Working One-on-One with Students with Disabilities
Student Disability ResourcesIowa State UniversityJohn Hirschman, MA,EdSAssistant DirectorWendy Stevenson, MADisability CoordinatorAlex Wamsley, B.S.Cued Language TransliteratorLaura WiederholtPresident of Alliance for Disability Awareness
Create awareness of accessibility needs of students and resources on campusHands-on experience advising students with diverse needsTalk about the law – why we do what we doBecome aware of some ways of helping students with disabilities
ENROLLMENT OF STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES AT REGENT UNIVERSITIES (Fall 2000-2016)
Note: All disabilities enumerated in this table are self-identified; they may also be duplicated.
Total ISU Enrollment up by 27.8%Total students served by SDR up by 126% (More than double)
We want to hear your stories or concerns!
Feel free as we go along to interrupt with your storiesIn your folder, see theGuidance for Academic Advisors handout
Laws / Policy Regarding Students with Disabilities
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990Americans with Disabilities Act – Amendments Act (ADA-AA) of 2008Iowa State Policy on Non-DiscriminationRefer to the handout in the folder for further detail
Impact of Disability
Disability is unique for each personHas different effects at different timesInterferes with major life activities (substantial limitation determined by severity, duration, and impact)Limitations can be physical, biochemical, psychological, emotional, or environmentalCan lead to social isolation, development of low self-esteem, and difficulty in disclosure of the disability
Consider The Language You Use
How is “disabled person” different from “person with a disability”?
“Person first” terms are important!Try to remember to use “person first” language in the future.
Visible vs. Hidden Disabilities
Many disabilities (such as ADHD, learning disabilities,mental health,hearing or vision loss) are not visibleA student who is struggling to get ISU policy information might have a non-visible disability that impacts their ability to fill out information or get the information required to meet the policy
Things advisers can keep in mind as they work with students with disabilities
Advisersshould notask if a student has a disability and students are under no obligation to share this information.For some students even asking the question can be triggering for them.Students are not obligated to disclose (and are sometimes advised to not disclose) their disability to instructors.Should a student choose to disclose a disability to you, you cannot share that information with instructors.Allow the student to disclose as they are comfortable.
What you can ask
“Is there anything I need to know to help you be more successful in college?”“I am here to help. Is there anything else I should know?”Keep it general.
What to do if the student brings up Disability/Medical concerns during a meeting
If a student does mention a disability, chronic medical or psychological diagnosis, or that they had an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 504 plan in high school.Refer the student to Student Disability Resources (SDR)You can give them the phone number 515-294-7220You can print out the SDR contact informationYou can call with the student and set up a time to meet. If the student asks to you attend, you are welcome to attend the first meeting with the student.
Remember, any information, documentation, or issues related to the student’s disability including a student’s notification lettermust be considered confidential and cannot be shared without the student’s written permission.Any discussion that you have with a student about their disability and/or accommodations should be in a private setting.
A student hands you a psychological evaluation, medical documentation, or IEP/504 Plan. What do you do?
Class registration considerations
Does the condition or medication impact alertness, eye strain, or overall fatigue?Is student at his/her best in the early morning, mid-afternoon, evening?Does the student need a balance between courses in terms of work load and amount of reading?
A balanced schedule - 1
While a balanced schedule is important for all students, it is essential for students with disabilities.A student with a serious language based learning disability should avoid taking four courses that require extensive reading and writing.A student who has difficulty with certain test formats should select teachers that use a variety of evaluation techniques.
A balanced schedule - 2
Does the schedule need to allow for breaks in between classes for meals or snacks, blood sugar checks, medications, or other personal needs?Does the student have routine medical appointments that cannot be altered, for example dialysis treatment or weekly infusions at set times?Assist the student in creating a schedule that meets the student’s medical and disability needs.
A Balanced Schedule - 3
Is attention span/concentration an issues:May be related to ADHD, traumatic brain injury, learning disorder, severe anxiety, etc.This may be a pain related issueFifty minutes classes may be better than 80 minute classes or evening classes.Some students with disabilities are medically advised to not take night exams.
A Balanced Schedule - 4
Can the student physically get from one class to another in the necessary time? Are longer breaks needed between classes?Does painimpact how long the student can comfortably sit without needing to stand?Will the student be using extended time on tests? Suggest no more than two back-to-back classes. Have the student consider a balance of classes between MWF and TR.
A Balanced Schedule - 5
Students who anticipate absenteeism due to medical concerns should be encouraged to discuss their situation with instructors before registering for classes.Students should make arrangements with instructors at the beginning of the semester toensurethat class requirements are met despite absenteeism due to chronic disabilities.A lighter course load should also be discussed as an option for students concerned about missing a significant number of classes.
Is there a possibility of taking a lighter academic load or what we call reduced course load?Students with severe disabilities may wish to take minimum full-time loads, or even attend part-time.Taking summer classes might help them keep on track.Advise students to talk with financial services if needed, but respect any decision to take a minimum load.Also, ISU policy does not require 12 hours to live in the residence halls.
A Perspective on Deaf / hard of hearing
May or may not be hiddenTalk to the student (even if they can’t hear you!)Help choose instructors with good pronunciation, provide good Power Points and notesGroup workTips to benefit ALL students in a classroom, not just those with a hearing lossUtilize classroom amplification systemEliminate background noiseFace students when talkingHave videos captionedREphrase,REpeat,REiterate
Meeting with Students: Scenario
Advisors should be aware not to jump to conclusions:One example: a student who experienced traumatic events - victim of a sexual assault.Characteristics could include:Not showing upFear of sitting alone in an office with a maleWhat would you do?
Be careful not to jump to conclusions about a person’s vocational capabilities.Your perceptions of that person’s limitations.Consult SDR for information about support available in the community which enables students to pursue the career of their choice, with consideration of their limitations.
If you have concerns about a student with a disability/medical condition
You are free to contact:Student ResourcesDisability LiaisonStudent AssistanceNeed to know basis – direct supervisorCampus PoliceList of resources is in the folder
Fill out Exit SurveyWe look forward to working with you this year and want to thank you for working with us last year!Student Disability Resources1076 Student Services BuildingPhone: (515) 294-7220Email:email@example.comWebsite:http://www.sdr.dso.iastate.edu/
Disability Awareness WeekOctober 3-7
October 34 PM Sargent Award Presentation, Lobby of Student Services Building7 PM Learn about accessibility features and apps on Apple products, Carver 0118October 411 am-12:15 PM ARCH 571: Design for the All People, Students will present & discuss their findings related to campusaccessibility. 206 Town Hall7 PM Emerging Issues: Assistance Animals on Campus - Learn more about the differences between Serviceanimals and Emotional Support Animals. Campanile Room, Memorial UnionOctober 511:30 am-1 pm Accessibility at ISU: Developing Digital Content for All,www.elo.iastate.edu/access/contact-us/, Durham 2065-6:30 PM Alliance for Disability Awareness Club Ice Cream/Sherbet Social, Lobby of Student Services BuildingOctober 611 am-12:15 PM Learn about building accessibility on campus, ARCH 571, Design for All People. 206 Town Hall7 PM Student Panel, Learn what it is like to live with a disability, Eaton HallOctober 711:45-1:30 pm Step into my World, a disability awareness event, Union Drive Marketplace