Disabilities many shapes and forms and can include visual, auditory, speech, psychological, physical, health and/or learning. Therefore, appropriate accommodations and support services will depend on the documented type and severity of the disability.
A learning disability if often referred to as an “invisible” disability because it is not immediately apparent. It is important to note that individuals with learning differences are not mentally retarded. They often have average to above average intellectual ability but significant disabilities in performance. The “invisible” disability manifests itself in the way the individual processes and expresses information. Some subjects and skills come easily while others require great concentration and effort on the student’s part. Appropriate accommodations do not give students with learning disabilities an unfair advantage, but rather allow them equal opportunity to process and express what they have learned.
Learning disabilities are thought to be due to a central nervous system dysfunction. The term “learning disability” refers to a related group of disorders shown by difficulties in either listening, speaking, reading, writing, reasoning, or mathematical abilities. Some students may have good logical reasoning skills, but completely unable to spell or write a coherent sentence. Educational adjustments and testing alternatives are individually developed for each student.
The most common learning disabilities include:
Please refer students to the Counselor/Coordinator of Student Accommodations if they may benefit from these materials or equipment:
Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can create significant learning barriers for students. Characteristics include inattention, impulsiveness, hyperactivity, and other difficulties. Medication for Attention Deficit Disorders can be very beneficial in helping the student to function. Also, adjustments to the classroom environment can greatly increase the chance for academic success of a student with ADD or ADHD.
Appropriate support services will depend on the documented type and severity of ADD/ADHD. The ADA requires that students with ADD/ADHD be provided with the following support services:
The ADA further requires that students with ADD/ADHD be allowed to:
Please refer students to Counselor/Coordinator of Student Accommodations if they may benefit from these materials or equipment:
Students with physical disabilities may have mobility impairments that limit their ability to get around campus easily. Some students with physical disabilities have weaknesses in manual dexterity or in strength and stamina that limits their ability to take notes, operate a computer or other equipment, etc. These students may utilize specialized equipment, notetakers, typists to assist with homework, and may need tests administered orally. Modifications may also include changes in the strength and stamina requirements of the tasks.
It is difficult to make generalizations about the classroom needs of students with mobility and manual disabilities because some students may be able to stand for short periods of time while others may not be able to stand at all. Some have full use of their hands and arms, while others have minimal or no use of them. There are some general considerations that will apply to most of the students with these impairments.
Appropriate support services will depend on the documented type and severity of physical and mobility disability. The ADA requires that students with physical and mobility disability be provided with the following support services:
Students with hearing impairments might have total deafness or partial hearing loss that requires the use of various forms of communication. The forms of communication in which the deaf and hard of hearing communicate include:
Individuals who are deaf can call the College and obtain information about support services by using our telecommunications device for the deaf at 217-234-5371 (Voice or T.D.D.).
Appropriate support services will depend on the documented type and severity of hearing impairment. The ADA requires that students with hearing impairment be provided with the following support services:
Students with visual impairments might have total blindness or partial sight that requires the use of enlargements. The most obvious learning adjustment to a student with a visual impairment is the inability to read classroom materials and texts. Legally blind students will use taped texts and/or braille materials. Those with partial sight will use enlargements and magnifiers. Keep in mind that it will take a student with a visual impairment more time to cover the written materials for the course.
Appropriate support services will depend on the documented type and severity of visual disability. The ADA requires that students with visual disability be provided with the following support services:
Emotional impairments can include relatively mild depression to chronic disorders such as manic depressive and schizophrenia. Many students who are on medication because of an emotional impairment may experience an inability to concentrate in the classroom.
Classroom needs may vary and appropriate accommodations for students with emotional impairments are developed on an individual basis based upon recommendations from the mental health facility providing documentation. Instructors should utilize the following methods for students with emotional impairments:
Appropriate accommodations will depend on the documented type and severity of emotional impairment. The ADA requires that students with emotional impairment be provided with the following accommodations:
Health impairments can include:
Classroom needs may vary and appropriate accommodations for students with health impairments are developed on an individual basis based upon recommendations from the health care professional providing documentation. The student is the best source of information concerning their needs. Encourage the student to contact the Counselor/Coordinator of Student Accommodations regularly.
Appropriate accommodations will depend on the documented type and severity of health impairment. The ADA requires that students with health impairments be provided with the following accommodations:
When advising students for registration, you may or may not be aware that the student has a disability. The following tips could benefit any student that you are advising, but may be particularly beneficial to a student who has a disability.
Please note that it is the student’s responsibility to discuss testing accommodations with the instructor. After the student verifies his or her wish to take advantage of testing accommodations, this is the usual procedure. Any variations in this procedure should be agreed upon by the instructor and student.
Tutors never serve as proctors or readers for students they are tutoring; nor do tutors proctor tests in their own subject areas.
If you believe that a student who is currently enrolled in one of your courses would benefit from and be eligible for accommodations for students with disabilities, please refer the student to the Counselor/Coordinator of Student Accommodations. Referrals can be made through the LEAP referral system found on the Laker Hub. Click on LEAP/Contribute Quick under Campus Links to access the referral page. Please note in your detailed notes that you believe this student should meet with the Counselor/Coordinator of Student Accommodations.
Upon receiving a referral, the Counselor/Coordinator of Student Accommodations will contact the student by mail and encourage the student to make an appointment. During the appointment, the counselor and student will discuss the concern of the referral and the counselor will provide appropriate assistance.
Each semester, the Counselor/Coordinator of Student Accommodations requests from each instructor a midterm progress report on students who are registered with the Office of Student Accommodations. Upon receiving a progress report, the Counselor/Coordinator of Student Accommodations contacts those students who are experiencing difficulty in a particular class and encourages these students to make an appointment to discuss opportunities to improve their academic performance.
If you are concerned about the progress of a student registered with our office at any other time during the semester, please complete a Student Progress Report and return it to the Counselor/Coordinator of Student Accommodations. The Counselor/Coordinator of Student Accommodations will contact the student and encourage him or her to make an appointment to discuss the area of concern.