The test of accessibility of higher education in israel: Instructors’ attitudes toward high-functioning autistic spectrum students

Nitza Davidovitch, Alona Ponomaryova, Hana Gendel Guterman, Yair Shapira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study deals with a case study of a program that integrates high-functioning autistic spectrum students in Israeli academia. The case study focuses on the attitudes of students and faculty towards high-functioning autistic spectrum (HFA) students, aiming to examine their contribution to the integration of HFA students in academia, with regard to the academic-social climate and their perceived self-efficacy. The case study may serve academic institutions as a model for the adjustment and integration of autistic spectrum students, with the inclusion of academic and administrative elements. The study is based on mixed methods methodology, utilizing both qualitative and quantitative research methods. Five hundred twenty six students, 103 faculty, as well as 30 students with ASD (autism spectrum disorder) and 27 mentoring students participating in the program, were asked to complete a quantitative research questionnaire. The research findings show that the integration of HFA students in academic studies is potentially possible, predicated on awareness among faculty and students as to the nature of the disability. Variables with high significance for the program's success were detected, involving teaching tools, institutional support, and a tolerant academic-social climate. The research findings indicate that with regard to nearly all the variables the faculty have the highest awareness of and sensitivity to integrating HFA students in academic studies. The literature review, as well as the findings of the current study, support the integration of people with HFA in various institutions and confirm the conditions for this success: institutional and social motivation together with a tolerant atmosphere.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-67
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Higher Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2019


  • Academic-social climate
  • Autism
  • Higher education
  • Teaching method
  • Tolerance

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education


Dive into the research topics of 'The test of accessibility of higher education in israel: Instructors’ attitudes toward high-functioning autistic spectrum students'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this