Supporting Accessibility for Advanced Technological Education

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Utilizing Your Institution's Disability Resource Center

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Two professionals communicate about their notes on a student who uses a wheelchair

The majority of colleges and universities have a disability resource center (DRC) or office that works to ensure that classes, programs, buildings and other facilities, and services are accessible to students and employees with disabilities. It is through the school’s DRC that a student makes a request for an accommodation when a given class, lab, or building isn’t accessible to them. While the DRC is responsible for these standards and accommodations, faculty can make use of the DRC as well, to improve their classes, classrooms, and labs.

A school’s DRC keeps detailed notes on students with disabilities who have registered with the center. These notes typically include historical and holistic information about the student and their experiences with their disability, as well as a record of previous accommodation requests, and any communication, evaluation, consultation, and approvals and denials thereof. While these notes are largely confidential, the DRC can still advise on what has worked for a given student in the past and any changes you as a faculty member might make to improve accessibility for them. Per the Association on Higher Education and Disability’s (AHEAD) white...

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Tools

This resource, from the National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes, provides two documents and a video that explore research on the effects of increased access to English through computer-mediated communication (CMC) on Deaf individuals' language and literacy skills. The first document is a summary of research goals, methods, findings, and...
This resource, from the National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes, provides a document and video that explore the importance of promoting high expectations for Deaf individuals' postsecondary success. The 7-page document summarizes research on strength-based approaches, postsecondary planning processes, role models, and parent/teacher roles in ...
This case study explores CAST's partnership with Manchester Community College, which aimed to remove barriers to learning in laboratory environments through employing Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles and accessibility best practices. The case study focuses on Manchester Community College's Improving the Education of Mechatronics...
This case study explores case-based learning strategies for active learning in bilingual classrooms with Deaf and hearing students. A five-part video series is provided. In part one, Dr. Sandi Connelly describes how she checks for understanding when teaching cases in large classes. In part two, Connelly discusses technology and digital media, and...
This case study explores the Opening the Pathway to Technician Careers Conference, which engaged biology teachers of Deaf students in 2019. The case study describes how Universal Design for Learning (UDL) can be used to support a bilingual (English and American Sign Language), accessible, and inclusive professional development conference. Best...