Broffman, J. I. (2017). Academic accommodations for college students with psychiatric disabilities: Recommendations for disability service staff, faculty, and clinicians (Publication No. 10253210) [Doctoral dissertation, Pepperdine University]. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global. https://www.proquest.com/docview/1855172344
Pepperdine University (Malibu, CA); ProQuest document ID: 1855172344
In this dissertation, designed to be an analysis of the body of research literature to identify and examine previous recommendations, and to derive novel recommendations, for providing accommodations to postsecondary students with psychiatric disabilities, the researcher sought to identify information sources focused on academic accommodations for supporting access and success for this population of students with disabilities. Additional details about specific accommodations are reported in this summary's Findings section.
This is a literature review of several studies pertaining to postsecondary students with psychiatric disabilities such as depression, with at least a few bearing on the researcher's recommendations about specific assessment accommodations. The parameters of the literature search were to exclude studies published over 20 years in the past, so documents were from 1997 through 2017. The researcher also noted that she considered recommendations from studies with young adult participants who had learning disabilities and attention-related impairments, as these two categories were suggested to be related to and sometimes overlapping with mental health-related disabilities.
This is a review and thematic analysis of empirical literature about the academic needs of postsecondary students with psychiatric disabilities. The review follows a qualitative and expository descriptive structure, engaging with dissertation committee members from stakeholder groups: disability services office professionals, faculty members, and mental health clinicians. The primary relevance [to the Accommodations Bibliography] is as an evidence-based reporting of accommodations use for this population of students with disabilities.
The dissertation researcher presented a final set of recommendations for supporting postsecondary students with psychiatric disabilities, grouped by four types: "(a) coordinating interdisciplinary communication and outreach, (b) stakeholder training and education, (c) evaluating and documenting PDs, and (d) archiving and refining academic supports and services" [from Abstract]. The current summary centers on the fourth type, emphasizing academic accommodations for course exams. Based on her review of empirical literature, the researcher recommended several test accommodations. Accommodations related to presentation included alternate formats; equipment and materials accommodations were "assistive computer software" (p. 95); response accommodations included speech-to-text technology; the scheduling accommodation recommended extended time; and setting accommodations comprised individual proctoring and separate low-distraction room. The researcher also recommended offering exams frequently, perhaps more often than some postsecondary courses are typically designed for. Alternate formats were further elaborated to include changing traditional multiple-choice exams to require essay-based responses, as well as allowing other artifacts for course evaluation, such as oral exams, class presentations, and work portfolios. Assistive computer software examples included optical character recognition—that is, use of materials that could be scanned and then delivered orally to students via text-to-speech on computers. Limitations of the study were reported, and future research directions were suggested.