Disabled Students Programs & Services at College of San Mateo - Faculty Resource Guide
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Disabled Students Programs & Services (DSPS)

Faculty Resource Guide

Points to Remember

Ask the student


While we encourage students to discuss their needs with their instructors, this is not always done. If you have questions about whether or not a student needs an accommodation, the first person to ask is the student.

Be aware of your language


Using terms such as "students with disabilities" rather than "disabled students" puts the emphasis on the person rather than their disability.

Speak directly to the student


Don't consider a companion to be a conversation go-between. Even if the student has an interpreter present, speak directly to the student, not to the interpreter.

Give your full attention


Be considerate of the extra time it might take for a person with a disability to get things said or done. Don't talk for the person who has difficulty speaking, but give help when needed. Keep your manner encouraging rather than correcting.

Speak slowly and distinctly


When talking to a person who is hard of hearing or has other difficulty understanding, speak clearly without exaggerating your lip movements. Stand in front of the person and use natural gestures to aid communication. Many students who are deaf or hard of hearing rely on being able to read your lips. If you’re not sure you’re being understood, write notes.

Appreciate individuality


Look at each student as an individual when considering necessary changes. Determining successful accommodations for the classroom is the responsibility of the student as well as the faculty member.

Use common sense


Although some students with disabilities may require significant adaptation and modification in the classroom, more often common sense approaches can be applied to ensure that students have access to course content.

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