Sheffield Hallam University Evaluation Repository

Barriers into Higher Education for disabled students

CLARICOATS, Liam (2024). Barriers into Higher Education for disabled students. [STEER Evaluation Collection]

Claricoats_2024_barriers_into_higher_education.pdf - Published Version
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According to Sheffield Hallam University’s Access and Participation Plan (20/21-24/25), there has been an increased number of disabled students entering Higher Education (HE), with 14.6% of students declaring a disability in the sector. Therefore, this review of the literature explored potential barriers into Higher Education for students with disabilities. Within Higher Education institutions, disabled students may be categorised into having ‘mental health’, ‘cognitive and learning’, ‘sensory, medical and physical’ or ‘multiple impairment’ related disabilities. This review was commissioned in collaboration with the Higher Education Progression Partnership (South Yorkshire), with the aim of identifying barriers into Higher Education institutions for disabled students. Evidence provided from this literature review is intended to assist in developing a rationale for an intervention design and delivery that alleviates the barriers into Higher Education for disabled students. From examining the literature, a prominent barrier that emerged was a lack of accessibility at university. For instance, an inconsistent willingness from tutors to make reasonable adjustments to assessments, a lack of understanding of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) characteristics and spread-out university campus buildings that were inaccessible for students with Cerebral Palsy/walking disabilities. The research findings also revealed that there was a lack of accessible spaces on campus for disabled students, especially for students with ASD to interact. Furthermore, disabled students’ perceptions of stigmatisation and discrimination of disclosing their disability was another key barrier into Higher Education. For instance, during the application process to university, students believed that it would jeopardise their opportunity to be accepted into their chosen Higher Education institution if they were to disclose their disability.

Item Type: STEER Evaluation Collection
Type of evaluation evidence: Exploratory: Evidence of a specific topic that could be used to design an intervention.
Stage of the Student Lifecycle:
Stage of the Student Lifecycle
Access and outreach
Departments, Directorates and Groups: Groups and Services > Student Experience, Teaching and Learning
Uncontrolled Keywords: Literature review; Disabled students; Mental health; Cognitive and learning; Sensory, medical, and physical; Multiple impairment; Barriers; Higher Education; Accessibility; Stigmatisation
Depositing User: Ashleigh Weir
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2024 12:32
Last Modified: 21 Mar 2024 12:32

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