Treat individuals with disabilities with the same respect and consideration with which you treat able-bodied individuals. Each person can contribute unique and enriching contributions regardless of ability.
Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a method that seeks to engage all students from multiple learning styles and abilities in learning. This is a fantastic way to ensure you are offering proper support for all students. However, there are some helpful hints in working with students with disabilities:
Be aware of the environment and surroundings where you teach. Ensure that it is conducive and accessible for all students.
Treat the student with a disability as any other student at the College.
Respect the confidentiality of the student's disability
Do not question a student's disability if they are registered with the Disability Resource Center.
Ask a person with a disability if she/he needs help BEFORE providing assistance.
Understand that many disabilities are HIDDEN.
Talk directly to the person with a disability, not through the person's companion or interpreter.
Avoid negative descriptions of a person's disability. For example, "a person who uses wheelchair" is more appropriate than "a person confined to a wheelchair." A wheelchair is not confining-it is liberating!
Be descriptive for people with visual impairments. For example, state "the computer is about three feet to your left" rather than "the computer is over there."
Offer an arm when guiding a person with a visual impairment rather than pushing or grabbing at them.
Learning Disabilities/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Offer directions/instructions both orally and in writing.
Offer different modes to access class notes or content.
Present clear directions for assignments and exams.
Offer large assignments in manageable tasks.
Offer alternative modes of communication than in person.
Maintain a consistent and clear syllabus without many alterations.
Deaf/Hard of Hearing
Face the class when speaking to the class and paraphrase conversations presented among students in the class.
Speak clearly and slowly.
Ask students to raise hands when speaking so that the student with the hearing impairment knows who is speaking.
Provide information in a clear, calm respectful tone.
Allow opportunities to address specific questions.
Offer various means to communicate with you.
Present clear and consistent directions.
Present an agenda at the beginning of class for the day's topics
Give plenty of notice if the room or surroundings change for class.
Offer alternative options for group work.
The College of St. Scholastica
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Duluth, MN 55811