Faculty and Instructors



  • Introduction
  • Accommodation Details
  • Facilitating Accommodations
  • DRC Student Support Services
  • Info. / Trainings
  • Forms
  • Faculty Updates

  • Intro to the DRC
  • Disability Laws

Welcome to the Disability Resource Center (DRC). As a UF instructor you share a very important role in promoting and providing equal access for students with disabilities. Students registered with the DRC are encouraged to collaborate with their instructors to ensure that approved accommodations are identified and available as they strive to achieve their academic goals and fulfill their educational responsibilities.


During a typical academic year the DRC serves well over 1,700 students with disabilities or various long and short term health related concerns. This may include, but is not limited to, students with learning, visual, hearing, physical, psychiatric/psychological disabilities or other health related issues. Academic and/or classroom accommodations, for use by students, are determined and approved by the DRC, on an individual basis. The DRC utilizes both the best practices found in higher education and the most up to date legal guidance in determining a student’s reasonable and appropriate accommodations.


The information on this site is intended to provide instructors with more in-depth information concerning responsibilities and available support when working with students with disabilities. DRC staff members encourage instructors to contact us for consultation and presentations on disability related topics. For questions regarding a specific student’s accommodations, please contact the Learning Specialists listed on the student's accommodation letter.

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), patterned after Section 504, also protects qualified persons with disabilities from discrimination in many areas of postsecondary education including admission, academics and research. However, the ADA applies to all postsecondary educational programs even if such programs do not receive federal financial assistance.


Who is protected by the ADA


Any individual who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity (including academics); has a record of having such an impairment; or is regarded as having such an impairment is protected by the law.


Requirements Under the ADA


Given legal mandates under the ADA, postsecondary institutions must make reasonable accommodations in order to provide students with disabilities an equal opportunity to participate in courses, programs, and activities. This includes extracurricular activities. These accommodations can be in the form of academic adjustments or modifications such as extended time for test taking or completing course work; substitution of specific courses to meet degree requirements; modification of test taking or performance evaluations so as not to discriminate against a person’s sensory, speaking or motor impairments, unless that is what is being tested. Accommodations can also take the shape of auxiliary aids and services such as qualified sign language interpreters, note takers, readers, braille, large print, and electronic formats of print materials, and adaptive equipment.


By familiarizing yourself with such federal disability laws as the ADA and providing a positive, welcoming and encouraging classroom experience for your students with disabilities, you can begin to create an environment where differences are not viewed as negative impediments and where individual strengths are recognized. As an instructor or faculty member, you are an integral part of the University of Florida’s efforts to comply with these laws and to promote equal opportunities for all students.


**DISCLAIMER: The goal of this webpage is to provide a general overview of major disability federal statutes, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, and is intended to provide only general, nonspecific legal information. This website and these articles are not legal advice and are not intended as legal advice.


Adapted from: American Psychological Association- DART Toolkit II: Legal Issues-ADA Basics



  • Attendance
  • Auditory
  • Classroom
  • Course Work
  • Lecture
  • Medical/Health
  • Professional Programs
  • Reduced Course Load
  • Testing - (in-class or online timed assignment, quiz, lab, or exam)
Additional Travel Time

May require additional travel time. May arrive a few minutes late/leave a few minutes early without penalty.

Disability-related Absences

May require excused absences from course attendance policy due to the nature and impact of his/her disability. This accommodation is justified by the student’s documented disability. The student may have medical exacerbations due to the dynamics of disability and/or medical appointments unable to be scheduled at a more favorable time. The student has been instructed to discuss this accommodation with you upon delivery of the accommodation letter in the event of the need for absences. While you should provide leniency in attendance and make-up work, the student will be required to adhere to the essential elements/functions of your course in regards to attendance and/or class participation. You may find it helpful to consider the following Guide Sheet in establishing whether attendance is an essential element/function and in determining the number of acceptable absences. More information can be found on the Guide Sheet --- Disability Related Absences Accommodation.

Assistive Listening Device

Use of an assistive listening system. As the instructor, you will need to wear a transmitter with a microphone. The student will be wearing a receiver.

Captioning Services

Service of a captionist during all class or lab-related activities.

Captioned Video

Use of captioned videos, if you incorporate videos as part of your curriculum. Please contact the DRC if you need information about the availability of captioned videos.

Interpreting Services

Service of a sign language interpreter during all class or lab-related activities.

Accessible Classroom furniture

Use of an assistive listening system. As the instructor, you will need to wear a transmitter with a microphone. The student will be wearing a receiver.

Educational Assistant

May require service of an Educational Assistant during class and/or labrelated activities. Your assistance in identifying an Educational Assistant, who would be employed by the DRC, may be requested.

Preferential seating

Preferential classroom seating (e.g. front row seating, front row center seating, the best location in the classroom given the room set-up and your method of presentation).

Service Animal

Accompanied by a service animal.

Use of Chair

Use of chair during all class or lab-related activities.

Additional Time to Complete Out-of-Class Assignments

Authorized additional time to complete out-of-class assignments. It is the student’s responsibility to discuss his/her situation with you so that you and the student can negotiate an acceptable amount of additional time in the context of established course requirements and deadlines. Re-established deadlines must be negotiated in advance of the initial deadline.

Advance Notice of Assignments and Deadlines

May require advance notification to include due dates, topic, content, etc. for all projects and out-of-class assignments. This is necessary for the implementation of proper organizational and time management strategies utilized by this student.

Alternative Format of Classroom Materials

May require access to classroom materials (e.g. syllabus, handouts) in an alternative format. Please contact the DRC if you need general information about alternative formats (e.g. electronic files, large print) options or specific information about the needs of this student.

Participation Plan

May require your assistance in the development of a plan to address classroom participation (e.g. calling on student only if hand is raised, making eye contact with student prior to calling on him/her, asking questions that can be answered with relatively few words) within the context of your course requirements.

Presentation Plan

May require your assistance in the development of a plan to address classroom presentation requirements, considering factors such as order, practice opportunities, audience size and grading criteria, within the context of your course requirements.

Print Copies of Oral Instructions

May require print copies of oral instructions.

Access to Print Copies of Overheads and/or PowerPoint Presentations

May require access to printed copies of all overheads and PowerPoint presentations used in classes, lectures, discussions, and/or labs.

Note-Services

May require Note Service. Your immediate assistance in identifying a Note- Supplier, who would be employed by the DRC, would be appreciated. More information can be found on the Note-Services Accommodations webpage.

Permission to Audio Record Lectures

Permission to audio record all classes, lectures, discussions, and/or labs.

Use of Laptop for Note-Taking Purposes

Permission to use a laptop for note-taking purposes..

Permission to Use a Livescribe Pen for Note-Taking Purposes

May require print copies of oral instructions.

Additional Breaks

Additional breaks (e.g. stand in place, stand up to stretch), as needed, from sitting for extended periods of time.

Eat/Drink in Class

May need to eat or drink in class.

Monitor Glucose

May need to monitor glucose levels during class.

Use of Restroom

Access to restroom facilities without penalty.

Build-Up of Case Load

Access to a lighter initial caseload to afford additional time per patient with a build-up of patient load during the course of the internship/practical experience. The student will be at a full patient load by a designated week established in advance by the clinical instructor.

Designated Time for Chart Notes Completion

Access to a designated time (e.g. after each appointment) and/or a low distraction environment in which to complete chart-notes during the course of the internship/practical experience.

Preferential Scheduling

Consideration given to the student’s schedule in light of ongoing medical care needs. The student may have scheduled medical appointments to address treatment and diagnostics vital to continued health.

Preferential Site Selection

Consideration given to his/her placement for his/her clinical rotations/ internship sites. The proximity of the location should be as close as possible to the student’s home or ongoing medical/health practitioners.

Eligible for a Reduced Course Load. The student should discuss a program plan in advance of registration with his/her academic advisor or program advisor. More information can be found on the Reduced Course Load Information Sheet.

If you cannot administer this accommodation, the DRC has an Accommodated Testing Service that will arrange the testing. The student is responsible for initiating this process. More information can be found on the Instructor Fact Sheet: Testing Accommodations.

Alternative Format

Can submit written or typed responses in place of scantron-recorded answers

Large print: Arial or Times; Font: 12-48 pt. Electronic version in Word or accessible PDF file is required from instructor in order to provide alternative format access to student.

Paper/pencil test instead of computer-based- Authorized access to a paper/pencil version of the exam instead of a computer-based version, as appropriate.

Assistive Technology

Kurzweil, Dragon, JAWS, Zoom Text, Other. Electronic version in Word or accessible PDF file is required from instructor in order to provide alternative format access to student.

Aide

Reader- Use of a reader (other possibilities: access to a pre-recorded audio file, access to voice output software).

Scribe- Use of a scribe (other possibility: access to voice input software).

Allowances

Access to restroom- Access to restroom facilities during exam.

Additional breaks-Additional breaks (e.g. stand in place, stand up to stretch), as needed, from sitting for extended periods of time.

Additional time for take-home exams- Access to additional time for take home examinations. Factors to consider in the assignment of an appropriate amount of additional time include: the amount of time it is anticipated that students will need to complete the exam and the amount of time it would be expected that students would spend working to complete the exam.

Basic 4-Function calculator- Authorized use of a basic 4-function calculator, when appropriate, on in- class all examinations and quizzes and/or in-class written assignments. If the student is taking the exam at the DRC testing office, use of the calculator must be approved on the Accommodated Test Request (ATR) form.

Computer for essay exams or essay portion of exams- May require the use of a computer for essay exams an essay portions of exams. The DRC has computers without Internet connectivity available for this purpose.

CCTV- May require the use of a CCTV during all in-class examinations and quizzes and in-class written assignments.

Flexible scheduling of exams- Authorized preferential scheduling of exams.

Food/Drink- May need to eat or drink during exam.

Memory Aid- Authorized use of a memory aid(s) when appropriate. The aid(s) must be preapproved by you before use on a test. If the student is taking the test at the DRC testing office, use of the aid(s) must be authorized on the Accommodated Test Request (ATR) form. The aid(s) can either be delivered with the test or the student can bring the aid(s) to the test. If the student is bringing the aid(s), either initial the aid(s) or advise the testing office what aid(s) you have approved. The aid(s) will be collected after the test and returned with the test. More information can be found on the Instructor Fact Sheet – Memory Aid.

Monitor glucose- May need to monitor glucose levels during exam.

Multiple choice scratch paper- Authorized use of multiple choice scratch paper to facilitate the elimination of choices during computer-based exams.

Spell-checking device- Authorized use of a dictionary or spelling-related device (e.g. Franklin Speller, word processor with spell-check), when appropriate, on all in-class examinations and quizzes and/or in- class written assignments.

Setting

Low distraction or separate environment

Extended Time

Time and one-half, Double time, Double time and one-half, Triple time, Three and one-half time, or Quadruple time.



  • Disability Syllabus Statement
  • Instructor Responsibilities
  • Confidentiality Statement
  • Testing Service Statement
  • Accommodated Test Request Instructions
  • Note Services Instructions
  • Auxiliary or Personal Aid Accommodations
  • Top Hat
  • ProctorU

The University of Florida is committed to providing equal educational access to students with disabilities. As you are developing and/or updating your syllabi for the spring semester, please take a moment to review the university’s "Policy on Course Syllabi" which specifies the inclusion of the following recommended statement related to accommodations for students with disabilities:


"Students with disabilities requesting accommodations should first register with the Disability Resource Center (352-392-8565, www.dso.ufl.edu/drc/) by providing appropriate documentation. Once registered, students will receive an accommodation letter which must be presented to the instructor when requesting accommodations. Students with disabilities should follow this procedure as early as possible in the semester."


A disability syllabus statement serves to open the lines of communication between an instructor and a student by making the student feel included when approaching an instructor regarding accommodation needs and/or disability-related concerns.


Additional resources for faculty can be found on the Disability Resource Center’s Instructor Resources webpage (https://www.dso.ufl.edu/drc/faculty/resources-for-instructors). Please contact the Disability Resource Center at 352-392-8565 or via e-mail at accessuf@dso.ufl.edu if you have any questions.

  • Maintain the same standards, including behavioral expectations, for students with disabilities as are applied to all students.
  • Inform all students of procedures for accessing accommodations at the beginning of each semester through a statement in the syllabus.
  • Provide and arrange for accommodations addressed in the accommodation letter in a timely manner.
    • You cannot chose to deny a student’s accommodation as presented in his/her accommodation letter. If you have questions or concerns about the stated accommodations, please contact the staff member listed on the student’s accommodation letter.
    • It is not your responsibility to provide accommodations for students who have not provided an accommodation letter from the DRC nor to provide accommodations retroactively.
    • It is not your responsibility to collect medical documents from students or to provide accommodations that are not presented in a student’s accommodation letter.
  • Meet with students to ensure there is a clear understanding of requested accommodations.
  • Ensure instructional materials are available in accessible formats.

Any information regarding the specifics of a student’s disability is confidential between the student and the DRC and will not be provided to instructors. Governmental mandates, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) all support the protection of privacy.


Accommodation letters prepared by the Disability Resource Center for instructors do not give specific diagnoses or information regarding the disability. The accommodation letter lists the approved academic accommodations for that student. Instructors should keep this accommodation information confidential and avoid drawing attention to a student’s need for accommodations.

It is possible to design exams and assessments that allow for increased flexibility and decreased need for individual accommodations by using universal design for learning principles. However, when exams pose disability-related barriers, it is essential that appropriate accommodations are made available for students. Such accommodations may be provided through one of several channels.


First, and often preferable, would be for the instructor or department to accommodate students internally. This allows for direct instructor contact and the ability to more directly links the assessment with course operations. If the instructor or department is unable to internally accommodate the needs of the student, the Disability Resource Center (DRC) offers accommodated testing in our office. Examples of testing accommodations include separate or low distraction environments, alternative format testing and assistive technology to meet the needs of our students.


If you have any questions please contact DRC Testing at Testing@dso.ufl.edu or 352-392-8565.

ATR Faculty Instructions Summary

  • Students have been advised that they must first provide you with their accommodation letter and connect with you to coordinate accommodations before they submit an Accommodated Test Request (ATR). This is also an opportunity to discuss how to resolve any potential exam schedule conflicts (e.g. a student with back-to-back classes that may necessitate scheduling the exam for the first class prior to the class exam time).
  • After a student provides you with their accommodation letter, you are encouraged to access the DRC Instructor Login and complete a testing contract. The instructor log in may be accessed through the link at the bottom of the Accommodation letter or through the faculty section of the DRC webpage. You may enter proctoring information for all of your assessments for the term. If the proctoring information applies to more than one section, you should select the option at the bottom of the contract and you will be able to bundle additional sections with the contract after it is approved by the DRC. After the contract is approved, you will receive a confirmation by email.
  • After submitting your contract, your students will be able to begin submitting requests to test in the DRC offices. On any day in which you receive a request, the ATR system will provide you with an email alerting you that you have received a request. You may access the Instructor Login at your earliest convenience to review the request(s). If a student has selected a date/time that differ from those which you noted, their request will be flagged for quick reference and they will be required to provide a reason for the discrepancy. You will have the option to approve or decline the request(s). If the student has not discussed with you the coordination of their accommodations or if they entered an incorrect exam date/time, you may decline the request. You have the option to enter a reason for declining and a message will be sent to the student alerting them of your decision.
  • A request will expire if not approved or declined at least two (2) business days before the exam date, thereby missing the deadline to schedule the exam with the DRC testing office. Since the student initiated the request in a timely manner, it will be your responsibility to provide the requested testing accommodations.
  • If a student submits exam requests with conflicting times, the student will receive an email notification advising them to contact each instructor to determine the best course of action to resolve the exam schedule conflict. When the conflict has been resolved, each instructor should send the approved date/time to testing@dso.ufl.edu to inform the DRC testing office of the resolution.
  • A student’s request to modify an exam (date or time) must be approved and submitted to testing@dso.ufl.edu by the instructor not less than two (2) business days before the exam date.
  • As a reminder, it is an instructor’s responsibility to facilitate accommodations for students with disabilities. The DRC testing office provides proctoring services on your behalf if you cannot facilitate a student’s requested testing accommodations.
  • If you need assistance completing this request or experience a technical difficulty, please contact the DRC testing office at 352-392-8565 or testing@dso.ufl.edu

For many students, having access to quality notes is a fundamental piece of the learning process. For students who face barriers when taking notes during class, a note-service accommodation may be requested. Note-services allows students to focus on the instructor while still receiving accurate information. This can increase student confidence and provide a greater opportunity for them to participate and contribute in class. In most cases, this service is not intended as a substitute for class attendance or for students taking their own notes, but rather supplements their notes. There are a variety of ways in which note-services may be facilitated for students. Examples of these ways, and for additional information about note-services, refer to: https://www.dso.ufl.edu/drc/students/accommodations/note-service-accommodations. If you have questions or would like to learn more about this accommodation, please contact Disability Resource Center (DRC) note-services at noteservice@dso.ufl.edu or 352-392-8565.

Instructors often ask questions regarding auxiliary aids, tape recording, or personal aids in the classrooms. Due to Section 504, instructors may not forbid a student's use of an aid if that prohibition limits the student's participation. This accommodation does not infringe upon academic freedom or constitutes copyright violation. Section 504 regulation states the following:


A recipient may not impose upon handicapped students other rules, such as the prohibition of tape recorders in classrooms or of dog guides in campus buildings, that have the effect of limiting the participation of handicapped students in the recipient's education program or activity. In order to allow a student with a disability the use of an effective aid and, at the same time, protect the instructor, the institution may require the student to sign an agreement so as not to infringe on a potential copyright or to limit freedom of speech.

"Top Hat" is a comprehensive teaching platform that helps professors like you easily create an interactive lecture experience" (TopHat.com).Top Hat has several accessibility features built in. It has been tested with screen readers, screen magnifiers, and other visual aid tools for students who are blind or have low vision. For students who benefit from extended time on all in-class timed assessments, Top Hat can be configured to provide as much or as little time as required. Questions can also be assigned to an individual to allow the student extended time without drawing attention to him/her in front of the entire class (directions can be found at https://support.tophat.com/hc/en-us/articles/202826814-Professor-How-Can-I-Assign-Questions-to-Individuals-).

"ProctorU is a live remote proctoring service that allows students to take their exams from anywhere using a webcam and a reliable internet connection" (ProctorU.com). ProctorU is able to accommodate students with disabilities by providing the students with DRC approved testing accommodations, such as extra time on exams or the use of a basic 4-function calculator. ProctorU can also waive the rescheduling fee when the reason for rescheduling is disability related. When this occurs, an email needs to be sent to passwords@proctoru.com with the student’s name, exam information, the date and time to reschedule the exam, and the sentence: “This exam is being rescheduled as part of the student’s ADA accommodations.” By stating that this is part of the student’s ADA accommodations, the rescheduling fee will be waived and no other information will be requested regarding the student’s disability. This email has to come from the professor or from a staff member in the Disability Resource Center.



The UF Disability Resource Center provides an array of Academic Coaching and Support Services to assist students with disabilities. If you have a DRC student in your class that would benefit from these support services or if you have a student that you would like to refer to our office, please go here.


For Students:

  • Appointments for Academic Strategies including:
    • Executive Functioning Skills
    • Academic Coaching
    • Reading Efficiency
    • Test preparation
    • Study Skills
    • Test Anxiety
    • Learning Style Inventories
  • Disability specific problem-solving groups for students to share the strategies they use for success. Please see our website for group dates and times.
  • Academic Planning
    • Number of courses
    • Courses in specific combinations
  • Collaborate with student to build a network of available resources to maximize participation in the campus community
  • Disability Management Support
  • Cultural Programming with campus partners about issues related to disability and diversity
  • Advocacy for academic accommodations, modify environment, and attitudinal barriers
  • Increase knowledge and understanding of disability and academic impact
  • Post-Graduation Planning
    • Professional school entrance exam accommodations
    • Career advising specific to disability and student needs



  • Teaching Techniques
  • Communicating & Teaching Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Epilepsy & Seizures - Types & Care
  • Teaching Students with Hearing Loss
  • Teaching Students with Visual Impairments
  • Working with an Interpreter
  • UF Accessibility
  • Request a Presentation

The following universal design for learning techniques benefit all students to help ensure that learning experiences are as accessible as possible.


  • Classroom
    1. Select course materials early so that students and the DRC have enough time to convert to accessible formats (e.g. audio, large print) as needed
    2. Make course materials (e.g. syllabus, handouts, assignment sheets) available in electronic format
    3. Write lecture outlines on the board or incorporate into a PowerPoint presentation
    4. Write key phrases, technical vocabulary, formulas, etc. on the board or provide as a handout
    5. Do not speak when you have your back turned to the class
    6. Repeat or rephrase questions or comments from the class before responding
    7. Make lecture notes or PowerPoint presentations available electronically or on the course website / e-learning platform
  • Examination
    1. Ensure exams test the essential skills or knowledge needed for the course
    2. Some students may require extended time or assistance on exams. Contact the DRC regarding options for providing accommodated testing
    3. Consider alternative assessment methods (e.g. portfolio, multi-media presentation)
    4. Write key phrases, technical vocabulary, formulas, etc. on the board or provide as a handout
    5. Do not speak when you have your back turned to the class
    6. Repeat or rephrase questions or comments from the class before responding
    7. Make lecture notes or PowerPoint presentations available electronically or on the course website / e-learning platform
  • Laboratory
    1. Provide a lab orientation, take a tour of the lab, and discuss safety concerns
    2. Provide oral and written lab instructions
    3. Arrange lab equipment so that it is easily accessible
    4. Assign group lab projects in which all students contribute according to their abilities

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a nonverbal learning disorder that has been associated with abnormalities found in the brain, however the exact etiology is yet to be determined. Individuals with ASD struggle to adapt to a neurotypical world often resulting in confusion and frustration. People with ASD generally have communication and/or interaction differences which may appear awkward at times. ASD may affect gross and fine motor skills, visual-spatial skills, social skills and the ability to adjust to novel and new experiences. It is not uncommon for an individual with ASD to be misdiagnosed or dual diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder, since they both share common characteristics.


Following are some strengths and challenges for a person with ASD (click to expand). These strengths and challenges are not exclusive to every individual with ASD and often vary by person. You will also find teaching tips and academic accommodations for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder.


SOCIAL CHALLENGES
MOTORIC CHALLENGES
VISUAL-SPATIAL CHALLENGES
OTHER CHALLENGES
INDIVIDUAL STRENGTHS
TEACHING TIPS & ACADEMIC ACCOMMODATIONS

TYPES

Partial Seizures – Simple & Complex

  • Simple: usually conscious and doesn’t affect awareness or memory
  • Complex: usually conscious, but affects awareness & memory
  • Generalized Seizures (unconsciousness): Absence, Tonic, Tonic-Clonic, & Status Epilepticus
  • Absence: (petit mal) appears to be staring into space (seconds to 5 minutes)
  • Tonic: muscular tension (1-5 minutes)
  • Tonic-Clonic: (grand mal) muscular tension & relaxation, twitching (1-5 minutes)
  • Status Epilepticus: (serious, requires immediate care) series of grand mal seizures, consciousness is not completely regained.

CARE

Tell the people close to you — friends, relatives, teachers, coaches — about your epilepsy and teach them what to do in case you have a seizure when they're with you. Some things that can be done to help someone who's having a seizure are:


  • Stay calm. See if person is wearing a medical alert bracelet.
  • Help, but don't force, the person to lie down on his or her side (turn head/body sideways to protect airway), preferably on a soft surface, and place something soft under the person's head.
  • Take the person's glasses or backpack off and loosen tight clothing near the neck.
  • Do not place an object into the person's mouth during a seizure.
  • Do not restrain or hold the person.
  • Move objects, especially sharp or hard ones, away from the person.
  • Stay with the person or make sure another friend or trusted person stays with him or her.
  • Talk with the person in a calm, reassuring way after the seizure is over.
  • Observe the event and be able to describe what happened before, during, and after the seizure (length of seizure).

There's usually no need to call 911 if the person having a seizure is known to have epilepsy. However, if the person is injured, has another medical condition like diabetes, or has a long seizure or multiple seizures, he or she may need immediate medical attention.

NEED FOR CLASSROOM ACCOMMODATIONS

Students that are deaf or have hearing loss usually require some type of classroom accommodations and/or modifications. Though the student may learn in different ways, this does not imply an inferior capacity to learn. These accommodations and/or modifications may simply be in the way information is presented. Employing some of the suggested techniques and strategies may actually benefit all students through what has been referred to in the educational arena as universal design.


This handout is intended to offer the instructor teaching tips for students that are deaf or have hearing loss. It is important to remember these students often have to face stigmas and are sometimes reluctant to make special requests. Therefore it is imperative for the instructor to be sensitive and responsive to the student’s requests, so that he or she can fully participate in the educational experience.


ACCESS TO CLASSROOM ACCOMMODATIONS

Students that have hearing loss often utilize several expressive and receptive methods of communication both natural and technological. Speechreading is often used, however it is reliable for only about 30% of spoken English. Therefore a variety of methods are often utilized that include: hearing aids, assistive listening devices (ALD), sign language interpreters, audio recording, notetakers, captioning, and transcription. In addition to the above, there are a number of ways in which an instructor may assist the student in having access to classroom information.

TIPS FOR INSTRUCTORS (click to expand)

USE GOOD COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUES
CLASSROOM SERVICES
INSTRUCTOR OFFICE SERVICES
ADDITIONAL SERVICES

CONCLUSION

It is important to understand that the student with a hearing loss has a responsibility to his/her own academic success. He/she must employ all the necessary skills and strategies of a good student in order to be successful. He/she should have good attendance, be punctual, complete assignments, participate in class activities, utilize instructor’s office hours and be active in the learning process.


While the majority of the previously mentioned tips are commonly employed in the classroom or are common sense, it would be appreciated that you utilize any of the techniques new to you. This experience may more than likely prove to be rewarding to the student with the hearing loss, the entire class and you.

CLASSROOM ACCOMMODATIONS
READING METHODS
TEXTBOOKS & COURSEPACKS
SYLLABI & HANDOUTS
CLASS NOTES
TAPING LECTURES
TESTING
ILLUSTRATIONS, MODELS & TECHNOLOGY
ART & OTHER VISUAL SUBJECT MATTER
GUIDE DOGS
FIELD TRIPS
PARTIAL SIGHT & ACCOMMODATIONS
WHEN A STUDENT DOESN'T APPEAR "BLIND"
LARGE SIZE HANDWRITING & LARGE PRINT
MEETING WITH THE PARTIALLY SIGHTED STUDENT
IN CONCLUSION

You will be communicating with the student who is deaf or hard of hearing through the interpreter. The interpreter will sign what is happening in the classroom. This includes the lecture; student discussion, comments, and questions; and environmental sounds inside and outside the classroom. No personal communication between the interpreter and the student will occur during the class period.


  • The interpreter will adjust to your pace. If necessary, the interpreter will ask you to repeat information. This is to ensure that the deaf/hard of hearing student receives all of the information.
  • Generally, the interpreter will stand either to your left or to your right. This enables the student to maintain eye contact with both you and the interpreter. Wherever the interpreter stands, there must be good lighting available.
  • In using demonstrations and visual aids, it is important for you to allow extra time for the student to see what is being demonstrated and to see what is being signed.
  • Avoid vague references as "this" and "that".
  • When using an overhead projector, slides, videotapes, and/or films, it may be necessary to dim the lighting in the classroom. Maintain enough lighting for the interpreter to be seen.
  • If the student is not in attendance, the interpreter will remain for 15 minutes before leaving.
  • Long stretches of interpreting may require a team of interpreters working together. They will take turns, rotating approximately every 20 minutes throughout the class period.
  • If you wish to discuss any problems with the interpreter about the interpreting situation, please wait until a break or after class. Together, with the student, decide on solutions to the situation.
  • Help the interpreter stay in his/her role. Avoid speaking directly to the interpreter or asking questions of him/her during the class period. The interpreter will not feel free to answer for himself/herself until after the class is over.
  • If you would like to speak to the student after class and will need the assistance of the interpreter, ask the interpreter if she/he can stay for a few minutes. Do not assume that the interpreter is available, she/he may have another assignment immediately afterwards.

Please contact the Disability Resource Center at 352-392-8565, if you have any questions.



DRC Student Responsibility Consent Agreement
DRC Sample Accommodation Letter



  • September 14, 2016Implementing DRC Accommodations
  • June 15, 2016Creating Accessible Courses
  • April 6, 2016Refer a Student to the Disability Resource Center
  • View Current Issue

Do you have students registered with the Disability Resource Center in your class? Do you have questions about how to implement their accommodations? Contact the Disability Resource Center at accessuf@dso.ufl.edu or visit Faculty and Instructors for valuable resources.

Submitted by Tara Scruggs, Disability Resource Center

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As you’re developing your course syllabi, please think about designing accessible courses for all students. For example:

  • Using captioned videos, films and other audio presentations
  • Offer flexibility regarding attendance
  • Provide texts in alternative formats
  • Give verbal descriptions of visual aids and graphics
  • Paraphrase questions and answers
  • Allow students to turn in parts of large projects for feedback before the final project is due
  • Highlight key points throughout discussions

For more information on creating accessible courses, please refer to the UF Accessibility website.

Submitted by Beth Roland, Dean of Students Office

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Do you know a student that might have a learning, psychological, medical, sensory, or physical disability? If so, please refer the student to the Disability Resource Center by completing our online form at https://www.dso.ufl.edu/drc/faculty/refer-a-student. Thank you in advance for supporting our students at the University of Florida. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact the Disability Resource Center at 352.392.8565 or email accessUF@dso.ufl.edu.

Submitted by Amanda Brown, Dean of Students Office

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