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Comparison of Specific Populations of Graduate Students with Disabilities using 2016 CGPSS Data

As part of the “Landscape of Accessibility and Accommodation for Post-Secondary Students With Disabilities in Canada” national study, the National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS) has conducted a detailed analysis of the 2016  Canadian Graduate and Professional Student Survey  (CGPSS) to examine the experiences of 2,324 graduate students who identify as having a disability. We previously released reports in which we compared graduate students with and without disabilities. part-time and full-time graduate students with disabilitiesSTEM and non-STEM students with disabilities, and Aboriginal students with disabilities. We are pleased to now share the next report in this series. Data in this report first compare graduate students with and without disabilities and then detail responses across the subgroups of students with disabilities (Part-time; Full-time; STEM; Non-STEM; Aboriginal). 

The analyses and report for this work were completed by Kathleen Clarke , a Research Associate at NEADS. She offered the following comment:

“This report allows us to see how the needs of students with disabilities vary across several characteristics. In doing so, we can reflect on how student services can be tailored to meet the needs of specific populations of students.”

Findings from this report reveal:

  1. Instances where there were no differences between students with and without disabilities, but responses across the subgroups of students with disabilities showed a lot of variation. 
    • For example: 32% of graduate students with and without disabilities said their reason for enrolling in their program was to equip them to start a career/advance an existing career in academia. However, there was variation across the subgroups of students with disabilities when looking across the subgroups of students with disabilities. While 39% of non-STEM students said this was the reason for enrolling, only 29% of STEM students responded in this way. 
  2. Instances where there were differences between students with and without disabilities and the variation across the subgroups shows what characteristics might account for these differences.
    • For example: While 49% of students without disabilities said they had no graduate education debt, only 36% of students with disabilities responded in this way. Looking at the specific populations reveals a lot of variation across the subgroups, with 32% of Aboriginal students saying they had no graduate education debt and 41% of part-time and STEM students responding this way.

Overall, the findings highlight the importance of looking beyond surface level comparisons to consider what other characteristics might be shaping the student experience. 

The full report with the detailed findings can be found at the bottom of this press release in Word and PDF formats.

NEADS would like to thank the  Canadian Association of Graduate Studies  (CAGS) for organizing this survey and for also granting us access to the data for our analyses. Additionally, we gratefully acknowledge grant funding support for this research from the Social Development Partnerships Program, Employment and Social Development Canada, the Ontario Human Capital Research and Innovation Fund, Government of Ontario and CERIC.

For further information about this research contact our national office:

National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS) Rm. 514 Unicentre, Carleton University Ottawa, Ontario, K1S 5B6

www.neads.ca   
https://www.facebook.com/myNEADS/   
https://www.canadahelps.org/dn/34 

Download and read the report here in Word and PDF formats:

Comparison of Specific Populations of Graduate Students with Disabilities using 2016 CGPSS Data Combined Report (PDF)




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