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Wayne State College
Counseling Center
Student Center, Rm. 103
1111 Main St.
Wayne, NE 68787

Phone: 402.375.7321
Fax: 402.375.7058





Samples of Classroom Accommodations You May Encounter


Below are some samples of classroom accommodations for disabilities you may encounter. This is not an all inclisive listing and other accommodations may arise depending on individual needs. These samples are provided to give you an idea of how to handle requests. For more information, contact the Disability Services Counselor in the Counseling Center at 375-7321 (or 7557) or by e-mail at


Students with Mobility or Hand-Function Impairments

A wide range of conditions may limit mobility and/or hand function. While the degree of difficulty may vary, students have difficulty getting to and from class, performing in class, and managing out-of-class assignments and exams.
Getting to and from class: Students may experience time delays, fatigue and difficulty moving around within a classroom.

  1. Discuss accessibility with the student early in the semester.
  2. Be prepared to request a change in classroom if no other solution is feasible.
  3. Become familiar with the emergency evacuation route in the building.

In class: Some courses and classrooms present problems in ensuring full participation of mobility impaired students.

  1. Every effort should be made so the student can sit with the rest of the class.
  2. Permit the use of a note taker or tape recorder.
  3. Allow in-class written assignments to be completed outside class.

Out of class assignments: The use of the library for reading or research may present particular obstacles. Off-campus assignments and field work may also pose problems of access. Advanced notice of such requirements assists the student in making arrangements to participate in these activities.

Students with Visual Impairments

Visual impairment varies greatly. Most legally blind people have some vision. Others who are partially sighted may rely on residual vision with the use of adaptive equipment.
Before or early in the semester:

  1. Provide reading lists and the syllabus to allow arrangements for taping/brailling.
  2. Reserve front row seats for students with low vision.
  3. Limit the use of reserved materials or make them individually available.

During the semester:

  1. Face the class when speaking.
  2. Convey in spoken words whatever is in writing: graphs, charts, etc.
  3. Permit lectures to be taped.
  4. Duplicate class materials on a large-print copier.
  5. Be flexible with assignment deadlines.
  6. If a specific task is impossible for the student, develop an alternative.

Exams and Evaluations: Students should not be exempt from exams or expected to master less content or illustrate a lower level of scholastic skills because of a visual impairment. But, alternative ways of assessing their course achievements may be necessary. The students themselves can offer suggestions and alternatives. The most frequently used alternatives for taking exams are large-print, braille, taped or oral formats and the use of print enlargers, computer programs or dictation equipment.

Students with Hearing Impairments

Hearing impairments are the greatest chronic physical disability in the United States. Because some students do not hear language well, or at all, their impairments generally extend to speaking and reading as well. These secondary effects need to be viewed as physical disabilities rather then mental or intellectual weaknesses. A variety of devices and approaches allow hearing impaired people to communicate. The use of sight (lip) reading, hearing aids, sign language, and an oral interpreter are some examples.

  1. Reserve a front row seat.
  2. Arrange for the appropriate placement of an interpreter.
  3. Face the student.
  4. Draw the student's attention before speaking.
  5. Repeat the questions and remarks of others in the class.
  6. Write key points on the board.
  7. Provide transcripts of audio-visual materials.
  8. If the student has language difficulties, allow extended time for exams.

Students with Psychological Disabilities

Students with psychological disabilities can pose some of the greatest challenges to the college instructor. Like those with other hidden disabilities, their impairments may have little or no effect on learning. Unlike others, however, their disabilities may manifest themselves in negative behaviors. Such conduct sometimes makes it hard to remember that they have as little control over their disabilities as do people with other disabilities. Among the most common of psychological impairments is depression. The condition may be temporary or chronic. Anxiety is also common among college students and may be a transient reaction to stress. Some people use prescription medication to help control their disability. This medication may cause such side effects as drowsiness or disorientation.

  1. Discuss any inappropriate behavior directly and privately with the student.
  2. If the student tells you they have a psychological disability-believe them. The social stigma and discrimination against this minority group is so great that most people reveal their disability only when they feel forced to do so. Students with Speech Impairments

Speech impairments range from problems with articulation or voice strength to complete voicelessness. Patience is needed in interacting with speech-impaired students.

  1. Provide them the opportunity, but do not require that they speak in class.
  2. Permit them the time they need to express themselves.
  3. Address them naturally. Don't assume they can't hear or think.
  4. Consider alternatives such as one-to-one presentations or the use of a computer with a voice synthesizer.

Students with Other Disabilities

There are many other medical conditions that may interfere with a student's academic functioning. Some of their symptoms, like limited mobility or impaired vision, and the types of intervention required resemble those covered earlier. The general principles set forth in the Overview apply, particularly the need to identify the person with the disability and to discuss the issue of disability as it relates to academic performance. For more information or assistance, contact the Disability Services Counselor in the Counseling Center at 375-7321 (or 7557) or by e-mail at


  • Reasonable Accommodations: A Faculty Guide to Teaching College Students with Disabilities. Professional Staff Congress, City University of New York.
  • The Protection of Academic Standards and the Use of Exam Modifications for College Students with Disabilities

Related Information: The Protection of Academic Standards and the Use of Exam Modifications for College Students with Disabilities




Ron Vick, MA, LPC
Counselor / Academic Advisor
Int'l Student Advisor




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