Access to institutions of higher education is as important for disabled people as it is for non-disabled students, since it can offer them the same opportunities for employment, social inclusion and poverty alleviation. Furthermore, inclusive practices in schools also encourage the need for greater access in higher education.
Increasing numbers of students with disabilities are now attending universities and there is growing interest in knowing more about how they can be given full access to a high quality academic provision and social life.
This book offers a detailed account of practices in Canada (Ontario), France and the United Kingdom, and provides additional information on the situation in Germany and Switzerland. The statistics do not allow for a detailed comparison across these countries. It is clear, however, that they reveal very different numbers with very different disabling conditions.
This report also shows that although a great deal of progress has been made, there is still a long way to go before universities will be able to respond fully to the needs of disabled students. Achieving this goal will require the development of more open attitudes towards students with disabilities, close review of the funding mechanisms, improvements in data collection allied to better identification and assessment procedures, and improved links with secondary schools and other groups in the community. Finally, while distance learning offers a possible way forward, it still lacks the flexibility needed to provide full access.