The environments we work and live in were seldom designed with considerations for all potential users. While we encourage universal design in classroom teaching and new building design we must also accommodate those students who are at a disadvantage because of the current design of classrooms and methods of instruction/testing which favor some over others.
Students who have documentation of any condition which affects a major life activity are eligible to receive accommodations from Student Disability Services. These accommodations can be any reasonable adjustments to the academic environment that address the barriers to learning, and assist students in achieving their academic and career aspirations. Information on students with learning disabilities, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), and psychiatric/psychological disabilities can be found in the sections that follow. When you suspect a student may have a disability:
- Speak to the student in private about your concerns without referencing a “disability” that has not been disclosed to you.
- Acknowledge the difficulties the student is experiencing.
- Refer the student to Student Disability Services (906) 487-2212 Be sensitive that low self-esteem and previous negative experiences in learning environments may be associated with the disability.
- Be aware that Student Disability Services may need to contact a faculty member and/or T. A. to follow up on accommodations.
- Be aware that all disabilities need appropriate documentation before the student is eligible for many of the services that Student Disability Services offers.
- Ask a student if they are disabled; ask them if they are experiencing challenges with some aspect of the class.
- Assume the student knows s/he may qualify for assistance from Student Disability Services.
- Assume the student wants to receive assistance from Student Disability Services.
- Pressure the student to acknowledge his/her disability.
- Speak to the student in a derogatory manner.
This page was adapted with permission from material developed by the University of California, Santa Barbara.