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  Suggestions and Tips for Faculty

DO-IT Faculty Resource Room

The University of Washington offers great resources for faculty on their web site: http://www.washington.edu/doit/Faculty/Trainers/

Any professors wishing to learn how to better accommodate students with disabilities in their classroom are encouraged to check out this great resource. The DO-IT site is the result of an extensive grant supported project.

These are a few issues to consider when a professor has a student with a disability in their classroom.

  1. On the first day of class, ask students with disabilities to make an appointment with you to discuss accommodations. This ensures privacy while making students aware that you are eager to help. Include a similar statement in your syllabus. Suggested statement for syllabi:

    AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT: Any student whose disability falls within ADA guidelines should inform the instructor at the beginning of the semester of any special accommodations or equipment needs necessary to complete the requirements for this course. Students must register documentation with the Office of Disability Services and/or Academic Support Center. If you have questions, call Student Development at extension 7800.
  2. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guarantees the privacy of students with disabilities. Please keep this information private unless the student requests in writing that others be made aware.
  3. Provide students needing their course syllabus in an alternative format before the beginning of the semester, if possible.
  4. Students needing their text in alternative formats may be contacting their professors for the book lists a few months prior to the beginning of the class.
  5. Clearly express course requirements, due dates, and expectations at the first meeting of the class. Additional readings should be announced as early as possible to aid students who will need this material in alternative formats.
  6. Allow students to tape record lectures.
  7. Be prepared to use alternate testing formats (such as extended time or individually proctored exams) to assist students with disabilities.
  8. Encourage students to use the services offered through Disability Services and the Academic Support Center.

    DO’S AND DON’TS
  • DO learn how to communicate with people who have disabilities.
  • DO ensure that your handouts are in formats that are accessible to all persons with disabilities.
  • DO relax and make the student feel comfortable.
  • DO provide accommodations that students will need to be successful in the class.
  • DO treat an individual with a disability the same way you would treat anyone – with dignity and respect.
  • DO know that among those protected by the ADA are qualified individuals who have AIDS, learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, emotional disturbances, chronic health impairments, diabetes, asthma, physical disabilities, vision, speech, or hearing impairments, or other conditions.
  • DON’T embarrass a student with a disability by drawing attention to the disability in front of the class.
  • DON’T assume that certain professions or majors are more suited to persons with disabilities.
  • DON’T assume that a student with a disability does not belong in a certain major.
  • DON’T assume that a student with a disability cannot perform well in your class.
  • DON’T make medical judgments.
  • DON’T assume that a student with a disability can't do an assignment due to his or her disability.