Disability and University
AteneiOnline.it, the Italian reference portal for Distance Learning, has carried out an in-depth research dedicated to the services offered to disabled students and students with SLD (Specific Learning Desorders) by telematic universities recognised by the MIUR – Ministry of Education.
According to the results of the research illustrated in the portal’s press release, as many as 80% of the telematic universities analysed already offer students with disabilities or SLD additional time to take exams, in addition to the possibility of using compensatory tools during the tests. Several universities also offer writing and reading assistance during examinations, as well as the possibility to choose the most accessible examination mode. From the analysis carried out, the services offered seem to significantly facilitate student life and progression towards graduation: in fact, a 60% higher graduation rate emerges for students with disabilities and SLD in telematic universities than in traditional ones.
The press release recalls that although disability is recognised by Article 3 of Law 104 of 1992, SLD (Specific Learning Disorders such as dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia and adhd) are not formally included among the factors that determine a disability.
For this reason, students with SLD are not recognised as disabled. However, they are recognised as a specific category by law 170 of 2011.
For example, with regard to schooling in cases of disability, the institution is obliged to provide a support teacher, whereas in the case of students with SLD this is not mandatory. At university level, students with disabilities and DSA are often supported through dedicated desks, additional tutoring and personalised treatment in examinations.
Telematic universities turn out to be the preferred type of university for students with disabilities and SLD. In fact, the incidence of this category at telematic universities is 2.2%, a percentage more than a third higher than the same figure recorded at traditional non-state universities (1.6%) and also higher than that for traditional state universities (2.16%).
(Source: Anvur Report “Students with disabilities and SLD in Italian universities”)