Identifying the Barriers and Enablers for Supporting Learners with Special Needs in Higher Education

P Nicholl, D Graham, J Redpath, Patricia Kearney, Jonathan Wallace, Maurice Mulvenna, Suzanne Martin, I Benest

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This chapter provides a systematic analysis of thirteen in-depth interviews of disabled students from both universities in Northern Ireland. Undertaken as part of the Uni4U initiative hosted within the University of Ulster, the findings presented describe barriers experienced by students with disabilities to participation in higher education across both universities. The students provided comments concerning their current support provisions, barriers they have experienced, and suggestions for improvements to the service. Examination of the findings leads to three recommendations: firstly, that a network of com- munication should exist that encourages dialogue between all parties with an interest in the well-being of the student, with the student at the heart of these discussions and involved in all decisions; secondly, that attention must be paid to staff development especially with regard to Mental Health Issues; and finally, that in the long term the aim of institutions should be to move away from individual “reasonable adjustments” to inclusive education for all.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Research on Transnational Higher Education (2 Volumes)
EditorsS Mukerji, P Tripathi
PublisherIGI Global
ISBN (Print)978-1-4666-4458-8
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2013


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