Legally, students have the right to choose not to identify a disability, but they will not get accommodation unless they register with Disability Access Services. Remember, sometimes it is difficult to have to identify oneself, time after time, as being "different", especially for the student whose disability is invisible. Further information about specific disabilities and teaching tips are available at Supporting Students with Disabilities in British Columbia (Justice Institute of BC).
- Disability Etiquette
- A Way with Words and Images: Suggestions for the portrayal of people with disabilities
- What the Professor Needs Know (4:29 minutes)
- Flexible Accommodation Deadline (8:22 minutes)
- Testing Accommodations (4:16 minutes)
Learn more about disabilities and receive teaching tips in the links below:
- Attention Deficit Disorder
- Mental Health Disorders
- Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Physical Disabilities (CP, MS, Spinal Cord Injuries)
- Chronic Health Conditions
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Deaf and Hard of Hearing
- Sensitivities and Allergies
- Visual Impairment (Blind or partially sighted)
- Learning Disabilities
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
On the first day of classes and repeat one week later, make this announcement:
"If there is any student in this class who has a need for test-taking or other accommodation needs, please feel free to come and discuss this with me after class or make an appointment to see me."
On your course outline add this statement:
"Students with documented disabilities requiring academic and/or exam accommodation should contact Disability Access Services, Building 200 or call 740-6446 as soon as possible."
Once the student has presented their documentation to Disability Access Services and accommodation has been determined, a confidential letter of notification will be prepared for the student to discuss with you.
This letter verifies that the student is registered with Disability Access Services and outlines both their classroom and exam accommodation needs. The nature of their disability is not disclosed. The student may email you the letter, or may give it to you in person.
- The student has been encouraged to meet with you privately during office hours to discuss their accommodation.
- This meeting should occur at the beginning of the semester as soon as the student receives their accommodation letter from Disability Access Services.
- Discuss implementation of the accommodation and possible strategies that they will need to do their best in your classroom.
- Do not ask the student the student for his/her diagnosis or disability.
Possible Discussion Questions
- What learning strategies have worked for you in the past?
- What educational barriers do you find in this course?
- What assistance do you need accessing material? (lectures, notes, reading, tutors)
- What assistance do you need to show your knowledge of the course? (assignments, tests, exams).
Remember the meeting goal is to develop a successful learning experience in your classroom.