Digital technologies in the context of university transition and disability: theoretical and empirical advances

Victoria University of Wellington (2021)
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Since transition to higher education emerged as a research topic in the early 1970s, scholarly inquiry has focused on students without impairments and, what is more, little attention has been paid to the role of digital technologies. This article seeks to address this knowledge gap by looking at the university experiences of a group of first-year students with vision impairments from New Zealand, and the way they use digital tools, such as social media and mobile devices, to manage their transition-related challenges. The article summarises the findings from a longitudinal qualitative project which was methodologically informed by action research (AR). The article explores and discusses scholarly inquiry of transition to university and introduces a conceptual framework which includes five overlapping stages, the transition issues faced by the students and the roles played by digital technologies. The article updates and expands the theoretical understanding of transition to higher education and provides empirical evidence for practitioners to support the needs, inclusion, and participation of young people with disabilities in the tertiary setting.

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Edgar Pacheco
Victoria University of Wellington


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