dissertation by yantingting

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									                                  Chapter I: Introduction

       A person who is severely impaired never knows his hidden sources of
       strength until he is treated like a normal human being and encouraged to
       shape his own life. (Helen Keller, cited in Brightman & Green, 1990)

       Students with disabilities can use computers as tools to meet their needs to

communicate, access information, write, and perform other educational tasks. With the

aid of computer technology they can then focus on their abilities, not on their disabilities.

Computer technology has become pervasive throughout our lives and an increasing

number of jobs require computer use. Disabled students with computer skills can find

opportunities in fields previously closed to them. In short, computers have the potential

for helping individuals with disabilities become more fully participating and contributing

members of our society.

       Disabled individuals have faced barriers to employment and postsecondary

education similar to those that have been faced by women, racial minorities, and older

students. However, a growing number of disabled students are attending institutions of

higher education, where academic programs have become increasingly computer-rich and

information-rich. Access to computers is essential to assure equal opportunities in

education and employment.

       Federal legislation is generally interpreted to mean that educational institutions

must provide computer access to disabled students when such access is required to pursue

academic studies. Such programs are to be offered in the most integrated setting

appropriate, taking precautions not to concentrate disabled persons in settings away from

non-disabled participants. Some students with disabilities require special adaptive

accommodations to access computers and many of these adaptive devices are

commercially available. However, little evidence exists whether colleges and universities

provide disabled students full access to campus computing services and, for those which

provide some service, whether they place specialized equipment in locations that tend to
isolate disabled students away from non-disabled students.
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                                   The Research Problem

        Numerous issues arise as institutions of higher education attempt to provide

computer access to students with disabilities. Administrators are faced with developing

and implementing policies and programs that assure disabled individuals access to

computing services. It would be helpful for them to know what types of adaptive devices

are available; what legal requirements apply; what computing services are being provided

to disabled students on other campuses; what units are involved in selecting, purchasing

and managing these services; what locations are preferred and what locations are actually

used for providing access to computers adapted for disabled students; what barriers to

providing service have been experienced; and what success disabled students have had in

using computers. It would also be helpful for administrators to know how these issues

affect schools with characteristics similar to theirs, including school type (two-year or

four-year), funding source (public or private), and size. Little research has been done in

this area.

        This study explores issues surrounding the provision of services to disabled

students in institutions of higher education and highlights important issues that research

has left unresolved. The findings of this study will help administrators make better

decisions regarding the provision of computing services to disabled students and thereby

better serve students with disabilities.



                                   The Research Question

        How have institutions of higher education responded to the computing needs of

students with disabilities?

        1. a) What organizational units are most involved in selecting, managing, and
funding computing services for students with disabilities? b) Are employees specifically
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assigned to providing computing support to disabled students and do any of the

individuals assigned to providing this support have disabilities themselves?

       2. a) What computing services for disabled students are currently provided in

institutions of higher education? b) What special equipment and software are available

and what types of disabilities do they address? c) What network online services are

available to students who require adaptive technology?

       3. a) Is adaptive technology typically located where other students work or in

areas that segregate disabled students? b) What are considered the preferred locations

for providing computer access?

       4. What are the barriers to providing computing services for disabled students?

       5. a) How successful are disabled students perceived to be in using computers?

b) How much is computer access perceived to contribute to the academic success of

students with disabilities?



                                    Definition of Terms

       The following definitions are assumed in the literature review and the study.

       1. Handicap or disability: A physical or mental impairment that substantially

limits one or more of the major life activities of such individual; a record of such an

impairment; or being regarded as having such an impairment. (Americans with

Disabilities Act of 1990)

       2. Physical or mental impairment: Any physiological disorder or condition,

cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body

systems: neurological; musculoskeletal; special sense organs; respiratory, including

speech organs; cardiovascular; reproductive, digestive, genito-urinary; hemic and

lymphatic; skin; and endocrine; or any mental or psychological disorder, such as mental
retardation, organic
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brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities.

(Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990)

       3. Major life activities: Functions such as caring for one's self, performing

manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, working, and

participating in community activities. (Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990)

       4. Qualified individual with a disability: An individual with a disability who,

with or without reasonable modification to rules, policies, or practices, the removal of

architectural, communication, or transportation barriers, or the provision of auxiliary aids

and services, meets the essential eligibility requirements for the receipt of services or the

participation in programs or activities provided by a public entity (Americans with

Disabilities Act of 1990).

       5. Auxiliary aids and services: Includes a) qualified interpreters or other

effective methods of making aurally delivered materials available to individuals with

hearing impairments; b) qualified readers, taped texts, or other effective methods of

making visually delivered materials available to individuals with visual impairments; c)

acquisition or modification of equipment or devices; and d) other similar services and

actions (Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990).

       6. Adaptive technology: Hardware or software products that provide access to a

computer that is otherwise inaccessible to an individual with a disability.

       7. Discrimination: The act of making a difference in treatment or favor on a basis

other than individual merit.

       8. Segregation: Isolation of a group created by designation of separate facilities

and/or programs, barriers to program entry and/or to interaction with other groups, or

other discriminatory means.
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       9. Mainstreaming: The inclusion of disabled persons, with or without special

accommodations, in programs, activities, and facilities with non-disabled persons.

       10. Facility: All or any portion of buildings, structures, equipment, grounds,

roads, parking lots, and other real or personal property.

       11. Accessible: In the case of a facility, readily useable by a particular individual;

in the case of a program or activity, presented or provided in such a way that a particular

individual can participate, with or without auxiliary aid(s).

       12. Online Services: Electronic information and communication tools available

over a network that is accessible by a computer.
       Chapter II: Review of the Literature on Discrimination in Higher Education

       Adaptive devices and services (e.g., wheelchairs and sign language
       interpreters) had been considered special benefits to those who were
       fundamentally dependent and incapacitated. 504 [of the Rehabilitation
       Act of 1973] moved beyond these social welfare notions by viewing such
       devices and services as simply different modes of functioning and departed
       from traditional civil rights concepts by defining them as legitimate
       permanent differential treatment necessary to achieve and maintain equal
       access. (Longmore, 1987, p. 362)

       Historically, schools had a great deal of freedom in setting admissions policies to

protect the rights of institutions, not individuals. Once enrolled, if a student did not like

the rules of a school, he was expected to leave. A spectrum of people has been viewed as

inadequate, inferior, and not equal. Exclusion of groups has been motivated by sheer

hatred, the desire to "protect" certain people from a harsh world, and by notions about

their capabilities or appropriate roles in society. Many prejudices have become enshrined

in custom and law. Given these historical beginnings, it was difficult for some

individuals to enter and participate fully in higher education.

       This chapter summarizes the historical developments of the treatment of disabled

persons in our society, with special emphasis on higher education. To gain a broader

perspective and insight into this area, the treatment of other underrepresented groups is

summarized and comparisons are made.



                         Treatment of Individuals with Disabilities

       Disabilities are as old as mankind. Egyptian mummies and other ancient remains

show evidence of skeletal disorders and indicate that mental illness was treated by drilling

holes in skulls, with the intention of allowing evil spirits to escape. The development of

the treatment of individuals with disabilities has been traced by several historians

(Gallagher & Kirk, 1979; Gearheart & Weishahm; 1976). Gearheart and Weishahm

identified four overlapping eras:
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          1. Early history up to 1800 when the disabled were considered "subnormal" and
             excluded from the mainstream of society;

          2. The 1800-1900 era of institutions, during which specialized institutions
             segregated individuals with disabilities from the mainstream of society;

          3. The 1900-1960/70 period, characterized by the development of special classes
             for disabled students as part of public school system; and

          4. The 1960/70 - present era of mainstreaming disabled students into the public
             school system. The "separate but equal" approach is no longer legally or
             socially acceptable.
History

          Early history of societies' treatment of individuals with disabilities reflects fear,

superstition, and misunderstanding. Until the early modern era, in Western societies

"disability was viewed as an immutable condition caused by supernatural agency."

(Longmore, 1987, p. 355) The handicapped were not accepted as totally human and were

misunderstood, neglected, mistreated, persecuted, and in some cases even put to death.

Although crude attempts were made to treat physical and mental disease, it was the

practice of the Spartans and other ancient societies to dispose of handicapped infants

(Gallagher & Kirk, 1979). Fathers were often given the right to decide if an imperfect

baby would be allowed to live. This practice was based on the commonly held belief that

deformed children were possessed by demons or evil spirits (Gearheart & Weishahm,

1976). The Romans referred to individuals with disabilities as "fools" and used them for

amusement (Gearheart & Weishahm). In the seventh century the public was so shocked

when Bishop John of York taught a deaf and dumb boy to speak that they chose to view it

as a miracle (Moore, 1983).

          Even so, some people with disabilities overcame tremendous obstacles to become

contributing members of society. For example, it is believed that Homer, a poet of
ancient times, lost his sight as an adult and that Didymus of Alexandria (313-398 AD), a

famous educator, was blind (Anthony, 1981).
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       Through the seventeenth century, children with disabilities were generally

considered to be uneducable and untrainable. They typically lived in charitable centers or

at home without educational provisions (Gallagher & Kirk, 1979). However, isolated

efforts to provide formal education for individuals with disabilities occurred. For

example, during the latter part of the sixteenth century, a Spanish monk, Pedro Ponce de

Leon, taught a small group of deaf children to speak, read, and write (Gearheart &

Weishahn, 1976).

       Individuals with disabilities benefited from the social changes during the

Enlightenment Period, which, beginning in the mid-seventeenth century, brought an

emphasis on individual worth, a sense of responsibility to look after the less fortunate,

and the promotion of free public education for all. Before the mid-1800's many states

established residential schools which offered some training as well as a protected

environment for the life of the individual (Gallagher & Kirk, 1979). The development of

oral methods for the deaf and the success of Louie Braille in helping the blind to read

opened doors to education for individuals who were blind and/or deaf.

       In 1817, Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet founded a private residential school for the

deaf in Hartford, Connecticut, named the American Asylum for the Education and

Instruction of the Deaf and now called the American School for the Deaf. In 1829 a

residential school for the blind was opened in Watertown, Massachusetts. It was called

the New England Asylum for the Blind, but was later renamed the Perkins Institution for

the Blind (Gallagher & Kirk, 1979). In 1859 a residential school for the mentally

retarded, the Massachusetts School for Idiotic and Feebleminded Youth, was established

in South Boston, Massachusetts. Gradually, institutions that offered job training in

addition to medical and custodial care opened their doors. They included the New York

Hospital for the Ruptured and Crippled (1863), the Cleveland Rehabilitation Center
(1889), and the Boston Industrial School for the Crippled and Deformed (1893).
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        Although being in specialized schools was clearly a step forward from being

ridiculed or disposed of, individuals in these schools were still kept out of the mainstream

of society. In addition, the shortage of special facilities left many inadequately cared for.

Often, they became beggars.

        Professions whose goals were to prevent disability and to enhance the lives of

handicapped persons began to appear. Orthopedics developed in the eighteenth century.

During the nineteenth century, Bacteriology and Pathology, essential in treating many

diseases causing disability, emerged. Psychiatry and Neurology did not become fully

recognized disciplines until the turn of the twentieth century (Goldenson, 1978). While

the medical treatment of disabilities was developing, the concept of rehabilitation was

forming. Humanitarian attitudes toward the physically and mentally "defective" provided

the impetus for efforts in this area.

        A few higher education options began to appear for individuals with disabilities.

For example, the first, and for many years only, postsecondary school to prepare blind

males for university and liberal arts professions was the College for the Blind Sons of

Gentlemen, which was later renamed Worcester College (Anthony, 1981). In contrast to

the typical restrictive educational programs for the blind, Worcester's curriculum in the

classics, divinity, history, and mathematics was very similar to that of other

postsecondary schools of the time. In 1864 the National Deaf-Mute College, later

renamed Gallaudet University, was established for individuals with hearing impairments.

Located in Washington, D. C., and supported primarily by federal funds, Gallaudet's

student service program was the first formal disabled student service unit in higher

education (Jarrow, 1987).

        The end of the nineteenth century witnessed an increase in the number and types

of postsecondary institutions that lead to more opportunities for "non-traditional"
students.
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The rise of the research university, vocationally-oriented institutions, normal schools, and

two-year colleges created a system of higher education that was responsive to a more

diverse population of students.

       An important step in provisions for individuals with disabilities was the

establishment of special classes in public schools. The first special day class for the deaf

appeared in Boston in 1869. In 1896 the first special class for the mentally retarded was

offered in Providence, Rhode Island. The first class for the "crippled" was offered in

1899 and for the blind in 1900, both in Chicago (Gallagher & Kirk, 1979). The early to

mid-1900's were characterized by the development of many special classes for children

with disabilities as part of public school systems.

       Isolated success stories of disabled students attending traditional postsecondary

institutions during this period can be found. Of the few individuals with disabilities who

entered higher education most attended institutions designed for non-disabled students.

Ferreri (1963) noted that, in 1901, he interviewed four deaf students at Harvard who

seemed to be adjusting to the college academic and social life quite well. Soon after,

Roberta Griffith, totally blind from childhood, became the first blind woman to graduate

from an institution of higher education not especially for the blind (Anthony, 1981).

       In spite of the improved medical, educational, and rehabilitative treatment of

individuals with disabilities, significant barriers remained. In 1919, for example, the

Wisconsin School Board expelled a student with cerebral palsy because the teachers and

other students found him "depressing and nauseating." Even though the young man was

making satisfactory academic progress, the court upheld the decision upon appeal

(Longmore, 1985a). Early in this century an ordinance in the city of Chicago stated that

"No person who is diseased, maimed, mutilated, or in any way deformed so as to be an

unsightly or disgusting object or improper person ... shall therin or thereon expose
                                                                                         11

himself to public view." (Longmore) By 1931, twenty-nine states had adopted statutes

for the sterilization of individuals with some types of disabilities (Longmore, 1987).

       Federal legislation gradually helped to improve resources for those with visual

impairments. The first legislation specifically benefiting the blind, the 1879 Act to

Promote the Education of the Blind, allocated an annual sum of $10,000 for the provision

of books and educational materials to blind individuals throughout the country (Anthony,

1981). The Pratt-Smoot Act in 1931 established in the Library of Congress a program

through which individuals could borrow, without charge, Braille and recorded books.

The 1943 Borden-LeFollete Act allowed blind individuals to receive federal funds to

pursue vocational rehabilitation programs (Cull & Hardy, 1972). The National

Federation of the Blind, established in 1940, promoted access as a civil rights issue.

Independent living situations began to replace institutions for some.

       Organizations were formed and laws were passed to assist individuals with other

disabilities as well. The Red Cross Institute for Crippled and Disabled Men, founded in

1917, focused on physical restoration and vocational rehabilitation of men injured during

World War I. The first federal vocational rehabilitation legislation for disabled veterans

was passed in 1918, and for disabled civilians in 1920 (Longmore, 1987). The Federal

Board for Vocational Education was established in 1918 to provide rehabilitative services

to disabled veterans; its training program was extended to disabled civilians by the Smith-

Fess Act of 1936 (Anthony, 1981). For the first time in 1935, through the Social Security

Act, the government recognized disability as a criterion for benefits under federally

funded social programs. Unfortunately, a person who could perform "substantial gainful

activity" was not eligible for assistance. This requirement forced some individuals with

disabilities to choose benefits over low-paying jobs.
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       Franklin Delano Roosevelt contracted polio in 1921 and became disabled. As

president of the United States, he was a positive role model for others with disabilities

and challenged the stereotypical helpless image of a disabled person. However, his

efforts to carefully orchestrate events so that he did not appear disabled (e.g., he banned

pictures of himself in a wheelchair and of his aides lifting him) contributed to the burden

often placed on disabled people to appear "normal" (Gallagher, 1985). Helen Keller, who

became blind and deaf as a child, proved that even individuals with multiple disabilities

could become educated and contributing members of society.

       As special classes in public school systems replaced institutionalization as the

primary method of educating disabled children, controversy escalated regarding the

efficacy and legality of the special-class approach. Arguments centered around whether it

is best to educate individuals with disabilities in a segregated environment with students

who have similar disabilities or in a mainstreamed environment with non-disabled

students. Some who supported the segregated approach pointed to the efficiencies in

addressing special needs and the support students provide one another when they are

grouped together. Others argued that mainstreaming disabled students provides better

preparation for integration into the mainstream of society and promotes positive

interactions between disabled and non-disabled citizens. They claimed that separate is

inherently unequal. By 1960 there was a strong movement underway to "mainstream"

children into regular public school classes.

       Until the middle of the twentieth century, most efforts to train individuals with

disabilities did not involve higher education (Goldenson, 1978). Only a small number of

disabled students enrolled in colleges and universities in the United States (Iovacchini,

1983; Strom, 1950). The availability of more funds to support higher education, the rise

of community colleges and public-supported institutions, and the attendance by women
and blacks contributed to the increasing size and diverse characteristics of the student
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bodies of twentieth century institutions. Even so, the number of students with disabilities

was severely limited because many disabled individuals did not survive until adulthood,

attitudes of society tended to segregate them from the mainstream, few schools were truly

accessible to people with severe disabilities, and the combination of educational and

disability-related costs were too high for many families to handle.

       Testimonies of disabled persons who received college educations are sprinkled

throughout the literature of the mid-1900's. For example, Smithdas (1958) described his

college experiences as a deaf-blind student and Baer (1954) reported her special problems

attending college in a wheelchair. Biographies and autobiographies of disabled

individuals (Condon, 1951; Fleischer, 1953; Hardee, 1951; Rusalem, 1962; Stamp &

Tenney, 1953; Weir, 1958) document the lack of organized support services for students

with disabilities in most institutions of higher education, the heroic efforts of a few

faculty and staff who provided assistance to individual disabled students, and the

perseverance of the people with disabilities who completed their college educations.

Many felt that, for those disabled individuals seeking postsecondary education, it was

"wise to encourage the physically handicapped to work and study in the environment of

the regular college students." (Condon, 1957a, p. 583)

       Wars have always increased the population of persons with disabilities. However,

disabled veterans were not a major factor on college campuses until the end of World

War II. By this time, improved medical care resulted in a much greater number of

disabled veterans than in previous wars, and funds provided by the GI Bill paid for

veterans' college expenses. For the first time in the history of American higher education,

campuses had a recognizable number of students with disabilities, including amputation,

blindness, and deafness (Aaronson & Heldberg, 1950; Strom, 1950; "Wheelchair

Students," 1954).
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The disabled veteran population raised the general awareness of disability issues, helped

change the image of the disabled to a more positive one, and increased the demand for

services to students with disabilities. The Korean War GI Bill reinforced these trends in

the early 1950's.

       The American Council on Education studied the experiences of physically

handicapped veterans and the colleges and universities they attended (Strom, 1950). The

most common forms of special assistance provided were transportation provisions (e.g.,

special parking privileges, elevators, ramps), housing arrangements, classroom

adjustments (e.g., special scheduling of classes, waiving of prerequisites, substitutions of

equivalent courses, use of special equipment), and counseling. The report highlighted the

services and techniques required to meet the special needs of disabled students and

pointed out weaknesses in the postwar programs. It called attention to the fact that there

existed a unique group of students requiring special assistance. For example, one college

administrator stated, "The survey has provided the impetus for a more comprehensive

counseling service and general service to the disabled veterans attending the institution."

Another replied, "Your questions have served to make us wonder whether or not we are

doing all that we can for our disabled veterans." (Strom, p. 38) The report also provided

examples of special efforts made to accommodate students. For example, one institution

reported:

       We have a veteran who was very severely wounded in battle. He is unable
       to walk any great distance and cannot climb stairs. His home is one-half
       block from the campus. The head of the Art Department agreed to go to
       his home and to send members of the department to give two two-hour
       lessons per week in painting, design, handicrafts, and other commercial art
       and fine arts subjects. His supplies are purchased for him and delivered to
       his home by members of the Art Department. The young man has done
       exceptionally fine work and is progressing both professionally and
       physically under the stimulus of a well-planned and carefully conducted
       training program. (Strom, p. 43)
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        The American Council on Education report recommended that institutions

designate a staff member to insure that the needs of disabled students were recognized

and met, identify students needing service, make faculty and staff aware of the special

assistance required by disabled students, and follow-up to insure that appropriate services

were rendered. It recommended expansion of student services, program evaluation,

research, job placement services, and staff training. It was noted that "the development of

a program for the handicapped veteran has direct application toward a program for all

handicapped students." (Strom, 1950, p. 61) Numerous radio and newspaper reports and

a series of information bulletins about the American Council on Education's findings

brought public and institutional attention to the issue of accommodation. The wide

dissemination of this information magnified the impact of World War II and the GI Bill

on disabled student service programs.

        After World War II, colleges and universities continued to move toward providing

universal access to education. The 1947 Truman Report of the President's Commission on

Higher Education reinforced this concept with its call for expanded access to college

education for a wider cross-section of the population. It helped to change society's idea of

who should go to college from one that was selective to one that was less restrictive. The

resulting changes in attitude about higher education helped create campuses more open to

addressing the needs of students with disabilities.

        Although services for students with disabilities were few and varied greatly from

campus to campus in the mid-1900's, the pioneering contributions of several universities

received national attention. The City College of New York (Condon, 1957b), Florida

State University (Hardee, 1951), Wayne University (Stamp & Tenney, 1953), the

University of Illinois ("Handicapped Students," 1959; Rusalem, 1962), and Southern

Illinois University (Fife, 1960) developed programs to help students with visual
disabilities, hearing
                                                                                             16

impairments, orthopedic conditions, cerebral palsy, post-polio and post-tuberculosis

conditions, and other physical disabilities. Services included counseling, ramps to

buildings, campus buses with hydraulic lifts, physical therapy classes to meet physical

education requirements, elevator keys, changes in classroom assignments, reading rooms,

modified dorm rooms, campus orientations, special parking arrangements, physical

therapy, counseling, psychotherapy, hearing diagnosis, and speech therapy. Preferential

seating, special study rooms, typewriters, special testing arrangements, recorders, and

hearing aids were provided at some colleges. Through the cooperation of local, state, and

federal organizations, some texts were recorded for the blind (Condon, 1957; Condon,

1961). The national wheelchair basketball league was launched at the University of

Illinois. Although most programs dealt only with physical disabilities, a few leading

schools moved toward more liberal admission policies and broader service programs

("Handicapped Colleges," 1951; Rusalem, 1962).

       Most institutions of higher education of the mid-1900's, however, were far from

being truly accessible to individuals with disabilities. In 1944, Gitnick (cited in Rusalem,

1962) found that most colleges and universities did not have a firm policy on admission

of disabled students, many did not accept students with certain types of disabilities, and

most were not equipped to serve severely disabled students. Condon (1957a), Schweikert

(1959), and Zundell (cited in Rusalem, 1962) found similar results: few colleges had the

physical facilities, policies, or support services required to make attendance by severely

disabled students possible. Students with disabilities were often discouraged from

attending schools that could not accommodate them. Frequently, students with the same

type of disability were clustered on one campus or in one dormitory or program (Bonney,

1984). The Journal of Rehabilitation summarized the situation that existed in 1951:

"colleges, too, are handicapped - many of them - by physical disabilities. Outmoded,
                                                                                            17

overcrowded buildings are all too common, with corridors narrow, stairways long and

steep, elevators few, and provision for rest and refreshment insufficient. Moreover,

elaborate health and counseling programs cost more than many a college can afford. Just

where is a student to turn who is a permanent member of the brace-and-crutch

brigade...?" ("Handicapped Colleges," 1951, p. 16)

       The disabled population benefited from the campus unrest of the 60's that

heightened the awareness of human rights. Increasing numbers of individuals with

disabilities began to consider access to higher education a civil right and to consider

themselves a minority group (Longmore, 1988). The unwillingness of some institutions

to accept disabled applicants resembled the stereotypical attitudes toward ethnic

minorities and women. Overtones of prejudice were apparent in statements that disabled

students were, as a group, incapable of completing a postsecondary course of study and

that they had no career potential (e.g., "We have...never seen how a fully deaf person

could profit by instruction at this school," Bigman, 1961, p. 744). The sign on the

backrest of a long-haired quadriplegic student at the University of Washington in 1969

"Ramp the curbs. Keep me off the street." gave a clear message of the accommodations

that students with disabilities were coming to view as their civil rights. Growing numbers

of interested individuals joined forces to produce a civil rights movement for disabled

Americans.

       Some federal legislation has aimed at stopping discrimination against individuals

with disabilities and helping mainstream them into educational programs, job situations,

and community services. The equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment was

the legal basis most often cited in cases involving discrimination against individuals with

disabilities until the civil rights movement secured passage of specific laws prohibiting

discrimination and providing legal safeguards to achieve equal postsecondary educational
opportunities (Sherman & Zirkel, 1980). The 1965 Vocational Rehabilitation Act
           18

assisted
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states in determining the rehabilitation potential of handicapped persons and provided

grants for special programs. The Architectural Barriers Act of 1968 mandated physical

accessibility in federal programs.

       The Education for All Handicapped Children Act (Public Law 94-142) of 1975 set

forth the fundamental rights necessary to ensure that all handicapped children receive an

appropriate public education (Boyle & Sleeter, 1981; Implementation of, 1988). It also

challenged the practice of segregating handicapped students, directing that students be

placed in the "least restrictive environment" and "mainstreamed" in public schools. This

legislation has had an impact on the need for services for disabled students in higher

education. Growing high school graduation rates for individuals with disabilities have

increased demand for postsecondary education and, because of their precollege

experiences, students with disabilities expect to receive the support services necessary to

be included in the mainstream of campus programs (Sigmon, 1983).

       The first major federal civil rights legislation protecting the rights of individuals

with disabilities was the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Public Law 93-112). Standards set

by the Architectural Barriers Act of 1968 were incorporated into this act. Section 504 of

the Act mandates non-discrimination on the basis of physical or mental handicap in

programs receiving or benefitting from federal financial aid, providing that "no otherwise

qualified handicapped individual in the United States shall, solely by reason of handicap,

be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to

discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance."

       In 1977, Joseph Califano, Jr., then Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare,

issued the long-awaited regulation for implementing Section 504. The regulation

provided specific directions for ending discrimination in five areas: 1) employment; 2)

building accessibility; 3) elementary and secondary education; 4) postsecondary
                                                                                          20

education; and 5) health, welfare, and social services. The following excerpts from his

news release shed light on the purposes of the legislation:

       For decades, handicapped Americans have been an oppressed and, all too
       often, a hidden minority, subjected to unconscionable discrimination, beset
       by demoralizing indignities, detoured out of the mainstream of American
       life and unable to secure their rightful role as full and independent citizens.

       Today I am issuing a regulation, pursuant to Section 504 of the
       Rehabilitation Act of 1973, that will open a new world of equal
       opportunity for more than 35 million handicapped Americans - the blind,
       the deaf, persons confined to wheelchairs, the mentally ill or retarded, and
       those with other handicaps.

       The 504 Regulation attacks the discrimination, the demeaning practices
       and the injustices that have afflicted the nation’s handicapped citizens. It
       reflects the recognition of the Congress that most handicapped persons can
       lead proud and productive lives, despite their disabilities. It will usher in a
       new era of equality for handicapped individuals in which unfair barriers to
       self-sufficiency and decent treatment will begin to fall before the force of
       the law.

       The 504 Regulation will work fundamental changes in many facets of
       American life. In many cases this regulation calls for dramatic changes in
       the action and attitudes of institutions and individuals who are recipients
       of HEW funds. In implementing the unequivocal Congressional statute,
       this regulation opens a new era of civil rights in America. For example,
       the regulation imposes the following requirements on recipients of HEW
       funds:

               All new facilities must be barrier-free, i.e., readily accessible to
               and useable by handicapped individuals.

               Programs or activities in existing facilities must be made accessible
               to the handicapped within 60 days, and, if no other alternatives -
               such as reassignment of classes or home visits - will achieve
               program accessibility, structural changes in the facilities must be
               made within three years. No exceptions to the program
               accessibility requirements will be allowed...

               Every handicapped child will be entitled to free public education
               appropriate to his or her individual needs, regardless of the nature
               or severity of the handicap. In those unusual cases where
               placement in a special residential setting is necessary, public
                                                                                          21

               authorities will be financially responsible for tuition, room and
               board.

               Handicapped children must not be segregated in the public schools,
               but must be educated with the non-handicapped in regular
               classrooms to the maximum extent possible...

               Colleges and universities must make reasonable modifications in
               academic requirements, where necessary, to ensure full educational
               opportunity for handicapped students.

               Educational institutions and other social service programs must
               provide auxiliary aids, such as readers in school libraries or
               interpreters for the deaf, to ensure full participation of handicapped
               persons...

       Discriminatory practices directed toward handicapped persons - just like
       those directed at racial minorities and women - are often deeply ingrained.
       We must recognize that positive steps will, in some instances, be required
       so that handicapped individuals are able to learn, to work, and to compete
       on a fair and equal basis. Admitting a deaf child to a class, for example, is
       a meaningless gesture unless an interpreter is also available to
       communicate the teacher’s words. (Califano, 1977, pp. 1-10)

       Subpart E of the 504 regulation addresses postsecondary education. It prohibits

discrimination against persons with disabilities in recruitment, admission, and treatment

after admission. Its major thrust is:

       No qualified handicapped student shall, on the basis of handicap, be
       excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or otherwise be
       subjected to discrimination under any academic, research, occupational,
       training, housing, health, insurance, counseling, financial aid, physical
       education, athletics, recreation, transportation, other extracurricular, or
       other post-secondary education program or activity to which this subpart
       applies. ("Nondiscrimination on," 1977, p. 22684)

       Subpart E requires that colleges and universities make reasonable adjustments to

permit persons with disabilities to fulfill academic requirements, and to ensure that they

are not effectively excluded from programs because of the absence of auxiliary aids. It

prohibits the exclusion of qualified handicapped students from courses, courses of study,
and other parts of educational programs. This section was designed to eliminate the
                                                                                             22

practice of denying access to handicapped persons into specific courses and areas of

concentration because of factors related to disability or assumptions about job potential.

       An individual with handicap(s) is defined in the Section 504 amendments of 1974

as "Any person who a) has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one

or more major life activities, b) has a record of such an impairment, or c) is regarded as

having such an impairment.” Major life activities include, among others, caring for one's

self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning,

and working. The term "physical or mental impairment" is defined as

       any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or
       anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems:
       neurological; musculoskeletal; special sense organs; respiratory, including
       speech organs; cardiovascular; reproductive, digestive, genito-urinary;
       hemic and lymphatic; skin; and endocrine; or any mental or psychological
       disorder, such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or
       mental illness, and specific learning disabilities.

       It includes, but is not limited to, speech, hearing, visual and orthopedic

impairments, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, cancer,

diabetes, heart disease, mental retardation, emotional illness, and specific learning

disabilities such as perceptual handicaps, brain injury, dyslexia, minimal brain

dysfunction and developmental aphasia. A formal opinion issued by the Attorney

General in 1977 added alcoholism and drug addiction to the list of handicapping
conditions (Equality in Education, 1988). This broad definition of "handicap" includes

disabling conditions for which few institutions had previously directed support services.

       The Section 504 regulation applies to discrimination directed against "qualified

handicapped" persons. A handicapped person is qualified, with respect to postsecondary

education, if he/she meets "the academic and technical standards requisite to admission or

participation in the recipient's education program or activity." (Kaplan, 1985, p. 245) In
                                                                                            23

other words, Section 504 applies to individuals who are able to meet all of a program's

requirements in spite of their handicaps.

        For disabled individuals admitted into postsecondary education programs, the

Section 504 regulation requires institutions to make "modifications" in their programs to

accommodate them and to provide "auxiliary aids" such as sign-language interpreters.

The appropriateness of the aids and adjustments depends on the type and degree of

individual handicap, the nature of the educational program, and the size and resources of

the institution.

        The comments published with the regulation acknowledged the concern of

postsecondary institutions about the costs of providing auxiliary aids, but noted that it

was expected that schools could usually meet their obligations by assisting students in

using existing resources such as state vocational rehabilitation agencies and private

foundations. Comments attached to the regulation stated that as long as no handicapped

person is excluded from a program because of the lack of appropriate aids, the school

need not have all such aids on hand at all times ("Nondiscrimination on," 1977).

        Institutions are to offer programs in the most integrated setting appropriate, taking

precautions not to segregate handicapped from non-handicapped participants (U.S.

Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, 1988; Weatherly, 1989). The regulation

emphasizes that schools should give priority to methods that offer handicapped and non-

handicapped persons programs and services in the same settings ("Nondiscrimination in,"

1978). The regulation also requires that institutions develop grievance procedures that

incorporate due process standards to resolve complaints alleging discrimination (The

Rights, 1988).

        Section 504 addresses the issue of affirmative action by requiring that a recipient

engage in "remedial action" to overcome the effects of its own prior discrimination. In
                                                                                              24

the absence of prior discrimination, the school is allowed to take "voluntary action" to

correct conditions that resulted in limited participation by individuals with disabilities.

       The terms "otherwise qualified" and "reasonable accommodation" have been and

will continue to be defined by the courts. The U.S. Supreme Court issued its first

interpretation of Section 504 in 1979 (Southeastern Community College v. Davis) when it

ruled in favor of a college whose nursing school denied admittance to a student with a
                                                                                            25

severe hearing disability. The Court concluded that she was not "otherwise qualified"

because her handicap prevented her from "safely performing in both her training program

and her proposed profession." (Kaplan, 1985, p. 244) In a similar case (Pushkin v.

Regents of the University of Colorado, 1981), the Court affirmed that a medical doctor

with multiple sclerosis was wrongfully denied admission to the psychiatric residency

program because he was "otherwise qualified" and rejected solely because of his

handicap. Years later (Doherty v. Southern College of Optometry, 1988), a student

claimed discrimination on the basis of handicap after he could not meet the mechanical

proficiency requirements of a program because of a visual impairment and neurological

condition. The Court concluded that the proficiency requirements were necessary to the

optometry degree and that a waiver was not "reasonable accommodation" (Kaplan, 1990).

       The courts have also dealt with the issue of appropriate auxiliary aids. For

example, in 1977 deaf students who were denied interpreter services brought action under

the equal protection clause and Section 504 (Crawford v. University of North Carolina;

Barnes v. Converse College). In both cases the schools were ordered to provide

interpreters or other effective methods of making orally delivered materials available to

the students (Sherman & Zirkel, 1980). A similar decision involving a deaf graduate

student was reached in Camenisch v. University of Texas (1980).

       A Supreme Court decision in 1984 (Grove City College v. Bell) resulted in the

rights under Section 504 being tied to specific programs supported by federal funds

(Liberman, 1988). In this case only the college department shown to have benefited from

federal assistance was required to comply with civil rights legislation. Under this ruling,

situations resulted where disabled students were provided accommodations in federally

funded programs but denied the same opportunities in non-federally funded programs at

the same institution. However, the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987 established
                                                                                           26

institution-wide coverage under Section 504. Since then, acceptance of federal aid for

any program requires that the entire institution comply with federal nondiscrimination

laws (Hendrickson, Lee, Loomis, & Olswang, 1990).

          Since the 1973 legislation other laws have been passed that provide specific

protections to allow disabled students and other citizens to be more fully integrated into

society. These laws include the Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped

Act (1984); the Air Carrier Access Act (1986); and the Fair Housing Amendments Act

(1988).

          The landmark Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) forbids

discrimination against qualified people with disabilities in access to public services,

public accommodations, telecommunications, and employment (Duffy, 1992). For

colleges and universities, the Americans with Disabilities Act has reinforced the

requirements set forth in Section 504 and created a new level of awareness of the rights of

disabled students. It extends 504-type requirements to institutions of higher education

not receiving federal funds and provides a private right of action for disabled people with

grievances. It also clarifies that individuals who are current users of illegal drugs are not

within the definition of "individual with a handicap."

          State legislation has also affected services for disabled individuals. For example,

the recent Texas "Braille Bill" requires that K-12 textbooks purchased in Texas be

available on computer disks in ASCII versions so that they can be converted to Braille

and other forms. It is expected that this statute will ultimately improve the availability of

ASCII versions of materials used in higher education. Similar legislation is being

developed and proposed in other states. Some believe that this state legislation may lead

to federal regulations that will apply to both precollege and higher education.

          The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) has also dealt with the issues of reasonable
accommodation and appropriate auxiliary aids (Weatherly, 1989). In a recent opinion
                                                                                          27

(Palomino, 1992) the OCR ruled that a blind student should be granted her request for

Braille or audio-cassette versions of printed materials rather than be provided with

readers as the college insisted. The opinion also required that such materials be given to

her "on a timely basis," meaning that "actual portions of the reading in the text

assignment to the class will be made accessible to her, and that handouts will be made

accessible to her when they are distributed to her classmates." (Palomino, p. 6)

       Some responses of higher education to civil rights legislation that affects the

treatment of students with disabilities have been negative. Common complaints are that

the definition of "handicapped" is too broad and that the costs of compliance are not

reimbursed (Bailey, 1979; Fields, 1977). Some estimates for construction costs alone

total billions of dollars and some predict that full compliance could financially devastate

private schools (Moore, 1983). Most educators do not argue with the need for auxiliary

aids, but some feel that educational institutions should not have to pay for them. Some

also argue that a negative outcome of the current funding arrangement is that it puts

disabled students in adversary positions with institutions.

       Although for some institutions the motivation to provide access to disabled

individuals was to achieve diversity in the student body and/or to meet a moral obligation,

for many the impetus was legislation (Johnson & Ruben, 1982). Most colleges and

universities have made some efforts to comply with federal regulations. Some campuses

set up a committee to review their physical plant for architectural barriers, a 504

compliance officer, a separate budget for disabled services, some academic and

extracurricular support services, and accessible on-campus housing (Anderson & Coons,

1979; Bailey, 1979; Bursuck, Cowen, & Rose, 1988; Cotler & DeGraff, 1976; Fielding,

Kellen, Mobley, & Pierce, 1988; Iovacchini, 1983; Iovacchini & Marion, 1983;

Jungjohan, McGeough, & Thomas, 1983; Liberman, 1988; McGeough & Thomas, 1983).
                                                                                              28

        Specifications for making buildings and facilities accessible to and usable by

physically handicapped people, published by the American National Standards Institute,

Inc. (ANSI), became the basis for all new construction and alterations. The standards

included specifications for walkways, doors, phones, elevators, and toilets (Jungjohan,

McGeough, & Thomas, 1983, p. ix). The 1978 list of top priorities for Georgia Southern

is typical of those institutions responding to the physical barrier requirements of 504. On

this campus twelve action areas were identified: parking, ramps, entrances, doors,

elevators, chair lifts, personnel lifts, toilet facilities, drinking fountains, telephones,

laboratories, and apartments. (Anderson, 1979; Bailey, 1979; Cotler & DeGraff, 1976;

Fielding, Kellen, Mobley, & Pierce, 1988)

        In 1977 the first national conference focusing on the problems of physically

disabled college students was held at Wright State University (Brown, 1987). By this

time it was not difficult to determine what was legally required; the difficulty was in

translating the obligations into reality. Conference papers focused on guidelines for

program development, planning for programmatic access, determination of appropriate

services for disabled students, attitudes toward the disabled, funding issues, research

topics, and program evaluation methods. Two organizations emerged in 1977 to address

issues related to postsecondary education. Higher Education and the Handicapped

(HEATH), was set up to provide information about educational support services, policies,

procedures, adaptations, and opportunities in postsecondary education as a program of the

American Council on Education. The Association on Handicapped Student Service

Programs on Postsecondary Education (AHSSPPE), renamed the Association on Higher

Education And Disability (AHEAD) in 1992, began to sponsor conferences, workshops,

and publications that focused on services for disabled students in postsecondary education

(Rothstein, 1986). The Wright State Conference and the activities of HEATH and
AHEAD served to
                                                                                           29

increase the awareness of disability issues, encourage research, disseminate information

about legal requirements and model programs, and provide a network of disabled support

services professionals.

       By the end of the '80's, students with a wide variety of disabilities could be found

on campuses across the country. Support services increased in scope as institutions of

higher education responded to the broad definition of disability used in Section 504 (Fife,

1960; Kolstoe, 1978; Rusalem, 1962; Stamp & Tenney, 1953). Some schools had

nationally-recognized, well-developed programs initiated before legislation required

them; others were just beginning; still others had no formal programs. The organizational

structure for providing services varied from school to school (Fielding, Kellen, Mobley,

& Pierce, 1988; Iovacchini & Marion, 1983). Successful programs were associated with

committed senior administrators who made access issues a priority, caring and sensitive

faculty members capable of providing a positive learning environment for students with

disabilities, student bodies determined to assure a humane learning environment for a

diverse population, active disabled student groups, and community support (Fielding et

al.). Disabled student services offices often reported that they operate on low budgets and

with limited paid staff, serve only registered students who request assistance, and have

difficulties making accommodations for the wider range of disabilities they are expected

to serve (Malcom & Matyas, 1991; Schein, 1989).

       Although mainstreaming of disabled students is now clearly the acceptable

approach in higher education, two notable exceptions remain. Gallaudet University

continues to serve only hearing impaired students as does the more recent National

Technical Institute for the Deaf located at the Rochester Institute of Technology. The

existence of these segregated programs for the deaf may be partially explained by the

existence of a distinct
                                                                                             30

deaf culture in our society whose segregation has resulted from the use of a unique

language (sign language) as their primary language of communication.

Current Trends

          An estimated forty-three million Americans have one or more physical or mental

disabilities, and this number is increasing as the population as a whole is growing older

(Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990). Individuals with disabilities continue to

encounter various forms of discrimination, including "outright intention, exclusion, the

discriminatory effects of architectural, transportation, and communication barriers,

overprotective rules and policies, failure to make modifications to exiting facilities and

practices, exclusionary qualification standards and criteria, segregation, and relegation to

lesser services, programs, activities, benefits, jobs, or other opportunities." (Americans

with Disabilities Act of 1990) Discrimination in education and employment denies

people with disabilities opportunities to compete on an equal basis and costs the United

states billions of dollars in unnecessary expenses resulting from dependency and non-

productivity (Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990). A recent IBM study (cited in

"Competitive Edge," 1992) found that helping a person with a disability acquire a skill

and gain employment can save millions of public tax dollars over the lifetime of that

individual. It can be argued on cost benefits alone that disabled individuals should be

given access to higher education in order to become employable.

          A study sponsored by the Office of Special Education Programs of the

Department of Education (Wagner, 1989) found that only 14.6% of high school students

with disabilities participate in postsecondary education, as compared to the 56% of their

non-disabled peers (as was reported in another study cited in Wagner). Although

estimates of the number of students with disabilities on college campuses vary because of

the sampling techniques and disability definitions used, all sources report large increases
in this
                                                                                           31

population over the past decade. It has been estimated that from 1978 to 1985 the

percentage of college freshmen with disabilities increased from 2.7% to 7.7% (Greene &

Zimbler, 1989). Another source reports that the number of freshmen reporting a

disability doubled from 1978 to 1988 ("Facts You Can Use," 1991). Still another

estimate of the percentage of disabled students currently attending colleges and

universities is 9.9% (Astin, 1991).

       Estimates of the types of disabilities students possess are difficult to make. A

1989 study estimated that of the first-time entering freshmen approximately 10.5% report

some kind of disability. Of these, approximately 39% report visual impairments, 20%

report hearing disabilities; 4% report speech impairments, 12% report learning

disabilities, 17% report orthopedic impairments, and 24% report other health-related

disabilities (Greene & Zimbler, 1989). Another source estimated 31.4% with visual

impairments, 15.7% with health-related conditions, 15.3% with learning disabilities,

13.8% with orthopedic impairments, 11.6% with hearing difficulties, 3.8% with speech

impairments, and 18.5% with other disabilities ("Facts You Can Use," 1991).

       Students with learning disabilities now represent the fastest growing category of

students with disabilities seeking higher education (Bieber, Harris, & McGuire, 1988;

Brinckerhoff, 1986; Bursuck, Cowen, & Rose, 1988). Increases are due to improvements

in the diagnosis of learning disabilities and in K-12 special education programs. Services

have expanded to meet the special needs of this growing population. The City University

of New York, one of the few systems of higher education that publishes longitudinal data

about students, reports that their total number of known students with disabilities has

almost tripled from 1982 to 1992 and that, during this time period, the number of learning

disabled students jumped 96% ("Report from CUNY," 1992).
                                                                                             32

       The number of disabled students in higher education is expected to continue to

increase for several reasons. First, modern K-12 special education programs, a direct

result of The Education of All Handicapped Children Act of 1975, have increased the

number of handicapped high school graduates looking toward further education (Boyle &

Sleeter, 1981; Implementation of, 1988). Second, advancements in the medical field have

resulted in increased life expectancies for disabled individuals and increased numbers of

people who survive birth defects and injury. For example, the U. S. Department of

Education reports that in the 1980's the number of special education students rose from

4,177,689 to 4,817,503 while the total size of the school population remained steady and

attributes most of this growth to the increased survival rate of smaller babies (cited in

Whitmire, 1992). Third, improvements in rehabilitative equipment and services allow a

greater number of people with disabilities to live more independently and enjoy an

increasing number of life experiences.

       A fourth area that may increase the enrollment of disabled students in

postsecondary programs is the gradual improvement of society's attitudes toward

individuals with disabilities. Although attitudinal barriers have persisted in both higher

education and employment (Babbitt, Burbach, & Iutcovich, 1979; Boyer-Stephens &

Messerli, 1990; Katz & Slappo, 1989), evidence of changing attitudes can be found in the

media. Disabled characters have often been presented as extremely good and successful

or very evil, helpless, dependent, or childlike. Everyday interactions between disabled

and non-disabled individuals have rarely been shown, suggesting that people with

disabilities do not fit in the mainstream of society (Byrd & Elliott, 1982; Longmore,

1985b). However, recent print advertisements and television commercials offer more

positive media images of people with disabilities. They show them as attractive, capable

consumers participating in everyday life experiences (Longmore, 1985c). As society's
attitudes toward individuals
                                                                                           33

with disabilities improve, attitudinal barriers to higher education may diminish. In

addition, efforts made at colleges and universities to promote faculty awareness of the

needs and capabilities of students with disabilities may reduce attitudinal barriers to

higher education (Aksamit, Leuenberger, & Morris, 1987; Fishlock, 1987).

       Higher enrollment rates and levels of support services for disabled students are

found in two-year schools than in four-year schools. Of the high school graduates who

pursue higher education, 50% of the non-disabled students attend two-year schools, yet

more than 80% of the disabled students attend two-year institutions ("Facts You Can

Use," 1991). The open door policies and low tuition rates at two-year schools make it

easier for individuals with disabilities to gain admittance (Pellegrino & Zunker, 1982).

Since their mission is to provide for the diverse educational needs within the community,

community colleges are more likely to provide comprehensive support services for

students with special needs than four-year schools. Services offered often include tutoring

and special preparatory classes for those who are under-prepared for standard college

offerings (Corn & Klein, 1988). Regular classes are typically smaller than those at four-

year schools, making it possible for more individual attention. Since emphasis at

community colleges is on teaching and learning (Chand & Manning, 1983), faculty tend

to focus on instruction more than research (Mitchell, 1982).

       Larger schools and public institutions also tend to attract more students with

disabilities than smaller schools and private institutions, respectively. Comprehensive,

centralized disabled student services offices are more likely to be found at larger

institutions. Smaller schools tend to have fewer disabled students and have more

difficulty justifying a special unit to support them (Malcom & Matyas, 1991). Public

institutions generally have a greater responsibility than private schools to respond to the

diverse needs
                                                                                              34

of society, including students with disabilities. This attitude is a result of their public

funding base, public mission, and legal obligations.

        Malcom and Matyas (1991) noted that institutional factors that affect recruitment

and retention of students include financial aid, flexibility of curriculum, overall campus

climate, and availability of role models and support services. They recommend that

institutions make appropriate adaptations to computer hardware and software to help

recruit and retain disabled students. Although clearly an underrepresented group, unlike

female and minority students, disabled individuals rarely encounter college and university

recruitment efforts targeting them. Even programs designed to recruit and retain other

underrepresented groups report few students with disabilities in their programs (Malcom

& Matyas, 1991). However, some isolated efforts have been reported. New Mexico State

has developed an outreach program to educate special education teachers, high school

counselors, and rehabilitation professionals about the potential for engineering careers for

students with disabilities and to encourage engineering companies to include high school

students with disabilities in summer work-study programs. Young Scholars Programs at

some universities include students with disabilities each year (Malcom & Matyas).

Recently the National Science Foundation funded a project to recruit disabled students

into science and engineering programs at the University of Washington. This program

makes heavy use of computers and electronic communications.

Implications of Computer Technology

        Computer and network technologies have become indispensable tools in the

information age. As summarized by the president of the University of Michigan, "it is

clear that a transition is occurring in which intellectual capital - brain power - is replacing

financial and physical capital as the key to our strength, prosperity, and well-being. In a

very real sense, we are entering a new age, an age of knowledge in which the key strategic
                                                                                             35

resource necessary for prosperity has become knowledge itself: that is, educated people

and their ideas." (Duderstadt, 1992, p. 37) Individuals with disabilities, once given

access to computing tools, can become full participants in this transformation.

       Section 504 and the Americans with Disabilities Act are generally interpreted to

mean that any student enrolled in a course that requires the use of a computer must be

provided with appropriate access devices. The provisions made should allow the disabled

individual full participation in the program with non-disabled students. Some computer

and disabled student services staff believe that, although the new ADA rules are not

fundamentally different from those of Section 504, the publicity surrounding ADA will

force many campuses to spend more time and money to provide computing access to

disabled students. It is also expected that more members of the disabled community will

demand their rights, some by filing law suits against institutions (Wilson, 1992a).

       As computer use has increased in postsecondary programs, offices of disabled

student services have begun to deal with accessibility issues in this area (Horn, Severs, &

Shell, 1986; Kramer, 1988; Margolis, 1986). However, availability of computing

services for disabled students varies greatly and is generally at a lower level than other

services for disabled students (Collins, Engel-Wedin, & Margolis, 1988, Horn & Shell,

1990). Many campuses have developed no services at all in this area. Colleges and

universities are particularly inadequate in providing access to computerized card catalogs

and other information services available over campus and national networks (Wilson,

1992a). As summarized by the national Task Force on Persons with Disabilities,

"although there is much technology that can help people with disabilities to live, learn

and work independently, information about that technology is not widely available."

(Report of, 1990, p. iv)
                                                                                           36

        The results of a recent campus computing survey (Eastman & Green, 1992)

suggest that public schools and two-year schools have made more progress in developing

policies, procedures, and plans for addressing the computing needs of disabled students

than private and four-year schools, respectively. In this study, 44% of the public schools

and 74% of the private schools indicate that they have no formal policy or procedure(s)

for specifically serving disabled students. 41% of the two-year schools and 65% of the

four-year and research institutions have no such policy or procedure(s). It should be

noted that only public two-year schools were included in the survey results because there

were so few respondents from two-year private schools. In the same study, 63% of the

four-year and research institutions and 46% of the two-year schools report that they have

not made plans and have no plans underway for meeting the computing needs of disabled

students. 48% of the public schools and 70% of the private schools reported no plans in

this area. These results are consistent with the literature reporting that public schools and

two-year schools have generally been more responsive to the needs of students with

disabilities.

        With their emphasis on instruction and responding to the needs of the community,

two-year schools often provide a supportive environment for meeting the special

computing needs of disabled students (Chand & Manning, 1983; Farra, Morelli, & Balfe,

1988). In fact, two-year schools as a whole allocate a larger percentage of the school-

owned computers for student use than four-year schools (Eastman & Green, 1992).

California has been a leader in providing computer access to students with disabilities in

community colleges (California Community Colleges, 1989; Computers and Students,

1991; Digital Equipment Corporation, 1992; Murphy, 1991). In 1986, the state of

California provided initial funding to community colleges to set up high-tech centers

which include adaptive technology for students with disabilities. This network has grown
to include eighty community colleges, forming the largest project in the United States
                        37

dedicated exclusively
                                                                                           38

to providing adaptive computer technology for people with disabilities. Another

exceptional community college program is at Grossmont Community College; it offers

training in computer programming, personal computers, and local area networking for

individuals who are physically disabled (Murphy, 1991).

       A few four-year institutions have developed nationally-recognized computing

support programs that accommodate the diverse needs of students with disabilities

(Computers and Students, 1991; Benkofske, Horn, & Shell, 1988; Brown, 1989; HEATH,

1989; International Business Machines, 1987; Murphy, 1991). They vary in funding

sources, size of institution; range of services provided; types of disabilities addressed, and

organizational structures used. Most are managed within disabled student services or

computing services organizations. For example, the Educational Center for Disabled

Students at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln was established as a part of the Services

for Students with Disabilities Office. Disabled Student Services at California State

University at Northridge runs an adaptive computer lab where products are evaluated and

disabled students are trained. In contrast, computer support for disabled students is

coordinated through the Office of Academic Computing's Microcomputer Support Office

at UCLA. Using a distributed approach, staff assist departmental computing facilities in

accommodating individuals with disabilities; they also maintain a loaner pool of

equipment to facilitate this effort. The Adaptive Computing Technology Center, a unit of

the Computing Center at the University of Missouri-Columbia, integrates adaptive

equipment and services into computing facilities campus-wide. Most computing services

for disabled students at the University of Washington are provided through the central

computing organization which places emphasis on the connectivity of adapted computers

to campus and international electronic networks. The Electronic Networks for Interaction

at Gallaudet
                                                                                             39

University is a separate unit that specializes in the use of electronic communication with

deaf students to improve language and writing skills.

       Some schools that provide computing services to disabled students integrate these

programs into existing facilities used by all students; other schools segregate disabled

students in separate facilities. There is some evidence that public and two-year schools

tend to segregate services more often than private and four-year schools, respectively

(Eastman & Green, 1992). Promoters of the segregated approach point to client

satisfaction and success and to efficiencies in delivering services where disabled students

are congregated. Others point out that disabled student services officers should promote a

mainstreamed approach, allowing students to work side-by-side with their non-disabled

peers and make use of the same computing resources. As advised by a presenter at the

1978 AHSSPPE Conference, "Don't be a barrier to normalization. You should define

your role as a coordinator, facilitator, and advocate, and not a separate service provider

which may parallel existing mainstream services. ...your job is to help integrate, rather

than serving to segregate." (Linkowski, 1978)

       Barriers to providing computing services for disabled students that have been

reported by campus staff include inadequate funding; difficulties in coordinating efforts

between the disabled student services office, central computing organization,

departments, and other organizational units; lack of commitment on the part of the

administration; lack of a campus plan; lack of expertise in selecting equipment; and lack

of interest on the part of disabled students (Ammirati & Sheridan, 1991; Murphy, 1991;

Wilson, 1992a). Small schools find it especially difficult to provide specialized services

because of the small yet diverse nature of their disabled student populations (Ammirati &

Sheridan).
                                                                                            40

Summary

       Arguments for giving individuals with disabilities access to higher education have

been based on charity, economics, and civil rights. Federal legislation now mandates that

institutions of higher education not discriminate on the basis of disability, however the

relative recency of legal claims of discrimination on this basis has left many questions

unanswered. Two-year, public, and larger schools have tended to be more responsive to

the needs of students with disabilities than four-year, private, and smaller schools,

respectively. The number of disabled students on college campuses continues to grow

and the range of disabilities represented continues to grow. Further, the use of computers

and network services in academic programs continues to grow. In response, support

service emphasis has moved from removing architectural barriers to providing a wide

range of services, including computer access. Although much has been accomplished,

more efforts are required to assure equal opportunities and complete integration. Lack of

accommodations and segregation of disabled students persist in many institutions.



                        Treatment of Other Underrepresented Groups

       The treatment of individuals with disabilities in higher education is best

understood within a larger context. The following sections explore developments related

to other underrepresented groups in order to gain insight into issues regarding individuals

with disabilities. Discrimination in higher education on the basis of race, sex, and age are

discussed. Although discrimination on other bases has occurred, these three categories

represent the most legal action and the largest groups.

Racial Discrimination

       Prior to the Civil War a few black students attended postsecondary schools,

including Antioch, Oberlin, Franklin, Rutland, and Harvard Medical School. In addition,
a
                                                                                             41

few institutions were created specifically for black students (e.g., Ashmun Institute,

Lincoln University, Wilberforce). A few native American institutions opened their doors

after the Civil War; they included Sheldon Jackson College, Indian University, and

Bacone College; native American students also enrolled in black institutions. However,

during this period of time, laws in some states forbade the teaching of reading and writing

to blacks. Higher education was considered inappropriate for racial minorities by those

who felt that their role in society did not require it and that they were intellectually

inferior.

        Individuals of minority races ultimately benefited from the period of

diversification that took place during the latter nineteenth century. Land grant colleges,

vocationally-oriented institutions, and two-year schools began to open doors to a diverse

student body. However, some white leaders supported education for racial minorities

only if it did not threaten the dominant position of whites. This attitude may partially

account for the success of black schools that emphasized vocational education, such as

Booker T. Washington's Tuskegee Institute (Cowley & Williams, 1991; Pearson, 1983).

        No area of civil rights has been subject to more litigation than racial

discrimination. It was not until 1850 that the courts were confronted with the issue of

racial segregation in public education. At that time, Benjamin Roberts, a black man, sued

the City of Boston for denying his daughter admission to an all-white school. The court

ruled in favor of the school, forcing the child to attend an all-black school and thereby

creating the "separate but equal" doctrine. This doctrine allowed public schools to be

segregated, but required that states provide educational opportunities to minorities

equivalent to those provided to white students (Alexander & Solomon, 1972). It was

supported by the Supreme Court in the famous Plessy v. Ferguson case when it upheld a

Louisiana law segregating railroad passengers. Other cases enforced the "separate but
equal" doctrine, usually with more emphasis on "separate" than "equal." However, some
                                                                                         42

courts ruled in favor of black students rejected by institutions when no "equal"

educational opportunity was provided for them (Alexander & Solomon).

       In Sweatt v. Painter (1950) the Supreme Court made an attempt to define "equal"

when it determined that a black law school was not equal to the white alternative. In the

same year, the Supreme Court (McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents for Higher

Education) expanded equal protection to require equal treatment of blacks once enrolled

in a predominantly white university (Alexander & Solomon, 1972). Efforts of the

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People helped increase society's

awareness of the inequities that "separate but equal" allowed. Disenchantment with the

doctrine grew.

       "Section 1981," a post-Civil War civil rights statute guaranteeing the freedom to

contract, applies to both private and public postsecondary institutions. It has been

construed to prohibit racial discrimination in private schools (Kaplan, 1985). For

example, in Fairfax-Brewster v. Gonzales (1976), the Supreme Court used this statute to

prohibit two private, white elementary schools from discriminating against blacks in their

admissions policies.

       Passage of the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868 provided a legal tool with which

racial discrimination in education could be attacked. Its equal protection clause provides:

       All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the
       jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State
       wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall
       abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor
       shall any State deprive any persons of life, liberty, or property, without due
       process of law; nor deny any person within its jurisdiction the equal
       protection of the laws.

       A precedent was set for private schools in a 1908 Kentucky case in which the

state's only private coeducational school challenged state-mandated segregation of private
postsecondary education, specifically the 1904 "Day Law" which prohibited operation of
                                                                                            43

any college where whites and blacks received instruction together. The Court ruled on

the side of the state and the Day Law remained in effect until 1950, when new legislation

permitted integrated private colleges in Kentucky.

         Brown v. Board of Education (1954), requiring desegregation of elementary and

secondary schools, brought an end to the "separate but equal" doctrine. The Supreme

Court affirmed in Florida ex rel. Hawkins v. Board of Control (1956) that this decision

applies to postsecondary education as well. The Court ruled that racially segregated

schools are unconstitutional if the segregation results from official action (Fischer &

Schimmel, 1975). Separate facilities, often mandated or allowed by state statutes, are

inherently unequal and therefore violate the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth

Amendment. Even with the ruling of this historic case, little progress toward

desegregation occurred until after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Rosenthal,

1979).

         Title VI of the Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of race,

color, or national origin in public and private institutions receiving federal financial

assistance. Under Title VI, subjecting an individual to "segregation or separate treatment

in any matter related to his receipt of any service, financial aid, or other benefit under the

program" is prohibited. The penalty of a Title VI violation is denial of federal funds. The

Grove City ruling provided a barrier to dismantling segregated systems in higher

education because of difficulties in determining which programs benefited from federal

funds (Hendrickson, Lee, Loomis, & Olswang, 1990). However, the Civil Rights

Restoration Act expanded the definition of "program" to include entire institutions and

state systems of higher education.

         The courts and the Department of Education have dealt with the problem of

desegregating postsecondary education systems in many states. Adams (in Adams v.
Richardson in 1970 and progressing through various department secretaries as defendants
                                                                                       44

until Adams v. Bell in the 1980's), a group of plaintiffs, sued the secretary of the

Department of Health, Education and Welfare (later, the Department of Education) for
                                                                                             45

failing to enforce Title VI in ten states. One outcome of these cases was that the

Department devised criteria for reviewing state-wide desegregation plans. They included

a requirement that states having a history of segregation in public higher education take

affirmative action to correct the situations. Such actions have included increasing

enrollment of black students at traditionally white public schools, improving quality of

black public institutions, placing "high demand" programs at traditionally black schools,

eliminating unnecessary duplication of programs between black and white schools, and

increasing the percentage of black academic employees (Kaplan, 1985).

       In Alabama State Teachers Association v. Alabama Public School and College

Authority (1968) the court concluded that the state's establishment of a branch of a

predominantly white institution in a city where there was a predominantly black

institution did not unconstitutionally perpetuate segregation in the state system. In

contrast, the court in Norris v. State Council of Higher Education (1968) overturned a

state plan to expand a predominantly white two-year school to a four-year institution that

was near a predominantly black four-year institution because it impeded desegregation.

Two cases in Tennessee, where institutions were once segregated by law, resulted from a

challenge to the state's decision to increase the facilities and expand the program at the

traditionally all-white University of Tennessee. Some felt that these improvements would

impede the desegregation efforts at a nearby black school, Tennessee State University.

The court allowed the improvements to be made, but required that the state develop a

long-range plan to integrate its institutions. When the state's efforts failed to desegregate

the schools, the court required that the two postsecondary institutions merge (Geier v.

University of Tennessee, 1979). However, in Richardson v. Blanton (1979), the same

court upheld the district court's approval of the state's long-range desegregation plan for

postsecondary education. This apparent contradiction was a result of the court's finding
that, although the state's plan was ineffective in the Nashville schools, it produced steady,
                                                                                            46

acceptable progress toward desegregation in the remainder of the state system. (Kaplan,

1985)

        Another legal tool for reducing racial segregation in higher education is federal

income tax law. The Internal Revenue Service (Revenue Ruling 71-447, 1971-2) ruled

that schools practicing racial discrimination are violating public policy and should be

denied tax-exempt status. For example, in the 1983 Bob Jones University v. United

States case the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Internal Revenue Service in its denial

of tax exempt status for the university because of its racially discriminatory policy

(Gordon, 1989).

        Affirmative action, designed to increase the number of minority students in

educational programs, has raised socially sensitive and legally delicate questions. When

an institution has discriminated in the past, Title VI requires affirmative action. In other

cases, institutions are allowed, but not required, to implement affirmative action programs

(Claque, 1987). DeFunis v. Odegaard (1973) was the first of many cases to confront the

constitutionality of affirmative action measures. DeFunis, a white male, was denied

admission to the law school at the University of Washington. He claimed that the

University discriminated against him on the basis of race, a violation of the equal

protection clause, by admitting less qualified minority applicants. The Washington

Supreme Court upheld the law school's affirmative action admissions program as justified

by "compelling" state interests in "promoting integration in public education," "producing

a racially balanced student body at the law school," and alleviating "the shortage of

minority attorneys - and, consequently, minority prosecutors, judges, and public

officials." (Kaplan, 1985, p. 254) The University of Washington allowed him to attend

classes until his appeal to the Supreme Court was settled. As his graduation date grew

near, the Supreme Court dismissed the case as moot.
                                                                                               47

        In 1978 the resolution of the famous Bakke case shed additional light on

affirmative action issues. Allan Bakke, a white applicant to University of California at

Davis Medical School, claimed that the admissions policies allowed acceptance of

minority race applicants less qualified than he. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Bakke

should have been admitted but the school had the right to take diversity into consideration

in making admissions decisions. The court outlawed the establishment of quotas for

admitting racial minorities, but held that racial criteria could be used if it "1) serves an

important, articulated purpose, 2) does not stigmatize any discrete group, and 3) is

reasonably used in light of the program's objectives." (Kaplan, 1985, p. 260)

        Two important state court decisions applied the Bakke opinions. In McDonald v.

Hogness (1979) McDonald, a white male, was denied admission to the University of

Washington Medical School and claimed that the school racially discriminated against

whites. The Court held that the Medical School's admission program was constitutional,

permitting race to be a factor in admissions decisions when its consideration "1) is

designed to promote a compelling state interest and 2) does not insulate an applicant from

competition with the remaining applicants." (Kaplan, 1985, p. 259) The Court

acknowledged as a compelling interest the achievement of a diversity among the student

body. In a similar case, (DeRonde v. Regents of the University of California, 1981) a

white male alleged that he was not accepted at the University of California law school

because the admissions criteria discriminated against whites. The Court found the

admissions policies constitutional, whether based on the reasoning of assuring

academically beneficial diversity among the student body or of mitigating the effects of

historical discrimination (Kaplan, 1985).

        There is evidence that recruitment and retention programs for racial minority

students are working (Malcom & Matyas, 1991). Black enrollment in colleges and
                                                                                           48

universities doubled in the 1970's (Cowley & Williams, 1991). The U.S. Department of

Education reports a total enrollment of 1,223,000 black students in institutions of higher

education in 1990, an 8% gain from 1988 (Schantz, 1992). These figures are

"encouraging signs for the future." (Evangelauf, 1992)

       Progress has been made, but much remains to be done before higher education is

fully integrated with respect to race. The Supreme Court recently ruled that Mississippi's

public colleges are still illegally segregated (U.S. v. Fordice, 1992). Some educators and

civil rights leaders expect that this decision may force predominantly white schools to

take more steps to attract black students and enhance educational opportunities for blacks

("The Nation," 1992); others are concerned that the outcome may be that educational

opportunities are actually reduced for black students (Halpern, 1992; Mercer, 1992a;

Mercer, 1992b). Segregation in specific disciplines still persists, with minorities

underrepresented in some fields because of inadequate precollege preparation, lack of

successful role models, discriminatory attitudes in society, and poverty. Negative

attitudes of faculty and staff toward minority students has also perpetuated discriminatory

treatment. In addition, discrimination by students toward their classmates and violence

between white and black students continue to be problems on some campuses (Collison,

1992; Haviland, 1989; Shea, 1992). Because of discriminatory factors present in

institutions of higher education, some educators continue to recommend educating black

students in all-black schools (Halpern). Nineteen states, mostly in the South, continue to

operate historically black colleges and universities and traditionally white institutions that

once were segregated by law.

       Two-year schools tend to be more integrated than four-year schools. Ethnic

minorities are more likely (45%) than whites (37%) to enroll in two-year schools

(Schantz, 1992). This difference may be partially explained by the open-door policies,
                                                                                             49

low tuition rates, instructional focus, and responsive service programs for students with

special needs at community colleges.

         Black students and white students select public institutions over private ones at

about the same rate, with about 76% attending public colleges. The representation of

other ethnic minorities at public colleges is higher - more than 80% of American Indians,

Hispanics, and Asians (Schantz, 1992). Recent data shows minority enrollments of 17%

at public schools and 15% at private four-year schools, yet 23% at public schools and

27% at private two-year schools (U.S. Department of Education, cited in "The Nation,"

1992).

         In summary, some of the barriers that racial minorities have faced in pursuing

higher education have been laws against black literacy, racism, the belief that minorities

are less intelligent than whites, and the traditional roles of minorities in society. Two

year schools have tended to be more integrated than four-year schools. Cases involving

desegregation of postsecondary schools have been decided under the legal standards set

by the Fourteenth Amendment, Title VI, "Section 1981," and federal income tax law.

These four legal sources together make it clear that public and private institutions must

maintain admissions policies that do not discriminate on the basis of race and states must

maintain plans and practices that do not perpetuate racial segregation in educational

systems. Although much progress toward nondiscrimination has been made, continued

efforts are needed in order to assure equal opportunities for racial minorities in

postsecondary education.

Sex Discrimination

         Plato believed that everyone, including women, should be educated until the age

of twenty; some historians believe that some women even attended his school, the

Academy at Acedeme. Plato's views did not represent the typical attitude of his time nor
of centuries to follow. The history of higher education for women is replete with
                            50

restrictions in access to
                                                                                          51

institutions, academic disciplines, and other programs and activities. The gradual decline

in the barriers to higher education for women can be attributed to the desire of the United

States to be competitive militarily, the application of democratic principles, the need for

an educated work force, the efforts of advocacy groups, and the growing awareness of

women's abilities and social contributions.

        Throughout most of history women's traditional duties did not require formal

education; many people believed that women were less intelligent than men; and some

felt that the pursuit of higher studies was too stressful for women. Discrimination in

higher education has taken a variety of forms. Many schools rejected women applicants

or set quotas on admissions; had higher admissions requirements than for men (Sexton,

1976); directed women into traditional female occupations; favored men in providing

financial aid; offered curriculums largely geared toward male students; gave women

different courses of study than men; and segregated women into special class sections and

extracurricular activities.

        In 1833 Oberlin admitted women as students and took a leadership position in the

area of postsecondary coeducation. The Kentucky "Young Ladies College" opened in

1834, the Mount Holyoke Female Seminary in 1836 (Cowley & Williams, 1991). Other

women's colleges followed. In 1855, Iowa became the first state university to admit

women. By 1870, 12% of postsecondary institutions were women-only, 59% were men-

only, and 29% were coeducational. Soon, coeducation became the most common option.

By 1910, 15% were women-only, 27% were men-only, and 58% were coeducational

(Solomon, 1985). Although the doors to the oldest male colleges were still closed to

them, some all-male institutions founded female schools next door. The general trend

toward a greater and more diverse offering of postsecondary educational opportunities

contributed to the acceptance of females on campuses. Community college missions to
meet the
                                                                                             52

educational needs of the community also provided new opportunities for women. When

women helped to address the need for precollege teachers they took a giant step toward

occupational liberation and increased the need for and acceptance of higher education for

women.

       Although World War II and the Korean War GI Bills directly benefited mostly

males, they contributed to the acceptance of a more diverse student body. The

contemporary women's movement beginning in the 1960's called into question the

traditional role of women in society in a more pervasive way than ever before (Pearson,

Shavlik, & Touchton, 1989) and opened doors to educational opportunities for women.

       Efforts to reduce discrimination in schools have been aided by the enforcement of

the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Later, Title IX of the

Education Amendments of 1972, the Public Health Services Act, and state

nondiscrimination laws broke down legal barriers to discrimination on the basis of sex.

       Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination on the

basis of sex, stating "no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded

from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under

any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."

       Title IX applies to both public and private institutions receiving federal funds.

However, there are special exemptions. Current exceptions include single-sex schools of

higher education for military and religious groups, and traditionally single-sex colleges.

With respect to admissions requirements, the regulations apply to vocational and

professional schools, graduate schools, and public undergraduate schools that have not

always been single-sex institutions. Although some schools are exempted from the

regulations on admissions, all schools are prohibited from practicing sex discrimination

once students of both sexes have been admitted (Kaplan, 1985).
                                                                                             53

       Schools subject to Title IX requirements are not allowed to treat students

differently on the basis of sex. The regulations specifically prohibit sex discrimination in

admissions and recruitment, financial assistance, employment, housing accommodation,

fees, benefits, course offerings, counseling services, job placement services, insurance

benefits, extracurricular activities, rules of behavior or discipline, and use of school

facilities. They do not prohibit separate housing, rest rooms, locker rooms, and shower

rooms by sex, but require that separate facilities be comparable. Since the passage of the

Civil Rights Restoration Act, an entire institution is subject to Title IX requirements as

long as one portion of the institution receives federal funds. The greatest impact of the

Civil Rights Restoration Act is expected to be seen in intercollegiate athletic programs;

virtually none of them receive federal funds and, therefore, were "protected" by Grove

City. Another area of impact is in student insurance; under Title IX it must cover medical

treatment related to pregnancy (Hendrickson et al., 1990).

       Even those schools exempt from Title IX restrictions, must still obey the

Fourteenth Amendment equal protection clause and, in some cases, state laws. For

example, the constitutionality of a men-only admissions policy was questioned in Kirsten

v. Rector and Visitors of University of Virginia in 1970. In this case four female

applicants who were denied admission to the University's undergraduate male-only

college claimed violation of the equal protection clause. The court ordered the school to

admit women to its programs (Sherman & Zirkel, 1980). In another example, Mississippi

University for Women v. Hogan (1982), the court struck down an admissions policy that

excluded men from a professional nursing school, finding the policy unconstitutional

under the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment (Kaplan, 1985). The

court argued that the state did not successfully show that the gender-based classification

was substantially and directly
                                                                                            54

related to its educational objectives. After the Supreme Court decision in this case, the

school decided to admit men to all of its programs.

       Title IX requires that an institution take "remedial action" to address the results of

its own prior sex discrimination (Kaplan, 1985, p. 529). It also permits "affirmative

action" for correction of conditions that resulted in limiting the participation of one sex in

a program.

       Besides Title IX, state laws and the Fourteenth Amendment, students in health

professions have protection from sex discrimination in the Public Health Services Act.

The Act prohibits schools that receive federal aid under Titles VII and VIII of the Public

Health Service Act (the vast majority of health sciences schools) from practicing sex

discrimination. Medical schools may not set quotas for women and they may not refuse

to admit older students if the policy results in sex discrimination. The enforcement

penalty is withdrawal of federal financial assistance (Sexton, 1976).

       Postsecondary institutions have responded to legal mandates by establishing

nondiscrimination policies and procedures and becoming more sensitive to women's

issues. Responses to nondiscrimination legislation on many campuses have included

elimination of quotas on admissions, establishment of special recruiting programs for

traditionally male-dominated disciplines, implementation of affirmative action

procedures, increased financial support for women's athletic programs, development of

sexual harassment policies, and implementation of reentry programs for older women

(Connolly & Marshall, 1989; Malcom & Matyas, 1991).

       Increases in women's attainment of higher education have been dramatic. Today

they make up more than 54% of the students in higher education (Schantz, 1992) and

obtain more than 53% of the degrees conferred. Since most women prefer coeducation,

women's colleges draw on a diminishing pool of applicants (Solomon, 1985). By 1981,
                                                                                           55

92% of the institutions of higher education were coeducational, 3% were men-only, and

5% were women-only (Solomon, 1985). Female students complete postsecondary

programs faster than men and with higher grade point averages (Adelman, 1992).

        Although progress has been made, current news headlines show that sex

discrimination in higher education still exists. There is evidence that the level of

complaints of sexual harassment is on the rise (Leatherman, 1992). In addition, gender

segregation on campuses still persists in specific disciplines, due partly to differences in

high school aspirations, counseling bias, and inadequate mathematics training for girls

(Boldizar & Wilson, 1990; Tobias, 1980). Females tend to be underrepresented in some

of the higher-paying fields, including business, management, engineering, and science

programs (The Almanac, 1992).

        The legality of single-sex schools continues to be debated. For example, in

response to a lawsuit filed by three women denied admission to a day program for

veterans, the Citadel dropped the program altogether ("Military college," 1992). A

federal appeals court recently ruled that the only other publicly-supported all-male

college in the nation, the Virginia Military Institute, can continue to operate as a publicly-

financed, all-male college only if the state creates "parallel institutions or parallel

programs" for women (Zook, 1992).

        In summary, legal mandates, the need to include females in the work force, and

changes in attitudes toward women have resulted in equal opportunities for women in

most college programs, although women have been underrepresented in some career

fields that produce high economic rewards and receive lower pay than men in equivalent

positions. Before parity can occur, the psychological and social barriers to women's

achievement in these areas must be addressed.
                                                                                             56

Age Discrimination

       The average age of postsecondary students has tended to increase as the history of

higher education has unfolded. The returning veterans of World War II made the most

dramatic change in this area. Although some academics were concerned about admitting

older students, they generally found veterans to be serious, hard-working students

(Cowley & Williams, 1991). Some trends have increased the interest of older students in

pursuing goals through higher education offerings. They include longer life expectancies,

the tendency toward more career changes in a lifetime, and the need to update job skills

especially in the use of new technology. The community colleges have helped address

the needs of older students with their open door policies, low tuition rates, and flexible

continuing education programs.

       The constitutional standards that regulate age discrimination in postsecondary

education have not been as stringent as those applied to discrimination on the basis of age

or sex. Only a "rational relationship" test is used in applying the equal protection clause

of the Fourteenth Amendment (Sherman & Zirkel, 1980).

       The Age Discrimination Act of 1975 applies to public and private institutions that

receive federal financial assistance (Kaplan, 1985). Originally, the law prohibited

"unreasonable" discrimination on the basis of age, but in 1978 the word "unreasonable"

was deleted. The enforcement penalty is denial of federal funds.

       The regulations of the Age Discrimination Act allow age distinctions that are

necessary to the "normal operation" or to the achievement of a "statutory objective" of a

program or activity. Age can also be used as an approximation of some other

characteristic which is associated with the normal operation or a statutory objective of the

program or activity when it is impractical to measure the characteristic directly on an

individual basis. In addition, it is permissible to make decisions based on criteria other
than age that may
                                                                                             57

have a disproportionate effect on different age groups if the criteria have a "direct and

substantial relationship" to the program's operation and/or purpose (Kaplan, 1985). For

example, using a physical fitness test as a factor for selecting participants in a program

that has specific physical requirements could be acceptable even though it would be more

difficult for older people to meet the requirements.

       Key court cases have made it clear that age requirements must not be arbitrary. In

one of the first, Miller v. Sonoma County Junior College District (1974), two sixteen-

year-old students gained permission to attend a junior college in California whose

minimum age requirement had been 18 because the Court determined that the minimum

age requirement was in no way related to the state's interest in providing education to

qualified students. This is an example of the "rational relationship" standard of review

(Sherman & Zirkel, 1980). Similarly, in Purdie v. University of Utah (1978) the Utah

Supreme Court ruled that the rejection of a fifty-one-year-old woman by the University's

educational psychology department violated equal protection since the University did not

show that its decision, based on her age, had a "rational relationship to legitimate state

purposes" (Kaplan, 1985, p. 251).

       In addition to federal regulations, some specific state laws prohibit age

discrimination. For example, a Massachusetts law prohibits age discrimination in

admitting students to graduate and vocational training programs (Kaplan, 1985).

       As in Section 504, Title VI, and Title IX regulations, the Age Discrimination Act

regulations include a statement on affirmative action. If a recipient has discriminated in

the past it must take "remedial action." Even if the given institution has not itself

discriminated, it may take voluntary "affirmative action" to overcome the effects of

conditions that limited participation in the program on the basis of age.
                                                                                            58

       Most institutions of higher education have been receptive to admitting older

students. From 1976 to 1990 the percentage of undergraduates age 35 years or older rose

from 8% to 13% (Alsalam, Ogle, Rogers, & Smith, 1992). It has been found that most

faculty do not differentiate among students on the basis of age; have no objections to

teaching older students; do not favor segregation of older students into special programs

or classes; find older students to be more motivated to do serious college work; and do

not feel the need to change academic standards, programs, or teaching methods to

accommodate them (Chandler & Galerstein, 1982).

       In summary, the Constitution, the federal law, and some state laws create barriers

to using minimum or maximum age admissions restrictions. The Age Discrimination

Act, which applies to both public and private institutions that receive federal financial

assistance, provides the primary legal source governing age discrimination in admissions

policies. Although application of the "rational relationship" test has afforded schools

some leeway in classifying students by age (Sherman & Zirkel, 1980), older citizens

today find a wide variety of educational opportunities open to them and positive attitudes

toward them as students.


                                         Summary

       A larger context of discrimination is necessary to fully understand the access
issues for individuals with disabilities. A study of the experiences of women, older

students, and racial minorities sheds light on both similar and unique issues facing

disabled students. In each case, history documents three steps: active efforts to exclude a

specific group, the growth of humanitarianism which results in separate programs for the

group, and pro-active efforts to make institutions equally accessible to a broader spectrum

of people which includes the group. Although there are similarities in the issues relative
                                                                                               59

to these four classifications, there are striking contrasts as well. A summary of some of

the similarities and differences follows.


        1. Attitudinal barriers have been a major deterrent to equal opportunities in higher

education for underrepresented groups. However, individuals with disabilities have faced

unique barriers.

        All groups have needed to overcome barriers to participation in higher education,

including their traditional roles in society; attitudes of others about their abilities; efforts

on the part of society to segregate them; admissions restrictions; and the stereotype of the

"traditional student." However, negative attitudes create the greatest barrier faced by

these groups (Changing America, 1989). Society has often viewed some people as

inadequate, inferior, and unworthy. The prejudicial and stereotypical attitudes toward

women, racial minorities, older students, and individuals with disabilities are similar.

Furthermore, many members of the "majority" have attributed negative mental and/or

physical characteristics with membership in these groups. Most members of these

minorities possess physical characteristics that set them apart from the rest of the

population. Their inability to blend into the student body without being noticed makes it

easier for others to label and mistreat them.

        Unique barriers have limited the participation of individuals with disabilities.
Some did not survive to adulthood; many were unable to obtain academic preparation for

college; health care services and technology to allow independent living were not always

available or were too expensive; and institutions of higher education presented physical

barriers and lacked needed support services. "Persons with disabilities are subject to

double jeopardy - they face negative attitudes not unlike those faced by minorities and

women plus barriers of accessibility, of communication, and, for some, of dealing with
                                                                                                  60

extended time required to do things, from obtaining a Ph. D. to accomplishing the tasks

of everyday living." (Report of, 1990).

        2. The process of integration of underrepresented groups has been slow and has

typically progressed from exclusion to segregated schools and programs to

mainstreaming. As a group, the disabled are not yet as fully integrated as women,

underrepresented racial minorities, and older students.

        Society's attitudes, enshrined in custom and law, change slowly. Segregation by

sex and race have even been imposed by some state statutes. Some schools prohibited the

enrollment of women, racial minorities, older citizens, and the disabled. In 1833 Oberlin

opened its doors to women and black students; other schools followed its lead. Black-

and women-only colleges also emerged about this time. It wasn't until later in the century

that Gallaudet, a school for hearing impaired students, opened. The trend for women,

minorities, and the disabled has been from no admittance, to segregated institutions and

programs, to mainstreaming. Current exceptions include single-sex schools of higher

education for military and religious groups, segregated schools for the deaf, and

historically black colleges.

        Institutions have moved toward providing equal opportunities to underrepresented

groups based on age, sex, handicap, and race for a variety of reasons, including to achieve

diversity in the student body, to comply with perceived moral obligations, to increase

enrollment, to attract the most qualified students, to respond to pressures of advocacy

groups, and to meet legal requirements. These groups have experienced growth in

numbers attending college, diversity of fields studied, and integration within the college

setting. Although progress has been made, there are still limitations related to race, age,

sex, and disability. Segregation in specific disciplines still persists; there is still a large

difference in opportunities for males and females in sports; some institutions are still
                                                                                             61

segregated; and disabled individuals are not always provided the accommodations to

which they are entitled.

       Although legal mandates and many administrators generally support the idea of

integration, some educators and students still claim that the impact of negative attitudes

leading to discrimination are minimized by providing special segregated programs for

handicapped, racial minority, and female students. They suggest that these students feel

more socially accepted and can be provided with appropriate support when not in the

minority. For example, supporters of historically black colleges point to the advantages

that blacks have when educated in an environment where they are the majority and can

observe positive role models of their color. As another example, computing services for

disabled students are offered in segregated facilities on some campuses because disabled

student services directors do not feel that these students can be provided with the support

they need through computing service facilities used by non-disabled students.

       3. Integrating students with disabilities into higher education is more complex

and expensive than integrating other underrepresented groups because of the variety of

disabilities involved and the auxiliary aids and architectural modifications required to

make campuses and programs accessible. It is particularly difficult for small schools to

make the necessary accommodations.

       The populations of disabled and older students are more dynamic than those

determined by sex and race. As the average age of our population increases, the relative

sizes of these two groups increases. In the case of disability, some people enter and then

leave the population with temporary disabilities. In addition, the diversity of special

needs is greater in the disability group than in the others. These factors make it difficult

to determine the appropriate support services, to anticipate needs of potential disabled

students, and to provide comprehensive services for all disability types. These issues are
                                                                                            62

particularly problematic at small schools, where low and highly variable enrollments of

disabled students make specialized support services difficult to justify financially.

Medium- to large-sized institutions usually find it necessary to maintain a special office

to coordinate support for disabled students. This office works with many different

organizations (e.g., computing services, library, facilities management, faculty,

government agencies) in order to eliminate barriers to students with disabilities.

       Support services such as sign language interpreters, readers, tutors, translation of

class notes into Braille, modifications to facilities, and specialized equipment demand

financial resources far beyond those required by other students. For example, a computer

for use by a blind student might cost ten times that for a non-disabled peer; the support of

the system and training for the student also carry a high per-person cost; and this system

may be of no use to other students on campus. By comparison, eliminating dual systems

of education based on sex and race can provide efficiencies that result in reducing costs

per student. Minority, older, and female students generally require no special

accommodations or relatively modest services such as special classes to compensate for

poor college preparation due to previous discrimination.

       4. Legal developments are similar but not identical and requirements have been

different for public and private schools, putting greater pressure on public schools to

provide equal access to underrepresented groups.

       The Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, federal statutes, state

legislation, and case law provide the legal framework for protecting students from

discrimination on the basis of age, sex, race, and disability. Legal requirements have had

a major impact on social change in postsecondary institutions. However, the scope of

coverage, the definition of "discrimination," and acceptable remedies continue to be

argued in the courts.
                                                                                            63

       Women, racial minorities, older citizens, and the disabled all benefited from the

social unrest of the 1960's that focused national attention on human rights. Civil rights

legislation mandating nondiscrimination on the basis of race came in the mid-1960's,

nearly a decade before similar protection was given to groups classified on the other three

bases. Four federal statutes now prohibit discrimination in education programs receiving

federal funds: Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the 1990 ADA prohibit

discrimination on the basis of disability; the Age Discrimination Act of 1975 prohibits

discrimination on the basis of age; Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits

discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin; and Title IX of the Education

Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex. Title IX is limited to

education programs; the others apply to all programs receiving federal financial

assistance; ADA extends coverage of disabled students to programs that do not receive

federal funds. Before ADA, all statutes depended for enforcement on the denial of

federal funds to discriminating schools. At no time, however, has funding actually been

withheld from an institution of higher education because of a finding of discrimination

(Hendrickson et al., 1990).

       Sometimes the definition of an act of discrimination depends on which group the

act is directed against. For example, "separate but equal" is sometimes allowed under

Title IX, but is never acceptable under Title VI. Standards regulating discrimination on

the basis of age have not been as stringent as those applied to sex; and those applied to

sex have not been as stringent as those applied to race (Sherman & Zirkel, 1980). Many

standards that will apply to discrimination on the basis of disability have yet to be decided

by the courts.

       Section 504 and ADA differ from the others in the methods used for achieving

nondiscrimination. The differences are a result of the special treatment of disabled
persons that is necessary because of their handicaps. Whereas potential students
                                                                                             64

generally wish to be treated equally with respect to age, sex, and race, disabled students

often require individualized accommodation to gain equal opportunity.

       The civil rights statutes permit affirmative action under certain circumstances. In

a program where the recipient has previously discriminated against a group, Title IV

requires "affirmative action," whereas Section 504, the Age Discrimination Act, and Title

IX require "remedial action" to overcome the effects of its own discrimination. Even if

the institution did not discriminate in the past, it may take "voluntary action" under

Section 504 and "affirmative action" under the Age Discrimination Act, Title VI, and

Title IX to overcome the effects of conditions that resulted in limited participation. The

federal government gives little guidance as to what affirmative or remedial actions are

required or what voluntary actions are permissible under the law (Kaplan, 1985); they

have been and will continue to be decided by the courts.

       Legal cases that claim discrimination against both racial minorities and majorities,

young and old, and men and women are well documented in the literature. However, no

evidence of claims that the admissions standards of an institution discriminate against

non-disabled students was located. It remains to be seen if institutions and special

programs designed specifically for disabled students will be challenged by non-disabled

individuals in the courts.

       5. The origins and missions of two-year schools have made them more responsive

than four-year schools to traditionally underrepresented groups. Because of their "public"

nature and federal regulations, public schools have been more responsive than private.

       Two-year schools emerged in the twentieth century and attained a heavy growth

period through the 1970's. Their mission to provide educational opportunities that are

responsive to the community has made them more receptive to underrepresented groups

from their beginnings. Civil rights were of concern while many community colleges were
                                                                                                 65

forming, making it unnecessary to break long-standing traditions in order to admit non-

traditional students. The GI Bills placed heavy demands on higher education to respond

to a diverse student body. Open door policies and lower tuition rates have attracted

women, racial minorities, older students, and individuals with disabilities to two-year

schools. With research de-emphasized and instruction their main focus, they have

typically been more responsive to individual needs than the more traditional institutions

of higher education. They often feature tutoring, remedial programs classes, and small

class sizes.

          Similarly, but to a lesser degree, public institutions have a greater responsibility

than private schools to respond to the diverse needs of our society. As a result of their

public funding base, public mission, and legal requirements, they have tended to be more

responsive to special needs groups than private institutions.

          6. The success of recruitment and retention efforts for female and racial minority

students has been documented. Little evidence of such programs for disabled students

exists.

          Reports of special recruitment and retention efforts for female and

underrepresented racial minority students have been documented in the literature.

Success in these areas has also been quantified. These efforts have helped to remove

historical barriers for women and racial minorities, resulting in increased enrollment on

campuses. However, since the area of access to the disabled is relatively new, little

evidence exists of similar efforts for disabled students (Changing America, 1989). It is

expected that recruitment and retention efforts for this group will expand due to the

Americans with Disabilities Act and help increase the number of individuals with

disabilities seeking and successfully completing college degrees.
                                                                                          66

       7. Women, racial minorities, and older students have faced barriers in the use of

technology in education. However, these barriers pale when compared to the tremendous

obstacles faced by many individuals with disabilities.

       Doors to exciting career opportunities are open to those who have computing

skills. Many educational programs of study require computer use to perform statistical

analysis, access and manipulate databases, run instructional software, develop

spreadsheets, write papers, create computer programs, and run discipline-specific

applications. Further, there is a growing interest and use of computer-mediated

communication and use of electronic resources at institutions of higher education

(Coombs, 1992). By using electronic mail and computer conferencing systems, faculty

can increase quality interactions with students and between students. Electronic

information exchange over international networks can empower learners by providing

access to rich information sources.

       Older students experience difficulties in the use of computers because their

precollege training took place before current technology existed; sometimes special

training is necessary for them to update their technical skills. Women are

underrepresented in technical areas of study and employment because their traditional

roles in society have tended to lead them into less technical fields. Racial minorities

sometimes face economic barriers that limit their exposure to technology in their homes,

schools, and community.

       Some people with disabilities encounter significant barriers to computer

operations because they cannot use standard keyboards, have difficulties executing the

commands of standard software, or cannot see text on a screen or printout. Adaptive

hardware and software have been developed to provide functional alternatives to standard

operations. Many of these alternatives are described in Chapter IV. An outcome of the
Education of All Handicapped Children Act is that computer resources have become
                                                                                       67

readily available to disabled students in public schools. Computer access has contributed

to their success in
                                                                                          68

receiving high school diplomas and looking toward postsecondary education. Further,

they are leaving the public school system having received a high level of support services.

However, the special equipment purchased under PL 94-142 guidelines remains with the

schools when the students graduate from high school. These students may expect

educational institutions to provide higher levels of services than were expected by

disabled individuals from previous generations. Although federal legislation is generally

interpreted to mean that when computers are used in an academic program the institution

is responsible for ensuring access to disabled students, evidence in the literature suggests

that few postsecondary schools are adequately prepared to provide this service. Because

this area is new, little research has been done.
              Chapter III: Review of Research on Disabled Student Services

       The fundamental assumption of research in handicapped student services
       programs should be that increased knowledge through scientific
       investigation will result in improved services to disabled students and
       ultimately in enhanced lifestyle for handicapped persons. (Frieden, 1977,
       p. 213)

       This chapter summarizes published research concerning the provision of services

to disabled students in institutions of higher education and highlights important issues

that research has left unresolved. Research results that have been disseminated in

educational literature (journals, published conference proceedings, and books) were used

as sources of information. The review is organized into three themes:

       1. Description

       What services have been provided to disabled students? What disabilities have

they addressed?

       2. Evaluation

       How successful have special services to disabled students been? How successful

have disabled students been in pursuing postsecondary education?

       3. Attitude

       What are the attitudes of faculty, staff and students toward disabled students in

higher education? What are the attitudes of disabled students toward themselves, the

college environment, and services?



                                 Analysis and Conclusions

       Sixty studies were located for this review. Thirteen were published in conference

proceedings, three in books, and forty-three in journals, as indicated in Table 1.
                                                                                         70

       Table 1. Sources of Research Studies

       Publication                                               Number of Studies


       Academic Therapy                                                   1
       AHSSPPE or AHEAD conference proceedings                           13
       American Annals of the Deaf                                        1
       The Disabled College Veteran of World War II (book)                1
       Exceptional Children                                               1
       The Impact of Exemplary Technology-Support Programs
          on Students with Disabilities (book)                            1
       Investing in Human Potential: Science and Engineering
          at the Crossroads (book)                                        1
       Journal of American Indian Education                               1
       Journal of College Student Development                             2
       Journal of College Student Personnel                               9
       Journal of Learning Disabilities                                   2
       Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability
          (formerly the Bulletin of AHSSPPE)                             11
       Journal of Rehabilitation                                          2
       The Journal of Social Psychology                                   1
       NAPW Journal                                                       1
       NASPA Journal                                                      1
       The New Outlook for the Blind                                      1
       Paraplegia News                                                    1
       Personnel and Guidance Journal                                     4
       Psychology in the Schools                                          1
       Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin                                 1
       Rehabilitation Literature                                          3

       Table 2 lists key characteristics of each study that was reviewed. For each item, it

includes year published, author name(s), category of question addressed, and description

of the study.
                                                                                        71

Table 2. Characteristics of Research Studies

#       Year Author(s)       Question*    Description of Study
1.      1950 Strom              D         Survey of campuses & disabled veteran students
2.      1955 Lerner, Martin     D,E       Case studies of physically disabled students
3.      1957a Condon            D         Survey of campuses, services for physically dis.
4.      1957b Condon            D,E       Survey of disabled alumni
5.      1959 Schweikert         D         Survey of wheelchair users
6.      1961 Condon             D         Survey of campuses, blind students & services
7.      1961 Bigman             D,E       Survey of campuses, hearing imp. stud. & svs
8.      1965 Genskow et al.     A         Survey of students
9.      1973 Schulker, Stilwell D         Survey of campuses, services for dis. students
10.     1974 Cox, McBee         D         Survey of campuses, disabled student services
11.     1974 Mahan              D         Survey campuses, disabled student services
12.     1975 Akamu              D         Survey campuses, disabled student services
13.     1976 Newman             A         Survey of faculty
14.     1976 Murphy             E         Compare GPA's of hearing impaired with others
15.     1978 Demos et al.       A         Survey of disabled and non-disabled students
16.     1978 Blake, Cleary      D,E       Data collection on level of service use
17.     1979 Babbitt et al.     A         Survey of physically handicapped students
18.     1980 Dudley, Penn       A         Survey of disabled students
19.     1981 Cordoni, Snyder    E         Compare tests of academic achievement LD
stud.
20.     1981   Fonosch, Schwab      A     Survey of faculty
21.     1982   Baker et al.         D     Survey of campuses, services for dis. students
22.     1983   Sedlacek, Stovall    A     Survey of non-disabled students
23.     1983   Armstrong            D     Survey of campuses, deaf programs
24.     1983   Iovacchini, Marion   D     Survey of campuses, services for dis. students
25.     1983   Biller               A,E   Survey of LD and non-LD students
26.     1983   Patterson et al.     A     Survey of disabled students
27.     1983   Perritt, Stilwell    D     Survey of campuses, services for dis students
28.     1983   Amos, Jenkins        A     Survey of black disabled & non-disabled student
29.     1984   Turk                 D,E   Survey of hearing impaired students
30.     1984   Minner, Prater       A     Survey of faculty, expectations of LD students
31.     1984   Burkhead, Cope       E     Test of career maturity of students
32.     1984   Sampson              D,E   Survey of campuses, career svs for dis. stud.
33.     1985   Hausken et al.       D     Survey of Christian colleges, services dis. stud.
34.     1985   Schroedel            A,D   Survey of deaf students
35.     1985   Ouellette            D     Survey of campuses, services for deaf students
36.     1985   Innes                A,E   Survey of experts, deaf programs
37.     1986   Bohan, Humes         A,E   Survey of disabled students
38.     1986   Moore et al.         A     Survey of disabled students
39.     1986   Margolis, Price      E     Use of microcomputer by LD students
40.     1987   Aksamit et al.       A     Survey of faculty & staff about LD students
41.     1987   Antonoff et al.      D     Survey of campuses, services for LD students
                                                                                      72

42.   1988   Collins et al.      D,E   Writing performance of LD students using micro
wp
43.   1988   Bursuck et al.      D,E   Survey of campuses, services for LD students
44.   1988   Minden, Wilchesky   E     Test of LD and non-LD students
45.   1988   Amos et al.         A     Survey of black & white disabled students
46.   1988   Horn et al.         E     Use of computers by disabled student
47.   1990   Boyer et al.        A     Survey of minority disabled students
                                                                                          73

Table 2, continued

#     Year Author(s)       Question*       Description of Study
48.   1990 Dodd et al.         A           Survey of faculty at tribal college, LD students
49.   1990 Leyser              A           Survey of faculty
50.   1990 Brown, Foster       A,E         Interviews of hearing impaired students
51.   1990 Horn, Shell         D           Survey of campuses, computing for dis. stud.
52.   1990 Amsel, Fichten      A           Survey of faculty & disabled students
53.   1990 Roessler, Schriner A            Survey of disabled students
54.   1991 Apthorp et al.      E           Interviews of LD students
55.   1991 Falk, Herzog        E           Survey of LD graduates
56.   1991 Horn, Shell         E           Survey of disabled students
57.   1991 Ammirati, Sheridan D            Case study of one private school
58.   1991 Malcom, Matyas      E           Survey of campuses
59.   1991 Hall, Litt, McGuire A           Survey of needs of LD students
60.   1991 Murphy              D           Exemplary technology-support programs

* Research Question Type: D = Description, E = Evaluation, A = Attitude

       The number of studies of each type were fairly even, with most studies related to

the first category, descriptions. Some were classified into two categories. Table 3 shows

the number of studies according to the question addressed.

       Table 3. Research Questions Addressed by Studies

       Research Question       Number of Studies
       Description                  27
       Evaluation                   22
       Attitude                     24
       The number of research articles per decade has increased over time, with more

than half published in the last ten years. Table 4 reflects this trend.

       Table 4. Number of Research Studies Published Each Decade

       Years                   Number of Studies       Average Per Year
       1941-50                       1                       .1
       1951-60                       4                       .4
       1961-70                       3                       .3
       1971-80                      10                      1.0
       1981-90                      35                      3.5
       1991                          7                      7.0
                                                                                         74

         Most studies were exploratory and employed survey research techniques. Few

tested hypotheses. The lack of experimental research in the literature reflects the

difficulties in performing this type of research and the newness of the field.

         Some samples were extremely small; sixteen were under fifty (Akamu, 1975;

Apthorp, Greenspan, & Williams, 1991; Babbitt et al., 1979; Brown & Foster, 1990;

Collins et al., 1988; Cordoni & Snyder, 1981; Cox & McBee, 1974; Dodd, Fischer,

Hermanson, & Nelson, 1990; Dudley & Penn, 1980; Hall, Litt, & McGuire, 1991;

Hausken, Kulk, & Longman, 1985; Horn, Severs, & Shell, 1988; Murphy, 1991;

Ouellette, 1985; Perritt, Stilwell, & Stilwell, 1983; Schulker & Stilwell, 1973). Most

studies used nonrandom samples.

         Few studies sampled a large group of institutions (Bigman, 1961; Condon, 1957b;

Iovacchini & Marion, 1983; Mahan, 1974; Malcom & Matyas, 1991). In twenty-four

studies, all participants were from the same institution (Aksamit et al., 1987; Ammirati &

Sheridan, 1991; Apthorp et al., 1991; Babbitt et al., 1979; Blake, Cleary, & Quatrano,

1978; Boyer-Stephens & Messerli, 1990; Brown & Foster, 1990; Burkhead & Cope,

1984; Cordoni & Snyder, 1981; Demos, Gaines, Lazar, Rogers, & Stirnkorb, 1978; Dodd

et al., 1990; Dudley & Penn, 1980; Falk & Herzog, 1991; Hall et al., 1991; Lerner &

Martin, 1955; Horn et al., 1988; Horn & Shell, 1991; Innes, 1985; Leyser, 1990; Margolis

& Price, 1986; Murphy, 1976; Newman, 1976; Schroedel, 1985; Sedlacek & Stovall,

1983).

         Some studies were limited to members of special groups. For example, Strom

(1950) studied disabled students who were veterans. Bursuck et al. (1988), Horn and

Shell (1990), and Sampson (1984) surveyed members of the Association on Handicapped

Student Services Programs in Postsecondary Education (AHSSPPE). Hausken, Kulk, and

Longman (1985) limited their study to Christian colleges. Dodd et al. (1990) studied
                                                                                               75

faculty at tribal schools. Amos and Jenkins (1983) studied black students. Schulker and

Stilwell (1973) and Perritt et al. (1983) provided the only longitudinal data located.

        Only five studies dealt with the use of computer technology (Collins et al., 1988;

Horn et al., 1988; Horn & Shell, 1990; Margolis & Price, 1986; Murphy, 1991). The

earliest appeared in the literature in 1988.

        Most researchers obtained primary data and constructed their own measuring

instruments. Only nine studies made use of standardized instruments (Apthorp et al.,

1991; Baker, Best, Howard, & Ostertag, 1982; Biller, 1983; Burkhead & Cope, 1984;

Collins et al., 1988; Cordoni & Snyder, 1981; Demos et al., 1978; Fonosch & Schwab,

1981; Sedlacek & Stovall, 1983).

Analysis and Conclusions: Description

        The range of the types of disabilities of students in institutions of higher education

has increased. Table 5, listing the types of disabilities addressed in the studies, reflects

the broadening definition of disability that has occurred over the years covered. Early

studies examined only physical disabilities. The first study to specifically include

individuals with learning disabilities was published in 1980 (Dudley & Penn). Although

sampling, design, implementation, and analysis issues raise concerns about the

generalizability of the findings of these studies, the results are consistent with other

literature in the field.
                                                                           76

Table 5. Types of Disabilities Addressed in Research Studies

#     Year     Mobility    Visual    Hearing Other Phys. LD        Other

1.    1950        x          x          x          x
2.    1955        x          x          x          x
3.    1957        x          x          x          x
4.    1957        x          x          x          x
5.    1959        x
6.    1961                   x
7.    1961                              x
8.    1965        x          x          x          x
9.    1973        x          x          x          x
10.   1974        x          x          x
11.   1974        x          x          x
12    1975        x          x          x
13.   1976        x          x          x          x
14.   1976
15.   1978        x          x          x          x
16.   1978        x          x          x          x
17.   1979        x          x          x          x
18.   1980        x          x          x          x           x      x
19.   1981                                                     x
20.   1981        x          x          x          x           x      x
21.   1982                                         x
22.   1983        x          x          x          x
23.   1983                              x
24.   1983        x          x          x          x           x      x
25.   1983                                                     x
26.   1983        x          x          x          x           x      x
27.   1983        x          x          x          x           x      x
28.   1983        x          x          x          x                  x
29.   1984
30.   1984                                                     x
31.   1984        x          x          x          x
32.   1984        x          x          x          x           x      x
33.   1985        x          x          x          x           x      x
34.   1985                              x
35.   1985                              x
36.   1985                              x
37.   1986        x          x          x          x           x      x
38.   1986        x          x          x          x           x      x
39.   1986                                                     x
40.   1987                                                     x
41.   1987                                                     x
                                     77

42.   1988                   x
43.   1988                   x
44.   1988                   x
45.   1988   x   x   x   x   x   x
46.   1988   x   x   x   x   x   x
                                                                                           78

     Table 5, continued

       #     Year       Mobility    Visual    Hearing Other Phys. LD            Other
       47.   1990         x          x
       48.   1990                                                       x
       49.   1990         x           x          x           x          x           x
       50.   1990                                x
       51.   1990         x           x          x           x          x           x
       52.   1990         x           x          x           x          x           x
       53.   1990         x           x          x           x          x           x
       54.   1991                                                       x
       55.   1991                                                       x
       56.   1991         x           x          x           x          x           x
       57.   1991         x           x          x           x          x           x
       58.   1991         x           x          x           x          x           x
       59.   1991                                                       x
       60.   1991         x           x          x           x          x           x

       Twenty-seven studies described services for students with disabilities. In the

earliest study examined, the American Council on Education studied the experiences of

physically handicapped veterans and the colleges and universities they attended (Strom,

1950). The most common forms of special assistance provided were transportation,

accessible housing arrangements, classroom adjustments, and counseling. The report

highlighted the services required to meet the needs of disabled students, pointed out

weaknesses in the existing programs, and provided examples of special efforts made to

accommodate students.

       Studies through the 1960's found that most colleges and universities did not have

a firm policy on admission of disabled students, many did not accept students with certain

types of disabilities, and most were not equipped to serve severely disabled students.

Students with disabilities were often discouraged from attending schools that could not

accommodate them (Bigman, 1961; Condon, 1957a; Condon, 1961; Lerner & Martin,

1955; Schweikert, 1959). Preferential seating, special study rooms, typewriters, special

testing arrangements, and funds for purchasing recorders and hearing aids were provided
                                                                                             79

at some colleges. Through the cooperation of local, state, and federal organizations, some

texts were recorded for the blind (Condon, 1957a; Condon, 1961).

       Although roughly 75% of the colleges and universities surveyed by Mahan in

1974 accepted handicapped students, only 25% had any specialized support facilities or

programs. 18% indicated they would reject blind students, 22% that they would reject

deaf students and 27% that they would reject students in wheelchairs. Among the major

problems in developing disabled student services were 1) convincing various directors of

the university of the need for such services, and 2) dealing with topographical and

architectural barriers to make the campus facilities accessible (Cox & McBee,1974).

Many colleges of the 70's were generally interested in admitting disabled students, but

lacked adequate special services for them (Akamu, 1975).

       Studies that appeared after Section 504 documented growth in the range of

services for students with disabilities (Armstrong, 1983; Hausken et al., 1985; Iovacchini

& Marion, 1983; Ouellette, 1985; Perritt, Stilwell, & Stilwell, 1983; Sampson, 1984).

Some schools made relatively successful efforts to make their programs accessible to

handicapped students as required by Section 504 (Iovacchini & Marion, 1983) and, when

offered, many disabled students used the special services (Sampson; Schroedel, 1985).

Recent studies provide evidence that most schools have provided some special services

for students with learning disabilities, but there is a wide range of offerings (Antonoff,

Drake, Parks, Skiba, & Soberman, 1987; Baker et al., 1982; Bursuck et al., 1988).

Program offerings include intake interviewing, referrals, assessment tools, counseling,

tutoring, and availability of a learning center. One case study (Ammirati & Sheridan,

1991) concluded that the organizational changes necessary to effectively serve disabled

students are complex and multidimensional.

       Schulker and Stilwell (1973) and Perritt et al. (1983) provide the only longitudinal
data describing services provided for students with disabilities. They found that, over a
                                                                                        80

ten year period, the Kentucky state institutions investigated had responded and adapted to
                                                                                            81

disabled students, but that the degree of adaptation was uneven. Special services such as

orientation programs had been established and more curricular and extra-curricular

opportunities were made available. Housing opportunities, however, continued to be

limited.

       As computer access became an integral part of programs in higher education

rather than a requirement reserved for students in scientific and technical fields, a new

dimension to the accessibility issue emerged. Horn and Shell (1990) surveyed institutions

to evaluate the provision of computing services to disabled students. They found that

availability varied greatly and that there were few computer adaptive accommodations for

severely disabled students. Adaptive equipment and software provided were determined

to be at a lower level than other disabled student services. This and other studies (Collins

et al., 1988; Horn et al., 1988; Margolis & Price, 1986) show that some schools are now

providing microcomputer-based support services for learning disabled students and

support the effectiveness of word processing as an accommodation for learning disabled

college writers. Murphy (1991) described sixteen exemplary programs, summarized

implementation guidelines from key staff, and made a series of recommendations,

including that all colleges and universities should incorporate full technological access to

programs for students with disabilities as soon as possible and that longitudinal research

should be undertaken to track technology as a major variable in educational achievement

and employability for those with disabilities.

       In summary, admissions policies for students with disabilities have become less

restrictive. Furthermore, the services for students with disabilities today bear little

resemblance in numbers, types of disabilities addressed, and use of technology to those

provided before them on college and university campuses. Emphasis has moved from

removing architectural barriers for those with physical disabilities to providing support
                                                                                         82

services to individuals with a wider range of disabilities, the largest new population being

learning disabled. In addition, the increased use of computers on campuses has defined a

new category of access issues.

Analysis and Conclusions: Evaluation

       Studies have concluded that disabled students generally adapt to the college

environment successfully and experience academic, financial, and personal problems

similar to those of other students (Bigman, 1961; Bohan & Humes, 1986; Brown &

Foster, 1990; Murphy, 1976; Strom, 1950; Turk, 1984). No single criterion to predict

college achievement has been found (Lerner & Martin, 1955).

       Minden and Wilchesky (1988) concluded that learning disabled students have

more difficulties adjusting to college life than non-learning disabled students. But,

according to Bursuck et al. (1988), learning disabled students who receive special

services are more likely to graduate than those who do not. In addition, two studies

(Collins et al., 1988; Margolis & Price, 1986) reported positive outcomes for learning

disabled students in earned grades, course persistence, apprehension toward writing, and

quantity of text produced in a microcomputer-enriched environment.

       Although institutions have rarely kept track of whether disabled students graduate

(Bursuck et al., 1988) or gain employment (Sampson, 1984), some studies document the

success of disabled graduates in a variety of jobs (Condon, 1957b; Falk & Herzog, 1991;

Sampson, 1984) and high degrees of job satisfaction (Falk & Herzog) and suggest that the

college trained handicapped student can compete with the non-handicapped in the world

of work. Prospects for graduation of some disabled students have been even greater than

for their non-disabled peers. Burkhead and Cope (1984) found that physically disabled

students are more vocationally mature than non-disabled students at similar stages in their

academic careers. Problem solving being the principal source of differences suggests that
                                                                                             83

they cope more effectively with career decision making. One explanation for this finding

is that students with disabilities may develop greater problem solving skills through their

experiences in coping with daily living problems imposed by their physical limitations.

       However, it has been found that learning disabled students have difficulties in

planning for future careers. Biller (1983) found that learning disabled students, are less

mature in their career decision-making than other students. Further, learning disabled

students with high ratings in social competence are more likely to experience job success

(Apthorp et al., 1991).

       Individuals with disabilities have tended toward degree programs in fields with

low pay (Falk & Herzog, 1991; Malcom & Matyas, 1991) and high unemployment rates

(Malcom & Matyas). Even those who become trained in higher-paying careers, such as

scientists and engineers, experience higher unemployment rates than those who are not

disabled. Even so, the employment rate for scientists and engineers with physical

disabilities is 83%, much higher than the estimated 26% overall employment rate for the

United States population with disabilities (Malcom & Matyas).

       A few program evaluation instruments and procedures have been proposed in the

literature (e.g., McCombs, 1977), but none were used in the research studies reported.

Although some studies measured level of use of special services (Blake et al., 1978;

Sampson, 1984), they did not evaluate the services provided. It was found, however, that

advanced students tend to use fewer services than freshmen, perhaps because of increased

independence gained from familiarity with campus facilities and programs (Blake et al.,

1978). Most researchers used GPA to measure college success. Cordoni and Snyder

(1981), however, tested learning-disabled college students with WRAT and PIAT

academic achievement instruments and showed that these tests cannot be used

interchangeably in testing academic achievement.
                                                                                            84

       Few scholars have addressed the issue of whether computer access can contribute

to the academic success of students with disabilities. However, positive academic

outcomes have been found when learning disabled students are placed in a

microcomputer-enriched environment (Collins et al., 1988; Horn et al., 1988; Margolis &

Price, 1986). Horn et al. concluded that disabled students benefit from the same

computer resources used by non-disabled students. Word processing, often used for

completion of papers and tests, has been found to be particularly beneficial for students

with disabilities. Computers help disabled students participate more fully and

independently in college educational activities.

       In summary, research indicates that students with disabilities typically adapt well

to the college environment, are more vocationally mature than non-disabled students, and

can compete in securing employment. Exceptions can be found in the learning disabled

population. There is some evidence that computer access and other special services can

increase the success rate of learning disabled students. Although support services have

expanded greatly since their beginnings, relatively little formal evaluation has been done

and standard evaluation instruments have not been developed. It appears that those

involved in setting up and implementing programs have been busy building and

expanding services, rather than evaluating current services for effectiveness.

Analysis and Conclusions: Attitude

       Six studies explored the attitudes of faculty and staff toward disabled students in

higher education (Aksamit et al., 1987; Dodd et al., 1990; Fonosch & Schwab, 1981;

Minner & Prater, 1984; Newman, 1976; Sedlacek & Stovall, 1983).        It was found that

faculty members tend to hold positive attitudes toward integrating disabled students into

college classrooms (Fonosch & Schwab). Few favor restricting admissions to individuals

with disabilities (Newman, 1976). Although most are receptive to providing special
accommodations, students with disabilities often hesitate to request the special
              85

adaptations
                                                                                             86

they need (Amsel & Fichten, 1990). Both black and white disabled students are reluctant

to accept assistance (Amos, Graham, & Jenkins, 1988; Boyer-Stephens & Messerli,

1990). In fact, non-disabled students believe it is more appropriate to request or accept

special treatment than disabled students.

       Professors consider blindness to place the most serious constraint on college work

and deafness the second most serious constraint (Newman, 1976). They support the

integration of students with sensory and physical disabilities, but are less supportive of

the integration of students with learning disabilities and emotional problems (Leyser,

1990). However, student services professionals and faculty members have little

knowledge of the characteristics and needs of students with learning disabilities (Aksamit

et al., 1987; Dodd et al., 1990).

       Faculty attitudes toward students with disabilities are related to several factors.

These include: 1) previous contact with individuals with disabilities, 2) gender, 3)

discipline, and 4) level of information. High scores on attitude scales tend to be

exhibited by faculty who have had previous contact with disabled persons (Aksamit et al.,

1987; Fonosch & Schwab, 1981; Sedlacek & Stovall, 1983). Female instructors and

educators in social sciences and education tend to have high positive attitudes toward

disabled students (Fonosch & Schwab). And, faculty with more information about

disabilities have more positive attitudes than those with less information (Aksamit et al.).

Professors are also influenced by the descriptions of individuals with disabilities,

suggesting that many attitudinal barriers can be traced directly to the use of negative

terminology (Minner & Prater, 1984). Specifically, the "learning disabled" label

significantly and negatively influences faculty members' expectations.

       Seventeen studies examined attitudes of students with disabilities toward

themselves, the campus environment, special services, and employment (Amos et al.,
                                                                                             87

1988; Amos & Jenkins, 1983; Amsel & Fichten, 1990; Babbitt, et al., 1979; Biller, 1983;

Bohan & Humes, 1986; Boyer-Stephens & Messerli, 1990; Brown & Foster, 1990;

Demos et al., 1978; Dudley & Penn, 1980; Hall et al., 1991; Minden & Wilchesky, 1988;

Moore & Nye, 1986; Patterson, Scales, & Sedlacek, 1983; Roessler & Schriner, 1990;

Schroedel, 1985; Turk, 1984). These studies concluded that students with disabilities are

not significantly different from their non-disabled peers with respect to attitudes, self-

concept, psychological and social adjustment, potential, career concerns, or goals. One

exception is that learning disabled students have been shown to have more difficulty

adjusting to college life and pursuing career goals (Biller, 1983; Minden & Wilchesky).

The academic needs of learning disabled students have been found to fall into two areas,

study strategies and written expression (Hall et al., 1991).

        More positive attitudes toward disabled students are held by students attending

colleges with the disabled student service programs than by those on campuses without

such programs (Genskow & Maglione, 1965). Female students are more comfortable

than male students in situations with disabled students (Sedlacek & Stovall, 1983).

Attitudes toward blind students are more negative than toward students in wheelchairs.

There is also an interaction between type of disability and situation. For example, blind

students are reacted to most negatively in an academic setting, wheelchair students in a

social setting.

        Disabled and non-disabled students are not significantly different with respect to

their attitudes toward handicapped students (Demos et al., 1978). Disabled students do,

however, sense that others in their college environment view them negatively (Babbitt et

al., 1979). Although non-disabled students believe that they personally do not stigmatize

physically handicapped students, they tend to think that many others on campus do

(Babbitt et al.).
                                                                                           88

       Some students with disabilities are concerned about the lack of awareness of their

special requirements by many faculty; they feel that professors often fail to meet their

needs (Moore & Nye, 1986). Sometimes they experience feelings of isolation. Three

factors that contribute to feelings of isolation by hearing impaired students are 1) physical

grouping of hearing impaired students, 2) the use of support services, and 3) students'

perceptions of themselves and others (Brown & Foster, 1990).

       Several studies have analyzed the attitudes of students with double minority status

determined by disability and race. Very little difference has been found between black

disabled and non-disabled students in their general characteristics, feelings about

families, or feelings about self (Amos & Jenkins, 1983). Non-disabled blacks, however,

are more favorable than disabled blacks to school experiences with peers, teachers, and

extracurricular activities (Amos & Jenkins). White disabled students are more positive

than black disabled students about their interactions with peers and their inclusion in

school experiences, but both black and white disabled students are somewhat negative

about services provided to them (Amos, Graham, & Jenkins, 1988).

       Some disabled students expect that their disability will not interfere with job

prospects (Boyer-Stephens & Messerli, 1990). Black students view both race and

disability as issues in employment (Amos, Jenkins, & Graham, 1988). However, some

black disabled students believe that their double minority status is an asset in seeking

employment (Boyer-Stephens & Messerli). Disabled students feel that attitudinal barriers

are more of a problem than architectural barriers in gaining employment after college.

Some who are disabled and of a racial minority consider education to be an important

vehicle for achieving acceptance and attitudinal changes in society (Boyer-Stephens &

Messerli).
                                                                                            89

       In summary, faculty and staff have generally positive attitudes about integrating

students with disabilities into higher education programs, but limited knowledge of some

disabilities. Particularly positive attitudes are possessed by female faculty, those who

have had experiences with and knowledge of disabled individuals, and faculty in social

science and education disciplines. Attitudes, self concept, and overall adjustment are

similar between disabled and non-disabled students. Although students with disabilities

generally feel accepted within the college community, they sometimes feel stigmatized

and isolated. Students attending institutions with disabled student service programs have

more positive attitudes about disabled students than those on campuses without special

programs. Female students are more comfortable with students with disabilities than

male students. Attitudes toward students with disabilities have also been found to vary

with the type of situation. People are also influenced by the presence of negative labels

and descriptions of disabled students. These findings suggest that programs that help

increase the awareness of faculty and students about disabled students positively affect

attitudes toward them.



                                         Summary

       This chapter has summarized published research in the area of disabled student

services in institutions of higher education. It is not known whether the studies reviewed

are representative of the total research done in this field. Although published studies may

be more likely to have good research designs and are easier to locate than other research

reports, restricting the review to published research contributes to the risk of publication

bias since significant findings are more likely to be submitted to journals and more likely

to be accepted for publication than nonsignificant findings (Light & Pillemer, 1984). It

should be noted that the small and nonrandom samples of some studies present threats to
the external validity of the results. In addition, some studies surveyed groups with unique
                                                                                              90

characteristics that could lead to biased results. Another potential threat to validity was

the potential bias of the instruments used since most researchers constructed their own

instruments. Most studies were ex post facto, leaving many extraneous variables

uncontrolled. These issues raise concerns about the internal and external validity of the

studies. Therefore, results must be integrated and generalized with caution.

        Published research to date leaves many important questions unanswered. Future

research is needed to help institutions of higher education make informed policy choices

about the provision of disabled student services. Resulting program improvements could

ultimately enhance the academic success of individuals with disabilities and thereby

contribute to the productivity and quality of life of the disabled population. Some

important issues facing disabled student service programs include responding to the

changing characteristics of students with disabilities, evaluating disabled student services

programs, and exploring the impact of attitudes on the treatment of students with

disabilities.

        Another critical area of research is access to computer technology. Research in

this area is of special importance because of the legal requirement to provide appropriate

auxiliary aids, the increasing use of computers and electronic information in academic

programs, and the tremendous potential of adaptive technology to help disabled students

succeed in postsecondary education and employment.
         Chapter IV: Discussion of Computing Services For Disabled Students

       The computer is one of the most liberating and empowering technologies
       to come along in a long time for people with a variety of handicaps.
       (N. Coombs, a blind professor who teaches deaf students, cited in Wilson,
       1992b, p. A18)

       Participation in school activities can be difficult for individuals who cannot write,

see, speak, or hear. However, the computer can compensate for some of these physical

limitations, provide educational experiences, and lead to career opportunities (Bowe,

1984; Bowe, 1986; Brandenberg & Vanderheiden, 1987; Brill, 1987; Burgstahler, 1992;

Burkhead, McMahon, & Sampson, 1986; Remy, 1992; Schworles, 1983; Taylor &

Squires, 1988; Wolgeleter, 1986). Once satisfactory methods are found to operate

computers, new activities are open to disabled students and the amount of time that it

takes to complete their work can be reduced. Besides using computers for the same

purposes as non-disabled students, students with disabilities can use them as

compensatory tools to overcome functional limitations imposed by their disabilities. For

example, a computer equipped with speech output can be used as a "voice" for someone

who cannot speak. Before people with disabilities can be integrated into academic

programs and the workforce, they must gain skills that will allow them to be productive

students and employees; technology can play a vital role in this process.

       As the use of computing technology in higher education has expanded over the
last decade, comprehensive computing services have appeared on college campuses

across the country. However, there is little evidence that campuses provide a broad range

of computing services to their disabled students. Access to computer systems and to

electronic online resources are important services; the next two sections are devoted to

discussions of these two areas. Other services to be considered include computer

consulting services for adaptive equipment selection and use, training in the use of these

products, supporting a computer user group for disabled students, selling adaptive
computer products, repairing student-owned adaptive equipment, and loaning adaptive
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computer equipment to disabled students (Computers and Students, 1991; Keddy, 1988;

Managing End User, 1989; Murphy, 1991).



                  Adaptive Technology that Provides Computer Access

       People with disabilities face a variety of barriers to providing computer input,

interpreting output, and reading documentation. Those who are blind or have low vision

cannot see keyboard indicator lights, locate special keys, or read text presented on the

computer screen or in documentation. Individuals with hearing impairments miss the

audio output used in some programs. People who do not have complete hand and/or arm

control may not be able to use standard keyboards, mice, or on/off switches. Those using

single fingers, head sticks, mouth sticks, or other pointing devices cannot press two keys

at the same time, a skill required to execute some computer commands. Some

individuals cannot release a key before the automatic repeat function displays many more

copies of the selection than desired or select one key without accidentally pressing others

nearby. The standard keyboard is not arranged efficiently for one-handed typists. Some

people with learning disabilities experience input problems because they mistype

computer commands and make numerous spelling errors. They may also be unable to

comprehend computer output and printed documentation.

       Adaptive hardware and software have been developed to provide functional

alternatives to standard operations. They assist disabled users with controlling input,

interpreting output, and reading documentation. Thousands of commercially-available

products are listed in directories such as those from Apple (1990), Closing the Gap

(1992), International Business Machines (1990), and the Trace Research and

Development Center (Berliss, Borden, Ford, & Vanderheiden, 1991). Many of the

adaptations, a reflection of the active use of computers with K-12 disabled students, are
available for the Apple II
                                                                                            93

computer, which has been the most commonly-used machine in precollege educational

programs. However, a growing selection of software and hardware is available for

Macintosh and IBM-compatible machines (Apple; Brown, 1992; Closing the Gap;

International Business Machines; Keddy, 1989), the most popular microcomputers on

postsecondary campuses (Eastman & Green, 1992).

       Research on the effectiveness of specific adaptive devices is sparse. Most

published articles are anecdotal and report experiences of single subjects or small groups

(e.g., Brightman & Green, 1990; Burgstahler, 1992; Remy, 1992). Even making use of

these limited findings in selecting equipment is difficult because frequent updates to

products make earlier evaluations inapplicable and the disabling conditions and

computing needs of one person rarely match those of individuals with whom adaptations

have been tested.

       Some computer adaptations and campus support services can assist individuals

with a variety of disabilities. For example, equipment which provides flexibility in the

positioning of monitors, keyboards, and table tops is useful for many disabled users.

Adjustable copy holders can also ease accessibility. Similarly, signs indicating the

availability of adaptive technology in labs, documentation describing its use, and

adequate support in use of the equipment benefits all users. The availability of portable

computers can assist disabled students with a variety of disabilities in note taking and

communication in classes.

       Criteria to evaluate technology suggested by the California Community College

technology centers are that it meet three basic requirements: The technology must 1)

function with industry-standard software, 2) function concurrently with other adaptive

technology, and 3) be easy to teach, learn and maintain (Computers and Students, 1991).

Other criteria that can be used for selecting specific products once a general approach is
                                                                                             94

determined include cost, flexibility, transparency, warranty service and technical support

provided by the manufacturer, and quality of documentation. Approaches to removing

barriers to computing for students with specific disabilities are summarized below.

Students with Mobility Impairments

       Facilities considerations can address some computer access issues for students

who are mobility impaired. For instance, wheelchair-accessibility of lab areas (ramps,

elevators, accessible doors, and wide aisles between tables) and nearby restrooms and

telephones should be ensured. Plugging all computer components into power outlet strips

with accessible on/off switches can make it possible for disabled students to turn

equipment on and off independently.

       Input

       Some physical disabilities allow little or no use of the hands, making input to the

computer via the standard keyboard difficult or impossible. Innovative methods exist for

overcoming the keyboard barrier. Appropriate solutions depend on the particular

strengths and limitations of individual users.

       Some adaptive hardware and software assist standard keyboard use. Individuals

who have use of one finger, a mouth- or head-stick, or some other pointing device, can

control the computer by pressing keys with the pointing device. Hardware switching

devices can be used to lock the SHIFT and CONTROL keys to allow sequential

keystrokes to input commands that normally require two or more keys to be pressed

simultaneously. Software utilities can also create "sticky keys" that electronically latch

the shift, control, and other keys and allow those who are typing with single fingers or

pointing devices to press keys sequentially rather than concurrently. The key repeat

function can be disabled for those who cannot release a key quickly enough to avoid

multiple selections. Keyboard
                                                                                            95

guards (solid templates with holes over each key to assist precise selection) can be used

by those who lack fine motor control.

       Sometimes repositioning the keyboard and monitor can enhance accessibility. For

example, mounting keyboards perpendicular to tables or wheelchair trays and at head-

height can assist individuals with limited mobility who use pointing devices to press keys.

Other simple hardware modifications can also assist individuals with mobility

impairments. For example, disk guides can assist with inserting and removing diskettes;

a dedicated hard disk and/or computer network access can eliminate or reduce the

necessity to do so.

       For individuals who need to operate the computer with one hand, left- and right-

handed keyboards are available. They provide more efficient key arrangements than

standard keyboards designed for two-handed users.

       Some hardware modifications completely replace the keyboard and/or mouse for

individuals who cannot operate these standard devices. Expanded keyboards (larger keys,

spaced far apart) can replace standard keyboards for those who lack fine motor control.

Mini-keyboards provide access to those who have fine motor control but lack a range of

motion great enough to use a standard keyboard. Track balls and specialized input

devices can replace mice.

       For those with more severe mobility impairments keyboard emulation is available,

including scanning and Morse code input. In each case, special switches make use of at

least one muscle over which the individual has voluntary control (e.g., head, finger, knee,

mouth). In scanning input, lights or cursors scan letters and symbols displayed on

computer screens or external devices. To make selections, individuals use switches

activated by movement of the head, finger, foot, breath, etc. Hundreds of switches tailor

input devices to individual needs. In Morse code input, users input Morse code by
activating switches (e.g., a sip-and-puff switch registers dot with a sip and dash with a
                                                                                            96

puff). Special adaptive hardware and software translate Morse code into a form that

computers understand so that standard software can be used.

       Voice input provides another option for individuals with disabilities. Speech

recognition systems allow users to control computers by speaking words and letters. A

particular system is "trained" to recognize specific voices.

       Special software can further aid those with mobility impairments. Abbreviation

expansion (macro) and word prediction software can reduce input demands for

commonly-used text and keyboard commands. For example, word prediction software

that anticipates entire words after several keystrokes can increase input speed.

       Documentation

       Standard documentation is difficult to use for those who cannot use their hands.

On-screen help can provide efficient access to user guides for individuals who are unable

to turn pages in books.

Students with Visual Impairments

       Computing facilities can be adapted to assist visually impaired users. Special

facilities considerations include providing large-print and Braille versions of lab

instruction sheets, signs, and equipment labels. Portable computers can be used by blind

students to take notes in class. Later, using equipment and software described below,

they can translate their notes into voice or Braille for reviewing.

       Input

       Most individuals who are visually impaired can use standard keyboards, however

Braille input devices are available as well. Large print or Braille key labels can assist

with keyboard use.
                                                                                             97

        Output

        Special equipment for the visually impaired can modify display or printer output.

Computer-generated symbols, both text and graphics, can be enlarged on the monitor or

printer, thereby allowing individuals with low vision to use standard word processing,

spreadsheet, electronic mail, and other software applications.

        For individuals with some visual impairments, the ability to adjust the color of the

monitor or change the foreground and background colors is also of value (Computer

Center for the Visually Impaired, 1985; International Business Machines, 1989). For

example, special software can reverse the screen from black on white to white on black

for people who are light sensitive. Anti-glare screens can also make screens easier to

read.

        Voice output can be used to read screen text to blind computer users. Special

software "read" computer screens and speech synthesizers "speak" the text. The

availability of earphones for individuals using voice output systems can reduce the

distractions for other lab users.

        Refreshable Braille displays allow line-by-line translation of the screen into

Braille on a display area where vertical pins move into Braille configurations as screen

text is scanned. Braille displays can be read quickly by those with advanced Braille

skills, are good for detailed editing (e.g., programming and final editing of papers), and

are quiet so do not disrupt others in work areas because they are quiet. Braille printers

provide output for blind users.

        A challenge facing blind computer users is how to access graphics-oriented

operating systems (e.g., Macintosh, Windows). Satisfactory solutions to this problem are

just beginning to appear (Digital Equipment Corporation, 1992).
                                                                                          98

       Documentation

       Scanners with optical character recognition connected to computers can be used to

read printed material and store it electronically on computers, where it can be read using

voice synthesis or printed with Braille translation software and Braille printers. Such

systems can provide independent access to journals, syllabi, and homework assignments

for blind students. Some hardware and software vendors also provide Braille, large print

or ASCII versions of their documentation to support visually impaired users.

Students with Hearing and/or Speech Impairments

       Speech and hearing disorders alone do not generally interfere with typical

computer use. However, speech synthesis is critically important to students who cannot

communicate verbally. Advanced speech synthesizers are close enough to human quality

to act as substitute voices and thus provide a compensatory tool (Alm, Arnott, & Newell,

1992). Students with portable systems can participate in class discussions once the

adapted computers provide them with intelligible speaking voices (Hearing Impaired,

1988). Word processing and educational software may also help hearing impaired

students develop language and writing skills.

       Input

       Students with hearing disabilities generally do not have special problems inputting

information with a standard keyboard and mouse.

       Output

       Although most hearing impaired students can use computer applications without

special adaptive technology, alternatives to audio output can assist the hearing-impaired

computer user. For example, if the sound volume is turned to zero, a Macintosh

computer will flash the menu bar when audio output is normally used.
                                                                                             99

       Documentation

       Students with hearing impairments typically do not have difficulty using standard

written or on-screen documentation.

Students with Learning Disabilities

       Educational software where the computer provides multi-sensory experiences,

interaction, positive reinforcement, individualized instruction, and repetition can be

useful in skill building. Some students with learning disabilities who have difficulty

processing written information, can also benefit from completing writing assignments,

tutorial lessons, and drill-and-practice work with the aid of computers (Collins et al.,

1988; Kerchner & Kistinger, 1984; Margolis & Price, 1986). For example, a standard

word processor can be a valuable tool for students with dysgraphia, an inability to

produce handwriting reliably (Digital Equipment Corporation, 1992).

       Input

       Quiet work areas and ear protectors may make computer input easier for learning-

disabled students who are hyper-sensitive to background noise. Software that aids in

efficient and accurate input can also assist some learning disabled students (Closing the

Gap, 1992; International Business Machines, 1989). Some can compensate for high rates

of input errors by using spell checkers, thesauruses, and grammar checkers. In addition,

word prediction programs (software that predicts whole words from fragments) have been

used successfully by students with learning disabilities (Digital Equipment Corporation,

1992). Macro software which expands abbreviations can reduce the necessity to

memorize keyboard commands and can ease the entry of commonly-used text.

       Output

       Some learning disabled students find adaptive devices designed for individuals

with visual impairments useful. In particular, large print displays, alternative colors on
the
                                                                                         100

computer screen, and voice output can compensate for some visual and reading problems.

People who have difficulty interpreting visual material can improve comprehension and

the ability to identify and correct errors when words are printed in large fonts or spoken.

       Documentation

       Some students with learning disabilities find it difficult to read. Computer

documentation provided in electronic forms can be used by enlarged character and voice

synthesis devices to make it accessible to those with reading difficulties.

The Availability of Adaptive Technology in the Future

       Section 508 of the 1986 Amendments to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Public

Law 99-506) was enacted to "insure that handicapped individuals may use electronic

office equipment with or without special peripherals." (Computers and Students, 1991)

This legislation mandates the development of accessibility guidelines for the purchase of

electronic office equipment by the federal government. Since the federal government is

the largest single purchaser of microcomputer equipment, Section 508 affects the entire

computer industry and is expected to result in a wider range of computer access options

becoming available to academic purchasers (Brill, 1989).

       The Federal Information Resource Management Regulations (FIRMR) that were

developed in response to Section 508 define functional specifications for input, output,

and documentation. They encourage industry to integrate the needs of individuals with

disabilities into their standard products. For example, Section 508 guidelines require

vendors to supply ASCII versions of documentation so that voice output and Braille

systems can be used to access the manuals for blind users. Apple Computer Company's

decision to include a program that enlarges the screen image for the visually impaired in

its system software is an example of a vendor providing the type of accessibility covered

in the guidelines.
                                                                                       101

        Although FIRMR currently applies only to federal procurements, several recent

developments suggest that the guidelines may become a checklist for non-discriminatory

computer access for programs not now covered directly by Section 508. For example,

508 compliance assurance has been included in the Technology-Related Assistance for

Individual with Disabilities Act of 1988 (Public Law 100-407). In addition, the

Clearinghouse on Computer Accommodation has been active in advising state purchasing

agencies on Section 508 guidelines (1989). Also, FIRMR guidelines have been adopted

by some state agencies and postsecondary institutions, in some cases to demonstrate

Section 504 and ADA compliance.

        As computer use continues to expand in education and employment and as more

disabled individuals are integrated into these settings, the demand for adaptive technology

increases. This demand encourages the commercial development of more, better, and less

expensive products. In addition, some professional and nonprofit organizations are

putting pressure on computer companies to incorporate adaptive technology into their

standard products (Consideration in, 1988; EASI Fixes, 1989). These efforts make

corporations more aware that what may be designed as a convenience for some can create

barriers for others.



                                     Online Services

        The expansion of networking services on campuses gives disabled students

equipped with appropriate technology access to a wealth of resources without assistance

and reduces the necessity to move about campus. Network technology can be used to

access information, faculty and peers, and educational programs.

        Although campuses are making increasing use of electronic communications and

information access, only 30% of the respondents in a 1991 campus computing study
                                                                                          102

(Eastman & Green, 1992) currently provide access to the Internet or other international

networks. Public school and private school responses were about the same, however

dramatic differences were found between two-year schools and four-year schools. 40%

of the four-year institutions and only 7% of the two-year institutions responded

affirmatively. In the same survey, only 14% of the schools reported that their students

use electronic mail. More four-year schools (18%) reported that their students use

electronic mail than two-year schools (3%) and more private (19%) than public (8%). In

general, almost half (49%) of the institutions of higher education reported that they

provide computer access to library card catalogs, although not necessarily over the

campus network. Responses of four-year schools and two-year schools were similar, but

public schools reported more catalog access (53%) than private schools (42%).

       Continued growth in the use of online services is expected. In a recent report

prepared by the Higher Education Information Resources Alliance, a coalition of research

library and campus computing professional organizations, and disseminated to the leaders

of all institutions of higher education a report which includes a checklist of eleven things

presidents should do in order to prepare their campuses for the future. The first

suggestion is "Develop an effective campus-wide network as quickly as possible." (What

Presidents Need, 1992, p. A19) The report points out that networks are changing the way

students and scholars communicate across their campuses and across the country. It urges

schools to improve electronic capabilities of their libraries. Other items on the list also

encourage the use of networking technology for communication and information access.

       Electronic communications provide new options for accessing information

through online library catalogs, encyclopedias, dictionaries, newspapers, and other

resources (Coombs, 1991; Taylor, 1991; Wilson, 1992d). There has been an explosion of

electronic versions of books, periodicals, and other printed materials that are being made
available
                                                                                          103

over international networks. Some suggest that traditional libraries will someday be

replaced by electronic libraries in which all catalogs, books, journals, and other printed

materials are available worldwide via computers connected to international networks

(Watkins, 1992). One project alone, Project Gutenberg, aims to distribute one trillion

electronic copies from a collection of 10,000 books through computer networks by 2001

(Wilson, 1992c).

       For those with disabilities that make it difficult to turn pages of publications, on-

line information sources provide opportunities to read journals, newspapers, and books on

a computer screen. Network technology can also assist in the process of media

conversion. For example, a blind student who has the technology to access newspapers

and journals online can use adaptive software and hardware to read the materials aloud or

print them in Braille. In a recent survey of disabled members of a computing

organization, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), when asked what

accommodations they would find useful from ACM, 27% of the respondents indicated

that they would like publications in an electronic form (Davies & Dipner, 1992). In this

way, they can use adaptive technology on their own computer to translate publications

into their medium of choice (e.g., Braille, large print, speech).

       Today electronic networks are being used to reduce constraints that once limited

education to those individuals and resources that could be in the same place at the same

time. Disabled students with adaptive technology can benefit from the growth of distance

learning programs where students and educators "meet " electronically for instruction and

discussion. This educational option challenges the campus-bound ideal of education

(Ehrmann, 1992) and allows full participation of disabled students who are not able to

come to a campus.
                                                                                           104

       Telecommunications is a powerful communication tool. Those with hearing

impairments who have a personal computer, modem and appropriate software can

communicate with anyone who has a TDD (Telecommunication Device for the Deaf, a

system that allows people to type messages through the telephone lines) or a computer

and appropriate network connection. They can also have independent access to electronic

bulletin boards and discussion groups. When professors use electronic communications

to supplement or replace classroom discussions (computer-mediated communications),

they allow deaf students to communicate on an equal level with hearing students

(Coombs, 1992). A blind history professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology,

described the experiences of one of his deaf students:

       This young woman told me that this class, which was conducted entirely
       over computers, with no classroom discussion, was the first time in her
       entire life that she'd been able to talk directly with her professor and
       classmates without some sort of interpreter. She said it was the most
       valuable course she'd ever taken because she could take part in class
       discussions so easily. No one needed to know she was deaf unless she told
       them." (Wilson, 1992b, p. A18)



                                         Summary

       Persons with handicapping conditions meet barriers of all types. However,

computers are helping to lower many of these barriers. As word processors replace
typewriters, electronic spreadsheets replace handwritten books, and on-line services

replace telephone and written communication, disabled students and employees who have

computer access become capable of handling a wider range of activities independently.

Commercially-available adaptive devices deal with specific computer barriers for

individuals with disabilities and the available options for access are increasing. Some

problems that still exist for disabled individuals include cost (even though prices have
gone
                                                                                      105

down dramatically, some equipment is still expensive for individual purchasers), training

and support (some products are not easy to use), and speed of input (some input devices

do not allow disabled users to reach competitive data entry speeds).
               Chapter V: Research Purpose, Methodology, and Demographics

          Our college is currently looking at all services to students with
          disabilities. One of the services in question is "support personnel for
          adaptive equipment." In the investigative/decision making process this
          service received a rating of "indispensable." (Survey respondent)



                                            Purpose

          The reviews of literature and research and the discussion of computing services in

previous chapters provides a basis for understanding the treatment of students with

disabilities in institutions of higher education. To add to this accumulated knowledge, a

mail survey was conducted to gather information about the current provision of

computing services for students with disabilities. Since few research studies have been

published in this area, an exploratory study was undertaken. As such, it identifies trends,

provides a broad view of the topic, and highlights important issues that research has left

unresolved (Light & Pillemer, 1984).

          The survey addresses the research question "How have institutions of higher

education responded to the computing needs of students with disabilities?" Although this

study is exploratory in nature, the literature and research reviews suggest several

predictors of computing services for disabled students and several hypotheses to be

tested.
          One of the predictors is institution type (two-year or four-year). In the evolution

of higher education, two-year schools appeared later than four-year schools. Civil rights

issues were being argued when some community colleges were being formed. The

missions of these schools have been, from the beginning, to provide a broad range of

educational opportunities in response to the diverse needs of the community. Two-year

schools have generally been more responsive than four-year schools to the special needs

of women, racial minorities, older students, and students with disabilities. They attend to
individual needs through tutoring services, remedial programs, smaller classes, and a
                                                                                       107

faculty focused on teaching rather than research. Disabled students are attracted to two-
                                                                                           108

year schools because of open-door policies, low tuition rates, and broad support services.

In general, two-year schools tend to place a greater percentage of institutionally-owned

computers in locations for student use and develop procedures and/or plans for meeting

the computing needs of students with disabilities than do four-year schools. In addition, a

recent computing services survey found that two-year schools have been more active in

setting up procedures and plans for computing support for students with disabilities

(Eastman & Green, 1992). These conditions lead one to suspect that two-year schools are

more responsive to the computing needs of disabled students than four-year schools.

       It is also expected that public schools are more responsive than private schools to

the computing needs of disabled students. Perhaps because of their "public" nature and

pressure to adhere to government regulations, public institutions have historically been

more responsive to special interest groups and civil rights issues. Further, it has been

found that more public schools have developed plans and/or procedures in the area of

computing access for disabled students (Eastman & Green, 1992).

       It is expected that the level of computing services to disabled students can also be

predicted by size of school. Larger schools tend to have more disabled students and

larger budgets than smaller schools, making it more economically feasible to provide

specialized support services. Because of larger disabled populations, they may also

receive more pressure by this group to provide services. Further, larger schools tend to

have more sophisticated networking infrastructures through which disabled students can

gain access to electronic resources.

       In summary, it is expected that large, public, and two-year schools tend to provide

a broader range of computing services to disabled students than other postsecondary

institutions. Interactions between these variables are not expected. Specific hypotheses

to be tested are discussed below, organized by subsidiary research question.
                                                                                          109

       1. a) What organizational units are most involved in selecting, managing, and

funding computing services for students with disabilities?

       It is hypothesized that disabled student services units are most involved in

selecting, managing, and funding computing services for disabled students. Most articles

about disabled students and, more specifically, about computing services for students

with disabilities, can be found in publications written by and for those who provide direct

support to disabled students in higher education. Further, it is expected that an office of

disabled student services is more involved in larger institutions because these schools are

more likely to have such an office.

       It is hypothesized that, overall, central computing services organizations are the

units next most actively involved in selecting, managing, and funding computing services

for disabled students since these organizations are responsible for providing computing

and networking services for other students and have staff with technical expertise. It is

expected that they are involved to a lesser degree than disabled student services because

specialized services for disabled students are not always recognized as part of the

missions of central computing services organizations. Even those units that recognize

these services as part of their missions may overlook or underfund this area because it

involves a small group of individuals relative to other sets of clients, demands specialized

technical expertise, and requires that staff interact with a group of individuals with which

they may feel uncomfortable and/or unprepared. It is expected that in four-year schools

and in larger schools the central computing unit is more involved in the selection,

management, and funding of computing services for disabled students because their

computing infrastructures are typically more sophisticated than those at other schools.

       Other groups expected to be involved in these areas include disabled students,

departmental computing units, faculty, library services, government agencies, and private
                                                                                           110

donors. It is expected that, because of their heavy reliance on governmental funding

sources, public schools involve government agencies in selecting, funding, and managing

computing services for disabled students to a greater degree than private schools. Using

similar reasoning, one would expect that private schools rely more heavily than public

schools on private donors to fund computing services for disabled students.

       1. b) Are employees specifically assigned to providing computing support to

disabled students and do any of the individuals assigned to providing this support have

disabilities themselves?

       Since specialized computing support for disabled students serves a relatively

small group, it is expected that few institutions have staff members specifically assigned

this responsibility and that few of these individuals have disabilities themselves. Less

staff support is expected at smaller schools where disabled student populations are small

and funding is particularly problematic. Because of their larger percentage of disabled

students and greater focus on student support, it is expected that two-year schools are

likely to have higher numbers of employees assigned to computing support for disabled

students and, consequently, to have higher numbers who are disabled themselves. Public

schools are expected to have higher positive responses to these questions than private

schools because of their greater responsiveness to special interest groups and to

government regulations.

       2. a) What computing services for disabled students are currently provided in

institutions of higher education?

       There is little evidence in the literature that comprehensive computing services for

students with disabilities are readily available. The field is new, disabled student services

directors often lack computing skills, and the disabled student services and computing

services units on most campuses do not have a history of working together. Based on the
literature review, it is expected that the most common computing service to disabled
                                                                                           111

students is access to adaptive technology. Schools seem to deal with this issue before

identifying other services to offer, such as training, support groups, and rental or loan of

equipment. It is also hypothesized that schools where the computing services unit is more

involved provide more computing services that schools where this unit is less involved.

Computing services organizations have more experience in providing these services to

other students, the technical expertise to support them, and relatively large budgets

compared to disabled student services offices.

       It is expected that larger schools provide more computing services to disabled

students because they have larger populations of students with disabilities and greater

financial resources. It is further hypothesized that two-year schools provide more

services than four-year schools because of their student-centered instructional focus and

greater percentage of disabled students. Public schools are expected to have more

services than private schools because of their history of greater responsiveness to special

interest groups and to government regulations.

       2. b) What special equipment and software are available and what types of

disabilities do they address?

       It is expected that few institutions provide adaptive devices which address a wide

range of disabilities. It is also hypothesized that two-year, large, and public schools have

a wider variety of adaptive technology than other schools for the reasons outlined earlier.

       2. c) What network online services are available to students who require adaptive

technology?

       It is expected that there are more online services for disabled students at large

institutions and four-year schools because these institutions tend to have more

sophisticated networks and connections to national and international networks and, in

general, provide more electronic access to the library catalog and other network resources
than small and
                                                                                            112

two-year schools, respectively. It is expected that greater access for disabled students is

provided in schools where there is a greater involvement of the central computing

services organization since staff in this organization typically provide such access to other

students.

       3. a) Is adaptive technology typically located where other students work or in

areas that segregate disabled students?

       It is hypothesized that most schools provide computing services to students with

disabilities in facilities used by other students. This approach is consistent with the

tendency of schools to try to integrate other support services for disabled students into

existing services. Using existing facilities is also usually less expensive than setting up

separate facilities. Two-year schools may be more likely than four-year schools to

provide computer access in a segregated setting. This difference is expected because of

the strong role model of special-facility technology centers for disabled students in the

California community colleges, the larger percentage of disabled students and of the

greater tendency to place school-owned computers in student access areas. Larger

schools may also find it economically feasible to provide special computing facilities for

disabled students because they have larger disabled student populations.

       3. b) What are considered the preferred locations for providing computer access?

       It is expected that schools generally prefer to integrate computing services for

disabled students with computing services for other students. This integrated approach is

often the preferred approach in the delivery of other services to disabled students and is

encouraged by federal regulations.

       4. What are the barriers to providing computing services for disabled students?

       It is hypothesized that inadequate funding is considered the greatest barrier to

providing computing services for disabled students. This expectation is based on
evidence in the literature that schools generally consider the costs of conforming to
          113

overall
                                                                                            114

accessibility requirements a major barrier to providing service. Access to adaptive

technology and other computing support services are relatively expensive. It is expected

that smaller schools have greater financial barriers than larger schools. Other barriers

mentioned in the literature include difficulties in coordinating efforts between disabled

student services and the central computing services organization, lack of commitment on

the part of the administration, lack of interest of disabled students in using computers,

and lack of staff expertise in selecting and supporting special equipment and software.

       5. a) How successful are disabled students perceived to be in using computers?

       It is hypothesized that there is a positive correlation between the self-rated

computing skills of each respondent and his/her perception of the abilities of disabled

students to make productive use of computers. Because of their own successful

experiences with computers, respondents who rate their own abilities high may tend to

believe that disabled students have the abilities to productively use computers as well.

       It is also expected that there is a positive correlation between the number of

adaptive devices provided at a school and the respondent's perceived abilities of disabled

students to make productive use of computers, though it is not clear which direction the

causation runs. When respondents believe disabled students are able to make productive

use of computers, the school may be more likely to provide access. On the other hand,

when a school provides access, respondents are more likely to have evidence that disabled

students are able to make productive use of computers. It is not expected that there are

differences in perceptions based on institution type, funding source, or size.

       5. b) How much is computer access perceived to contribute to the academic

success of students with disabilities?

       It is hypothesized that there is a positive correlation between the self-rated

computing skills of each respondent and his/her perception of the contribution a computer
                                                                                          115

can make to the academic success of students with disabilities. Because of their own

successful experiences with computer applications, respondents who rate their abilities

high may feel that computers can contribute more to the academic success of disabled

students.

       It is also expected that there is a positive correlation between the number of

devices provided at an institution and the respondent's perception of the contribution that

computer access can make to the academic success of students with disabilities, though it

is not clear which direction the causation runs. When respondents believe that computers

can contribute positively to the academic success of disabled students, the school may be

more likely to provide access. On the other hand, when a school provides access,

respondents are more likely to have evidence that disabled students benefit academically

from the use of computers. It is not expected that there are differences in perceptions

based on school type, funding source, or size.



                                       Methodology

       The survey was directed to disabled student service directors under the

assumption that they are likely to be most familiar with the computing services provided

to students with disabilities on their respective campuses. The data collection instrument

is attached as Appendix A.

       The survey instrument includes six major components: 1) demographics, 2)

administration of services, 3) services provided, 4) location of adaptive technology, 5)

barriers to providing services, and 6) perceptions of the abilities of students to make

productive use of computers and contributions of computer access to their academic

success. Three of the four most common impairments of disabled college students are

addressed in this survey: visual, mobility/orthopedic, and learning. The fourth most
common area of disability, hearing, is not included because a student who is deaf does not
                                                                                           116

generally experience serious limitations in using a computer, although alternatives to

sound output may be desirable. The list of specific devices in the instrument was based

on a thorough review of equipment and software that can be used to adapt typical

postsecondary computer systems for use by disabled students. The survey also includes

questions about online access to library systems, electronic bulletin boards, databases,

mail, and other network services because a review of the literature suggests the

importance of such access to the academic success of individuals with disabilities.

       Schools large enough to have sufficient numbers of students and adequate

financial resources to offer computing services to disabled students are of primary interest

for this research. A review of the Directory of College Facilities and Services for People

with Disabilities (Thomas & Thomas, 1990), an unpublished study conducted in

Washington state (Burgstahler, 1991), and published results of other surveys of disabled

student services directors (Horn & Shell, 1990) suggests that schools with enrollments of

less than 1,000 offer few computing services to disabled students. Therefore, the sample

was drawn from the population of all disabled student services directors at postsecondary

institutions in the United States with enrollments of at least 1,000. The sample consisted

of all schools listed in the 1991 HEP Directory of Postsecondary Institutions with an

enrollment of 1,000 or more. The Directory of College Facilities and Services for People

with Disabilities (Thomas & Thomas) was used to locate contact names and titles.

       SPSS statistical software was used to analyze data collected from the survey.

Analysis of variance and multivariate analysis of variance were used to compare means of

dependent variables measured on interval or ratio scales. Chi-squared tests were used to

test for the independence between nominal dependent variables. Pearson R correlation

was used to test the linear relationship between interval variables and Spearman R

correlation was used to test the ranked relationship between ordinal variables. Responses
of two-year
                                                                                           117



and four-year schools, public and private institutions, and schools of different sizes were

compared.



                                        Demographics

       A total of 2193 questionnaires were mailed; one came back as undeliverable. Of

the 2192 delivered surveys, 1184 (54%) were returned by respondents, including 441

returned after a second request. A small number of schools (25) submitted both the

original and the reminder survey. In cases where one provided more information than the

other, the most complete survey was used; in the remaining cases, the more current data

was used. Demographic information was collected regarding the type of institution,

funding source, institution size, and number of disabled students.

       41.7% of the schools surveyed were two-year schools (including community

college and technical schools); 58.3% were four-year schools (including graduate-only

institutions). The respondents are fairly evenly split between two- and four-year

institutions, with 546 (46.1%) from two-year schools and 638 (53.9%) from four-year

schools, as indicated in Figure 1. Although the percentage differences between the

sample and the population are less than 5%, their statistical significance (Chi-squared

statistic = 40.52, significant difference at .05 level) can be partially explained by the large

group sizes. The differences could be due to reporting errors as well as differences in the

response rates of two-year and four-year schools. This finding suggests that some caution

should be exercised in generalizing the results of this study.
                                                                                           118




                                                                   Tw o-Year
                                                                    Schools
                         Four-Year
                                                                    (46.1%)
                          Schools
                          (53.9%)




       Figure 1: Proportion of Two-Year School and Four-Year School Respondents



       The population surveyed includes 62.6% public schools and 37.4% private

schools. A large majority of the respondents are from public schools. As shown in

Figure 2 below, 847 (71.5%) of the respondents are from public schools and 337 (28.5%)

are from private schools. Although the percentage differences between the sample and

the population are less than 10%, the statistically significant differences (Chi-squared

statistic = 9.39, significant difference at .05 level) can be partially explained by the large

group sizes. The differences could be due to reporting errors as well as differences in the

response rates of public and private schools. This finding suggests that some caution

should be exercised in generalizing the results of this study.
                                                                                            119




                              Private
                             Schools
                             (28.5%)



                                                                Public
                                                               Schools
                                                               (71.5%)




        Figure 2: Proportion of Public School and Private School Respondents



        The percentage of schools in the population with specific enrollments are as

follows: 62.4% with 1,001-5,000, 18.6% with 5,001-10,000, 8.7% with 10,001-15,000.

4.4% with 15,001-20,000, and 5.9% with more than 20,000 total enrollment. The total

enrollments of responding institutions are shown in Figure 3. Although the HEP

Directory indicated that all surveyed schools had total enrollments greater than 1,000, a

small number (49) of schools indicated enrollments of less than 1,000. In these cases,

schools were classified in the category "1,001-5,000" to be consistent with the HEP

Directory. A chi-squared test revealed that the percentage differences in the enrollment

categories between the population and the responding institutions are significant (Chi-

squared statistic = 39.44, significant difference at .05 level). The differences could be

due to reporting errors as well as differences in the response rates of schools of different

sizes. This finding suggests that some caution should be exercised in generalizing the
results of this study.
                                                                                      120




                       8.95%
                  6.08%                                           1,001-5,000

             10.14%                                               5,001-10,000

                                                                  10,001-15,000
                                                    55.24%
                                                                  15,001-20,000
               19.59%
                                                                  More than 20,000




       Figure 3: Total Enrollment of Schools Responding to Survey

       A large proportion of the schools had at least one disabled student enrolled. The

disabled student enrollments of responding institutions are shown in Figure 4.




                          8.70%    2.28%
                                                                      0

                                                    24.83%             1-25

            23.56%                                                    26-50

                                                                      51-100

                                                                      101-200
                                                     12.25%
                                                                      More than 200
                   15.37%
                                           13.01%                     Mis sing data




       Figure 4: Total Disabled Student Enrollment of Schools Responding to Survey
                                                                                          121

       A chi-squared test was performed to test the null hypothesis that total enrollment

and disabled student enrollment are independent. It was found that it cannot be assumed

that these variables are independent (Chi-squared statistic = 528.97 when categories were

collapsed into three for total enrollment and four for disabled student enrollment).

       It cannot be assumed that all respondents are the disabled student services

directors to whom the survey instrument was addressed. In the cover letter, recipients

were asked to pass the survey along to appropriate individuals if they did not possess the

requested information. The only information gathered about the individuals who filled

out the survey instrument was their current skill in using computers, with 1 = very low

and 5 = very high. The average response was 3.34, suggesting that either disabled student

services directors are fairly skilled in computing or that they passed the survey to

individuals who are. The bar chart in Figure 5 presents a summary of the data collected.



                                        Number of Respondents

            450
            400
            350
            300
            250
            200
            150
            100
             50
               0
                                             Moderate




                                                                    Very high
                      Very low




                                                         High




                                                                                Missing
                                 Low




                                                                                 data




        Figure 5: Number of Respondents with Various Self-Ratings of Computer Skills
                       Chapter VI: Research Results and Discussion

        We are a very new program and have many needs. Money is short for
        expensive computer adaptive devices/software, but knowledge of the
        "computer age" is also slow to come to both handicapped students and
        their professors..." (Survey respondent)

                                 Responses and Discussion

        The results of the survey are organized by subsidiary research question. Under

each question are five parts. The first one summarizes the overall findings. The next

three sections compare the results of two-year and four-year schools, private and public

schools, and institutions of different sizes, respectively. Significant results (at a .05 level

of significance) are marked with asterisks in the tables throughout these sections. The

last section includes a discussion of the results. A summary of the survey results is

attached in Appendix B. Supplementary statistical tables are attached in Appendix C.

        1. a) What organizational units are most involved in selecting, managing, and

funding computing services for students with disabilities?

        Respondents were asked to rate the level of involvement of various organizational

units in providing computing services for disabled students. For the selection and

management questions a scale of 0 = not involved to 5 = extremely involved was used;

for the funding question, the scale was from 1 = none to 5 = all. A multivariate analysis

of variance was used to test for the significance of differences between the groups.
Details of the analysis can be found in Tables 58-60 attached in Appendix C. Tables 6-8

list the mean responses for each type of organizational unit, listed from largest to smallest

as well as an F-test of the overall significance of differences among the groups. Paired t-

tests revealed that the Office of Disabled Student Services is significantly more involved

than the second most involved unit in the selection (t=15.74, significance = .000), funding

(t=5.65, significance = .000), and management (t=12.66, significance = .000) of

computing services for students with disabilities.
                                                                                          123

       Table 6. Level of Involvement of Organizational Units in Selecting Computing
       Services for Disabled Students

       Unit                                                         F          Sig
                                                    Mean           Value       of F
       Office of disabled student services          3.65
       Disabled students                            2.81
       Central computing services organization      2.55
       Faculty                                 2.21
       Departmental computing services units        2.15
       Government agencies                          2.00
       Library services                             2.00
       *                                                         880.21        .000

       Table 7. Level of Involvement of Organizational Units in Funding Computing
       Services for Disabled Students

       Unit                                                         F          Sig
                                                       Mean        Value       of F
       Office of disabled student services             2.44
       Government agencies                             2.00
       Central computing services organization         1.75
       Private donors                                  1.37
       Disabled students                               1.29
       *                                                          1367.75      .000

       Table 8. Level of Involvement of Organizational Units in Managing Computing
       Services for Disabled Students

       Unit                                                         F          Sig
                                                       Mean        Value       of F
       Office of disabled student services             3.04
       Disabled students                               2.35
       Central computing services organization         2.32
       Departmental computing services units           2.01
       Library services                                1.76
       Government agencies                             1.42
       *                                                           945.27      .000

       A three-way analysis of variance test was used to account for the three predictors:

type of school (two-year or four-year), funding source (public or private), and size of

school. The analysis showed few significant interactions out of a possible fifty-four. The
four two-way interactions are between funding source and size for the funding of
                                                                                         124

computing services by the office of disabled student services, between school type and

total enrollment for the selection of services by disabled students, between funding source

and total enrollment for the selection of services by disabled students, and between

funding source and institution type for the selection of services by faculty. Out of a

possible eighteen, no three-way interactions were found. Tables 61-63 attached in

Appendix C provide details of the analysis.

       Comparison of Two-Year and Four-Year Schools

       Tables 9-11 compare the differences in involvement of respective organizational

units for two-year and four-year institutions. In most comparisons, an organizational unit

is significantly more involved in two-year schools than its counterpart in four-year

schools.

       Table 9. Level of Involvement of Organizational Units in Selecting Computing
       Services for Disabled Students: Comparison of Two-Year and Four-Year Schools

       Unit                                          Means              F        Sig
                                                 2-Year 4-Year         Value     of F

       *Office of disabled student services       4.00     3.24       32.25      .000
       *Disabled students                         3.01     2.78        5.38      .021
       Central computing services org             2.59     2.86        2.64      .105
       *Faculty                                   2.73     2.04       63.11      .000
       *Departmental computing service units      2.50     2.07       15.75      .000
       *Government agencies                       2.42     1.76       22.12      .000
       Library services                           2.07     2.21        2.52      .113

       Table 10. Level of Involvement of Organizational Units in Funding Computing
       Services for Disabled Students: Comparison of Two-Year and Four-Year Schools

       Organizational Unit                           Means              F         Sig
                                                 2-Year 4-Year         Value      of F

       *Office of disabled student services       3.01     2.14       57.43      .000
       *Government agencies                       2.59     1.78       25.96      .000
       *Central computing services org            1.69     2.07        9.42      .002
       *Private donors                            1.47     1.41        5.27      .022
       Disabled students                          1.28     1.40         .46      .498
125
                                                                                        126

         Table 11. Level of Involvement of Organizational Units in Management of
         Computing Services for Disabled Students: Comparison of Two-Year and
         Four-Year Schools

         Organizational Unit                         Means             F        Sig
                                                 2-Year 4-Year        Value     of F

         *Office of disabled student services    3.57      2.68      40.43     .000
         *Disabled students                      2.67      2.30      10.40     .001
         *Central computing services org         2.29      2.61       4.63     .032
         *Departmental computing service units   2.37      1.86      23.05     .000
         *Library services                       1.76      2.02       9.95     .002
         *Government agencies                    1.62      1.32       6.89     .009

         Comparison of Public and Private Schools

         The analysis of variance revealed few differences between public and private

institutions in the involvement of respective units. Results are summarized in Tables

12-14.

         Table 12. Level of Involvement of Organizational Units in Selecting Computing
         Services for Disabled Students: Comparison of Public and Private Schools

         Organizational Unit                            Means          F       Sig
                                                 Public   Private     Value    of F

         *Office of disabled student services    3.89      2.63      17.69     .000
         Disabled students                       2.97      2.64        .00     .978
         Central computing services org          2.68      2.91       1.66     .199
         Departmental computing services units   2.34      2.10        .01     .946
         Faculty                       2.44      2.24      3.21        .073
         *Government agencies                    2.23      1.63       4.20     .041
         Library services                        2.15      2.13        .62     .432

         Table 13. Level of Involvement of Organizational Units in Funding Computing
         Services for Disabled Students: Comparison of Public and Private Schools

         Organizational Unit                            Means          F       Sig
                                                 Public   Private     Value    of F

         Office of disabled student services     2.79      1.79       1.82     .178
         *Government agencies                    2.37      1.55      15.27     .000
         Central computing services org          1.83      2.06        .67     .414
         *Private donors                         1.44      1.43       5.43     .020
                                                 127

*Disabled students   1.27   1.57   7.56   .006
                                                                                               128

       Table 14. Level of Involvement of Organizational Units in Management of
       Computing Services for Disabled Students: Comparison of Public and Private
       Schools

       Organizational Unit                                 Means             F         Sig
                                                  Public     Private        Value      of F

       *Office of disabled student services        3.40       2.10          14.39      .000
       Disabled students                           2.57       2.21            .12      .731
       Central computing services org              2.40       2.62            .69      .405
       Departmental computing services units       2.18       1.88            .02      .896
       Library services                            1.90       1.86           1.96      .162
       Government agencies                         1.52       1.30           3.50      .062

       Comparisons By Size of School

       The analysis of variance shows significant effects of size of school on the

selection, funding, and management of computing services for disabled students. In

particular, the results show that the office of disabled student services is consistently

more involved at the larger schools. Results are summarized in Tables 15-17.

       Table 15. Level of Involvement of Organizational Units in Selecting Computing
       Services for Disabled Students: Comparisons By Size of School

       Organizational Unit          Means For Each Size of School F Sig
                               1001- 5001- 10001- 15001- 20001- Value                   of F

       *Office of dss          3.10    3.85     4.22       4.21      4.50     24.58     .000
       *Disabled students      2.66    3.02     3.17       3.35      3.20      7.03     .000
       Central computing       2.68    2.62     3.02       2.86      2.79      1.75     .137
       Department comp         2.29    2.21     2.43       2.48      2.16       .83     .503
       Faculty        2.48     2.30    2.28     2.46       2.23      .90        .463
       Government              2.05    2.25     2.14       2.24      1.84       .89     .467
       *Library services       2.11    2.13     1.90       2.32      2.46      2.40     .049

       Table 16. Level of Significance of Organizational Units in Funding Computing
       Services for Disabled Students: Comparisons By Size of School

       Organizational Unit          Means For Each Size of School F Sig
                               1001- 5001- 10001- 15001- 20001- Value of F

       *Office of dss          2.13    2.78    3.00        3.24      3.19    18.56      .000
       Government              2.15    2.37    2.33        2.11      1.81     1.79      .129
                                                                      129

Central computing    1.83   1.79   2.02   2.05   2.10   1.49   .202
*Private donors      1.34   1.44   1.56   1.61   1.70   6.35   .000
*Disabled students   1.43   1.38   1.19   1.18   1.12   2.74   .028
                                                                                             130

       Table 17. Level of Involvement of Organizational Units in Management of
       Computing Services for Disabled: Comparisons By Size of School

       Organizational Unit          Means For Each Size of School F Sig
                               1001- 5001- 10001- 15001- 20001- Value               of F

       *Office of dss          2.63    3.28    3.71     3.78      3.90    18.91     .000
       Disabled students       2.36    2.51    2.63     2.82      2.65     2.07     .082
       Central computing       2.41    2.31    2.60     2.63      2.70     1.60     .171
       Department comp         2.10    2.11    2.16     2.20      2.07      .13     .970
       Library services        1.81    1.90    1.79     2.06      2.24     1.77     .133
       *Government 1.56        1.42    1.39    1.46     1.25      2.97      .019
       Discussion

       As predicted, the office of disabled student services is typically the most involved

in the selection, funding, and management of computing services for students with

disabilities in institutions of higher education. It should be noted that ratings might be

biased because most respondents are (presumably) from offices of disabled student

services.

       Although it was expected that the central computing services organization would

be rated second in each of the three areas, it was instead rated third. Disabled students are

rated the second most involved in selecting and managing services and government

agencies the second most involved in funding these services. These results may be a

reflection of the fact that computing services for disabled students are relatively new to

higher education as a whole and many schools are not yet providing them. Disabled

students may often make their own decisions and obtain funding from outside agencies

such as the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. Some of the general comments (see

Appendix C) support this conclusion. The lower than expected involvement of

computing services may also reflect a lack of awareness of or concern for the needs of

disabled students on the part of computing services organizations.
       Organizational units in two-year schools are rated higher in level of involvement

than in four-year schools in most areas. This result is not surprising since two-year
                                                                                            131

schools tend to have a greater percentage of disabled students and to be more focused on

student support and instruction than four-year schools. The only cases where four-year

school responses are higher than those of two-year schools are in involvement of the

library services and central computing services organizations in selection, the central

computing services unit and disabled students in funding, and the central computing

services and library services organizations in managing computing services for students

with disabilities.

        As expected, ratings of public and private schools indicate few differences in

involvement of organizational units. However, compared to private schools, public

schools indicate a consistently higher level of involvement of government agencies in

selecting, funding, and managing computing services, although the difference in

management does not meet the significance level criterion of .05. Because government is

the primary funding source for these schools, this result was expected. Public schools

also show a higher level of involvement of the office of disabled student services in

selecting, funding, and managing computing services. Their overall responsiveness to

special interest groups may contribute to this result. Contrary to the hypothesis, the

financial contribution of private donors is not higher in private schools than in public

schools.

        In larger schools the office of disabled student services, disabled students, and

library services tend to be more involved in selecting computing services for students

with disabilities. Also, the office of disabled student service and private donors tend to

be more involved in funding these services at larger schools, whereas disabled students

tend to be more involved in funding at smaller schools. The office of disabled student

services is more involved in management in larger schools. Government agencies are

more involved in management of computing services in smaller schools than they are in
larger schools. These results may reflect the fact that larger schools are more likely to
                    132

have an office of
                                                                                         133

disabled student services which operates more autonomously and smaller schools must

rely more on the involvement of government agencies and disabled students.

       1. b) Are employees specifically assigned to providing computing support to

disabled students and do any of the individuals assigned to providing this support have

disabilities themselves?

       A large minority, 36.0%, of the respondents report that at least one employee is

assigned to provide computing services to disabled students. A smaller fraction, 18.2%,

indicate that at least one employee with a disability is assigned to provide computing

support to students with disabilities. Thus, of schools with employees assigned to support

computing services for disabled students, about half employ at least one person with a

disability. Results are summarized in Table 18.

       Table 18. Percentage of Schools with Employee(s) Assigned to Provide
       Computing Support to Disabled Students

       Characteristic of Schools                                   Percentage


       Schools with employee(s) assigned to
          provide computing support to disabled students              36.0

       Schools with employee(s) with disabilities
          assigned to provide computing support to
          disabled students                                           18.2
       Comparison of Two- and Four-Year Schools

       A chi-squared test revealed a significantly higher number of two-year schools

have employees assigned to provide computing support to disabled students and have at

least one disabled employee with these duties. Table 19 summarizes the findings.
                                                                                       134

       Table 19. Percentage of Institutions with Employee(s) Providing Computing
       Support to Disabled Students: Comparison of Two-Year and Four-Year Schools

                                                    Percentages       Chi
                                                 2-Year 4-Year        Sqr      Sig
       Group Size:                                 546      638

       Characteristic of Schools
       *Schools with employee(s)
          assigned to provide
          computing support
          to disabled students                     46.6     26.8     50.60     .000

       *Schools with employee(s)
          with disabilities assigned
          to provide computing
          support to disabled students             25.5     11.9     36.32     .000

       Comparison of Public and Private Schools

       A chi-squared test revealed that a significantly higher number of public schools

have employees assigned to provide computing support to disabled students and have at

least one employee with a disability in this type of position. Results are summarized in

Table 20.

       Table 20. Percentage of Institutions with Employee(s) Providing Computing
       Support to Disabled Students: Comparison of Public and Private Schools

                                                   Percentages        Chi
                                                 Public Private       Sqr      Sig
       Group Size:                                847      337

       *Schools with employee(s)
          assigned to provide
          computing support
          to disabled students                     43.3     17.5     69.79     .000

       *Schools with employee(s)
          with disabilities assigned
          to provide computing
          support to disabled students             23.8     3.9 64.83 .000
       Comparisons by Size of School
                                                                                           135

        A Spearman correlation coefficient was used to measure the strength of the ranked

relationship between responses to questions about the availability of employees assigned

to provide computing support to disabled students and the size of the school. As shown

in Table 21, respondents from larger schools are more likely to have at least one

employee assigned to provide computing support to disabled students and someone with a

disability in this type of position.

        Table 21. Percentage of Schools with Employee(s) Assigned to Provide
        Computing Support to Disabled Students: Comparisons By Size of School

                                                                    Spear
                                   1001- 5001- 10001- 15001- 20001- Corr Sig
        Group Size:                 654   232   120    72     106

        Characteristic of School
        *Schools with employee(s)
           assigned to provide
           computing support
           to disabled students 24.3      41.4   46.7      62.5      66.0   .30     .000

        *Schools with employee(s)
           with disabilities assigned
           to provide computing
           support to disabled
           students                8.0    25.9   28.3      34.7      41.5   .31     .000

        Discussion

        Slightly more than one-third of the respondents reported at least one employee

assigned to provide computing services to disabled students. Slightly less than one-fifth

indicated that at least one employee with a disability is assigned to provide computing

support to disabled students.

        More two-year than four-year schools have employees assigned to these

computing support positions and have at least one of these positions filled with a person

who has a disability. This difference was expected and may be explained by the generally
greater focus on instructional support in two-year schools, the larger percentage of
                                                                                        136

disabled students, and the greater tendency of two-year schools to place institutionally-

owned computers in locations for student use.

       Public schools have higher positive responses to these questions than private

schools. This result may be because of their history of greater responsiveness to special

interest groups and their response to federal legislation requiring accommodation for

disabled students.

       More larger schools than smaller schools have employees assigned to these

computing support positions and have at least one person with a disability in these

positions. Larger schools tend to have larger disabled student populations and budgets

and thus may find it more economically feasible to provide specialized support. Because

of larger disabled student populations, they may also receive more pressure by this group

to provide support staff and to employ disabled individuals.

       2. a) What computing services for disabled students are currently provided in

institutions of higher education?

       Respondents were asked to indicate which computing services they currently

provide for disabled students. Results are summarized in Table 22. A majority (56.3%)

of the institutions surveyed provide adaptive devices for computer access within a

campus facility, 40.2% offer training, and 30.6% provide consulting services for adaptive

equipment selection and use. Less than 15% of the schools provide loan or rental of

adaptive computer equipment, a computer user/support group for disabled students, sales

of adaptive computer equipment and/or special software, repair of student-owned

adaptive equipment, or other special computing services. A review of the responses to

"Other" (See Appendix B) reveals no single unlisted service that is frequently provided

on campuses. However, more than fifty respondents made unsolicited comments

suggesting that no services are provided.
                                                                                        137



       Table 22. Computing Services Provided for Students with Disabilities

       Service                                                        Percentage

       Adaptive devices for computer access within campus
           facility                                                        56.3
       Training in the use of adaptive equipment and/or
           special software                                                40.1
       Computer consulting services for adaptive equipment
           selection and use                                               30.7
       Loan or rental of adaptive computer equipment to
           disabled students                                        13.4
       Computer user/support group for disabled
           students                                                        12.7
       Sales of adaptive computer equipment and/or special
           software                                                         4.5
       Repair of student-owned adaptive
           equipment                                                        2.1

       A Spearman correlation coefficient revealed a positive correlation between service

provided and level of involvement of the computing services unit in most of the services

listed, with schools involving computing services units to a greater degree generally

providing more services. Only two differences were not significant, computer

user/support group for disabled students and loan or rental of adaptive computer

equipment to disabled students. Results are summarized in Table 23.
                                                                            138




Table 23: Computing Services Provided for Students with Disabilities:
Comparison by Level of Involvement of Computing Services Unit in Management

       Percentages by Level of Involvement of Computing Services
                    Not Involved        Extremely Involved Spear
                          1       2     3       4     5     Corr     Sig
Group Size:              376 127       149     113   137

Service Provided

*Adaptive devices for
   computer access
   within campus facility    52.4 74.0    70.5   83.2   70.1   .20   .000
*Computer consulting
   services for adaptive
   equipment selection
   and use                   29.1 17.5    17.8   16.0   19.6   .18   .000
*Training in the use of
   adaptive equipment
   and/or special software   37.8 55.1    56.4   57.5   49.6   .14   .000
Computer user/support
   group for disabled
   students                  11.2 15.7    19.5   13.3   16.1   .06   .074
*Sales of adaptive
   computer equipment
   &/or special software      2.1   8.7    6.7    8.0    8.0   .11   .001
*Repair of student-owned
   adaptive equipment         1.3   1.6    4.0    5.3    2.9   .07   .034
Loan or rental of adaptive
   computer equipment
   to disabled students      13.3 16.5    18.1   19.5   13.9   .04   .274
                                                                                         139




       Comparison of Two- and Four-Year Schools

       A chi-squared test was used to compare two-year and four-year schools.

Significant differences were found for all but one service, in most cases indicating more

services at two-year schools. Results are summarized in Table 24.

       Table 24. Computing Services Provided for Students with Disabilities:
       Comparison of Two-Year and Four-Year Schools

                                                         Percentages  Chi          Sig
                                                       2-Year 4-Year Sqr
       Group Size:                                       546      638

       Service Provided
       *Adaptive devices for computer access
          within campus facility                         67.7    46.6    52.88     .000
       *Computer consulting services for adaptive
          equipment selection and use                    34.4    27.4     6.79     .009
       *Training in the use of adaptive equipment
          and/or special software                        50.4    31.3    44.30     .000
       *Computer user/support group for disabled
          students                                       16.5      9.4   13.33     .000
       *Sales of adaptive computer equipment
          and/or special software                        2.9       5.8    5.66     .017
       Repair of student-owned adaptive
          equipment                                      1.3       2.8    3.37     .066
       *Loan or rental of adaptive computer
          equipment to disabled students                 17.0    10.3    11.32     .001
                                                                                            140



       Comparison of Public and Private Schools

       The chi-squared test was used to compare public and private schools regarding

computing services provided for students with disabilities. Significant differences were

found in most areas, with public schools indicating more services than private schools in

most cases. Results are summarized in Table 25.

       Table 25. Computing Services Provided for Students with Disabilities:
       Comparison of Public and Private Schools

                                                         Percentages   Chi
                                                        Public Private Sqr            Sig
       Group Size:                                       847      337

       Service Provided
       *Adaptive devices for computer access
           within campus facility                         67.2     28.8 144.41        .000
       *Computer consulting services for adaptive
           equipment selection and use                    34.6     20.8    21.66      .000
       *Training in the use of adaptive equipment
           and/or special software                        49.8     15.7 116.66        .000
       *Computer user/support group for disabled
           students                                       14.3       8.6     7.03     .008
       Sales of adaptive computer equipment
           and/or special software                        4.0        5.6     1.49     .223
       Repair of student-owned adaptive
           equipment                                      1.9        2.7      .71     .399
       *Loan or rental of adaptive computer
           equipment to disabled students                 15.5       8.3   10.22      .001

       Comparisons by Size of School

       A Spearman correlation coefficient found a significant correlation between

services provided and size of school for almost all of the services listed, with larger

schools providing more computing services to disabled students than smaller schools.

Table 26 summarizes the results.
                                                                                        141

       Table 26. Computing Services Provided for Students with Disabilities:
       Comparisons by Size of School


                                 1001- 5001- 10001- 15001- 20001- Spear
                                                                  Corr Sig
       Group Size:               654   232   120     72      106

       Service Provided

       *Adaptive devices for
          computer access
          within campus facility     39.0 69.4 79.2      86.1   87.7    .40     .000
       *Computer consulting
          services for adaptive
          equipment selection
          and use                    22.8 31.5 42.5      41.7   56.6    .22     .000
       *Training in the use of
          adaptive equipment
          and/or special software    24.0 49.1 60.8      69.4   76.4    .39     .000
       *Computer user/support
          group for disabled
          students                   10.7 15.9 12.5      19.4   13.2    .06     .043
       *Sales of adaptive
          computer equipment
          &/or special software      3.4    4.3   4.2     6.8   10.4    .08     .007
       Repair of student-owned
          adaptive equipment         2.0    1.3   4.2     1.4     2.8   .02     .546
       *Loan or rental of adaptive
          computer equipment
          to disabled students       11.2 14.7 13.3      20.8   19.8    .08     .004

       Discussion

       More than 50% of the institutions indicated that they provide adaptive devices for

computer access within a campus facility, more than 40% offer training, and more than

30% provide consulting services for adaptive equipment selection and use. Relatively

few schools provide loan or rental of adaptive computer equipment, a computer

user/support group for disabled students, sales of adaptive computer equipment and/or

special software, repair of student-owned adaptive equipment, or other special computing
services. Schools with higher levels of involvement of the computing services unit
                                                                                            142

generally provide a wider range of services. This difference may be because computing

services units have more experience in proving these types of services to other students,

have the technical expertise to support them, and have larger budgets that offices of

disabled student services.

        Two-year institutions provide a greater range of services than four-year schools.

Differences may be explained by a greater percentage of students with disabilities and by

a greater focus on instructional support in two-year schools. However, more four-year

than two-year schools reported sales of adaptive technology and repair of adaptive

equipment (although, in the later case, the difference was not significant at the .05 level).

This difference may be because four-year schools more than two-year schools provide

computing rental and repair services to other students as part of their resale program

(Eastman & Green, 1992).

        Public schools provide a greater number of services than private institutions.

Differences between public and private schools are perhaps due to the greater political

pressure on public institutions to provide support to special interest groups and to respond

to government legislation. More private than public schools sell and repair adaptive

technology (although, in the later case, the difference is not significant at the .05 level).

These differences may be because private schools more than public schools engage in

computer resale programs in general (Eastman & Green, 1992).

        Larger schools tend to provide a greater number of services than smaller schools.

Since larger schools generally have larger disabled student populations and larger

computing organizations, they may find it more economically feasible to provide

specialized support. With larger groups of disabled students, they may also receive more

pressure to provide such services and, because of the size of the group, have developed

more experiences in responding to their needs.
                                                                                        143

       2. b) What special equipment and software are available and what types of

disabilities do they address?

       Survey participants were presented with a list of types of adaptive software and

equipment and asked to indicate what adaptations, if any, are available to students with

disabilities at their institutions. Table 27 documents the variety of adaptive computing

equipment and software provided to disabled students, as indicated by "yes" responses to

the eighteen items listed. The average is 3.96. A review of the "Other" responses, as

listed attached in Appendix B, indicates that of disabled students, hearing impaired and

acquired brain injury students are also receiving special computing services.

       Table 27. Adaptive Computing Equipment and Software Available to
       Students with Disabilities

       Equipment                                                    Percentage

       For students with visual impairments:
       Large print monitor and/or software to enlarge characters
          on the screen                                                56.3
       Device to enlarge text of printed documents                     50.4
       Speech synthesis to read text displayed on computer screen      44.3
       Optical character reader                                        30.6
       Braille and/or large print user guides and handouts             25.1
       Braille printer                                                 19.8
       Braille display                                                 10.0

       For students with mobility/orthopedic disabilities:
       Keyboard guard                                                  19.3
       "Sticky keys" software                                          18.2
       Mini (small) keyboard or expanded (large) keyboard              17.9
       Word prediction software                                        15.5
       Special access device to replace mouse                          14.1
       Voice input                                                     11.4
       Abbreviation expansion software                                  9.7
       Scanning input with special switch                               8.4
       Morse code input with special switch                             3.6

       For students with learning disabilities:
       Specially selected software to help them complete
          academic work                                                41.5
                                                                                           144

        Specially selected software to help them use computers           36.1

        As expected, a three-way analysis of variance revealed no significant two-way or

three-way interactions between institution type, funding source, or size with regard to the

average number of adaptive devices provided. Table 64 attached in Appendix C provides

details of the analysis.

        Comparison of Two- and Four-Year Schools

        The average number of adaptive devices on the survey list of eighteen that are

provided at the institutions responding to the survey is 5.09 for two-year schools and 3.02

for four-year schools. The analysis of variance revealed that the mean for two-year

schools is significantly larger than that for four-year schools, as shown in Table 28.

        Table 28. Mean Number of Adaptive Devices: Comparison of Two-Year and
        Four- Year Schools

                                    Means F               Sig
                               2-Year  4-Year             Value          of F

        Group Size:            303         364

        *                      5.09        3.02           17.55          .000

        Comparison of Public and Private Schools

        The average number of adaptive devices on the survey list of eighteen that are

provided at the institutions that responded to the survey is 4.94 for public schools and

1.86 for private schools. The three-way analysis of variance indicates that the number of

adaptive devices provided by public schools is significantly higher than that provided by

private schools, as shown in Table 29.

        Table 29. Mean Number of Adaptive Devices: Comparison of Public and Private
        Schools

                                     Means F              Sig
                               Public   Private           Value          of F
                                          145

Group Size:   453    214

*             4.95   1.86   5.64   .018
                                                                                            146



           Comparisons By Size of School

           The average number of adaptive devices on the survey list of eighteen that are

provided at institutions of different sizes are listed in Table 30. The analysis of variance

found significant differences in these means.

           Table 30. Mean Number of Adaptive Devices: Comparisons By Size of School

                                   Means by Size of School                    F       Sig
                        1000-    5001- 10001-       15001-       20000-      Value    of F
           Gp Size:     390      121      69          32           55

           *            2.43     4.60      6.48        6.62       8.67       44.46    .000

           Discussion

           Of the eighteen adaptive devices listed in the survey, the average number checked

was approximately 4. As expected for reasons discussed earlier, two-year, public, and

larger schools have significantly more types of adaptive devices available than four-year,

private, and smaller schools, respectively. Two-year schools averaged approximately 5;

four-year, 3; public, 5; private, 2; smallest schools, 2; and largest schools, 9.

           2. c) What network online services are available to students who require adaptive

technology?
           Respondents were asked to indicate whether they provide access to network

online services from computers with adaptive devices. Overall, less than 20% of the

schools surveyed provide access to library online systems and/or electronic bulletin

boards, databases, mail, and other network services for students with mobility/orthopedic

and visual impairments who need special adaptive devices. Table 31 summarizes the

results.
                                                                                          147

       Table 31. Availability of Online Services from Computers with Adaptive Devices

       Type of Access to Online Services                           Percentage

       Library System - Access to library online system
       on at least one system adapted for use by those with:

           visual impairments.                                        18.0
           mobility/orthopedic disabilities.                          12.1

       Network Services - Access to electronic bulletin
       boards, databases, mail, and other network services
       from at least one system adapted for use by those with:

           visual impairments.                                        13.1
           mobility/orthopedic disabilities.                           9.5

       A Spearman correlation test was used to compare the responses of schools by the

level of involvement of the computing services organization. Schools with more

involvement of the this unit provide significantly more access to online services for

students who need adaptive technology. Results are summarized in Table 32.

       Table 32: Availability of Online Services from Computers with Adaptive
       Devices: Comparison by Level of Involvement of Computing Services Unit in
       Management

               Percentages by Level of Involvement of Computing Services
                             Not Involved          Extremely Involved Spear
                                 1-      2-     3-       4-      5    Corr Sig

       Access to library online
       system on at least one
       system adapted for
       use by those with :

           *visual impairments. 15.7      32.7     27.2     33.7    37.5     .19   .000
           *mobility/orth imp. 9.9        26.2     16.8     24.7    24.1     .15   .000

       Access to electronic
       bulletin boards, databases,
       mail and other network
       service from at least one
       system adapted for use
                                                                        148

by those with:

   *visual impairments. 14.3   27.4   25.5   31.1   34.4   .18   .000
   *mobility/orth imp. 10.1    23.9   21.1   19.7   24.1   .14   .000
                                                                                          149

       Comparison of Two-and Four-Year Schools

       Responses of two-year and four-year schools to questions about access to online

services from computers with adaptive devices were compared using the chi-squared test.

Significantly more four-year than two-year institutions provide access to the library

online system on at least one system adapted for use by individuals with visual

impairments, as summarized in Table 33.

       Table 33. Availability of Online Services from Computers with Adaptive
       Devices: Comparison of Two-Year and Four-Year Schools

       Type of Access to Online Services                    Percentages Chi
                                                          2-Year 4-Year Sqr         Sig
       Group Size:                                          429     505

       Access to library online system on at least
       one system adapted for use by those with :

           *visual impairments.                           19.1    25.9       6.14   .013
           mobility/orthopedic disabilities.              13.9    16.9       1.56   .211

       Access to electronic bulletin boards, databases,
       mail and other network service from at least
       one system adapted for use by those with:

           visual impairments.                            18.1    22.7       2.42   .120
           mobility/orthopedic disabilities.              14.2    15.0        .10   .756
       Comparison of Public and Private Schools

       The chi-squared test indicates that significantly more public schools than private

schools provide access to online services to the library system and other network

resources for visually impaired and mobility/orthopedically disabled students. Results are

summarized in Table 34.
                                                                                          150




       Table 34. Availability of Online Services from Computers with Adaptive
       Devices: Comparison of Public and Private Schools

       Type of Access to Online Services                   Percentages Chi
                                                          Public Private Sqr       Sig
       Group Size:                                         526    225

       Access to library online system on at least one
       system adapted for use by those with:

           *visual impairments.                            26.3    14.2    15.89   .000
           *mobility/orthopedic disabilities.              17.9     9.5    10.19   .001

       Access to electronic bulletin boards, databases,
       mail, and other network services from at least
       one system adapted for use by those with:

           *visual impairments.                            24.0    12.9    11.78   .001
           *mobility/orthopedic disabilities.              17.5     7.6    12.40   .000

       Comparisons by Size of School

       The Spearman correlation statistic was used to measure the strength of the ranked

relationship between access to online services from computers with adaptive devices and

size of school. Results of this test, as can be seen in Table 35, show a significant positive
correlation for the four areas measured, indicating that larger schools are more likely to

provide access to online services for those who require the adaptive technology specified .
                                                                                            151

       Table 35. Availability of Online Services from Computers with Adaptive
       Devices: Comparisons By Size of School

                                        Percentages by Size of School Spear
                                   1000- 5001- 10001- 15001- 20000- Corr Sig

       Access to library online
       system on at least one
       system adapted for
       use by those with :

           *visual impairments. 15.3       18.3      28.0    46.6     51.6    .25   .000
           *mobility/orth imp. 10.4        15.6      15.8    26.4     36.7    .19   .000

       Access to electronic
       bulletin boards, databases,
       mail and other network
       service from at least one
       system adapted for use
       by those with:

           *visual impairments. 12.3       23.1      25.0    32.6     50.7    .27   .000
           *mobility/orth imp.   9.2       15.3      13.1    27.5     37.0    .21   .000

       Discussion

       Approximately 18% and 12% of the schools indicated that they provide access to

library online systems for students with visual impairments and mobility/orthopedic

impairments, respectively. These figures are lower than the 49% found by Eastman and

Green (1992) when they asked a similar question of schools regarding computer access to

library catalogs to their students in general, although not necessarily over the network.

Approximately 13% and 10% provide electronic bulletin boards, databases, mail, and

other network services for students with visual impairments and mobility/orthopedic

impairments, respectively. These figures are lower than the 30% found by Eastman and

Green (1992) when they asked about access to Internet and other national networks for

their students in general. It should be noted that, in the current survey question, it does
not specify whether the network access is to national networks. Technologies used in
                                                                                          152

providing these services to all students are relatively new and the small percentages

providing access for disabled students may simply reflect a normal lag in making new

services available to disabled students. Schools that involve computing services units to

a greater degree tend to provide more network access to students who require adaptive

technology than do schools that involve them to a lesser degree. This result may be due

to the fact that computing services units have experience in providing network access for

other students.

       Although the responses of four-year schools are higher than two-year schools,

only one of the differences is significant. However, public and larger schools provide

significantly more access than private and smaller schools, respectively. These results

may be partially explained by the tendency of four-year, public, and large schools to have

more sophisticated network infrastructures.

       3. a) Is adaptive technology typically located where other students work or in

areas that segregate disabled students?

       Survey participants were asked to indicate their policy regarding access to the

special adaptive computer equipment and software listed in the instrument. Their

response choices were: "Students with disabilities are given/loaned equipment/software

to take to their residence to use," "Students use equipment/software in special facility for

disabled students," and "Disabled students use special equipment/software in the same

facilities used by all students." They were instructed to check all that apply. A majority,

57.8% (684), of the respondents indicated that they provide some adaptive computer

equipment and software for their disabled students in the same facilities used by other

students, while 13.7% (162) provide equipment in the students' residences and 29.9%

(354) have special facilities for disabled students. These results indicate that respondents

tend to place adaptive technology where other students work rather than in areas that tend
                                                                                           153

to segregate disabled students (e.g., residences and special facilities). Figure 6 displays

the results.



           700
           600
           500
           400
           300
           200
           100
               0
                       Res idence                Special                   Same
                                                 Fac ility                Fac ility
                                                                           w ith
                                                                          Others


        Figure 6. Number of Schools with Adaptive Technology in Various Locations

        Comparison of Two- and Four-Year Schools

        A chi-squared test was used to compare two-year and four-year schools regarding

their policies on the location of adaptive equipment and software for individuals with

disabilities. Significantly more two-year schools provide adaptive technology for use in

residences, in special facilities for disabled students, and in the same facilities with other

students. For both types of institutions, however, it is more common to provide adaptive

technology in the same facilities used by non-disabled students than in the other locations

listed. Table 36 summarizes the analysis.

        Table 36. Location of Computer Adaptive Equipment and Software Provided to
        Disabled Students: Comparison of Two-Year and Four-Year Schools

                                            Percentages          Chi
                                         2-Year    4-Year        Sqr         Sig
        Group Size:                       546       638
                                                                                           154


       Location

       *Residence                          16.3      11.4       5.88        .015
       *Special Facility                   32.8      27.4       4.02        .045
       *Same Facility with Others          68.3      48.7      46.18        .000

       Comparison of Public and Private Schools

       A chi-squared test showed that a significantly larger proportion of public school

respondents provide computer adaptive devices than do private schools in all locations

listed. Table 37 summarizes the results.

       Table 37. Percentage of Schools with Adaptive Technology in Specific
       Locations: Comparison of Public and Private Schools

                                            Proportions           Chi
                                         Public    Private        Sqr       Sig
       Group Size:                        847       337

       Location

       *Residence                        15.7         8.6       10.28       .001
       *Special Facility                 36.5        13.4       61.52       .000
       *Same Facility with Others        63.6        43.0       41.97       .000

       Comparisons by Size of School

       A Spearman correlation coefficient was used to measure the strength of the rated

relationship between responses to questions about location of adaptive technology and

size of school. The correlations were positive in all three cases and significant for two of

the three locations: special facility and facilities with other students. Table 38

summarizes the results.

       Table 38. Percentage of Schools with Adaptive Technology in Specific
       Locations: Comparisons By Size of School

                                             Total Enrollment         Spear
                           1000-     5001-      10001- 15001- 20,000- Corr           Sig
       Group Size:         654       232        120      72   106
                                                                                            155

        Location
        Residence         12.4          14.7   8.3       19.4       21.7     .05     .063
        *Special Facility 14.2          38.8   47.5      58.3       67.9     .41     .000
        *Facility/Others 50.8           61.2   69.2      69.4       72.6     .17     .000

        Discussion

        Results show that respondents are most likely to place adaptive technology for

students with disabilities in facilities used by other students. The prevalence of

equipment in an integrated setting could be due to philosophy and cost. As will be seen

in the next section, respondents generally consider it desirable to integrate disabled

students in computing facilities for all students; this is consistent with the general

philosophy of disabled student services offices. Since disabled student populations are

typically small compared to the student body as a whole, schools may find it more cost-

effective to use existing facilities.

        Overall, two-year schools and public schools report higher ratings for all three

locations than four-year schools and private schools, suggesting a higher general level of

computing access options for disabled students on these campuses. This can be explained

by the tendency of two-year schools and public schools to be more responsive to the

needs of special needs groups than other institutions.

        Larger schools report generally higher ratings than smaller schools, especially for
special facilities. This result could reflect the sizes of the disabled populations and

budgets. Larger schools tend to have more disabled students and larger budgets than

smaller schools, making it possible to provide specialized facilities for disabled students.

Although the size of the body of disabled students makes it possible for larger schools to

provide special facilities, these facilities nonetheless tend to segregate disabled students

and may, therefore, not be in the best interests of the students.

        3. b) What are considered the preferred locations for providing computer access?
                                                                                         156

        Respondents ranked the desirability of specific locations for placing adaptive

technology for disabled students, with 1=undesirable and 5=very desirable. Providing

special equipment/software in the same facilities used by all students is rated most

desirable. A multivariate analysis of variance revealed that the means are significantly

different. Table 39 summarizes the results. Table 65 attached in Appendix C contains

details of the analysis.
                                                                                           157

       Table 39. Desirability of Various Locations for Placing Adaptive Technology

       Location                                                         F          Sig
                                                         Mean          Value       of F
       Same Facilities - Disabled students should
          use special equipment/software
          in the same facilities used
          by all students.                               4.52

       Residences- Students with disabilities
          should be given equipment/software
          to take to their residences to use.            3.25

       Special Facilities - Students should use
          equipment/software in special facility
          for disabled students.                         2.91

       *                                                             13660.54      .000

       An analysis of variance was undertaken to compare the actual locations chosen for

placing adaptive technology and the perceived desirability of these locations. As

expected, all results were found to be significant, as is summarized in Table 40.

       Table 40. Comparison of Location Chosen for Placing Adaptive Technology and
       the Perceived Desirability of that Location

       Location                                             F              Sig
                                                           Value           of F

       *Residence                                         59.13            .000
       *Special Facility                                 247.93            .000
       *Facility with Others                              49.61            .000

       A three-way analysis of variance indicates that between institution type, funding

source, and size there is a total of only one significant two-way or three-way interaction.

A two-way interaction was found between institution type and funding source regarding

the desirability of including disabled students in facilities with others. In this case,

private two-year schools rate the desirability higher than public two-year schools, yet
                                                                                        158

public four-year schools rate the desirability higher than private four-year schools. Table

64 attached in Appendix C provides details of the analysis.
                                                                                            159



           Comparison of Two- and Four-Year Schools

           Two-year and four-year schools were compared with respect to the perceived

desirability of various locations for placing adaptive technology. The analysis of variance

revealed no significant differences between two- and four-year schools. The preference

for disabled students to use adaptive technology in the same facilities used by other

students is clear, as can be seen in Table 41.

           Table 41. Desirability of Various Locations for Placing Adaptive Technology:
           Comparison of Two-Year and Four-Year Schools

           Location                                       Means     F            Sig
                                                     2-Year 4-Year Value         of F

           Residences: Students with
              disabilities should be given
              equipment/software to take
              to their residence to use.             3.23    3.27      .26       .612

           Special Facilities: Students should
              use equipment/software in spe-
              cial facility for disabled students.   2.98    2.90      .57       .451

           *Same Facilities: Disabled students
              should use special equipment/
              software in the same
              facilities used by all students.       4.62    4.45     4.04       .045

           Comparison of Public and Private Schools

           The analysis of variance revealed a significantly higher mean for public schools

with respect to the desirability of placing adaptive technology in special facilities for

disabled students and in the same facilities with other students. Private schools rated the

desirability of giving students with disabilities equipment and software to take to their

residence to use significantly higher than public schools. Table 42 summarizes the
results.
                                                                                             160

       Table 42. Desirability of Various Locations for Placing Adaptive Technology:
       Comparison of Public and Private Schools

       Location                                           Means      F          Sig
                                                     Public Private Value       of F

       Residences: Students with
          disabilities should be given
          equipment/software to take
          to their residence to use.                 3.17      3.50     3.37    .067

       Special Facilities: Students should
          use equipment/software in spe-
          cial facility for disabled students.       3.01      2.71      .06    .812

       Same Facilities: Disabled students
          should use special equipment/
          software in the same
          facilities used by all students.           4.59      4.36     2.11    .147

       Comparisons By Size of School

       The analysis of variance test revealed significant differences between the means of

the desirability of residence use and special facilities in schools of different sizes. No

significant differences were found in the desirability of use of the same facilities with

other students, as can be seen in Table 43.

       Table 43. Desirability of Various Locations for Placing Adaptive Technology:
       Comparisons By Size of School

       Location                         Means For Each Size of School  F    Sig
                                     1001- 5001- 10001- 15001- 20001- Value of F

       *Residences: Students with
       disabilities should be given
       equipment/software to take
       to their residence to use.   3.43      3.20      2.86     3.12    2.92    3.54   .007

       *Special Facilities: Students
       should use equipment/
       software in special facility
       for disabled students.       2.67      3.13      3.20     3.17    3.43    7.60   .000
                                                                                          161

       Same Facilities: Disabled
       students should use special
       equipment/software in the
       same facilities used by all
       students.                   4.46      4.55     4.71     4.67     4.60    2.11     .078



       Discussion

       Providing special equipment/software in the same facilities used by all students is

considered more desirable than providing it in residences or in special facilities for

disabled students. This result indicates that respondents consider placing adaptive

technology where other students work is preferred over placing it in areas that tend to

segregate disabled students. Data also suggest that respondents indicating a high

desirability for a specific location tend to place equipment there.

       Responses of two-year and four-year and of public and private schools are similar.

However, there are differences regarding size of school. Smaller schools rate residence

use higher and larger schools rate special facilities higher. These results may be because

smaller schools have so few students with disabilities, they address the needs for adaptive

equipment in the residences. Larger schools also have more experiences with the

segregated approach, as was shown in the previous section; perhaps their experiences

have been positive.

       4. What are the barriers to providing computing services for disabled students?

       Respondents were asked to rate the significance of barriers to providing

computing services to disabled students on a scale of 1 = not significant to 5 = very

significant. Inadequate funding, as expected, is rated highest. A multivariate analysis of

variance procedure revealed that the means are significantly different. Results are

summarized in Table 44. Table 67 attached in Appendix C provides details of the
analysis.
                                                                                             162

       Table 44. Perceived Level of Significance of Barriers to Providing Computing
       Services to Disabled Students

       Barrier                                           F              Sig
                                                        Mean            Value         of F

       Inadequate funding                               4.29
       Lack of expertise in selecting/supporting
           special equipment and software               2.78
       Lack of a campus committee to develop
           and implement a plan                         2.72
       Lack of commitment/concern on the
           part of the administration                   2.63
       Difficulties in coordinating efforts with
           the central computing organization
           and other units                              2.54
       Lack of interest of disabled students in
           using computers                              2.40
       *                                                              3092.64       .000

       The most common comments under "Other" (See Appendix B) suggest low

demand for computing services and/or a very small population of disabled students on

many campuses. Inadequate space was also mentioned as a barrier.

       A three-way analysis of variance was conducted to compare the responses by

institution type, funding source, and size. The analysis of variance revealed no significant

two-way interactions between institution type, funding source, and size of school. Only

one three-way interaction was found regarding "Lack of expertise in selecting/supporting

special equipment and software." Table 68 attached in Appendix C provides details of

the analysis.

       Comparison of Two- and Four-Year Schools

       The analysis of variance suggests that the barriers faced by two-year and four-year

schools are similar. The only significant difference is that "lack of interest of disabled

students in using computers," is rated significantly higher in four-year schools than in
two-year schools. Table 45 summarizes the findings.
                                                                                           163

       Table 45. Perceived Level of Significance of Barriers to Providing Computing
       Services to Students with Disabilities: Comparison of Two-Year and Four-Year
       Schools

       Barrier                                  Means                   F         Sig
                                                 2-Year     4-Year     Value      of F


      Inadequate funding                        4.32        4.27        .62       .430
      Lack of expertise in selecting/supporting
          special equipment and software        2.84        2.81        .01       .936
      Lack of a campus committee to
          develop and implement a plan          2.73        2.81      1.44        .230
      Lack of commitment/concern on
          the part of the administration        2.61        2.65      1.37        .243
      Difficulties in coordinating efforts
          with the central computing
          organization and other units          2.57        2.51        .46       .498
   *Lack of interest of disabled students
          in using computers                    2.32        2.56      8.28        .004

       Comparison of Public and Private Schools

       The analysis of variance revealed that, compared to private schools, public

schools rate significantly higher the barriers of inadequate funding and difficulties in

coordinating efforts with the central computing organization and other units. Table 46

summarizes the results.

       Table 46. Perceived Level of Significance of Barriers to Providing Computing
       Services to Students with Disabilities: Comparison of Public and Private Schools

       Barrier                                         Means            F         Sig
                                                  Public Private       Value      of F

       *Inadequate funding                        4.34      4.16      6.12        .014
       Lack of expertise in selecting/supporting
          special equipment and software          2.77      2.97        .13       .717
       Lack of a campus committee to develop
          and implement a plan                    2.75      2.83        .18       .673
       Lack of commitment/concern on the part
          of the administration                   2.68      2.49      2.29        .131
       *Difficulties in coordinating efforts with
          the central computing organization
                                                                    164

       and other units                  2.64   2.25   7.70   .006
Lack of interest of disabled students
       in using computers               2.40   2.59    .49   .485
                                                                                          165

       Comparisons by Size of School

       Table 47 lists the means, by size of school, of the ratings of barriers to providing

computing services to disabled students. The analysis of variance revealed only one

significant difference; smaller schools rate "Lack of expertise in selecting/supporting

special equipment and software" as a greater barrier than larger schools.

       Table 47. Perceived Level of Significance of Barriers to Providing Computing
       Services to Disabled Students: Comparisons By Size of School

       Organizational Unit             Means For Each Size of School   F    Sig
                                     1001- 5001- 10001- 15001- 20001- Value of F

       Inadequate funding           4.27     4.32    4.45   4.24    4.20       .97    .424
       *Lack of expertise in selecting/
           supporting special equip-
           ment and software        3.00     2.96    2.50   2.46    2.23      8.46    .000
       Lack of a campus committee
           to develop and
           implement a plan         2.83     2.79    2.76   2.70    2.45      1.74    .140
       Lack of commitment/
           concern on the part
           of the administration 2.52        2.73    2.71   2.82    2.78       .90    .463
       Difficulties in coordinating
           efforts with the central
           computing organization
           and other units          2.38     2.64    2.66   2.79    2.88      2.31    .056
       Lack of interest of disabled
           students in using
           computers           2.57 2.37     2.26    2.30   2.26    2.71       .029

       Discussion

       Overall, the greatest barrier to providing computing services to disabled students

is inadequate funding. This result is consistent with findings of the literature and research

reviews, which indicate that schools consider cost to be a major barrier to providing

special services to students with disabilities.

       Responses of schools of different types, funding sources, and sizes are similar.
However, public schools rate funding and difficulties in coordinating with central
                                                                                      166

computing units higher barriers than private schools. Smaller schools indicate that they
                                                                                           167

lack staff with the necessary expertise to a greater degree than larger schools; this could

be a result of generally smaller computing staff sizes at small schools. Finally, four-year

schools more frequently indicate that disabled students lack interest than do two-year

schools. This difference in perception could be a reflection of greater outreach and

support services to disabled students in two-year schools. Perhaps two-year schools make

efforts to generate interest, whereas four-year schools wait for students to show interest

on their own.

       5. a) How successful are disabled students perceived to be in using computers?

       Respondents were asked to rate the abilities of disabled students to make

productive use of computers on a scale of 1 = very low to 5 = very high. The average

responses were all above 4.0. Although a multivariate analysis of variance shows the

ability ratings to be significantly different, the means are practically equivalent. The

results are summarized in Table 48. Details are included in Table 69 attached in

Appendix C.

       Table 48. Perceived Abilities of Students with Disabilities to Make Productive
Use    of Computers if Adaptive Equipment is Provided

       Disabilities                                            F              Sig
                                              Mean            Value           of F

       Low vision                             4.26
       Mobility/orthopedic impairment         4.11
       Blind                                  4.09
       Learning disabled                      4.01
       *                                                     3782.35         .000

       The Pearson R correlation statistic was used to determine the strength of the linear

relationship between the perceived abilities of disabled students to make productive use

of computers and the self-rated computing skills of respondents. Only one significant

correlation was found, a small positive correlation between respondents' computing skills
and their ratings of the abilities of learning disabled students to make productive use of
                                                                                           168

computers. This finding provides little evidence of a strong positive correlation between

the perceived abilities of disabled students to make productive use of computers and the

self-rated computing skills of respondents. Results are summarized in Table 49.

        Table 49. Correlation Between Perceived Abilities of Students with Disabilities
        to Make Productive Use of Computers and the Self-rated Respondent's Skill in
        Using Computers

        Disabilities                            Pearson's R     t Value              Sig

        Low vision                                  .03           .89            .372
        Blind                                      -.01          -.14            .886
        Mobility impaired                           .07          1.94            .053
        *Learning disabled                          .08          2.08            .038

        The Pearson R correlation statistic was also used to determine the strength of the

linear relationship between the perceived abilities of disabled students to make productive

use of computers and the number of adaptive devices provided by the institution. In order

to perform this test, the total of the responses to the ability levels of the four

classifications of disability was used. Significant results were found (R=.13, significance

< .05), indicating that respondents who rate the abilities of disabled students high tend to

provide more adaptive devices at their schools.

        Comparison of Two- and Four-Year Schools, Public and Private Schools, and
        Schools by Size

        A three-way analysis of variance was used to compare two-year and four-year,

public and private, and large and small schools with respect to how successful

respondents perceive disabled students to be in making productive use of computers.

Details are presented in Table 70 attached in Appendix C. As summarized in Tables 50-

52, only one significant difference was found; respondents from the smallest schools

perceived the abilities of blind students to use computers to be significantly lower than

those from the larger schools.
                                                                                             169

       Table 50. Perceived Abilities of Students with Disabilities to Make Productive
Use    of Computers if Adaptive Equipment is Provided: Comparison of Two-Year and
       Four-year Schools

       Disability                                  Means                    F        Sig
                                               2-Year 4-Year               Value     of F
       Low vision                              4.29          4.24           .48      .489
       Blind                                   4.08          4.12           .08      .775
       Mobility/orthopedic disability          4.17          4.08           .99      .320
       Learning disabled                       4.10          3.97          2.94      .087

       Table 51. Perceived Abilities of Students with Disabilities to Make Productive
Use    of Computers if Adaptive Equipment is Provided: Comparison of Public and
       Private Schools

       Disability                                   Means                    F       Sig
                                               Public Private              Value     of F
       Low vision                             4.29    4.16                  .18      .668
       Blind                                  4.12    4.01                  .01      .912
       Mobility/orthopedic                    4.13    4.13                  .03      .870
       Learning disabled                      4.05    4.01                  .22      .640

       Table 52. Perceived Abilities of Students with Disabilities to Make Productive
       Use of Computers if Adaptive Equipment is Provided: Comparisons By Size of
       School

       Disability                     Means For Each Size of School F   Sig
                                 1001- 5001- 10001- 15001- 20001- Value of F

       Low vision                4.18      4.22       4.43          4.40    4.38   2.09   .080
       *Blind                  3.95        4.12       4.30          4.32    4.23   2.72   .029
       Mobility/orth dis         4.18      4.15       4.11          4.05    3.96    .77   .546
       Learning disabled         4.03      4.07       4.05          4.19    3.89    .74   .563

       Discussion

       Respondents rate all of the abilities of disabled students of various types to

productively use computers above 4.0 on a scale of 1 to 5. Responses by type, funding

source, and size of school are similar. This result was expected since the literature review

revealed no reason to believe that the attitudes of staff about disabled students' abilities to
use computers would vary by school type, funding source, or size. One significant
                                                                                            170

difference was found; respondents from larger schools perceive the abilities of blind

students to use computers to be significantly higher than those from smaller schools.

This difference may be the result of the larger population of students with disabilities in

larger schools, giving them more experiences in working with students who are blind.

       It was hypothesized that respondents who rate their own computing skills high

would tend to rate disabled students' skills high. However, when comparing the strength

of the linear relationship between the perceived abilities of disabled students to make

productive use of computers and the self-rated computing skills of respondents, only one

significant correlation was found, a small positive correlation between respondents'

computing skills and their ratings of the abilities of learning disabled students to make

productive use of computers. This result provides little evidence that those who rate their

own computing skills high tend to rate disabled students' skills high.

       A significant positive relationship was found between the number of adaptive

devices provided and the perceived abilities of disabled students to productively use

computers. This result was expected and could be due to the tendency of staff to provide

services when they expect recipients to make productive use of them.

       5. b) How much is computer access perceived to contribute to the academic

success of students with disabilities?

       Respondents were asked to rate the contribution of computer access to the

academic success of students with disabilities. The rating scale on the survey instrument

was from 1 = very low to 5 = very high. All responses averaged above 4.5. Although

because of the large sample a multivariate analysis of variance shows that the differences

are significant, the means were very close in value. Results are summarized in Table 53.

Details of the analysis are in Table 71 attached in Appendix C.
                                                                                            171

       Table 53. Perceived Contribution of Computer Access to the Academic Success
       of Students with Disabilities

       Disabilities                            Mean               F            Sig
                                                                 Value         of F

       Low vision                              4.68
       Mobility impaired                       4.63
       Blind                                   4.63
       *                                                       14697.49       .000

       The relationship between the reported skill levels of respondents and their ratings

of the contribution of computer access to the academic success of disabled students was

explored using the Pearson R correlation statistic. As summarized in Table 54, no

significant correlations were found.

       Table 54. Correlation Between Perceived Contribution of Computer Access to the
       Academic Success of Students with Disabilities and the Self-rated Respondent's
       Skill in Using Computers

       Disabilities                            Pearson's R      t Value        Sig

       Low vision                                -.05          -1.61           .11
       Blind                                     -.05          -1.56           .12
       Mobility impaired                         -.02           -.75           .46
       Learning disabled                         -.06          -1.84           .07


       The Pearson R correlation statistic was also used to determine the strength of the

linear relationship between the perceived contribution that computers make to the

academic success of disabled students and the number of adaptive devices provided by

the institution. In order to perform this test, the total of the responses to the contribution

levels of the four classifications of disability was used. Significant results were found

(R=.1583, significance < .01), indicating that respondents who rate the contribution of

computer access high tend to provide more adaptive devices at their schools.

       Comparison of Two- and Four-Year Schools, Public and Private Schools, and
       Schools by Size
                                                                                             172

       A three-way analysis of variance compared the mean responses of two- and four-

year schools, of public and private schools, and by size of school with regard to the

perceived contribution of computer access to the academic success of students with

disabilities. It revealed significant differences for low vision and blind students by size of

school, with larger schools giving higher ratings. No significant two-way or three-way

interactions were found. Table 72 attached in Appendix C provides details of the

analysis. Findings are summarized in Tables 55-57.

       Table 55. Perceived Contribution of Computer Access to the Academic Success
       of Students with Disabilities: Comparison of Two-Year and Four-Year Schools

       Disability                              Means                     F         Sig
                                           2-Year 4-Year                Value      of F

       Low vision                          4.67           4.65           .19      .660
       Blind                               4.65           4.66           .22      .643
       Mobility/orthopedic disability      4.64           4.58          2.86      .091
       Learning disability                 4.65           4.58           .55      .460

       Table 56. Perceived Contribution of Computer Access to the Academic Success
       of Students with Disabilities: Comparison of Public and Private Schools

       Disability                                  Means                 F         Sig
                                          Public      Private           Value      of F

       Low vision                          4.68           4.59           .08      .775
       Blind                               4.69           4.58           .02      .880
       Mobility/orthopedic                 4.62           4.58           .47      .495
       Learning Disabled                   4.65           4.50          2.30      .130

       Table 57. Perceived Contribution of Computer Access to the Academic Success
       of Students with Disabilities: Comparisons By Size of School

       Disability                    Means For Each Size of School F Sig
                               1001- 5001- 10001- 15001- 20001- Value of F

       *Low vision             4.58    4.62        4.83          4.77     4.83   5.33 .000
       *Blind         4.55     4.69    4.86        4.81          4.82     6.32   .000
       Mobility/orth dis       4.58    4.60        4.69          4.64     4.69   1.34 .254
       Learning disability     4.55    4.62        4.77          4.70     4.67   1.96 .098
                                                                                          173

          Discussion

          Respondents rate the contributions of computer access to the academic success of

disabled students of all types above 4.6 on a 1 to 5 scale. Responses based on type,

funding source, and size of school are similar. This result was expected since the

literature and research reviews revealed no reason to believe that the attitudes of staff in

this area would vary by type, funding source, or size of school. However, larger schools

rate the contribution of of computer access to the academic success of low vision and

blind students significantly higher than smaller schools. This result may reflect the lack

of experience in smaller schools with low vision and blind students. In the case of

blindness, the incidence is relatively low and larger schools are more likely to have

experiences with students with this disability.

          A significant positive relationship was found between the number of adaptive

devices provided and the perceived contribution of computers to the academic success of

disabled students. This result was expected and could be due to the tendency of staff to

provide services that will contribute to the academic success of recipients.

Additional Comments

          The responses in "Additional Comments" (See Appendix B) were placed in five

categories: 1) Low demand for services, 2) Financial and staffing considerations, 3)

Future plans, 4) Requests for information, and 5) Other. There were 90, 52, 31, and 20

comments in the first four categories, respectively. In the first category, comments

indicated that these schools have no or few disabled students or disabled students

requiring adaptive technology. Most comments in category two indicated lack of funding

and/or support staff. Category three includes statements suggesting that schools are

working on future plans for providing adaptive technology. Comments in category four

indicated the desire for information about adaptive technology and/or results of this
survey.
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                                  Limitations of the Study

        Some threats to the validity of the findings are the result of the potential for biased

or inaccurate information to be given by the respondents. Some disabled student services

directors may not have the requested information because computing services to disabled

students are provided by the central computing organization or some other unit. They

may give incorrect information because they are unfamiliar with the computing terms

used. In addition, some respondents may exaggerate their reporting of the level of

services offered because of their concern about complying with federal legislation or their

desire to provide the most "acceptable" answers. Some answers might be biased in favor

of the office of disabled student services because presumably most respondents are from

this type of office. For example, ratings for the level of involvement of the office of

disabled student services in the selection, funding, and management of computing

services for disabled students might be higher than those that would be reported by other

units in the institution.

        There may be differences in characteristics between institutions who responded to

the questionnaire and those who did not, threatening the external validity of the study.

For example, schools with no services may be unlikely to respond. As with any survey,

the sample may not exactly reflect the characteristics of the population. The analysis of

the demographics which compared institution type, funding source, and size of school of

the responding institutions to those of the population surveyed suggest that some caution

be exercised in generalizing the results of this study.

        There were large numbers of non-responses to certain questions on the survey

instrument. In some cases, no response was interpreted as "no," but this may not be the

correct interpretation. For example, in the question about the assignment of specific staff

to provide computing support to disabled students, respondents were given two choices,
"yes" and "no", yet 13% of the returned questionnaires had neither choice selected. In
       175

this
                                                                                            176

case non-responses were interpreted to mean "no" because it is assumed that those who

did not respond probably do not have employees as described. This interpretation may

not be accurate in all cases.

       Although the study found correlations between some variables, it is impossible to

determine causal relationships. For example, it was found that respondents who rate

highly the contribution of computers to the academic success of disabled students tend to

provide more adaptive technology at their schools. Does this mean that when

respondents believe that computers can contribute positively to the academic success of

disabled students their schools are more likely to provide access? Or, when schools

provide access, are respondents more likely to have evidence that disabled students

benefit academically from the use of computers. Further, is there a causal relationship

here, or are other factors present that have a positive effect on respondents' perceptions of

the contribution of computers to the academic success of disabled students and the

number of adaptive devices at their institutions?

       This study is also limited in its scope. For example, it does not determine the

quantity or quality of each service provided nor does not attempt to compare the level of

computing services for disabled students to those for non-disabled students. It does not

determine what interfaces with internal and external organizations are most useful and

how these units can work together to provide the most efficient and responsive services.

The effectiveness of existing programs is not evaluated, the level of satisfaction of the

recipients of services is not measured, and the costs of providing equal access to

computing resources for students with disabilities are not determined. These and other

issues suggest potential topics for future research.
                    Chapter VII: Conclusions and Recommendations


       We need more funding to purchase the equipment. We need more training
       on its use and adequate staff to provide training to the students on
       appropriate use of the equipment and programs. (Survey respondent)

       This study gathered information about the computing services provided to

disabled students at institutions of higher education with enrollments of 1,000 or more.

The findings can help administrators make appropriate policy decisions regarding the

provision of computing services to disabled students.



                                    Survey Conclusions

Administration of Services

       Offices of disabled student services are most involved in the three areas of

selection, funding, and management of computing services for disabled students. This

result is consistent with the fact that most published articles about computing services for

students with disabilities are found in publications produced by and for staff from these

offices. The group which is second most involved in selecting and managing computing

services for disabled students is the disabled students themselves. In funding these

services, government agencies are the second most involved. Central computing services

organizations rate third in involvement in all three areas. More than one-third of the

schools have staff assigned to provide computing support to disabled students and almost
20% have a person with a disability included in this staff.

       Two-year schools are more likely to have staff specifically assigned to provide

computing services to disabled students and have more active organizational units than

four-year schools. These results are consistent with the literature that suggests that two-

year schools are generally more responsive to special needs populations, attract a greater

percentage of disabled students, and place a greater proportion of institutionally-owned
computers in locations for student access.
                                                                                             178

       Fewer smaller schools than larger schools have staff assigned to provide

computing support. This conclusion is probably due to the fewer numbers of disabled

students and the fewer specialized computing support staff found in small schools.

Providing adequate support for the few disabled students that may appear on small

campuses is problematic. The frustrations felt by many small schools in addressing the

computing needs of students with disabilities are summarized in one respondent's

comment, "A small, private college cannot hope to meet the needs of the disabled."

       Public schools have more staff assigned to provide computing support for students

with disabilities. This result is consistent with the literature that suggests that public

schools more than private schools have been responsive to a diverse student body

generally and in establishing procedures and policies for disabled student computing

access specifically.

Services Provided

       There is evidence that some computing services for disabled students are being

provided in many schools. More than half of the institutions provide at least one adaptive

computer device for disabled students. In addition, training on the use of and consulting

on the purchase of adaptive technology are provided in more than 30% of the institutions.

However, few (less than 15%) provide a computer user group for disabled students, sales

or repair of adaptive technology, and loan or rental of specialized computer equipment

and software. Many schools provide no services at all in this area and programs which

provide computing services to disabled students are not well-developed at many schools.

Some programs are currently engaged in a planning process to develop such services.

These results are consistent with the literature that suggests that special computing

services for disabled students are not widespread at colleges and universities.
                                                                                            179

        Two-year, larger, and public institutions provide a greater range of services and a

greater number of types of adaptive devices than four-year, smaller, and private

institutions, respectively. These results are consistent with the literature that suggests that

two-year, public, and larger schools are generally more responsive to students with

special needs than other schools. Schools that involve the computing services unit to a

greater degree tend to provide more computer services to disabled students than schools

that involve this unit to a lesser degree. This result may be due to the expertise of the

computing services staff which makes it possible for them to select, install, and support

adaptive technology or it may be that in order to provide more services it is necessary to

involve the computing services unit more.

        Although electronic communication and resources provide powerful tools for all

students as learning environments become more information-rich, disabled students at

most schools are not guaranteed access to these enabling tools. Access to disabled

students is lower than that provided to the general student body. Public and larger

schools provide more online access to students in need of adaptive technology than

private and smaller schools, respectively. Four-year schools provide much greater online

access for students in general than two-year schools, but for disabled students the

difference is only slight.

Location of Services

        Most of the access devices provided for students with disabilities are placed in the

same computing facilities used by other students. This result is consistent with the

literature which suggests that most disabled student services programs attempt to

integrate support for disabled students into existing services. It is also consistent with the

high respondent ratings for the desirability of co-locating computing services for disabled

students with those for other students. This approach is consistent with federal
regulations that services for disabled students be provided in the most integrated setting
                  180

possible, so as
                                                                                           181

not to segregate students with disabilities from their non-disabled peers. Although it may

be tempting for larger schools (with larger populations of disabled students and larger

budgets) to provide special computer labs for students with disabilities, administrators

should carefully consider the implications of this approach; in a segregated lab disabled

students cannot work side-by-side with their non-disabled classmates.

       Some comments expressed the management issues related to different locations of

equipment. For example, special facilities provide some efficiencies in supporting the

special needs of students with disabilities, but are expensive to staff for extended hours.

One of the respondents summarized: "We tried getting stations set up in areas used by all

students but assistance, maintenance, and noise were problems. Now, however, access

during hours when the special lab is not open is a problem."

Barriers to Providing Services

       Lack of adequate funding is reported to be the greatest barrier to providing

computing services for disabled students. This finding is consistent with the literature

that documents responses to the financial implications of providing other specialized

services for students with disabilities. Results also indicate that hiring new staff or

reassigning existing staff to support adaptive technology is important for success.

Inadequate staffing is of particular concern in smaller schools. Some respondents also

consider the lack of concern on the part of the administration, the lack of a campus

committee to develop and implement a plan, and difficulties in getting organizational

units to effectively work together to be barriers in this area.

       Respondent ratings and comments such as "students will not come in for training

to use what is available" and "at this time we are unaware of any student who

needs/desires adaptive computing services" and "none of our disabled students have

chosen to concentrate in this area" suggest that some consider the computer interest of
students with
                                                                                           182

disabilities to be low. Respondents from four-year schools rate the level of interest of

disabled students to use computers to be lower than respondents from two-year

institutions. The more aggressive student support services provided at two-year schools

may account for these differences in experiences. Since computing is an integral part of

the programs of most four-year schools, perhaps efforts should be made to encourage

disabled students to use computers.

Perceptions of the Abilities of Students to Make Productive use of Computers and
Contributions of Computer Access to their Academic Success

       Perceptions of staff about issues related to computing services for disabled

students influence the provision of services, directly and indirectly. Staff who rate highly

the abilities of disabled students to productively use computers and the contribution of

computers to their academic success tend to be from schools who provide more adaptive

technology. This may suggest that key staff who provide computing support and who

assist disabled students should become aware of the types of adaptive technology and the

successful applications individuals with disabilities have made. Some comments reflect

the opinion that this service area is important. For example, one respondent said, "I

consider this area vital for the success of disabled students. Overcoming fear of the

computer and emphasis on practical use are important issues." Analysis of the comments
returned on the survey forms suggests, too, that respondents recognize their need for

education in this area.

Other Outcomes of the Study

       The comments of some respondents suggest that they believe that providing

special computing services to students with disabilities is unnecessary, that just allowing

them to use existing facilities without accommodation is adequate. Notes on the survey

instrument such as "Open door institution; no specific program for disabled students, all
treated the same" suggest that some feel that the provision of special access means for
               183

students who
                                                                                         184

encounter barriers to computing because of their disabilities is not necessary or required.

Some also feel that pro-active measures are not needed in this area. For example, one

respondent said that his/her school "will increase services as disabled persons become

aware of their rights."

       Just completing the survey form gave some administrators ideas for services that

had not occurred to them. Comments by respondents such as "You've given me some

ideas," "We thought we did well to provide wheelchair access!," and "Boy - this survey

shows how far we have to go!" suggest that simply conducting the survey may result in

some positive improvement in the computing services offered at participating schools.

Positive outcomes resulting from participation in the survey is consistent with the

reported outcomes of the the first major survey of disabled student services by the

American Council on Education (Strom, 1950).

       Knowing what other schools are doing may also help administrators make better

decisions. Once disseminated, results of this survey that indicate what adaptive

technology is available at other institutions and the additional comments collected from

the responding institutions can give administrators ideas regarding the types of

technologies to consider purchasing and other services to provide. Administrators can

benefit from the comparisons by institution type, funding source, and size by reviewing

information about services at schools with characteristics similar to theirs.



                                     Recommendations

       Persons with disabling conditions meet inequities and barriers of all types,

including those that prevent access to computers. However, as word processors replace

typewriters, electronic spreadsheets replace handwritten records, and on-line services

replace telephone and written correspondence, disabled students and employees who have
                                                                                          185

computer access become capable of handling a wider range of activities. This important

by-product of our technological age should not be underestimated. Providing computer

access for students with disabilities in higher education can enhance their lives and

integrating services with those of non-disabled students can help those with disabilities

participate more fully in the mainstream of college life and, ultimately, society. An

additional incentive to provide computing services to students with disabilities is federal

legislation, which is generally interpreted to mean that whenever the use of computers is

required in academic programs, an institution must provide access to students with

disabilities.

        The results of the literature and research reviews and of this survey lead to a series

of recommendations for administrators of institutions of higher education as they make

plans for providing computing services to students with disabilities, for professional

organizations as they set goals and define projects, and for prospective students with

disabilities as they select postsecondary schools.

Postsecondary Institutions

        History has shown that the process of integration of underrepresented groups into

higher education is slow, but efforts to integrate racial minorities, women, and older

students have been successful. An institution beginning the process of providing

computing services for disabled students should realize that it is not alone, that progress

may be slow, and that the process for determining and supporting computing services

should allow for the dynamic nature of the field. As a school becomes more experienced,

it should share acquired knowledge and experiences with others who are positioned at

earlier stages of the learning curve.
                                                                                            186

        Establish a Campus Committee

        People bring different perspectives and expertise to the issue of computing

services for disabled students. A good first step for a college or university is to organize a

campus committee to explore possibilities, determine objectives, set goals, suggest task

assignments, and monitor the progress of the effort. Collectively, the members of the

committee should have expertise (or the interest in gaining expertise) in the computer

technology being used on campus, the access issues of disabled students, and adaptive

technology. Members of the committee should represent units typically involved in the

selection, management, and funding of computing services for disabled students at

institutions of higher education. These would include representatives from the office

responsible for providing disabled student services, disabled students, central computing

services, faculty (possibly in the special education or rehabilitation field), library services,

departmental computing units, and government agencies. Including individuals with the

authority to make campus policy and budget decisions can help ensure that committee

recommendations are implemented.

        Review Programs at Other Schools

        One low-cost way to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the campus

committee is for its members to contact schools who are active in this area and obtain

information about services, organizational structures, and adaptive devices that have

proved successful. Much can be learned from schools who now provide services.

Administrators should keep in mind that two-year, public, and larger schools have made

more progress in providing adaptive technology and other computing services for

disabled students than four-year, private, and smaller schools, respectively.
                                                                                         187

       List Campus Computing Services

       Computing services currently provided to the general student body of the school

should be listed. Answer questions such as: What computing platforms are provided?

What software is commonly used? Is the library catalog, databases, and/or other campus

information or services accessible via computer? Are computers connected to a campus

network? Are national and international networks accessible from campus? If so, how

are network resources used by students?

       Determine the Computing Needs Of Disabled Students

       The committee should formally or informally survey the student body in order to

get a sense of what types of disabilities are common on campus and to focus efforts on

addressing the computing needs of students who have disabilities that are the most

common. This information may already be available through the office of disabled

student services. In reviewing these statistics, committee members must keep in mind,

that many students do not identify themselves to the institution as disabled, especially if

they believe that they might be discriminated against in some way or that the school does

not have special services to help them. The level of service currently provided to

disabled students could have an affect on the enrollment of disabled students and on the

rate of self-identification and requests for services. National statistics can give an

indication of what types of disabilities prospective students might have.

       Identify Barriers

       Barriers to computer use that currently exist for students with disabilities should

be identified. Information can be obtained by interviewing students with disabilities and

computer facility and office of disabled student services staff and by reviewing statistics

about students and the literature regarding adaptive technology for specific disabilities.

The
                                                                                         188

committee should also identify barriers that may exist for prospective students with other

disabilities not represented by the current student body.

       Set Goals, Priorities, Timelines, and Procedures

       Service areas (e.g., lab access, library access, network access, consulting, training,

campus awareness) and priorities should be determined. Few schools can afford to

immediately do everything that appears worthwhile, so priorities should be specific, with

particular attention given to equal access to services offered to non-disabled students. In

setting goals, the committee should be well informed of the support services provided by

campus and external organizations so that needless duplication of effort is avoided.

Accommodating current students with disabilities should have a high priority.

       The committee should develop general procedures for identifying and addressing

the individual computing needs of students with disabilities. Such procedures should

allow for quick responses as specific needs are identified. Staff should know who is

responsible for selecting the equipment, training the student, and setting up and

supporting the system once a request is made. A tracking system should be developed to

keep a record of who is served, what disabilities they experience, and what successes and

problems they encounter. This information can be useful in service evaluation, program

planning, and grant writing.

       Develop a Budget

       Money should be set aside for hardware and software acquisition, staff, travel,

office supplies, and equipment maintenance. Some can be used to provide technology for

students who request it. Some should be available to pro-actively address anticipated

needs of prospective students and of current students who do not specifically request

services.

       At a time when many schools are facing general budget cuts and many campus
computing organizations are experiencing budget reductions (Eastman & Green, 1991),
                                                                                       189

care should be taken to explore all possibilities for funding computing support services

for
                                                                                            190

students with disabilities. All institutional funding sources should be identified. Using

funds allocated to general computing access on campus should be considered. This

approach is consistent with the mainstreaming of such services and computing budgets

tend to be much larger than those of offices of disabled student services. External

funding sources to consider include state, federal, and private grants. The committee

should investigate all possibilities.

        Assign Responsibilities to Campus Units and Specific Staff

        Basic organizational issues should be addressed. Many models for providing

computing services exist. The committee should consult publications and contact other

schools to explore options. Specific organizational characteristics of the school might

suggest an appropriate structure. On most medium- to large-size campuses, services for

disabled students and general computing services are provided by two different

organizations, a disabled student services unit and a central computing services unit,

respectively. A postsecondary institution must explore ways for these two groups to

coordinate efforts, share expertise, and identify financial resources in order to provide

disabled students with access to technology. In addition, campus units that use computers

(e.g., the library) should be included.

        A school should consider hiring new staff and/or assign existing staff to

coordinate efforts and to assume specific responsibilities. In either case, one person

should have responsibility for coordinating the efforts to ensure that access to computing

services is provided for students with disabilities. Once general leadership is established,

individual staff members can assume specific responsibilities. For example, one

computer consultant could be responsible for determining student needs and a member of

the disabled student services office could be responsible for information dissemination

and referrals.
                                                                                          191

       One staff member with computer expertise should be selected as the primary

technical contact. This person should have close connections with the central computing

organization so that he/she is aware of the campus direction in operating systems and

networking. This person should be provided with resources to attend conferences that

provide information on adaptive technology, to obtain directories of computing products

for individuals with disabilities, to visit campuses that currently provide services, and to

become informed of external and internal organizations that can be of assistance. This

person can also gain expertise by coordinating free product demonstrations by distributors

of adaptive technology. Hiring students with disabilities to provide one-on-one training

to other students should be considered.

       Make Computing Facilities Accessible

       Computing labs should be inspected and steps should be taken to assure that they

are generally accessible. They should be located in convenient areas that are wheelchair

accessible and have accessible restrooms and telephones nearby. Adjustable-height

tables, wide aisles, and low handout bins and documentation racks should be provided for

individuals in wheelchairs. Lab signs should be made large enough for someone with low

vision to read. Popular handouts and computing publications can be converted into large

print and/or Braille.

       Select and Purchase Adaptive Technology

       To get started in providing computer access, a school could provide low-cost

adaptive technology for a group of students with a common disability. For example,

since low vision is a common disability and adaptive technology to address this disability

is relatively low in cost, a school could begin a program by providing one workstation

with hardware and software for low-vision students. Track balls provide another example

of a low cost solution to some access problems. In contrast, some adaptive technology
and
                                                                                           192

specialized computer support services are expensive. Administrators must prioritize

carefully and allocate funds to assure that money is spent on the most essential equipment

and software. Efforts should focus on the most common and important applications first,

such as word processing and electronic mail.

          When determining the location of adaptive technology for disabled students,

administrators should make efforts to co-locate it with computer technology provided for

non-disabled students, taking precautions not to segregate students with disabilities from

other students. Computers with adaptive technology should be connected to campus and

international networks as these links are established for other students. Administrators

should encourage students with disabilities to use electronic resources, including

electronic mail, access to online library catalogs, electronic publications, and discussion

groups.

          Make Arrangements to Assist Disabled Students in Using Computers

          Students with disabilities generally need special assistance in the use of special

adaptive technology, in addition to standard training that other students may require.

Often, this support will need to be on-on-one. Training of students with disabilities

should have early success as a goal. Focus should also be on helping the student achieve

independence in operating the computer in order to empower him/her, to develop

confidence, and to enhance self esteem. Use of adaptive technology requires additional

training beyond that required to master computer applications. Hiring students with

disabilities to train new students is a cost-effective way to provide support and to

encourage reluctant users to come forward. Efforts should be made to mainstream

support where other students are working whenever possible. Once specific access

problems are solved, assistance with standard applications should be provided by the

support staff for all students.
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       Publicize Services and Empower Students with Disabilities

       Previous research has shown that disabled students are often reluctant to request

special services; there is no reason to believe that this is not true in the area of computer

use. Many survey respondents made comments that no students with disabilities have

requested computer access. Administrators should keep in mind that a lack of requests

for service does not necessarily indicate that there is no need for service. Students may

not be aware of the capabilities of computers nor of the provision of campus services.

The level of computer interest of disabled students may not be high, especially for older

students who have not been exposed to computer technology and for females who have

not been encouraged to pursue this area. Publicizing information about the services and

where to go for help and providing regular open houses at the location where adaptive

technology is located can draw interested students. Giving presentations in computing

and other classes can raise the awareness of issues and services. The encouragement of

the use of electronic mail and discussion groups and the facilitation of the organization of

a computer user group of people interested in adaptive technology can encourage

computer use and empower disabled students.

       Assess the Impact of New Services on Old Support Services for Disabled Students

       Administrators should consider how computer use can impact existing services

and how it might help students achieve greater independence. The comment "if our office

didn't provide so much reading and typing assistance to students, they would probably

become more skilled and independent on computers" by one survey respondent suggests

that evaluation of current services in light of the capabilities of computer technology

should be considered.
                                                                                          194

       Provide Input Into Campus Computing Plans

       By considering access for individuals with disabilities at the same time schools

wrestle with general computing and networking issues, it may be possible to integrate

disabled access into these plans more effectively. For example, as the library catalog and

other information is made available over the campus network, it should simultaneously be

made accessible from computers with adaptive technology. In addition, at the time when

new terminals or computers are being considered as campus standards (e.g., Unix

workstations and X-terminals), access issues for disabled students should also be

considered. As noted by one respondent, "Our most interesting and difficult problem

involves the introduction of RISC-based workstations on our campus, operating under

Unix. There appears to be little adaptive hardware and software currently available for

this new generation of equipment." Campuses that failed to comply with the

Architectural Barriers Act incurred expensive retrofitting costs, such as those related to

installing elevators in existing buildings, in order to comply with the later Rehabilitation

Act of 1973. By acting now, schools can guard against making a similar costly mistake

with respect to computer and network access.

       Increase Campus Awareness of Needs and Capabilities of Students with

Disabilities

       Negative attitudes persist as a barrier to full integration of disabled students into

higher education. However, previous research suggests that programs that help increase

the awareness of faculty and students about disabilities positively affect attitudes toward

them. With this in mind, administrators should encourage diversity awareness workshops

on campus and these sessions should include information about how individuals with

disabilities use computers. In addition, articles in campus publications should document

the access solutions and the success stories of students with disabilities who use
computers.
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       Make Connections with K-12 Schools

       Administrators should become aware of what computing services are provided to

disabled students in precollege schools in their local area. Counselors and special

education professionals should be made aware of the services, including computing

services, provided at institutions of higher education. The success of recruitment and

retention efforts for women and racial minorities has been documented in the literature.

Staff should borrow ideas from these programs and apply appropriate methods to

programs for students with disabilities.

       Share Resources

       Small schools face difficulties in providing services because their disabled student

populations are small. They should maximize the use of existing external services and

form consortiums to share information and resources. For example, one office could

support a group of small colleges in a state by recommending adaptive technology,

putting individuals in touch with resources, and perhaps even loaning equipment to

schools.

       Evaluate the Services

       An evaluation procedure should be designed and implemented. It should measure

the use of existing services, client satisfaction with the services, and recommendations for

changes and enhancements to existing services.

Professional Organizations

       Links between the professional organizations for computing services and disabled

student services in higher education should be developed. For example, EDUCOM's

Project EASI should work more closely with AHEAD in providing speakers for

conferences and articles for publications. AHEAD could help EDUCOM increase the

awareness of computing professionals about the needs of disabled students and
EDUCOM could hep disabled student services directors understand the uses of computer
              196

and network
                                                                                          197

technologies. They could work together to develop an archive of information about

computing services for students with disabilities at campuses and make them available

electronically. They could create a directory of computing services provided by

institutions of higher education. Creation of the directory would help students choose

schools and, by participating in the process, give schools ideas about services to provide.

Prospective Students with Disabilities

       This study provides useful information to prospective students with disabilities.

Since computers are used extensively in postsecondary education and the level of

computing services for students with disabilities varies greatly from school to school,

they would be wise to contact potential institutions and request information about the

computing services provided. They should keep in mind that, currently, higher levels of

service are found at two-year, public, and larger institutions. Since telecommunications

provides tremendous opportunities for communications with faculty and peers, and

accessing resources, when selecting an institution of higher learning, a prospective

student with a disability should consider the general network access provided at a school

as well as specific access provided from stations with adaptive technology.



                                         Epilogue

       Computer access needs of students with disabilities in higher education will

continue to increase as computer use spreads into a wider range of academic courses and

as the number of students with disabilities increases. Although progress has been made

in developing equipment and software that can be used to provide disabled students with

access to computers, the results of this study indicate that much needs to be accomplished

to meet the current and future demand for access.
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       Further research in the area of computing services for disabled students in

institutions of higher education will help service providers and administrators adjust to

the influx of disabled students, to changing student needs, and to evolving technologies.

There is also a need for new hardware and software tools for the disabled, especially for

products that increase the efficiency of disabled computer users so that they can compete

more equally with their fellow students and colleagues. These efforts can help provide

individuals with disabilities equal opportunities in education and employment.

       The handicapped live among us. They have the same hopes, the same
       fears, and the same ambitions as the rest of us. They are children and
       adults, black and white, men and women, rich and poor. They have
       problems as varied as their individual personalities. Yet, they are today a
       hidden population because their problems are different from most of ours.
       Only the bravest risk the dangers and suffer the discomforts and
       humiliations they encounter when they try to live what we consider to be
       normal, productive lives. In their quest to achieve the benefits of our
       society they ask no more than equality of opportunity. (Burgdorf,
       1975, p. 909)

								
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