Barriers presented by Lectures – offered twice
Academic content that is delivered only through spoken lecture presents a host of barriers: from the need to maintain concentration for an extended period of time, to the need to capture content for later review, to the need to see material written on the board. We’ll take a closer look at the barriers that exist and consider solutions for each, including technologies that support independent note-taking, approaches to note-taking as an accommodation, acquisition and management of access services such as interpreting and CART, and approaches to making visual aspects of the lecture accessible.
Inflexible attendance policies- offered three times
Although many people maintain that attendance is an important part of learning in the traditional classroom, strict attendance policies that are not well-considered can negatively impact students with unpredictable health conditions or who have any unexpected disability-related issues arise. How do we work with faculty and students to determine what is reasonable in terms of regular attendance, how to evaluate whether a request for attendance flexibility or extended assignment due dates may be a fundamental alteration, and preserve the integrity of the course objectives while allowing the flexibility that permits students with disabilities to meaningfully participate?
Inaccessible Assessments- offered twice
The most common request from disabled students is for testing accommodations. Working under time pressure, the high stakes involved, fluent English reading skills, and the need to decipher what is being asked and recall relevant information all make standard tests unlikely to accurately measure what students with a variety of disabilities have learned. How can we partner with faculty members to encourage better test design and establish procedures that support both them and our office in delivering effective tests? Effective and compliant test center procedures will be discussed.
Inaccessible academic materials- offered once
Printed textbooks, inaccessible digital files, uncaptioned audio and video content all create barriers. This session will focus on resources for providing accessible academic materials, including sources for acquiring accessible materials, technologies for converting print and digital materials, captioning resources and considerations, and institutional expectations for accessible materials from case law.
Housing and dining requirements- offered once
There are many ways in which institutional requirements for on-campus living or dining plans can may present barriers for students. For example, students with allergies or other dietary restrictions may find that standard meal plans do not provide the nutrition options available to other students; the same may be said about availability of accessible or flexible spaces in residence halls for those students with mobility or other disabilities for which the dorm room can promote or hinder access. Ensuring that students have equitable access in these areas requires collaboration and an understanding of the student’s request and options available.
Animals and Access - offered three times
When a student is using an animal to enhance access or remove a barrier, disability resource professionals sometimes forget what they already know about determining reasonable accommodation (or facilitating access?). The landscape can cause some confusion since different laws apply in different circumstances and those different laws require a different response from the college or university. We’ll sort out the differences between service animals and emotional support animals. We’ll also explore how to determine when an ESA is a reasonable accommodation.
Student development- offered twice
College is time of identity development for all students. Developing one’s disability identity is complex and further challenging this process is the lack of opportunity to explore or celebrate disability identity, as most college or university campuses respond to disability only with accommodations and services, rather that community or pride. This session will explore disability identity and culture and the role Disability Resource professionals can play in facilitating development. We will grapple with concepts of “self-advocacy” as a necessary component of student development and also how it might impact disabled students. We will discussion campus programming and community building, as well as the role of disability cultural centers.
Office Mission, Identity and Branding - offered once
If you are in a managerial position, whether as a single-staff member in the service office or as a leader of a team of staff, the structure of the office (its mission, vision, practices and procedures, record-keeping, website content, and organization) are all important components of your work. We will explore strategies for moving yourself, your team, and your campus forward with the messages the office sends.
Reading Psycho-educational Tests- offered once
While reports from psychoeducational testing can vary widely, they have basic similarities and can help to clarify the barriers a student is likely to experience. We’ll review the general structure of reports and the information that can be found in subtests, background information, behavioral observations, and the conclusion and how it informs accommodation decision-making.
Field placements- offered once
Many academic programs at the community college, university, and graduate level include off-site educational requirements. Whether a student is in a student teaching experience, on a clinical rotation or in an office environment, creating an accessible experience in non-didactic settings requires understanding the demands of the site and the learning objectives, as well as creative thinking and close collaboration with the student, academic department, and off-campus site.
Parents- offered once
Parents of college students have never been so involved with their students as they are today. This level of engagement is understandable and often a key part of the student’s academic success thus far. However, in college overly involved parents can challenge disability service personnel and faculty and negatively impact the student’s personal development and maturity. We’ll discuss ways to set boundaries for parents while supporting student independence.