Tertiary students with a disability or chronic illness: stigma and study

Hammer, Sara and Werth, Shalene and Dunn, Peter (2009) Tertiary students with a disability or chronic illness: stigma and study. In: Enabling Pathways: 3rd National Conference of Enabling Educators, 25-27 Nov 2009, Toowoomba, Australia.

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This paper explores ways to support the learning of students with a disability or chronic illness based on preliminary findings of a University of Southern Queensland study, and supporting secondary literature. It argues that for such students the capacity for greater control and management of their ‘learning journey’ is as important as access to specialised disability support services. This is because reframing support of students with a disability or chronic illness in terms of ‘choice’ and ‘self-management’ allows them to maintain their identity as ‘able, effective students’. This approach is supported by secondary literature, which affirms that for students with an invisible disability or chronic illness there is often a reluctance to be so – labelled because of the associated stigma. Instead, students often manage their illness by making particular choices about their learning, including their mode of study, and which courses to enrol in. This tendency is echoed by preliminary findings from a University of Southern Queensland (USQ) study based on the learning experiences of students with a chronic illness. These and other findings point to the centrality of the student learning experience and have implications for learning and teaching design within both enabling, and broader university curricula. The paper finishes by examining specific curriculum design responses to the issue of student disability, including the development of learning communities and the potential for more inclusive assessment modes and practices.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Authors hold copyright.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Learning and Teaching Support Unit
Date Deposited: 21 Feb 2010 23:45
Last Modified: 02 Dec 2015 05:36
Uncontrolled Keywords: disability; tertiary students; chronic illness; stigma; learning; assessment; curriculum; higher education research
Fields of Research : 16 Studies in Human Society > 1608 Sociology > 160809 Sociology of Education
13 Education > 1301 Education Systems > 130103 Higher Education
13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130312 Special Education and Disability
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9301 Learner and Learning > 930101 Learner and Learning Achievement
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/6278

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