TTT 2008: Kathy Waggoner, Disability Services

Uploaded by facdevEIU on 21.05.2011

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Okay, again I'm Kathy Waggonner,
I'm from the Office of Disabilities Services.
I'm the Assistant Director there and I'm really happy
to be here today to talk to you about
the Office of Disability Services and give you
a quick overview of that office and what we do.
I wanted to talk a little bit just briefly
about the people in the office and what we do there.
I oversee all functions there
and oversee all of the other staff members.
Julie Walters is the Office Systems Specialist,
and she is the person that if you call there,
you will usually get first.
She also balances the budget and manages student files,
and she manages the student accomodation letters
that go out to new faculty and current faculty.
Our newest staff member is Julie Haugh, she is our LD Specialist,
she was hired three weeks ago.
She is currently in training and I'm doing the training,
but she's also helping me create new policies
and revise current policies so that
we can get the office up to date.
Eventually, she will be the person who
reviews documentation for students
with cognitive disabilities, so that would include
students with learning disabilties, brain injuries,
attention deficit disorders.
She has a specialty in Asperger's and autism--
and we currently have seven students on campus
with Asperger's and austism--
and so she will take a special interest in those students
and try to make sure that they have
the accomodations they need and help with inservices,
faculty inservices, for those students.
Barbara Waymire is our
Alternative Media Technology Specialist.
She came in April and she converts print
to alternate formats for our students who are blind
or our students who have other print disabilities.
Our mission, I just wanted to go over this quickly.
Our mission is to advocate for students with disabilties
so they have an equal opportunity to participate
in all facets of University life; to provide and coordinate
support services and programs that enable students
with disabilities to have an equal opportunity
to maximize their educational potential;
and to increase the level of awareness
among all members of the University
so that students with qualifying disabilties
have an opportunity to perform at a level
limited only by their abilities, not their disabilities.
Students registered with the Office of Disabilties Services,
this graph shows from fall 2000 to fall 2007
the numbers of students that we had,
and the increase in the numbers of students.
As you can see it's increased steadily, and I would expect
that at day 10 of the semester we'll see that we have
even more students than we had in the fall of 2007.
This graph shows the types of disabilties that we have,
disabilitiy categories for students registered
with Disability Services by year for three years.
We have 2006, 2007, and 2008, and as you can see
our largest population are students with
learning disabilties and our second largest population
are students with Attention Defecit Disorder.
Our students with physical and functional impairments, those
would be mobility impairments and chronic health conditions.
Sensory includes students with visual and hearing impairments,
and psychological would include students with
major depression, bipolar disorder,
generalized anxiety disorder, among other conditions.
The other category includes students with Asperger's,
autism, and brain injury, and I would expect the numbers to
increase in certain areas with veterans returning from the war.
I would especially expect that we will see more brain injuries.
I think we will see more psychological disorders
with post-traumatic stress disorder.
We might see some sensory, might also see some
physical-functional mobility impairments.
What do we do?
I review medical, educational, and psychological documentation;
I determine disability elgibility
based on the Americans with Disabilities Act
and Section 504 of the Rehab Act.
And I identify appropriate accomodations and services
according to students' individual needs.
So if three students are in my office
and they all have learning disabilities,
they don't necessarily get all of the same accomodations.
It's very individualized, and so it's not
a one-size-fits-all approach.
What else do we do?
We develop policies and procedures
based on current laws.
We provide consultation and education to the University
and area communities.
We facilitate student access to the educational environment,
and this is one of my goals, always one of my goals,
to try to the best of my abilitiy to
eliminate barriers for students with disabiltities.
I can remember a few years ago, I worked with EIU
and the city of Charleston to get a sidewalk put in
along Roosevelt Avenue for a student who was blind,
so that he could have safe access to his classes,
and that's just one example.
Students' reponsibilities.
Students are responsible for providing
appropriate documentation and requesting accomodations
from the Office of Disabilities Services.
And so students can choose to come to our office,
but they don't have too.
So there are going to be students out there
in the EIU community who have disabilities
who have not chosen to come to our office.
They are responsible to pick up accomodation letters from the
Office of Disabilities Services and to make an appointment
with faculty, show them their accomodation letter,
and talk to them about accomodation needs.
It's something that I stress very strongly with students
to not drop off the accomodation letter,
to make an appointment, meet with instructors
so that there's an understanding between the two of them
about how they are going to receive their accomodations.
And then they have a responsibility
to complete all fundamental requirements of the course,
just as all other students do.
And if they have questions or concerns, they are to contact
the Office of Disability Services.
Faculty responsibilities include providing a reference to ODS
on their class syllabus, and that is so students
with disabilities, or students who think they may have
a disability, know where to go to check
to see if they are elligible for services.
It's also a safeguard for the university
because the law mandates us to get that information out there
for people, and this is one excellent way to do that.
Faculty are responsible to talk with students about their
accomodations, so when students make that appointment
with faculty, then faculty should meet with students
and talk about how they're going to get specific accomodations.
For example, if a student has an accomodation
of extended test time, and it's time-and-a-half
so they receive 75 minutes for their test
where everybody else receives 50 minutes,
then there needs to be a discussion
about how the student is going to receive that.
Are they going to come in 25 minutes early
and start the test, are they going to stay 25 minutes late,
are they going to take their test at a totally
different time, so there needs to be some discussion.
The same is true for other types of accomodations.
Okay, they also need to provide accomodations
that are written on the student's accomodation letter
and they need to conctact Office of Disabilities Services
if they have questions or concerns.
Providing accomodations.
Faculty are responsibile for providing the accomodations
that I've determined students are elgibile for.
And a couple of different accomodations,
seperate testing environment and extended test time.
Sometimes a student needs a seperate space for that
and if there's not space available in the department,
then the faculty person can call Kelly Partenheimer
who is in Campus Scheduling, and she can help find a space.
Faculty may want to coordinate tests for students
with disabilties with other faculty in their department.
So if there are two or three faculty members in a department
who have students with disabilities,
it might be possible to work together
if they are giving tests at similiar times.
I know that wouldn't always work out,
but it's definitely worth checking into,
and then a room could be scheduled and one proctor
for all of those students might work out, instead of
having each individual instructor proctor the test or
have a GA proctor the test for each individual student.
Test reader is another accomodation
that oftentimes students need.
Students with visual impairments, who are blind,
or students with other types of reading disorders
often need a test reader.
We have testing computer stations across campus,
and they are in the ATAC labs, and they have software on them
that will allow the students' test
to be read to them through the computer.
It's text-to-speech software.
I have a handout at the table that is available
that I'm eventually going to put on my website
that lists all of those computer labs,
where those testing computer stations are located,
and which type of software they have, so that faculty will know
whether the testing computer station in that lab
is appropriate for somebody with a visual impairment
or if it's appropriate for anybody else,
because there are two different types of softwares,
and one is for students who are blind and visual impairments,
and the other is for any other student.
Sometimes faculty need to provide a reader
or a scribe for students.
And that's another option instead of the
testing computer stations, if they choose to do it that way.
And the last option that I've come up with is just to
record the test and then have the student listen to it.
That wouldn't work for a student who is blind,
but it would work for other students.
So there are several different options and ways to do that,
and I'm sure faculty could think of
some other ways too that might work.
Confidentiality...students are really funny about their
disability and oftentimes they are not real comfortable
with it, even when they are coming to college,
and I would hope that they would be comfortable with it
by that time but oftentimes they're not.
And I think the reason, a lot of times, is because they come from
the K-12 system where they are treated so differently.
What I tell them, and oftentimes it makes them
feel a little better, is that, you know, really at the
college level most of the time other students don't really
care if you have a disability, they're not going to treat you
differently like they did in the high schools.
The only thing they really care about is
how did you get that extended test time
because I want it too, and that usually loosens them up
a little bit and makes them feel a little more comfortable.
Nevertheless, confidentiality is important
and some students want to maintain that.
So we ask instructors to maintain it at all times,
even if the student discloses their disability
in front of the class.
ODS can commmunicate information to faculty
on a need to know basis, however we encourage students
to work directly with the faculty.
We encourage students to speak about their
disability concerns with you, the faculty, in private,
and we ask that you do not disclose who the student is
who needs accomodations.
Laws that mandate services at the different levels.
Individuals with Disabilties Education Act is the law
that mandates services in the K-12 system,
it's totally different than the laws.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitiation Act,
and the Americans with Disabilties Act, which mandates
services at the post-secondary education level.
IDEA is a special ed law, it's an entitlement program
that entitles students to free appropriate education.
The Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504
are descendants of the Civil Rights Laws and Act,
and they state that students and people with disabilities
should be afforded an equal opportunity to learn
and that we should not discriminate
or cannot discriminate against them.
That's why Eastern has an Office of Disability Services
and why we do what we do, that's one of the reasons.
The other reason is because it's the right thing to do,
and I believe Eastern has been very proactive
in providing services and doing the right thing
for our students with disabilities.
Thank you.
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