Accessibility in the university environment and its perception by students with disability
ContributorGuasch Murillo, Daniel; Àlvarez Suau, Maria Hortènsia; Guasch Murillo, Yolanda; Guasch Murillo, Daniel; Hernández Galán, Jesús; Guerrero Lara, Claudia; Colomo Fernández, Luís; Font i Tiró, Ada; Abellán Cano, Carlos; Madrid Sánchez, Jaisiel; Martínez Usero, José Angel; Jiménez Lara, Antonio; Carmona Rojo, Iván; Espada Menor, Raúl; Bascones Serrano, Luís Miguel; Sánchez García, Isabel; Turrero Martín, Mercedes; Meseguer Gancedo, Pablo; Álvarez Ilzarbe, María José
PublisherObservatorio Universidad y Discapacidad
Rights accessOpen Access
The overall objective of this first study of the University Observatory and Disability is to make an exploratory approach on the status of the accessibility of the Spanish university environment under a double perspective: the compliance of the regulatory framework on accessibility and the reality lived by students with disability. An initial question raised the approach of the study: have the human and material efforts invested in achieving accessibility in the Spanish university environment in the past two decades been accompanied by a corresponding increase in the population with disabilities that have higher studies? In this context, it is object of study the different conditions and features of accessibility (both objective and by subjective perception). The law 51/2003 of equal opportunities, no discrimination and universal accessibility of people with disability defines the two basic principles this report is based on in terms of ‘universal accessibility’ and ‘design for all’. For fulfilling these principles, there are considered different physical, technological and social areas that make up the university context: spaces, transport, communication, information technology, curricular accommodations; in this study non significant curricular accommodations the virtual spaces and the services offered by the same university. The method has a double perspective. On one side, it gathers objective data provided by the people responsible for each university centre and by the direct observation of the ground; on the other hand it analyses the perception by university students with disability and their accessibility conditions. Both approaches complement each other when comparing and reaching conclusions. The sample, of qualitative data, centres in public universities, consisting of 18 university centres selected by different criteria of size and geographic distribution. A codified questionnaire was designed and applied To five of those universities to which there was carried out an observation of the ground and also to 19 selected students with different types of disability in the age range between 18 and 32 years. From the conclusions reached, it is worth noting that it can be observed a direct relationship between the level of accessibility in a university with the level of autonomy of their students. Conversely, the study shows that the students interviewed have renounced certain degrees or given up with their studies in certain universities due to the poor or inexistent accessibility. This conclusion is qualified with a contradictory observation: there are universities with detected shortcomings in accessibility which students have also perceived but claim they can manage with a degree of satisfaction. Among the factors that may explain this include the students’ lack of knowledge of the accessibility standards and practical aspects of usability, which involve basic aspect on facilities and university services; the social and family support; the conviction or habit of overexerting for achieving goals; developed strategies for poor accessible environments; and the comparison to other educative spaces that are in worst accessibility conditions.
CitationGuasch, D. [et al.]. "Accessibility in the university environment and its perception by students with disability". Vilanova i la Geltrú: Observatorio Universidad y Discapacidad, 2012. ISBN 978-84-7653-901-9.