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.
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.
- Discuss potential solutions to the access issue described. There can be more than one good solution.
- Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each proposed solution.
- Clarify the appropriate roles of the student, instructor, and campus support services in reaching a decision and providing accommodations if needed.
- 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.
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.
This situation illustrates
- that some individuals with mobility impairments may be independent on campus in most situations but may need assistance in certain circumstances;
- the importance of collaboration and communication between the student, disability student services, and the course instructor in order for accommodations to be successful; and
- the student's responsibility to disclose her needs and request accommodations.