teaching students
who have disABILITIES

Resource and Guidebook

Cameo of General Brock, in Red, with 
'Brock University' wrapped around the top, and 'Surgite' around the bottom

Developed by the Advisory Committee on Campus and Program Accessibility by the Disabled

Permission is given to copy all or part provided that full acknowledgment is given.

Table of Contents

Alternate Formats


Letter to Faculty from the President and the Dean


Part I: Accommodations

What is Meant by Accommodations?
Instructional Accommodation Suggestions
Evaluation Accommodation Suggestions
Laboratory Accommodation Suggestions
Identification of a Disability

Part II: Guidelines for Working with Students With Specific Disabilities Top

Understanding Disabilities
Definition of Disability
Categories of Disabilities
Learning Disabilities
Mental Health, Psychiatric & Psychological Disabilities
Physical Impairments
Visual Impairment
Hearing Loss
Communication Impairments
Chronic Health Problems
Head Injuries
Temporary Disabilities

Part III: Resources Top

Brock Resources
Counselling Centre
The Special Needs Unit
Learning Skills Services
Personal Counselling Unit
Career Services
Health Services
The Internet
Community Resources
Guidebook References

Copies are available in alternate format: Top

Special Needs Unit
Counselling Centre
Brock University
500 Glenridge Ave.
St. Catharines, Ontario
L2S 3A1
Telephone: (905) 688-5550 Ext. 3242
Fax: (905) 685-1188

Acknowledgments: Top

The Advisory Committee on Campus and Program Accessibility by the Disabled acknowledges the funding support of the Instructional Development Office at Brock University for the printing of this publication.

The Committee also acknowledges the generosity of University of British Columbia Disability Resource Centre for giving permission for Brock University to use considerable portions of its publication "Teaching Students with Disabilities Guidebook".

Dear Faculty Member: Top

As a University we are committed to working toward the goal of creating an accessible and welcoming environment for students who have disabilities. Although a great deal has already been done, further efforts are being made to improve the physical accessibility of the campus; a priority list of existing, inaccessible structures is being developed for action. Accessibility also means program access and, on an ongoing basis, the University endeavours to make the learning environment a rewarding and enriching one for students with various disabilities.

In providing accommodations for students with disabilities, Brock University is guided by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, as well as Brock's own commitment to equity outlined in its Mission Statement.

According to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (1981): Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right of the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability. (Section 15)

According to Brock's Mission Statement (1993):

It is the mission of Brock University

This guidebook sums up many of the instructional strategies and accommodations for students who have disabilities which are already being implemented by professors and instructors. The Special Needs Unit and the Advisory Committee on Campus and Program Accessibility by the Disabled has compiled them as a reference so that the common body of information in this area can be shared and advanced.

This document is called a guidebook since it is recognized that each situation is unique, just as each person with a disability is an individual with his/her own requirements. Thus, any adaptations must be tailored to the individual and the specific situation.

We appreciate your cooperation and advice in the provision of these support services. Thank you for your commitment to excellence in promoting the achievement of academic goals.

Terry White, President: Brock University
David Jordan, Dean: Student AffairsTop

Introduction Top

Effective communication is often the key to a successful experience in the university environment. Faculty members are in constant communication with students and fulfill a vital role in shaping their post-secondary experience.

This handbook has been written as a practical guide to assist faculty members and instructional staff in providing the accommodations that enable students who have disabilities at Brock University to meet and maintain the academic standards of their program. Often, of course, these accommodations benefit not just students with a disability, but all students.

While the style of this publication is direct, it is intended as a guidebook since the instructional strategies and accommodations suggested are subject to the test of application. The most effective approach depends on the particular context and the individuals involved. Often the person who is the most expert about his or her needs is the person with a disability.

The accommodations and services available to assist students with their academic program are outlined in the Part I of the guide. These include accommodations related to instruction, evaluation and laboratory experiences. Part II covers several major categories of disabilities. For individuals with multiple disabilities, several categories may apply. The sections have been organized, with a few exceptions, to cover definition, instructional strategies, communications strategies, assignment accommodations, and examination accommodations. Special notes are also provided in some instances. Part III discusses other University and community resource information.

Thanks for reviewing this publication goes to staff at the Counselling Centre and Special Needs Unit and to members of the Advisory Committee on Campus and Program Accessibility by the Disabled. Other resources consulted in the development of this handbook include faculty resource guides from the University of Waterloo, York University, Wilfrid Laurier University, The City University of New York, and Learning Diversity: Accommodations in Colleges and Universities for Students with Mental Illness (Frado, 1993).

Peggy Hutchison, Leila Lustig, Trish Muchynski

Editors, teaching students who have disABILITIES

TopUp to Contents Right Arrow Continue to Part I: Accommodations

URL of this document: http://www.cosc.brocku.ca/Faculty/Radue/disabilities/default.html
Revised: 27 September 1995
Responsible for the HTML conversion: Jon Radue
(c) copyright 1995 Brock University