Disability Information Student Handbook

Disability Information Student Handbook

Special Education Is Now Disability Support Programs & Services

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Appendices

Self-Advocacy Practices

Self-advocacy Practice for Instructor Meetings

These are questions you need to be prepared to address if your instructor asks them.  Or you may want to bring one or more of them up as topics to discuss when you are emphasizing your desire to be successful in the course. It may be good practice to write out the answer and even role play them.
  1. What is your disability?
    • You do not have to give a medical diagnosis and/or cause of your disability. You need to state that you have verified disability documentation on file in the DSS or EDC office.
    • For example: “I have documentation of a disability on file in the DSS office and have used services for the past two quarters.”
  2. What are the educational limitations of your disability for that class?
    • You do have to explain your disability as you understand how it relates to the class.
    • For example: “I have a disability related to my fine motor coordination, and as a result, I can’t write quickly enough to take effective notes” or “I take medication for my disability and it slows my thinking skills and motor reaction time.”
  3. Emphasize your abilities, strengths, and special interests in the class.
    • For example: “I have good long-term memory - once I learn something, I’ve got it.” or “I am in pre-law and political science is my most important class this quarter.
  4. What are you doing to maximize your abilities and to compensate for your disability to succeed in that class?
    • Explain what the DSP&S Counselor or Learning Disability Specialist has recommended you do to succeed in the class. Include the extra effort you put forth.
    • For example: “I spend extra time studying, using the SQ3R method” or “I use the Kurzweil 3000 to help me read my text” or “I use DSP&S tutoring services.” or “I just finished college study skills class last quarter”.
  5. What accommodation(s) from the instructor would help you learn in that class?
    • Explain what the DSP&S Counselor or Learning Disability Specialist has recommended for classroom accommodations or provide the accommodation letters. What has worked for you in other classes? You have to be specific to explain your need.
    • For example: “I will need a volunteer note-taker to take notes because, due to my disability, I have difficulty listening and taking good notes at the same time.” or “Since I am a strong auditory learner and a poor speller, I will need to tape the class to get a good set of notes.”
  6. What accommodation(s) from the instructor would help you demonstrate your knowledge in that class, e.g., type of testing procedure?
    • Explain what the DSP&S counselor or Learning Disability Specialist has recommended. You have to be specific to explain your need.
    • For example: “I will use extra time to take tests because it takes me longer to write due to the weakness in my hands” or “I need to take major tests in an environment with reduced distraction because I have difficulty concentrating in a room full of other people which causes me to forget the steps to solving the equations.”
  7. Are these accommodations reasonable?
    • Based on the impact of your disability and the law, the DSP&S Counselor or Learning Disability Specialist will suggest accommodations that do not cause undue burden, and do not cause a fundamental alteration of the course content and procedures.
    • For example: If you asked the instructor to give you the tests individually, that would be unreasonable, causing an undue burden. If you asked to be excused from taking tests, that would be a fundamental alteration of the course which requires testing. The instructor may have suggestions for additional accommodations. If these suggestions do not relate to your disability, inform the DSP&S Counselor or Learning Disability Specialist who will then discuss and help resolve the issue with the instructor.

Questions you may also want to ask the instructor:

  • What do you recommend that I do to succeed in your class?
  • What is the best way for me to study for your class?
  • What is the best way for me to prepare for your tests?
  • Could I get into a study group?
  • What supplementary materials such as video-tapes, study guides, etc. are available?
  • What are the alternative projects, assignments, or ways to demonstrate an understanding of
  • class content?
  • Could I check in with you every two weeks or so to see if my work is either satisfactory or not satisfactory or to see if I have any outstanding assignments?



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Last Updated: 4/29/09