Kafle, E. A. (2015). Nursing students with learning disabilities: Perceptions and attitudes regarding the role of disability support program services and access to accommodations (Publication No. 3688171) [Doctoral dissertation, Capella University]. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global.

Dissertation

Kafle, E. A. (2015). Nursing students with learning disabilities: Perceptions and attitudes regarding the role of disability support program services and access to accommodations (Publication No. 3688171) [Doctoral dissertation, Capella University]. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global.

Notes

Capella University (MN)

Tags

Learning disabilities; No disability; Postsecondary; U.S. context

Summary

Accommodation

Specific accommodations were not the central focus; instead, the researcher investigated the perceptions and attitudes of postsecondary nursing students with learning disabilities about their accommodations experiences in that setting. However, the researcher mentioned various academic accommodations including those provided during course exams. These accommodations included extended time on exams and distraction-reduced testing setting, use of note cards during exams, paper/pencil test format (if typically presented online), and calculator (but not for math courses).

Participants

Interview participants consisted of eight postsecondary students with learning disabilities in a nursing program at a California community college. Additional demographic information including ethnicity, age (ranging from 26 to 51), and gender was reported. One disability support program administrator was also interviewed, and provided program information as a reliability and validity check on other data.

Dependent Variable

The researcher conducted semi-structured individual interviews to learn about the perceptions and attitudes of postsecondary students with learning disabilities about the role of disability support services, access to accommodations, and the extent to which their perceptions and attitudes influence whether they seek support from disability support services. The interview transcripts were examined, along with student records and observational field notes recorded during the interview process.

Findings

Analysis of the community college students’ interview data yielded six themes regarding their perceptions and attitudes. The first theme was knowledge of disability support services and eligibility for accommodations, which included feelings of relief, gratitude, and happiness. The second theme was disclosure and feelings related to having a learning disability, including stigma, embarrassment, not fitting in, self-perception, frustration, and self-esteem. Third was participant emotions related to nursing school, such as feeling anxious and stressed. The fourth theme was participant attributes contributing to success, which included hard work, motivation, determination, pride, and stubbornness. The fifth theme was students' perceptions of their instructors' responses, which ranged from supportive to annoyed. The last theme was student success strategies, including studying with someone, talking it out, re-reading and re-writing materials, visuals and drawings, and use of accommodations. Each of the perceptions associated with the themes was elaborated through examples from specific interviewees. Limitations of the study were reported, and future research directions were suggested.