College, Disabilities, and Success

#78 How to Prepare for College Disability Accommodations

August 24, 2022 Mickie Hayes Season 2 Episode 78
College, Disabilities, and Success
#78 How to Prepare for College Disability Accommodations
Show Notes Transcript

There is a world of difference between disability accommodations in the K-12 system and disability accommodations in the postsecondary system.  Today's episode addresses some of those differences in accommodations that parents and teachers need to be aware of when students with disabilities plan for college.   Just because your child or student had a specific accommodation in high school does not mean they will get the same accommodation in college.   You will also be able to download a tip sheet put out by Learning Ally that shares many examples of common accommodations for K-12 students with dyslexia.  I used the tip sheet to show how many of the accommodations your child might have in K-12  for reading, spelling, writing, math, homework, and testing that may not apply to college.

Learning Ally Accommodation Tip Sheet for Students with Dyslexia

#57 Math Differences from High School to College with Dr. Paul Nolting

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Mickie  0:00  
Did you realize that accommodations in high school will not automatically transfer to college?  that if your child got an accommodation in high school, that doesn't necessarily mean they're going to get that same accommodation in college? And did you know that accommodations in college are different because college cannot modify curriculum in any way, shape, or form, and so modifications do not happen in college. So that's what we're going to talk about today, we're going to take a look at the high school accommodations and the K 12 accommodations and the kinds of accommodations that are very common for all of the subjects in the K 12 system and how those translate in many cases to the college. So welcome to Mickie Teaches College, Disabilities and Success, Episode 78. "How to Plan for College Disability Accommodations with Mickie Hayes. The opinions in this podcast are my own, please reach out to your college, physician, or legal services for additional information. 

Mickie  1:12  
I came across a really good handout called "What are some common accommodations for kids with dyslexia? and it was on the Learning Ally website. And I'll include the link to the handout in your show notes. But as I was looking at it, it divided the accommodations, typical accommodations for kids with dyslexia into reading, spelling, writing, math, homework, and testing. And I got to thinking about it. And looking at this handout, and how much different the accommodations are when an individual gets to college. Now, I've said all along that accommodations in college are not going to be the same in most cases, as the accommodations that your child had in high school, there may be some similarities, there may be some duplication. It depends, but college accommodations are made for equal access, and K 12. Accommodations are made for success. And so in the K 12 system, they can modify things and so some of their accommodations are in actuality, modifications that cannot be done at the college level. At the college level. By law, the disability services offices cannot adjust the accommodations to change the intent of the course. So I thought I'd take a look of few of these accommodations that are on the handout and compare them. Now there's a few accommodations on this list that are strictly K 12. In reading only asked a student to read aloud if he volunteers provide extra time for reading assignments provide a quiet environment for reading allow students to preview reading materials, these are not accommodations that you will typically see at a college level. Now, if a student really does not want to read aloud under any circumstances in the class, and it's an issue for that student that may be an accommodation that they can provide at the college, it would entirely depend upon the documentation that the student provided to disability services. But the reality is in college, most of the time students are not going to be reading aloud in class. But there are two accommodations that definitely would be found at the college. And the first one is to provide access to audio books, audio copies of textbooks can be provided by the disability services to the student. And there would be no charge for that if the student acquired them through the college. But you do need to be aware of the fact that many times because of the nature of textbooks in the business of textbooks that the student may still have to purchase the textbook in its normal form before they can get access to the audio form. So that's a question you want to talk to your disability services person about and find out if that is going to apply in your case at the college. Now the second reading accommodation that applies at the college kind of applies at the college, it says to provide access to text to speech software. Now, in this case, that is the kind of accommodation that nobody needs permission for in college, because that's the kind of accommodation that anybody can use at any time while they're doing their work outside of the classroom. If you need a piece of text to speech software in the classroom, you may need to have a some sort of an accommodation just to be able to use the headphones or use your ear pods so that the professor doesn't think you're not paying attention to what they're teaching and just listening and messing around on your computer or your phone. Usually screen reading software is something that's available on an individual basis or it's set up in a library or study center or resource room or someplace like that to use. But like I said that's usually not a specific accommodation It's just access that any student in college would have a spelling is a big deal in the K 12. System. Colleges usually don't have spelling tests. If it became an issue for a course, in particular, where there were a lot of terms that the student had to spell in class from memory, then it could be addressed as an accommodation through Disability Services, I had one case where students needed to spill something for professors. And the way we accommodated it was we took and recorded, I recorded all of the information on a player, a tape player, and then the student could sit in the test center and replay the tape as many times as they needed to and hear the word as many times as they wanted to, and then spell it as best they could. But they didn't have to try and rush and get the correct answer in the classroom. So that was just a circumstance that happened. It was a one of n. That's what may happen for you at college. But this is another one that in 90% of the cases, the spelling that the individual is going to be doing is going to be on outside assignments. And so with those outside assignments, the professor's automatically going to expect that the individual used a spellcheck as they were doing their work. That just simply goes without saying, you're looking at a K 12 accommodation, like don't take off for spelling that's very possible in the K 12 system. But it would not apply in the college because they're going to assume that as a college student, you have the ability to spell check your work, or to have someone proofread your work for spelling.

Mickie  6:32  
So if you don't bother to use a spell checker, you're going to get knocked off on your grade.

Mickie  6:37  
So let's take a minute to talk about writing because that is one that students definitely need support with. In a college classroom. If they have a writing disability of some sort, then they would have to have a scribe possibly during a test or they might need a note taker in class or some way to to get a good set of notes. Using speech to text software. This is another case where it's going to be automatic outside of the classroom, so not likely an accommodation in college. Now, here's another example where in the K 12 system, here's accommodations for writing that would never be granted in the college, for example, reduce written work, that's not going to happen, that's a modification, minimize the amount of copying from the board, they are not going to make that an accommodation. That's simply the student's college responsibility to figure out a way to get those notes that are on the board. If they're not copying it themselves. That's their business. That's where note takers come in very handy. offer alternative projects instead of written reports. This one can be either in high school or the college. But in the college, it depends on the circumstances of the college. Now some colleges use something called ally, a ll y. And Li is a learning management system that some college is offered to professors, where professors can automatically set up a course so that the student has alternatives built in if the student needs an alternative way to present the information to the professor, that is a very, very specific conversation the student should have with Disability Services, because there's a fine line between an alternative format and modifying the course. Now for math accommodations in college, those are usually not a big topic, believe it or not, calculators are pretty much allowed across the board unless the course is actually teaching basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. But anything beyond that calculators are just given accommodations, like provide scrap paper or graph paper, that is an individual choice. Although scrap paper could be something that the student wants to have a conversation with the professor about, because scrap paper sometimes becomes an issue and issues speculating on cheating. And so if the student needs scrap paper that can usually be arranged with the instructor. And then it's turned in at the end with a test. So there could be issues there to make sure the scrap papers cleaned that sort of thing. But that's, in most cases, that would just be a conversation with the professor that wouldn't necessarily go through Disability Services. Homework accommodations in the K 12 system are very, very different than college because college isn't going to give you homework accommodations. That just doesn't happen. First of all, they're not going to tell the professor to reduce the homework, which is what they could do in the K 12 system. They're not going to tell the student to limit the time spent on the homework which could be done in the K 12 system. The professor is not going to provide a list of special assignments to one student which is often done in the K 12 system. Homework is homework is homework. Students in college have to figure out how to get everything done. While budgeting their time, that's a time issue that sometimes college students struggle with. But it's not an accommodation issue. And in reality, the Disability Services is not usually and I'm going to put a qualifier here, not usually eager to give extended time for homework. In other words, the ability to turn homework in late, but it can be an accommodation, it can very much be an accommodation in college, if there is a legitimate concern to make that accommodation. It could be something like medical reasons, doctor's appointments that cannot be rescheduled health issues that come up. So it could be justified on that basis. But just carte blanche because the somebody wants some extra time to get to their homework, that's usually not the case. And it's important that you know that if a person does get extended time, it's only going to go to the end of the semester, and at the end of the semester, things tend to pile up in a hurry. And that could become a problem then if you as an individual with a disability needs to take an incomplete in a course, please know that colleges have incomplete parameters already established as to how long they can take when the work is due how much work has to already be done ahead of time before you can even get that status, there are usually a lot of parameters around incomplete assignments that the students should be aware of before they even ask for an incomplete. Now the final area that they talk about on the accommodations handout is testing extra time to take tests is a very common accommodation in college. And then the students would be given the opportunity to take the test in a separate environment

Mickie  11:42  
either in a another classroom and office, a test center, faculty members office Disability Services Office, those would be arrangements that would be made ahead of time, because if you're going to get extra time to take a test, you're going to have to do it in a separate location, the professor's not going to be expected to hang around while you get extra time, it doesn't work that way. But once you're taking a test with extra time, in a separate location, there may be some other college accommodations that you need, such as having a reader for the test, or using reading software to take the test or a scribe somebody to write down your written responses. Dr. Nolting, in the section on math disabilities talks about math accommodations with a scribe. And that's a new accommodation I have not heard of until he mentioned it. But it makes really good sense to me, if you have a student who tends to mix numbers up or mix up signs, the scribe cannot correct anything. But they can point out that the number has been flipped. So in other words, students with dyscalculia, sometimes write down 25 for 52. And a scribe would be the person who would write down exactly what it should be 52. So there wouldn't be that flipping of numbers that students sometimes do. This isn't a unique accommodation. But it's definitely worth a conversation with disability services if the situation applies to you. So today, we talked about accommodations in the K 12 system versus the accommodations in college. And there's a couple of main points that I want you to take away from this from this podcast. And that is accommodations are not the same as modifications accommodations in college are for equal access to the work so that the college can mitigate the impact of your disability to get the work done. And that's where equal access comes in. So you can show what you know, but not show less than everybody else has to show in the K 12 system. When they modify a course you show less, you do less. Now if you've had math, modifications like that, historically, where you do less, and you show less, and you're responsible for less be very aware that when you hit math in college, that is never going to happen. And so if you're not mentally prepared to handle math, without modifications, you need to really think closely about how you're going to set up your math courses, how you're going to budget your time for your math courses, and how are you going to ask for accommodations in your math courses, and in particular for testing. So something to think about, if you're a college student who's had a whole lot of modifications in the K 12 system, I'll make sure that you have access to the handout that Learning Ally has put together for K 12 accommodations because it's a really good handout and it has a lot of really good suggestions on it. But do bear in mind it is for K 12. And very often the student accommodations in K 12 are not going to be given in college and also don't forget the college nominations vary from one college to another. So even accommodation that you got at one college will not necessarily be given to you at a different college. So college accommodations are very, very different. If you have any questions, please feel free to drop me an email, I'm at Mickie That's M I C K i e You can also check out my website, Mickey, where I have lots of resources and materials for students and parents and teachers to access at any time. In the meantime, we will talk again soon, so have a great rest of the day. Bye. The information contained throughout this podcast has been gleaned from my own personal experiences, but to ensure accuracy, please contact the Disability Services at the college of your choice to have firsthand information and the most up to date policies and procedures followed for your particular institution of higher education. The content in any of these podcasts is not intended as a substitute for information from legal, educational or medical professionals. Always seek the advice of your attorney or qualified health care provider with any questions you may have with regards to legal educational or medical concerns.

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