CODI: Cornucopia of Disability Information

IDENTIFYING DISABILITIES

IDENTIFYING DISABILITIES

Each student brings a unique set of experiences to college, and a student
with disabilities is no exception. While many learn in different ways, their
differences do not imply inferior capacity to learn. Course requirements for
students with disabilities should be consistent with those for other
students. However, special accommodations may be needed, as well as
modifications.

Determining that a student is disabled may not always be a simple process.
Visible disabilities are noticeable through casual observation, for example
an immediately recognizable physical impairment, or the use of a cane, a
wheelchair, or crutches.

Other students have what are known as hidden disabilities, which may include
hearing impairments, legal blindness, cardiac conditions, learning
disabilities, cancer, diabetes, kidney disease and psychiatric or seizure
disorders.

Finally, some students have multiple disabilities, caused primarily by
conditions such as muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis,
or traumatic brain injury.  Depending on the nature and progression of the
condition or injury, it may be accompanied by a secondary impairment, in
mobility, vision, hearing, speech or coordination, which may, in fact, pose
greater difficulties than the primary diagnosis.

Some students with disabilities will identify themselves as such by
contacting the Office of Disability Services and their instructors before or
early in the quarter. Others, especially those with "hidden" disabilities,
may not identify themselves because they fear being challenged about the
legitimacy of their needs. Such students, in the absence of instructional
adjustments, may experience problems completing course requirements. In a
panic, they may identify themselves as disabled just before an examination
and expect instant attention to their needs. If that happens, the faculty
member should send the student to the Office of Disability Services where
they will meet with a Disability Counselor to document their disability in
order to receive academic accommodations .


	  Faculty members are encouraged to make an 
	  announcement at the beginning of the term 
	  or put a statement in the syllabus 
	  inviting students with disabilities to 
	  schedule appointments.