Nov 19, 2021

ACCESS has published its pioneering “Needs Analysis Report: Assistive technology + Needs & Skills gaps”, addressing the lack of significant, extensive, valid and comparative data on disability, inclusion and accessibility in the context of the Higher Education systems in  Cuba, Dominican Republic and Costa Rica, and the Latin American region in general. The delivery of this milestone is the result of coordinated actions between all partner institutions to collect data, analyse and infer meaningful conclusions under the guidance of the University of Macedonia.

During the first phase, ACCESS consortium faced a particularly challenging scenario to carry out this task as data collection strategy had to be designed and executed against the backdrop of the lockdown, university closures and social distancing measures applied in local countries to counter the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic throughout all 2020. Nevertheless, partners were able to collect quantitative research data by shifting to distributing online questionnaires, targeted at students with disabilities and personnel at their institutions with vested interest on accessibility and inclusion. As such, across Cuba, Costa Rica and Dominican Republic ACCESS consortium gathered 211 responses from students with disabilities and more than 1500 answers from students in general and academic and administrative staff.

Focus Group

Afterwards, ACCESS consortium steered a qualitative data collection research strategy by conducting interviews with 50 students with disability. They followed by sectorial focus groups with more than 100 participants from academic and administrative staff as well as students with disabilities to complement the contextual insights obtained throughout the process. ACCESS partners also ensured that gender representation was well-balanced amongst the participants.

By following this course of action, ACCESS consortium obtained a very comprehensive and nuanced pool of data to understand the day-to-day experience of students with disabilities at Higher Education level in Cuba, Dominican Republic and Costa Rica, and the Latin American region in general. UoM researcher, supported by local partners, drew meaningful conclusion by applying descriptive  and inferential statistics analysis. Therefore, ACCESS consortium formulated specific recommendations for project implementation as well as orientation to ignite policy reform towards inclusion, accessibility and  at Higher Education level in Cuba, Costa Rica and Dominican Republic. These proposals will be become instrumental to orient further project action throughput project implementation, specially in terms of policy change and institutional sustainability of the inclusion and accessibility reforms.

All details from this report can be downloaded from here:


ACCESS/“Promoting Accessibility of Students with Disability to Higher Education in Cuba, Costa Rica and Dominican Republic” is an Erasmus+ Key Action 2: Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices: Capacity-building in higher education, co-funded by the European Commission. The overall objective of the ACCESS project is to improve accessibility, ensure learning conditions and foster policy change towards inclusion for students with disabilities within the context of the Higher Education system in Costa Rica, Cuba and Dominican Republic via modern inclusion practices, training and networking. ACCESS will be implemented during the next 3 years and plans to return to face-to-face actions as soon as the COVID-19 pandemics allows to do it.