- What is a disability?
- What is meant by "is regarded
as having such an impairment" in the definition of disability?
- Isnít "disability" and
"handicap" the same thing?
- What is
a reasonable accommodation?
- How does a student
become eligible to receive accommodations?
- Who determines the
- Wonít providing
accommodations on examinations give an unfair advantage to a
student with a disability?
- What do I do when a
student discloses a disability?
- What if a student doesnít
tell me about a disability until late in the semester?
- Can I review the studentís
documentation of the disability?
- What if I suspect that
a student has a disability?
- What if a student with
a disability is failing?
- What if a student with a
disability is often absent?
- What is a notetaker?
- How can I assist
a student with getting notes?
- What should
I do if a student who is deaf or hard of hearing shows up in
my class without an interpreter?
- Who is responsible
for requesting an interpreter?
- Do I need
to alter my teaching style with an interpreter present?
- What can
I expect if there is an interpreter in my classroom?
- What should I
do if my class needs to evacuate the building due to an emergency?
- What if a student has a
seizure in my classroom?
is a disability?
An individual with a disability is defined as any person who:
is meant by "is regarded as having such an impairment" in the
definition of disability?
a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits
one or more major life activities (including walking, seeing,
hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, working, caring
for oneself, or performing manual tasks),
a record of such an impairment, or
regarded as having such an impairment."
a person with a facial disfigurement may not have an impairment
which substantially limits one or more major life activities,
but others may regard him or her has having one due to how
he or she appears.
"disability" and "handicap" the same thing?
is a condition caused by accident, trauma, genetics or disease
that may limit a personís mobility, hearing, vision, speech,
or mental function. A person may have more than one disability.
is a physical or attitudinal constraint imposed upon a person;
for example, stairs, narrow doorways, and curbs are handicaps
imposed upon people with disabilities who use wheelchairs.
is a reasonable accommodation?
accommodation is a modification or adjustment to a course,
program, service, job, activity, or facility that enables
a qualified individual with a disability to have an equal
opportunity to attain the same level of performance or to
enjoy equal benefits and privileges as are available to an
individual without a disability. Some common academic accommodations
include extended time on tests, use of peer notetakers, use
of computer with spellcheck, and provision of sign language
does a student become eligible to receive accommodations?
eligible, a student must have a documented
disability and inform the College that he or she is requesting
accommodations based on that disability.
Disability Support Services (DSS),
the DSS Intake Packet and submit
to the DSS office,
DSS with documentation of the disability from a qualified
with a DSS counselor to determine appropriate accommodations.
determines the accommodation?
determine the accommodations using:
of reasonable accommodations considers the following:
of the disability from qualified professionals provided
by the student,
gathered from a diagnostic student intake process, and
from appropriate College personnel regarding essential standards
for courses, programs, services, jobs, activities, and facilities.
barriers resulting from the interaction between the disability
and the campus environment;
array of accommodations that might remove the barriers;
or not the student has access to the course, program, service,
job, activity, or facility without accommodations; and
essential elements of the course, program, service, job,
activity, or facility are not compromised by the accommodations.
providing accommodations on examinations give an unfair advantage
to a student with a disability?
donít make things easier, just possible; in the same way eyeglasses
do not improve the strength of the eyes, they just make it
possible for the individual to see better. Accommodations
are interventions that allow the learner to indicate what
they know. Without the accommodations, the learner may not
be able to overcome certain barriers." (Samuels,
M. 1992 - Asking the Right Questions. The Learning Centre.
are designed to lessen the effects of the disability and are
required to provide fair and accurate testing to measure knowledge
or expertise in the subject. Careful consideration must be
given to requests for accommodations when the test is measuring
a skill, particularly if that skill is an essential function
or requirement of passing the course, such as typing at a
certain speed or turning a patient for an x-ray. In such cases,
please contact a DSS counselor for guidance.
purpose of such academic accommodations is to adjust for the
effect of the student's disability, not to dilute academic
requirements. The evaluation and assigning of grades should
have the same standards for all students, including students
test takers, the most common accommodation is extended time.
Double time is the maximum extension unless the DSS counselor
gives prior approval. In specific circumstances, students
may also require the use of readers and/or scribes, a modification
of test format, the administration of examinations orally,
or an alternative time for testing. For out-of-class assignments,
the extension of deadlines may be justified, especially if
the student is relying heavily on support services (readers
for term papers, etc.).
accommodations are necessary, students are responsible for
discussing the arrangements with their instructors; instructors
at the Rockville Campus should then make arrangements with
the Assessment Center (CC014) or, if specified in the Accommodations
Letter, the DSS Learning Center (CB116)/240-567-5224. On
the other campuses, contact the designated DSS counselor to
determine the best method of accommodation.
do I do when a student discloses a disability?
the Accommodations Letter from DSS; this letter describes
the accommodations that faculty are legally mandated to provide.
During an office hour or at another convenient time, discuss
the letter and the accommodations with the student. Students
MUST present an Accommodations Letter from DSS to receive
accommodations. If the student does not have an Accommodations
Letter, he or she should be referred to the DSS office to
request services. The DSS counselors will determine the appropriate
accommodations after reviewing documentation of the disability
providedby the student.
any questions about recommended accommodations first with
the student, then, if necessary, with a DSS counselor.
if a student doesnít tell me about a disability until late in
have a responsibility to give instructors and DSS adequate
time to arrange accommodations. DSS counselors encourage students
to identify early in the semester. Instructors can help by
announcing in class and in the syllabus an invitation for
students to identify themselves early
in the semester: "Any student who may need an accommodation
due to a disability, please make an appointment to see me
during my office hours. A letter from Disability Support Services
authorizing your accommodations will be needed."
student has identified to the instructor and requests disability-related
accommodations authorized by DSS, the College has a legal
responsibility to make reasonable attempts to accommodate
the need, even late in the semester. There is no responsibility
to provide accommodations prior to identification; for example,
allowing the student to re-take exams with extended
should feel free to contact a DSS counselor
for assistance on arrangements for last-minute requests.
I review the studentís documentation of the disability?
the office designated to receive and interpret documentation
of the disability. DSS counselors certify eligibility for
services and determine accommodations. Disability information
is confidential and students are not required to disclose
this information to instructors.
if I suspect that a student has a disability?
the student about your concerns regarding his or her performance.
If the concern seems disability-related, ask if he or she
has ever received assistance for a disability. If it seems
appropriate, refer the student to the DSS office to apply
for services. Whether to self-identify to DSS is the decision
of the student; however, to receive accommodations, disclosure
to DSS with proper documentation is required.
student has never been evaluated for a learning
disability and/or Attention Deficit
Disorder/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, the
DSS office will provide a list of local
resources where the student may be screened or tested.
Some of the resources offer a sliding fee schedule.
if a student with a disability is failing?
the student as you would any student who is not performing
well in your class. Invite the student to your office hour
to discuss reasons for the failing performance and what resources
the student may use to improve. Encourage the student to see
a DSS counselor to discuss some additional strategies to improve
his or her grades. Contact the DSS counselor who initialed
the Accommodations Letter to discuss any additional concerns.
if a student with a disability is often absent?
with the student to discuss your concerns that absences
class performance. Remind him or her of your policy on class
absences, as well as the College's
Academic Regulation 9.823 on Attendance. Determine with the student
whether the missed
work can be made up and make arrangements with the student
do so. Refer the student to the DSS counselor if too much
work has been missed.
is a notetaker?
is a usually another student in class who agrees to provide
copies of lecture notes taken during class. The notetaker
may make copies of notes at the DSS office or use carbonless
notetaker paper available at no charge from DSS and/or in
the College bookstores at minimal cost.
can I assist a student with getting notes?
Letter will document the need for notetakers. Students who
cannot take notes or have difficulty taking notes adequately
due to the effects of their disability can be accommodated
in a number of ways including: allowing them to tape record
lectures, assisting them in obtaining an in-class volunteer
notetaker, and providing them with an outline of lecture materials
and copies of overhead transparencies.
should I do if a student who is deaf or hard of hearing shows
up in my class without an interpreter?
unlikely event that a student shows up for the first day of
class without an interpreter, the student should be referred
to DSS. DSS will then attempt to schedule an interpreter or
work with the student to rearrange his or her schedule into
classes where an interpreter is already provided.
is responsible for requesting an interpreter?
requiring an interpreter for class must make the request to
DSS at least three weeks before the last day of regular registration.
For outside class requirements,
such as field trips or other assigned activities, as well
as office hours, students should request the interpreter in
writing to DSS at least two weeks ahead of time or more, depending
on the event. For a College-related event, such as a meeting,
workshop, or discussion group, the sponsoring department or
organizer should request an interpreter from DSS using the
interpreter request form available from the DSS office 240-567-5058. DSS cannot guarantee an interpreter when requests
are made less than two weeks before the event.
I need to alter my teaching style with an interpreter present?
are professionals who facilitate communication
between hearing individuals and people who are deaf or hard
of hearing. The role of the interpreter is similar to
that of a foreign language translator: to bridge the communication
gap between two parties.
in presentation style may be helpful when using
a sign language interpreter. The interpreter will let
you know if you need to slow down your rate of speaking or
if they need you to repeat any information. A desk copy of
the book is especially helpful for the interpreter when the
class is using examples or doing exercises from the text.
Please realize that if students are looking at the interpreter,
they cannot be reading a book, writing, or taking notes; a
pause for the students to finish their task may be required
before continuing the lecture.
can I expect if there is an interpreter in my classroom?
Interpreters are bound by the code of ethics developed by
the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, that specifies
that interpreters are to serve as communication intermediaries
who are not otherwise involved.
an interpreter is present, speak directly to the deaf or
hard of hearing person rather than to the interpreter, and
avoid using phrases such as "tell him" or "ask her."
normally, noting that there may be a lag time between the
spoken message and the interpretation.
referring to objects or written information, allow time
for the translation to take place. Replace terms such as
"here" and "there" with more specific terms, such as "on
the second line" and "in the left corner."
a conference room or class environment, the deaf student
and interpreter will work out seating arrangements, with
the interpreter usually located near the speaker.
the interpreter in advance if there is an audiovisual element
in a presentation, so arrangements can be made for lighting
sessions that extend longer than one hour, the interpreter
may require a short break to maintain proficiency in interpreting
should I do if my class needs to evacuate the building due to
read the Emergency Guidelines
for Individuals with Disabilities for complete guidelines
on how to assist students with disabilities during an emergency.
if a student has a seizure in my classroom?
Factsheet" on seizure disorders (.pdf format) is also
students with seizure disorders to inform their instructors
about what should be done if a seizure occurs during class
time. Some students request that Safety and Security be called
immediately, others request action as listed below.
happen when there is a sudden electrical discharge in the
brain. Each individual has a unique reaction. A seizure can
result in a relatively slight reaction, such as a short lapse
in attention, or a more severe reaction known as a grand mal,
which involves convulsions. Seizure disorders are generally
controlled by medication, so the possibility of a seizure
in the classroom is rare. If one does occur, the following
actions are suggested:
calm. Ease the student to the floor and open the collar
of the shirt. You cannot stop a seizure. Let it run its
course and do not try to revive the student.
hard, sharp, or hot objects that may injure the student,
but do not interfere with his or her movements.
not force anything between the studentís teeth.
the studentís head to one side for release of saliva. Place
something soft under the head.
sure that breathing is unobstructed, but do not be concerned
if breathing is irregular.
the student regains consciousness, let him or her rest as
long as desired.
help orient the student to time and space, suggest where
he or she is and what happened.
reassuringly to the student, especially as the seizure ends.
The student may be agitated or confused for several minutes
leave the student alone until he or she is clearheaded.
Ask whether you can call a friend or relative to help him
or her get home.
the seizure lasts beyond a few minutes, or if the student
seems to pass from one seizure to another without regaining
consciousness, contact the campus Safety and Security office.
This rarely happens, but when it does, it should be treated