The biggest barriers people with disabilities encounter are other people
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Myths And Realities about People with Disabilities

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Equal opportunity means that everyone should be treated the same – so students with disabilities are not entitled to support services.

Equal opportunity means all people should be treated in a way that enables them to achieve their potential. Provision of support services assists students with such tasks as reading and processing information, conducting library research, preparing assignments, photocopying and performing manual procedures.

Students with disabilities are more likely to drop out of courses than other students, even when given support.

Students may withdraw from study or training courses for the same range of reasons as other students, but they are no more likely to do so. Indeed, recent statistics from research conducted by the University of Tasmania, demonstrates that students who have access to required services, are less likely to withdraw than students who do not have a disability.

Students with disabilities are too time consuming and their needs are too difficult to cater for in a university, institution or training environment.

Students are highly motivated to attend tertiary education and training and overcome any barriers they may encounter during their participation. They are usually very well organized and experienced in finding solutions to problems which may initially appear daunting to staff.

Science, medical, technological, business, and applied science courses are not suitable for students with disabilities.

This statement stems from preconceived ideas about peoples capabilities, accommodating their course needs and future employment options. Students have the same right as others to aim for careers consistent with their goals, interests and abilities and should not be denied opportunities because of such preconceptions.

Students with disabilities create substantial costs through the need to provide extra equipment and additional staff time.

Not all students will require assist equipment or additional learning support staff. Site modifications, if necessary are often simple and low cost (eg. a student with paraplegia used a window-washers belt hooked to the chemistry work bench to allow her to stand with both hands free). Support personnel, such as tutors and note takers, can in some cases assist the student independently of teaching staff.

People with disabilities will be less attractive to employers because they will be less efficient, less reliable or unsafe employees.

A number of research studies indicate that this is untrue. People with disabilities value their work role, have fewer injuries and many are more efficient and lose fewer workdays than people working with them who do not have a disability.

Students with disabilities are better off if they study through external courses (distance, flexible learning)

Confinement to external study alone can restrict opportunities for interaction in a stimulating social, intellectual and learning climate. Many qualified students with disabilities want to study/train on-campus - they should have that option.

Disabled people tend not to socialize with other groups and keep to themselves.