Office of Disability Presentation Fall 2011Presentation Transcript
Tips for Advising Students with Disabilities Ron Venable MA, Director ODA 11/02/11
We exist to prevent discrimination based on disability.
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 as Amended is anti-discrimination law. It provides our definition of disability which is:
A physical or psychological condition creating a substantial impediment to major life activities
Being regarded as having a disability
Or a history of having a disability
Student disability determination at UNT is executed by committee
When a Student is Referred to the ODA
They are given an information appointment for screening
referred to campus resources
instructed on what types of documentation needed
They provide the documentation
it is reviewed by the committee for disability determination
If eligible, the student will meet with a counselor for the recommended accommodations.
The student must take the accommodation letter to instructors to finalize the process.
A Word About Accommodations
If instructors feel they cannot provide the accommodations as recommended, alternatives may be worked out with the student.
but accommodations should not be denied without consulting the ODA
Our office tries very hard to not make recommendations that conflict with the essential elements of a class.
Almost exclusively involve math and foreign language classes
Classes are NEVER waived, but substitute courses may be allowed
Only suggested WHEN:
significant history of difficulty in a specific subject area
documented learning disability.
Some students may have a learning disability but may only qualify for accommodations, not substitutions.
The academic dept. makes the final decision if a sub is allowable and what class to take.
Try not to get the student’s hopes up; refer to our office for all substitution questions.
Student’s may have visible and invisible disabilities
When students disclose a disability
ask them if they know about the ODA
ask them if they would like advising suggestions that you have found helpful for other students with disabilities.
No two disabilities are alike.
These are recommendations not hard and fast rules.
Feel free to ask the student to have a look at his or her accommodation letter.
If you still have questions on how to best advise a student, do not hesitate to call us.
General Tips: Class Schedules
Students receiving the accommodation of extra time for in class work/tests/exams/quizzes should remember to space out their classes.
Students should know their limitations, but sometimes they may forget.
Just like you would do for any other student, caution them when you see them taking overloads or particularly difficult classes.
If the student takes meds, avoid problematic times of the day.
Encourage students to check out buildings before they enroll in the course.
Or at least before the first day of classes.
For study abroad and classes with field trips, tell the student it is essential to coordinate these accommodations early with instructors and the ODA.
Learning Disabilities and ADD/ADHD
Know the instructors who are
good at breaking things down
have experience with accommodating,
keep regular office hours
provide regular feedback
“ go the extra mile”
Smaller classes are usually better
Avoid 2 hour and longer class sessions
Try to become familiar with faculty and their styles
Blindness and Deafness
Remind students that if they have interpreters, or need materials in Braille to go see the ODA asap.
It is helpful for students who are blind to take classes that are in close proximity if possible.
The Student is Your Best Resource
Sometimes students just don’t think about these things, but when we ask, they usually get the idea.
What type of class or class schedule causes you the most difficulty?
Please describe what you feel to be your strengths and weaknesses?
Use the information to advise accordingly.
Communication is key.
Speak directly rather than through a companion or sign language interpreter who may be present.
Offer to shake hands when introduced. People with limited hand use or an artificial limb can usually shake hands and offering the left hand is an acceptable greeting.
Always identify yourself and others who may be with you when meeting someone with a visual disability. When conversing in a group, remember to identify the person to whom you are speaking. When dining with a friend who has a visual disability, ask if you can describe what is on his or her plate.
If you offer assistance, wait until the offer is accepted. Then listen or ask for instructions.
Treat adults as adults. Address people with disabilities by their first names only when extending that same familiarity to all others. Never patronize people in wheelchairs by patting them on the head or shoulder.
Do not lean against or hang on someone’s wheelchair. Bear in mind that people with disabilities treat their chairs as extensions of their bodies. And so do people with guide dogs and help dogs. Never distract a work animal from their job without the owner’s permission.
Listen attentively when talking with people who have difficulty speaking and wait for them to finish. If necessary, ask short questions that require short answers, or a nod of the head. Never pretend to understand; instead repeat what you have understood and allow the person to respond.
Place yourself at eye level when speaking with someone in a wheelchair or on crutches.
Tap a person who has a hearing disability on the shoulder or wave your hand to get his or her attention. Look directly at the person and speak clearly, slowly, and expressively to establish if the person can read your lips. If so, try to face the light source and keep hands, cigarettes and food away from your mouth when speaking. If a person is wearing a hearing aid, don’t assume that they have the ability to discriminate your speaking voice. Never shout to a person. Just speak in a normal tone of voice.
Relax. Don’t be embarrassed if you happen to use common expressions such as “See you later” or “Did you hear about this?” that seems to relate to a person’s disability.