In the western countries, all the students are evaluated using the same standard at the university level including disabled people. At the university level, they extend the time, give voice to writing conversion software and hardware etc. I spoke to a counselor at a very prestigious university where they said they don't even change the standard for people with learning disabilities or any disabilities. Sorry, it's not a rant or anything. But I am depicting the raw reality here that I see day to day basis.

So what do I mean by University Standard? Is it possible to evaluate the disabled students using a different evaluation process? I am not talking about Multiple Choice Questions. That's the worst form of evaluating somebody. But theoretically and practically there are many effective and alternative ways to test or evaluate a student at the university. I am talking about these modifications. In our elementary and middle schools and high schools, we have special need children. We know they cannot be treated like others. So they have a different standard for them. So why not for the university?

I volunteer at an organization that works intensely with disabled people. So mostly I speak to them when I am there. I saw two people could not graduate from the university because the university standard is so high for them. They have already a burden an illness may be on their shoulder on top of that this just crushed their dreams. I know a disabled person wants to live a dignified life such that their rights are upheld and respected. In our cities we have special access to store, mall, bus etc. for them. So they can live a dignified life. Their rights are upheld. So for university education which has the years old standard when the university education started a long time ago, shouldn't it accommodate the disabled people in a broader sense? If a disabled person is treated the same as an average person my question is why do we have special rights and accommodations in other areas for them? Isn't it time to change the analog system to digital, isn't it the time to evaluate these students under a different standard that accommodates disabled people also and educate them fully? By the way, where I live only 32% of disabled people have postsecondary education among many. Shouldn't we be more considerate and do much more to make room for those who want to have higher education and want to live a good life?

I am not talking about completely lowering the standard but revamp the education system by consulting with other intellectuals and professors and students to make a standard that will uphold the rights of disabled people who want to graduate from university.

closed as unclear what you're asking by Dmitry Savostyanov, Solar Mike, Geoffrey Brent, Buzz, corey979 Sep 24 '18 at 5:58

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    I tried to answer your question to the best of my ability. I did notice that your question seems to be more of a rant - can you edit it to indicate what you are really asking about? Are you asking about why there is not more funding available? Are you asking why some university officials sometimes violate disability protection laws? Are you asking why laws protecting persons with disabilities are not always fully enforced? Are you asking why assistive technology is not yet at the level of Star Trek? – Robert Columbia Sep 23 '18 at 20:58
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    ...or are you generalizing your poor experience at a particular university to "the university education system"? – JeffE Sep 23 '18 at 21:20
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    Which country are you talking about? – Solar Mike Sep 23 '18 at 21:26
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    "By the way, where I live only 32% of disabled people have postsecondary education among many" <- This does not really establish anything. In many areas, less than 32% of all people have a post-secondary education. What about your area? Do people without disabilities have statistically signficant higher educational attainment? On what basis can you claim such? – Robert Columbia Sep 23 '18 at 21:30
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    I looked at the changes you made, and your question still reads like a rant. To the extent it is not a rant, it is too broad for Academia.SE. Stack Exchange is for specific questions. You are asking about all disabilities in all jurisdictions and at all kinds of institutions. There's no way anyone can answer that. It's also unclear what you're asking. Are you asking for a comprehensive plan to improve world education? Are you asking about a specific incident that happened at your university? Are you asking generally if there are any alternatives to multiple-choice testing (there are)? – Robert Columbia Sep 23 '18 at 21:33

There are systems in place to help students with disabilities.

One of the premier examples is Gallaudet University in Washington, DC, a school designed for Deaf people. Classes are taught in American Sign Language and there is an extensive support network. Persons without disabilities are permitted to attend, teach, or hold other roles, but there is some evidence that the culture discourages this.

Many universities have disability support offices. I did a Google search and came up with this one at Monmouth. In fact, almost every university in the USA is required to provide these kinds of services under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Other countries may have similar laws.

What I think you are getting confused over is the extent to which services are available or required to be available. The ADA only covers accommodations that are reasonable. What counts as reasonable is a holistic judgment call, but it is not equivalent to "I have a disability, give me everything I want!".

You mention specific concerns such as "They have to go in person in their wheelchair (Just Imagine) to the Disability Accommodation Center and fill up a lengthy form in person." and "Before every exam and quiz, they have to painstakingly log into university websites and have to confirm the accommodation. And most of the time these websites are down." These concerns can likely be accommodated by a "reasonable" accommodation (and a lawyer can help sue if they refuse such) but again, keep in mind that they have to be reasonable. Think about the lengthy form concern you mentioned. People without disabilities are commonly required to travel to specific buildings and fill in complex forms. Think about what you are really asking about. Are you saying:

  • That the person should be exempt from filling out the form?
  • That the person should be able to submit the form by mail?
  • That the person should be allowed to roll their wheelchair through a "vehicle-free zone" in order to get to the office?
  • That the university should pay all of the student's personal medical expenses?
  • That the university should pay for a personal chauffeur for the student?
  • That the university should allow the student to hire and pay their own personal chauffeur despite an institutional "personal chauffeurs considered cheating" policy?
  • That the person should just be given a zero-effort degree because they have a disability?

Once the reasonableness of the situation is considered, you will find that many universities are working hard to provide services. Things do fall short sometimes in areas where there is a lack of laws or when there is a practical inability to provide meaningful services (e.g. no room to install an elevator inside a historic building). We can hope that those issues will be worked on as time goes on.

Based on my experience in the USA, there really are three different sides of any disability accommodation issue:

  • Practicality (e.g. Is there room to install an elevator? Are there available ASL translators in the metro area? Can we find a motorized scooter that won't break down in the kind of cold weather that we get here?)
  • Policy (e.g. Will the university permit this specific violation of a general rule, such as a "no electronic devices during exams" for a student who needs a 24/7 smartphone-based heart monitoring system? Will the Building Code allow us to install a different kind of door?)
  • Funding (Who is going to pay for the adjustments? The university? The student? The government? The UN? Stack Exchange? Your mom?)

Each of these issues is handled each time a request for accommodations occurs. When there is a "problem", it is normally because there is a problem with one or more of these issues. E.g.:

  • Funding is available to hire a nurse to accompany the student around campus to provide needed care, but there is a shortage of qualified nurses and none are willing to take on this job
  • The student, the disabilities office, and the instructor all agree that the student needs X, but Policy 55 Subsection Q Addendum 3 of the Grand Official Holy Exalted University Policies specifies that X is not permitted at the university under penalty of catapult.
  • The student and the university agree that the student needs X, but can't agree on who should pay for it.

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