Learning Ally Blog: Access and Achievement

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Now more than ever, people with learning and visual disabilities are flourishing in the classroom, launching productive careers and becoming assets in their communities. This blog spotlights remarkable individuals who demonstrate that having a visual or print disability is no barrier to educational success.


Help Learning Ally Better Serve Blind and Visually Impaired College Students
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Veteran Mike JerniganLearning Ally is excited to launch a study to better understand the academic experiences of blind and visually impaired college students. Through this semester-long study, we will learn how blind and visually impaired students prepare for the semester, collaborate with their peers, use media and resources, make progress and overcome challenges. Participants in this study can earn up to $550 for their participation. (That’s a lot of pizza!)

Who is a great fit for the study?

We are looking for a variety of students: College Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors and Graduate level students at both 2- and 4-year public and private institutions. We are looking for students from across all the majors as well as those taking developmental courses. We are interested in students who already use audiobooks as well as those using other media and resources (Braille, online courses, other campus services). Because the study has a small sample size (12), we would like to get to know the more typical or average student - someone whose experiences would be similar to their BVI peers.

Blind or visually impaired students who are attending school in the New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut areas will be given extra preference.

Note: Participants do NOT have to be Learning Ally members. This study is open to all blind or visually impaired college students in the U.S.

What does the study involve?

The study has been designed to allow students to share their experiences with us at their own pace and in their own words. We plan on following students at the start of the semester. Over the course of the semester, they will be asked to leave voice-mail messages to reflect on their successes and challenges. At two points in the semester, researchers will meet with the student to further discuss and observe their academic experiences. Student participation will be compensated at several points in the semester and students will be able to withdraw from the study at any time and for any reason.

Who is speaking to the students?

Conifer Research, an ethnographic research company that helps create new services to improve people's everyday lives (http://www.coniferresearch.com/), has been commissioned to lead this study. Interested student participants should contact Ksenia Pachikov via the information below to apply.

Ksenia Pachikov

phone: 646.321.3003

email: Ksenia@ConiferResearch.com

By better understanding the college experiences of blind and visually impaired students, we will be able to create something to serve these students better. Your help at the start of this journey will let us reach this goal.


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