Original Research

Forgotten, excluded or included? Students with disabilities: A case study at the University of Mauritius

Sameerchand Pudaruth, Rajendra P. Gunputh, Upasana G. Singh
African Journal of Disability | Vol 6 | a359 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ajod.v6i0.359 | © 2017 Sameerchand Pudaruth, Rajendra P. Gunputh, Upasana G. Singh | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 15 December 2016 | Published: 29 August 2017

About the author(s)

Sameerchand Pudaruth, Faculty of Ocean Studies, University of Mauritius, Mauritius
Rajendra P. Gunputh, Department of Law, Faculty of Law and Management, University of Mauritius, Mauritius
Upasana G. Singh, College of Law and Management Studies, School of Management, Information Technology and Governance, Discipline of Information Systems and Technology, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Students with disabilities in the tertiary education sector are more than a just a phenomenon, they are a reality. In general, little attention is devoted to their needs despite the fact that they need more care and attention.
Objectives: This paper, through a case study at the University of Mauritius, sought to answer some pertinent questions regarding students with disabilities. Does the University of Mauritius have sufficient facilities to support these students? Are students aware of existing facilities? What additional structures need to be put in place so that students with any form of disability are neither victimised, nor their education undermined? Are there any local laws about students with disabilities in higher education?
Method: To answer these questions and others, an online questionnaire was sent to 500 students and the responses were then analysed and discussed. The response rate was 24.4% which showed that students were not reticent to participate in this study.
Results: Our survey revealed that most students were not aware of existing facilities and were often neglected in terms of supporting structures and resources. ICT facilities were found to be the best support that is provided at the University of Mauritius. The right legal framework for tertiary education was also missing.
Conclusion: Ideally, students with disabilities should have access to special facilities to facilitate their learning experiences at tertiary institutions. Awareness about existing facilities must also be raised in order to offer equal opportunities to them and to enable a seamless inclusion.

Keywords

students with disabilities; support structures; facilities; legislation

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