Challenges for disabled students

1. Common to all:
*Course info on website assumes IT skills
* Teachers unsure how to accommodate disability may react negatively
* Teacher unaware of disability before the student appears. How does the student inform the teacher/institution of their disability?
* The onus is on the student to seek accommodation
* Emphasis often on the disability rather than the measures which would alleviate it
Issues around whether a disability can bar a student from a course eg arboriculture. Who decides?
2. Campus-based courses:
* Physical access (rooms are allocated to a course without awareness of a student’s disability)
* Need to attend in person may present mobility challenges, including moving around the campus
* Slides may be hard to see for visually impaired students
* Handouts may not be accessible
* Room too dark?
* Materials often not available in advance. If that is seen as helpful (not all teachers might see that as desirable or even possible) perhaps teachers could prepare as a matter of course a basic pack of information and materials for every course.
3. Online courses:
* Difficulty using mouse
* Problems with IT systems
* No transcript for hearing impaired students, no audio for sight impaired learners
4. Challenges specific to certain courses:
Teacher training: a student who signs wanted to join my course but was not accepted because we felt she could not meet some learning outcomes, especially the micro-teach. We suggested a teacher training course for signers
I struggled to accommodate a hearing impaired student with a signer
Hearing impaired applicant for A-Level German: we saw the challenges but not the solutions. our options:
*stick to the rules: no spoken oral exam, no qualification
* Arrange for signer, but we had no knowledge of German signing


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