Accomodating students with disabilities
In general, it is appropriate to reference the disability only when it is pertinent to the situation.
For instance, it is better to say “The student, who has a disability” rather than “The disabled student” because it places the importance on the student, rather than on the fact that the student has a disability.
(Hodge & Preston-Sabin, 1997) Many of Universal Design’s methods emphasize a deliberate type of teaching that clearly lays out the course’s goals for the semester and for the particular class period. Toward an Accessible Pedagogy: Dis/ability, Multimodality, and Universal Design in the Technical Communication Classroom.
For instance, a syllabus with clear course objectives, assignment details, and deadlines helps students plan their schedules accordingly.
For example, if you ask the students to rearrange the desks, a student may not help because he has a torn ligament or a relapsing and remitting condition like Multiple Sclerosis.
Or, a student may ask to record lectures because she has dyslexia and it takes longer to transcribe the lectures.
This may be the first time the student will have had to advocate for himself. Department of Education has a pamphlet discussing rights and responsibilities for students entering postsecondary education: Every university has its own process for filing paperwork and the type of paperwork needed.
For instance, a recent study by May & Stone (2010) on disability stereotypes found that undergraduates with and without learning disabilities rated individuals with learning disabilities as being less able to learn or of lower ability than students without those disabilities.
In fact, students with learning disabilities are no less able than any other student; they simply receive, process, store, and/or respond to information differently (National Center for Learning Disabilities).
All medical information provided is kept confidential.
Only the approved accommodation arrangements are discussed with faculty and administrators on an as-needed basis.
One of the common concerns instructors have about accommodations is whether they will change the nature of the course they are teaching.