ADA Quick Pointers
The ADAAA (The ADA Amendments Act) went into effect January 2009. It strengthens the law and rights of individuals with disabilities; and, also broadens the definition of disability to include new areas. The ADAAA overturns a decade of jurisprudence that has barred the door to ADA eligibility for many people with disabilities, including epilepsy, diabetes, intellectual and developmental disabilities, muscular dystrophy, and cancer, among many others.
The ADAAA is an anti-discrimination law. In interacting with students with disabilities, ask yourself, “Would I say this, or do this, or have this attitude in like manner with a person based on race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, etc.?” What may be said as an innocent comment to encourage a student may be taken as a statement of discrimination or put down. Some well-intended comments have ended up before a discrimination grievance hearing committee.
When planning resources for students remember that what is provided to any student must be provided in accessible format to every student. Please consider handouts, Power Points, videos, and video clips… Are these accessible for students who are blind and deaf? If you have a deaf students, then videos and video clips need to be captioned. If you have blind student, then graphs, diagrams, and any online graphics need explanations or “alt tags” to communicate what is in the graphic. Web pages need to be accessible to all. If you use My____ Lab (or other Internet based tool for homework) can the font be enlarged? Plan ahead for access!
Providing appropriate and adequate accommodations to students with disabilities is the responsibility of the entire RSC campus, not just the disability services office. PLEASE follow the accommodation form. If you have questions, please call.
MANY disabilities are HIDDEN; but yet are just as real as ones that require a white cane or a wheelchair. These include but are not limited to: learning disabilities, ADHD, TBI (traumatic brain injuries), many medical issues, and psychological disabilities. If a student comes with an accommodation form, that means the documentation has been reviewed and the approved accommodations are based on what was presented to disability services.
Accommodations are to insure equal access to the learning opportunity for the student with disabilities. Every student in your class should be evaluated by the same standard.
In case of an emergency have an evacuation plan for each class location, especially if you have students with mobility related disabilities.
Student Access Services (formerly Disability Services)
Learning Resources Center (LRC), Room 106
6420 Southeast 15th Street
Midwest City, OK 73110