Advising Students with Disablities

Advising Students with Disabilities
Dr. Ellen W. Bonaguro, Associate Dean
Student Academic Services and Enrollment
Mary Lloyd Moore, Instructor/Clinic Director
Department of Communication Disorders
and Director of the Suzanne Vitale Clinical Education Complex
Campus Advising Network Presentation-April 14, 2010
I. Overview
II. Services for Students with Disabilities
III. Advising Information
Overview of SDS
Office of Student Disabilities Services-DUC A 200-745-5004
487 students registered
Intake and Assessment of Needs
Documentation of Disability ( within three years)
Necessary Paperwork to Determine Accommodations (LOAs)
Exceptions and Substitutions
Freshmen (119), Sophomore (96), Juniors (97), Seniors (141)
Academy (3), Graduate (24), Other (7)
*as of 4/5/2010
Disabilities Reported
Physical Mobility Disabilities, Psychiatric Disabilities, Mental Disabilities, Medical
Disabilities, Hearing Disabilities, Speech/Language Disabilities, Visual Disabilities,
Other (42 specific categories)
Learning Disabilities (146)
Attention Deficit Disorder (117)
Difficulty with written language (111)
Reading (89)
Psychological Disability (81)
Special housing (78)
Health impairments (62)
Chronic pain (59)
Math difficulty (48)
Anxiety Disorder (44)
Mobility (33)
Depression (32)
Learning Disabilities
Attention Deficit Disorder
Difficulty with written language
Psychological Disability
Special Housing
Health Impairments
Chronic Pain
Math Difficulty
Anxiety Disorder
Services for Students with Disabilities
Types of Accommodations
• Priority Registration (all)
• Textbooks to CD (all)
• Extended test time up to
double time (335)
• Extension of assignment
due date (174)
• Use of a note taker (168)
Types of Accommodations
• Special housing (78)
• Priority seating (75)
• Quiet environment for
testing (67)
• Oral testing (61)
• Interpreting and captioning
(214 tests as of 4/5/2010 for spring)
Interpreting and Captioning
Interpreting for one student-currently
Captioning media for one student
Speech-to-text (real time captioning) for 12
Two full-time captionist and three part-time
23 classes captioned this semester
Asperger’s Syndrome
“developmental disability on the Autism
Spectrum that impacts a student’s social,
cognitive, and behavioral abilities. The
sensory and motor skills are also different
than most students.” (Hans Asperger, 1944)
(29 students with Autism are registered with SDS. Most report having been
diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome)
Asperger’s Syndrome
6 Diagnostic Criteria
1. Lack of non-verbal expressiveness , associated with idiosyncratic facial expressions,
gestures, prosody or posture; an inability to recognize socially important cues; or
2. Difficulty in behaving according to socially accepted conventions, particularly when
these conventions are implicit.
3. Lack of close peer relationships often, but not always, as a result of social advances
being rebuffed by peers.
4. Unusual “special” interests which are narrow and private. The special interest may
be idiosyncratic or pursued obsessively, or both. Special interests often involve
collecting objects or memorizing facts.
5. Pragmatic abnormalities of speech.
6. Impression of clumsiness.
Asperger’s Syndrome
Additional Characteristics
• Inflexibility and difficulty with change…a preference for a rigid
schedule and much prior planning.
• Low self-esteem and self-concept: they are aware of their
difference and blame themselves rather than the disability.
• Feelings of stress, loneliness and frustration at being unable
to predict outcomes may be expressed in socially
inappropriate ways
Advising Students with Disabilities
Ask students “Is there is anything I need to know to help you be more successful in
college.” (Can add a statement to the Advisor Course Syllabi)
Students may disclose that they are registered with SDS. Others may disclose that
they had academic support in high school, but thought they could “figure out”
college on their own.
Make appropriate referrals to SDS and other campus resources that will help the
Ask the students what their accommodations are if they are registered with SDS.
This information can help in selecting courses and preparing a course schedule.
Advising Students with Disabilities
Emphasize the importance of accountability and communication. Getting
Letters of Accommodation signed by course professors and returned to SDS is
important to helping them get their needs met.
• Talking with SDS staff and their professors to get accommodations met is
vital to their success.
• Encourage them to develop strong (and appropriate) self-advocacy skills.
• Follow up all meetings with an email summarizing your discussion and all
points of your meeting.
• Avoid discussing the student’s issues anywhere other than in private.
Advising Considerations
Do they want on-campus or virtual class options? (may be
difficult for ADD, mobility issues, other health concerns)
Should they be full-time or part time? (sometimes a
reduced load may count as full time status.)
Scheduling: Do they (realistically) have enough time to get
to the next class? Consider testing process.
Do they have any transportation issues?
Advising Considerations
Weather extremes may be problematic in getting to class.
Are there any medical issues that should be taken into consideration in scheduling
classes? Possible attendance issues? Are 8:00 a.m. classes feasible? May need to
schedule later in day (when possible).
Give careful consideration to course selection. Identify courses that they will enjoy.
Consider aspects of course instruction and faculty that use Universally Designed
Learning (Langford, Zakrajsek, & Rood).
Consider that time management skills may be difficult (Asperger’s Syndrome)
Parents list of “top best” necessary accommodations
Receiving extra time on exams.
Taking no more than 12 hours a semester.
Working with a study consultant.
Receiving tutors in necessary courses.
Having Note Takers
Finding a knowledgeable counselor/psychologist
Keeping in frequent touch with child.
Identifying an understanding/caring mentor (could be the advisor).
(Parents want others that will help advocate)
Advisors Make the Difference
 Help students get services they need
 Advise on personal and professional goals
 Making recommendations regarding course
scheduling (considering the student’s abilities)
 Advocating for SWD when necessary
 Working with SDS to provide the best service
Academic Support for Students with Disabilities, Suggestions for Faculty: Advising Students
with Disabilities. (n.d.) Retrieved December 1, 2009, from
Clark, McClendon, L., Grant D. (n.d.) The Changing Face of College Students with Disabilities
[PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from New York University
Fort Hays State University: Advising Students with Disabilities[PowerPoint Slides].
Hemphill, Leslie, L. (n.d.) Advising Students with Disabilities, retrieved December 1, 2009
Hughes, J. (n.d.) Supporting College Students with Asperger Syndrome: Possible Strategies
for Academic Advisors to Use. Retrieved December 1, 2009 from
Langford, Sara, Zakrajsek,T., and Rood, S. (n.d.) Teaching Students with Asperger Syndrome
(and other disabilities) in the College Classroom, Creating an Inclusive Classroom.
Central Michigan. Retrieved December 1, 2009 from
is the language which the deaf
can hear and the blind can see."
Mark Twain