Disabled college students ‘ignored’

Ireland“Students with disabilities are an afterthought in many Irish universities, a symposium of education experts was told today. The symposium, organised by the Association for Higher Education Access and Disability (AHEAD), was meeting to draft a Charter for Inclusive Teaching and Learning for third-level students. Ahead director Ann Heelan said universities needed to take the needs of students with disabilities into account when designing their courses. ‘At the moment it’s like building a house with a granny flat at the side. Students with disabilities are placed in the granny flat rather than in the main house instead of putting structures down within the main house so that every room is accessible’ …” (more)

[Aoife Carr, Irish Times, 28 April]

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One Response to “Disabled college students ‘ignored’”

  1. ZOLTAN Says:

    IS ANYBODY REALLY SUPRISED BY THIS ARTICLE? IT HAS BEEN 20 YEARS SINCE I WAS AT COLLEGE AND ABSOLUTELY NOTHING HAS CHANGED IN IRELAND WITH REGARD TO HOW IRISH SOCIETY VIEWS MEN AND WOMEN WITH PHYSICAL DISABILITIES. INVALIDS. EUNUCHS. UNFORTUNATES. ONLY POLITICAL-CORRECTNESS PREVENTS THEM FROM BEING HONEST. THE CHILDREN STARE AT YOU IN THE STREET AND THEY CANNOT ASK THEIR PARENT ABOUT YOU BECAUSE THEY ARE STAREING IN EXACTLY THE SAME WAY AT EXACTLY THE SAME TIME. BEFORE THE CHILD GETS ANY OPPORTUNITY TO APPROACH YOU HE OR SHE IS CHASTIZED AND PULLED AWAY AND MENTALLY THIS STAYS WITH THE CHILD AS A FIRST EXPERIENCE OF DISABILITY. WE HAVE LEARNED NOTHING. AT THE HEART OF THIS PROBLEM IS SEGREGATION BETWEEN ABLEBODIED PEOPLE AND PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES. THERE HAS TO BE FULLY-INCLUSIVE MAINSTREAM EDUCATION FROM PLAYSCHOOL UPWARDS OR THIS WILL NEVER CHANGE – AND PERSONALLY I DONT THINK IT EVER WILL. SYMPATHY FOR PEOPLE WITH PHYSICAL DISABILITY IS FAR TOO DEEPLY INHERANT IN IRISH MENTALITY. ZOLTAN

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