Experiences of students living with disabilities at the University of KwaZulu-Natal Howard College Campus: a qualitative exploration.
Ngcobo, Zizile Gugulethu.
MetadataShow full item record
Inclusive education policies that were adopted by the South African government led to a relative increase in the number of students living with disabilities (SLWDs) being accepted into higher education institutions (The Department of education, White Paper 6, 2001). This has resulted in marked research interest on the practicality and effectiveness of inclusive education policies and especially on how these students cope in higher education institutions in various disciplines. This study aimed to understand disability and the experiences of SLWD in the University of KwaZulu-Natal (Howard College campus) using the social model of disability. The main focus was therefore on the experiences by SLWDs with regard to the social life, access to facilities, services offered, infrastructure, access to information and methods of teaching and assessment. Purposive sampling was used to recruit participants into the study. Participants included 8 students living with various disabilities. Data was collected through in-depth semi structured interviews which focused on experiences of living with a disability in higher education institutions, specifically at University of KwaZulu Natal (Howard college campus). Furthermore, some policy documents were reviewed to understand how the University purports to address the needs of Students living with disabilities. Additionally, literature on experiences of students living with disabilities in higher education was also reviewed. Data was analyzed thematically and key findings that emerged from the data highlighted the complexities around policy implementation. Findings revealed that although certain policies have been adopted to facilitate inclusive education, students living with disabilities continue to face barriers to learning due to a number of limitations namely: infrastructure, access to information, assistive technologies, teaching and assessment methods.