The attainment and experiences of disabled students in distance education

Richardson, John T. E. (2009). The attainment and experiences of disabled students in distance education. Distance Education, 30(1) pp. 87–102.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/01587910902845931

Abstract

In an earlier study of disabled graduates from campus-based institutions in the UK, students who had previously declared that they had an unseen disability were less likely to obtain good degrees (with first-class or upper second-class honours). The present study investigated the role of disability as a factor in the attainment and experiences of 2351 distance-learning students awarded first degrees by the UK's Open University in 2002-2003. In contrast to the earlier study, students who had previously declared that they were dyslexic, were deaf or hard of hearing, or had multiple disabilities were also less likely to obtain good degrees. In a self-report questionnaire, graduates with multiple disabilities provided lower ratings of the quality of their courses and their personal development. Nevertheless, the attainment and overall experience of graduates who reported disabilities that they had not previously declared to the University were similar to those of graduates with no disability.

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