People with visual impairment cannot see or have their vision corrected to a normal level. They may have trouble with acuity – where the eye does not see as clearly – or field of vision – where eyes cannot see as wide an area
People with hearing impairment have partial or total inability to hear. In children, this can affect language development, and in adults, it can cause work-related difficulties
Students with vision problems should ask for class materials in large, clear print
When studying, verbalize the information
Ask for alternative materials like audio books and record lectures
See if you can access lecture materials and readings early to arrange for alternate materials
Students with hearing impairment can use interpreters, sound amplifiers, note takers, and captions to help access information
Use email to supplement face-to-face meetings
Make sure computer sounds and notifications are translated in a visual way
Finally, let your instructors know your communication needs and ask for visual or written aids for course lectures
There are many types of movement disabilities
In chronic fatigue syndrome, individuals suffer from weakness, muscle pain, lack of concentration, and insomnia. Functional impairment can be as severe as other chronic conditions.
People with motor dyspraxia struggle with simple and complex tasks such as speaking and balancing.
Students with chronic fatigue may want to record lectures and reduce active tasks like writing.
Ask for special test options such as extra time and oral exams
Special materials like hard copies of lecture notes and audio books may also be helpful
Those with motor dyspraxia should ask their instructors for clear directions, visual aids, and due dates in advance
It may also be helpful to record lectures and take exams orally or by computer. Extended exam time can be requested
Learning disorders are some of the most common disabilities
1 out of every 5 people in the US has some type of learning disorder
ADHD or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder affects between 5 and 8 percent of kids and 4 percent of adults. Individuals with ADHD have poor attention span, are restless and impulsive, and often procrastinate and forget responsibilities.
Other learning disorders can affect many different functionalities. A nonverbal learning disability, for example, is a brain disorder that causes lack of coordination, poor visual recall, and deficits in social judgments, among other things.
Students with ADHD should record lectures and ask for copies of class notes and assignments early
Students can also get extra time on tests and test proctoring in a non-distracting location
Students with other types of learning disorders will benefit from assignments with simple directions and less writing. Try to get into a routine and work with your instructor one-on-one for guidance, advice, and suggestions.
Some students have no difficulties learning but struggle communicating what they have learned.
Individuals with a disorder of written communication have a discrepancy between their written abilities and intelligence.
They may have problems with grammar, sentence structure, and organization of their thoughts and ideas. This may be a disorder on its own or related to reading and language disorders.
Students with a written communication disorder should ask for flexible deadlines
Instructors may be able to grade you on content rather than grammar, and suggest the use of a writing tutor for grammar help
It may also be helpful to record lectures, and take exams orally or on the computer using a voice-to-text feature
You should also request extra test time
The last disability I’d like to talk about are mental and social health problems
Many people don’t think of these as disabilities, but they can be debilitating and affect you in your coursework
Students with depression have persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, guilt, and restlessness
They may lost interest in hobbies and have a difficult time concentrating or making decisions
They may also suffer from fatigue and aches and pains
Other students may struggle with social anxiety, where they are extremely self-conscious in social situations and fear being judged. They may have more trouble in one time of social activity such as giving a presentation or eating and drinking in front of others
Students with depression should ask for postponed assignments and excused absences
It is essential that you work with a licensed counselor or therapist to get help
Students with social anxiety should try to observe others before performing a task or practice working with a partner and small group
Discuss your fears with your instructor and ask for accommodations liked untimed tests
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