Exploring education support services and systems to promote disability inclusion in one selected public university in Uganda
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The major aim of the study was to look at how support services and systems for students with disabilities affect their learning and involvement at a selected public university. The study had four objectives: to examine the Support Services provided to Students with Disabilities during the teaching and learning process, to assess the inclusion of students with Disabilities in sports and recreational activities, to determine the involvement of Students with Disabilities in leadership and governance, and to analyze the challenges encountered in the provision of support services to students with disabilities in one selected public university. A case study design was chosen considering qualitative research approach. The study used both stratified random sampling and purposive sampling. In this study, interviews method was adopted for data collection. The study involved 17 participants that comprised of; Academics Registrar, Dean of students, Sports Officer, representative of Persons with Disabilities in the University Council, representative of SWDs in the Guild Council, 4 lecturers, (one from each of the 4 sampled faculties) and 8 SWDs, (2 from each category of disability of CP, HI, VI and PI) from the 4 sampled faculties. All participants were clustered thematically covering support services provided, inclusion and involvement of students and associated challenges. The study found that there was limited support services provided to Students with Disabilities critically contributing to low levels of participation of students in both academic and non-academic programs at the University. Results indicate that recreation facilities were not fully adapted. Similarly teaching and non-teaching staff had insufficient knowledge and skills to support Students with Disabilities during teaching learning s process. It was recommended that students would enjoy the benefits of schooling at the university if government increased funds to tap sports and recreation facets, other education opportunities and increase staff knowledge and skills for engagement with different categories of Students with Disabilities. The study concludes that fully engaging and empowering students to manage their affairs can be a good strategic pathway for promoting inclusion of students in both academic and non-academic programs of Public Universities and to promote greater staff accountability.