We present a pilot study on three Italian Universities using a multi-domain set of indicators for Inclusion. The indicators are expressed in the coding system of the International Classification of Functioning Disability and Health – ICF – (World Health Organization, 2001).
We selected three medium-sized Italian Universities: Brescia, Trieste and Venice. We combined a student-centered Universal Design philosophy for the built environment and Universal Design for Learning for the instructional environment. We identified four ICF Environmental Chapters (E1, E3, E4 and E5) and made them specific to the Academic context. Within the four Environmental Chapters targeting the physical, instructional, cultural, communicative, social and recreational domains we developed a 35-item checklist to fill out. The indicators were qualitative, quantitative or a mixture of the two. The three Universities shared the same instruments. Our main finding is that, although accommodations for students with disabilities exist as mandated by Italian law, the prevailing implementation is an individual accommodation based approach, rather than a universal design approach for the benefit to the greatest extent of the student population.
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