This article considers the impact of a two-year collaborative European Union funded project. The ‘Sustainable Ways to Increase Higher Education Students’ Equal Access to Learning Environments’ (SWING) project, brought together four European higher education institutions, one institution in Egypt and two in Morocco. It aimed to promote equal access to university education, and future career opportunities, for students with disabilities in the North African countries, using accessible assistive technology. Appreciative inquiry was used to explore the impact of the project processes and outcomes. We will share how the focus on assistive technology addressed the invisibility of students with disabilities by promoting individual and collective student agency. Students’ emerging sense of empowerment is attributed to two factors that inform the wider inclusive education debate: the power of technology as a mediator of change and the importance of a bottom up/ top down dynamic.
This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Studies in Higher Education on 23rd February 2018, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/03075079.2018.1437721
- Students with disabilities
- assistive technologies
- inclusive education