Invisible problems but very real difficulties. Technological adaptations to help students with learning disabilities




GAGNÉ, Ysabelle

Since the early 1980s, countless efforts have been made in the postsecondary education sector to include students with disabilities. Persons with a hearing, visual or motor impairment were the first to benefit from accommodations, so that they could continue their studies without discrimination or privilege based on their condition. Accommodation measures should not be viewed as privileges since their goal is not to favour these people but only to correct a prejudicial situation, the same way eyeglasses correct myopia. Following this, adapted services were extended to students with what are commonly called invisible problems, such as attention deficit disorder, mental health problems, autism spectrum disorders, and learning disabilities (LD), on which this article will focus. Several issues are raised by the various players in the postsecondary sector regarding the relevance and usefulness of accommodations, and about the considerations of fairness they appear to involve. Do they produce outcomes that justify the expenditures of time and money incurred? Are they fair to the other students who do not receive this assistance? This text, which strives to answer some of these questions, specifically addresses the accommodations related to adapted technology that may be offered to students with a LD.


Article available in French only.


The AQPC acknowledges the financial support, in 2014-2015, of the Government of Canada through Canadian Heritage, Canada Periodical Fund, Business Innovation component.

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