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Information for Faculty

Information for Faculty Working with Students Who Have Disabilities

Prepared by the Learning Resource Center at Maryland Institute College of Art

The Learning Resource Center (LRC) supports MICA students-those who have disabilities and those who do not-with services and programs that foster the growth of academic skills, self-sufficiency, and self-advocacy. We have created this resource to assist faculty in working with students who have disabilities, those who choose to disclose a disability as well as those who choose to keep a disability private. Below, please find information on the following topics:


Accommodation Letters

Note-taking Services

Testing Services

Access to Course Materials and Classroom Spaces

Confidentiality

Hidden Disabilities

Contact Information for the LRC

Accommodation Letters

Each student must present faculty with a signed, dated, confidential letter from the LRC, on MICA letterhead. Faculty must accept and honor these letters, which will list approved classroom accommodations for the student. The LRC encourages instructors and students to discuss accommodations during a private conversation at the beginning of the semester. Disability support begins, however, when a student distributes the letter to the faculty member. Students can register at any time, but accommodations do not apply retroactively to earlier assignments.

 

Note-taking Services

Some students may require a copy of class notes. The LRC encourages faculty members to share lecture notes with all students, but if faculty cannot share their notes, we ask them to help our staff identify a volunteer note-taker from the course. Eligible LRC students will provide faculty with an additional form containing the following announcement.

"Due to a disability, a student in this course requires note-taking assistance. MICA's Learning Resource Center is looking for two or three people to share their notes with this classmate. He or she attends class regularly, but his or her disability interferes with the note-taking process. Please identify yourselves now, or after class, if you would like to volunteer, and I will give you further instructions on how to proceed. There is, I should add, a modest stipend for this service. Thank you."

Instructors should read the announcement aloud, without identifying the student who requires the accommodation. Faculty members can refer volunteers to the LRC, by giving them complete contact information: LRC@mica.edu, (410) 225-2416, Bunting 110.

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Testing Services

The LRC proctors exams for registered students who wish to complete exams in the LRC Testing Suite and who have established eligibility for services. A student should request accommodations seven days in advance of the exam by notifying both faculty and the LRC. Faculty members should monitor their MICA email, as LRC staff will ask faculty to confirm testing times and provide exam materials at least 48 hours in advance of the scheduled testing date. With sufficient advance notice, the LRC can proctor exams Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The LRC does not proctor makeup exams.

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Access to Course Materials and Classroom Spaces

The LRC works with eligible students individually to offer text-to-speech solutions that will enable them to read and study around the clock. Faculty can assist these efforts by ensuring that all PDFs (and other course materials) appear in a readable format. Instructors should enable subtitles, if necessary, for any films shown in class. The LRC encourages faculty members to report any physical characteristics of a classroom space (e.g., poor seating, barriers, inaccessible fixtures) that may limit a student's ability to participate and succeed.

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Confidentiality

Faculty should treat LRC students with the utmost confidentiality at all times. This would include not mentioning a student's disability in the classroom, or in front of colleagues. Instructors should practice the same level of vigilance on email messages, restricting communication to the students and LRC staff. When in doubt, instructors should always err on the side of confidentiality. Some LRC students may associate their conditions with a sense of stigma, and as such, all MICA personnel should maintain respect for this diverse population.

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Hidden Disabilities

The disability status of some students-such as those who require the use of wheelchairs or those who require sign language interpreters-will always offer some degree of visibility. Other students may appear "fine" but in reality, might contend with a "hidden disability" such as, but not limited to, dyslexia, traumatic brain injury, connective tissue disorder, mental health disorders, or autism spectrum disorder. These conditions, and others like them, may impede students from completing the activities of daily life, such as reading, climbing stairs, and concentrating, among several other challenges.

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Contact Information for the LRC

The LRC welcomes dialogue with faculty members who may have questions, comments, or concerns about students who have disabilities. In particular, we would like to underscore the importance of employing universal design principles in the classroom, and embracing the needs of a diverse community of learners. Upon request, LRC staff can make presentations at departmental gatherings. We look forward to hearing from you and your colleagues. For more information:


Drop in: Bunting 110
Phone: (410) 225-2416
Email: LRC@mica.edu
Visit our web site: www.mica.edu/LRC

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This page was last updated on 12/05/2017.