Disabled people are much more likely than the non-disabled to leave school without any qualifications. According to research by the Disability Rights Commission (see below), disabled students are often faced with discrimination, some of which is extremely prejudiced and most of which is subtle stereotyping based around assumptions and expectations. Disabled students are often perceived as 'dependent' and lacking the ability of their non-disabled peers. These perceptions may have an impact on outcomes and an impact on how we understand educational needs and experiences across the student body in Scotland.
Disabled students face particular difficulties in terms of accessing further and higher education, the most literal of these being physical access to buildings. Not all disabled students, however, have needs relating to physical access, some students may be blind, deaf or dyslexic and all of these issues require particular kinds of support and impact upon the ways in which disabled people are able to access and benefit from further and higher education. However, understanding that disabled peope often face similar barriors, regardless of their disability can help you think about better ways to provide services to all people with disabilities. Issues around access, expectations, etc, will have an impact on the needs and experiences of disabled people with reference to lifelong learning and, as such, should be taken into account by research and policy in this area.
Scottish Centre for Research in Education
Department for Education and Skills
- Preventative Services for Disabled Children: A Final Report of the National Evaluation of the Children's Fund (2006) Evaluation report which focuses on the preventative strategies adopted within two children's fund partnerships to work with disabled children and their families.
- Teacher's Careers: The Impact of Age, Disability, Ethnicity, Gender and Sexual Orientation (2003) This study presents findings from a study of teachers' career progress and the ways in which headteachers, teachers, school governors and others perceive that age, disability, ethnicity and gender and to a limited extent sexual orientation impact on teachers' careers.
- Teacher's Careers: The Impact of Age, Disability, Ethnicity, Gender and Sexual Orientation (2003) The research brief for the study
Department for Work and Pensions
- Diversity in Disability (2003) This study explores the attitudes and experiences of disabled people from different groups, their perceptions of social exclusion, and their experiences of discrimination and prejudice, within the context of factors such as ethnicity, age, gender and sexuality.
Disability Rights Commission
Joseph Rowntree Foundation
University of Brighton
Deaf Studies Trust