Under ADAAA colleges must be able to demonstrate an effective process and clear policies demonstrating the college’s procedures for compliance. Providing access is a cooperative effort by the entire campus community; all academic offices and departments must be in compliance in order for the institution to be in compliance.
Role of Faculty & Academic Departments
- Establish departmental policies for compliance with ADA
- Consistent faculty compliance with requested academic accommodations
- Inclusive instruction & accessible instructional material, accessible media policies
- Identify and document essential academic and interpersonal elements of each course and program of study
- Notify Disability Services if requested accommodation represents a fundamental alteration of essential elements
- Maintain confidentiality
Making your classroom material accessible is a great first step, so we created a few easy-to-follow guides on how to make your documents more accessible.
Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a framework that provides ALL students equal opportunities to learn. It encourages teachers to design flexible curricula that meet the needs of all learners.
Using UDL principles in general education classrooms makes curriculum and instruction accessible and engaging. Curriculum barriers are reduced; learning is supported; students gain knowledge, skills, and enthusiasm for learning; and their learning is validly assessed.
- Don’t ask LGBTQ students to speak for all LGBTQ people
- Recognize if/when your point of view might be leading you to stereotype students
- Talk with your colleagues about difficult situations
- If this is hard for you, give yourself a break... We’re all (more or less) raised in a heteroand cis normative world.
What do LGBTQ students actually want from you?
- To be a teacher, advisor, and mentor
- They want to know that they can be honest with you
- They want to know that you will see them as a full complex person and not as a stereotype
- They want to feel included in the classroom
How do you demonstrate support without opening a can of worms?
- Examples in class
- Inclusive language (“we”, not “us” and “them”)
- Use preferred pronouns (they)
- Send overt messages (Happy National Coming Out Day!) make it explicit
- Send covert messages (books in office, safe zone signs)
- Don’t be afraid to be exposed to homophobia or transphobia
What to do when you perpetuate a micro-aggression?
- In the classroom? Apologize and move on. Follow up with the student later.
- In an advising session? Apologize and move on. Follow up with the student.
- Don’t ignore it
- Don’t be so afraid to say the wrong thing that you say nothing.
The website of the professional association devoted to promoting full participation of persons with disability in higher education. Useful materials and links can be accessed from the “Learn” tab and include items such as Universal Design resources and On-Demand Webinars on a range of ADA topics.
A website of a nonprofit education research and development organization that supports expanded learning opportunities for all through the Universal Design of Learning. Web materials include case studies and research articles describing the use and impact of UDL for students with disabilities.
Similarly, UDL ON CAMPUS provides more general and comprehensive guidance to Universal Design for Learning in Higher Education, including best practices related to course design; specific examples of campus-wide initiatives; and ways in which UDL can enrich social learning, blended courses, and case-based learning. In addition, there is a legal page that is updated daily.
Primarily focused on ensuring the accessibility of materials to be used online, this site is rich with content and has links to articles and resources that are of broader relevance, including “How-To” guides and videos on topics including captioning; verifying accessibility of PDF, PowerPoint, and Word files; use of screen readers to determine accessibility; use of a color contrast checker, etc. From the resources tab, one can also access simulations in order to gain insight into the experience of those with low-vision, dyslexia, or cognitive disabilities.
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 – Civil rights law governed by the Department of Justice
- Title II – applies to public entities and web accessibility
- Title III – ensures effective communication with individuals with disabilities
Rehabilitation Act, 1973 amended 1998 – Civil rights law