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Students with motor disabilities represent more than a third part, 36% of the total, of students with disabilities attending higher education according to the "White Paper on University and Disability".
They are those cases in which the locomotor system is affected . The heterogeneity of situations is greater even if it is possible than in previously described cases. Despite this great diversity of types, motor disability can be defined as an "alteration of movement capacity that implies, to varying degrees, the functions of displacement and/or manipulation, speech or respiration, which limits the person in their personal and social development." They are usually the consequence of spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophies, sclerosis, etc.
In order to understand and classify motor disability, we must always take into account: the moment in which the alteration occurs (congenital or acquired), the duration (temporary or permanent), its evolution (degenerative or non-degenerative), the existence or not of remnants of movements (paralysis or paresis) and the topographic location (in which part of the body the lesion is located)
The motor deficiencies encompass a series of common difficulties that can be classified into: displacement problems, manipulative problems and communication problems (disorders in the development of speech and language) both in their receptive and expressive aspects. By combining these three factors and at very different levels, we can find a wide range of possibilities that range from totally autonomous subjects to fully dependent subjects.
If we stick only to displacement problems we could establish two large groups:
Cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy and spina bifida are the most common ones when teaching.
Teaching also requires several types of adaptations like:
Particularly, it should be noted that it will be convenient to have an accurate assessment of the degree of autonomy and personal resources and support products that the student has to adjust the times in practices and examinations.
Students with motor disorders have different pathologies that can affect upper limbs, lower limbs or both; to certain movements or gestures, to the ability to manipulate or to ambulate, and to the communicative ability (in cases where speech production is affected).
In the cases of people with reduced mobility we will take into account the person and the context.
Among the deficiencies that are usually known in universities we can find tetraplegia or paraplegia (often caused by accidents), cerebral palsy (anoxia at the time of delivery), Duchenne Syndrome (video explaining Duchenne Parent Project Spain), Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (as in the case of Dr. Stephen Hawking), spina bifida, tumors affecting the central nervous system, amputations,
In many cases it is necessary the participation of a third person to perform academic tasks or related to activities of daily life.
Depending on the degree of affectation and the limitation of movements, it will be necessary to adapt spaces (classrooms, buildings, laboratories) and examination tests. Allowing the use of adapted furniture.