University: a universe of study and independent living opportunities for students with disabilities. Goals and critical issues

Marisa Pavone, Rosa Bellacicco

Abstract

The study and inclusion experience of university students with disabilities is characterised by many complex issues but is also of great importance for personal, working and social life. Over the last two decades, international organisations have issued guidelines aimed at ensuring equal opportunities to underrepresented groups in higher education; first among them, the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2006)2. However, the academic quality of teaching programmes is greatly influenced by the autonomy of each university and by varying national legislations. Innovative trends move towards the model of inclusion: from the provision of services for a specific population to a structural reorganisation of the context. In Italy, the rate of students with disabilities at university has been found in quantitative and qualitative data since the early 1990s. Evidence shows that there has been a progressive increase in the number of enrolments leading in parallel to a more established provision of financial, professional and material resources. The few surveys conducted in the field, however, highlight the need to improve the quality of individualised courses and of the tools used, directing support towards a more systemic and diachronic perspective.

Keywords
higher education; disability; right to education; equal opportunities; inclusion; independent living





Education Sciences & Society - Open Access Peer Reviewed Journal
ISSNe 2284-015X | AUT. TRIB. MILANO N. 80 DEL 13/07/2016

This journal applies the Creative Commons Attribution - Non-Commercial - No Derivatives 4.0 License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) to works published, in order to facilitate free immediate access to, and unrestricted reuse of, original works of all types. Under this license, authors agree to make articles legally available for reuse, without permission or fees, for virtually any purpose. Anyone may copy, distribute or reuse these articles, without modifying them, as long as authors and original sources are properly cited.