Over the past 30 years, more students with disabilities have been able to enrol in college because of federal statutes including the Americans Strategies for Accommodating Students with Disabilities in Higher Education with Disabilities Act (1990).
Statistics indicate that there were more students with disabilities in higher education during the 2015–2016 academic year, although a large proportion of students do not disclose their condition to their university.
Unexpectedly, just one-third of students with disabilities informed their university about their condition (NCES, 2022). In light of these statistics, perhaps more students would disclose a disability if they had confidence that their professors would assist them academically.
There are a few techniques that faculty could find useful when developing their courses, even though technological improvements have given faculty options for assisting to accommodate students with impairments.
Putting these techniques into practice is advantageous for teachers, but it can also help students with disabilities who are seeking a post-secondary degree to face fewer obstacles.
Most Typical Modifications Made for Disabled Pupils
- Extended exam period (double time or time and a half)
- Using laptops for examinations and tests that call for extensive essays
- Using calculators on tests and exams that involve math
- Approval for recording lectures
- Reduced course load: financial aid may be impacted
- Early registration for courses
- Copies of the notes from the lectures provided by the instructors
- Using audiobooks or e-books
- Software for voice recognition is available.
- Programme access for text-to-speech
It is essential to keep in mind that each student may need particular modifications depending on their major, handicap, or classroom environment (i.e., in-person, online, or hybrid).
Arrangements for Face-to-Face Classes
Depending on each student’s circumstances, giving accommodations to students in face-to-face classes may be a continuous process for the instructor. The confidentiality of a student must be protected by the faculty.
If a student wants to talk about Strategies for Accommodating Students with Disabilities in Higher Education, try to do so via email or during office hours. For instance, in order to protect a student’s privacy, professors should email students who are interested in taking notes rather than making a public announcement during class.
It is crucial to keep in mind that each student may need particular modifications depending on their major, handicap, or classroom environment (i.e., in-person, online, or hybrid).
Arrangements for face-to-face classes
Depending on each student’s circumstances, giving accommodations to students in face-to-face classes may be a continuous process for the instructor. The confidentiality of a student must be protected by the faculty. If a student wants to talk about accommodations, try to do so via email or during office hours.
For instance, in order to protect a student’s privacy, professors should email students who are interested in taking notes rather than making a public announcement during class.
1: Small Teams (Strategies for Accommodating Students with Disabilities in Higher Education)
- Allow students to choose the group members they want to collaborate with, but don’t switch groups.
- In order to lessen students’ social anxiety in small group settings, educators might prepare groups in advance.
- Permit students to collaborate in one-on-one teams.
- Give students the choice to communicate with group members electronically via Teams or Zoom.
- Assign a student to take notes during group sessions in the student’s group as a caption or scribe.
- Permit group activities to take place outside the classroom or in the hallway.
- Make an effort to provide students with accessible tables, chairs, and other equipment so they can relax and engage fully.
- If at all possible, allow students to submit the assignment independently or provide a different assignment with the same goals.
2: Unexpected or cold call
- Give students a signal or notification in advance if they will be called upon.
- Whenever a pupil raises their hand, you should call them.
- Give the pupil the chance to leave if necessary.
- Permit students to respond in writing.
Arrangements for online courses
Access to knowledge in a virtual or hybrid classroom could change how students with disabilities approach their post-secondary education. Regarding how students interact with the information and how it is designed, Strategies for Accommodating Students with Disabilities in Higher Education, faculty must take into account adjustments.
Allowing Students to Engage with the Course Material
- In addition to making sure all videos have subtitles or substituting them with others that do, instructors should think about giving students a transcript of the video.
- Students can read and enter responses while collaborating with a reader or scribe.
- When choosing third-party software or content, faculty should take the initiative to take accessibility into account and, if necessary, establish alternative arrangements.
- Include 3D models in online content to help students remember it in the format that suits them best.
- Check to see if a screen reader is supported by any online site you mandate students use.
Accommodation to Course Content Design
As the number of individuals being diagnosed with learning disabilities with increased, so has the understanding or utilization of academic and technology strategies for accommodation.
- Present content using standardized organizational and formatting techniques.
- Use the style and formatting tools in the Learning Management System (LMS) that your institution uses, along with content creation software (such as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Acrobat) to apply built-in page layouts, to implement a text-based format and organize content using headings and lists.
- Tables don’t function well with screen readers, so take into account other organizational components.
- Avoid using the phrase “click here” in the text of hyperlinks.
- Post the majority of instructor-created content on LMS content pages (i.e., in HTML) and only link to it if a PDF is required.
- Use large, strong, sans-serif fonts on plain, uncluttered pages.
- Use colour combinations with great contrast so that kids who are colour-blind can understand the content.
- Unless they are pertinent to the course’s topic, try to restrict the number of technology products you use.
- Implement asynchronous tools
- Make sure that technology may be used solely with a keyboard or take accessible design principles into account.
- Give clear language descriptions of the information contained in the photographs (text descriptions of web resources)
Strategies for Accommodating Students with Disabilities in Higher Education. When creating their curriculum and syllabus, faculty members should think about using these tactics. It is worthwhile to incorporate these tactics into your courses as early as feasible because doing so once a course is well underway could be a difficult undertaking.