Creative Solutions : how Students With Occupational Overuse Syndrome (OOS) Conditions Manage Their Studies at Victoria University of Wellington
The barriers that prevent people with disabilities from accessing and succeeding in post-compulsory education are well documented, as are the accommodations that tertiary institutions provide for students with disabilities. However, there is little research about the aids and techniques that students with disabilities actually use to meet their course requirements. This thesis explores the way in which students with occupational overuse syndrome (OOS) conditions managed their studies at Victoria University of Wellington. My methodology was influenced by the theoretical principles of emancipatory research, which emphasises a collaborative research process for the purpose of individual and social change. I interviewed thirteen Victoria University students about their OOS condition, their study strategies, and the ways in which this University could make it easier for students with OOS to manage their studies. Generally the participants used aids and techniques to enable themselves to demonstrate their ability to meet their course requirements. They also benefited from Victoria University's efforts to provide an inclusive learning environment for students with disabilities. There were however, weaknesses in some of the support services that are available for students with OOS conditions at this University. Moreover, my findings suggested that attitudinal barriers might prevent some students with OOS conditions from seeking assistance with managing their studies. My goal was to enable students with OOS conditions to demonstrate their abilities, by sharing information about the strategies that some of these students used to manage their studies without aggravating their OOS symptoms, and by recommending changes to Victoria University's policies and practices.