Missouri Southern State University: A Promising Practice in Developing a Successful Community of Practice (CoP)

The term "Community of Practice" (CoP) is used to describe a group of practitioners who share common concerns and interact regularly to improve their services and other practices. Members of a CoP identify problems in their field, propose changes, plan activities, share resources, and discuss topics of mutual interest.

Do all postsecondary students with disabilities use disability services?

In short, no. There are many reasons why individuals with disabilities choose not to use disability services. Some do not need accommodations (for example, a student who uses a cane for mobility but can independently climb small flights of stairs may be fully independent in her mobility on campus). Some may not want to identify themselves as having a disability. And some students may be unaware of the availability of disability services.

Orientation 2 (O2): A Promising Practice to Introduce Incoming Freshman to Computing Fields and Disability Resources

In conjunction with the University of Minnesota, Duluth (UMD) orientation program for incoming freshman, Career Services and Disability Services (DS&R) and Resources staff, with funding support from AccessComputing, held an additional orientation program for incoming freshman with disabilities on August 31st and September 1st, 2006.

If a postsecondary student's accommodations include extra exam time must I allow the student to take the exam outside of the classroom?

Length of time and setting are two separate issues. If the student's accommodation is extra time only, rather than extra time and alternative location, then the instructor may have the student take the exam within the regular classroom if the classroom is available for the extended period approved. If the classroom is not available for the extended time or if there are test proctoring issues during the extra time period, the student who needs extra time may need to take the exam at a location that is different than that of other students.

If I receive a letter informing me a college student in my class has a disability, should I initiate a conversation with the student about their disability?

Some campuses send letters to faculty members at the beginning of a term regarding the academic accommodations a student with a disability may require while in their class. Typically, it is best to let a student initiate a discussion regarding accommodations. You should not ask for details about a disability not disclosed in a letter or shared with you by the student.

I am who I am: A Promising Practice in Disability Awareness and Community Building

Access For All (AFA) is a student organization at the University of Minnesota-Duluth made up of individuals interested in disability rights and issues. AFA hosts a series called "I am who I am" which features an individual from the community who has a disability speaking at a campus forum each month. The speakers share information about their disabilities, employment issues, accommodations, challenges, and successes.

The speaker series serves to

How can I ensure that a student who is deaf can access the content in my podcasts?

Podcasts will pose a barrier to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing unless the information is made available in an accessible format. For audio-only podcasts, consider posting a transcript on your course website; this document will also be of value to students who are not deaf. Podcasts that include video can be captioned. Be sure to make transcriptions and captions available in a timely manner.