Literature activities of such individual; (B) a record of

Literature Review

as a concept and the experience of people with disabilities has been heavily
discussed by scholars. There is also a new ongoing literature on student with
disabilities. In order to discuss the experience of student with disabilities
in Qatari Higher Education, it is required to engage with previous studies on
student with disabilities in academic circles. That is why, this chapter aims to present available literature on
Student with Disabilities in Higher Education. This chapter consists of five
sections. The first section,,,,,,,

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Defining Disability

scholars have been discussing that it is difficult to have a global definition
of disability. ( Linton 1998, Slater et al.194, Williams 1996, Zola 1994).  Altman suggests that “there is no one definition;
fits all circumstances because of extensive variety of the problem” (12?)(Handbook
of Disability Studies, Altman,)Thus, disability has been defined differently by
different organizations. World Health Organization (WHO) defines disability as “any
restriction or lack (resulting from an impairment) of ability to perform an
activity in the manner or within the range considered normal for a human being”
(1980). According to WHO, “Disabilities is
an umbrella term, covering impairments, activity limitations, and participation
restrictions” (1980). The Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008
(ADAAA) states” ‘disability’

with respect to an individual—

(A) a physical or
mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities
of such individual;

(B) a record of such
an impairment; or

(C) being regarded as
having such an impairment


Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for People with
Disabilities presents disability

The term “disability” summarizes a great
number of different functional limitations occurring in any population in any
country of the world. People may be disabled by physical, intellectual or
sensory impairment, medical conditions or mental illness. Such impairments,
conditions or illnesses may be permanent or transitory in nature. (1994)


Many scholars criticize
this medical model of disability and they suggest social model of disability. Snyder  argues that disability ” no longer means a
condition, an incapacity, or lack that belongs to the body, but rather a
product of interactions between self, society, body, and the variety of
interactions (from political economies to personal commitments) that they
engender” ( 2006).  Driedger also
discusses that there is a new attempt in Western European countries that
“demanding the redefinition of disability from a personal, medical problem to a
political one. (Driedger 1991). Similarly, De Jong  and Finkelstein also see disability as
‘socially constructed  problem rather
than “problem of the individual’s ‘body’ and thus something to be treated by
health and social care professionals” Watson, Nick, et al,2014)

Moreover, Cameron in his book “Disability Studies a
Student’s Guide” argues that even though medical model defines disability as ” as
a physical incapacity or abnormality”, a new model of disability ‘social model’
was came into existence during 1970s. (2016) He discusses that in this model “Disability was reconceptualised here not as an
individual problem or as a personal trouble but
as a social structural issue”
(2016). He mentions that the first social model of disability appeared in the disability definition of Union
of the Physically Impaired against Segregation (UPIAS) (Cameron,2016)

UPIAS definition as follows

we define …
disability as the disadvantage or restriction of activity caused by a
contemporary social organization which takes no 
or little account of people who have physical impairments and thus
excludes them  from participation in the
mainstream of social activities.(1976)

This social model of the
disability has a vital role in inclusion of Student with Disabilities in higher

Student with Disabilities (SWD) in Higher Education

Internationally, there is a new trend in
higher education institutions to accommodate students with disabilities to
their education system . Wolanin and
Steele claims that “Students with disabilities are the most recent
marginalized group to move toward equal opportunity in education.” (2014). Many governments and international
organizations have been working on proving equal opportunities for the student
with disabilities.  The improvement for
SWDs has started first in elementary and secondary education and currently also
is focusing on higher education in all around the world. (Wolain and
Stleele,2014) For, instance, the enrollment rate of SWD in US higher education
institutions in  2007-2008 is 10.9 and in
2011-2012 is 11.1 (National Center for Education Statistics, 2016)

Even though the inclusion
of SWD in elementary and secondary education strengthens their enrollment. Wolain
and Stllee point out that higher education for SWD is different from elementary
and secondary education with SWD since last two both are mandatory “and no student with a disability may
be rejected” while “higher education is voluntary and rejects many aspirants”. (Wolain and Stleele,2014).  Rothstein argues that
higher education institutions “only have an obligation to ensure that
qualified applicants and students with disabilities have access to the
college’s program, and are provided necessary academic adjustments, including
auxiliary aids and services.” (2003)  However,  SWD are responsibility to submit themselves
to the university in order to obtain their demands as well as to adapt to the
university and with their fellow students.  That is to say ”  The burden is on the student to make known the
disability and to provide and pay for appropriate documentation in a timely
manner”.( Rothstein,