Universal design is an approach that strives to make products and environments welcoming, accessible, and usable for everyone. Universal design principles were developed at the Center for Universal Design. They can be tailored to specific applications such as curriculum, instruction, career service offices, multimedia, tutoring and learning centers, museums, computer labs, and web pages.
Suzanne is a junior with a psychiatric impairment. She had an episode of depression, which resulted in her inability to attend classes for several days. Due to her absence, she fell behind in her coursework and petitioned to drop one of her three classes as a "hardship withdrawal."
My name is Shannon. I have Spina Bifida, a mobility impairment, and use a wheelchair for mobility. My coursework in elementary education requires frequent use of the library to conduct literature reviews of children's books and research to create classroom projects.
My name is Jen. I am a freshman majoring in Fashion Merchandising and enrolled in a Retailing I course. I have Dyslexia and a visual-processing problem.
In order to pass my midterm exam, I needed a way to memorize information about fashion designers and the materials with which they work.
Internet-based electronic discussion lists provide opportunities for collaboration with librarians and other colleagues about accessibility issues.
In the ADAPT-L listserv group, librarians discuss assistive technology for making electronic resources accessible to all patrons. To join, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org with no subject but one line of text: "subscribe adapt-l Firstname Lastname".
The policy regarding transportation should be the same for students with disabilities as it is for students without disabilities. It is most often the case that students arrange their own transportation to and from internships. The student with special needs should look into options for accessible transportation (e.g., accessible bus, van service). The campus disabled student services office may be able to assist with this process.
You should assist students with disabilities as you would other students. It is their responsibility to disclose information about their disabilities and request accommodations. Some students do not require accommodations and/or choose not to disclose their disabilities. Other students may have invisible disabilities (such as learning disabilities or health impairments), which may be difficult or even impossible to recognize.
Susan is a sophomore who is blind. She has joined several campus organizations and would also like to join the equestrian team.
The advisor and trainer of the equestrian team called the disabled student services director to discuss whether this student should join the team. She was concerned about how Susan could handle this type of activity, as well as the liability of the university if she had an accident.
Sam is a sophomore with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). He is having difficulty managing a full-time preengineering course load. He does not have enough time to keep up with all of his courses.
Sam wants to take a reduced course load but needs to remain eligible for financial assistance and campus housing. He was told by student services staff that he would be ineligible for financial aid and campus housing if he was not registered as a full-time student.
Students with disabilities often face challenges as they transfer from two-year to four-year institutions of higher education. There are many things that the institutions can do, individually and cooperatively, to ease this transition. Forty-six staff and faculty from two- and four-year institutions representing a total of twenty-four states made suggestions as part of five focused discussions hosted by DO-IT at the University of Washington. Listed below are some of their ideas.