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Key Information: Reading, Research and Composition

Tyhis page considers how a student’s (disability related) needs might be impacted when reading, researching and composing work (i.e. developing independent studstudy skills).

Some of the general concerns and issues

Students with disabilities may face a number of difficulties in developing independent studstudy skills. These include:

  • The negative impact of past challenges with different aspects of study skills and how these have been viewed by others. For example, many dyslexic students may have been labelled as academically poor (or worse) at some points in their lives due to their challenges with accessing written materials, particularly in time pressured environments. And visually impaired students may have faced ongoing challenges with accessing course materials in class and during study, leading to frustration and lack of confidence. These students may also, as a result of their difficulties be reluctant to ask for help.
  • Accessing study skills support and resources may in themselves be a challenge. They may be located away from the main campus of the university or access to the building may be difficult or complicated.
  • Students with disabilities may well have had to work longer and harder than some of their peers to get to university. They may feel that continuing tried and tested approaches will continue to reap rewards, even when the absence of higher-level study skills is counting against them. They may be reluctant to ask for help.
  • The physical and mental impacts of impairments may mean students are unable to study productively at times. For example, a student with chronic fatigue syndrome or a hearing impairment, may need to build in rest periods between study days to ensure that are able to physically recuperate from the exertions of attending lectures and other taught sessions. Students with anxiety or depression may face periods where they are too distracted or lacking in motivation to undertake independent study at certain periods. Frequent breaks in study productivity are therefore likely to be a feature of many disabled students’ lives.      

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