University of Washington DO-IT Home   Site Map     Search     Glossary
[DOIT Logo]
Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology

The Faculty Room

Accommodations and
Universal Design
Rights and Responsibilities Faculty Resources Faculty Presentations Resources for Trainers, Staff, and Administrators
Disability Type | Academic Activity | Universal Design
Low Vision | Blindness | Deaf or Hard of Hearing | Learning Disabilities | Mobility Impairments | Health Impairments | Psychiatric & Mental Health Impairments | Other
Girl working at a computer
DID
YOU
KNOW?

Students with health impairments often require flexible attendance requirements.

Search Knowledge Base
Knowledge Base
Articles by Topic
Enter Other Access
College Rooms
About
The Faculty Room
project
Evaluate this site.

Health Impairments Case Study 2

Case Study 1 | Case Study 2 | FAQ | Resources

Karen and College Work: A Case Study in Accommodations for Health Impairments

Background
My name is Karen. I'm a third-year math education student with Rheumatoid Arthritis. On a good day I can attend my classes, take notes, and participate without difficulty. When my arthritis is problematic, I have a hard time gripping a pencil to write. I also fatigue very quickly and cannot work on homework for prolonged periods of time.

Access Issues
My arthritis interferes with my ability to type quickly and efficiently as well as take handwritten class notes. My doctor has recently restricted me from typing and writing for extended periods of time. I also have difficulty carrying out extended math notations and writing my lesson plans for my education class.

Solutions
The disability student services center helped me access computer technology in a computer lab on campus. I was accommodated with speech recognition software, an alternative keyboard, and a trackball. I was also provided access to math software that allowed me to complete math notations without writing. With this computer configuration, I was no longer dependent upon writing or typing with a standard keyboard to complete class assignments. I also requested permission from my professors to tape their lectures and all were supportive of this accommodation, which minimizes my need to write.

Conclusion
This example illustrates:

  1. How adaptive technology can accommodate a student who has difficulty writing and typing.

  2. How campus computer lab staff can support disabled students.

  3. How tape recorders can provide an effective accommodation, but their use should be discussed with the instructor prior to implementation.