Access to Academic Materials for Post-Secondary Students with Print Disabilities
Student Survey Details
Section B: Disability information
This section is comprised of three questions addressing disability type, aids and services used, and funding.
12. Please indicate the nature of your disability/impairment:
Respondents could indicate more than one category for this question. The highest response was from students reporting a learning disability (81), followed by blind/visually impaired (36), mental health disability (14), mobility impaired (9), neurological disability (10), deaf/hard of hearing (2), medical disability (9), and lastly other (10).
Of the five student respondents who checked “other” for this question, one identified as quadriplegic, one noted dyslexia, one student indicated a processing disorder, one wrote “speech/communication,” and one student indicated “temporary mental issues (stress), and mono.”
The responses to the previous questions regarding disability type are central to this report. The following list of tables presents further analysis outlining the type of disability by type of institution.
Of the 81 students reporting a learning disability, 55.55% attended university, 27.16% a community college, 8.64% a technical/vocational institution, 4.93% attended a CEGEPs, and 3.7% reported other as the institution they attend.
Of the 35 students who reported that their disability was blind/visually impaired the results for percentages are as follows: university 54.28%, community college 22.85%, CEGEP 11.42%, technical/vocational 5.71%, and other 5.71%.
Nine students reported a disability relating to mobility. Of these, 66.66% attended a university, and 33.33% attended a community college.
Ten students reported a neurological disability. Of these, 90% attended university, and 10% attended community college.
Just two students identified their disability as relating to being deaf or hard of hearing. One attended community college, and one attended a CEGEP.
Fourteen student respondents reported a mental health disability. A huge 71.42% of these were in attendance at a university. 14.28% attended a community college, while 7.14% attended a CEGEP, or an institution defined as “other”.
Those who reported a medical disability were small in number, with nine respondents in total. Of these, 55.55% attended a community college (the most commonly attended institution type by respondents of all disability types), and 33.33% attended university. 11.11% attended “other”.
Those who reported that their disability type was ‘other” attended the institutions in the following order: university 50%, community college 40%, and other institution 10%.
13. On a day-to-day basis, what kinds of aids or services do you use to accommodate your disability?
Question 13 is critical to the access issues facing our student respondents. We received the following responses by type of accommodation.
Services identified under “other” included two students who use Kurzweil 3000. One student indicated use of Kurzweil 1000 and JAWS, one mentioned a note taker, and another used an assistant. One respondent listed “study groups, stress management groups, tape recorder.” The next two tables show types of aids and services required by our two largest respondent groups.
14. Do you currently receive financial aid in the form of a scholarship, student loan/grant, or academic award?
Seventy-four (57.18%) students indicated they receive financial aid for their studies, whereas 54 (42.19%) noted they receive no funding. Twenty-nine (37.66%) state in a follow-up question that this funding is sufficient to support access to academic materials in an acceptable alternate format. The number of students who report this funding is either ‘partially’ sufficient, is ‘not’ sufficient, or who ‘do not know’ are equal – 16 (20.78%). Overall, 4.2 out of every 10 students, or just less than one in two, receive financial aid for post-secondary education.
14.b) Identify the scholarship, student loan/grant, or academic award by name:
Of the financial sources listed, most students receive funding from national or provincial loan or grant programs. The Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) led with 16 mentions. Three also mentioned Ontario’s bursary for students with disabilities, which is an OSAP program, while one student indicated receiving the province’s technology bursary. Besides the Ontario program, provincial student loans were mentioned in seven other instances.
The Canada Study Grant, which is part of the Canada Student Loans Program, was second-most popular, being mentioned six times, followed by the Canada Student Loans Program with five mentions. The Government of Canada’s Employment Assistance for People with Disabilities (EAPD) program was listed as a source for three students, while two mentioned the federal Millennium Scholarship. Two respondents simply indicated “disability bursary.”
The following were other programs as listed by respondents. Please note, we are providing the responses given to us, recognizing that some funding programs are the same or related to one another.
14.c) Does this funding support access to academic materials in an acceptable alternate format?
Seventy-four students reported (in the first part of this question) that they received financial support for these studies. Seventy-seven respondents to this part of the question reveal the following statistics: 32 report that the funding is either partially supportive or not at all. Just 29, from a total response rate of 128 (question 14), report that funding supports access to academic materials in an acceptable alternate format.
If yes, or partial, what does the funding support?
Of the responses provided to Question 14, five students indicated their funding supports computer technology and/or software, while four others mentioned funding for adaptive technology in general. Three people noted they cover the cost of tutors with this funding, while three mentioned specific alternate formats (Braille, texts on tape, and books). Answers provided twice include books, note-takers, cassette recorders and tuition.
Other answers provided were:
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