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Expectations and Realities: Academic Education and Students with Brain Injury

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dsq_2003_winter_02.doc Disability Studies Quarterly Winter 2003, Volume 23, No. 1 pages 3-8 <> Copyright 2003 by the Society for Disability Studies Expectations and Realities: Academic Education and Students with Brain Injury Edward Chambers Palmerston North New Zealand Robert J. Gregory Department of Psychology Massey University Palmerston North New Zealand Keywords: brain injury, New Zealand, postsecondary education The quality of education available may slow the progress of students with brain injury. No matter how hard a student with a brain injury tries to achieve academically, attempts to regain some form of equality via education flounder, unless and until educational institutions make significant changes. Quality education has been called for in many public and private forums over the years. For example, the introduction of various statutes and acts, such as the Human Rights Act, was promoted on a claim that it would improve quality. Although the Act was instituted, the minimum standards sought still remain unfulfilled. Another example concerns the installation of the various standards, such as the New Zealand Qualification Authority's standards, which have not yet influenced tertiary education. A Case History Sam (pseudonym) had a motorbike accident in his teen-age years. He became temporarily paralyzed and was left with substantial memory loss. After this trauma and resulting setback, he had to learn to do all those things that other people take for granted. Sam became a leader in his own rehabilitation by necessity, for his injury occurred more than 20 years ago. Given that few people or professionals had a glimmer then of what was soon to take place, Sam was already struggling

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