The provision of accommodations to students with disabilities does not carry with it an obligation to reduce the level of the course content or to lower the standards of mastery.
- Putting a note on the syllabus inviting students to let the professor know if there are any accommodations students need in order to be successful in the course
- Making the syllabus available when students are registering for classes and, when possible, being available to discuss the syllabus with students considering the course
- Include a syllabus statement such as, “Disability Accommodations and Accessibility: If you need accommodations because of a disability, please contact the CLASS Office 612-330-1053 or stop by the Gage Center welcome desk on the link level of the Lindell Library.”
- Using a multisensory instructional approach and providing information through the use of a variety of visual and auditory materials (such as presentation slides, charts, diagrams, graphs, flash cards, films, slides, computer graphics, illustrations, demonstrations, textbooks, black/white boards, audio tapes, recordings, etc.)
- Beginning lectures with a review of the previous lecture and an overview of topics to be covered that day
- Using the black or whiteboard or data projector to outline and summarize lecture material, being mindful of the legibility and the necessity to read aloud what is written
- Emphasizing important points, main ideas, and key concepts orally in lectures and/or highlighting them with colored on the projected slides
- Using everyday life analogies to make abstract concepts easier to understand and retain
- Providing periodic summaries during the lecture, emphasizing key concepts or clarifying the relationship between new information and previously presented information
- Speaking distinctly and at a relaxed pace, pausing occasionally to respond to questions or for students to catch up in their note-taking
- Leaving time for a question-answer period or discussion periodically and at the end of each lecture
- Explaining technical language, specific terminology, or foreign words
- Noticing and responding to non-verbal signals of confusion or frustration
- Trying to determine if students understand the material by asking volunteers to give an example, summary, or response to a question
- Calling only on volunteers to read aloud in class since students with learning disabilities may have difficulty reading aloud despite good silent reading comprehension.
- Using non-traditional teaching techniques, such as role playing, that provide students with the opportunity to learn concepts through concrete experience
- Assisting students with finding peer note-takers, if they are needed, or allowing students to record lectures
- Trying to diminish, if not eliminate, auditory and visual classroom distractions such as noise in the hallways or a flickering fluorescent light
Support Outside of Class
- Being available during office hours for clarification of lecture material, assignments, and readings
- Helping students find study partners or organize study groups
- Asking the student who self-discloses as disability how you as an instructor can facilitate his/her learning
- Discussing in private with a student who you suspect may have a learning disability, describing what you have observed and, if appropriate, referring the student to available support services
- Selecting a textbook that has a study guide or that has practice questions, review sections, or quiz sections
- Choosing a textbook far enough in advance to allow students with reading disorders to obtain alternative-format textbooks
- Providing study questions for exams that demonstrate the format that will be used as well as the content; providing a model exemplary answer and delineating what comprises a good response
- Giving assignments in writing as well as orally and being available for clarification
- Providing a suggested time-line when making long-range assignments and suggesting appropriate checkpoints
- Showing students a model finished product such as a sample paper or project
Vogel, S.A. (1990). College Students with Learning Disabilities: A Handbook.
Mangrum II, C.T., & Strichart, S.S. (1988) College and the learning Disabled Student: Program Development, Implementation, and Selection.
Garnett, K., & LaPorta, S. (1984). Dispelling the Myths: College Students and Learning Disabilities.