Working Together: Faculty and Students with Disabilities

Working Together Presentation Materials.jpg
Sheryl Burgstahler, Nikki Stauber

 © 1995 University of Washington. Permission is granted to copy these materials for educational, noncommercial purposes provided the source is acknowledged.

Introduction

Recent advancements in adaptive computer technology, greater reliance on computers, and increased job specialization have resulted in career opportunities in fields that were once considered unattainable for individuals who have disabilities. Many of these careers require knowledge and skills obtained through post-secondary education. Although, the number of individuals with disabilities seeking post-secondary education has increased three-fold over the last decade, they are still underrepresented in some academic and career areas. These areas include science, engineering, and mathematics. Federal legislation mandates that, when needed, academic accommodations be made to ensure that otherwise qualified students with disabilities have educational opportunities that are equal to those of their non-disabled peers.

Studies show that faculty and staff members who have had interactions with students with disabilities generally have more positive attitudes about working with these students. Further, those who are familiar with accommodation strategies are better prepared to make arrangements which will ensure that students with disabilities have equal opportunities to participate in their programs.

The purpose of the enclosed videotape and written materials is to help faculty, staff, and students in post-secondary institutions become more aware of: the rights, responsibilities, potential contributions, and needs of students with disabilities; departmental and individual legal rights and responsibilities for ensuring equal educational opportunities for all students in their programs; strategies for working with students who have disabilities; and campus resources which may help equalize educational opportunities. Funding for the production and distribution of the enclosed materials was provided by NEC Foundation of America, US West Communications, and the National Science Foundation. I hope that you find these materials useful in your efforts to ensure that all of the students in your programs have equal opportunities to learn, explore interests, and express ideas.

Sheryl Burgstahler, Ph.D.
Director, DO-IT
University of Washington
College of Engineering
Computing & Communications

How to Use These Materials

The enclosed materials are designed for use in presentations which will stimulate departmental discussion and action to ensure that all students in your programs have equal educational opportunities. Each presentation option is appropriate for meetings of administrators and/or department chairs, advisors, faculty, teaching assistants, support staff, students, and others. The presentations are intended for use in public and private, two-year and four-year, large and small post-secondary institutions. Presentation lengths can vary from twenty minutes to one hour or longer. The materials were tested in the College of Engineering at the University of Washington and refined based on faculty and staff evaluations.

Two presentation options are outlined in these materials.

  • The Short Presentation can be presented by anyone regardless of experience with respect to students with disabilities.
  • The Comprehensive Presentation requires some experience or preparation on the part of the presenter(s).

Just designate a presenter to review these materials, choose the format that fits your needs best, schedule a presentation for your next meeting, and get ready to DO-IT!

Materials Included

Presentation Scripts

A short presentation script and a comprehensive presentation script is included to minimize the work that might otherwise be required to prepare a disability-related presentation. The presenter may use either of these scripts verbatim or extract pieces with which to customize a presentation.

Reference Material

A short glossary of disability-related terms and a brief list of resources is included for the presenter's information.

Tools

  • Handout Templates
    Three reproducible, camera-ready templates are included for use in the presentation:
  • Overhead Transparency Templates
    Black and white templates that can be developed into transparencies are included for use in the comprehensive presentation. There are many transparencies included to optimize custom presentation options.
  • Videotape
    A nine-minute videotape, Working Together: Faculty and Students with Disabilities, is included. The videotape introduces viewers to several faculty members and successful students with disabilities who have worked well together. In this videotape, faculty share their concerns about and strategies for working with students with disabilities. In addition, successful students with disabilities tell the viewers first hand about techniques and accommodations that contributed to their success. The videotape emphasizes the importance of the faculty-student relationship.

Note: Permission is granted to reproduce any of these materials for non-commercial, educational purposes as long as proper credit is given to the source. The most current text of these materials can be obtained in electronic format from the DO-IT gopher server at hawking.u.washington.edu on the Internet network.

Short Presentation

Purpose

​To help faculty, staff, and students become more aware of:

  • the rights, responsibilities, potential contributions, and needs of students with disabilities;
  • departmental and individual legal rights and responsibilities for ensuring equal educational opportunities for all students in their programs;
  • strategies for working with students who have disabilities, emphasizing the faculty-student relationship
  • campus resources available to assist in the provision of appropriate academic accommodations to students with disabilities.

Length

Minimum of 20 minutes

Presenter

​Department chair, faculty, staff, teaching assistant, student, or other member of department. No experience working with students with disabilities is required to deliver this short presentation.

Preparation

  • Select presenter.
  • Add contact information for resources available on your campus to the back page of the handout template Working Together: Faculty and Students with Disabilities.
  • Photocopy handout templates:
    • Meet the Speakers in the Videotape
    • Working Together: Faculty and Students with Disabilities
    • Adaptive Technology that Provides Access to Computers

Equipment and Tools

Outline

  • Distribute handouts.
  • Introduce presentation.
  • Introduce and play videotape.
  • Discuss videotape and handouts.

Short Presentation Sample Script

Recent advancements in adaptive computer technology, greater reliance on computers, and increased job specialization have resulted in career opportunities in fields that were once considered unsuitable for individuals with disabilities. Many of these careers require knowledge and skills obtained through post-secondary education. Although the number of individuals with disabilities seeking post-secondary education has increased three-fold over the last decade, they are still underrepresented in some academic and career areas. These areas include science, engineering, and mathematics. Federal legislation mandates that, when needed, academic accommodations be made to ensure that otherwise qualified students with disabilities have educational opportunities equal to those of their non-disabled peers. Studies show that faculty members, staff, and students who have had interactions with students with disabilities generally have more positive attitudes about working with these students. Further, those who are familiar with accommodation strategies are better prepared to make arrangements which will ensure that students with disabilities have an equal opportunity to participate in their programs.

Today we are going to view a videotape that was produced at the University of Washington. It will introduce us to several faculty members and successful students with disabilities who have worked well together. In this videotape, faculty share their concerns about and strategies for working with students who have disabilities. In addition, successful students with disabilities tell the viewers first hand about techniques and accommodations that contributed to their success. The videotape emphasizes the importance of the faculty-student relationship. Information about the speakers featured in the videotape is given in the handout Meet the Speakers in the Videotape. The handout, Working Together: Faculty and Students with Disabilities, provides an overview of faculty, staff, and student legal rights and responsibilities, examples of accommodation strategies, and a list of resources available on campus to assist us in our efforts to ensure equal educational opportunities for all students in our programs and courses.

The handout, Adaptive Technology that Provides Access to Computers, describes various technologies that make it possible for people who have disabilities to use computing and networking resources.

The people in this videotape have described some of the problems and solutions that surfaced in their academic experiences. We encounter these issues and others in our programs. Accommodation strategies may be simple; however, they may also require a bit of creativity and flexibility. If we take some time to think about how to make our programs and courses accessible to all students, we'll be better prepared to overcome current and future academic challenges.

If any of you would like additional information about academic accommodation strategies, please let me know after the meeting. I could contact (Disabled Student Services) and arrange for someone to discuss specifics with us at our next meeting. Thank you for your time today and your continued interest in finding ways to ensure that all of the students in our programs have equal opportunities to learn, explore interests, and express ideas.

Comprehensive Presentation

Purpose

To help faculty, staff, and students become more aware of:

  • the rights, responsibilities, potential contributions, and needs of students with disabilities;
  • departmental and individual legal rights and responsibilities for ensuring equal educational opportunities for all students in their programs;
  • strategies for working with students who have disabilities, emphasizing the faculty-student relationship;
  • campus resources available to assist in the provision of appropriate academic accommodations to students with disabilities; and
  • actions that individuals and departments can take to ensure that students with disabilities have educational opportunities that are equal to those of their non-disabled peers.

Length

Minimum of one hour; can be covered over several meetings.

Presenter

Department chair, faculty, staff, teaching assistant, student, or other member of department who has experience working with students who have disabilities. This comprehensive presentation may be co-presented with a staff member of a campus unit responsible for providing academic accommodations for students with disabilities.

Preparation

  • Select presenter(s).
  • Add contact information for resources available on your campus to appropriate overhead transparency.
  • Create overhead transparencies from overhead transparency templates.
  • Add contact information for resources available on your campus to the back page of the handout template Working Together: Faculty and Students with Disabilities.
  • Photocopy handout templates:
    • Meet the Speakers in the Videotape
    • Working Together: Faculty and Students with Disabilities
    • Adaptive Technology that Provides Access to Computers

Equipment and Tools

Outline

  • Distribute handouts.
  • Introduce presentation.
  • Introduce and play videotape.
  • Discuss possible accommodation strategies.
  • Discuss department/campus issues.

Sample Comprehensive Presentation Script

Recent advancements in adaptive computer technology, greater reliance on computers, and increased job specialization have resulted in career opportunities in fields that were once considered unsuitable for individuals with disabilities. Many of these careers require knowledge and skills obtained through post-secondary education. Although the number of individuals with disabilities seeking post-secondary education has increased three-fold over the last decade, they are still underrepresented in some academic and career areas. These areas include science, engineering, and mathematics. Federal legislation mandates that, when needed, academic accommodations be made to ensure that otherwise qualified students with disabilities have educational opportunities equal to those of their non-disabled peers.

Surveys show that the number of identified individuals with disabilities seeking post-secondary education has tripled over the last decade. Reasons cited for this increase include:

  • advances in medical technology and techniques result in greater numbers of people who survive traumatic accidents and problematic births
  • improvements in technology make it possible for more people with disabilities to live independently and have productive lives
  • the creation of federal and state mandated pre-college academic support programs helps more students with disabilities complete high school and consider post-secondary education options
  • publicity of recently passed federal disability-related legislation increases awareness of rights to accommodations and equal opportunities in education and employment.

Federal legislation mandates that, when needed, academic accommodations be made to ensure that otherwise qualified students with disabilities have educational opportunities equal to those of their non-disabled peers.

Studies show that faculty members, staff, and students who have had interactions with students with disabilities generally have more positive attitudes about working with these students. Further, those who are familiar with accommodation strategies are better prepared to make arrangements which will ensure that students with disabilities have equal opportunities to participate in their programs.

Today we are going to view a videotape that was produced at the University of Washington. It will introduce us to several faculty members and successful students with disabilities who have worked well together. In this videotape, faculty share their concerns about and strategies for working with students who have disabilities. In addition, successful students with disabilities tell the viewers first hand about techniques and accommodations that contributed to their success. The videotape emphasizes the importance of the faculty-student relationship. Information about the speakers featured in the videotape is given in the handout Meet the Speakers in the Videotape.

After the videotape, we'll review the handout Working Together: Faculty and Students with Disabilities, for an overview of faculty, staff, and student legal rights and responsibilities, examples of accommodation strategies, and a list of resources available on campus to assist us in our efforts to ensure equal educational opportunities for all students in our programs and courses. Then, we'll discuss the specific obstacles in our department to working with students who have disabilities and explore strategies for improving access.

We may find some useful ideas in the handout Adaptive Technology that Provides Access to Computers which describes various technologies that make it possible for people with disabilities to use computing and network resources.

  • Show videotape

The people in this videotape have described some of the problems and solutions that surfaced in their academic experiences. We encounter these issues and others in our programs. Accommodation strategies may be simple; however, they may also require a bit of creativity and flexibility. If we take some time to think about how to make our programs and courses accessible to all students, we'll be better prepared to overcome current and future academic challenges. This videotape may have sparked some questions that will be answered in the next few minutes.

The information we'll cover is included in the handout Working Together: Faculty and Students with Disabilities. We'll go over our legal rights and responsibilities, examples of accommodation strategies, and resources available on our campus to help us work with students who have disabilities. Let's begin with our legal obligations.

Legal Obligations

According to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, no otherwise qualified individual with a disability shall, solely by reason of his or her disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity of a public entity.

In other words, we should not assume that a person who has a disability could not successfully participate in our programs or courses, simply because of the disability. Instead, if there is a concern that the student would not be able to complete specific requirements, we should ask the student (as well as someone who has experience in providing academic accommodations) how s/he may be able to accomplish essential tasks required in the program or course.

The law says otherwise qualified individual with a disability. What does otherwise qualified mean?

Otherwise qualified, with respect to post-secondary educational services, means a person who meets the academic and technical standards requisite to admission or participation in the education program or activity, with or without reasonable modifications to rules, policies or practices; the removal of architectural, communication or transportation barriers; or the provision of auxiliary aids and services.

In other words, a person who has a disability is otherwise qualified if s/he can perform the essential tasks of a program or assignment when appropriate and reasonable accommodations are made.

So, what exactly does person with a disability mean?

Person with a disability means any person who has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities including walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working; has a record of such an impairment; or is regarded as having such an impairment.

Disabilities covered by legislation include, but are not limited to, spinal cord injuries, loss of limbs, Multiple Sclerosis, Muscular Dystrophy, Cerebral Palsy, hearing impairments, visual impairments, speech impairments, specific learning disabilities, head injuries, psychiatric disorders, Diabetes, Cancer, and AIDS.

The examples listed here are conditions which limit people's abilities to perform specific tasks. Some of these conditions are readily apparent; some are invisible. Additionally, some students who have conditions with the same label may have very different abilities when it comes to performing specific tasks. For example, one student who has Cerebral Palsy may have difficulty walking. For another student, Cerebral Palsy may result in no functional use of his/her hands or voice.

Ultimately, a student who has a disability requires alternative arrangements only when faced with a task that requires a skill that his/her disability precludes. If a student informs an instructor that s/he has a disability and would like to arrange for academic accommodations, the instructor may ask which course or program requirements are expected to be problematic and which solutions and campus resources have been identified to help minimize the problems. Sometimes an effective solution can be found by thinking creatively about how the learning environment could be modified. To sum up, federal legislation requires that we accept otherwise qualified students with disabilities into our academic programs. Additionally, we should work with students to identify and implement academic accommodations which will ensure that they have educational opportunities equal to those of their non-disabled peers. Few of us have the experience to identify the effects of all disabilities on the learning process. We can work with the student and our campus service offices when determining and implementing appropriate academic accommodations.

Examples of Disabilities and Accommodations

I will discuss examples of how some disabilities may affect some students' abilities to learn. Then we'll discuss examples of academic accommodations. I emphasize that these are only examples, since disabilities and learning styles are individualized. Many accommodations are simple, creative alternatives for traditional ways of doing things. You and your students may generate additional uniquely effective ideas.

(Note: The following are brief examples and suggestions only. They are by no means comprehensive. The speaker may wish to substitute personal experiences, examples, or strategies that are more pertinent to the audience.)

Low Vision

For some students who have low vision, standard written materials are too small to read and/or objects appear blurry. Others may only see objects within a specific field of vision. Still others may see an image with sections missing or blacked out. Learning via a visual medium may take longer and may be more mentally fatiguing for people who have low vision than for people who have standard vision.

Examples of accommodations for students with low vision include large print books, handouts, signs, and equipment labels. Since it may take weeks or months to procure class materials in large print or audio-tape format, it is essential that instructors select and prepare their materials well before the materials are needed. Other examples of accommodations include reserved seating where the lighting is best; TV monitors connected to microscopes to enlarge images; class assignments made available in electronic formats; and computers equipped with screen enlargers.

Blindness

What are some examples of ways in which blindness may affect the ability to learn? Students who have no sight may have difficulty referring to written materials. Students who have had no vision since birth may have difficulty understanding verbal descriptions of visual materials and abstract concepts. Consider the example, "This diagram of ancestral lineage looks like a tree." If one has never seen a tree, it may not be readily apparent that the structure of note has several lines of ancestry which can be traced back to one central family. However, students who lost their vision later in life may find it easier to understand such verbal descriptions. Additionally, demonstrations based on color differences may be more difficult for students with blindness to participate in and understand than demonstrations which emphasize changes in shape, temperature, or texture.

Ready access to printed materials on computer disk can allow a blind person, who has the appropriate technology, to use computers to read text aloud and/or produce it in Braille. Some materials may need to be transferred to audio-tape. Since it may take weeks or even months to procure course materials in Braille or on audio-tape, it is essential that instructors select and prepare their materials well before the materials are needed. During lecture and demonstration, clear, concise narration of the basic points being represented in visual aids is helpful. Other examples of accommodations for blind students include tactile models and raised-line drawings of graphic materials; adaptive lab equipment such as talking thermometers, calculators, light probes, and tactile timers; and computers with optical character readers, voice output, Braille screen displays, and Braille printers.

Hearing Impairments

Some students who have hearing impairments may hear only specific frequencies, sounds within a certain volume range, or nothing at all. Students who are deaf from birth generally have more difficulty speaking and understanding English language structure than those who lose their hearing later in life. Students with hearing impairments may have difficulty following lectures in large halls, particularly if the acoustics cause echoes or if the speaker talks quietly, rapidly, or UN-clearly. People who have hearing impairments may find it difficult to simultaneously watch demonstrations and follow verbal descriptions, particularly if they are watching a sign language interpreter, a real-time captioning screen, or a speaker's lips. In- class discussions may also be difficult to follow or participate in, particularly if the discussion is fast-paced and un-moderated, since there is often lag time between a speaker's comments and interpretation.

Examples of accommodations for students who have hearing impairments include interpreters, sound amplification systems, and note takers; turning one's face towards students when speaking; visual aids; written lecture outlines, class assignments, lab instructions, and demonstration summaries; visual warning systems for lab emergencies; repeating discussion questions and statements made by other students; and electronic mail for faculty- student meetings and class discussions.

Specific Learning Disabilities

Students with specific learning disabilities generally have average to above average intelligence, but may have difficulties demonstrating knowledge and understanding. For a student who has a learning disability, auditory, visual, or tactile information can become jumbled at any point when it is transmitted, received, processed, and re-transmitted. It may take longer for some students who have learning disabilities to process written information, making lengthy reading or writing assignments or tests difficult to complete in a standard amount of time. Some students who have learning disabilities may find it difficult to process and digest oral instructions and lectures. Some students who have learning disabilities may be able to organize and communicate their thoughts in a one-to-one conversation, but may find it difficult to articulate those same ideas in a noisy classroom.

Examples of accommodations for students who have learning disabilities include note takers and audio-taped class sessions; extra exam time, a quiet testing location, and alternative testing arrangements; visual, aural and tactile demonstrations incorporated into instruction; course and lecture outlines; and computers with voice output and spelling and grammar checkers.

Mobility Impairments

Mobility impairments range from lower body impairments, which may require use of canes, walkers, or wheelchairs, to upper body impairments, which may result in limited or no use of the hands. It may take longer for students with mobility impairments to get from one class to another. For some students it may be difficult to get to field work sites. It may also be difficult for some students to manipulate objects, turn pages, write with a pen or pencil, type at a keyboard, or retrieve research materials.

Examples of accommodations for students with mobility impairments include note takers, scribes, and lab assistants; group lab assignments; extended exam time or alternative testing arrangements; accessible locations for classrooms, labs, and field trips; adjustable tables; equipment located within reach; course materials available in electronic formats; computers with special devices such as voice or Morse code input and alternative keyboards, and access to research resources available on the Internet.

Health Impairments

Some health conditions and medications affect memory and/or energy levels. Additionally, some students who have health impairments may have difficulties attending classes full-time or on a daily basis.

Examples of accommodations for students who have health impairments include note takers and/or taped class sessions; flexible attendance requirements; extra exam time or alternative testing arrangements; assignments available in electronic format; and electronic mail for faculty- student meetings, class discussions, and distribution of course materials and lecture notes.

General Suggestions

To conclude our discussion of accommodation examples, here are some general suggestions for making classes accessible.

Our Campus Services

  • Show Visual #16, modified with your list of available services, and discuss.

From ideas presented in the videotape and the examples of accommodations we've discussed, you can see how computer and network technologies can play a key role in increasing the independence, capabilities, and productivity of students with disabilities. The handout, Adaptive Technology that Provides Access to Computers describes some of these technologies.

(Discuss location and types of adaptive computer technologies available on your campus to faculty, staff, and students.)

Discussion Questions

(Discuss some or all of the following discussion questions.)

  • Do we have students with disabilities in our department? What types of disabilities are represented?
  • Have any of you worked with students who have disabilities before? What have your experiences been? What strategies did you find to be successful/unsuccessful?
  • What can we as a department and as individual instructors do to make our programs more accessible to students who have
    • visual impairments? 
    • hearing impairments? 
    • mobility impairments? 
    • learning disabilities? 
    • health impairments? 
      ​(Examples: publications in accessible formats (Braille, large print, electronic); awareness training of advisors and staff; continually evaluate essential program course requirements; and classroom instructional improvements.)
  • How can we make our facilities, classrooms, offices, and computer/instructional labs more accessible to individuals with a variety of disabilities?
    • visual impairments?
    • hearing impairments?
    • mobility impairments?
    • learning disabilities?
    • health impairments?
      ​(Examples: Braille labels, signage, building/room/furniture wheelchair access; arrangement and procurement of lab equipment; adaptive technology in computer labs.)
  • What actions should be taken and who should coordinate them?
    • (Examples: shall we bring in someone from outside of our department to answer specific questions and give us advice regarding appropriate accommodations
    • designate someone to find out if there are disability access activities currently in progress on campus that we can contribute to and/or learn from;
    • designate someone to find out if there is a reference document already available which summarizes campus resources for working with students with disabilities
    • If so, should we distribute to all faculty and staff? If not, should we work to get one created? survey current students with disabilities regarding barriers they are facing and suggestions for removing them; then, work to remove some of the identified barriers survey facilities regarding accessibility
    • survey faculty and staff regarding experiences and recommendations for working with students with disabilities, develop a recommendations summary, and create a means by which to disseminate this information to pertinent faculty and staff on campus
    • identify and begin the procedure to procure signage, lab equipment, and/or adaptive computer technologies.
    • designate someone to research the process for acquiring accommodation equipment or funding?)

Thank you for your time today and your interest in finding ways to ensure that all of the students in our programs have equal opportunities to learn, explore interests, and express ideas.

Glossary of Disability-related Terms

Note: Definitions are adapted from the Washington state Governor's Committee on Disability and Employment Issues Operations Manual, unless otherwise noted.

Accessible: In the case of a facility, readily usable by a particular individual; in the case of a program or activity, presented or provided in such a way that a particular individual can participate, with or without auxiliary aid(s).

Adaptive Technology: Hardware or software products that provide access to a computer that is otherwise inaccessible to an individual with a disability.

Auxiliary Aids and Services: Includes

  • qualified interpreters or other effective methods of making aurally delivered materials available to individuals with hearing impairments;
  • qualified readers, taped texts, or other effective methods of making visually delivered materials available to individuals with visual impairments;
  • acquisition or modification of equipment or devices; and
  • other similar services and actions (Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990).

Braille: Braille is a system of embossed characters formed by using a Braille cell: a combination of six dots consisting of two vertical columns of three dots each. Each simple Braille character is formed by one or more of these dots and occupies a full cell or space. Braille is often produced using a Braillewriter.

Captioned Films: Public Law 85-905 established the Captioned Films Program, providing distribution of captioned films, to bring to deaf persons an understanding and appreciation of films that play a part in the general and cultural advancement of hearing persons. Theatrical, short subject, documentary, training, and educational films for adults are available. Certain copyright restrictions apply to showings.

Closed Circuit TV Magnifier (CCTV): A television camera used to magnify books or other materials to a television monitor. People commonly refer to these by brand name (i.e., Visualtek, Appollo, etc.).

Disability: A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; a record of such an impairment; or being regarded as having such an impairment. (Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990).

Discrimination: The act of making a difference in treatment or favor on a basis other than individual merit.

Facility: All or any portion of buildings, structures, equipment, grounds, roads, parking lots, and other real or personal property.

FM Sound Amplification System: An electronic amplification system consisting of three components: a microphone/transmitter, monaural FM receiver and a combination charger/carrying case. It provides wireless FM broadcast from a speaker to a listener who has a hearing impairment.

Hearing Impairments: Complete or partial loss of ability to hear caused by a variety of injuries or diseases including congenital defects. Types of hearing impairments include conduction deafness, which results from conditions which prevent sound waves from being transmitted to the auditory receptors and perceptive deafness, which is caused by injuries involving sensory receptors resulting in loss of ability to perceive or transmit sound messages to the brain. Frequent limitations including difficulties in understanding language or other auditory messages and/or in production of understandable speech are possible.

Interpreter: A professional person who assists a deaf person in communicating with hearing people. The following certifications are awarded by the Registry of Interpreters of the Deaf (RID) National Certification Board: Expressive Translating, the ability to simultaneously translate from spoken to manual English (verbatim); Expressive Interpreting, the ability to use sign language with hearing impaired persons who possess various levels of language competence; Reverse Skills, the ability to render (manually, orally or written) a hearing impaired person's message; Comprehensive Skills, which includes all of the above skills; Legal Specialist Certificate, which includes Comprehensive Skills plus specialized evaluation to qualify for interpreting in a variety of legal settings.

Large Print Books: Most ordinary print is six to ten points in height (about 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch). Large type is 14 to 18 points (about 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch) and sometimes larger. The format of large print books is also proportionately larger (usually 8 1/2 x 11 inches). Limited appropriate material is available for college level use. Large print books can be obtained from the Washington Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. The American Foundation for the Blind, Inc., has a list of large print book publishers and the American Printing House for the Blind has a catalog of large type publications. Copy machines which enlarge print are becoming common.

Mainstreaming: The inclusion of disabled persons, with or without special accommodations, in programs, activities, and facilities with non-disabled persons.

Major Life Activities: Functions such as caring for one's self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, working, and participating in community activities. (Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990)

Physical or Mental Impairment: Any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological; musculoskeletal; special sense organs; respiratory, including speech organs; cardiovascular; reproductive; digestive; genito-urinary; hemic and lymphatic; skin; and endocrine; or any mental or psychological disorder, such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities. (Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990). 

Qualified Individual with a Disability: An individual with a disability who, with or without reasonable modification to rules, policies, or practices, the removal of architectural, communication, or transportation barriers, or the provision of auxiliary aids and services, meets the essential eligibility requirements for the receipt of services or the participation in programs or activities provided by a public entity (Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990).

Raised Line Drawings: Charts, graphs, and diagrams can be reproduced for blind students by using a raised line drawing board. This board consists of a rubber-like clipboard on which pieces of plastic film are placed. Patterns are then traced on the plastic film with a sharp instrument causing the plastic to stretch and raise. Another method for creating raised line drawings is tracing over the lines of the chart or diagram with Elmer's Glue. This results in a raised drawing that blind students can use as they would Braille.

Reader: A volunteer or employee of the blind or partially sighted student who reads printed material in person or onto audio-tape.

Relief Maps: Most geography departments and some libraries have three- dimensional maps that a blind student could use with a reader to understand land forms, locations, and other topographical features. Relief maps are also available in Braille.

Sign Language: American Sign Language (ASL or Amelsan) is one form of manual communication commonly used by deaf Americans. Sign language is not universal; deaf persons from different countries speak different sign languages. The gestures or symbols in sign language are organized in a linguistic way. Each individual gesture is called a sign. Each sign has three distinct parts: The handshape, the position of the hands, and the movement of the hands. Like any other language, ASL has a distinct grammatical structure. ASL is not based on English or any other spoken language. Two sign systems which are based on English are Signed Exact English (SEE Sign) and Signed English or Siglish. The three systems have elements in common, but American Sign Language is the language used by the majority of deaf persons throughout the United States.

Specific Learning Disability: A disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, which may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations. The term does not include children who have learning problems which are primarily the result of visual, hearing or motor handicaps, mental retardation, or of environmental, cultural or economic disadvantage. The term does include such conditions as perceptual handicaps, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia and developmental aphasia. Frequent limitations include hyperactivity, distractibility, emotional instability, visual and/or auditory perception difficulties and/or motor limitations, depending on the type(s) of learning disability. One individual may exhibit two or more symptoms.

TDD or TTY: Known as the Telecommunications Device for the Deaf or Teletypewriter, the TDD/TTY is a device which enables someone who has a speech or hearing impairment to use a telephone when communicating with someone else who has a TDD/TTY. While there are several brands, TDD/TTYs have several features in common. They either have a digital readout or a paper tape, can run off direct current or battery power, or type in letters or numbers. TDD/TTYs can be used with any telephone, and one needs only a basic typing ability to use them.

Vision Impairments: Complete or partial loss of ability to see, caused by a variety of injuries or diseases including congenital defects. Legal blindness is defined as visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with correcting lenses, or widest diameter of visual field subtending an angular distance no greater than 20 degrees. Types of vision impairments include: Amblyopia, dimness of vision from non-use of eyes; Aniseikonia, a difference in the size and shape of an image perceived by each eye; Astigmatism, distortion resulting from imperfect curvature of cornea; Cataracts, an opacity of the lens; Color blindness, inability to distinguish one or more primary colors; Diplopia, double vision; Glaucoma, partial or total blindness resulting from intensive destructive pressure of fluids inside eye; Hyperopia, farsightedness; Myopia, nearsightedness; Nyctalopia, night blindness; Retinitis pigmentosa, a disease that degenerates the retina, resulting in the eye's inability to transmit picture to the brain, and; Transient blindness, temporary blindness due to temporary interference with maintenance or blood pressure in ophthalmic arteries. Frequent limitations include loss of sight ranging from difficulty in seeing to total blindness, loss of reading ability, and loss of ability to be completely mobile without aids.

Resources

Organizations

American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
Project on Science, Technology and Disability
1333 H Street Washington, DC 20005
(202) 326-6630 (voice/TTY)
(202) 311-9849 (FAX)
Addresses issues related to increasing the representation of individuals with disabilities in science and engineering academic programs and careers. Provides publications and connections to other resources, including practicing engineers and scientists with disabilities.

Association for Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD)
PO Box 21192
Columbus, OH 43221-0192
(614) 488-4972 (voice/TTY)
(614) 488-1174 (FAX)
swevans@magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu
A professional organization of higher education disability service providers. Disseminates information about research, accommodations, and legislation.

DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology)
DO-IT
University of Washington
Box 354842
Seattle, WA 98195-4842
doit@uw.edu
www.uw.edu/doit/
206-685-DOIT (3648) (voice/TTY)
888-972-DOIT (3648) (voice/TTY)
206-221-4171 (fax)
509-328-9331 (voice/TTY) Spokane
Provides publications, videotapes, electronic resources, and a gopher server about access to science, engineering, and mathematics academic programs and careers for people with disabilities.

EASI (Equal Access to Software and Information)
c/o EDUCOM
1112 16th Street NW, Suite 600
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 872-4200 (voice)
(202) 872-4318 (FAX)
easi@educom.edu
Special interest group on adaptive technology in higher education.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
1801 "L" Street NW
Washington, DC 20507
(800) 669-EEOC (voice)
(800) 800-3302 (TTY)
Provides handbook, regulations, and technical assistance for implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Job Accommodation Network (JAN) of the President's Committee on the Employment of People with Disabilities
West Virginia University
809 Allen Hall
Morgantown, WV 26506
(304) 293-7186
(800) 526-7234
Provides information and consultation about adapting individual classes, labs, or worksites.

Electronic Resources

Below is a brief list of pertinent disability-related resources. For a more comprehensive list of electronic resources, contact

DO-IT
University of Washington
Box 354842
Seattle, WA 98195-4842
206-685-DOIT (3648) (voice/TTY)
888-972-DOIT (3648) (voice/TTY)
206-221-4171 (fax)
509-328-9331 (voice/TTY) Spokane
doit@uw.edu
www.uw.edu/doit/

  • ADA-LAW is a discussion list for those interested in the Americans with Disabilities Act and other disability-related laws in the United States and other countries. To join, send a message with a blank subject line to listserv@vm1.nodak.edu. In the message text type subscribe ADA-LAW First name Last name. To post to the list, send a message to ada- law@vm1.nodak.edu.
  • DO-IT gopher server contains a wide selection of resources related to science, engineering, math, education, technology, and disability. To access the DO-IT gopher, type hawking u.washington.edu at your host system prompt.
  • DOITSEM is a discussion list for those interested in increasing the representation of individuals who have disabilities in science, engineering, and mathematics academic programs and career fields. To join, send a message with no subject line to listproc@u.washington.edu. In the message text type subscribe doitsem Firstname Lastname. To post to the list, send a message to doitsem@u.washington.edu.
  • DO-IT WORLD WIDE WEB server is available at the following URL: http://www.washington.edu/doit/
  • DSSHE-L is a list about services available to students in higher in education. To subscribe send a message with a blank subject line to listserv@ubvm.bitnet. In the message text type subscribe DSSHE-L Firstname Lastname. To post to the list, send a message to DSSHE-L@ubvm.bitnet.
  • EASI deals with issues related to technology and people who have disabilities. To join, send a message with a blank subject line to listserv@maelstrom.stjohns.edu. In the message text type subscribe EASI Firstname Lastname. To post to the list, send a message to easi@maelstrom.stjohns.edu.

Handout Templates

Visuals

Visual #1

Working Together:

Faculty and Students with Disabilities

Visual #2

Increase in Number of Students with Disabilities

Factors:

  • Survival Rate
  • Technology
  • K-12 Special Education
  • Awareness

Visual #3

Presentation Outline

  • Videotape
  • Legal Responsibilities
  • Strategies
  • Campus Resurces
  • Local Solutions

Visual #4

Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act and 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act


No otherwise qualified individual with a disability shall, solely by reason of his/her disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity of a public entity.

Visual #5

Otherwise Qualified =

...meets the academic and technical standards requisite to admission or participation...

with or without

  • reasonable modifications to rules, policies or practices;
  • removal of architectural, communication or transportation barriers;
  • or provision of auxiliary aids and services.

Visual #6

Person with a disability = any person who

  • has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities including walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working;
  • has a record of such an impairment; or
  • is regarded as having such an impairment.

Visual #7

Examples of Disabilities

  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Loss of limbs
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Hearing impairments
  • Visual impairments
  • Speech impairments
  • Specific learning disabilities
  • Head injuries
  • Psychiatric disorders
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • AIDS

Visual #8

  • Low Vision
  • Blindness
  • Hearing Impairments
  • Specific Learning Disabilities
  • Mobility Impairments
  • Health Impairments

Visual #9

Low Vision

  • Large print handouts, signs, equipment labels
  • TV monitor connected to microscope to enlarge images
  • Class assignments in electronic format
  • Computer with enlarged screen images
  • Seating where the lighting is best

Visual #10

Blindness

  • Audio-tape, Braille, or electronic lecture notes, handouts, texts
  • Describe visual aids
  • Raised-line drawings and tactile models of graphic materials
  • Adaptive lab equipment (e. g., tactile timers, talking thermometers, calculators, light probes)
  • Computers with optical char- acter readers, voice output, Braille screen displays, printers

Visual #11

Hearing Impairments

  • Interpreters, real-time captions, FM systems, note takers
  • Face student when speaking
  • Written assignments, lab instructions, demonstration summaries
  • Visual aids, visual warning systems for lab emergencies
  • Repeat questions and statements from other students
  • Electronic mail

Visual #12

Specific Learning Disabilities

  • Note takers and/or audiotaped class sessions
  • Extra exam time; alternative testing arrangements
  • Visual, aural, and tactile demonstrations incorporated into instruction
  • Course and lecture outlines
  • Computers with voice output, spelling checkers, grammar checkers

Visual #13

Mobility Impairments

  • Group assignments, note takers/scribes, lab assistants
  • Extra exam time, alternative testing arrangements
  • Classrooms, labs, field trips in accessible locations
  • Adjustable tables, lab equipment located within reach
  • Class materials in electronic formats
  • Computers with special input devices (e. g., voice, Morse code, alternative keyboards)

Visual #14

Health Impairments

  • Note takers, audio-taped class sessions
  • Flexible attendance requirements
  • Extra exam time, alternative testing arrangements
  • Assignments in electronic formats
  • Electronic mail

Visual #15

General Suggestions

  • Syllabus statement
  • Talk with student
  • Select materials early
  • Materials in electronic formats
  • Alternative testing arrangements
  • Use campus services

Visual #16

Our Campus Services

Additional Information

DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology) serves to increase the successful participation of individuals with disabilities in challenging academic programs such as those in science, engineering, mathematics, and technology. Primary funding for DO-IT is provided by the National Science Foundation, the State of Washington, and the U.S. Department of Education. DO-IT is a collaboration of UW Information Technology and the Colleges of Engineering and Education at the University of Washington.

Grants and gifts fund DO-IT publications, videos, and programs to support the academic and career success of people with disabilities. Contribute today by sending a check to DO-IT, Box 354842, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195-4842.

Your gift is tax deductible as specified in IRS regulations. Pursuant to RCW 19.09, the University of Washington is registered as a charitable organization with the Secretary of State, state of Washington. For more information call the Office of the Secretary of State, 1-800-322-4483.

To order free publications or newsletters use the DO-IT Publications Order Form; to order videos and training materials use the Videos, Books and Comprehensive Training Materials Order Form.

For further information, to be placed on the DO-IT mailing list, request materials in an alternate format, or to make comments or suggestions about DO-IT publications or web pages contact:

DO-IT
University of Washington
Box 354842
Seattle, WA 98195-4842
doit@uw.edu
www.uw.edu/doit/
206-685-DOIT (3648) (voice/TTY)
888-972-DOIT (3648) (voice/TTY)
206-221-4171 (fax)
509-328-9331 (voice/TTY) Spokane

Founder and Director: Sheryl Burgstahler, Ph.D.

DO-IT Funding and Partners