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DSP&S Testing Center


DSP&S Assistive Technology Center

DSP&S COORDINATOR/LD SPECIALIST (925) 439-2181, ext. 3221

DSP&S Program Office
STEPHANIE FOLEY, DSP&S Counselor (925) 439-2181, ext. 3353

LYDIA MACY, DSP&S Counselor (925) 439-2181, ext. 3353

DSP&S COUNSELING APPOINTMENTS (925) 439-2181, ext. 3133


Phone Numbers 1
Table of Contents 2
Introduction 3
Accommodations and Services Provided by DSP&S 4
Disability Specific Technological Accommodations 6
Points to Remember 7
How Students Are Served Through DSP&S 8
Special Considerations for Students with Specific Disabilities 9
Acquired Brain Injuries

Hearing Impairments

Learning Disabilities

Physical Disabilities

Visual Impairments

Seizure Disorders

Psychological Disabilities

Other Disabilities

Legal Obligations 23
Section 504 of Rehabilitation Act of 1973 23
Handicapped Person

Qualified Handicapped Person

Program Accessibility
Section 508 Standards for Electronic & Information Technology

Reasonable Adjustments to Academic Requirements 25

Substitution Policy
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA Overview) 30

Public Services and Transportation

Public Accommodation


Other Provisions

Since its inception in 1974, LMC's Disabled Students Programs & Services (DSP&S) has grown to serve a large number of students with disabilities. DSP&S serves approximately 10% of the overall LMC student population. The purpose of this handbook is to help you become more comfortable and effective in working with students with disabilities. It presents information on various disabilities, definitions, and emergency procedures, and suggests classroom accommodations that can be made in the teaching environment or in teaching style.
It is the mission of DSP&S to facilitate access for disabled students with learning, physical, or psychological disabilities to the educational programs, student services, and activities of Los Medanos College. The primary goal of Disabled Students Programs & Services is to help students achieve their educational goals while becoming independent learners.
Access Is Facilitated By Providing

  • Assessment and advisement to assist students in identifying the support services that they need to succeed.

  • Advising to assist in the development of student educational contracts.

  • Assistance with registration and other college services.

  • Support services, such as tutoring, note taking, and interpreter services.

  • Courses designed to assist students with learning disabilities.

  • In-service activities to assist faculty and staff in working successfully with students with disabilities.

  • Advocacy and support.

The Law

Once a student has sufficiently documented that he or she has a qualifying disability, a college is responsible for providing reasonable accommodations or modifications that do not require fundamental alteration to the program or activity, result in the lowering of academic or technical standards, or cause the college to incur undue administrative or financial burden.
Post-secondary institutions must take steps to ensure that students with disabilities are not excluded from programs because of the absence of educational auxiliary aids. Federal law states that "No otherwise qualified handicapped individual in the United States…shall, solely by reason of his handicap, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance." The more recent Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 extends federal civil rights protection. It prohibits excluding people from jobs, services, activities or benefits based on disability. Two major federal laws govern Los Medanos College’s response to students with disabilities: the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504 (reauthorization in 1992) and Section 508. These laws protect the civil rights of students with disabilities. The legal obligations under the ADA and Section 504 and 508 apply to the whole institution and are not the sole responsibility of DSP&S or its program.

Working Together
The appropriate educational accommodations to ensure access will vary from one student to the next because each student with a disability will have a different level and style of functioning - even within the same disability category. The information in this handbook is intended to facilitate interaction between you and your student. We in DSP&S will be happy to work with you and the student to determine appropriate accommodations. We also invite your input and ideas. An interactive process with the student, DSP&S and faculty is encouraged. Please don’t hesitate to contact DSP&S if you have questions or concerns related to accommodations or DSP&S support available.

The major objective of the Disabled Students Programs & Services office at LMC is to assure educational access for students with disabilities. DSP&S concentrates its efforts on providing services that are not available elsewhere in the college. DSP&S makes the following services available to qualified students at LMC:
We provide academic counseling/advising, educational planning, career and personal counseling. It is considered discriminatory to counsel students with disabilities toward more restrictive careers than students without disabilities, unless such counsel is based on strict licensing or certification requirements in a profession. We coordinate necessary support services and act as a resource to help students obtain appropriate services beyond those provided at LMC.
Courses designed specifically for students with disabilities, include:
1) LRNSK 50 to help in the development of reading and writing

2) LRNSK 70 is an adaptive computer technology class

3) LRNSK 81 and 82 are basic math classes to help with math concepts and developing strategies

4) LRNSK 40 is a diagnostic class for Learning Skills Eligibility assessment

5) P.E. 48 is an adaptive P.E. class which includes individual exercise, weight lifting, and aquatic fitness.
Priority Registration
It is sometimes critical that students with disabilities enroll in a particular section of a class (to coordinate interpreter schedules, for example). In addition, the actual process of registration can be especially difficult and stressful for persons with disabilities. To alleviate these problems, DSP&S offers priority registration to qualified students.

Specialized Tutoring
When sufficient funding permits, DSP&S offers specialized tutoring. Specialized tutoring is provided to students if their disability impairs their cognitive processes. DSP&S faculty makes the determination with student. Academic tutoring with emphasis on reading, writing, study skills and math tutoring to students with disabilities is provided.
Testing Accommodations
The most appropriate method of administering a test depends upon the student's disability and the design of the test. Students with disabilities that affect manual dexterity, vision or perception generally may be allowed extra time to complete tests. It is possible for DSP&S to administer the exam in the DSP&S Testing Center to the instructor's specifications. Please deliver exams to the DSP&S Testing Center at least 24 hours in advance of the scheduled exam.
Make up exams

Students who have verified disabilities and have a current student educational contract with DSP&S may request a makeup exam if their absence is due to their verified disability. Make up exams may be negotiated on a case-by-case basis with the instructor. Additional documentation may be required. Students are responsible for contacting the instructor in the event that there is a necessity for missing classes, including exams, due to their disability.

Liaison to Campus and Community
Students are instructed to advise instructors of their eligibility for DSP&S accommodations and work together to provide necessary accommodations. We also help students to access appropriate resources in the community over and above what is available at LMC.
Learning Disabilities Assessment
Individualized assessment to determine eligibility for learning disabilities services is available at LMC through the DSP&S program either through the Learning Skills Eligibility Assessment class or as a service when the Learning Skills 40 class is not offered. Students may be referred by faculty or self-referred. The process for referring students from your classes is described in the section “How Students are Served Through DSP&S.”
Readers and Note takers
Reader services are provided for students with visual impairments, reading disabilities and some physical disabilities. Please be aware that the coordination of reader services requires advance notice. It is helpful for students to know their reading assignments well in advance of the due date. Note takers or scribes are provided when students cannot use their hands to write notes, class assignments, or exams. DSP&S recommends (when appropriate) students use a tape recorder to record class lectures. DSP&S will provide tape recorders with a small deposit for the entire semester (if available).
Books on CD/Alternate Media Materials
Textbooks and instructional materials in alternate formats such as enlarged print and audio recording can be obtained through the Alternate Media Specialist at LMC. We occasionally utilize student or community volunteers.
Interpreters and Captioners for Hearing Impaired
Our interpreters and captioners are professionals who are hired by DSP&S to provide sign language interpretation or captioning in the classroom and special school events required by classes.
Architectural Barrier Removal
There is an ongoing process on the campus for evaluating architectural barriers and recommending changes.
Clinical Settings:

Some academic programs require a clinical component, e.g. nursing, paramedic training, etc. Students are supervised in the clinical setting by College instructors, but the location of the clinical training is likely to be in a separate institution, e.g. a hospital. Students involved in programs that have a clinical component are entitled to reasonable accommodation in the clinical setting as well as the academic setting. Students must discuss the accommodations they are requesting for their clinical placements with their DSP&S counselor. DSP&S will engage in the interactive process with the student to decide whether the student needs accommodations in the clinical placement. DSP&S will inform the clinical placement agency and the clinical instructor of the recommended accommodations, and DSP&S will coordinate implementation of the accommodations with the clinical placement and clinical instructor. For clinical placements, if DSP&S has approved the proposed accommodation, and the clinical placement cannot implement it, LMC shall do one or more of the following: (1) work with the placement to implement the accommodation or negotiate implementation of an equally effective alternative; (2) place the student in another placement that is equally effective for the student; or (3) end the relationship with the placement.
LMC's Employability Program serves students with physical or learning disabilities that may need special assistance in order to clarify and achieve their occupational goals. The program is a joint effort of the college's Employment Center, Career Center, and the DSP&S office. The Employability Program itself has two components: career guidance and job placement.
Disabled Student Programs & Services (DSP&S) at LMC is committed to keeping pace with technological advances that can improve educational access to students with disabilities. Listed below are technological accommodations that we currently can offer to students.

Hearing Impairments
Phonic Ear System with transmitter and receiver. This unit is available to be checked out by the students from the Media Center after conference with a DSP&S counselor. The system utilizes a small microphone worn by the instructor, and a receiver with a headphone or a loop that transmits by FM frequency worn by the student. It blocks out background noise and amplifies the sound coming from the microphone. Teledigital Device (TTY) is a keyboard based transmitter and receiver which students with both hearing and speech and language impairments can communicate by telephone with *the DSP&S office. TTY systems have been incorporated into some of the public telephones on campus, as well as, the telephone registration system.
Any videos shown in the classroom or as part of online course content must be shown with captioning.
Learning Disabilities, Attention Deficit, Psychological Disabilities & Acquired Brain Injuries
Adaptive computer software, audio cassette tape recorders for note taking, assistive technology, which electronically scans printed material and converts it to voice, to read and/or tape textbooks and handouts.
Adaptive computer hardware and software. Audio-cassette tape recorders for taping course lectures and discussions.
Assistive technology such as screen reading and voice recognition software

Closed Circuit TV - enlarges print

Audio recorders for lectures

Enlarged print for tests and instructional materials

Ask the Student
While we encourage students to discuss their needs with their instructors, students don’t always follow this recommendation. If you have questions about whether a student might require an accommodation, the first person to ask is the student, but not in front of the class or a group of students. Confidentiality is important to remember.

Be Aware Of Your Language
Using terms such as "students with disabilities" rather than "disabled students" puts the emphasis on the person rather than the disability. Avoid outdated potentially derogatory labels.
Don't be afraid to approach a person with a disability. Don't worry about using words, such as "walk", with a person in a wheelchair. As with anyone else, just treat them, as you would like to be treated, with respect. Normal courtesy and respect is the key.
Speak Directly To The Student
Don't consider a companion to be a conversation go-between. Even if the student has an interpreter present, speak directly to the student, not to the interpreter.
Give Your Full Attention
Be considerate of the extra time it might take for a person with a disability to get things said or done. Don't talk for the person who has difficulty speaking, but give help when needed. Keep your manner encouraging rather than correcting or impatient.
Speak Slowly and Distinctly
When talking to a person who is hearing impaired or has other difficulty understanding, speak slowly without exaggerating your lip movement. Stand in front of the person and use gestures to aid communication. Many students who are deaf or hard of hearing rely on being able to read your lips. When full understanding is doubtful, write notes.
Appreciate Abilities
Students with disabilities, like all of us, do some things well and others not as well. By focusing on what they can do, instead of what they can't, you will help to build their confidence.
Use Common Sense
Although some students with disabilities may require significant adaptation and modification in the classroom, more often common sense approaches can be applied to ensure that students have access to course content.
A test should measure what it purports to measure, not the effects of the disability. The most appropriate method of administering a test depends upon the student's disability and the design of the test. Students with disabilities that affect manual dexterity, vision or perception generally may be allowed extra time to complete tests. It is possible for DSP&S to administer the exam in the DSP&S offices according to the instructor's specifications. Please send your exam to DSP&S as early as possible.


If a student requests any sort of accommodation, you must inform the student that their disability and need for accommodation must be verified through DSP&S. You should refer to the student to DSP&S so that the disability and need for accommodation can be verified. After the disability and need for accommodation has been verified, you should find out from the counselor or specialist what the appropriate accommodations are. You should never try to accommodate a student, or deny accommodation to a student, without working through the DSP&S office. If a student has a complaint regarding denial of accommodation, or failure to fully implement an accommodation, the student should be referred to the DSP&S coordinator or counseling for guidance. It is likely that there are students in your classroom whom you suspect may need special accommodations but who have not told you about their needs. Should you approach the student to discuss their need for services, please be sensitive to the fact that he/she may be reluctant to discuss their problems or they may have difficulty explaining them to you. If you feel reluctant or unsure about how to bring the subject up with the student, we would be happy to discuss this with you. It may be good practice to announce to your classes early on in each semester “that students with disabilities may wish to contact the DSP&S Program.” We would be happy to provide you with brochures to hand out to interested students.

Acquired Brain Injury
A deficit in brain functioning which is non-degenerative and is medically verifiable, resulting in a total or partial loss of one or more of the following: cognitive, communication, motor, psycho-social and sensory perceptual abilities constitute an Acquired Brain Injury. (Administrative Code, Title V) it is estimated that 50,000 people per year suffer a head injury severe enough to keep them from returning to their pre-injury level of functioning. College age students are in a high-risk age group for this type of injury; two-thirds of all head injury cases occur among persons aged 15-24. Some students with acquired brain injury (ABI) have mobility problems that will require accommodations. Many do not, so their disability may not be readily apparent and some may be reluctant to reveal it to you. Many of these individuals have been through extensive rehabilitation; they are proud of the progress they have made and want to be self-sufficient. At the same time, they often are painfully aware of the fact that they do not learn as easily as they did before their injury; this can cause great frustration. Among the cognitive deficits persons with head injuries may experience are difficulties with concentration, memory, problem solving, and abstract reasoning. In our experience at LMC, the problem students mention most is memory. You may find that such students do well on test items that require them to recognize answers (multiple choice, matching) but do poorly on items requiring total recall (fill in the blank, etc.)

Hearing Impairments
A hearing impairment means that a person has experienced a total or partial loss of hearing function which impedes the communication process essential to language, educational, social and/or cultural interactions.
There are three terms that we have all heard and sometimes confuse. The generic term Hearing Impairment is a word used to describe all types of hearing defects, ranging from a minute loss to profound deafness. Hearing impairment is the most prevalent chronic physical disability in the United States with over 13 million individuals being affected. More specifically, Hard of Hearing is a condition where hearing is defective to varying degrees (usually a hearing aid can enhance the understanding of speech). Deaf/Deafness is a condition in which perceivable sounds have no meaning for ordinary life purposes (hearing aids enhance awareness of vibrations such as horns and sirens, but not speech.) Title V lists Hearing Impairments under the heading of Communication Disability.

Lighting is very important when communicating with a deaf or hard of hearing person. Do not stand in front of a window or bright light when talking. Try to talk where there is adequate, well distributed light. Be sure to face them when talking. Speak slowly and do not over exaggerate your lip movements. Keep your hands away from your face. Facial activities such as cigarette smoking, vigorous gum chewing, or biting your lips prevent clear communication. Using facial expressions, gestures, and other "body language" is helpful in conveying your message. Be aware that individuals who can hear make the best lip readers, (also called "speech readers"). Of individuals who had extensive training in lip reading, hard-of-hearing students can understand up to 50 percent of speech, and deaf students can understand only up to 25 percent. It takes a great deal of concentration to lip read.
If you see a student with a hearing aid, this does not mean that the student can understand verbal language. The student may require an alternative form of communication, (i.e., an interpreter, note taker, or use of other hearing aid devices.) When using an interpreter to communicate with a student, address the student directly saying "How are you today?" versus "How is she today?" Many students who are hard of hearing do not hear tone of voice, therefore, some expressions, such as sarcastic statements, might be misleading if taken literally. Try to avoid giving misleading information this way. Also, try to avoid using idioms or colloquial expressions.
Since conversation is a two-way street, receiving messages is as important as sending them. Do not hesitate to ask the individual to slow down or repeat when you do not fully understand. Understand that occasionally the student might have to ask you to restate what you say to make sure he or she completely understands you. Rephrase what you have said, rather than repeating the same words again. Use open-ended questions, which need more than a "yes" or "no" answer. Do not assume that the person who is deaf understands if they nod their head. Open-ended questions assure that your information has been communicated. Faculty members should not hesitate to write notes when necessary to communicate with a student. Remember to keep the notes simple and direct.
A student who is deaf or hard of hearing depends on visual cues to supplement what he or she does not hear. Seating is an important consideration. The student will need to be near the front so that his or her view is not obstructed. If a student has a unilateral hearing loss, he or she should be seated so that maximum use of the good ear is permitted.
Because of a time lag between the spoken word and the interpretation, the student's contribution to the lecture or discussion may be slightly delayed. Students may have some speech and/or language impairment. Although, this does not affect a student's ability to learn new information, some difficulty in the acquisition of new vocabulary may lead to reluctance to participate in class. Assumptions should not automatically be made about the student's ability to participate in certain types of classes. For example, students may be able to learn a great deal about music styles, techniques, and rhythms by observing a visual display of the music on an oscilloscope or similar apparatus or by feeling the vibrations of music.
Most students will be able to take tests and evaluations in the same way as other students. Some may need additional time in order to gain a full understanding of the test questions. It has been found that if the test is written, some students do better if an interpreter reads and translates the questions to the student in sign language. However, many other students prefer to read tests themselves. If the method of evaluation is oral, the interpreter can serve as the reverse interpreter for the student.
Please notify the DSP&S office well in advance when you have exams and the exam format. If the student does not need the interpreter or captioner for the exam, DSP&S needs advance notice to cancel the service without incurring cost for that day.
Avoid Orally Administered Exams Requiring Written Answers
The primary form of communication within the deaf community is sign language. In view of this, many persons who are deaf or have profound hearing loss since birth or an early age have not mastered the grammatical subtleties of their "second language" English. This does not mean that instructors should overlook errors in written (or spoken) work. However, they should know this difficulty with English is not related to intelligence but is similar to that experienced by students whose native language is other than English.
Interpreters & Captioners
Some of the students will attend classes with an oral or sign language interpreter or a real-time captioner or distance captioning equipment. The interpreters will usually situate themselves in front of the class to interpret lectures and discussions. Interpretation will be easiest in lecture classes and more difficult in seminar or discussion classes. Because class formats are so varied, it is recommended that the professor, interpreter and student arrange a conference early in the course to discuss any special arrangements that may be needed. Please be aware of the difficulties the student may have trying to watch a film and the interpreter at the same time. Turn on the captioning for videos shown in class. An interpreter’s proficiency level decreases after 20 minutes. You can help make sure that the student is receiving clear and concise transmission by allowing breaks for any class over 50 minutes.
If you need to communicate directly with the interpreter, he or she will interpret your conversation into sign language for the student.
When distance captioning or Phonic Ear systems are used, please repeat into the microphone any questions from the class so that the student may clearly receive this information.
Sign-language interpreters and captioners are scheduled by the Disabled Student Programs & Services, upon request from the student. Not all students with hearing impairments request or use interpreters or captioners.
Note Takers
Please make an announcement in your class that DSP&S is seeking volunteers to take notes in classes. Students who volunteer as a note taker for DSP&S can receive an earlier registration appointment for a future semester. Note taker services are available for hearing impaired students. It often helps to have another student or students, who are good note takers, carbon or copy notes so that the students with hearing impairments can give his or her full attention to watching the speaker or interpreter. Special note taking paper is available in the DSP&S office.
The Phonic Ear System is an amplifying system available in Media Services used by students as recommended by the DSP&S Coordinator. The Phonic Ear System amplifies sound to the student through a small microphone and transmitter the speaker (instructor) wears and a receiver worn by the student. It amplifies sound only for the student using this piece of equipment, not for others in the classroom.
There are TTY’s available on campus. There is a TTY available in Central Services for faculty and staff to use.

Learning disabilities affect the manner in which individuals with average or above average intelligence receive, process, retain and/or express information. A learning disability is NOT to be confused with generalized low ability. Learning disabilities are invisible, but may affect a student's performance in reading, writing, spoken language, mathematics, orientation in space and time and/or organization. The areas of difficulty will vary from one student to another.
According to the Title V regulations, which govern the California community colleges, the definition of a learning disability is as follows:
Learning disability in California Community College adults is a persistent condition of presumed neurological dysfunction, which may also exist with other disabling conditions. This dysfunction continues despite instruction in standard classroom situations.
Learning-disabled adults, a heterogeneous group, have these common attributes:

  1. average to above average intellectual ability;

  2. severe processing deficit;

  3. severe aptitude-achievement discrepancy(ies); and

  4. Average to above average measured achievement in an instructional setting.

Students with learning disabilities may exhibit one or more of the following characteristics:

  1. Confusion of similar words, difficulty using phonics, problems reading multi-syllable words

  2. Difficulty finding important points or main ideas

  3. Slow reading rate and/or difficulty adjusting speed to the nature of the reading task

  4. Difficulty with comprehension and retention of material that is read, but not with materials presented orally


  1. Difficulty with sentence structure, poor grammar, omitted words

  2. Frequent spelling errors, inconsistent spelling, letter reversals

  3. Difficulty copying from the board

  4. Poorly formed handwriting--may print instead of using script; write with an inconsistent slant; have difficulty with certain letters, space words unevenly

  5. Compositions lacking organization and development of ideas


  1. Difficulty paying attention when spoken to, inconsistent concentration

  2. Has trouble listening to a lecture and taking notes at the same time

  3. Is easily distracted by background noise or visual stimulation

  4. Inconsistent concentration

  5. May appear to be hurried on one-to-one meetings

Oral Language

  1. Difficulty expressing ideas orally which the student seems to understand

  2. Problems describing events or stories in proper sequence

  3. Problems with grammar

  4. Using a similar sounding word in place of the appropriate one


  1. Difficulty memorizing basic facts

  2. Confusion or reversal of numbers, number sequences or symbols

  3. Difficulty copying problems, aligning columns

  4. Difficulty reading or comprehending word problems

Study Skills

  1. Problems with reasoning and abstract concepts

  2. Poor organization and time management

  3. Exhibits an inability to stick to simple schedules, repeatedly forgets things, loses or leaves possessions, and generally seems "personally disorganized"

  4. Difficulty following directions

  5. Poor organization of notes and other written materials

Social Skills

  1. Difficulty "reading" facial expressions, body language

  2. Problems interpreting subtle messages, such as sarcasm or humor

  3. Seems disorganized in space - confuses up and down, right and left: gets lost in a building, is disoriented when familiar environment is rearranged

  4. Seems disoriented in time, i.e. is often late to class, unusually early for appointments or unable to finish assignments in the standard time period

  5. Displays excessive anxiety, anger, or depression because of the inability to cope with school or social situations

Detailed Syllabus
Provide a detailed syllabus that includes course objectives, weekly topics, classroom activities, required reading and writing assignments, and dates of tests, quizzes, and vacations. Leave a blank space for notes after the outline for each week's work.
Rules Clarification
Clarify rules in advance: how students will be graded, whether makeup tests or rewrites of papers are allowed, what the conditions are for withdrawal from a course or taking an incomplete. These should be included in the syllabus.
Reviews and Previews
It is extremely helpful if the instructor briefly reviews the major points of the previous lecture or class and highlights main points to be covered that day. Try to present reviews and previews both visually and orally.
Study Aids
Use study aids such as study questions for exams or pretests with immediate feedback before the final exam.
Multi-Sensory Teaching
Learning-disabled students learn more readily if material is presented in as many modalities as possible (seeing, speaking, touching).
Help the student visualize the material. Visual aids include overhead projectors, PowerPoint presentations, films, chalkboards, flip charts, computer graphics, and illustration of written text.
Use color. For instance, in teaching respiration technology, everything related to the body's respiratory system might be highlighted in green and the digestive system in orange. In complex mathematical sequences, use color to follow transformations and to highlight relationships.
Provide opportunities for touching and handling materials that relate to ideas. Cutting and pasting parts of compositions to achieve logical plotting of thoughts is one possibility.
Whenever possible, announcements should be in oral and written form. This is especially true of changes in assignments or exams.
Distinct Speech
An instructor, who speaks at an even speed, emphasizing important points with pauses, gestures, and other body language, helps students follow classroom presentations. Try not to lecture while facing the chalkboard.
Eye Contact
This is important in maintaining attention and encouraging participation.
Demonstration and Role Play
These activities can make ideas come alive and are particularly helpful to the student who has to move around in order to learn.

Other Tips

  • Emphasize new or technical vocabulary.

  • Ask the DSP&S alternate media specialist to arrange to have specific passages enlarged or provided in audio format.

  • Allow time for students to work in small groups to practice, to solve problems, and to review work.

  • Break down teaching into small units. Short daily reading assignments will help the student with learning disabilities learn how to budget and organize study time. Build up to longer units.

  • Teach students memory tricks and acronyms as study aids. Use examples from current course work, and encourage students to create their own tricks.

  • Encourage students with learning disabilities to sit in front of the classroom.

  • Give feedback. Errors need to be corrected as quickly as possible.

  • Assist the student in teaming up with a classmate to obtain copies of notes.

  • Remember to read aloud material on the board or on transparencies.

  • Remind students often of your availability during office hours for individualized clarification of lectures, reading, and assignments.

  • Periodically offer tips and encourage class discussion of ways for improving studying - organizational ideas, outlining techniques, summarizing strategies, etc.

  • In exam questions, avoid unnecessarily intricate sentence structure, double negative and questions embedded within questions.

  • Permit the use of a dictionary for essay exams.

  • Permit the use of a calculator when mathematical disability is severe.

  • Give less weight to spelling when that disability is severe.

  • Provide additional scratch paper to help students with overly large or poor handwriting.

  • Encourage students to use a word processor with spelling check.

  • Encourage students to dictate best ideas into a tape recorder before writing a report.

  • Use dark colored pens on boards, to help students with visual impairments.

Upon completion of testing and eligibility for services, students may be entitled to receive one or more of the following accommodations as prescribed in his/her Student Educational Contract.
Specialized tutoring (available when funding permits) by DSP&S tutors emphasizing use of special learning strategies for the student's study needs.
Specialized classes including prescriptive reading, spelling, writing, math. and study skills.
Learning Disabilities Assessments are conducted for students in either the Learning Skills Eligibility Assessment classes or as a service through the DSP&S office.
Individualized instruction that helps students with learning disabilities to use computers to compensate for their disabilities. Word processing, spell checking, grammar checking, and other tools are offered for students with writing, reading, and math problems. Cognitive software programs are being explored and will also available soon to help improve memory.
Note taking Services or audio recording of lectures. Please make an announcement in your class that DSP&S is seeking volunteers to take notes in classes. Students who volunteer as a note taker for DSP&S can receive an earlier registration appointment for a future semester.
Specialized software such as voice recognition software, screen reading software and word prediction features.
Videos shown in the classroom or through online environment including captioning or a transcript available.
Special testing accommodations:
1. Extended time on tests.

2. Tests and exams taken in the DSP&S Office.

3. If requested, tests read to the student by a proctor or using assistive technology.

Mobility related disabilities are caused by orthopedic or other health related impairments, such as muscular dystrophy or cerebral palsy. They can include students using wheelchairs, crutches, braces, walkers, or canes to move about. However, not all students with mobility impairments require mobility aides.
a. Mobility and orthopedic impairment means a serious limitation in locomotion or motion functions, which indicate a need for special services or special classes.

b. Other health impairment means a serious dysfunction of a body part or system, which necessitates the use of one or more of the supportive services or programs. (Title V)

Suggestions for helping students with mobility impairment and other physical disabilities to be more successful in your classroom:
If it seems that a student may have to miss a special meeting, conference with you, or other such event because of an inaccessible location, please move your conference or meeting to an accessible location.
Lateness and Absences
Students with mobility impairments may also require more time to get to and from classes because the accessible travel routes are often round about; they are often dependent on slow, busy elevators and they cannot make up for time lost when an earlier class is held overtime. In bad weather, these students may be unable to get to class. Please give reasonable consideration for absence or lateness under these circumstances.
Other reasons for these students being late are waiting for assistance in opening doors, and maneuvering along crowded paths and corridors. If a student who uses a wheelchair is frequently late, it is, of course, appropriate to discuss the situation with him/her and seek solutions. Most students will schedule their classes with ample time between them; however this is not always possible. Early classes and attendants' schedules can pose particular difficulties. Students usually rely on assistants for getting to and from class. Last minute course section changes can be a problem.
Some students are susceptible to physical problems, which can require them to be absent during a prolonged course of medical treatment. If this occurs, understanding is appreciated. The student is responsible for notifying his or her instructor of the situation.
Some individuals with mobility impairments have disabilities that involve unavoidable personal hygiene problems that may cause them to be absent from class without advance notice. Such problems occur infrequently but should be given due consideration by faculty members.
Field Trips
If a class involves fieldwork or field trips, ask the student to participate in the selections of sites and modes of transportation. Students are not "confined" to wheelchairs. They often transfer to automobiles and to furniture. Some who use wheelchairs can walk with the aid of canes, braces, crutches, or walkers. Special arrangements will have to be made for field trips when students have difficulty transferring from wheelchair to car.

Classroom Considerations
Classes taught in laboratory settings will usually require some modification of the workstation. Considerations include under-the-counter knee clearance, working counter-top height, horizontal working reach, and aisle widths.
Working directly with the student may be the best way to provide modifications to the workstation. Those students, who may not be able to participate in a laboratory class without the assistance of an aide, should be allowed to benefit from the actual lab work to the fullest extent. The student can give all instructions to an aide-from what chemical to add to what type of test tube to use to where to dispose of used chemicals. The student will learn everything except the physical manipulation of the chemicals.
Classes in physical education and recreation can almost always be modified so that the student in a wheelchair can participate. Classmates are usually more than willing to assist, if necessary. Most students who use wheelchairs do not get enough physical exercise in daily activity, so it is particularly important that they be encouraged, as well as provided with the opportunity, to participate.

Other Tips
Because a student sitting in a wheelchair is about as tall as most children, and because a pat on the head is often used to express affection toward children, many people are inclined to reach out and pat the person in a wheelchair on the head. These students usually find this to be demeaning. A wheelchair is part of the person's body space. Try not to automatically lean on the chair; it is similar to hanging or leaning on the person. When talking to a student in a wheelchair for more than a few minutes sit down or kneel, if convenient. Most students who use wheelchairs will ask for assistance if they need it. Do not assume automatically that assistance is required. Offer assistance if you wish, but do not insist, and be willing to accept a "No, thank you." graciously.

  • Adaptations for regular classes

  • Audio recording of lectures

  • Note taking services

  • Students with limited use of their hands may have difficulty writing or may not be able to write at all. These students are advised to utilize auxiliary aids such as audio recorders, note takers, and adaptive computers.

  • Special testing accommodations:

  1. Extended time on tests

  2. Tests scribed and/or proctored by instructional assistants

  • Adaptive Physical Education Classes

  • Aquatic Fitness

  • Adaptive Swimming

  • Individualized Exercise

  • Weight Lifting

  • Accessible furniture

According to Title V, visual impairment means total or partial loss of sight.

Only small minorities of people are actually totally blind; most are considered "legally blind". Even with correction, a legally blind person's best eye sees less at 20 feet than a normal eye sees at 200 feet. Difficulties experienced by many individuals with visual impairments may include; recurring eye strain while reading, inability to read standardized print, inability to read poor quality print or certain colors of print, and sensitivity to bright light.

Students, who have been blind since birth, or shortly after, have no visual memories. Their concept of objects, space, and distance may be different from those who became blind later in life. Mobility skills of individuals may vary depending on the age of onset of blindness and the quality and extent of mobility training and mobility talent. Some students who are blind will use Braille with competence, but many do not use it. Most students with visual impairments can acquire information through listening. Some students who are blind are competent typists, but their written communication and spelling skills sometimes reflect their natural dependency on audio transmission of information.

Suggestions for Helping Students with Visual Impairments to Succeed In the Classroom
Treat the students with visual impairments very much like you would any other student. Use words like "see" without being self-conscious. If you are in a room alone with a blind person try to remember to explain what you are doing, such as shuffling papers. Tell him/her when someone comes in the room or when you leave the room. It is never impolite to ask if they need or would like assistance.
If you use visual aids in the class, try to be as descriptive as possible. "Words like "this" or "that" can be confusing. Consider making copies of overhead materials or diagrams so that the student can later ask an assistant to describe the information in detail to understand the material better.
A student may use a Service Dog. These dogs have been trained to guide people who are blind, to keep out of the way, and to he quiet. These working dogs should not be treated as pets and should not be petted while working.
When relocation of a class is necessary, a note on the blackboard or door is not adequate; it would be helpful to have a sighted student wait for the visually impaired student to arrive.
"Talents" are often merely the development of latent mental resources or the result of great persistence. It can be frustrating after such hard work for others to refer to their sensory abilities as a "sixth sense" as it does not acknowledge the tremendous efforts expended.

Adaptations for Regular Classes

  • Audio recording of lectures.

  • Alternate Media materials/recorded books (may take as long as eight weeks to obtain). Students will need to arrange with the DSP&S counselor for audio texts before the semester begins.


  • Because of the time necessary to produce alternate media materials, students often require extra time to complete required materials, especially when library research is involved.

  • Please keep in mind that last minute assignments can present a problem due to preparation and alternate media production.


  • Extra time on tests.

  • Enlargement of tests.

  • Tests read and scribed by instructional assistant.

Assistive Technology Available On Campus

  • Software including scan and read programs, voice recognition programs, and screen enlargement programs

  • Closed Circuit Television available

  • Learning Skills Classes

  • Audio Recorders that can be checked out by students.

  • Alternate media materials         

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