I am currently looking for one student to help me with the research project (see project summary below). Please apply before Monday September 23, 2019 and include your CV and cover letter. In cover letter please indicate why you are interested in the project and if you will be able to complete all hours before March 1st, 2019. The pay is 15 CAD per hour for up to 150 hours of work (3000 CAD in total)
Pilot study investigates four of U15 group’s accessibility websites: A content analysis
Accessibility is not only a requirement put forth by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, but it is necessary to equalize university access for disabled individuals. The aim of this pilot study is to determine what accessibility services are provided by 4 of the U15 group of research universities, through the use of institutional accessibility centers websites.
Using the Kouroupetroglou, Pino, and Kacorri (2011) accessibility services three-tiered model that was initially applied at the University of Athens in Hellas, Greece, the researcher will identify and evaluate accessibility services offered in 4 of Canada’s 15 research-intensive universities, based on the information available on each university website. The Kouroupetroglou, Pino, and Kacorri (2011) model defined accessibility services that should be provided by universities as: (tier 1) services that directly affect the disabled student; (tier 2) services applied to the disabled student’s environment; and (tier 3) accessibility promoting services. This current research will investigate accessibility services on websites of specific Canadian universities and use the Kouroupetroglou, Pino, and Kacorri (2011) three-tiered to determine if additional services are available at Canadian universities, that are were not captured by the original model. This pilot study will contribute to accessibility knowledge that is required to strengthen accessibility centers across Canada.
The explorative pilot study will utilize qualitative content analyses techniques outlined by White and Marsh (2006). The main research question “what accessibility services are available according to university website” will guide the initial approach to the data, but the process will be inductive and “the evidence [will play a] significant role in shaping the analysis…” (p.37).
The TRU undergraduate student will collect data from 4 of U15 university accessibility websites and create an excel database of services available at each university for disabled students and make a presentation at the TRU undergraduate conference. The report co-authored with the research assistant will be used to publish a peer-reviewed journal article.
The study can benefit universities as they can compare their efforts on providing campus accessibility and highlight areas of excellence and future growth based on the data generated by the project. Canadian universities accessibility service representatives could then update their accessibility websites based on the recommendations from the study to better inform disabled students on what supports they can receive. This research is beneficial for the government of Canada efforts to increase accessibility and disabled students’ knowledge of accessibility services that are provided by Canadian universities.