Sokal, L. (2016). Five windows and a locked door: University accommodation responses to students with Anxiety Disorders . The Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning , 7 (1). https://doi.org/10.5206/cjsotl-rcacea.2016.1.10
Sokal, L. (2016). Five windows and a locked door: University accommodation responses to students with Anxiety Disorders. The Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 7(1). https://doi.org/10.5206/cjsotl-rcacea.2016.1.10
There was no pagination in this online journal; this was article 10.
Specific accommodations were not the central focus, but rather the participants' perceptions of the accommodation process for postsecondary students with anxiety-related disabilities.
Interviewees were three faculty members, and an advisor and director of the accessibility services (AS) office at a postsecondary institution in Canada. Additional information about the role, experience, and academic department of the three professors was also reported, as well as additional details about work and personal experience of the AS offices personnel.
Researchers collected and analyzed data composed of interview transcripts. Validity and credibility of thematic analyses were completed using multiple data sources -- both professors and AS office personnel -- and through member-checking, with interviewees afforded opportunity to review transcript documents.
The researcher reported three themes emerged from the interview data: perceptions of fairness; roles, adaptation, and training; and opening the locked door. Professors indicated sensitivity to having justification for providing accommodations for students with anxiety-related disabilities. Participants described the accommodation process as responding to a continuum of need, with varying amounts of documentation supporting accommodations identified: that is, "greater accommodations [require] greater documentation" (p. 5 of 18). This dynamic was reported both by professors and AS (accessibility services) professionals, and was part of a sort of interaction process between people with these two roles, in which there were also tensions and points of disagreement. The essential tension was between accommodating students' needs and supporting the development of students' coping skills. The researcher described the various perspectives expressed by professors about addressing the needs of students with anxiety disorders, noting that all participants indicated that more open communication could help them to reach understandings about supporting students. Limitations of the study were reported, and future research directions were suggested.