The way to ultimate wisdom: an exploratory qualitative study on Taiwanese students with disabilities attending college

Grace L. Francis*, Chun Yu Chiu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Background: In Asian culture, knowledge obtained at institutions of higher education contributes to heightened social status, greater respect in the community, and family prestige. As a result, Taiwan’s central government sought to maximize opportunities for students to attend institutions of higher education, including students with disabilities. However, professional development and systems-capacity are needed to keep pace with the rapid expansion of higher education opportunities for students with disabilities. The purpose of this exploratory study was to expand the limited body of information on college students with disabilities in Taiwan. Method: In total, we conducted nine in-depth interviews with key stakeholders: (a) individuals with disabilities, (b) high school educators, and (c) university faculty and staff. Results: Five primary findings emerged from our analysis: (a) accessibility in college, (b) College Resource Rooms, (c) faculty involvement, (d) parent involvement, and (e) recommendations to enhance student outcomes. Conclusion: Findings reflect Taiwanese efforts to enact laws and implement regulations to secure rights for students with disabilities to participate in post-secondary education. However, as participants highlighted, there remains a need to determine how to best support students with disabilities in institutions of higher education, including effectively preparing students with disabilities for college, making environments accessible, supporting faculty to effectively teach diverse students, providing college staff support, and supporting parents to facilitate students’ self-determination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)270-281
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Developmental Disabilities
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Aug 7


  • Disability
  • Taiwan
  • college
  • inclusion
  • parent
  • transition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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