Collaborate Effectively to Ensure Students’ Needs are Met
With the return to “normal” operations in a post-COVID world, campuses are seeing higher numbers of qualified students registering for disability accommodations. With larger numbers of students with disabilities on campus, it’s important to understand what types of accommodations in the classroom are reasonable and when an accommodation may be unreasonable and challenge the fundamental nature of an academic course or program.
As the number of students eligible for accommodations has risen, so has the complexity of disability conditions, as well as the number of accommodations needed to help level the playing field. This increase in complexity and increase in the number of accommodations has created, at times, tension and a need for disability offices and faculty to collaborate effectively to ensure accommodations are implemented in the classroom.
Our expert presenter explores these issues, plus additional challenges encountered by institutions including inadequate space for testing accommodations, lack of faculty understanding of the terms of an accommodation or why an accommodation is needed, unconscious bias towards disability on college campuses, and inaccessible course content and materials.
You have an opportunity to strengthen your diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (DEIA) plans by adding a component on disability and reasonable accommodations in the classroom. This starts by building strong partnerships with your disability and accessibility resource centers. Accessibility can be a shared goal across the entire campus and allows for cross-collaboration across division lines and can include students, faculty and staff. Uphold the educational mission of your institution for all students.
Gain crucial, actionable takeaways that will help you:
- Understand the process for determining reasonable accommodations for your students in the classrooms in order to adequately meet valid requests – and clearly communicate to them when the requests cannot be met.
- Truly engage in the interactive reasonable accommodation process with students – continue to interact after the intake and implementation process with touchpoints throughout the semester.
- Cultivate a collaborative approach with your academic partners – create an academic disability liaison or accessibility champion in each academic program as the key to success in implementing accommodations in classrooms.
- Use assessment tools wisely to measure success – address concerns in a timely manner to continue to streamline your process and make sure no students fall through the cracks and faculty members have the support they need.
- Comprehend your Institutional rights and responsibilities – avoid lawsuits, reasonable accommodations confusion and non-compliance problems.
Leigh Davis Fickling is the Director of the Disability Resource Center at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.
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Included When You Purchase
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