Aug 19, 2015

When trying to decide what to write for this week I kept coming back to the fact that schools across my portion of the country are beginning to start back and many of those students will have disabilities. Here are a few tips and explanations to help the beginning of your school year go as smoothly as possible.

Figure out what works for YOU: Early on in my educational career my teachers were fond of “creative” ways of learning and memorizing material. These ranged from making standard flash cards to writing down spelling words 25 times each. While I am sure that these tactics worked great for others, they never were worth the effort for me. It always to me a lot more effort writing each spelling word twenty-five times than it did for me to just spell the word to myself repeatedly. Figuring out works for you also could apply to your accommodations. As you go through school hopefully, you are able to determine what you need to succeed and just use those accommodations and nothing excessive. The less complicated your accommodations are, the more willing your professors will be to work with you.

Let your teachers or professors know early: Many students with disabilities are hesitant to discuss their disabilities with teachers or professors. Students feel their disability is a personal matter and should be treated accordingly. However, professors would rather know in advance that you need accommodations in class so they can prepare accordingly. In fact, many universities require students with disabilities to notify instructors of any accommodations as early as possible and if not notified then the professor is not required to abide by them.

GO TO CLASS, GO TO CLASS, GO TO CLASS: While it is important for every student to attend class, it can be even more important for students with disabilities to make the effort. The reason for this is that our disabilities are more than likely going to cause some problem over the course of our educational careers that force us to miss class. These can range from medical issues, to being sick more often, or simply that the class was inaccessible that day because of construction or the class activity (it happens, trust me). Professors are who ultimately assign grades, and they are more forgiving to students that attend class. There have been several times in my educational career that I earned a final grade higher than I should have and I really believe that this was because my professors knew I was in class and engaged with the material being taught.

Get your accommodations set up: This seems simple and just common sense however, there are tons of students that do not get their accommodations set up properly and pay for it later. You may not need every accommodation for every class and that is okay. One of my main accommodations is having extra time for exams but since some history course only have papers I did not need this accommodation. Also along these lines make sure that if you have a note-taker that their notes are of a high quality. There is nothing worse than realizing the week of an exam that the notes you have are poor because the note-taker has failed you. The best way to prevent this from happening is by having your instructor look over the notes and making sure they are up to the proper standard with the right material included. My mantra when it comes to accommodations is this:

“It is always better to have it but not need it than it is to need it but not have it!”

Good luck to everyone this year, both students and educators! Happy learning!!!


If you are a student with a disability do you have any other suggestions that you can recommend?


Author: Phillip Crain

  • bobl07

    I believe the more you communicate with the professors and schools the better off. Plus, majority of schools have outstanding Disability Student Offices. Please utilize their services.

  • huik

    From the very beginning to the end each student should learn as well as take the initiative proper plus precise for the perfect action plan in finding the best action plan for all level. In order to find out the proper approaches in precise manner before mentioned guidelines are the key action plan in promoting the precise approaches to all.