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Webinar: Access and Barriers to Online Education for People with Disability


This webinar was hosted by ADCET and the Australian Tertiary Education Network on Disability (ATEND), in partnership with the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education (NCSEHE) in August, 2016.

Mike Kent presented on his NCSEHE funded research (link found below) that looked into students with disability studying online in higher education in Australia. Mike discusses some unexpected findings about the nature of the students with disability studying in the circumstances.

Covered: Issues of disclosure and accommodation for these students, the accessibility of the technology used, and the student’s experiences of the accessibility of the university system, particularly through Open Universities Australia, and the impact of pedagogical decisions on the accessibility of online learning. It concluded with recommendations for future policies and procedures to make online learning welcoming for this group of students.

Mike Kent is the head of department and a senior lecturer in the Department of Internet Studies at Curtin University. Dr Kent’s main research interests focus on the two overlapping areas of people with disability and their access to communications technology as well as tertiary and online education. He is co-author, with Katie Ellis, of Disability and New Media, (Routledge 2011), and co-editor (with Tama Leaver) of An Education in Facebook? Higher Education and the World's Largest Social Network (Routledge, 2014). His current research includes the forthcoming books Massive Open Online Courses and Higher Education: Where to Next? (Routledge) with Rebecca Bennett and Chinese Social Media Today: Critical Perspectives (Routledge) with Katie Ellis and Jian Xu.