Learning Support Responsibilities Preparation
Services for other diverse groups of disabled learners
Opportunities are promoted for disabled learners and tauira who may also experience additional barriers arising from membership of other equity groups to access, participate and achieve in tertiary education with demonstrable improvements to overcoming barriers to participation and achievement rates.
Best practice standards
- There is ongoing development and implementation of strategies to achieve and improve academic outcomes for disabled learners who may also experience additional barriers arising from membership of other equity groups such as other cultural groups, women, international learners, LGBTQIA communities, migrants, at-risk youth, older people, etc.
- General and specialist support for these diverse groups of disabled learners are developed in partnership with them.
- Ongoing consultation occurs with them in relation to this support.
- Specific strategies are developed to encourage and increase the number of disabled learners from these diverse groups studying at tertiary level.
- Participation, retention and achievement rates of disabled learners who experience additional barriers arising from membership of other equity groups are monitored and improve.
“From my experience, one of the biggest barriers is around the lack of knowledge and understanding of staff in terms of working with disabled learners...There’s probably a slightly better journey for learners who are obviously disabled, but for learners who have mental health issues or autism or other things that are less obvious, there is a lack of knowledge that creates quite a significant barrier for those learners... And that’s in everything from the way that curriculum is provided, the way assessment is set... or even some specifics like taking exams.”
- General Staff, Tertiary Institution.
Ideas and resources
- When implementing this toolkit it’s important to recognise the diversity within the disability community in its widest context.
- Remember that disabled learners may also experience additional barriers arising from membership of other equity groups.
- Therefore, wider conversations around diversity are important.
For example, disabled learners who are Pacific peoples, Asian women, international learners, from LGBTQIA communities, migrants, at-risk youth, older people, etc.
Engaging disabled learners
Involve disabled learners who experience additional barriers arising from membership of other equity groups in the development and implementation of strategies to overcome barriers and improve their academic outcomes.
Seek their support for solutions.
What you need to know
- It’s important to recognise cultural diversity and identity in the disability community.
- Include disabled learners from these other underserved learner groups in marketing.
- Present stories of what has gone well for disabled learners – take a strengths based approach to this.
- There may be different interpretations and perspectives of disability from various underserved learner groups.
- Focus on building the confidence and solutions for overcoming the barriers to tertiary education for all currently underserved learner groups.