Faculty Disability Services

Edith F. Miller, Ed.D., Interim Director of Disability Services
Office of Disability Services - Located in Humanities 004
Director:
Ext. 6071 for concerns or questions related to students

Assistant: Judi Blouch
Ext. 6028 for information or questions related to testing or student note takers

Almost 150 students!

Purpose of Disability Services
The primary purpose for an Office of Disability Services is to provide/ensure “equal educational access to otherwise qualified students with disabilities.”

We provide access; we do not guarantee success!

Procedure
Matriculated students who receive services and accommodations are “otherwise qualified” and have met admissions criteria.

They have presented appropriate documentation and requested services.

They have met with the Director of Disability Services , reviewed documentation, determined accommodations, and signed a release.

Requesting Accommodations
Students who are eligible for accommodations and have met with the Director of Disability Services will present a letter to faculty members.

Letters list accommodations for which the student is eligible if the student requests them.

What are Accommodations?
Accommodations are:

  • Environmental modifications that allow physical access to students with disabilities (e.g., ramps or a single room).
  • Academic adjustments that allow students with disabilities to access information and materials and to demonstrate knowledge or mastery in a manner that is not affected negatively by their disability (e.g., extended time, reader for exams).

Why Accommodations?
Environmental modifications:

  • Students with mobility impairments need access to buildings and to components of buildings (e.g., bathrooms) in order to participate in programs and living arrangements.
  • Students with medical conditions or chronic illness may need modifications (e.g., single room, air-conditioning) due to effects of condition.

Why Academic Adjustments?
Students with disabilities that affect learning negatively may have difficulties with:

  • Input
    • Auditory Perception – difficulty discriminating sounds or focusing on one sound in a noisy background
    • Visual Perception – difficulty distinguishing shapes, letters or numbers; transposes letters in words, midjudges distances
  • Integration
    • Sequencing 
    • Abstraction – difficulties with inference, figurative language and jokes
    • Organization
  • Memory
    • Working memory – ability to hold information in memory long enough to process or manipulate it
    • Short-term memory – active process of storing and retaining information for a limited period without manipulating it
    • Long-term memory – ability to store and retrieve information over a long period of time
  • Output
    • Language disability – difficulty in situations where language on demand is required
    • Motor disability – may be gross and/or fine motor coordination
  • Attention
    • Focus
    • Concentration
    • Distractibility – may pay attention to everything! 

Faculty Responsibility
Faculty members have a legal obligation to provide “approved academic adjustments and auxiliary aids” on a “timely basis” to students with disabilities in their classes when those students have presented an Accommodation Letter and requested the adjustments or aids.

Letter to: Community College of Philadelphia, No. 03122035 (OCR 04/19/12)

Letter to: Kennesaw State University, No. 04-12-2275 (OCR 01/29/13)

Syllabus Statement
Create a welcoming environment with an inclusive syllabus statement such as:

“Any student who needs classroom or testing accommodations is invited to present letters from the Office of Disability Services and discuss concerns with me after class or during office hours.”

Invite students to meet with you.

Note takers
When students are eligible for and request note takers:

  1. Contact your class via an announcement in class, e-mail or Blackboard requesting a note taker without identifying the student who requested notes.
  2. Review the notes of any volunteer to ensure that they are comprehensive. Only YOU can make that determination!Notes should include information from lectures and discussion if relevant.
  3. Send the note taker to ODS in Humanities 004 to meet with Judi.
    1. Note takers receive 15 Campus Service Hours for the semester.
    2. They must attend class as must the student who is receiving the notes, unless the reason notes are needed is due to a medical absence.
    3. Note takers are required to come to ODS to scan notes once/week; student workers then e-mail notes to the appropriate students. 

Tests/Quizzes/Exams
Students may take tests/quizzes/exams in ODS for a variety of reasons:

  • Extended time (ET)
  • Environment that minimizes distractions
  • Use of assistive technology
  • Need for reader or scribe

Please provide an electronic version of any tests for use with computer reading programs.

Materials
Whenever possible, please consider the following when ordering materials:

  • Select texts that are available in electronic format
  • Choose videos that are captioned

Plan in advance – if materials are not available in alternative format, they must be converted. This takes time!

Meet & Greet
  • Use “person-first” language.
  • Refer to individuals without disabilities as nondisabled, not “normal” or “able-bodied.”
  • Avoid the term “handicapped” when referring to a person.
  • Avoid terms with negative connotations such as: “wheelchair–bound,” “retarded,” “crazy,” or “suffers from.”
Interaction
  • Speak directly to the person with a disability.
  • Respect space and property.
  • Ask before you help.
  • Keep ramps, doors and access areas unblocked and open.
  • Don’t be afraid to use common language such as: “See you later,” or “Let’s run to the store.”

Summary
Students with disabilities add to the diversity of a college community.

Most need only minimal accommodations in order to have equal access to “programs, services and activities.”
With appropriate accommodations, students ARE successful – 34% of LVC students with disabilities are eligible for membership in Delta Alpha Pi International Honor Society.