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									Helping Faculty Create a Positive Learning Environment for Students with Disabilities
Teresa Spoulos Ed.D. San Diego State University tspoulos@mail.sdsu.edu
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Overview of Today’s Workshop
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III. IV.

Dissertation Study on ADD and Disclosure in a Higher Education Setting Disability Verification and Reasonable Accommodations Student and Campus Responsibilities Universal Design for Instruction

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The Dilemma of Disclosure for College Students with Attention Deficit Disorder
Spoulos, T. L. (2006). The dilemma of disclosure for college students with attention deficit disorder. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of San Diego, California.
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Reasons for not Disclosing
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Fear of Inaccurate Labels Accused of Faking Their Disability

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Experienced a Chilly Classroom Climate
Poor Self-Advocacy Skills
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Research Questions
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What has been the student’s comfort level in sharing confidential information with faculty? What is the student’s knowledge about ADD and does it appear to be sufficient for the student to self-advocate for classroom accommodations?

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Research Questions Continued
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Do students find the campus environment supportive in providing academic accommodations? How does a student’s comfort level, self advocacy skills, and satisfaction with the campus environment, together with student demographics, influence disclosure?
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

Participants
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Registered with the Office for Students with Disabilities Documentation of ADD Enrolled at a public university in the southwestern United States, in spring semester 2005
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Survey Instrument
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Student Experiences with Disclosure of Disability Student Perceptions of the Campus Environment Student Demographics

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Interview Themes
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Frequency in Requesting Accommodations Conditions for Disclosing to Professors Comfort Level in Requesting Accommodations Self-Advocacy Skills Professors’ Willingness to Provide Accommodations
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Study Respondents
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97 out of 393 students completed a 21 question survey on SurveyMonkey about ADD and disclosure. 6 of the 97 students volunteered to be interviewed regarding ADD and disclosure.
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Demographics
Surveys Gender Female Male Ethnicity African American Asian Latino/Latina Native American Caucasian Other Interviews

58 39
1 4 18 1 64 9

3 3

3 3

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Demographics Continued
Surveys Class Level Freshmen Sophomores Juniors Seniors Grad Students Diagnosed Before College Attending College Age Interviews

1 9 22 45 20
34 63 19 – 58

2 4

6 20 - 24
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Self-Advocacy

Mean and Standard Deviation for Each Self-Advocacy Survey Question
Standard Mean Deviation

Self-Advocacy

2. How familiar are you with the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, which are Federal laws that ensure classroom accommodations?
5. When requesting classroom accommodations, how effective are you in describing your disability to a professor in terms of limitations, for example, poor memory or concentration? 6. When requesting classroom accommodations, how often do you create a plan of action before talking to a professor?

1.89

1.09

2.34

1.10

2.51

1.38

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Comfort Level

Mean and Standard Deviation for Each Comfort Level Survey Question
Standard Mean Deviation 2.54 1.08

Comfort Level 1. How often do you request classroom accommodations, such as extra time for exams, a note taker, or a computer in the High Tech Center? 3. How stressful do you find it to request classroom accommodations from professors? 4. How frequently do you disclose your disability to professors? 7. How many times has a professor refused to approve an accommodation you requested, such as extra time for an exam, or a tape recorder for lecture notes?

3.57 2.30 4.57

1.19 0.96 0.90

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Comfort Level Continued

Mean and Standard Deviation for Each Comfort Level Survey Question

Comfort Level 8. How often have you experienced retaliation from a professor after disclosing? 9. How many times has a professor accused you of faking your disability? 10. How often do you feel embarrassed about having an Attention Deficit Disorder in an academic setting?

Standard Mean Deviation 4.62 0.76

4.64

0.84

3.16

1.18

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Campus Environment

Mean and Standard Deviation for Each Campus Environment Survey Question
Campus Environment 11. How sensitive do the faculty and staff of this university appear to be towards disability needs? 12. How willing are your professors to provide classroom accommodations, such as extra time for exams, or priority seating? 13. How responsive do you find Student Affairs offices such as, Financial Aid, or Career Services in meeting the needs of students with disabilities? Standard Mean Deviation 2.60 2.97 1.01 1.00

2.65

1.10

14. How knowledgeable are professors in providing academic accommodations?

2.30

0.88

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Self-Advocacy Skills

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Students are not familiar with Federal legislation that provides them academic accommodations. Students can somewhat describe their disability to professors.

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“I have ADD and I need extra time for exams.”
Interviewees – Students with ADD

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Comfort Level Findings
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Students disclose on a need-to-know basis. Students request accommodations more frequently if they have not experienced retaliation after disclosing. Younger students disclose less often. Students are concerned about the negative labels associated with having a disability.
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“I fear now of being different than everyone else in the class, so I’m just trying to battle through it.”
Adam - Student with ADD

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Campus Environment Findings
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Students evaluate the classroom climate before making the decision to disclose. Students are more willing to request accommodations if professors appear sensitive in providing accommodations. Students found professors fairly willing to provide accommodations but not very knowledgeable of disability issues.
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Disability Verification and Reasonable Accommodations

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Disability and Higher Education Legislation
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The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Sections 504 and 508 The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990

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Types of Disabilities Reported by Full-Time College Freshmen Attending Four-Year Institutions in Fall 2000
Disability Percentage

Hearing
Speech Orthopedic Learning Health Related Vision Other
About

8.6
2.9 7.1 40.4 15.4 16.1 16.9

6% of first-time, full-time freshmen self identified as having a disability. The total does not equal 100% because students could identify more than one disability. Henderson, C. (2001). College Freshmen with disabilities: A biennial statistical profile. Washington, DC: American Council on Education.
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Definition of Disability
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Has a mental or physical impairment which substantially limits one or more of a person’s major life activities; Has a record of such impairment; or Is regarded as having such an impairment.

Rehabilitation Act of 1973. 29 U.S.C. 791 et seq.
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Play word game to simulate processing difficulties.

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Examples of Academic Accommodations
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Textbooks in an Alternative Format Note Taker for Class Lectures Assistive Technology for Computers Sign Language Interpreting Extra Time for Exams Distraction Free Environment for Exams Library Aide
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Disabilities are Verified by Licensed Professionals
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Physician Psychologist Registered Nurse Physical Therapist Learning Disability Specialist Other Licensed Professionals

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Disability Verification: Questions and Information
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What is the diagnosis? Is the disability permanent or temporary? What is the level of severity? When was the disability diagnosed? What are the current prescribed medications related to the disability and their side effects? Request assessment procedures and results, if available, for disabilities that are not physical or sensory in nature. Describe the student’s functional limitations in an academic setting.
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Functional Limitations in an Academic Setting
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Mobility Reading Writing Memory Recall Concentration Judgment

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Seeing Hearing Speaking Test Taking Classroom Activities

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Confidentiality
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OSD cannot share information on a student’s disability unless the student gives written consent. OSD can provide students with a form that verifies that the student has a certified disability and is eligible to receive services through the student disability services program.
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National Association Resources
Attention Deficit Disorder Association http://www.add.org Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder http://www.chadd.org Learning Disability Association of America http://www.ldanatl.org National Alliance on Mental Illness http://www.nami.org Mental Health America http://www.nmha.org
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Student and Campus Responsibilities

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Student Responsibilities
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Provide verification of their disability to the Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD). Meet with an OSD counselor to discuss appropriate academic accommodations. Meet with his or her professors, in the privacy of the professor’s office, to provide a letter verifying their disability and discuss academic accommodations. Abide by all policies and procedures set forth by the institution, academic departments, and OSD in requesting academic accommodations.
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Office for Students with Disabilities Responsibilities
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Verify students’ disabilities. Identify and administer appropriate academic accommodations for each student. Keep confidential records for each student. Provide consultation to the campus community about ways to best serve students with disabilities.
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Faculty Responsibilities
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Cooperate with the OSD in providing academic accommodations to students with disabilities in a fair and timely manner. Maintain a classroom environment that is nondiscriminatory and harassment free for students with disabilities. Consult with the OSD if there are any questions regarding the implementation of accommodations.

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Faculty Responsibilities Continued
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Collaborate with the student or call the OSD with any questions about appropriately accommodating a student. Announce on the syllabus and in class at the beginning of each semester that students with disabilities should meet with them to discuss their classroom accommodations. This meeting should occur in a private setting or professor’s office to protect the student’s confidentiality.
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Sample Syllabus Statement
Students with disabilities who may need academic accommodations are encouraged to meet with me during my office hours or by appointment as soon as possible so that reasonable accommodations can be discussed and implemented.

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Universal Design for Instruction

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Definition of Universal Design
The design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design.

The Center for Universal Design: Environments and Products for All. (n.d.). About universal design. Retrieved September 19, 2006 from http://www.design.ncsu.edu/cud/about_ud/about_ud.htm.

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Examples of Universal Design
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Curb Cuts on Sidewalks Closed Captioning on Television Screens in Public Places Wheelchair Ramps to Building Entrances Automatic Electronic Doors Tool grips that can be used by Left Handed or Right Handed Individuals
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Universal Design for Instruction Benefits:
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Students with Disabilities Students for whom English is a Second Language Students From Other Cultures Older Students All Students
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The Nine Principles of Universal Design for Instruction

Scott, S. S., McGuire, J. M., & Shaw, S. F. (2003). Universal design for instruction: A new paradigm for adult instruction in postsecondary education. Remedial and Special Education, 24, 369-379.
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Principle 1: Equitable Use
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Instruction is designed to be useful to and accessible by people with diverse abilities. Instruction is identical whenever possible, equivalent when not.
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Example: Class materials are available online so students can access materials when needed.

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Principle 2: Flexibility in Use
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Instruction is designed to accommodate a wide range of learning styles. Provide choice in methods of use.
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Example: Create lectures that use visual aids, group activities, hands-on tasks, or web based discussions.

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Principle 3: Simple and Intuitive
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Instruction is designed in a straightforward and predictable manner regardless of the student’s experience, knowledge, language, or current concentration level. Eliminate unnecessary complexity.
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Example: Class assignments, due dates, and course evaluation are communicated clearly on the syllabus.
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Principle 4: Perceptible Information
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Instruction is designed so that necessary information is communicated effectively to the students.
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Example: Select course materials that can be accessed through hardcopy or electronically. This allows students with print impairments and other learning disabilities to use screen enlargers or screen readers.
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Principle 5: Tolerance for Error
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Instruction anticipates variation in individual student learning pace and prerequisite skills.
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Example: Climate supports students to turn in drafts of work for constructive feedback and editing before the final project is due.

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Principle 6: Low Physical Effort
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Instruction is designed to minimize nonessential physical effort in order to allow maximum attention to learning (does not apply when physical effort is integral to the course).
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Example: Allow students to use a laptop in class for taking notes or have access to a word processor for writing essay exams.
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Principle 7: Size and Space for Approach and Use
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Instruction is designed with consideration for appropriate size and space for approach, reach, manipulation, and use regardless of the student’s body size, posture, mobility, or communication needs.
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Example: Provide a wheelchair accessible science lab station.
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Principle 8: A Community of Learners
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The instructional environment promotes interaction and communication between students and among students and faculty.
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Example: Fostering communication between students in and out of the classroom through chat rooms, email, and discussion groups.
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Principle 9: Instructional Climate
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Instruction is designed to be welcoming and inclusive. High expectations are espoused for all students.
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Example: Create a welcoming and inclusive classroom atmosphere that promotes and encourages diversity.

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Universal Design for Instruction Resources
Applications of Universal Design. University of Washington. http://www.washington.edu/doit/Resources/udesign. html Center for Applied Special Technology. http://www.cast.org/research/udl/index.html The Center for Research on Developmental Education and Urban Literacy. University of Minnesota. http://www.education.umn.edu/crdeul
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Universal Design for Instruction Resources Continued
Disability and Diversity. San Diego State University. http://highered.sdsu.edu Ensuring Access Through Collaboration and Technology. California State University, Sonoma. http://enact.sonoma.edu FacultyWare: Tools for the Universal Design of Instruction. University of Connecticut. http://www.facultyware.uconn.edu/home.cfm
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Universal Design for Instruction Resources Continued

Ohio Learning Network: Using Technology to Enhance Learning. http://www.oln.org/ILT.ada.fame/help_1.html
Rehabilitation Research Design and Disability: ACCESS-ed Project. University of WisconsinMilwaukee. http://www.r2d2.uwm.edu/access-ed

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Universal Design for Instruction Resources Continued

Universal Design for Learning: Elements of Good Teaching. Ohio State University. http://telr.osu.edu/dpg/fastfact/fastfactcolor/universa l.pdf
Universal Design for Learning Resources. http://www.zeff.com/4C-UDL/UDresources.htm

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The End

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