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Towards a Philosophy of Working with Disabled Students 

Sometimes faculty are nervous about having disabled students in their class because they "don't know how to act," or they are afraid of making a mistake. This page has some tips and general information to help faculty correct common misconceptions, and help you feel welcoming and comfortable with the disabled students in your classroom.

"But I don't have any disabled students in my class!"

Sometimes faculty think that "Access" or "Disabilities Issues" are a waste of time
because there are "so few disabled students anyway." They are resentful of spending
time preparing for disabled students who, "never show up anyway." They feel they
are taking time away from the "regular" students, to accommodate students who, "never show up."

The truth is: There are usually one or more disabled students in each class, but they usually will not self-identify, because they are embarrassed. Think of it this way: When you are in a meeting and you can't hear the speaker, you don't always ask the moderator to speak up, because you may not want to interrupt, or draw attention to yourself --especially if you appear to be the only one who is having a problem! Your students feel the same way! They may not see or hear everything that is going on; they may not understand everything you are explaining, but they do not self-identify, because they do not want to feel foolish.

When you prepare your lessons, your handouts, your web page, and other materials, assume that there will be students who cannot hear well, read well, see small print, or quickly grasp numerical functions. Prepare your lessons accordingly. Your "regular" students will not be inconvenienced if you use large print, or show captioned DVD's, and it might help them learn

Created: March 10, 2009 @ 12:29 PM
Last Modified: March 02, 2010 @ 05:54 PM


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