Disability Services

Faculty Tips

1. During the first few classes, invite students with disabilities to meet with you privately to discuss needs. It is also helpful to include a statement in your syllabus encouraging students with disabilities to meet with you.

2. Do not make assumptions about the student. Talk with the student privately about the class requirements, any special needs that the student might have, and how those needs are going to be accommodated. 

3. Identify yourself when greeting a student who is blind. It is courteous to let the student know when you are leaving the room.

4. Speak directly to the student, not to a third party.

5. It is not necessary to speak loudly or slowly when talking with a person who is blind.

6. Provide a thorough orientation to the layout of the room/lab, describing the location of various exits, equipment, raised platforms, steps, low-hanging objects, and furniture.

7. Allow preferential seating so that the student may sit where he/she can best hear and participate in class activities.

8. Encourage the use of adaptive equipment, such as tape/digital recorders, Braille note takers, and assistive laptops.

9. Assist the student in locating a good note taker in class who can provide a copy of class notes to the student.

10. Face the class when speaking.

11. Describe clearly what you are writing on the board or any visual materials that you are using (such as overheads, maps, photographs, etc.). Use specific descriptions, such as two plus two equals four as opposed to this plus this equals that .

12. Work closely with the Office of Disability Services (ODS) to assure that you provide alternative format materials to students who are blind at the same time you provide standard print materials to the rest of the class. The ADA office needs several weeks advance notice in order to convert materials from print to the appropriate alternate format.

13. Inform students well in advance of assignments so that these can be adapted to the appropriate format.

14. Inform students in advance of any field trips or off campus assignments so that appropriate transportation can be arranged.