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Disability Support Services
Table of Contents
         Faculty/Staff Guide: Enrollment of Students with Disabilities

More than 1,062 identified students with disabilities enrolled at the College during the fall 2006 semester - nearly 5 percent of the total credit enrollment and twice the number enrolled in fall 1991. Most of the students have learning disabilities (55 percent), followed by attention deficit/hyperactivity disorders, and psychiatric and physical disabilities. Some disabilities are readily visible; more frequently, they are not and may be difficult to identify. Students may also have multiple disabilities.

General Considerations:

  • Do not assume a person with a disability needs your help; ask before doing.
  • If you offer assistance and the person declines, do not insist. If the person accepts, ask how you can best help and follow directions.
  • If a person with a disability is accompanied by another individual, make eye contact with and address the person with the disability directly, not the companion.
  • Avoid actions and words that suggest the person should be treated differently. It is appropriate to ask a person in a wheelchair to go for a walk or to ask a blind person if he or she sees what you mean.
  • Treat people with disabilities with the same level of respect and consideration that you have for others.


  • When referring to an individual who has a disability, mention the person before the disability. Say, "person with a disability," not "disabled person" or "the disabled."
  • Avoid referring to people by the disabilities they have; use their names.
  • People are not "bound" or "confined" to a wheelchair. Wheelchairs increase mobility and enhance freedom. It is more accurate to say "wheelchair user" or "person who uses a wheelchair."

Characteristics, considerations, instructional strategies, and possible accommodations for different disabilities:

Adapted from:  University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Campus. (1995). Access for Students with Disabilities: Policies, Procedures, and Resources. and several other sources listed in the "Credits" section of the Guide.

Content Manager: Janet Merrick,, 240-567-5061