Monagle, K. (2015). Beyond access: An examination of factors that influence use of accommodations by college students with disabilities (Publication No. 10094552) [Doctoral dissertation, Northeastern University]. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global. https://www.proquest.com/docview/1780296193
Northeastern University (Boston, MA); ProQuest document ID: 1780296193
Accommodations were not specified in advance of this inquiry. the central focus; instead, the researcher investigated the factors related to the use of accommodations by postsecondary students with disabilities, including their perceptions of accommodations. However, the researcher mentioned various academic accommodations including those provided during course exams, such as extended time.
Survey respondents consisted of students (n=285) who self-identified as having disabilities and were registered with disability services offices at four New England or New York (U.S.) postsecondary institutions. Because of these factors, they were all entitled to accommodations. Students self-identified as having multiple disabilities (n=95), physical/medical disabilities (n=44), learning disabilities (n=37), attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD; n=32), psychiatric disabilities (n=22), and autism spectrum disorder (n=7). The researcher reported various details about the respondents—including gender, ethnicity, major field of study, and the timing of their identification with disabilities—and described the populations of the four postsecondary institutions.
Respondents completed surveys, including providing information about several (independent) variables, such as grade point averages (GPAs) as well as the dependent variable measured by the the Attitudes Toward Requesting Accommodations (ATRA) scale (Barnard-Brak et al., 2009). The ATRA comprised a series of 35 items seeking degrees of positive or negative perceptions about accommodations and the process of requesting them while pursuing postsecondary education.
Analysis of the students' response data revealed how attitudes and demographic variables—specifically year in school, major course of study, and self-identified disability category—influenced students' use of accommodations. Students were more likely to request accommodations in their second or third year, rather than their first year in college. Next, students with multiple disabilities were found to use accommodations at higher rates than students who self-identified with singular disability categories (e.g., learning disabilities). Additionally, "students majoring in the Humanities and Liberal Arts were more likely to request accommodations than those in math, science and engineering" (p. 88). Last, "students with a more positive attitude toward accommodations were more willing to use [accommodations]" (p. 90). Limitations of the study were reported, and future research possibilities were suggested.