Case #3


Background

My name is Linda. I am twenty-two years old and an undergraduate student. I have cerebral palsy. I am applying for acceptance to a social work program in the fall. I attend a large public university and the campus is spread out over several miles. Due to my impaired leg movements and balance, I walk with a cane.

Access Issue

Before I can apply for admission to the program, I need to take four prerequisite classes this quarter. Only twenty minutes of passing time are available between two of my classes and the buildings are a quarter of a mile apart. No other scheduling options are available. I inquired about the campus bus system and learned that it has no direct route between these buildings. If I do not take both of these courses, I will need to delay my application for another year.

Discussion

  1. Discuss potential solutions to the access issue described. There can be more than one good solution.
  2. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each proposed solution.
  3. Clarify the appropriate roles of the student, instructor, and campus support services in reaching a decision and providing accommodations if needed.
  4. After you have completed your discussion, read the access solution on the back of this handout that was employed in this real-life scenario. Compare your proposed solutions with the solution used. Discuss the conclusions listed and add at least one more.

Case #3

Solution

I met with the university's disabled student services counselor to discuss my situation. I did not need any accommodations prior to this quarter. Together we developed a plan. The counselor contacted the campus transportation services and arranged transportation between my classes. I contacted the course instructor and he was informed of my transportation needs and the possibility of late arrivals on an occasional basis. The instructor and I also made arrangements with another student who had taken previous courses with me to share notes or announcements that I missed when I could not arrive on time.

Conclusion

This situation illustrates

  1. that some individuals with mobility impairments may be independent on campus in most situations but may need assistance in certain circumstances;
  2. the importance of collaboration and communication between the student, disability student services, and the course instructor in order for accommodations to be successful; and
  3. the student's responsibility to disclose her needs and request accommodations.