Article Details

Research Database: Article Details

Citation:  Stumbo, N. J., Martin, J. K., & Hedrick, B. N. (2009). Personal assistance for students with severe physical disabilities in post secondary education: Is it the deal breaker?. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 30(1), 11-20., 30 (1), 11-20.
Title:  Personal assistance for students with severe physical disabilities in post secondary education: Is it the deal breaker?
Authors:  Stumbo, N. J., Martin, J. K., & Hedrick, B. N.
Year:  2009
Journal/Publication:  Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 30(1), 11-20.
Publisher:  IOS Press
DOI:  https://doi.org/10.3233/JVR-2009-0449
Full text:  https://content.iospress.com/articles/journal-of-vocational-rehabil...    |   PDF   
Peer-reviewed?  Yes
NIDILRR-funded?  No
Research design:  Literature review

Structured abstract:

Background:  Persons with severe physical disabilities are disadvantaged in the postsecondary education and the workforce due to inadequate education and educational supports. One of these educational supports is the availability of reliable and trained 24/7/365 personal assistance. Without adequate access to personal assistance, individuals with severe physical disabilities simply cannot attend and graduate from post-secondary degree programs. It is clear that if individuals with high support needs cannot live within the educational environment, they will not be able to succeed in the educational environment.
Purpose:  This article examines the nature of this problem, describes current models of post-secondary disability support structures, and explores the difficulties and challenges inherent in personal assistance service provision. The literature review covers a number of key topics including: 1. Individuals with severe physical disability and the need for personal assistance. 2. Demographics of individuals with severe physical disabilities 3.1 Enrollment and persistence in secondary and postsecondary education 3.2. Employment of individuals with severe physical disabilities. 4.1 Current models of disability support services in American higher education. 4.2 Empirical studies of postsecondary disability support service
Data collection and analysis:  The article is not a sample based research study. It is a literature review whose intent is to bring this discussion to the forefront by exploring the: (a) characteristics of individuals with severe physical disabilities, (b) current models and descriptions of disability support services in higher education, and (c) difficulties and challenges embedded in providing post-secondary personal assistance support services for individuals with severe physical limitations.
Findings:  These service and funding gaps point to a number of areas in which further investigation is warranted. First, research needs to be conducted on the specific services offered on various campuses across the country for individuals with high support needs as well which models work best for which students under which conditions. Investigations into the barriers and facilitators experienced by individuals with severe physical disabilities as they attempt to progress through postsecondary degree programs need to be undertaken. Pilot programs ban this research should to be developed and evaluated by both the service consumers and providers. Results of successful programs need to be disseminated so that pilot-program, evidence-based practices can be implemented and their wider adoption ensured. Second, since funding of personal assistance services remains a critical issue for many people with severe physical disabilities, additional research is needed about the extreme inconsistencies that exist in state and federal waiver-based funding policies, programs, and outcomes.
Conclusions:  It is hoped that the discussion from this study will prompt broader discourse regarding post- secondary services for students with severe physical disabilities and impact their participation in higher education

Disabilities served:  Arthritis
Cerebral palsy
Cerebral vascular accident (stroke)
Dual sensory impairment
Medical impairment
Mobility impairment
Multiple sclerosis
Muscular dystrophy
Orthopedic impairments
Spinal cord injury (SCI)
Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
Visual impairment
Severe physical disability
Populations served:  Gender: Female and Male
Race: American Indian or Alaska Native
Race: Asian
Race: Black / African American
Race: White / Caucasian
Race: Native Hawaiian / other Pacific Islander
Ethnicity: Hispanic or Latino
Ethnicity: Not Hispanic or Latino
Interventions:  Personal assistance services (PAS)
Outcomes:  Employment acquisition
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