Academic staff members’ engagement in accessible higher education for students with disabilities

Naomi Schreuer, Carmit Noa Shpigelman, Sagit Mor, Miriam Sarid, Arlene S. Kanter, Dalia Sachs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Academic staff members (academics) are central social agents in providing accessible higher education (AHE) to students with disabilities (SWD). The literature demonstrates gaps between academics’ positive attitudes and self-efficacy to apply AHE. This study explores factors explaining their willingness and self-efficacy to provide AHE through the lens of organizational theories on work engagement. The 210 academics recruited from 10 universities and colleges completed four questionnaires: personal and organizational characteristics, engagement in AHE, Multidimensional Attitudes Scale toward Persons with Disabilities, and workload related to AHE. Hierarchical linear regressions revealed that gender, contact with SWD, familiarity with support centers, training, and cognitive attitudes toward people with disabilities explained 31% of the participants’ self-efficacy. Gender, workload, and cognitive attitudes toward people with disabilities explained 28% of their willingness to provide AHE. The gender difference regarding female academics’ higher commitment to AHE than male academics is one of the study’s important findings. This research revealed the institutions’ responsibility to develop resources for academics to implement AHE, encourage training that addresses gender differences, strengthen support centers, and acknowledge the benefits of and commitment to diversity, inclusion, and social justice.

Original languageEnglish
JournalHigher Education Research and Development
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 HERDSA.

Keywords

  • Self-efficacy
  • gender
  • organizational resource
  • support center
  • willingness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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