College students with disabilities accommodating
All medical information provided is kept confidential.
Only the approved accommodation arrangements are discussed with faculty and administrators on an as-needed basis.
For example, if you ask the students to rearrange the desks, a student may not help because he has a torn ligament or a relapsing and remitting condition like Multiple Sclerosis.
Or, a student may ask to record lectures because she has dyslexia and it takes longer to transcribe the lectures.
However, accommodations are designed to give all students equal access to learning in the classroom.
Similarly students with physical disabilities face damaging and incorrect stereotypes, such as that those who use a wheelchair must also have a mental disability.
(Scorgie, K., Kildal, L., & Wilgosh, L., 2010) Additionally, those students with “hidden disabilities” like epilepsy or chronic pain frequently describe awkward situations in which others minimize their disability with phrases like “Well, you look fine.” (Scorgie, K., Kildal, L., & Wilgosh, L., 2010) In Barbara Davis’s , she explains that it is important for instructors to “become aware of any biases and stereotypes [they] may have absorbed….
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) [
As part of the required paperwork, the student must present documentation from an appropriate medical professional indicating the diagnosis of the current disability and, among other things, the types of accommodations requested.
In general, it is appropriate to reference the disability only when it is pertinent to the situation.