Synthesis of Research


This section summarizes the body of literature related to the professional development of postsecondary staff and administrators to assure equal access to campus services for students with disabilities. The information is applicable to student service areas such as registration, recruiting and admissions, financial aid, housing and residential life, computer labs, tutoring and learning centers, distance learning, libraries, and career services. The topic areas discussed in the research synthesis were selected and developed in collaboration with twenty-three DO-IT Admin project team members. The Implications for Practice section for each topic shows how the specific body of knowledge can be applied to professional development.

The literature shared in this section provides the foundation for the presentation content included in other sections of this notebook. The delivery strategies in the sections Presentation Tips and Presentations are also based on this body of knowledge. Professional development facilitators may find this foundation useful as they develop effective staff and administrator training materials and programs.

Each subsection is organized around key questions that must be addressed in developing educational opportunities for postsecondary staff and administrators in campus service units. Key subsection topics and questions are listed below.

Professional Development: Need, Content, and Methods

Adult Learning

Universal Design

[Picture of a mobility impaired student using a computer.]Systemic Change

In each topic area, specific questions are followed by an overview of research literature, as well as suggestions for applying the respective research to presentations. Note that research in several different areas supports some of the same recommendations, thereby reinforcing essential characteristics of successful professional development programs.