Australia Awards in Indonesia

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05 Dec 2022

Improving quality education of students with disabilities in higher education through Universal Design for Learning

Project leader: Nur Azizah

Level of education and university: PhD, Flinders University

Collaborating Organisations: -

Project Location: SDaerah Istimewa Yogyakarta

Activity Type: Capacity building, mentoring or coaching

Sector: Disability Services, Education Management

Project Rationale:

Protection and fulfilment of the rights of persons with disabilities in Indonesia has been governed by various policies and programs. Philosophically and constitutionally, by adhering to the 1945 Indonesian Constitution (UUD 1945), all Indonesian citizens have equal opportunity in education and the use of science, technology and arts and culture to improve quality of life. It is undisputable that education, especially higher education, is one of the significant factors in obtaining work and a career that ultimately leads to a better quality of life (Getzel & Briel, 2013; WHO, 2011; Duta, Scguri-Geist, & Kundu, 2009).

Government policy in Indonesia regulates the implementation of inclusive education in higher education as stated in a policy named Permenristekdikti No 46 of 2017, which mandates all universities in Indonesia to accept students with disabilities and provide support for them. However, participation by people with disability in higher education in Indonesia is still very limited. The data shows that only about 2.8% of individuals with disabilities graduated from higher education compared to 9.48% for non-disabled people. Faculty attitudes towards students with disabilities, discrimination in academic culture, and low level pedagogical competency in accommodating students with disabilities are the major barriers to the successful implementation of inclusive education for students with disabilities in higher education (Michael, 2020).

The Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework is an inclusive pedagogical approach that aims to provide greater educational opportunities for all learners, including students with disabilities, and can be applied in a variety of settings (Balte et al., 2022; Coffman & Draper, 2022). Yet, capacity building on UDL is dominated by teachers in primary and secondary settings (Davies et al., 2013). The few studies on UDL training for lecturers in higher education found that faculty participants were trained on UD reported feeling more comfortable meeting the needs of students with disabilities (Izzo, et al., 2008), and promoted student’s success (Street,, 2012). Furthermore, students emphasised their appreciation for the delivery of course materials in multiple mediums after their lecturers pursued UDL training (Parker, Robinson, & Hannafin, 2008). Ensuring successful understanding and implementation of UDL is dependent on the training of university teaching staff (Jwad et al., 2022).

Project Beneficiaries:

50 lecturers

Priority Development Area:


Link with Australian organisation:

The University of Sydney

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