Accommodations and supports for students with disabilities is a shared responsibility between the student, Accessibility Services, faculty and staff and Red River College as a whole.
Staff in Accessibility Services regularly meet with students with disabilities to develop academic accommodations plans. There are often times Accessibility Services needs to communicate with instructors regarding students with disabilities who require accommodations in the classroom. As all accommodations, classroom accommodations are based on documentation provided by the student including verification of a disability (or disabilities) and recommendations for accommodations from a diagnosing professional.
When a student with a disability (or disabilities) is eligible for classroom accommodations, information is provided to the program coordinator via email, with the student’s consent. The program coordinator then forwards this information to the student’s instructors.
A student with a disability (or disabilities) may be eligible for one or more (but not limited to) the following classroom accommodations:
- Instructor Notes/Copies of Power Points (if available)
The student has some difficulty recording all information during lectures, and therefore requires copies of your lecture notes, power points or overheads, if available. Students eligible for this accommodation who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing benefit from pre-reading notes to familiarize themselves with course vocabulary and content due to in part by their limited exposure to English as a result of their hearing loss. If you already provide this information to all students or post notes online for your entire class, nothing more is required.
Please note: if a student is eligible to receive this accommodation through Accessibility Services, they are required to sign an agreement form confirming that these resources will be used exclusively for the purposes of private study.
- Audio Recording of Lectures
The student can choose to audio record lectures as this will enable them to gain full advantage of your course or lecture. Permission to record is granted only through Accessibility Services who has reviewed documentation verifying the need for this accommodation. The student is responsible for bringing a recording device to class and is responsible for the operation of the device. In some courses/programs, personal discussion and self-disclosure from students is encouraged. If you are concerned that the recording of classes will inhibit students from participating or that it will violate students’ right to privacy, please advise the student eligible for this accommodation that it is inappropriate to record some classes or portions of classes.
Please note: if a student is eligible to receive this accommodation through Accessibility Services they are required to sign an agreement form confirming that these resources will be used exclusively for the purposes of private study.
- Classroom Assistive Technology
The student requires the use of assistive technology to access information and complete assignments, and thus may use assistive technology during class. The student is responsible to bring necessary technology and to use it without disruption to the learning environment.
- Reduced Course Load
The student’s learning needs are best met by a reduced course load, that is, taking fewer courses each term/semester. The student has been advised by Accessibility Services to speak with the program coordinator to determine if a reduced course load is possible and to develop a plan that makes the most sense. At RRC, some programs are designed to be taken full-time and thus it may be challenging to develop a reduced course load option. However, it should be noted that a reduced course load is not an atypical recommended accommodation made by professionals, and thus RRC has an obligation to consider how to make this work best for eligible students.
- Absences Due to Disability Related Symptoms/Medical Appointments
For disability related reasons, this student may occasionally miss class. Examples may include needing to miss class time to attend medical appointments for a chronic health related disability. Reasonable flexibility with respect to attendance requirements should the student miss class on occasion to manage their health or attend related appointments is standard. Accessibility Services has encouraged the student to discuss further with you if their disability related absences should impact negatively on academic achievement or if you have an attendance policy for your class.
- Height Adjustable Desk
This student requires a height adjustable desk. These desks are available through Accessibility Services and one will be delivered to your classroom. If the location of your classroom changes, please advise Accessibility Services so that arrangements to move the desk can be made. Please ensure that the desk is available for the priority use of the student. Please do not move and/or use this desk to store materials or equipment.
- Ergonomic Chair
The student requires the use of an ergonomic chair. Accessibility Services provides such chairs for eligible students. Students are responsible for ensuring the safe keeping of this chair but may request your assistance with this.
- Preferential Seating
The student requires a particular seat or location of seat that is most beneficial for his/her learning in the classroom. This does not always mean sitting at the front of the class. It may mean sitting in a particular place to better hear and understand the lecture or in a place that allows the student to stand up during class unnoticed, allowing the student to stay on task or maintain attention.
If the student eligible for this accommodation is Deaf or Hard of Hearing ASL-English interpreters will position themselves at the front of the class next to the instructor or speaker so the student can benefit from seeing both. Students will typically require a seat at the front of the classroom. Computerized note takers will position themselves where they can best hear the lecture and the Hard of Hearing student will sit next to the note takers to read the live captioning from a laptop.
- Take Breaks
For disability related reasons, the student may need to excuse themselves from class to attend to their health (for example, to stretch, manage anxiety, take time-sensitive medication or go to bathroom). The student recognizes that they are responsible to monitor their need to take care of their health appropriately and should do so with minimal distraction to the learning environment. This may require seating near the entrance or rear of the classroom.
For disability related reasons, students may require accommodation around class participation expectations (spontaneous answer sharing, question asking, reading aloud, in-class discussion and debate etc.). Students who require alternative options to demonstrate engagement will be advised to meet with their instructors to explore options that meet this learning outcome.
- Extensions for Assignments
For disability related reasons, this student may occasionally require extensions for assignments. Reasonable flexibility with respect to deadlines should the student have a legitimate disability related reason for such a request is appreciated. Accessibility Services has encouraged the student to discuss this further with you should this impact negatively on academic achievement or compromise learning outcomes for your course.
- Volunteer Note Taker
The student is eligible to receive assistance with note taking through a volunteer in the classroom. Accessibility Services has encouraged the student to seek out a volunteer on their own, but should this prove to be challenging for them, they may approach you for assistance. Should this occur, it would be appreciated if you, as the instructor, help facilitate this by making an anonymous request for a volunteer note taker at the beginning of class.
- Exam Accommodations
Due to disability related reasons, the student will require accommodations when writing exams. Exam accommodations provide the student with a disability the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of skills and knowledge without being limited by the effects of the disability. Common exam accommodations include extended time and a private testing room.
Students who receive exam accommodations typically write their exams in Student Support Services, rather than in the classroom, under the supervision of Exam Accommodations staff.
- Print Materials in Alternate Format
To ensure full access to print material, including class handouts and exams, any student with a “perceptual disability” (i.e., vision loss, physical disability, reading disability, ADHD) is eligible to receive print material in an accessible format (e.g., electronic, enlarged font). Exam Accommodations & Assistive Technology (EAAT) is able to produce the print material in an alternate format for the instructor; however, it would be appreciated if the instructor would provide the print material to EAAT at least 5 days in advance to ensure there is sufficient time to complete the work.
Confidentiality – Students with disabilities have a right to privacy about their disability and their accommodation plan. As an instructor you have the responsibility to protect and maintain student confidentiality by not discussing any aspect of the student’s disability with anyone without the student’s informed consent. Never point out a student’s disability or accommodations in the classroom. Please set aside a private time and location to discuss the student’s disability or their accommodation plan.
Collaboration – To meet the College’s responsibility to accommodate and provide equal access to education for students with disabilities, Accessibility Services strives to collaborate with both students and instructors when developing and implementing accommodation plans. Should you have any questions about a student’s accommodation plan, please do not hesitate to contact Accessibility Services who would be glad to connect with the student’s permission.