Self-devised assistive techniques by university students with learning disabilities

African Journal of Disability

Field Value
Title Self-devised assistive techniques by university students with learning disabilities
Creator Manase, Ndakaitei
Subject Higher Education; Disability assistive technology; low-resource settings; learning disabilities; agency; conversion factors; coping strategies.
Description Background: Access to assistive technology for disabilities is limited in low-resource settings. Therefore, existing research focuses on accessibility challenges. This article focuses on how students with learning disabilities manage learning in the absence of assistive technology, a subject that receives less scholarly attention.Objectives: This article aims to provide insights on how students with learning disabilities manage learning in the face of limited access to assistive technology. It explores conversion factors that influence access to assistive technology.Method: This qualitative study used semistructured interviews to collect data from students with learning disabilities and respective university staff members who were recruited using convenience and snowballing techniques. Data were analysed thematically and supported by thick descriptions of experiences.Results: This study established that students have limited access to assistive technology, and they manage learning through self-devised means that are more socially than technologically or scientifically inspired such as self-affirmation, animal therapy, family support and prayer. Conversion factors, which affect ability by either enabling or constraining access to assistive technology, were identified at personal and institutional or environmental levels.Conclusion: The article concludes that even though students with learning disabilities devise unconventional assistive ways to manage learning, failure to access assistive technology is a capability deprivation that promotes inequalities.Contribution: This article provides insights that shift perspectives that students with disabilities are passive recipients of support; rather, they can be active agents who innovate nontechnological ways to manage learning in the absence of assistive technology.
Publisher AOSIS
Date 2023-01-27
Type info:eu-repo/semantics/article info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion — Qualitative research
Format text/html application/epub+zip text/xml application/pdf
Identifier 10.4102/ajod.v12i0.1106
Source African Journal of Disability; Vol 12 (2023); 10 pages 2226-7220 2223-9170
Language eng
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Coverage South Africa 2019 to date Students with learning disabilities
Rights Copyright (c) 2023 Ndakaitei Manase