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When planning your course, consider the following questions (from Scott, 1998): Answering these questions can help you define essential requirements for you and your students.For instance, participation in lab settings is critical for many biology classes; however, is traditional class lecture the only means of delivering instruction in a humanities or social science course?(Hodge & Preston-Sabin, 1997) Many of Universal Design’s methods emphasize a deliberate type of teaching that clearly lays out the course’s goals for the semester and for the particular class period. Toward an Accessible Pedagogy: Dis/ability, Multimodality, and Universal Design in the Technical Communication Classroom.For instance, a syllabus with clear course objectives, assignment details, and deadlines helps students plan their schedules accordingly. For first year students, this may be a different process than what they experienced in high school with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or Section 504 plan. At Vanderbilt, students must request accommodations through the Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action, and Disability Services Department (EAD) [
These “hidden” disorders can be hard for students to disclose because many people assume they are healthy because “they look fine.” In some cases, the student may make a seemingly strange request or action that is disability-related.
Additionally, providing an outline of the day’s topic at the beginning of a class period and summarizing key points at the end can help students understand the logic of your organization and give them more time to record the information.
Similarly, some instructional material may be difficult for students with certain disabilities.
Your attitudes and values not only influence the attitudes and values of your students, but they can affect the way you teach, particularly your assumptions about students…which can lead to unequal learning outcomes for those in your classes.” (Davis, 2010, p.
58) As a way to combat these issues, she advises that instructors treat each student as an individual and recognize the complexity of diversity.
(Scott, 1998; Bourke, Strehorn, & Silver, 2000) When teaching a student with any disability, it is important to remember that many of the principles for inclusive design could be considered beneficial to any student.