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Disabled Students in Higher Education: Dr Vivian Rath

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Disabled students in higher education is the focus of this week’s research webinar at Hibernia College. The Research Webinar Series continues with a presentation by Dr Vivian Rath on 20 May. He will present the main findings of his doctoral thesis on the social engagement experiences of disabled students in higher education in Ireland.

Disability researcher and activist

Dr Rath is an adjunct teaching fellow in Trinity College Dublin where he recently completed his PhD. While earning his Master’s in Management from Smurfit Business School, he researched the employment of graduates with disabilities.

As a member of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission’s (IHREC) Disability Advisory Committee, Dr Rath helps monitor the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). He is also currently working for the Association for Higher Education Access and Disability (AHEAD) as a project research officer investigating Reasonable Accommodations in Professional Placement (RAPP).

Dr Rath has extensive experience providing supports to people with disabilities accessing education and employment opportunities. As a person with a disability, Vivian has been a disability activist for many years, campaigning for greater participation of people with disabilities in public and political life.

Social engagement of disabled students

The focus of Dr Rath’s research, and the focus of this week’s presentation, is on the social engagement experiences of disabled students in higher education. Despite efforts to make academic programmes more accessible, disabled students continue to encounter barriers in their social engagement within higher education. A sense of belonging contributes to increased levels of enjoyment and success for disabled students as well as student retention.

Research in education

This presentation is part of a series of research-focused webinars for Hibernia College students and faculty who are exploring research in the field of education, particularly the importance of research in the contemporary classroom. Read more about the previous Research Webinar Series presentation.

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