and older have the right not to disclose even if they are eligible for support. If technology and IT policies are thoughtfully and inclusively incorporated into a course guided by UDL, then ideally learner variability, choice, and agency increase, while the need for individual accommodations is greatly reduced.
  • Invest in professional development to better prepare faculty to implement accessible instruction, cultivate inclusive learning environments, understand the functional impact of specific disabilities on academic performance, and support accommodations requests. Michigan State's Broad College Faculty Accessibility Fellows program is one such initiative that supports faculty in designing learning environments that are as accessible as possible to all students.
  • Expand access to mental health services for all students, and consider new strategies and tools that leverage technology-based interventions to provide new service access points for students. Online mental health outreach/referral services can offer support with less stigma and intimidation for students by way of mental health apps, websites, and videos, and wearable devices can allow learners to privately monitor their own behavior and stress levels.

Read the complete 'Accessibility and Accommodations' section in the EDUCAUSE 2020 Student Technology Report: Supporting the Whole Student.

Source: Edu Cause