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  • Manninen, Elisa (2016)
    Aims. The aim of this study was to examine the students' experiences of accessibility at the Faculty of Behavioural sciences, University of Helsinki. According to previous research, students face different barriers to study during their studies. These barriers have an effect on the students' ability to study. Based on the principles of accessibility, the study environment should be available to everyone both on a physical, physiological and social level. Not a single concrete barrier nor an attitude should set any insurmountable obstacles for the students. The ideology of inclusion has spread from the comprehensive schools to higher education to promote equality. According to the ideology, every student is accepted as an equal member of the university community regardless of his or her special needs. One of the views that has influenced the ideology of inclusion is the social model of disability. According to this view, disability is based on social arrangements and therefore it can be influenced, diminished or even removed. This study produced information about the types of barriers of study the students have experienced and in which ways they have tried to overcome these barriers. In addition to that, this study examined the means the students need additionally to overcome the barriers. Methods. 47 students of the Faculty of Behavioural Sciences at the University of Helsinki took part in this study. The data was collected with an internet-based questionnaire. The data was then analyzed by qualitative content analysis. Two different levels of analysis were created from the data. The first analysis level consisted of all 47 respondents. The second analysis level included those 14 respondents, who have a learning difficulty, a sickness or any other state that has an effect on their ability to study. The data was analyzed on both levels of analysis according to all three research questions. Results and conclusions. This study displayed that students experience a wide range of different barriers to study. On the first analysis level the barriers centered around the study environment, especially on the administrative frames of studying. On the second analysis level the barriers focused on the area of personal life, especially on the difficulties in learning and studying, and also distress and fatigue. Based on the results, the students possessed some means to use in overcoming the barriers to study, but they were also often forced to manage by themselves. The students required a wide range of means to overcome the barriers. The most vital means were support, guidance and informing, and changes to the concrete teaching arrangements.