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Thursday, June 23 • 15:00 - 16:00
CON08.09b - University contexts: Are we Meeting the Needs of Students with Learning Disabilities?

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This study investigates how the needs of students with learning disabilities (LD) are currently being met at the post-secondary level in Canada by identifying potential barriers of access to support and accommodation. This study aims to understand the learning needs of students with LD in higher education settings, highlighting both students’ and faculty members’ perspectives of faculty preparedness to meet the needs of students with LD in today’s university contexts. Current research demonstrates that the learning process within postsecondary settings can present a number of challenges for students with LD, especially as this relates to obtaining appropriate support and accommodations for their learning needs (Freeman, Harrison, & Holtermann, 2012). The provision and implementation of support services in higher education appears to depend on factors such as: the individual’s ability to self-disclose their disability and self-advocate for their needs, disability documentation, faculty knowledge of legal requirements to provide accommodation, faculty and staff beliefs, attitudes and perceptions towards individuals with specific learning needs, and faculty knowledge of accommodation procedures (Harrison & Holmes, 2012; Murray, Wren, & Keys, 2008; Zhang et al., 2010). Essentially, this study aims to understand the effectiveness of various instructional practices and policies that are currently in place to support students’ overall inclusion into the higher education environment from the perspectives of those who experience these firsthand. Learning outcomes for this session include a deeper understanding of the challenges that students with LD face in postsecondary settings, an understanding of current teaching practices that are used to meet the needs of these students, and disparities between the two. Best practices in teaching and learning will be examined in relation to how instrucational practices at this level can be improved.


Jacqueline Specht

Dr. Jacqueline Specht is the director of the Canadian Research Centre on Inclusive Education, and a professor in the Faculty of Education at Western University. Her research interests encompass pedagogical issues with the participation of children in the school system. Currently... Read More →

Sarah Copfer Terreberry

Sarah Copfer Terreberry is a PhD Candidate in the Faculty of Education at Western University and a sessional instructor in the Department of Teacher Education at Brock University. Her research interests lie in the field of educational psychology and special education, with her current... Read More →

Thursday June 23, 2016 15:00 - 16:00 EDT
UCC 63