|Title||Computer-assisted teaching and assessment of disabled students in higher education: the interface between academic standards and disability rights|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2007|
|Journal||Journal of Computer Assisted Learning|
Abstract Computer-assisted teaching and assessment has become a regular feature across many areas of the curriculum in higher education courses around the world in recent years. This development has resulted in the â€˜digital divideâ€™ between disabled students and their nondisabled peers regarding their participation in computer-assisted courses. However, there has been a long-standing practice to ensure that disabled students could participate in these courses with a set of disability adjustments that are in line with their learning modalities under the headings of presentation format, response format, timing, and setting adjustments. Additionally, there has been a set of supporting antidiscriminatory disability laws around the world to avoid such divide between disabled students and their nondisabled peers. However, following a successful pre cedent in Davis v. Southeastern Community College (1979), the opponents of disability rights have consistently argued that making disability adjustments for disabled students to participate in computer-assisted courses would undermine academic and professional standards and these laws have resulted in a â€˜culture of fearâ€™ among the staff. This paper challenges such myths and argues, based on a systematic review of four major antidiscriminatory laws, that universities have full academic freedom to set the academic standards of their computer-assisted courses despite the introduction of such laws and that there has been no grounds for the perceived culture of fear about the consequences of the participation of disabled students in computer-assisted courses.