Risk and stigma: students’ perceptions and disclosure of ‘disability’ in higher education

Eccles, S, Hutchings, M, Hunt, C and Heaslip, VA ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2037-4002 2018, 'Risk and stigma: students’ perceptions and disclosure of ‘disability’ in higher education' , Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning, 20 (4) , pp. 191-208.

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There is a focus on increasing the numbers of students with disabilities who apply to and study in Higher Education (HE). Despite sector-wide criteria regarding what comprises a disability, there are still students who do not disclose a disability at the application stage. This study sought to explore perceptions of students across one UK university regarding their views and experiences of a range of disabilities and reasons why a disability may not be disclosed on application to HE. The [mdings suggest a lack of understanding regarding what constitutes a disability, and concerns that disclosure will negatively impact upon the application decision and disadvantage the student. This paper highlights the disconnect between the support that universities can provide to students with a disability and the perceptions that some students have about the disadvantages that disclosure can bring. The findings support initiatives at policy and practice level across the sector to recognise and address perceptions and experiences of risk and stigma that applicants may have but at the same time the findings highlight that more needs to be done to reduce the anxieties and lack of clarity that some students experience.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society
Journal or Publication Title: Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning
Publisher: Centre for Widening Participation
ISSN: 1466-6529
Depositing User: VA Heaslip
Date Deposited: 19 Oct 2022 13:17
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2022 13:17
URI: https://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/65270

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