July 7, 2021

Tips for Inclusive Pedagogy

Tips for Inclusive Pedagogy

Types of Disabilities and Accommodations

A set of brief information modules designed to acquaint instructors with common types of disabilities.

  • Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD)
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Blind/Low Vision
  • Deaf and Hearing Impairments
  • Learning Disabilities
    • Reading Disorder
    • Mathematics Disorder
    • Written Expression Disorder
    • Communication Disorder
  • Medical & Chronic Health Related Impairments
  • Mobility Impairments
  • Mood Disorders
  • Pervasive Developmental Disorder
  • Traumatic Brain Injury

ADHD

Definition

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD) is a neurologically-based medical condition. According to the DSM-IV-TR (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision), “The essential feature of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder is a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that is more frequently displayed and more severe than is typically observed in individuals at a comparable level of development.”

Manifestations

  1. Inattention – An inability to concentrate for extended periods of time exhibited by:
    • A lack of close attention to details resulting in careless mistakes in schoolwork, employment and other life activities.
    • Incompletion of tasks or assignments in school, at work and at home (not due to oppositional behavior or failure to understand instructions).
    • Inattentive behavior during lectures or task completion.
    • The appearance of not listening when spoken to directly.
    • Not following instructions and failure to complete tasks such as schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (not due to oppositional behavior).
    • Disorganized habits such as scattering, losing or damaging materials/items.
    • Avoidance or dislike of activities that require a lot of mental effort for extended periods of time (such as school projects and assignments).
    • Losing items needed for tasks and activities.
    • Distractibility.
    • General forgetfulness in daily activities.
  2. Hyperactivity exhibited by:
    • Hand or foot fidgeting.
    • Wriggling around in ones seat and an inability to stay seated for long periods of time.
    • Appearing to be “on the go,” as if “driven by a motor.”
    • Excessive talking.
  3. Impulsivity exhibited by:
    • Immediate reactions and blurting out answers before questions have been finished.
    • Difficulty meeting deadlines.
    • An appearance of impatience or distress in waiting one’s turn.
    • Interrupting or intruding on others.
    • Low ability to self-discipline.

Institutional Accommodations

  1. Alternative Format: Text books and print materials can be converted to an alternative format
    • Text books and print materials can be converted to an alternative format.
  2. Alternative testing arrangements
    • This may include extra time; a less distracting environment; provision of a reader/scribe; and use of a computer, including adaptive software and hardware.
  3. Note taking support
  4. Priority registration

Teaching Strategies - What Can Faculty Do?

Specific Strategies – AD/HD

Frequent Breaks
Allow the student to take small, frequent breaks.
Reinforce Verbal Directions Visually
Present information in multiple ways to support and enhance student comprehension.
Alternative Testing Arrangements
Allow for testing to take place in an alternative location in order to reduce distractions that are common to the typical classroom. The Disability Service Office will assist students in providing alternative arrangements.
Change Modes of Presentation/Class Activity Frequently
Frequently change from one type of teaching modality to another in order to assist in maintaining the student’s attention and enhance learning.
Assign Student to Classroom Tasks
When classroom tasks such as handing out or collecting items are required, ask the student if he or she would volunteer to do so; thus, giving him/her the opportunity to move about the room.

Learning Strategies - What Can Students Do?

  • Advocate for self
    • Connect with the disability service office to learn about available services and supports. Communicate with instructors about personal learning style and any individual accommodations that are being requested. Students should also be encouraged to read the ACCESS Self-Advocacy Handbook for College Students with Disabilities, available on this website.
  • Get copies of class notes
    • Compare notes to those of the professor or a classmate to ensure that key information has been recorded
  • Take small, frequent breaks
    • Prior to the beginning of each semester or during the first class session of each semester, request permission from class professors to take small breaks as needed. Provide an explanation for the request.
  • Bring snacks, a water bottle or small squeezable object to reduce fidgeting and maintain focus.
  • Record class lectures
    • Ask professors for permission to record class lectures in order to make sure all pertinent information is gained.
  • Learn and practice time management behaviors.
  • Establish and follow a routine.
  • Write down assignments and use organizers.
  • Peer support:
    • Seek the peer support of other students with disabilities. Refer to the Disability Service Office for information about peer support groups. Seek out considerate classmates to study with.

Resources

Educational Psychology Guide to ADHD
From the website: “The EducationalPsychology.net project is dedicated to producing and collecting highly relevant materials to the practice of educational psychology.”
Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA)
The focus of this organization is on supporting and educating young adults, adults and families with ADHD.
Children and Adults with ADHD (CHADD)
According to their website, CHADD “is the nation’s leading non-profit organization serving individuals with AD/HD and their families.” CHADD has over 16,000 members in 200 local chapters throughout the U.S., offering support for individuals, parents, teachers, professionals, and others.
MedlinePlus
Definitions and general information. MedlinePlus is a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine from the National Institutes of Health
National Institute of Mental Health
A detailed booklet that describes ADHD symptoms, causes, and treatments, with information on getting help and coping. (2008).
National Resource Center on ADHD
Advertised as “the nation’s clearinghouse for science-based information about all aspects of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD),” the National Resource Center on ADHD is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

GENERAL DISABILITY RESOURCES

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
ADA Home Page (U.S. Department of Justice)
ERIC Digest
Overview of ADA, IDEA, and Section 504
Equal Access to Software and Information (EASI)
Workshops, publications, and resources about computer access for people with disabilities
University of Washington – Disability-Related Resources on the Internet
A comprehensive list of Web sites and discussion lists related to disability.
Faculty Room
The Faculty Room is a site for faculty and administrators at postsecondary institutions to learn about how to create classroom environments and activities that maximize the learning of all students, including those with disabilities. This page is specific to faculty rights.
PACER Center – Champions for Children with Disabilities
ADA Q& A: Section 504 & Postsecondary Education
U.S Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights
Three documents by the Office of Civil Rights describing the rights of wounded warriors to a postsecondary education under the new GI Bill:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS),
Office of Civil Rights (OCR)
Discrimination on the Basis of Disability
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
Titles I and V of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)

Anxiety Disorders

Definition

Anxiety disorders are chronic conditions that produce feelings which may interfere with a person’s ability to carry out normal or desired activities. Some of the most common anxiety disorders include General Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Postraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Acute Stress Disorder (ASD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Panic Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD), and a variety of phobias. The three disorders featured in this module are:

  • General Anxiety Disorder
  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
  • Acute Stress Disorder

General Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

A person experiencing persistent and excessive worry and anxiety more days than not for a period of six months or more. GAD affects twice as many women as men and usually develops slowly while frequently co-occuring with Major Depressive Disorder, other Anxiety Disorders such as Panic Disorder, Social Phobia, Specific Phobia, and with Substance-Related Disorders. (American Psychiatric Association, 2000; National Institute of Mental Health, 2009)

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

This disorder follows exposure (directly experienced or witnessed) to an extreme traumatic event such as military combat, violent assault, torture, natural disasters, accidents, a life threatening illness, loss of a loved one, observing the injury or unnatural death of another person, etc. The response to the event must involve intense fear, helplessness and/or horror. PTSD symptoms may develop soon after the event occurs or may be delayed up to 6 months following the event. Central features of PTSD involve persistent re-experiencing of the traumatic event; persistent avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma; and, persistent symptoms of anxiety and increased arousal. (American Psychiatric Association, 2000)

Note: PTSD is common among veterans that have returned from either witnessing or experiencing violent events due to combat, torture or other traumatic exposure. Veterans are increasingly enrolling in college classes and, typically, injured veterans are new to their disability, without prior history of Section 504 eligibility; therefore, they may be unaware of their rights and procedures, unaware of the impact of their disability, and unaware of adaptations to compensate for new challenges that the disability presents. Additionally, often they equate disability with “weakness”. For more information about CSU veteran services go to: http://veterans.colostate.edu

Acute Stress Disorder

This disorder is very similar to PTSD except that it occurs within one month after the traumatic event and lasts no more than 3 months in duration. If this disorder persists longer than one month, the diagnosis may be changed to Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. (Association, 2000)

Manifestation

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

GAD predominately features excessive, uncontrollable anxiety and concern about real life circumstances and is typically exhibited by:

  • Muscle tension; possible trembling or twitching; shakiness.
  • Somatic symptoms such as sweating, nausea, diarrhea, exaggerated startle response, headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, feeling out of breath, light-headedness, having to frequently urinate, hot flashes, and having difficulty swallowing (National Institute of Mental Health, 2009).
  • Depression.
  • Fear of failure.
  • Restlessness, feeling keyed up or agitated.
  • Being easily fatigued.
  • Difficulty concentrating or mind going blank.
  • Irritability.
  • Sleep disturbances.
  • Significant distress or impairment of social, academic, occupational, and other important areas of functioning (American Psychiatric Association, 2000).

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) & Acute Stress Disorder

The development of PTSD symptoms occurs after exposure to an extreme traumatic stressor and includes a response to the event that is marked by intense fear, horror, and/or helplessness. PTSD is characterized by the following features.

Persistent re-experiencing of the traumatic event through:

  • Intrusive and recurrent disturbing recollections of the event including images, thoughts or perceptions.
  • Recurrent distressing dreams of the event or related to the event.
  • Acting or feeling as if the event were recurring; a sense of reliving the experience including illusions, hallucinations, and/or dissociative flashback episodes. More commonly occurs upon awakening or being intoxicated.
  • Exposure to internal or external cues/stimuli that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event triggers intense psychological distress and physiological reactivity. E.g. A loud noise in the classroom, a crowd of people, the smell of smoke, etc. may trigger a traumatic re-experiencing episode.

Persistent avoidance behaviors characterized by:

  • Deliberate efforts to avoid thoughts, feelings, or conversations about the traumatic event as well as an avoidance of situations, activities, environments, or people that may arouse recollections of the event. May include amnesia for a specific aspect of the traumatic event.
  • Psychic numbing or a lack of responsiveness to the external world.
  • Feeling detached or estranged from others; decreased ability to feel emotions.
  • Significant loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities or events.
  • Diminished or nonexistent expectations for the future; a sense of a foreshortened future.
  • Possible development of a drug and/or alcohol dependency.

Persistent symptoms of increased arousal including:

  • Feeling “keyed up” or jittery, always on the alert and on the lookout for danger.
  • Sudden irritability or anger.
  • Disturbed sleep; difficulty falling or staying asleep.
  • Hypervigilance; fear for one’s personal safety and always feeling on guard.
  • An exaggerated startle response.
  • Trouble concentrating and difficulty with memory.
  • Excessive fatigue and headaches.

Significant distress or impairment of social, academic, occupational, and other important areas of functioning. (American Psychiatric Association, 2000)

Difficulty with:

  • Maintaining consistent class attendance and timeliness.
  • Starting and completing assignments.
  • Understanding and remembering verbal directions.
  • Developing and maintaining positive peer and faculty relationships.
  • Motivating oneself to study and plan.
  • Effectively managing time. Maintaining focus and coherent thought during test taking and oral presentations.
  • Demonstration of learning through typical testing procedures.
  • Participating in class discussions and group assignments.
  • Maintaining focus and attention during class sessions.
  • Handling time pressures and multiple tasks; prioritizing and meeting deadlines.
  • Responding to change.
  • Screening out environmental stimuli in order to maintain focus.
  • Responding to negative feedback.
  • Approaching authority figures and peers.
  • Expressing personal needs and wants with faculty and peers.
  • Engaging in social interactions.
  • Maintaining the stamina required to be a successful full-time student.
  • Participating in activities or events.
  • Maintaining confidence and a positive self image.
  • Developing and defining academic, career and life goals.

(Disability Advisors Working Network (DAWN), 2008; Souma, Rickerson, & Burgstahler, 2008)

Institutional Accommodations

  1. Flexible matriculation requirements including:
    • Extended time to complete degree program.
    • Flexible course requirements.
    • Alternative housing options (as opposed to being required to live in a dorm).
    • Course load flexibility.
  2. Alternative Format:
    • Textbooks and print materials can be converted to alternative formats for students.
  3. Alternative testing arrangements:
    • Extra time.
    • A quiet, separate room.
    • Provision of a reader/scribe.
    • Use of a computer, including adaptive software and hardware.
  4. Notetaking support.
  5. Priority registration.

Assistive Technology Accommodations

Teaching Strategies - What Can Faculty Do?

Specific Strategies per Disability

Allow alternative testing arrangements
This may include extra time, a separate testing location, alternative testing formats, etc. The Disability Service Office will assist students in providing alternative arrangements.
Consider flexible assignments
Upon request and in certain circumstances, consider allowing extended assignment deadlines, alternative assignment choices, hand written assignment completion, etc. (Kennedy, Treanor, O’Grady, & DAWN Network, 2008)
Clearly communicate your attendance policy
If attendance and class participation are part of the grading system for a class, inform students of this as early as possible. Negotiate alternatives with students who are requesting flexible attendance; encourage them to withdraw from the class if a good resolution cannot be met and then provide alternative suggestions such as distance learning.
Provide notice of changes to the class routine or classroom environment
If there is a change in the classroom environment, class location, class assignments, class schedule or any other change in routine; give the student advance notice so as to allow time for him/her to prepare for and become accustomed to the change ahead of time.
Allow for breaks
Give the student permission to take breaks as needed or prearrange break times.
Foster an encouraging, validating, academic environment
Provide individual feedback on academic performance
Offer to meet with the student on a routine basis throughout the semester; provide performance feedback, encouragement and suggestions. (Souma, Rickerson, & Burgstahler, 2008)
Maintain an awareness of the student’s demeanor
If changes in behavior, mood, quality level of assignment completion and test grades are notable, be ready to inform the student of appropriate campus resources such as counseling, tutoring, etc.
Consider implications of the student’s disability
If any class content (such as a video, group discussion or assignment) relates to something of a violent nature, inform the student in advance so that he or she can decide whether or not to attend class that day.

Learning Strategies - What Can Students Do?

Advocate for self

Connect with the disability service office to learn about available services and supports. Communicate with instructors about personal learning style and any individual accommodations that are being requested. Students should also be encouraged to read the ACCESS Self-Advocacy Handbook for College Students with Disabilities, available on this website.
Consider alternative class formats
If consistent class attendance is difficult, consider online, distance coursework as an alternative.
Chunk Information
Break larger tasks and assignments into smaller, more manageable pieces. Use an organizer and map out the semester detailing due dates, assignments, test dates, etc.
Enroll as a part-time student Consider attending school as a part-time student as opposed to full-time.
Plan ahead for books in alternative format If alternative formats are required for textbooks and other reading materials, students should notify the disability service office as early as possible, ideally before the semester begins. Acquiring and converting alternative formats takes time, and advance planning will ensure the materials are available when they’re needed.
Record class lectures
Ask professors for permission to record class lectures.
Peer support
Seek the peer support of other students with disabilities. Refer to the Disability Service Office for information about peer support groups. Form or join a study group with classmates who are considerate of diverse learning needs.
Schedule regular breaks
Decrease overstimulation by taking regular breaks during study time, assignment completion, class sessions, etc.

Resources

RESOURCES — ANXIETY DISORDERS

Anxiety Disorders Association of America
General information on anxiety disorders and the ADAA, consumer resources, message boards and chatrooms.
Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders
Definition, description and additional resources for Anxiety Disorders.
Obsessive Compulsive Foundation
A variety of resources and services regarding obsessive compulsive disorders.
WebMD
Definition and descriptions of various types of anxiety disorders.

RESOURCES FOR PSYCHOLOGICAL DISABILITIES

Academic Accommodations for Students with Psychiatric Disabilities
Specific strategies for working with students who have psychiatric impairments.
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Information is provided as a public service to aid in the understanding and treatment of the developmental, behavioral, and mental disorders.
American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law
Organization of psychiatrists dedicated to excellence in practice, teaching and research of forensic psychiatry.
American Anorexia and Bulimia Association Inc.
National organization dedicated to the elimination of eating disorders.
American Psychiatric Association
Health information for patients and physicians and other online APA programs.
American Psychological Association
Information and links to a number of psychology-related topics.
American Psychological Society
To promote, protect, and advance the interests of scientifically oriented psychology.
Anxiety Disorders Association of America
General information on anxiety disorders and the ADAA, consumer resources, message boards and chatrooms.
Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation, How-to Tips for Educators
Practical information about reasonable accommodations for people who have psychiatric disabilities.
Disability-Related Resources on the Internet
A comprehensive list of Web sites and discussion lists related to disability.
Mental Health Information Source
Source for mental health and medical continuing education.
National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI)
Support and advocacy organization of consumers, families, and friends of people with severe mental illnesses. Award-winning Web site.
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
General information on mental health-related issues, news, facts, and statistics (available en Español).
National Mental Health Association
The country’s oldest and largest nonprofit organization addressing all aspects of mental health and mental illness through advocacy, education, research and service.
Obsessive Compulsive Foundation
A variety of resources and services regarding obsessive compulsive disorders.
Washington Advocates for the Mentally Ill
W/AMI’s mission is to address the unmet needs of individuals with mental illness and their families through advocacy, public education, information and referral, and self-help support groups.

GENERAL DISABILITY RESOURCES

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
ADA Home Page (U.S. Department of Justice)
ERIC Digest
Overview of ADA, IDEA, and Section 504
Equal Access to Software and Information (EASI)
Workshops, publications, and resources about computer access for people with disabilities
University of Washington – Disability-Related Resources on the Internet
A comprehensive list of Web sites and discussion lists related to disability.
Faculty Room
The Faculty Room is a site for faculty and administrators at postsecondary institutions to learn about how to create classroom environments and activities that maximize the learning of all students, including those with disabilities. This page is specific to faculty rights.
PACER Center – Champions for Children with Disabilities
ADA Q& A: Section 504 & Postsecondary Education
U.S Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights
Three documents by the Office of Civil Rights describing the rights of wounded warriors to a postsecondary education under the new GI Bill:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS),
Office of Civil Rights (OCR)
Discrimination on the Basis of Disability
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
Titles I and V of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)

Autism Spectrum Disorder

Definition

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke’s Autism Fact Sheet, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is:

“a range of complex neurodevelopment disorders, characterized by social impairments, communication difficulties, and restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior. Autistic disorder, sometimes called autism or classical ASD, is the most severe form of ASD, while other conditions along the spectrum include a milder form known as Asperger syndrome, and childhood disintegrative disorder and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (usually referred to as PDD-NOS). Although ASD varies significantly in character and severity, it occurs in all ethnic and socioeconomic groups and affects every age group. Experts estimate that 1 out of 88 children age 8 will have an ASD (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, March 30, 2012). Males are four times more likely to have an ASD than females.”

Manifestions

Impaired Communication and Social Interaction exhibited by:

  • Marked impairment in verbal and nonverbal communication such as eye to eye gaze, facial expression, body postures, and gestures to regulate social interaction; may manifest in poor communication skills with faculty, difficulty expressing oneself and one’s needs, inability to effectively participate in group or oral assignments, may unintentionally make inappropriate comments. May be perceived as rude by those who are unaware of the nature of ASD.
  • Impaired ability or inability to interpret figurative communication.
  • Failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to age level; difficulty communicating with peers in school, leisure activities, and group settings.
  • Lack of social and emotional reciprocity; lack of interest in peers; lack of engagement in topics others are interested in; aloofness.

Adjustment and Repetitive Behaviors exhibited by:

  • Inflexible adherence to specific, nonfunctional routines and ritual with an inability to adapt and/or cope with changes in routine such as class schedule, class expectations, and class assignments. May manifest in extreme anxiety and problem behaviors.
  • Stereotyped or repetitive motor mannerisms (hand or finger flapping, twisting or complex whole body movements); may manifest with interruptions to class lectures, difficulty sitting for long periods of time, reactions to stressful information/situation.
  • Persistent preoccupation with parts of objects; may manifest in person getting “stuck” on a topic or object and needing cues to move on.

Other Characteristics:

  • Commonly experience unbalanced sensory information. May include difficulty functioning effectively in busy, high stimuli environments; painful sensitivity to touch, textures, smells, sounds, tastes; and/or, obliviousness to extreme cold or pain.
  • Difficulty with organization and time management.
  • May be easily stressed or annoyed.

Manifestation Specific to Academia

Students with an ASD diagnosis may have significantly more difficulty than the average student in the following areas:

  • Adjusting to changes in routines, environments and people
  • Maintaining focus: screening out environmental stimuli
  • Maintaining focus: ability to “see the big picture” (as opposed to getting fixated on details)
  • Auditory learning
  • Approaching authority figures and peers
  • Effectively communicating with faculty and peers
  • Working effectively in groups
  • Engaging in a broad range of topics
  • Expressing personal needs and wants
  • Participating in activities or events
  • Developing and maintaining friendships
  • Identifying and using campus resources
  • Managing time, meeting deadlines
  • Organization and task/assignment completion
  • Behaving according to appropriate classroom etiquette
  • Interpreting social and emotional cues
  • Interpreting figurative communication such as irony and metaphor
  • Producing legible hand writing

Institutional Accommodations

  • Alternative format – text books and print materials can be formatted into an alternative format
  • Alternative testing arrangements – extra time; less distracting environment; provision of a reader/scribe; and use of a computer, including adaptive software and hardware.  
  • Note taking support
  • Priority registration

Assistive Technology Accommodations

Teaching Strategies - What Can Faculty Do?

Specific Strategies

Allow small, frequent breaks.
Provide clear written assignment instructions, including deadlines.
Provide notice of changes to the class routine or classroom environment.
If there is a change in the classroom environment, class assignments, class schedule or any other change in routine; give the student advance notice so as to allow time for him/her to prepare for and become accustomed to the change in advance.
Reinforce directions and key course content visually.
Allow student to take test(s) in a different location with fewer distractions.
The Disability Service Office will assist students in providing alternative arrangements.
Break assignments into small, manageable pieces.
Allow assignments to be turned in via email.
Take into consideration the student’s lack of ability to interpret social and emotional cues.
Because students with an ASD interpret information very literally, they often have difficulty interpreting sarcasm, idioms, metaphors, irony, jokes, voice tone and body language. If using these modes of communication try to reframe the information for the student by using an alternative, more literal and precise type of explanation.
Consider providing an alternative way to complete group assignments.

Learning Strategies - What Can Student Do?

  • Advocate for self
    • Connect with the disability service office to learn about available services and supports. Communicate with instructors about personal learning style and any individual accommodations that are being requested. Students should also be encouraged to read the ACCESS Self-Advocacy Handbook for College Students with Disabilities, available on this website.
  • Find and use time management tools/strategies
    • Examples include devices such as an electronic or handheld planner/organizer, use of a timer, reminder messages, checklists, etc.Use a computer to complete class assignments
  • Especially if hand writing is difficult to read.
    • Request receipt of class notes and PowerPoint presentations prior to class
  • Bring snacks, a water bottle or small squeezable object
  • Use to reduce fidgeting and maintain focus.
  • Take small frequent breaks
    • Self-monitor and take breaks as needed. Discuss this with professors at the start of the semester in order to make sure that it is acceptable and will not be perceived as rude behavior.
    • Take breaks between classes and consider a smaller course load
  • Build a peer support network
    • Seek the peer support of other students with disabilities. Check with the Disability Service Office to find out about peer support groups. Seek out classmates (who are respectful of your learning needs) to study with.
  • Consider a peer mentor
    • A peer mentor can assist with class notes, assignment clarification and deadline reminders.

Resources

Example resource
P.O. Box 188
Crosswicks, NJ   08515-0188
info@asatonline.org
http://www.asatonline.org

GENERAL DISABILITY RESOURCES

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
ADA Home Page (U.S. Department of Justice)
ERIC Digest
Overview of ADA, IDEA, and Section 504
Equal Access to Software and Information (EASI)
Workshops, publications, and resources about computer access for people with disabilities
University of Washington – Disability-Related Resources on the Internet
A comprehensive list of Web sites and discussion lists related to disability.
Faculty Room
The Faculty Room is a site for faculty and administrators at postsecondary institutions to learn about how to create classroom environments and activities that maximize the learning of all students, including those with disabilities. This page is specific to faculty rights.
PACER Center – Champions for Children with Disabilities
ADA Q& A: Section 504 & Postsecondary Education
U.S Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights
Three documents by the Office of Civil Rights describing the rights of wounded warriors to a postsecondary education under the new GI Bill:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS),
Office of Civil Rights (OCR)
Discrimination on the Basis of Disability
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
Titles I and V of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)

Blind and Low Vision

Definitions

Blindness

Blindness is defined as the loss of useful sight. A person is blind if his or her vision, with the use of a correcting lens, is 20/200 or less in the better eye. A person who has tunnel vision of 20 degrees or less in the better eye is also considered blind.

Low Vision

Low vision is a term that denotes a level of vision that is 20/70 or worse and cannot be fully corrected with conventional glasses. Low vision differs from blindness in that a person with low vision has some useful sight as opposed to no sight.

Manifestation

BLINDNESS:

Inability to see characterized by:

  • Difficulty accessing instructional materials (syllabi, textbooks, overhead projections, PowerPoint presentations, maps, graphs, videos, written exams, library materials, films).
  • Difficulty navigating in new environments.
  • Difficulty identifying items and distinguishing between similar items in one’s environment.

LOW VISION:

Impaired sight exhibited by:

  • Low recognition of objects from a distance (chalkboard, street signs) and/or up close (reading, using materials, writing, seeing labels).
  • Inability or low level of ability to differentiate between colors (particularly in the green-blue-violet range) on handouts, in textbooks, signs, etc.
  • Difficulty clearly seeing computer screens.
  • Slower navigation of new environments.

Institutional Accommodations

BLINDNESS:

Provision of:

  • Priority registration.
  • Alternative testing arrangements such as extra time; a less distracting environment; provision of a reader/scribe; and use of a computer, including adaptive software and hardware.
  • Course materials in an alternative format such as Braille or digital.
  • Braille labels.
  • Adaptive lab equipment (talking thermometers, calculators, probes, timers).
  • Information about electronic and community resources that provide educational and professional books in an accessible format.

LOW VISION:

  • Priority registration
    • Additional time allows for the conversion of text books and print materials to alternative formats.
  • Alternative testing arrangements
    • This may include extra time, a less distracting environment, provision of a reader/scribe, and use of a computer, including adaptive software and hardware.
  • Note taking support
  • Adaptive lab equipment (talking thermometers, calculators, probes, timers)
  • Inform students of electronic and community resources that provide educational and professional books in an accessible format
  • Provision of Resource Information
    • Inform students of electronic and community resources that offer educational and professional books in an accessible format.

Teaching Strategies - What Can Faculty Do?

Specific Strategies

Be descriptive during lecture
Be sure to describe any visuals used during lecture. When referring to thoughts or ideas shown on a projector, board, chart or table use formal or descriptive words that provide auditory learning as well as visual learning. As a reminder, think in terms of lecturing to a group of students while also being broadcast on the radio to a larger audience. To experience the difference try only listening to a sports broadcast on the television compared to listening to a sports broadcast on the radio.
Explain all images, charts and diagrams in descriptive text
For more information and tips on how to do this, see Training Modules and Tutorials on this website
Provide advance notice when there is a change of venue
If there is a change in the location of a class, lab or recitation session, provide ample notice so that the student can familiarize him or herself to the new location ahead of time.
Eliminate any unnecessary changes to the layout of the classroom
If it is necessary to rearrange the classroom for specific activities, give the student advance warning so that they know what to expect.
Be thoughtful when pairing or grouping students
If students are asked to work in pairs or groups try to place students with alternative needs with those that are mature enough to respect the student and work effectively in a collaborative fashion to complete assignments.
Provide materials ahead of time
Provide students with all course materials (for labs, lectures, etc.) far enough in advance so that students have the opportunity for the Disability Service Office to convert them into an alternative format; thus, allowing the student to have equal access to all the class materials at the appropriate time.
Record lectures
Provide a recorded audio version of lectures.

Learning Strategies - What Can Students Do?

Toggle content goes here, click edit button to change this text.

Resources

RESOURCES — BLINDNESS

American Council of the Blind
An organization of blind and visually impaired people.
American Foundation for the Blind
Information, resources, and consultation in the areas of education, employment, and special products for individuals with visual impairments.
American Printing House for the Blind
Products for students with visual impairments including math textbooks, tactile graphics kit, rulers, and graph sheets
Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired
Programs, services, and products for people who are visually impaired.
NYISE’s Blindness Resource Center
Provides programs for children who are blind or visually disabled.
Provides resource information related to blindness and visual impairments.
Science Access Project
A project to enhance the ability of people with print disabilities to read, write, and manipulate information, with a focus on math equations, information normally presented in tables and graphs, and information presented in diagrams and figures.
U.S. National Federation of the Blind
Education about blindness, information and referral services, scholarships, literature and publications, adaptive equipment, advocacy services, job opportunities and support for blind people and their families.
Working Together: Computers and People with Sensory Impairments
Video presentation and publication featuring computer technology for people with visual and hearing impairments.

RESOURCES — LOW VISION

Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired
Programs, services, and products for people who are visually impaired.
Lighthouse Guild
Vision Loss: Everything You Wanted to Know But Were Afraid to Ask!, a large-print booklet designed for adults who have vision loss and their caregivers that answers common questions about vision conditions and the impact of vision loss.
Low Vision Gateway
The Low Vision Gateway is promoted as “your starting point to the world’s resources for vision loss, vision-impairment, blindness, low vision aids and low vision rehabilitation services.”

GENERAL DISABILITY RESOURCES

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
ADA Home Page (U.S. Department of Justice)
ERIC Digest
Overview of ADA, IDEA, and Section 504
Equal Access to Software and Information (EASI)
Workshops, publications, and resources about computer access for people with disabilities
University of Washington – Disability-Related Resources on the Internet
A comprehensive list of Web sites and discussion lists related to disability.
Faculty Room
The Faculty Room is a site for faculty and administrators at postsecondary institutions to learn about how to create classroom environments and activities that maximize the learning of all students, including those with disabilities. This page is specific to faculty rights.
PACER Center – Champions for Children with Disabilities
ADA Q& A: Section 504 & Postsecondary Education
U.S Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights
Three documents by the Office of Civil Rights describing the rights of wounded warriors to a postsecondary education under the new GI Bill:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS),
Office of Civil Rights (OCR)
Discrimination on the Basis of Disability
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
Titles I and V of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)

Communication Disorders

Definition

According to KidSource Online, “The term communication disorders encompasses a wide variety of problems in language, speech, and hearing. Speech and language impairments include articulation problems, voice disorders, fluency problems (such as stuttering), aphasia (difficulty in using words, usually as a result of a brain injury), and delays in speech and/or language. Speech and language delays may be due to many factors, including environmental factors or hearing loss.”[1]

This module will focus on three categories of communication disorders:

  1. Expressive Language Disorder
  2. Mixed Receptive Expressive Disorder
  3. Phonological Disorder

Expressive Language Disorder

Definition:

  • Impairment in expressive language development

Manifestation:

The following difficulties impact oral and written performance:

  • Limited amount of speech
  • Limited range of vocabulary
  • Difficulty acquiring new words, word finding or vocabulary errors
  • Shortened sentences
  • Simplified grammatical structures
  • Limited varieties of grammatical structures
  • Limited varieties of sentence types
  • Omissions of critical parts of sentences
  • Use of unusual word order
  • Slow rate of language development

Mixed Receptive-Expressive Disorder

Definition:

  • Impairment in both receptive and expressive language development.

Manifestation

  • Difficulties associated with Expressive Disorder (see previous page) in addition to difficulties related to Receptive Language Disorder
  • Difficulty understanding words, sentences or specific types of words may result in difficulty following simple or complex directions

Phonological Disorder

Definition:

  • Characterized by failure to use speech sounds that are appropriate for the individual’s age and dialect.

Manifestation:

  • Difficulty learning and organizing the sounds needed for clear speech, reading and spelling may impact oral and written performance.

Institutional Accommodations

  • Alternative Format – Textbooks and print materials can be converted to alternative formats for students
  • Alternative testing arrangements– extra time; less distracting environment; provision of a reader/scribe; and use of a computer, including adaptive software and hardware.
  • Note taking support
  • Priority registration

Teaching Strategies - What Can Faculty Do?

Specific Strategies per Disability

  • Allow the use of scratch paper during exams for recall of information and ability to work out problems
  • Allow the use of Spell Checkers during any written classroom assignments
  • Reinforce directions visually, written in sequential order for student
  • Break large amounts of information or instructions into smaller segments
  • Highlight Key PointsHighlight key concepts in written materials; use visual, and interactive cues for added emphasis
  • Allow student to take test(s) in a different location with less distractions: The Disability Service Office will assist students in providing alternative arrangements

Learning Strategies - What Can Students Do?

Advocate for self
Connect with the disability service office to learn about available services and supports. Communicate with instructors about personal learning style and any individual accommodations that are being requested. Students should also be encouraged to read the ACCESS Self-Advocacy Handbook for College Students with Disabilities, available on this website.

Plan Ahead
Communicate with professors about what books are required; take text materials to Disability Service Office for conversion to an alternative format prior to the start of the semester.

Use Peer Support
Seek the peer support of other students with disabilities. Check with the Disability Service Office to find out about peer support groups. Find groups of people in your classes to study with that are respectful of your learning needs.

Record Class Lectures
Ask professors for permission to record class lectures in order to make sure all pertinent information is gained.

Resources

1KidSource Online™
Children with Communication Disorders
Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA)
LDA is a nonprofit grassroots organization providing support to individuals with learning disabilities, their parents, and professional service providers. LDA provides cutting edge information on learning disabilities, practical solutions, and a comprehensive network of resources.
Learning Disabilities Association of Colorado
55 Madison Street
Suite 750
Denver, Colorado  80206
(303) 539-9832
Learning Disabilities Discussion List
National Institute for Literacy’s Discussion List is designed to bring together literacy stakeholders – researchers, policymakers, administrators, practitioners, and students – to discuss critical issues on the latest research, promising policies and practices, as well as, to provide a forum for sharing resources and experience. The discussion lists also offer the opportunity to ask questions of subject experts and to keep up-to-date on literacy issues across the lifespan. Additionally, the site has links that offer a wealth of LD information and resources.
LDOnline
LDOnline is a comprehensive website that provides parents, teachers and other professionals information about learning disabilities.
LD Pride Live Chat
LD Pride’s “Live Chat Support Group” offers people with LD/ADD or Deaf-LD an opportunity to give and receive online support.
LD Resources
LD Resources provides an archive of colleges and universities that offer programs for students with Learning Disabilities.
Learning Disabilities Resource Community (LDRC)
Provides knowledge-building and communication tools for individuals and groups involved in the education of those with learning disabilities and supports research and development in associated fields. The LDRC-List is a mailing list of on going discussions related to learning disabilities that are delivered via email to all those subscribed.
Schwab Foundation for Learning
Schwab Foundation for Learning seeks to raise awareness about learning differences and equips parents, teachers, and other professionals with the resources they need to improve the lives of students with learning differences. Its mission grew out of Charles Schwab’s life long struggle with dyslexia and the frustration he and his wife, Helen, faced in trying to find help for their son who inherited the reading difficulty.
1650 South Amphlett Boulevard, Suite 300
San Mateo, CA 94402
800-230-0988 (toll-free)
E-mail: webmaster@schwablearning.org

Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing

Definition

Deaf: The term deaf refers to those who are unable to hear well enough to rely on their hearing and use it as a means of processing information. When capitalized, Deaf refers to a community of people who share a language—typically American Sign Language (ASL)—and a culture.

Hearing Impairments/Hard of Hearing: Hearing Impairments and Hard of Hearing refer to those who have some hearing, are able to use it for communication purposes, and who feel reasonably comfortable doing so. A hard of hearing person, in audiological terms, may have mild to moderate hearing loss.

Manifestations

Inability or low level of ability to hear exhibited by:

  • Low comprehension of auditory-based modes of communication such as in lectures, class information, and assignments including auditory-based information in videos, radio, podcasts, on the telephone, using alarms, and other auditory-based means of communication.
  • A lack of clear pronunciation of words when speaking.
  • Verbal communication that may be louder or softer in volume than what is typical.

Institutional Accommodations

  • Alternative testing arrangements
  • Captioned films, web pages, DVDs, podcasts
  • Interpreter
  • Priority registration
  • Note taking support
  • Real Time Captioning
  • FM systems personal or classroom
  • Telephones with amplification, TTD signals
  • Visual Warning system for emergencies

Teaching Strategies - What Can Faculty Do?

Specific Strategies – Deafness/Hearing Impairment

Consider the interpreter’s role
Allow the student and interpreter to choose an optimal location to sit: one that allows them easy viewing of each other, of the instructor/presenter, and of any visual information.
Remain visually accessible
Maintain an awarenessof the student’s ability to see your face and lips while you are speaking. Additionally, avoid any unnecessary pacing and moving about.
Caption materials
such as films, web videos, and visuals to provide conversion of audio-based learning into visual (written) learning.
Allow for only one speaker at a time during discussions
Repeat discussion questions and statements made by other students
Speak at a reasonable pace
Visually display technical words
Wear a small microphone
You may be asked by a student to wear a microphone to transmit amplified sound to the student or to transmit Real Time Captioning to the student.
Write discussion questions/answers on the board or overhead projector.

Learning Strategies - What Can Students Do?

Advocate for self
Connect with the disability service office to learn about available services and supports. Communicate with instructors about personal learning style and any individual accommodations that are being requested. Students should also be encouraged to read the ACCESS Self-Advocacy Handbook for College Students with Disabilities, available on this website.

Contact Assistive Technology (AT) Resources
Before classes begin, communicate with AT staff members regarding the campus locations where adaptive hardware or software may need to be installed.

Identify Additional Resources
Numerous organizations provide textbooks and leisure books in electronic format once the student is a member (free or nominal fee). The Disability Service Office and Assistive Technology Office can assist students in locating relevant community resources.

Peer Support
Seek the peer support of other students with disabilities. Refer to the Disability Service Office for information about peer support groups.

Record Class Lectures
Ask professors for permission to record class lectures.

Plan Ahead
In order to have required course materials at the start of each semester, communicate in advance with professors about required text books for each class, purchase books early, and bring them to the Disability Service Office with ample time for conversion to an alternative format.

Resources

Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf
One of the world’s largest membership organizations and information centers on pediatric hearing loss and the auditory approach.
American Academy of Audiology
General information and resources on audiology.
American Deafness and Rehabilitation Association (ADARA)
Professionals networking for excellence in service delivery with individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.
American Sign Language Browser
Provides signs for letters and animated signs for words and phrases as well as information on Deaf culture.
American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA)
General information on Speech Language Hearing.
Better Hearing Institute
Comprehensive information on hearing loss, tinnitus, and hearing aids.
CaptionMax
Provider of closed captioning and audio description services. Partner with DCMP (formerly Captioned Media Program) to caption and describe educational video for distribution via DVD and download.
Clearinghouse on Mathematics, Science, Engineering and Technology (COMETS)
Information on science, mathematics, engineering, and technology, including technical signs for students with hearing impairments and educators.
Deaf Resource Library
An online collection of reference material and links intended to educate and inform people about Deaf cultures in Japan and the United States; as well as deaf and hard of hearing related topics.
Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP)
Information regarding open-captioned, free-loan media and other services.
Disability-Related Resources on the Internet
A comprehensive list of Web sites and discussion lists related to disability.
Gallaudet University
Liberal Arts University for Deaf and hard of hearing students, with demographic and research information on Deaf people worldwide and extensive resources for teaching Deaf students.
Handspeak
Visual language dictionary.
League for the Hard of Hearing
Information regarding hearing rehabilitation and human service programs for people who are hard of hearing and deaf.
National Association of the Deaf (NAD)
A consumer advocate organization promoting equal access to communication, education, and employment opportunities for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.
National Captioning Institute (NCI)
NCI provides captioned programming and technology for millions of people who can benefit from captioned television.
National Center on Supercomputing Applications
NCSA Mosaic Access Page for Computer accessibility.
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
Comprehensive site providing information on deafness and communication disorders.
National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID)
To promote effective communication through the establishment of a nationally based system for sharing signs used by skilled signers in particular academic and career environments. Includes publications by the National Task Force on Quality of Services in the Postsecondary Education of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students
Pepnet Resource Center
PEPNet, the Postsecondary Education Programs Network, is the national collaboration of the four Regional Postsecondary Education Centers for Individuals who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing.
Postsecondary Education Program Network
For colleges and universities serving Deaf and hard of hearing students, and on-line orientation to teaching students with hearing impairments.
Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc. (RID)
A membership organization which includes professional interpreters and transliterators.
Hearing Loss Association of America
Information, education, support and advocacy for people with hearing loss.
VITAC – Descriptive Video Resource
Providing both captioning and video description services.
Working Together: Computers and People with Sensory Impairments
Video presentation and publication featuring computer technology for people with visual and hearing impairments.

GENERAL DISABILITY RESOURCES

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
ADA Home Page (U.S. Department of Justice)
ERIC Digest
Overview of ADA, IDEA, and Section 504
Equal Access to Software and Information (EASI)
Workshops, publications, and resources about computer access for people with disabilities
University of Washington – Disability-Related Resources on the Internet
A comprehensive list of Web sites and discussion lists related to disability.
Faculty Room
The Faculty Room is a site for faculty and administrators at postsecondary institutions to learn about how to create classroom environments and activities that maximize the learning of all students, including those with disabilities. This page is specific to faculty rights.
PACER Center – Champions for Children with Disabilities
ADA Q& A: Section 504 & Postsecondary Education
U.S Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights
Three documents by the Office of Civil Rights describing the rights of wounded warriors to a postsecondary education under the new GI Bill:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS),
Office of Civil Rights (OCR)
Discrimination on the Basis of Disability
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
Titles I and V of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)

Math Disorders

Definition

Mathematical ability as measured by standardized tests is substantially below that expected given the person’s age, intelligence and age-appropriate education (American Psychiatric Association, 2000).

Manifestation

Difficulty with processing and performing mathematical functions exhibited by:

  • A lack of ability to understand or name mathematical terms, operations, or concepts.
  • Low ability to decode written problems into mathematical symbols.
  • Difficulty recognizing or reading numerical symbols, and/or arithmetic signs; and, clustering objects into groups.
  • Difficulty copying numbers or figures correctly, adding carried numbers, and observing operational signs.
  • Difficulty following sequences of mathematical steps, counting objects, and learning multiplication tables.

Institutional Accommodations

  1. Alternative testing arrangements:
    • extra time
    • less distracting environment
    • provision of a reader/scribe
    • use of a computer, including adaptive software and hardware
  2. Note taking support
  3. Priority registration

Teaching Strategies - What Can Faculty Do?

Specific Strategies – Mathematics Disorder

  • Allow the student to use scratch or graph paper during exams.
  • During exams, allow the student to use a calculator that stores formulas.
  • Allow student to take test(s) in an alternative location that offers a quiet environment. The Disability Service Office will assist students in providing alternative arrangements.
  • When writing math problems, formulas, and other information on a chalk board or flip chart, write large, neat, and in a sequence that is easy for the student to copy the information.

Learning Strategies - What Can Students Do?

Advocate for self
Connect with the disability service office to learn about available services and supports. Communicate with instructors about personal learning style and any individual accommodations that are being requested. Students should also be encouraged to read the ACCESS Self-Advocacy Handbook for College Students with Disabilities, available on this website.

Peer Support
Seek the peer support of other students with disabilities. Refer to the Disability Service Office for information about peer support groups. Form or join a study group with classmates who are considerate of diverse learning needs.

Resources

Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA)
LDA is a nonprofit grassroots organization providing support to individuals with learning disabilities, their parents, and professional service providers. LDA provides cutting edge information on learning disabilities, practical solutions, and a comprehensive network of resources.

Learning Disabilities Association of Colorado
55 Madison Street
Suite 750
Denver, Colorado  80206
(303) 539-9832

Learning Disabilities Discussion List
National Institute for Literacy’s Discussion List is designed to bring together literacy stakeholders – researchers, policymakers, administrators, practitioners, and students – to discuss critical issues on the latest research, promising policies and practices, as well as, to provide a forum for sharing resources and experience. The discussion lists also offer the opportunity to ask questions of subject experts and to keep up-to-date on literacy issues across the lifespan. Additionally, the site has links that offer a wealth of LD information and resources.

LDOnline
LDOnline is a comprehensive website that provides parents, teachers and other professionals information about learning disabilities.

LD Pride Live Chat
LD Pride’s “Live Chat Support Group” offers people with LD/ADD or Deaf-LD an opportunity to give and receive online support.

LD Resources
LD Resources provides an archive of colleges and universities that offer programs for students with Learning Disabilities.

Learning Disabilities Resource Community (LDRC)
Provides knowledge-building and communication tools for individuals and groups involved in the education of those with learning disabilities and supports research and development in associated fields. The LDRC-List is a mailing list of on going discussions related to learning disabilities that are delivered via email to all those subscribed.

Schwab Foundation for Learning
Schwab Foundation for Learning seeks to raise awareness about learning differences and equips parents, teachers, and other professionals with the resources they need to improve the lives of students with learning differences. Its mission grew out of Charles Schwab’s life long struggle with dyslexia and the frustration he and his wife, Helen, faced in trying to find help for their son who inherited the reading difficulty.1650 South Amphlett Boulevard, Suite 300

San Mateo, CA 94402
800-230-0988 (toll-free)
E-mail: webmaster@schwablearning.org

Medical & Chronic Health Conditions

Definition

A long-standing illness for which there is no known cure. It is not immediately life threatening but can give rise to unpleasant and painful symptoms and can include waning and waxing of a variety of physical, mental and/or cognitive symptoms. Chronic illness may include but are not limited to:

  • A nervous system impairment that impacts movement or mobility.
  • A musculoskeletal condition.
  • A chronic health impairment that seriously impacts the students’ academic ability to achieve when compared to his or her peers.

Common chronic illness symptoms may include, but are not limited to:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Anxiety and/or depression
  • Physical pain
  • Intellectual impairments that vary from day to day in severity
  • Diminished mental/emotional capacities

Manifestation

  • Decreased or varying academic performance.
  • Tardiness and absences.
  • Appearance of being disoriented or falling asleep in class.
  • Forgetting appointments, missing assignments and decreased academic performance.
  • Inability to access course materials and tools due to physical impairments such as muscle pain, weakness, decreased range of motion.
  • Inability to carry or access materials and tools due to muscle weakness, spasms and/or pain.
  • Decreased ability to focus on written materials when vision problems are symptomatic.
  • Decreased ability to interact with other students, maintain focus and/or attend class lectures when depression, anxiety and/or fatigue are symptomatic.

Institutional Accommodations

  • Accessible Transportation Services
  • Alternative Format
    • Textbooks and print materials can be converted to an alternative format that allows for less manipulation of books and materials for the student.
  • Alternative Testing Arrangements:
    • Extra time
    • Less distracting environment
    • Provision of a reader and/or scribe
    • use of a computer, including adaptive software and hardware
  • Note Taking Support
  • Ergonomic Evaluation
  • Priority Registration

Teaching Strategies - What Can Faculty Do?

Specific Strategies per Disability

Clearly communicate your attendance policy
Decide whether or not a flexible attendance policy is acceptable; if not, make sure students are informed up front. Encourage a student who will not be able to regularly attend class to withdraw if attendance and class participation are critical to successful course completion.
Allow frequent breaks
Allow the student to take small, frequent breaks as needed.
Reinforce directions visually
Allow student to take test(s) in a different location with fewer distractions
The Disability Service Office will assist students in providing alternative arrangements.
Decrease height differential
When speaking for more than a few minutes with a student that uses a wheelchair, sit down or move back to create less of a height differential and allows for a more comfortable angle for conversation.

Learning Strategies - What Can Students Do?

Advocate for self
Connect with the disability service office to learn about available services and supports. Communicate with instructors about personal learning style and any individual accommodations that are being requested. Students should also be encouraged to read the ACCESS Self-Advocacy Handbook for College Students with Disabilities, available on this website.

Consider alternative class formats
If class attendance is difficult, consider computer-based instruction or distance learning as alternatives.

Peer support
Seek out peer support of other students that may be experiencing similar challenges. Check with the DSO to find out about peer support groups. Find groups of people in your classes to study with that are respectful of your learning needs.

Plan ahead for accessible transportation

Plan ahead for books in accessible format
Books should be ordered one semester in advance of when they will be needed so as to allow time for format conversion. The Disability Service Office will be able to help with this process.

Record class lectures
Ask professors for permission to record class lectures.

Resources

AIDSinfo
Information on resources, research, treatment, and services.
Access Board Accessibility Specifications of Buildings
News archives, rules and notices, reports.
Access Unlimited
Resources on mobility impairments and other disabilities.
American Burn Association
Information and resources from the ABA.
American Cancer Society
General information about cancer.
American Diabetes Association
General information about diabetes.
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
Provides general information as well as a resource directory that offers an array of related information.
Arthritis Foundation
General information about arthritis.
Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA)
Provides general information, news, support groups and a resource catalog for asthma and allergy-related topics.
Disability-Related Resources on the Internet
A comprehensive list of Web sites and discussion lists related to disability.
Easter Seals National Office
Resources for people with various disabilities.
Epilepsy Foundation of America
General information, research, advocacy services, marketplace and electronic communities.
Equal Access to Software and Information (EASI)
Workshops, publications, and resources about computer access for people with disabilities
Guillain-Barre Syndrome Foundation International
Information and resources on Guillain-Barre Syndrome.
Lupus Foundation of America
A comprehensive research and communication tool providing information and support.
Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, Inc. (MSF)
General information on Multiple Sclerosis and mailing list options.
Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA)
General information on Muscular dystrophy
National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD)
Rare diseases database that provides information and resources on hundreds of rare diseases.
National Spinal Cord Injury Association
Information and resources regarding spinal cord injuries.
Spina Bifida Association
News and resources on spina bifida.
Tourette Syndrome Association, Inc.
Educational materials, support services and research on Tourette Syndrome.
Trace Research and Development Center
An interdisciplinary research, development and resource center on technology and disability “to advance the ability of people with disabilities to achieve their life objectives through the use of communication, computer and information technologies.”
United Cerebral Palsy Association
Information and resources related to cerebral palsy.
Working Together: Computers and People with Mobility Impairments
Video presentation and publication featuring computer access technology for people with mobility impairments.

GENERAL DISABILITY RESOURCES

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
ADA Home Page (U.S. Department of Justice)
ERIC Digest
Overview of ADA, IDEA, and Section 504
Equal Access to Software and Information (EASI)
Workshops, publications, and resources about computer access for people with disabilities
University of Washington – Disability-Related Resources on the Internet
A comprehensive list of Web sites and discussion lists related to disability.
Faculty Room
The Faculty Room is a site for faculty and administrators at postsecondary institutions to learn about how to create classroom environments and activities that maximize the learning of all students, including those with disabilities. This page is specific to faculty rights.
PACER Center – Champions for Children with Disabilities
ADA Q& A: Section 504 & Postsecondary Education
U.S Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights
Three documents by the Office of Civil Rights describing the rights of wounded warriors to a postsecondary education under the new GI Bill:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS),
Office of Civil Rights (OCR)
Discrimination on the Basis of Disability
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
Titles I and V of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)

Mobility Impairment

Definition

Mobility impairment refers to the inability of a person to use one or more of his/her extremities, or a lack of strength to walk, grasp, or lift objects. The use of a wheelchair, crutches, or a walker may be utilized to aid in mobility. Mobility impairment may be caused by a number of factors, such as disease, an accident, or a congenital disorder and may be the result from neuro-muscular and orthopedic impairments.

Manifestation

  • Impaired strength, speed, endurance, coordination, manual dexterity; may result in need for alternative methods for access to academic tasks such as reading, writing, note taking, test taking and computing
  • Impaired range of motion and control of limbs; may result in need for alternative methods for access to academic tasks
  • Impaired mobility may result in use of aids such as wheelchair, walker, crutches, splints, communication devices. The use of these aids requires all environments be accessible.

Institutional Accommodations

  • Accessible transportation services
  • Alternative Format – Textbooks and print materials can be formatted in an alternative format requiring less manipulation of books and materials
  • Alternative testing arrangements, including extra time, a less distracting environment, provision of a reader/scribe, and use of a computer with adaptive software and hardware.
  • Ergonomic evaluation
  • Note taking support
  • Priority registration

Teaching Strategies - What Can Faculty Do?

Specific Strategies per Disability

Clearly communicate your attendance policy
Decide if you are able to have a flexible attendance policy. If not make sure students know this up front. Encourage a student who will not be able to regularly attend class to withdraw if attendance and class participation are important.
Frequent Breaks
Allow the student to take small frequent breaks
Reinforce directions visually
Allow student to take test in a different location with less distractions
The Disability Service Office will assist students in providing alternative arrangements.
Decrease height differential
When speaking with a student in a wheelchair for more than a few minutes, sit down or move back to create less of a height differential and a more comfortable angle for conversation

Learning Strategies - What Can Students Do?

Advocate for self
Connect with the disability service office to learn about available services and supports. Communicate with instructors about personal learning style and any individual accommodations that are being requested. Students should also be encouraged to read the ACCESS Self-Advocacy Handbook for College Students with Disabilities, available on this website.

Consider Alternative Class Formats
If class attendance is difficult, consider computer-based instruction or distance learning as alternatives.

Peer Support
Seek peer support of other students with disabilities. Check with the DSO to find out about peer support groups. Find groups of people in your classes to study with that are respectful of your learning needs.

Plan Ahead for accessible transportation

Plan Ahead for books in accessible format
Books should be ordered one semester in advance of when they will be needed so as to allow time for format conversion. The Disability Service Office will be able to help with this process.

Record the class lecture
Ask professor if the lecture can be recorded

Resources

Access Board Accessibility Specifications of Buildings
News archives, rules and notices, reports.
Access Unlimited
Resources on mobility impairments and other disabilities.
American Burn Association
Information and resources from the ABA.
American Cancer Society
General information on cancer.
American Diabetes Association
General information on diabetes.
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
Provides general information as well as a resource directory that offers an array of related information.
Arthritis Foundation
General information on arthritis
Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA)
Provides general information, news, support groups and a resource catalog for asthma and allergy-related topics.
Disability-Related Resources on the Internet
A comprehensive list of Web sites and discussion lists related to disability.
Easter Seals National Office
Resources for people with various disabilities.
Epilepsy Foundation of America
General information, research, advocacy services, marketplace and electronic communities.
Equal Access to Software and Information (EASI)
Workshops, publications, and resources about computer access for people with disabilities
Guillain-Barre Syndrome Foundation International
Information and resources on Guillain-Barre Syndrome.
Lupus Foundation of America
A comprehensive research and communication tool providing information and support.
Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, Inc. (MSF)
General information on Multiple Sclerosis and mailing list options.
Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA)
General information on Muscular dystrophy
National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS)
General information, news, educational programs, related to Multiple Sclerosis.
National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD)
Rare diseases database that provides information and resources on hundreds of rare diseases.
National Spinal Cord Injury Association
Information and resources regarding spinal cord injuries.
Spina Bifida Association
News and resources on spina bifida.
Tourette Syndrome Association, Inc.
Educational materials, support services and research on Tourette Syndrome.
Trace Research and Development Center
An interdisciplinary research, development and resource center on technology and disability “to advance the ability of people with disabilities to achieve their life objectives through the use of communication, computer and information technologies.”
United Cerebral Palsy Association
Information and resources related to cerebral palsy.
Working Together: Computers and People with Mobility Impairments
Video presentation and publication featuring computer access technology for people with mobility impairments.

GENERAL DISABILITY RESOURCES

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
ADA Home Page (U.S. Department of Justice)
ERIC Digest
Overview of ADA, IDEA, and Section 504
Equal Access to Software and Information (EASI)
Workshops, publications, and resources about computer access for people with disabilities
University of Washington – Disability-Related Resources on the Internet
A comprehensive list of Web sites and discussion lists related to disability.
Faculty Room
The Faculty Room is a site for faculty and administrators at postsecondary institutions to learn about how to create classroom environments and activities that maximize the learning of all students, including those with disabilities. This page is specific to faculty rights.
PACER Center – Champions for Children with Disabilities
ADA Q& A: Section 504 & Postsecondary Education
U.S Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights
Three documents by the Office of Civil Rights describing the rights of wounded warriors to a postsecondary education under the new GI Bill:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS),
Office of Civil Rights (OCR)
Discrimination on the Basis of Disability
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
Titles I and V of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)

Mood Disorders

Definition

Two broadly recognized groups of Mood Disorders are Depressive Disorders (also known as unipolar depression) and Bipolar Disorders; the former being far more common than the latter. The division between the two is based on whether the person has ever had a Manic, Mixed or Hypomanic Episode.

Depressive Disorders

The best known and most researched Depressive Disorder is Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) commonly called clinical depression or major depression. Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is a mental disorder lasting a minimum of two weeks and features an all-encompassing low mood; a state of sadness, gloom, and pessimistic ideation, with loss of interest or pleasure in normally enjoyable activities. MDD occurs twice as often among women as men.

Bipolar Disorders

Bipolar Disorders (BD), formerly known as “manic depression”, include the presence of Manic, Mixed or Hypomanic Episodes that typically, but not always, involve Major Depressive Episodes as well. A Manic Episode is defined as a period that lasts at least one week and is marked by an abnormally and persistently elevated, expansive, or irritable mood.

Manifestation

GENERAL MANIFESTATION

Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) or clinical depression is characterized by:

  • Poor concentration, difficulty thinking and memorizing.
  • Indecisiveness.
  • A lack of motivation.
  • Distractibility and low frustration tolerance.
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia.
  • Fatigue.
  • Social isolation; reduced social interaction with peers, faculty and others.
  • Physical agitation or slowing down.
  • Significant weight loss or weight gain.
  • Physical complaints related to headaches, digestive problems and fatigue.
  • Feelings of worthlessness and/or guilt, helplessness and hopelessness.
  • Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide.
  • Limited voice inflexion.
  • Reduced ability to process and learn new information.
  • Reduced ability to communicate succinctly.
  • Pessimistic outlook.

Bipolar Disorders involve manic, mixed or hypomanic episodes and usually, but not always, involve episodes of depression. Manic Episodes are characterized by:

  • Inflated self esteem or grandiosity.
  • Decreased need for sleep.
  • Alternating moods of euphoria and irritability.
  • Increased talkativeness with pressured, loud, and rapid speech.
  • Flight of ideas and racing thoughts.
  • Distractibility.
  • Hyperactivity.
  • Poor judgment.
  • Increased goal-directed activity often involving excessive planning of and participation in multiple activities (without regard for apparent risks).
  • Increased sociability marked by intrusion, demand and conversational domination.
  • A high level of risky and pleasure seeking activity.
  • Impulsivity.
  • Psychomotor agitation or restlessness (e.g. pacing, holding multiple conversations simultaneously, etc.).

MANIFESTATION SPECFIC TO ACADEMIA

Students with a Mood Disorder diagnosis have significantly more difficulty than the average student in:

  • Maintaining consistent class attendance and timeliness.
  • Starting and completing assignments.
  • Understanding and remembering verbal directions.
  • Developing and maintaining positive peer and faculty relationships.
  • Getting the motivation to study and plan.
  • Maintaining focus and coherent thought during test taking and oral presentations.
  • Participating in class discussions and group assignments.
  • Maintaining focus and attention during class sessions.
  • Handling time pressures and multiple tasks.
  • Responding to change.
  • Screening out environmental stimuli.
  • Demonstration of learning through typical testing procedures.
  • Responding to negative feedback.
  • Approaching authority figures.

(Souma, Rickerson, & Burgstahler, 2008; Disability Advisors Working Network (DAWN), 2008)

Institutional Accommodations

  1. Alternative Format
    • Textbooks and print materials can be converted to alternative formats for students.
  2. Alternative testing arrangementssuch as:
    • Extra time.
    • A separate, quiet, non-distracting room.
    • Provision of a reader/scribe.
    • Use of a computer, including adaptive software and hardware.
    • Alternative format choices such as essay, oral presentation, multiple choice, portfolio, etc.
  3. Counseling Services
  4. Note Taking Support
  5. Priority Registration

Teaching Strategies - What Can Faculty Do?

Specific Strategies per Disability

Allow alternative testing arrangements
This may include extra time, a separate testing location, alternative testing formats, etc. (Disability Advisors Working Network (DAWN), 2008) The Disability Service Office will assist students in providing alternative arrangements.
Consider flexible assignments
Upon request and in certain circumstances, consider allowing extended assignment deadlines, alternative assignment choices, hand written assignment completion, etc. (Disability Advisors Working Network (DAWN), 2008)
Clearly communicate your attendance policy
If attendance and class participation are part of the grading system for a class, inform the class on day one of the semester. Negotiate alternatives with students who are requesting flexible attendance and encourage them to withdraw from the class if a good resolution cannot be reached. Suggest other class possibilities such as distance learning.
Changes to the teaching environment
Provide students ample notice if there is a change in the class routine such as a change in classroom location. This will allow time for students to prepare for the change and avoid potential anxiety.
Allow for breaks
Give the student permission to take breaks as needed or prearrange break times.
Foster an encouraging, validating, academic environment.
Maintain an awareness of the student’s demeanor
If changes in behavior, mood, quality level of assignment completion and test grades are notable, be ready to inform the student of appropriate campus resources such as counseling, tutoring, etc.

Learning Strategies - What Can Students Do?

Advocate for self

Connect with the disability service office to learn about available services and supports. Communicate with instructors about personal learning style and any individual accommodations that are being requested. Students should also be encouraged to read the ACCESS Self-Advocacy Handbook for College Students with Disabilities, available on this website.
Consider alternative class formats
If consistent class attendance is difficult, consider online, distance coursework as an alternative.
Chunk Information
Break larger tasks and assignments into smaller, more manageable pieces. Use an organizer and map out the semester detailing due dates, assignments, test dates, etc.
Enroll as a part-time student Consider attending school as a part-time student as opposed to full-time.
Plan ahead for books in alternative format If alternative formats are required for textbooks and other reading materials, students should notify the disability service office as early as possible, ideally before the semester begins. Acquiring and converting alternative formats takes time, and advance planning will ensure the materials are available when they’re needed.
Record class lectures
Ask professors for permission to record class lectures.
Peer support
Seek the peer support of other students with disabilities. Refer to the Disability Service Office for information about peer support groups. Form or join a study group with classmates who are considerate of diverse learning needs.
Schedule regular breaks
Decrease overstimulation by taking regular breaks during study time, assignment completion, class sessions, etc.

Resources

RESOURCES — MOOD DISORDERS

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
Publications, contact and membership information.
Depression and Related Affective Disorders Association (DRADA)
Information and resources on depression and related affective disorders.
National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression
General information on Schizophrenia and Depression.

RESOURCES FOR PSYCHOLOGICAL DISABILITIES

Academic Accommodations for Students with Psychiatric Disabilities
Specific strategies for working with students who have psychiatric impairments.
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Information is provided as a public service to aid in the understanding and treatment of the developmental, behavioral, and mental disorders.
American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law
Organization of psychiatrists dedicated to excellence in practice, teaching and research of forensic psychiatry.
American Anorexia and Bulimia Association Inc.
National organization dedicated to the elimination of eating disorders.
American Psychiatric Association
Health information for patients and physicians and other online APA programs.
American Psychological Association
Information and links to a number of psychology-related topics.
American Psychological Society
To promote, protect, and advance the interests of scientifically oriented psychology.
Anxiety Disorders Association of America
General information on anxiety disorders and the ADAA, consumer resources, message boards and chatrooms.
Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation, How-to Tips for Educators
Practical information about reasonable accommodations for people who have psychiatric disabilities.
Disability-Related Resources on the Internet
A comprehensive list of Web sites and discussion lists related to disability.
Mental Health Information Source
Source for mental health and medical continuing education.
National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI)
Support and advocacy organization of consumers, families, and friends of people with severe mental illnesses. Award-winning Web site.
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
General information on mental health-related issues, news, facts, and statistics (available en Español).
National Mental Health Association
The country’s oldest and largest nonprofit organization addressing all aspects of mental health and mental illness through advocacy, education, research and service.
Obsessive Compulsive Foundation
A variety of resources and services regarding obsessive compulsive disorders.
Washington Advocates for the Mentally Ill
W/AMI’s mission is to address the unmet needs of individuals with mental illness and their families through advocacy, public education, information and referral, and self-help support groups.

GENERAL DISABILITY RESOURCES

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
ADA Home Page (U.S. Department of Justice)
ERIC Digest
Overview of ADA, IDEA, and Section 504
Equal Access to Software and Information (EASI)
Workshops, publications, and resources about computer access for people with disabilities
University of Washington – Disability-Related Resources on the Internet
A comprehensive list of Web sites and discussion lists related to disability.
Faculty Room
The Faculty Room is a site for faculty and administrators at postsecondary institutions to learn about how to create classroom environments and activities that maximize the learning of all students, including those with disabilities. This page is specific to faculty rights.
PACER Center – Champions for Children with Disabilities
ADA Q& A: Section 504 & Postsecondary Education
U.S Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights
Three documents by the Office of Civil Rights describing the rights of wounded warriors to a postsecondary education under the new GI Bill:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS),
Office of Civil Rights (OCR)
Discrimination on the Basis of Disability
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
Titles I and V of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)

Pervasive Developmental Disorders

Definition

Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD) are characterized by severe and pervasive impairment in several areas of development: reciprocal social interaction skills; communication skills; or the presence of stereotyped behavior, interests, and activities.  PDD may include the following diagnosis: Autistic Disorder, Rhett’s Disorder, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, Asperger’s Disorder and PDD not otherwise specified (American Psychiatric Association, 2000).

Manifestation

  • Marked impairment in nonverbal behaviors such as eye to eye gaze, facial expression, body postures, and gestures to regulate social interaction; may manifest in poor communication skills with faculty, difficulty expressing one’s needs, inability to effectively participate in group or oral assignments, may unintentionally make inappropriate comments
  • Failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to age level; may manifest in difficulty communicating with peers in class, in leisure activities, and in group settings.
  • Lack of social or emotional reciprocity; may manifest in difficulty working in groups, a lack of engagement in topics others are interested in
  • Delay in or total lack of the development of spoken language; may manifest in difficulty expressing oneself and one’s needs without use of an alternative communication device
  • Inflexible adherence to specific, nonfunctional routines and rituals; may manifest in problem behaviors, inability to adapt to and/or cope with changes in routine such as: class schedule, class expectations, class assignments
  • Stereotyped or repetitive motor mannerisms (hand or finger flapping, twisting or complex whole body movements); may manifest with interruptions to class lectures, difficulty sitting for long periods of time, reactions to stressful information/situation
  • Persistent preoccupation with parts of objects; may manifest in person getting “stuck” on a topic or object and needing cues to move on

Institutional Accommodations

  • Alternative format – text books and print materials can be formatted into an alternative format
  • Alternative testing arrangements- extra time; less distracting environment; provision of a reader/scribe; and use of a computer, including adaptive software and hardware.
  • Note taking support
  • Priority registration

Teaching Strategies - What Can Faculty Do?

Specific Strategies per Disability

Allow Frequent Breaks
Allow the student to take small, frequent breaks.
Break Large Amounts of Information or instructions into smaller segments
Provide Notice of Changes to the class routine or classroom environment
If there is a change in the classroom environment, class assignments, class schedule or any other change in routine; give the student advance notice so as to allow time for him/her to prepare for and become accustomed to the change in advance.
Reinforce Directions and Key course content visually
Allow Student to Take Test(s) in a different location with fewer distractions
The Disability Service Office will assist students in providing alternative arrangements.
Take into Consideration the Student’s lack of ability to interpret social cues
Students with PDD often have difficulty interpreting sarcasm, idioms and body language. They interpret information very literally. If using these types of communication modes, reframe the information for the student by using an alternative, more literal (whenever possible), type of explanation.
Ask the Student to Collect or pass out items
This allows them an opportunity to move around the classroom.

Learning Strategies - What Can Students Do?

Advocate for self
Connect with the disability service office to learn about available services and supports. Communicate with instructors about personal learning style and any individual accommodations that are being requested. Students should also be encouraged to read the ACCESS Self-Advocacy Handbook for College Students with Disabilities, available on this website.

Peer Support
Seek the peer support of other students with disabilities. Check with the Disability Service Office to find out about peer support groups. Seek out classmates (who are respectful of your learning needs) to study with.

Record Class Lectures
Ask professors for permission to record class lectures

Bring Snacks, a Water Bottle or small squeezable object
This can help to reduce fidgeting and maintain focus

Take Small Frequent Breaks
Self-monitor and take breaks as needed. Discuss this with professors at the start of the semester in order to make sure that it is acceptable and will not be perceived as rude behavior.

Resources

The West Virginia Autism Training Center
Information about a model college program for students with Asperger Syndrome
Understanding Asperger Syndrome: A Professor’s Guide
A 12 minute video covering a concise introduction to the life of a college student with Asperger Syndrome.
The Global and Regional Asperger Syndrome Partnership (GRASP)
General information and an array of resource links.
A Global Information and Support Network for More Advanced Persons with Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome & Pervasive Developmental Disorders (MAAP):
PO Box 524
Crown Point, IN 46308
219-662-1311
chart@netnitco.net
Autism Awareness Center
General information, real time news articles, world-wide conferences & informational/resource links
The Elija Foundation
Provides community educational opportunities that focus on improving the quality of programs and services available to children with autism in the Long Island, NY area:
665 Newbridge Road
Levittown, NY 11756
Phone: 516 433 4321
Fax 516 433 4324
Elija@optonline.com

GENERAL DISABILITY RESOURCES

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
ADA Home Page (U.S. Department of Justice)
ERIC Digest
Overview of ADA, IDEA, and Section 504
Equal Access to Software and Information (EASI)
Workshops, publications, and resources about computer access for people with disabilities
University of Washington – Disability-Related Resources on the Internet
A comprehensive list of Web sites and discussion lists related to disability.
Faculty Room
The Faculty Room is a site for faculty and administrators at postsecondary institutions to learn about how to create classroom environments and activities that maximize the learning of all students, including those with disabilities. This page is specific to faculty rights.
PACER Center – Champions for Children with Disabilities
ADA Q& A: Section 504 & Postsecondary Education
U.S Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights
Three documents by the Office of Civil Rights describing the rights of wounded warriors to a postsecondary education under the new GI Bill:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS),
Office of Civil Rights (OCR)
Discrimination on the Basis of Disability
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
Titles I and V of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)

Reading Disorder

Definition

Reading achievement as measured by standardized tests of reading accuracy or comprehension is substantially below that expected given the person’s chronological age, measured intelligence, and age appropriate education (American Psychiatric Association, 2000).

Manifestations

Difficulty with reading comprehension characterized by:

  • Inability to distinguish among common letters or to associate common phonemes with letter symbols which may result in decreased ability to track words and sentences when reading.
  • A lack or low level of ability to build ideas and images from memory.
  • Difficulty comparing what is being read to what is already known.

Institutional Accommodations

  • Alternative format for textbooks and print materials
    • Materials can be formatted to auditory (on tape) and e-text (for use of computer text-reading).
  • Alternative testing arrangements
    • This may include extra time; an alternative, quiet location; provision of a reader/scribe; and use of a computer, including adaptive software and hardware.
  • Note taking support
  • Priority registration

Teaching Strategies - What Can Faculty Do?

Specific Strategies – Reading Disorder

Reinforce directions and written lecture materials verbally and sequentially
Consider the student’s disability
Avoid putting the student in an uncomfortable situation such as asking the student to read aloud in class.
Allow student to take test(s) in a different location
Help students find a location that offers few or no distractions. The Disability Service Office will assist students in providing alternative arrangements.
Allow the student to record class lectures

Learning Strategies - What Can Students Do?

Advocate for self
Connect with the disability service office to learn about available services and supports. Communicate with instructors about personal learning style and any individual accommodations that are being requested. Students should also be encouraged to read the ACCESS Self-Advocacy Handbook for College Students with Disabilities, available on this website.

Identify Additional Resources
Numerous organizations provide textbooks and leisure books in electronic format once the student is a member (free or nominal fee).

Record Class Lectures
Ask professors for permission to record class lectures.

Plan Ahead
If an alternative format for course materials is needed, communicate in advance with professors about required textbooks for each class; purchase books early; and, bring them to Disability Service Office with ample time for conversion.

Use Peer Support
Seek the peer support of other students with disabilities. Check with the Disability Service Office to find out about peer support groups. Seek out classmates (who are respectful of your learning needs) to study with.

Resources

Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA)

LDA is a nonprofit grassroots organization providing support to individuals with learning disabilities, their parents, and professional service providers. LDA provides cutting edge information on learning disabilities, practical solutions, and a comprehensive network of resources.

Learning Disabilities Association of Colorado

55 Madison Street
Suite 750
Denver, Colorado  80206
(303) 539-9832

Learning Disabilities Discussion List

National Institute for Literacy’s Discussion List is designed to bring together literacy stakeholders – researchers, policymakers, administrators, practitioners, and students – to discuss critical issues on the latest research, promising policies and practices, as well as, to provide a forum for sharing resources and experience. The discussion lists also offer the opportunity to ask questions of subject experts and to keep up-to-date on literacy issues across the lifespan. Additionally, the site has links that offer a wealth of LD information and resources.

LDOnline

LDOnline is a comprehensive website that provides parents, teachers and other professionals information about learning disabilities.

LD Pride Live Chat

LD Pride’s “Live Chat Support Group” offers people with LD/ADD or Deaf-LD an opportunity to give and receive online support.

LD Resources

LD Resources provides an archive of colleges and universities that offer programs for students with Learning Disabilities.

Learning Disabilities Resource Community (LDRC)

Provides knowledge-building and communication tools for individuals and groups involved in the education of those with learning disabilities and supports research and development in associated fields. The LDRC-List is a mailing list of on going discussions related to learning disabilities that are delivered via email to all those subscribed.

Schwab Foundation for Learning

Schwab Foundation for Learning seeks to raise awareness about learning differences and equips parents, teachers, and other professionals with the resources they need to improve the lives of students with learning differences. Its mission grew out of Charles Schwab’s life long struggle with dyslexia and the frustration he and his wife, Helen, faced in trying to find help for their son who inherited the reading difficulty.1650 South Amphlett Boulevard, Suite 300
San Mateo, CA 94402
800-230-0988 (toll-free)
E-mail: webmaster@schwablearning.org

Traumatic Brain Injury

Definitions

Traumatic brain injury (TBI):

TBI is a type of acquired brain injury that results from damage to brain tissue caused by an external force. TBI can result when the head hits an object or when an object pierces the skull and enters brain tissue. TBI can also occur without any apparent physical evidence, such as with whiplash or shaken baby syndrome – where the brain gets jostled inside the skull. Symptoms of a TBI are classified as mild, moderate, or severe.

Acquired brain injury (ABI):

ABI is damage to the brain following birth, such as from a stroke, anoxia, carbon monoxide poisoning, tumors, or other causes (not as a result of an external force).

Concussion:

Concussion is considered a mild TBI (mTBI). In many cases, loss of consciousness does NOT occur, though there may be alterations in consciousness such as feeling dazed or disoriented, “foggy” thinking, etc. (may be temporary or prolonged).

Diffuse vs. focal brain injury:

TBI is often considered diffuse, as frequently there is injury to cells in multiple areas of the brain. Focal brain injuries are confined to a specific area of the brain.

Second Impact Syndrome (SIS):

SIS is an acute, usually fatal brain swelling from repeated head trauma, where the brain tissue has not had significant time to recover from the 1st trauma before getting re-injured.

Recommended: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “Heads Up” website for many more important concussion and brain injury resources for individuals with brain injury, parents, school and athletic personnel/coaches, and health care professionals.

Lobes and functions

General functions of the brain (CDC) [2]

Frontal lobe
responsible for complex and social behaviors, speaking, reasoning, planning, and making decisions
Parietal lobe
aids in orienting the body in space, hand-eye coordination, figuring out what objects are
Occipital lobe
interprets visual stimuli
Temporal lobe
responsible for memory, hearing, understanding speech

For more in-depth information on brain functions and observed problems, please consult: Lehr, R. P. (2015). [3]

TBI leading causes & risks

Risk Factors [5]

Among TBI-related deaths for 2006–2010:

  • Men were nearly three times as likely to die as women.
  • The leading cause of TBI-related death varied by age
    • Falls were the leading cause of death for persons 65 years or older.
    • Motor vehicle crashes were the leading cause for children and young adults ages 5-24 years.
    • Assaults were the leading cause for children ages 0-4.

Among non-fatal TBI-related injuries for 2006–2010:

  • Men had higher rates of TBI hospitalizations and emergency department (ED) visits than women.
  • Hospitalization rates were highest among persons aged 65 years and older.
  • Rates of ED visits were highest for children aged 0-4 years.
  • Assaults were the leading cause of TBI-related ED visits for persons 15 to 24 years of age. Falls were the leading cause for all other age groups.
  • The leading cause of TBI-related hospitalizations varied by age:
    • Falls were the leading cause among children ages 0-14 and adults 45 years and older.
    • Motor vehicle crashes were the leading cause of hospitalizations for adolescents and persons ages 15-44 years.
  • Blasts from exploding devices – leading cause of TBI for active duty military in war zones
  • Since 2000, over 300,000 service members have sustained a TBI, with approximately 20% deployment-related. (Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center) [6]
  • The vast majority of TBIs sustained by members of the U.S. armed forces is still mild, also known as concussion, and of those service members who sustain a mTBI, most recover and return to duty within seven to 10 days. Common causes of these TBIs are motor vehicle crashes, falls, sports and recreation activities, and military training. (Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center). [6]
  • The most common combat-related TBIs occur via concussive blast waves produced by IEDs or “road-side bombs”- these are considered primary blast injuries (Taber, Warden, & Hurley, 2006). [7] A secondary blast injury occurs when shrapnel and debris are propelled from a blast and causes penetrating injuries to the brain. A tertiary form of blast injury occurs when an individual is thrown by the force of the blast against stationary objects, causing acceleration/deceleration injuries.

Brain Injury By the Numbers

Annually in the U.S., TBIs result in:

  • 2.5 million people sustained a TBI in U.S. in 2010
  • 50,000+ deaths
  • 280,000+ hospitalizations
  • 2.2 million emergency department visits

According to the Brain Injury Alliance of Colorado [BIAC]):[8]

  • 6 million Americans currently have a long-term or lifelong need for help to perform activities of daily living as a result of TBI (point being, you’re not alone, and help is available!)
  • 40% of those hospitalized with a TBI had at least one unmet need for services one year after their injury. The most frequent unmet needs were:
    • Improving memory and problem solving
    • Managing stress and emotional upsets
    • Controlling one’s temper
    • Improving one’s job skills

Manifestation

Brain injuries vary considerably from individual to individual. A person may have a few manifestations or may have several. The term “invisible injury” is often used to describe a brain injury, because symptoms are frequently not outwardly apparent or obvious to others. This aspect can make the experience of living with a brain injury frustrating and isolating. Brain injuries not only impact the individual, but often also impact family, friends, teachers, colleagues, and other community members. And a mild TBI (mTBI) may be anything but mild to the person experiencing it!

Following are potential general symptoms and some implications for each.

  • Cognitive
  • Physical
  • Psychosocial

Cognitive

Impaired memory – may have difficulty with…

  • retrieving information for exams
  • remembering critical deadlines, appointments, instructions
  • recalling names of classmates, professors, colleagues
  • finding way to/from a location

Slowed processing speed – may take longer to…

  • finish exams, take notes, complete assignments
  • learn new concepts
  • read
  • form responses – verbal and written
  • organize thoughts

Concentration and attention – may have difficulty with…

  • losing focus, “zoning out”
  • becoming overwhelmed, easily confused
  • keeping up with lectures, notes
  • multi-step instructions

Planning, organization, time management – may have challenges with…

  • misplacing items, assignments
  • underestimating amount of time needed to prepare assignments and study for exams
  • balancing academic/work, social and personal needs and obligations
  • changes in routine
  • breaking large projects into smaller, more manageable pieces

Written and/or verbal communication – may have challenges with…

  • word finding, sentence formation
  • taking longer to answer questions
  • taking longer to write papers
  • advocating for self
  • getting to the point

Impaired judgement, problem solving – may have difficulty with…

  • impulsive behaviors and decisions (which may impact self and others)
  • safety awareness
  • association between behaviors and consequences
  • being easily influenced by others

Decreased initiation and follow-through

  • may need assistance to begin an assignment/project, but then can continue on own or with less assist
  • OR, may begin assignment, but then is challenged by follow-through to completion

Reading, math concepts – may have challenges with…

  • reading fluidity
  • math comprehension, building on concepts
  • abstract/theoretical thinking
  • identification of errors made

Physical

Fatigue, sleep issues – may have difficulty with…

  • “hitting a wall”, exhaustion which affects stamina and alertness for classes, studying, working, daily living
  • missing classes or exams, tardiness, leaving class early
  • completing assignments on time
  • sleep pattern changes, which can magnify other symptoms

Headaches, migraines, chronic pain, seizures – may have challenges with…

  • absences, tardiness
  • inability to concentrate fully
  • completing assignments on time
  • needing to leave class early
  • side effects from associated medications, which may impact level of participation, attendance, performance

Sensitivity to sensory input: light, sounds, motions, smells, tastes, textures – may be impacted by…

  • inability to filter out extraneous noises or movements of others in order to concentrate on lecture or work
  • flickering, overhead or bring lights, background or loud noises, excess movement
  • others wearing perfume, hair spray, highly scented lotions, etc. May trigger migraines, nausea, dizziness

Motor planning, tremors – may result in…

  • difficulty handling equipment or tools, handwriting or other fine motor skills
  • delayed reaction time

Speech – may result in…

  • slowed, slurred speech which may be difficult to understand
  • delayed responses

Mobility

Vision

Hearing

Psychosocial

All of the following can significantly and negatively impact academic and work performance and daily life activities!

Depression, isolation

  • grieving loss of “old self” and how things used to be
    • comparing current academic or work performance to previous (before injury), “I used to be a 4.0 GPA student, now I have trouble getting C’s and D’s!”
  • feelings of isolation: “No one understands what I’m going through! I’m in this alone!”
    • may be accentuated in less familiar/newer environment (college); dealing with being away from home
  • changes within the social network – distancing self from friends or friends may begin to disconnect because of behavioral changes or because of lack of understanding
  • withdrawal from academic and social environments, absences, tardiness
    • missing out on full college experience because of fatigue, anxiety, depression, pain, overstimulation, feeling overwhelmed
  • loss of interest in schoolwork and other activities
  • suicide ideation, attempts

Anxiety, irritability, anger/outbursts, mood swings

  • test anxiety, unable to complete assignments because of feelings of being overwhelmed
  • “I seem to be taking things the wrong way!”
  • over-reaction to feedback, grades, may demonstrate inappropriate behaviors or verbalizations
  • “I feel so anxious, my heart is racing. I feel detached, like I don’t belong!”
  • becomes upset and/or cries easily, and not always able to identify specific reasons

Stress, frustration, poor coping skills

  • impaired ability to focus on classes & studying because of heightened stress levels
  • exhaustion from “just trying to hold it together” (takes an enormous amount of energy every day)
  • disorganization
  • impaired ability to identify potential solutions to problems
  • avoidance of activities
  • “I’m tired of having to explain myself all the time to everyone!” “People often don’t believe me!”
  • dealing with stress and fatigue of continually explaining injury to others in order to receive help or raise awareness

Loss of self-esteem, confidence

  • embarrassment about forgetting names, assignments, schedules, appointments
  • feelings of letting others down, not meeting expectations of themselves and others. “I should be able to function like everyone else”, decreased self-esteem
  • may be unable to do things used to do, or doing things takes more effort or time – disappointment in self
  • unaware of or disbelief in his/her full potential

Other Potential Challenges

In addition to those noted above, there may be additional challenges that a person with a brain injury may encounter:

  • Uniqueness of each brain injury – “if you know one person with a brain injury, you know one person with a brain injury!” This is because there are many different factors and combinations that make a person’s brain injury distinctive, such as: severity of the injury, whether there was loss of consciousness (LOC) or not and if so, for how long, area(s) of brain affected, individual’s age at the time of injury, whether & how quickly medical treatment was sought, whether rehabilitation was received, individual’s general health prior to injury, and others.
  • Variability of symptoms, behaviors, feelings, abilities over time – may change from day to day, even hour to hour. This can make it difficult to build a routine or feel dependable.
  • Complexity in separating out symptoms of brain injury, mental health issues, Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS), etc. … even more complicated when factor in alcohol and/or drug use.
  • Grieving process – not only for self, but possibly grieving for others who were lost [motor vehicle accident, natural disaster, victim of crime, etc.].
  • Denial of injury or may not be fully aware of relationship between injury and associated challenges (“I just feel different”), or recognizing changes and dealing with potential sadness & frustration as start to identify the changes & the possible long-term challenges and implications.
  • Recent TBI vs. older injury – changes may still be occurring with a more recent injury vs. an older injury where person may have had time to develop and become knowledgeable about strategies and compensations that are helpful.
  • Legal issues – may be present in part because of the circumstances surrounding the injury (such as a motor vehicle accident) or because of domestic, financial or lifestyle complications that may arise after the injury.

Drugs and Alcohol after a Brain Injury

Substance use/abuse

Alcohol and drug use may be considered a way to cope with changes that have occurred. The following highlighted segment is from the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center. [9]

Drugs and alcohol after a brain injury

There are many reasons why using drugs and alcohol after a brain injury is not recommended. Here are a few of the main ones:

  • People who use alcohol or other drugs after they have a brain injury don’t recover as much.
  • Brain injuries cause problems in balance, walking, or talking that get worse when a person uses alcohol or other drugs.
  • People who have had a brain injury often say or do things without thinking first, a problem that is made worse by using alcohol and other drugs.
  • Brain injuries cause problems with thinking, like concentration or memory, and using alcohol or other drugs makes these problems worse.
  • After brain injury, alcohol and other drugs have a more powerful effect.
  • People who have had a brain injury are more likely to have times that they feel low or depressed, and drinking alcohol and getting high on other drugs makes this worse.
  • After a brain injury, drinking alcohol or using other drugs can cause a seizure.
  • People who drink alcohol or use other drugs after a brain injury are more likely to have another brain injury.

Treatments and strategies

People with brain injury and their families should know that there are treatments and strategies out there, and ones that can be very effective. Some of them include:

  • Journaling
  • Attending a support group
  • Learning to cope with cravings
  • Setting realistic goals
  • Building self-esteem
  • Medication

It’s crucial for people to get treated for both the TBI and the addiction simultaneously and by someone who knows about both. Seek out a program or programs where there is collaboration and communication between the brain injury treatment providers and the substance abuse treatment providers.

Additional reasons not to use drugs and alcohol after brain injury:

  • potential interference with prescription medications being taken for symptoms of brain injury and/or other conditions such as depression, anxiety, pain, insomnia, seizures, etc. Alcohol/drugs and prescription meds can be a dangerous mix!
  • person may forget to take critical medications when under the influence of alcohol/drugs
  • increased fall risk, which may cause another TBI

TBI and co-occurring health issues

Some research findings:

  • Suicide and mortality – 3 times higher in persons with TBI than in the general population, even 5 years post-injury, attributed to increased depression and substance use. Also alcohol & drug use disorders and depression were higher in patients with TBI both pre & post-injury (Fazel et al., 2014). [10]
  • Individuals with TBI – 4 times likelier than general population to attempt suicide; presence of mental illness makes person with TBI 10 times more likely to attempt suicide than someone with TBI alone; disinhibition associated with TBI increases suicide risk (Wasserman et al., 2008). [11]
  • Findings from Mackelprang et al., 2014. [12]
    • People with TBI have higher rate of suicide ideations (SI) – almost 7 times higher than general public
    • co-morbidities in mental health (bipolar, depression, etc.) increase suicide ideations
  • Individuals with TBI reported low psychosocial health (double the rate of general population), and only 36% of those reported receiving any mental health services (McCarthy et al., 2006). [13]
  • Research suggests that a childhood TBI increases likelihood of behavioral health problems in adolescence and adulthood, and the younger the age of injury, greater effect may be (Corrigan et al., 2013). [14]
  • There is often a high level of emotional distress following TBI and there may be a tendency to utilize nonproductive coping strategies (avoidance, self-blame, worry, drugs/alcohol, etc.) which are associated with higher levels of anxiety, depression, and psychosocial dysfunction and lower self-esteem levels (Anson & Ponsford, 2006). [15]
  • Association between the number of TBI’s, substance use, & psychiatric diagnoses (Corrigan & Deutschle, 2008). [16]
    • With 3+ TBI’s – average 2 times as many psychiatric diagnoses as those with no TBI
    • With 3+ TBI’s – individuals began substance use an average of 5 years before those individuals without a TBI

Recommended site for additional resources related to TBI and co-occurring mental health symptoms: Department of Veterans Affairs, Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center (MIRECC). [17]

Institutional Accommodations

There are a number of things educational institutions can do to assist students who have experienced a TBI, including:

  • Accessible transportation services
  • Alternative Format – text books and print materials can be made digital
  • Alternative testing arrangements- extra time; less distracting environment; provision of a reader/scribe; and use of a computer, including adaptive software and hardware
  • Counseling Services
  • Ergonomic Evaluation
  • Flexible Attendance Policy
  • Note Taking Support
  • Priority Registration

Assistive Technology Accommodations

Following are some of the latest AT accommodations available that may be helpful to individuals with brain injury. For a complete list of AT solutions, please visit the Assistive Technology Resource Center (ATRC) at Colorado State University.

Teaching Strategies - What Can Faculty Do?

Specific strategies that may be helpful for students with a brain injury:

Frequent Breaks
Allow the student to take small, frequent breaks.
Reinforce Directions
Reinforce directions visually and verbally to meet the student’s learning style and check for comprehension.
Allow student to take test in a different location with fewer distractions, and with additional time, if needed
The Disability Service Office will assist students in providing alternative arrangements. Extra time may be needed for processing of information.
Allow student extra time when responding or presenting information
Student may need extra time to process information and organize thoughts.
Clearly communicate your attendance policy
Decide if you are able to have a flexible attendance policy; if not, inform students at the beginning of the semester. Encourage a student who will not be able to regularly attend class to withdraw if attendance and class participation are important.
Provide notice of changes to the class routine or classroom environment
If there is a change in the classroom environment, location, assignments, class schedule or any other change in routine, give advance notice so student is better able to prepare.
Furnish lecture notes ahead of time
Allows student the opportunity to process, organize and review information to be better prepared for lecture.
Offer alternative presentation formats for assignments
Facilitates opportunity for student to present learned information in optimal learning style format (written, verbal, graphics, demonstration, etc.)
Furnish time estimates on exams, assignments
Assists with time management.
Avoid use of sarcasm and figures of speech
Interpreting abstract information may be difficult.
Utilize concise, bulleted statements
Assists with processing and organizing of information.
Use of consistent terminology
Reduces chance for error or misinterpretation of information.
Foster an encouraging, validating, academic environment
Important for the student to feel validated and encouraged, especially when he/she is dealing with potential loss of self-esteem and confidence after a brain injury.
Pay attention to student’s demeanor
Recognize signs of fatigue, anxiety, overstimulation, being overwhelmed. Student may need to take a break or may need to be excused for class period. Be able to provide students with counseling & medical resources on campus, if needed.
Recognize the uniqueness and variability of symptoms with brain injury
Each brain injury is different and symptoms can vary day to day, which may affect academic performance and consistent class attendance. Prescription medications taken for treatment or lessening of symptoms may also impact attendance and performance. Use of sunglasses and/or brimmed hat may be needed in the classroom to help with visual or migraine symptoms.

Learning Strategies - What Can Students Do?

Advocate for self
Connect with the Disability Service Office (DSO) to learn about available services and supports. Communicate with instructors about personal learning style and any individual accommodations that are being requested. Ask for clarification on material when unsure. Students should also be encouraged to read the ACCESS Self-Advocacy Handbook for College Students with Disabilities, available on this website.

Peer Support
Seek peer support of other students with disabilities. Check with the Disability Service Office to find out about peer support groups. Find groups of people in your classes to study with that are respectful of your learning needs.
Plan Ahead for books in alternative format
Books should be ordered one semester in advance of when they will be needed so as to allow time for format conversion. The Disability Service Office will be able to help with this process.
Record the class lecture
Ask professor if you may record lectures. It may be beneficial to place the recorder in the front of the class, near the professor for optimal sound quality.
Ask for Teacher or Peer Notes
This will allow you the opportunity to concentrate on lecture content without trying to keep up with writing notes at the same time as hearing the information.
Regularly utilize a planner or cell phone app
Schedule assignments, appointments, deadlines and do this consistently.
Locate & create advantageous study space
Become aware of your optimal study space – is it in a quiet location with no distractions, or in a busier location such as a coffee shop, indoors or outdoors, with music in background or not, etc.?
Pay attention to signs of fatigue, schedule regular breaks
Rest, stretch, eat something nutritious, or walk around to give yourself a break. It is important to take a break rather than “pushing through” to the point of exhaustion.
Stay hydrated and pack nutritious snacks for optimal learning
Important to eat balanced meals and snacks throughout the day and stay hydrated to maintain brain function (water is suggested rather than sodas, high sugar drinks).
Seek assistance when needed
If there are changes in symptoms, feelings, behaviors, performance, stress level, seek medical or counseling help on campus, or talk with trusted friends, family members or other supports. Don’t try to go it alone. Everyone needs help at some point in life – don’t be afraid to ask for help!
Educate yourself and others around you
Learn to identify your needs, recognize your reactions to people and circumstances, environmental and other triggers, develop coping skills and stress management techniques. It can also be very empowering to help other people in your life understand your needs, challenges and successes and to help them understand more about brain injury.

Prevention of TBI

Act preventively whenever possible. Be aware that once you have a TBI, you are at greater risk of sustaining another TBI

  1. Helmet use – approved, properly fitted helmets are important and are recommended for many sports and daily activities, particularly for any activity in or near traffic.
  2. Seek medical attention if you have an impact to your head and/or something doesn’t feel right.
  3. Athletes – report impacts to head, don’t return to play too soon, get checked out rather than wonder. When in doubt, best to sit it out.
  4. Raise your self-awareness about distracted driving, distracted cycling (swerving into traffic, hitting curbs), and distracted walking (falling off curb while looking at cell phone). NOTE: texting is considered especially dangerous when driving because you are distracted in 3 ways (visually, manually, and cognitively).
  5. Use your seat belt every time, even for short distances
  6. Wear brightly colored, reflective clothing at night for increased visibility
  7. Double check traffic before crossing streets – always!
  8. Do not drink and drive or drive under the influence of marijuana or other drugs

For other recommendations see: Brain Injury Safety Tips and Prevention [18]

Resources

Brain Injury Alliance of Colorado
The “go-to resource for help and services for survivors of an injury to the brain, their families and providers.”
Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA)
General information and resources on brain injuries
Colorado Brain Injury Program (CBIP), Colorado Department of Human Services
The CBIP “has been established to help people with brain injury and their loved ones by assisting with accessing needed supports to maximize recovery now and in the future.”
Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC)
Offers many resources and education on brain injuries and veteran services.

GENERAL DISABILITY RESOURCES

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
ADA Home Page (U.S. Department of Justice)
ERIC Digest
Overview of ADA, IDEA, and Section 504
Equal Access to Software and Information (EASI)
Workshops, publications, and resources about computer access for people with disabilities
University of Washington – Disability-Related Resources on the Internet
A comprehensive list of Web sites and discussion lists related to disability.
Faculty Room
The Faculty Room is a site for faculty and administrators at postsecondary institutions to learn about how to create classroom environments and activities that maximize the learning of all students, including those with disabilities. This page is specific to faculty rights.
PACER Center – Champions for Children with Disabilities
ADA Q& A: Section 504 & Postsecondary Education
U.S Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights
Three documents by the Office of Civil Rights describing the rights of wounded warriors to a postsecondary education under the new GI Bill:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS),
Office of Civil Rights (OCR)
Discrimination on the Basis of Disability
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
Titles I and V of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)

References

1Lobes of the Brain: Blausen.com staff. “Blausen gallery 2014.” Wikiversity Journal of Medicine. DOI:10.15347/wjm/2014.010. ISSN 20018762. Accessed June, 2015.

2The Aging Brain: A Lesson on Alzheimer’s Disease. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2015). Accessed June, 2015.

3Lehr, R. P. (2015). Brain function. Accessed June, 2015.

4Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2015). Injury prevention and control: Traumatic brain injury. Leading causes of TBI. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/get_the_facts.html#Howbig. Accessed June, 2015.

5Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2015). Injury prevention and control: Traumatic brain injury. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/get_the_facts.html#risk. Accessed January, 2015.

6Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (2015). DoD worldwide numbers for TBI. Retrieved from http://www.dvbic.org/dod-worldwide-numbers-tbi. Accessed June, 2015.

7Taber, K. H., Warden, D. L., & Hurley, R. A. (2006). Blast-related traumatic brain injury: What is known? Journal of Neuropsychiatry & Clinical Neurosciences, 18, 141-145.

8Brain Injury Alliance of Colorado (2015). Brain injury facts & figures. Retrieved from http://biacolorado.org/education/brain-injury-facts-figures/ . Accessed June, 2015.

9Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (2015). Why not to use drugs and alcohol after a brain injury. Retrieved from http://dvbic.dcoe.mil/life-after-tbi/substance-abuse?audience[0]=1 . Accessed June, 2015.

10Fazel, S., Wolf, A., Pillas, D., Lichtenstein, P., & Långström, N. (2014). Suicide, fatal injuries, and other causes of premature mortality in patients with traumatic brain injury: A 41-year Swedish population study. JAMA Psychiatry, 71(3), 326-333.

11Wasserman, L., Shaw, T., Vu, M., Ko, C., Bollegala, D., & Bhalerao, S. (2008). An overview of traumatic brain injury and suicide. Brain Injury, 22(11), 811-819.

12Mackelprang, J. L., Bombardier, C. H., Fann, J. R., Temkin, N. R., Barber, J. K., & Dikmen, S. S. (2014). Rates and predictors of suicidal ideation during the first year after traumatic brain injury. American Journal of Public Health, 104(7), e100-e107.

13McCarthy, M. L., Dikmen, S. S., Langlois, J. A., Selassie, A. W., Gu, J. K., & Horner, M. D. (2006). Self-reported psychosocial health among adults with traumatic brain injury. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation,87(7), 953–961.

14Corrigan, J.D., Bogner, J., Mellick, D., Bushnik, T., Dams-O’Connor, K., Hammond, F.M., Hart, T., & Kolakowsky-Hayner, S. (2013). Prior history of traumatic brain injury among persons in the traumatic brain injury model systems national database. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 94, 1940-1950.

15Anson, K., & Ponsford, J. (2006). Coping and emotional adjustment following traumatic brain injury. The Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, 21(3), 248-259.

16Corrigan, J. D., & Deutschle Jr, J. J. (2008). The presence and impact of traumatic brain injury among clients in treatment for co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse. Brain Injury, 22(3), 223-231.

17Department of Veterans Affairs, Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center (MIRECC) VISN 19 Rocky Mountain Network:www.mirecc.va.gov/visn19. Accessed June, 2015.

18 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2015). Brain injury safety tips and prevention. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/headsup/basics/concussion_prevention.html. Accessed June, 2015.

Written Expression Disorder

Definition

A learning disability in which a person’s ability to communicate in writing is substantially below the level normally expected based on the individual’s chronological age, measured intelligence, and age appropriate education.

Manifestation

Difficulty with written forms of communication exhibited by:

  • Inability or low level of ability to organize words into meaningful thoughts, resulting in sentences that lack cohesion.
  • Inability to write spontaneously.
  • Poor grammar, spelling and punctuation errors.
  • Poor handwriting including poorly formed letters and numbers.
  • Inability to remember letter sequences in common words.

Institutional Accommodation

  • Alternative testing arrangements such as extra time; a less distracting environment; provision of a reader/scribe; and, use of a computer, including adaptive software and hardware.
  • Note taking support.
  • Priority registration.
  • Alternative demonstrations of learning, such as oral (as opposed to written) completion of assignments and exams.

Teaching Strategies - What Can Faculty Do?

Specific Strategies – Written Expression Disorder

  • Allow student to use a word processor (with spell checker and word completion) for written assignments, including note taking and classroom assignments.
  • Allow student to take test(s) in an alternative location with few distractions. The disability service office will assist students in making arrangements.
  • Allow students to record lectures.
  • Allow for oral, as opposed to written, completion of assignments and exams.

Learning Strategies - What Can Students Do?

Advocate for self
Connect with the disability service office to learn about available services and supports. Communicate with instructors about personal learning style and any individual accommodations that are being requested. Students should also be encouraged to read the ACCESS Self-Advocacy Handbook for College Students with Disabilities, available on this website.

Record the class lecture
Ask professor for permission to record lectures.

Peer support

  1. Seek the peer support of other students with disabilities. Refer to the disability service office for information about peer support groups.
  2. Form or join a study group with classmates who are considerate of diverse learning needs.

Borrow notes
Ask your teacher or a classmate to share their notes.

Resources

Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA)
LDA is a nonprofit grassroots organization providing support to individuals with learning disabilities, their parents, and professional service providers. LDA provides cutting edge information on learning disabilities, practical solutions, and a comprehensive network of resources.

Learning Disabilities Association of Colorado
55 Madison Street
Suite 750
Denver, Colorado  80206
(303) 539-9832

Learning Disabilities Discussion List
National Institute for Literacy’s Discussion List is designed to bring together literacy stakeholders – researchers, policymakers, administrators, practitioners, and students – to discuss critical issues on the latest research, promising policies and practices, as well as, to provide a forum for sharing resources and experience. The discussion lists also offer the opportunity to ask questions of subject experts and to keep up-to-date on literacy issues across the lifespan. Additionally, the site has links that offer a wealth of LD information and resources.

LDOnline
LDOnline is a comprehensive website that provides parents, teachers and other professionals information about learning disabilities.

LD Pride Live Chat”
LD Pride’s “Live Chat Support Group” offers people with LD/ADD or Deaf-LD an opportunity to give and receive online support.

LD Resources
LD Resources provides an archive of colleges and universities that offer programs for students with Learning Disabilities.

Learning Disabilities Resource Community (LDRC)
Provides knowledge-building and communication tools for individuals and groups involved in the education of those with learning disabilities and supports research and development in associated fields. The LDRC-List is a mailing list of on going discussions related to learning disabilities that are delivered via email to all those subscribed.

Schwab Foundation for Learning
Schwab Foundation for Learning seeks to raise awareness about learning differences and equips parents, teachers, and other professionals with the resources they need to improve the lives of students with learning differences. Its mission grew out of Charles Schwab’s life long struggle with dyslexia and the frustration he and his wife, Helen, faced in trying to find help for their son who inherited the reading difficulty.1650 South Amphlett Boulevard, Suite 300
San Mateo, CA 94402
800-230-0988 (toll-free)
E-mail: webmaster@schwablearning.org