Faculty Resources 

 

You are the teacher, and you are the expert in the class. You are free to design the class and methods of instruction as you see fit to best meet the needs of your students and objectives of your class. The Access & Ability Center at the College of the Sequoias appreciates the opportunity to collaborate with you to serve students with unique barriers to learning, stemming from disabilites. As a faculty member, here are some tools which may prove beneficial to you when working with students with disabilites. If you ever have any questions or would like to discuss anything further, please call our front office.

 

Legal Policies - Things to know

  • Did you know that nearly all colleges have a Disabled Students Program & Services Office? At College of the Sequoias, the DSPS is called the Access & Ability Center, and if an academic accommodation is determined necessary for a student by the AAC, the accommodation must be granted.
  • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits any person being excluded from or denied the benefits of participation in programs such as higher education, solely by reason of his or her own disability.
    (29 U.S.C. § 701) of document from US DOL. See this link by clicking here.
  • Title II of the ADA prohibits all state enitities, including public colleges, from discriminating against persons with disabilities by denying the necessary "provision of auxillary aids and services". See the link by clicking here. Look on page 16, under Subchapter II, Part A, Section 12131, number 2.
  • Other helpful resources:  See Title 5 from the Chancellor's Office by clicking here. Also, click here for an overview of disability discrimination by the Office of Civil Rights.

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How to interact and engage with students with disabilities

  • First and foremost, the student is a student! Treat them like you would treat anyone else - as a person!!! 
  • Do not attempt to help the student with mobility or any other needs unless the student asks. Doing something for someone when they are perfectly capable of doing the task independently may be insulting. If it appears that someone needs help, ask them! They might not want help.
  • Do not ask a student with a disability about their disability in front of others. They may not want to share.
  • Encourage! Don't assume someone cannot do something. Persons with disabilities often have unique and possibly challenging barriers to learning - but for every barrier placed in front of someone, there is a way around. These "ways around barriers" are called accommodations at the Access & Ability Center.

Ways to increase classroom accessibility

At the Access & Ability Center, we are all about accessibility! If there was a way you could help more people learn and understand course content, wouldn't you do it? Here are some helpful tips on how to increase accessibility in your classroom:

  • Face the class when speaking to the class. Persons hard-of-hearing may be watching your facial expressions and/or lip movements to help understand what you are portraying. If you need to write on a white board, save any important information for after you have finished writing and are again facing the class.
  • When presenting with a Powerpoint, it helps to have printouts of the slides to distribute. Having the information on students' desks AND at the front of the classroom creates more opportunities for exposure to the content.
  • If you see any barriers/obstacles in the class that might be hard for an individual to manuever around, you can always move it yourself, or ask someone to move it, before the obstacle becomes an issue.
  • Make sure to hand out a class syllabus and class schedule the first day of class. This lets students know what is coming up and what to expect, allowing students to prepare for upcoming assignments.
  • Be willing to work with the student and any services they utilize, such as academic accommodations.
  • Invite students to email you and visit you in your office during office hours.
  • Put in your class syllabi information for students with disabilites, letting them know that there is a program called the Access & Ability Center which can provide academic accommodations for students with verifiable disabilities.

​What to do if you suspect your student has a disability, and how to refer them to our program

If you are noticing that a student is having a hard time in your class, and believe the barrier may be due to a disability, what should you do? It would be appropriate in these situations to refer the student to campus resources. However, do not discuss a student's particular barriers in front of others. Here are some steps you can follow:

  1. Pull the student aside after class or in your office for a private conversation. Ask the student if they believe they are having a hard time in your class.
  2. Address your concerns with the student. What have you seen, heard, or otherwise observed from their classroom performance that gives you cause for concern?
  3. Let the student know that you want to help him/her succeed in the course (without jeaprodizing the integrity of the course.) 
  4. Explain the available resources on campus that offer services to students. Do not only mention our program. Students may feel uneasy having you assume (whether correctly or incorrectly) that a disability is involved. Explain these on-campus resources, and let the student know that these resources may be able to assist them:
    Trio - serves students who are low-income and/or whose parents did not go to a four-year university
    EOPS - serves students who may have educationally/socioeconomically challenged backgrounds
    Student Success - helps first-year COS students with many different skills from a holistic perspective
    Access & Ability Center - serves students with unique barriers to learning, stemming from verifiable disabilities
    There are also services available for veterans. All services are free to COS students. Students must qualify for services.
  5. Once the on-campus resources are given, let the student make the decision about whether they wish to utilize any of these services, and let the student choose what services they wish to pursue. As the teacher, you can provide the tools; it is up to the student to decide how, when, and whether or not to use them.

 

Want more information?

Faculty Handbook– A resource for faculty explaining in detail how services and accommodations are coordinated, and the critical role that faculty play in the provision of services to students with disabilities.

Last Updated: 1/24/2017 8:49 AM