Guidelines for Faculty
The fourth edition of Reasonable Accommodations; A Faculty Guide to Teaching Students with Disabilities is available to assist faculty in understanding the needs of students with disabilities who are enrolled in their courses, and how to provide effective accommodations. Select the link to obtain the guide.
In the course of your teaching, you may have a student who discloses to you that he/she has a disability. At this time it is appropriate to inquire if the student is registered with the Accessibility Resource Center. If not please contact the ARC Office to discuss the best way to refer this student to the Office.
Working with Students with Disabilities
If a student is registered with the ARC Office and presents to you a letter outlining the accommodations he/she are entitled to, review it with the student in a confidential manner and discuss any questions you may have about the implementation of these accommodations with the student. Feel free to reach out the ARC Office for support and assistance.
In addition, when working with individuals with disabilities it is helpful to keep the following in mind:
Maintain a Positive Attitude. Fear of dealing with the unknown is a common reaction. You may have some experience with students with certain kinds of disabilities, but feel unprepared or unsure about working with a person who has a disability with which you are unfamiliar or inexperienced. Invisible disabilities, such as a learning disability, psychiatric impairment or a chronic medical problem may initially pose a challenge, but the student him or herself is a source of readily applicable solutions. Be proactive and engage them in planning solutions.
Keep an Open Mind. All students have individual strengths and weaknesses. Uniqueness should be stressed, rather than differences. Focus on the students' strengths and abilities and not just their limitations. Many students have achieved academic success in other learning situations by means of their own creative solutions to obstacles arising from their limitations.
Faculty who approach their work with patience, creativity and flexibility, and who have an ability to create a climate of trust and openness, will find that instructing students who have a disability is truly not that different than instructing students who do not have a disability.
Teaching Students with Disabilities – CUNY Resources for Faculty
CUNY Learning Disability Project
In 2009 the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) published a report that 5% of all students in public schools are identified as having a learning disability. As the numbers rise, the responsibility of colleges to provide supports that meet the needs of students with learning disabilities increase.
The mission of the Learning Disabilities Project is to develop students’ self-understanding of their own strengths and limitations. The Learning Disabilities Project addresses these needs by assisting students in receiving evaluations, and reviewing their learning disability assessments in a supportive and friendly environment. Furthermore, trainings for faculty and staff at CUNY are provided on a regular basis to support the continued growth of our students.
For more information on this project go to:
CUNY Assistive Technology Services
CUNY Assistive Technology Services (CATS) is a team of assistive technology specialists that are located at Queensborough Community College. Our goal is to stay on the forefront of assistive technology and provide support for those technologies used by students with disabilities who attend the various CUNY campuses.
CATSweb is an online resource for CUNY’s assistive technology professionals. CATSweb will provide a unified channel of information on best practices, emerging technologies and tested solutions that provide access to CUNY students with disabilities. CATSweb will connect providers with informational resources, equipment and software reviews and real life case studies of CUNY student-based experiences with assistive technologies. CATSweb is a production of the CUNY Assistive Technology Services project, currently housed on the campus of Queensborough Community College.
For more information go to:
Teaching Students with Disabilities – Web Resources for Faculty
There are many resources about disabilities and a growing number specifically about teaching students with disabilities in higher education settings. A few are listed below.