PRELIMINARY FINDINGS OF FIELD-BASED ACCESSIBILITY FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF U.S. GEOSCIENCE DEPARTMENTS
This presentation reports on the preliminary findings from an ongoing study which aims to understand how geoscience departments at colleges and universities are supporting SWD in field-based learning experiences. Data has been collected from 160 2-year and 4-year geology departments at institutions across the United States. Survey respondents provided information including practices used by their respective departments when attempting to provide adequate field experiences for SWD and department confidence in assessing field site accessibility. Initial results show that although a majority of geoscience departments attempt to provide in-field learning experiences or field-alternatives for students with permanent and/or temporary disabilities, few departments are confident in their ability to assess field site accessibility. Perhaps if more geoscience departments were familiar with assessing field-site accessibility, more departments would offer inclusive field-trips that provide SWD equal field experiences when compared to their “traditionally-abled” peers.