Monday, February 19, 2007

Adaptech Research Network-- a great DSS resource

I have just recently learned about a Canadian web site that seems very promising in what it brings to the table for DSS. While it is from our northern neighbor, the information presents a strong parallel to U.S. colleges and universities.

The Adaptech Research Network
Has information that should be of interest to any DSS provider. It offers resources that would fit in with any program. They are also seeking input that DSS providers should have thoughts on.

On its website, ARN is seeking informational input about free or low-cost software programs that would be beneficial to students with disabilities. By low-cost, they mean under $200. If you have names of software titles you would like to share, email

She would also like the name of the companies that manufacture the software, if you have it.

The reason for this query is to expand the ARN’s
database of free and low-cost software.
They have recently updated their database, but are continuously seeking to expand the listings. They would also like any input you might offer on the usability of the library. If you have any comments, please email Catherine at the email address above.

Additionally, the ARN has recent data that is of interest to DSS professionals. They have conducted research into graduation/employment rates of students with disabilities, comparing these rates to the non-disabled student population.

Here is a synopsis of the study from their website:
“The Adaptech Research Network in collaboration with our partners recently completed three studies whose goal was to explore obstacles and facilitators to college studies and examine what happens to college graduates with and without disabilities a year after graduation. Participants were: 182 graduates with and 1304 without disabilities from three large junior/community colleges, 57 college based professionals providing disability-related services, and 300 students with disabilities who were registered to receive disability related services from their college. While current students with disabilities indicated that disability-related accommodations such as extended time on exams were important facilitators, for the most part these students, as well as graduates with disabilities, mentioned the same facilitators as their nondisabled peers. The same was generally true for obstacles. The main difference here was that students and graduates with disabilities cited disability-related issues, such as health, as a major obstacle. Graduates with and without disabilities continued their studies and obtained jobs at the same rate as nondisabled graduates.”

You can download the executive summary of their report in either MS-Word or PDF format from their web site linked above.

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