How a Visually Impaired Student can successfully complete a Doctoral Degree in Psychology
Howa Visually Impaired Student can successfully complete a DoctoralDegree in Psychology
Theobjective of this paper is to discuss the reasonable accommodationsthat are provided at the universities in California State to thevisually impaired students undertaking Doctoral Degree in Psychology.It will discuss education access for such students as mandated by theRehabilitation Act of 1973 and Americans with Disabilities Act. Thepaper addresses the objectives of academic accommodations. It alsodiscuss the forms of accommodations that the university provides likenote taking, registration aid, adjusted testing circumstances,specialized equipment, tutorial assistance, website accessibility,courtesy, and test accommodations, as well as the persons whobenefit. The paper also discusses the process for accommodations inthe university, the administrative practices that relates toaccommodations, and how the university reviews the request for testaccommodations. Use of freedom scientific such as NanoPac, SmartScreen Technology, Dual Cursor Design, JAWS Wizard, and JAWS forWindows to enhance the Braille capabilities, miscellaneous scripts,and the software improves Audio Programming compatibility in theuniversity are also discussed. The paper also discusses into detailthe basic features for JAWS for Windows (JFW) Version. The featuresinclude, 32-bit Application, the Active Accessibility of Microsoft,the compatibility of JFW with MS-DOS Windows, JAWS Help System, HotKey Assistance, Screen Sensitive Assistance, Keyboard AssistanceMode, Online Assistance, and Configuration Capabilities of JFW. Otherfeatures that are discussed also encompass Keyboard Manager, GraphicsLabeler, Dictionary Manager, Manager, Frame Manager, Script Manager,Supports MSAPI Software Synthesizers, Support for Displays ofRefreshable Braille, Custom Scripts for more than Forty Applications,and Internet Support. The mentoring programs for the visuallyimpaired learners, and the various ways in with the program should bemanaged to improve the academic performance of the students such asupholding communication are also elaborated. The paper also discussesthe accommodations that are not provided by the universities inCalifornia, the limitations on the requirements of ADA, documentationprocess, discussion on logical accommodation, determination ofreasonable accommodation, and the suitable reasonable accommodations.Additionally, the paper discusses the modifications of accommodation,justification and the process of appeal, as well as the three stepsthat are necessary for appealing reasonable accommodations. The paperalso addresses the students’ eligibility for accommodation servicesand aid, and the role of the Office of Services for Individuals withDisabilities (OSID). ACCESS Principles such as A-Accessibility:C-Communication: C-Confidentiality: E-Eligibility StudentResponsibility: S-Support: are discussed. Other critical areas thatare discussed in the paper include the responsibility of the Faculty,accommodation services and programs, confidentiality, communication,determining program requirements and essential Course, and statementof accessibility for course syllabus. Moreover, the paper analyzesthe accommodation registration that needs extra time to implement,requests by students for condensed course loads, advice on academics,path-finding in the university, interpretation of the visuallanguage, and students’ participation in the academic accommodationprocess. The paper finally concludes by providing a summary of thediscussions.
Logicalaccommodations are adjustments or modifications to the environment,tasks, or the manner in which things are normally carried out thatmake it possible for the disabled persons to have an equal chance totake part in an academic program (The United States & UnitedStates, 2012). Wide-ranging types of accommodation encompass thechanges to the processes of application that ensures an equal chanceto submit a request for enrollment to a program. They also includealterations that make it possible for a disabled student to carry outthe critical academic program roles and the changes that permit thestudent to enjoy equal privileges and benefits of the program. Theobjective of this paper will be to evaluate the programs thatuniversities in California provide to the visually impaired studentsto help them complete their Doctoral Degrees in Psychology.
EducationalAccess for the students with a Disability (Visually Impairedstudents)
Theuniversities make it possible for all students to access educationthrough the provision of auxiliary services and aids, as well asclassroom accommodations to ensure that students get equalopportunities for education regardless of their disabilities (WestVirginia Department of Education, 2012). Creating equal opportunitiesfor education requires the joint effort of the faculty member, thestudent, and the office that is in charge of disability services atthe University. The 1990’s Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 provide protectionto the disabled students from discrimination that may take place dueto the failures, attitudinal barriers, and misconception of alearning institution to offer suitable auxiliary help,accommodations, or services. The examples of auxiliary aids andaccommodations encompass but are not restricted to: additional timefor examinations, note takers, interpreters, as well as educationalmaterials such as audio recordings, Braille, enlarged print, andelectronic format.
Americanswith Disabilities Act
TheAmericans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights law that wasput into operation in 1990. It has the core objective of ensuringthat individuals with disabilities receive equal access totelecommunications, transportation, public services, employment, andtransportation among other issues. Title II of the ADA prohibitsdiscrimination based on disability by public entities. The provisionencompasses the educational institutions that get funds from thestate such as technical schools, colleges, and universities (Heffron,2013). Such institutions are subject to the same requirements thatare non-discriminatory under the Act’s Title. The prohibitionagainst prejudice is very extensive and includes all the activities,services, and programs that an institution provides. In conclusion,ADA requires institutions to ensure that persons with disabilitieshave equal chance to partake in or benefit from its services. TheAct’s core thrust is to ensure that the American citizens withdisabilities have access to society’s mainstream. Educationalaccess is one of the vital steps to opening the doors to a society’smainstream to the disabled individuals. One way through which apost-secondary learning institution strives to ensure that thedisabled persons have equal opportunities to education is through theprovision of accommodations for such people. Accommodations are theessential component of meeting the ADA’s requirements. Theobligation of the institutions is to offer accommodations to theenrolled and prospective students and staff members who may want toattend public activities or events that the institutions sponsor.
Concerningeducation, the Act states that the higher learning institutions havethe responsibility to provide the required accommodations to adisabled student (Aquino, 2016). Notably, training programs forpsychology are needed to make realistic adjustments to procedures,policies, and practices. The training programs are also expected toprovide supporting services and aids to the disabled students, unlessif doing so would change the nature of the results or programs. ADAoutlines that:
Institutions must provide services and programs in an integrated location unless it is necessary to have different or separate measures that ensure equal chances.
Institutions may not decline to permit a disabled person to take part in a program, any activity, or service because of his disability.
Any institution shall run their programs to ensure that when observed in its entirety, it is readily usable and accessible to the disabled individuals.
Institutions are mandated to provide auxiliary services and aids when necessary to make sure that there is useful communication unless unwarranted burden or critical change would occur.
Theuniversities in California comply with the requirements of the 1973’sRehabilitation Act, Section 504 that states that a postsecondarylearning institution has no authority to exclude a disabled studentfrom participating in the school’s activities. Such a studentcannot be refused the benefits of, or be discriminated against underany activity or program that the state funds.
Whatis an Accommodation?
Anaccommodation is a lawful authorized service or adjustments thatprovide students with disabilities an equal chance to benefit fromthe processes of education. It may be critical to assume thataccommodations are modifications to how things are always conducted.From one point of view, universities categorize accommodations asbelow:
Alterations to the environment of a class or roles that allow a disabled student to participate in the process of education
Adjustments to processes, practices, or policies
Provision of services and auxiliary aids, and
Other adjustments or adaptations that make it possible for a student to appreciate the privileges and benefits of the activities, services, program of an institution
Taking away of architectural obstacles that
Provides a calm environment for taking tests to reduce the auditory distractions
Fixes better lights in classrooms to help students with low vision
Itis important to note that accommodations have helped improve theacademic standards of students with disabilities. It also improvesthe integrity of an institution’s academic program. Accommodationsensure that the institutions maintain their technical, conduct, andacademic standards. They are offered at no cost for the qualifiedstudents.
TheObjective of Academic Accommodations
Theacademic accommodation has the core objective of adjusting for theeffect of the disabilities of students, not to weaken the academicdemands. Universities have ensured that the assigning and analysis ofgrades must have similar standards for every student, including thosewith disabilities. Accommodations make it likely for the studentswith disabilities to learn the contents of the materials given tothem, and for the instructor to analyze fairly the understanding ofthe students concerning the materials without any interference as aresult of the disability. Most importantly, accommodations aredesigned to reduce the disability effects. They are also required tooffer accurate and fair testing to assess the students’ knowledgein a subject.
Accommodationsare ways of providing the eligible students with disabilities anequal opportunity to benefit from their experiences in education astheir counterparts who are non-disabled. The obligation to offeraccommodations to the disabled students is not a new conception inAmerica. The majority of the educational institutions that are fundedby the public have been subjected to consistent obligations forseveral years under the 1973’s Rehabilitation Act. As such, thehigher learning institutions have been offering various forms ofaccommodations for the disabled students. An increasing number ofstudents have reported having disabilities that affect vision,mobility, speech, or hearing. Some reports indicate that one out ofeleven learners in post-secondary learning institutions has reportedcases of disabilities. However, not all students who havedisabilities will be qualified for accommodations. As more disabledstudents enroll in universities, there is an increased need foraccommodations.
TheProcess for Accommodations in the Universities found in California
Usually,the process of accommodation begins when a student with disabilitycontracts an instructor or the office that is responsible for thedisability cases and requests for an accommodation that relates todisability. The student will only get accommodation from anyuniversity in California after his/her disability has been verified.
Theuniversities offer a variety of assistance and services to meet theneeds of the visually impaired student. However, such students haveto submit an official request to the universities’ academic supportcenters to receive the services. The brief discussions below are someof the services and accommodations that the visually impairedstudents at the universities may request.
Notetakers are usually the screened students with elevated educationalstandings that the instructors in the university recommend to theacademic assistance center for employment. Sometimes the universityinstructs note takers to accommodate students who have variousdisabilities in classrooms. Examples of students who are advantagedby the services of the note takers encompass those who are visuallyimpaired, those who are incapable of using their hands, and thosewith specified learning disability in written phrases. In most of thesituations, it is very difficult for students with disabilities towrite under time restriction during lectures. Students who need thenote taking service are given a duplicate print of the notes from thenote taker. On the other hand, the universities encourage theirstudents to take their notes if they are in a position to do so andto make use of the extra notes as a complement. The universities donot permit the note takers to give notes to students when they areabsent for the reasons that do not relate to their disability unlesspermitted by their academic assistance centers. Therefore, there is aneed for the lecturers to inform the centers of the students’absence.
Theuniversities in California arrange for the reading of textbooks ontoaudio recordings by students who are visually impaired or those withreading disabilities. The textbooks can also be scanned to generatean electronic version that students can get by means of syntheticspeech. Students who are incapable of physically turning pages andholding a book may also be advantaged from the scanned or audiorecorded materials. In the case of students enrolled in aninstructors’ class who have requested for the services of a reader,the universities may ask the instructors to offer textbooks, asyllabus, and the set aside reading materials before the start of thesemester. Such a process is conducted to make suitable arrangementsfor reading the course materials. Additionally, the universities’academic assistance centers employ readers to read to the studentsthe course materials when there is the need to do so. The academiccenters require the instructors to provide students with thematerials early enough to enable them to have access to thecoursework materials. The cooperation of the students is essential infulfilling the responsibility of the universities.
Adjusted Testing Circumstances
Someof the students with disabilities at universities will requireaccommodations for a fair evaluation. For instance, a visuallyimpaired student may require either the exam’s Braille version, theexam on the disk that makes it possible to be read by the computer,or a reader. Accommodations at the universities differ according tothe students’ needs, as well as the nature of the exams and class.The most typical testing accommodations include exam-taking andextending the time in an environment that has reduced distractions.The academic assistance centers’ directors have theresponsibilities to make decisions about the suitability of certainacademic modifications. Such are done on a personal basis and theyalways include consultations with the members of the faculties incase of concerns about specific tests or courses. The departments,instructors, and the academic assistance centers work cooperativelyto offer appropriate administration of exams. The academic centerswill administer the administration of exams and provide readers,proctors, and scribes if the instructors will not be in a position tomake the arrangements.
Themajority of the students with disabilities have the ability toregister independently. On the other hand, the university may arrangefor the aid to be provided in the process of registration for thestudents with severe dexterity, visual, or hearing problems under theADA and California State regulations for accommodations. Somestudents are qualified for precedence registration as it provides theOffice of the Registrar with sufficient time to arrange room for thealterations when necessary due to physical access challenges, and foraddressing the complex matters.
Theuniversities’ academic assistance centers have scanners, printers,as well as printers for word processing. Computers that are fullyequipped with the tools of accessibility that the eligible studentscan use are available at the universities’ libraries. Students whoqualify to use the computers must register with the User Systems andSupport Technical Assistants to be shown how the devices work, aswell as their availability. The students are required to direct theirqueries concerning the technology access to the technical assistants.
Theuniversities offer tutorial assistance to all the eligible studentswith disabilities. Therefore, such students are advised to takeadvantage of the services that are available at the various campuses.
Testaccommodations are occasionally offered to the students withdisabilities to allow them to show their true capabilities in theregions that the exam measures (Stretch & Osborne, 2015). Often,such accommodations apply to several areas, encompassing all theinstitutions that offer education, certification, licensure, oremployment. According to the universities, there are various forms ofaccommodations that can be offered, depending on the disability ofthe examinee. As a requirement of ADA, the universities’examination programs must have in place well-defined practices ofadministration. The administrations practices encompass the processesfor the students to follow as they request for a test accommodation,as well as the processes for the accommodation requests’ review.There are particular limits on the requirements of ADA. Conversely,in certain cases, the universities’ examination programs may chooseto provide civility accommodations even when they are notnecessities.
CertainAspects of Test Accommodations
TheADA and the regulations by the State of California define a personwith a disability as an individual with current mental and physicalimpairments that limit the main activities in a person’s life. Theactivities may include learning, hearing, seeing, or walking, whencompared to other persons without disabilities. Functional limitationis a term that can also refer to the behavioral expression of thedisability that impedes the ability of an individual to function. Insimple terms, the functional limitation is what a person cannot carryout on a continuing and a regular basis due to the disability. Forinstance, an examinee with disabilities may have the functionallimitation of visual impairment, making it impossible for the studentto see the written instructions. According to the ADA stipulations,the universities use two aspects of the test administration and testdevelopment which apply to the examination contents, methods ofadministering tests, and access to the facilities for carrying outexams. The universities also note that in an exam-takingcircumstance, it is critical to have a lucid clarification of thesubstantial and specific functional limitations of the examinee withdisabilities. Additionally, the universities have ways of explaininghow the limitations impede the exam-taking exercise.
Formsof Exam Accommodations
Theuniversities allow students who are registered to take exams torequest accommodations for the problems that encompass chronic healthproblems, physical, learning, hearing, and visual disabilities. Thegeneral accommodations that the universities’ exam programs offerto the visually impaired students include a printed copy of thewritten instructions, an exam form with large prints, and a separateroom for carrying out the tests. Moreover, they offer the studentsfrequent breaks, extra time, and an individual who serves as a scribeand as a reader. The universities find it imperative to match theaccommodations with the level of their students’ disabilities. Forinstance, a student with a documented visual impairment can be givena copy of the test’s verbal instructions read audibly by theproctor.
AdministrativePractices that Relates to Accommodations
Thereare several procedures of administration that test programs invarious universities in California follow to meet the ADA’srequirements. One of the procedures is to carry out a job evaluationand apply the findings of the evaluation exercise to make sure thatexaminations that the institution offer measure the vital objectivesof the job (Stretch & Osborne, 2015). They also ensure that thetests do not encompass any marginal objectives of a person’sposition at a workplace. The universities’ exam programs alsooutline clear processes and policies for the students to follow whensubmitting accommodation requests, including the particular policiesabout the type of documentation that should be submitted. They havealso established appropriate processes for reviewing theaccommodation requests. Their procedures for reviewing theaccommodation requests include determining whether or not the studentis otherwise eligible to take the test, and whether or not thestudent is qualified for accommodation as required by ADA or theregulations of the California State. Moreover, the universitiesprovide all the maintenance aspects of suitable test programs such asputting the processes in place for the storage of records andguaranteeing the confidentiality, and security of the kept records.
Reviewof the Requests for Test Accommodations
Theuniversities ensure that their exam programs provide procedures andguidelines for the visually impaired students to follow when askingfor accommodations if they have reasons to believe that they meet thedisability requirements that are stipulated by ADA. The proceduresalways encompass requirements for particular forms to be completed,as well as particular documentation that the students need toprovide. The universities’ examination accommodation applicationforms always demand that a diagnosis is given, together with astatement that illustrates the manner in which the diagnosedsituation presently affects the ability of the student to function inan examination room. According to the universities, having acquired adiagnosis previously never guarantees that a student is qualified foraccommodations as required by the ADA. Extra documentation thatincludes the results of the tests is always a necessity.
Aslong as the submission of accommodations’ request has been carriedout, the universities’ examination programs evaluators analyze thedocuments to ascertain if the documentation certifies that thevisually impaired student is covered as per the ADA regulations. Theprocedure for evaluating the materials for students may consume a lotof time that requires advice from experts. At the very least, it islikely for the evaluators to examine the documentation to ascertainif: the documented information is recent, there was an inclusion of aspecific diagnosis, and the diagnosed situation interferes with thestudents’ capability to function in an exam situation.Additionally, the evaluators provide the rationale and recommendationfor a particular exam accommodation. The universities also review therequests for accommodation to ascertain if the requestedaccommodation matches to the need that is requested, and if therequested accommodation changes the exam. Also, the institutionsreview if the accommodation will result in an unwarranted burden onthe test programs and if the requests abide by the constraints of therequirements of ADA. The universities’ exam programs have the rightto deny or modify the requests if the mentioned circumstances are notmet.
Thereare scenarios in which the visually impaired examinee has physicalproblems that do not qualify as disabilities under the RehabilitationAct or the ADA. The problems could be challenging for the studentwhen taking the exam. In such situations, the university’s examprogram may choose to provide a courtesy accommodation to theexaminee even if the ADA does not demand so. The universities providecourtesy accommodations to the visually impaired students withaccidental injuries that are temporary or the visually impairedpregnant students. For instance, the universities can permit anexaminee whose leg has been broken to use a chair to support the legat the time of the administration of the test, or an examinee whosuffers from flu may be permitted to access tissues or cough drops.It is essential that the universities’ exam programs have apparentprocedures and policies in place for managing courtesyaccommodations, as well as for the accommodations that are requiredto ensure that they are offered in a consistent and fair way. Forinstance, the institutions find it ineffective for the exam programsto offer courtesy accommodations to an examinee with the flu and failto offer the same service and aid to an examinee with a similarproblem.
TitleII of the Americans with Disabilities Act stipulates that theworkplaces and higher learning institutions must make it possible forthe disabled individuals to access the videos that are publiclyavailable, whether if they are for informational or entertainmentuse. The Act also provides that the websites that belong to thepublic agencies should be fully accessible to the persons who areeither blind, deaf or have limited deftness. As such, universities inCalifornia have been captioning videos for training, as well as forinternal use. The Universities ensure that they comply with therequirements under Title II of the ADA by providing the necessaryaccommodation programs to all its students who are visually impaired.
Accordingto ADA, there is no need for the psychology programs to offer themost complicated auxiliary services and aids that are accessible(United States & United States, 2012). Conversely, the programshave to meet the desires of the disabled students efficiently. Theprograms should be chosen after having a discussion with the studentwho intends to use the programs. The service or the assistance willonly be successful if it can equalize the opportunity for aspecifically disabled student to participate in the educationactivity or program. Notably, the disabled students will not have thesame benefits from the same auxiliary service or aid even if theirdisabilities are identical. Moreover, the program that theinstitution provides must examine the suitability of a service orassistance in its exact framework. For instance, the accommodationtype that is required by a visually impaired student may varydepending on whether the writings by the lecturer are small or large,as well as the sitting position of the student. The institutions mayuse a technology that enlarges the words to make it easier for thereaders to see.
TheAmericans with Disabilities Act also states that it is not necessaryfor the post-secondary learning institutions to provide personalservices and aid such as help with dressing or bathing. Section 504further states that it is not a requirement for the recipients toprovide personally prescribed machines, attendants, readers forprivate study or use, or devices that are private nature. Title II ofthe Americans with Disabilities Act also emphasizes that theinstitutions are not obliged to provide personal services that relateto specific personal, academic engagements. It is the responsibilityof the disabled student to manage his personally prescribed devicesand not the institution. For instance, the institution may providestudents with classrooms that they may use for their studies theinstitution is not required to assign tutors to the students duringtheir private studies.
Use of Freedom Scientific
Universitiesin California use varieties of screen readers for the visuallyimpaired students. Some of the screen readers that are discussed inthis section of the paper include NanoPac, Smart Screen Technology,Dual Cursor Design, JAWS Wizard, and JAWS for Windows amongst others.NanoPac provides an absolute streak of screen enlargers to be used bythe individuals with low vision. JAWS for Windows reads data that isdisplayed by a computer and speaks it to the visually impairedstudent. It is a software program that is designed to perform taskswith a speech synthesizer to enhance the level of productivity of thevisually impaired students. JFW provides the student with the chanceto learn easier and faster by streamlining the functions of thekeyboard, removing repetitions, and automating commands. The softwareis based on a new approach that enables computers to speak, and thus,it provides both the visual and audible flexibility.
Theuniversities also provide the visually impaired students withcomputers that have Smart Screen Technology which is a screen readingtechnique that does not require typing on the keyboard as it permitsstudents to address any program by design. It views the screen andestablishes what to speak, and thus, the applications that areunfamiliar can be utilized immediately. Help files, menus, and dialogboxes are addressed without the necessity for user setup. The SmartScreen technique informs the student of the changes that occur byannouncing to him the opened and closed windows, and each time itgets the focus.
Theuniversities’ computers have also been designed in a manner thatthey have dual cursors. The personal computer cursor informs thevisually impaired student about the section of the screen in whichhe/she types, and the items on the menu that are selected. On theother hand, the universities’ cursors play the role of the Mousecursor. They move all over the screen like the user’s eye, as theymove and see the sections that the PC cursor cannot see. Theuniversities have installed the JAWS Wizards in its computers. Thesoftware has in-built assistants that pop-up the moment the studenttouches any key on the keyboard. The Wizards are also meant to makeit easier for the tutors to perform their duties, as well as othercomplex roles. The universities have also ensured that JAWS Wizardis included on the print Quick Smart Manual, CD-ROM, Basic Training,the in print of the Quick Reference Guide, and the audio recordedtraining.
Theuniversities have also installed JAWS for Windows (JFW) which is anapplication of a 32-bit. The application takes advantage of everysophistication and power that is available in the operating systemsof the Microsoft Windows. The Windows responds faster with Brailleand software synthesizers. The university’s software systems alsofeature assistance for the Internet Explorer encompassing thecapability to reformat web pages that seem complex. It also fileslinks alphabetically in a list box that is easy to use. Otherfeatures in the universities’ computers encompass MS-DOS windowssupport, enhanced aid functions, and many other features that makeJFW the most responsive, powerful, and applicable Windows screenreader for the visually impaired students. JFW is also amulti-lingual software synthesizer. It has the ability to install itssynthesizer for software speech that works with the students’Microsoft Windows sound card. Therefore, the visually impairedstudents can add the software to their laptops without having topurchase an extra synthesizer or locate a synthesizer from one systemto the next. The synthesizer features seven languages that includethe British English, the American English, Italian, German, CastilianSpanish, French, and Latin Spanish.
Theinstitutions provide students with the most recent versions of JFWthat have the abilities to read approximately all the pages that astudent can find on the Internet by the use of Microsoft InternetExplorer. With an uncomplicated keystroke, complex columns, frames,and pages with graphics are reformatted into a single column that iseasy to read. Additionally, the student can access the links andframes on the page in a list box through the use of a single key. Byjust typing the link’s first letter that the student intends toview in the list box, he/she will be guided to the link he/shechooses and by pressing ENTER he/she will receive what he/she islooking for.
Theuniversities have also made it easier for the visually impairedstudents to install talking CDs by inserting their CDs into theCD-ROM drive, and the universities will perform the remainingprocedures of installation. It takes a few minutes for the JFW to beinstalled in the students’ computers. The computer will beginspeaking once the software is installed. Moreover, the installationof the software is interactive as it provides students with thenecessary information verbally without having to guess for a secondtime the process of installation. The 64-bit and the 32-bitapplications that are offered by the universities provide:
Access to MS-DOS Windows
Frame Manager for the applications of non-standard
Dictionary Manager for enhanced pronunciation
Keyboard Manager for the layouts that are customized
Complete documentation done on-line
Hot key and Keyboard assistance to learn the keys
Context and screen sensitive assistance to learn the applications
Braille displays and support for hardware and software synthesizers
Microsoft Active Accessibility support in Windows
Theuniversities have software that upgrade the students’ previoussoftware versions that had been installed on their computers. Assuch, the visually impaired students do not have to merge thealterations manually from the past file of configuration to the newversion. Such utilities automatically merge the additions andalterations to the new version that have configuration files,graphics, and a dictionary. The institutions also intend to enhancethe utilities in future to merge the frame files and the script.
EnhancedCapabilities of the Braille
Theuniversities have also relied on the Freedom Scientific to enhancethe capabilities of the Braille, and thus, the refreshable Brailledisplays improved work than previously. Freedom Scientific placesemphasis on a newly structured mode that allows the modifiablescripts to pick important data from the screen and exhibit in oneline of Braille with the capability to berate over it. For instance,dialog boxes have structured modes that display the type of thewindow and the title. The page tab is displayed if the dialog box isa multi-page. Students can customize the dialog boxes throughscripts. Another feature of the Braille that is presently availablethat the university makes available allows the visually impairedstudents to choose text without removing their hands from the displayof Braille. There are other options in the Braille that can be foundin the Configuration Manager such as the Braille Cursor, Braille DotPatterns, Braille Sleep Mode, and Braille marking. The technologyalso allows students to make use of abbreviations.
TheCompatibility of Audio Programming
Theuniversities provide JAWS for Windows that matches well with musicprograms Students can use the software with the music program likethe Cakewalk Pro Audio to process, edit, mix, and record audioprojects. The software also has a complete file of text in thedirectory of TECNOTES that assists students to get started.
FreedomScientific is constantly enhancing the scripts with the intention ofkeeping up with other releases of applications. The universities haveensured that JAWS for Windows includes scripts for Netscape, OutlookExpresses, Outlook, Quicken, Eudora, Corel Word Perfect, andMicrosoft Office. Microsoft Word has also been improved to identifythe characteristics encompassing the size of the font even in caseswhere toolbars are not on. The software also knows when there aretables in a document and informs the student who then reads and movesreasonably around on the table. JFW also supports the synthesizersthat are multilingual and permits the student to switch betweensynthesizer languages that are portrayed on the fly. The softwarewill inform the student when he unselects and selects texts. It alsohas elaborate scripts and MSAA that exists in Lotus Notes.
BasicFeatures for JAWS for Windows (JFW) Version
JFWtakes advantage of the sophisticated and powerful available inWindows such as the multi-threading and multi-processing capabilitiesthat are available in every 32-bit application. It means that theWindows will be faster even if the software voice synthesizers areavailable. A student can make use of JFW together with softwaresynthesizers such as FlexTalk and DECtalk Access 32 because itsupports Microsoft Speech API.
II.Supports the Active Accessibility of Microsoft
JAWSfor Windows supports the Active Accessibility of Microsoft inWindows. JFW is also enabled for the students who have applicationswith in-built Active Accessibility such as Internet Explorer or theMicrosoft Office.
III.JFW Works in MS-DOS Windows
Allthe JFW power is accessible in an MS-DOS Window, and thus, it is nolonger necessary to change to the screen reader of MS-DOS to managethe applications of MS-DOS.
IV.JAWS Help System
JAWSfor Windows has made it easier for students to learn the most recentapplications and computer systems that run on such operating systems.It is easy and intuitive to master, and thus, the visually impairedstudents can easily use it. Additionally, JFW provides a fullyenhanced aid facility that is readily available with the press of thestudents’ keyboard.
V.Hot Key Assistance
Thevisually impaired students can get aid from the system by pressing onINSERT+H to achieve immediate assistance for the Windows short cutkeys or JFW hot keys that are available in the new dialog window.
VI.Screen Sensitive Assistance
Thevisually impaired students can get assistance to get an explanationof the present focus item by just pressing INSERT+F1. The studentshear the active window’s identity, instructions on applying theoptions that are available, and assistance on how to maneuver withinthe Windows.
VII.Keyboard Assistance Mode
TheKeyboard Assistance Mode lets the visually impaired student hear thekeys he is pressing. He starts by pressing the INSERT+1 to enter theKeyboard Assistance Mode, and thereafter, he/she will hear thedescription of every keystroke and their functions with a concisesynopsis.
TheOnline assistance lets the visually impaired students get animmediate access to all the JFW assistance including thedocumentation that is printable and the user manuals that areavailable for the students’ reference rationale.
IX.Configuration Capabilities of JFW
Astudent who is visually impaired at Loma Linda University cancustomize the standard settings of JFW across every application orthe present applications. JFW has different utility managers thatassist the students to accomplish customizing the standard settingsof JFW.
Thekeyboard manager enables the student to browse and alter the keys ofJFW for all the applications. Every assignment of a key isaccompanied by its function’s description.
Graphicslabeler manager enables the visually impaired student at theuniversities in Califronia to assign names that are meaningful to thegraphics that are shown on the screen. It also assists the student todistinguish the graphics on his/her screen.
Thedictionary manager enables the disabled students to store certainpronunciations for the new applications by altering the defaultpronunciations to phrases or words.
ConfigurationManager enables JAWS for Windows to provide the visually impairedstudent with the utmost suppleness to perceive sound from the screenin an individually modified way. He/she has the ability to alter themanner in which things are spoken, and the number of the spokenphrases or words. He/She can also alter the screen echo, verbosity,numbers, punctuation, and graphics verbosity.
Theframe manager allows the students to develop the boundaries of thescreen and then have the developed screen scrutinized for therepeated reading of the highlighted, all, or the no texts. He/She iscapable of assigning a frame to a key in a manner that makes iteasier to read the location on demand. Such a feature is available inall the applications or based on the application.
Thescript manager allows a student to modify the standard scripts of JFWor to develop his own to provide accommodation to even thenon-standard and the most difficult Windows applications.
XVI.Supports MSAPI Software Synthesizers
Theuniversities’ computers have installed JFW that supports the SpeechAPI (SAPI) of Microsoft and also uses the SSIL standard forindustries. Students can apply JFW with software synthesizers as theControl Panel “is aware” of the abilities of every synthesizer.Most general synthesizers of speech are supported encompassing SoundBoard, Echo, Infovox, Triple Talk, Double Talk, KeyNote, Audapter,Apollo, Accent, and DECtalk PC.
XVII.Support for Displays of Refreshable Braille
Thesupport for displays of refreshable Braille enables JFW to sendoutput to most of the Braille displays that are widely known togetherwith the speech output that is standard.
XVIII.Custom Scripts for more than Forty Applications
Theuniversities have customized JAWS for Windows and over fortyapplications have been configured.
Theuniversities have liaised with Freedom Scientific, Inc. whichmaintains a positive existence on the Internet by making it possiblefor JFW to be used with many Internet browsers, especially MicrosoftInternet Explorer.
MentoringPrograms for the Visually Impaired students
Studentswith various disabilities are not well represented in theuniversities’ psychology programs. Doctoral Degree students inPsychology who suffer from visual impairment may experiencefrustrations that reduce their chances of completing the course. Fewpursue the course, and those who may drop out. As such, universitiesin California have come up with mentoring program strategies toenhance the success of students to make them feel well represented onthe campuses. The mentoring programs have proved effective to thestudents with disabilities who have always been underrepresented. ThePsychology Offices that deal with the disability issues have devisedmentoring programs that assist the psychology student with visualimpairment, psychologists who suffer from visual impairment enteringinto the field, and the psychologists who become visually impairedwhile presently in the field. The Psychology Offices notes thatteaming with mentors in the mentoring programs for the visuallyimpaired students is dependent on the availability and the number ofthe enrolled mentors in the programs.
Theuniversities recommend that the mentees should make the first contactwith their mentors, and give the mentors the required details such asthe preferred nickname, name, area of interest, as well as thespecified reasons for taking part in the mentoring programs. At sucha point, it may be essential for the mentors and the students who arevisually impaired (mentees) to consider the amount of time that theycan dedicate to the programs. They will also decide on the knowledgeand the skills that the mentors will contribute, and the mentees’expectations from the mentoring programs. Discussion of the pointsbelow can be effective in clarifying the levels and roles ofparticipation in the programs. Moreover, answers to the questionsbelow can offer a foundation for the discussion during the firstinteraction:
What does the visually impaired student expect from the mentoring programs?
What are the specified objectives that the students wish to achieve in the programs?
What abilities, knowledge, and skills possessed by the mentors that will be of benefit to the students to realize their objectives?
How will the students and the mentors develop and ensure frequent, continuing interactions?
Who will instigate the interactions?
Will the interactions between the two parties be planned, or will some be spontaneous and informal?
How regular will the two parties interact?
How will they establish rapport and trust that are essential to a productive association?
How will the two parties ensure that the association works? What clues would the mentors give their mentees for the association to be successful?
How will the two parties manage conflict and feedbacks?
How will the universities know about the success of the relationship?
In what stage should the universities’ terminate the mentoring programs?
What is the extra information that the visually impaired students would be at ease to share with their mentors?
Ithas been discovered in some of the university’s mentoring programsthat the students and the mentors who maintained frequent contactprogressed well. It is also imperative to note that the contact doesnot need to be weighty or lengthy. Short messages that contain brieftalks are as effective for creating an association just in the sameway as long communications. As such, the universities encourage thementors and the visually impaired students to maintain with eachother at least twice a week. They can easily keep in touch throughEmail which is the usual communication mode.
Discussionthat should take Place between the Mentors and the Mentees
Whenprofessionals and students commence discussion, it normally centerson informing their mentor of their experiences in classrooms. Theymay also engage in other fruitful topics by concentrating onaccommodation matters, revealing a disability, and the administrationof psychological assessments and tests. The universities emphasizethat the objective a mentoring program is to enhance the academicperformance of the visually impaired students in the universities. Assuch, mentors are under the obligation to ensure that theirinteractions with students comply with the applicable guidelines ofthe ADA and the Rehabilitation Act, as well as the ethical standardsof the institution.
Upholdingfrequent contract, as well as imploring similar will assist increating an effective mentoring association. In some cases, a shortsentence that acknowledges that a note has been received, and aresponse that the mentor will be in contact soon after, may be enoughduring a busy schedule. Additionally, it will ensure the mentee aboutthe future communication. The mentor is required to encourage hismentee to give surety about future communication as well to assistreduce the gap in contact.
Theuniversities require mentors to be in touch with the mentees andinform them of their busy schedule every time they will not beavailable, as well as when they will not access email. Additionally,they are required to inform the mentees if they are in situationsthat limit their access to email, and thus, if the mentors will belimited to communicating.
Whatif the Mentee is Experiencing Difficulties?
Professionaland academic life can be stressful to most of the students who arevisually impaired. However, the university restricts mentors fromserving as professionals of mental health, parents, or legalprofessionals. Instead, the universities offer different resourcesthat can be helpful during the difficult periods, as well as withindividual matters. The visually impaired students who are under thementorship programs are free to forward their concerns to thepsychology offices if they feel at any period that the programs areextending beyond what makes them comfortable. The mentees will thenbe referred to places where they can receive suitable assistance.
Analysisof the Mentorship Program
Theuniversities conduct the analysis and the enhancement of the programsby periodically asking the mentees to answer the queries concerningthe programs through the use of questionnaires. The universities relyon the mentees’ responses in shaping the program’s future. Thecore features of helpful mentoring programs include the willingnessand ability to assist the mentees to have solutions to the problemsthey face, but not to direct them, and to uphold confidentiality.
Cluesfor the Visually Impaired students (Mentees)
Theuniversities recommend that the mentees should utilize theopportunity to ask their mentor queries in order to uphold thementoring association. The questions will let the mentors know aboutthe educational objectives and interests of the mentees. The mentorscan also ask the students about their experiences in theuniversities.
Thementees are expected to honor the commitment to the mentoringprogram. The mentors’ work is very demanding. They volunteer to dothe job of mentoring. As such, the universities require the menteesto appreciate the investment and time of the mentors. They arerequired to respond appropriately to the comments and questions ofthe mentors. They must advise the mentors about their strict schedulethat does not allow them to respond in a timely manner, and providethe time they will have the time to communicate.
Menteesshould expect assistance and not miracles from the mentoring program.The universities advise the visually impaired students who are beingmentored that it may be difficult to meet their expectationsconcerning the mentors’ advice and support level because thementors may not have solutions to all their problems. However, themain precious quality that a mentor may provide is perception. Amentor may be in a position to put the state of affairs intoperspective, provide feedback, recognize the resources that may beeffective to the mentees, and act as a sounding board.
Theuniversities also expect the mentees to communicate with theirmentors and inform them about the questions that need answers. Thementees should know their needs and inform the mentors about themwith lots of clarity. The universities advise that the mentees shouldfocus on organizing their concerns and thoughts before communicatingwith their mentors to ensure that they spend their time in a wisemanner. Moreover, the mentees must be willing to acquire otheroptions, be responsive to constructive criticism and suggestions, andlearn.
Segregatedor special programs that are designed to meet the disabled students’needs are not prohibited by the ADA. Conversely, they are always thebest methods of meeting the ADA’s intentions, which is to integratethe disabled persons into the society’s mainstream (Aquino, 2016).There is a need to prepare students for success in their futureplaces of work after they leave universities and colleges. Therefore,universities in California have designed integrated classrooms thatprepare its students for the future challenges after theirgraduation. It is critical to emphasize that even though theuniversities offer special programs to the students withdisabilities, it still allows the eligible disabled students toparticipate in regular programs. Moreover, they continue to offeraccommodations for the disabled students who are involved in theregular programs.
Accommodationsthat are not provided by the Universities
Theaccommodations that are not provided by the universities as per theguidelines of the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 onaccommodations include:
Personal machines like glasses, hearing aids, or wheelchairs
Personal services like dressing, toileting, or help with eating
Accommodations that change the nature of the university’s program
Accommodations that modify or lower program or academic standards
Accommodations that is financially or administratively burdensome.
Provision of personal tutoring for the learners with disabilities
Thelaw bars institutions from providing students with personal services.However, cases in which the non-disabled students are provided withservices such as writing lab and Math, universities make it possiblefor the disabled students to access the same services as theircounterparts.
ThePersons Who Benefit
Studentswith disabilities: A disability encompasses any mental or physicalimpairment that substantially limits a person or the most significantlife activity. The person can also be viewed as having theimpairments or has an impairment record, and thus, needs to beprotected by ADA.
Allthe Teaching and Faculty Associates: Instructors are helped in theirtasks to teach the students in classrooms and give equal access tolearning.
Theoffice that is responsible for disability services: The office offersa system for the coordination of services to meet the needs of thestudents more effectively.
Universitiesin California: Through the provision of access to learning for allthe students, the institutions meet their mandated tasks and enhancesdiversity in the campus.
Itis imperative to state that for a student to qualify foraccommodations then he/she has to meet some measures (Wadleigh &Peters, 2013). Firstly, it will be vital for the student to meet therequisite or essential qualification requirements of the activity,service, or program in which he/she wishes to partake without or withan accommodation. It means that the student has to meet the necessaryqualification requirements despite his/her disability. Secondly, thestudent must possess a documented disability as required by theRehabilitation Act or Americans with Disability Act.
Theuniversities comply with the requirements of Section 504 of 1973’sRehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990concerning accommodations of the students with disabilities. Theinstitutions also comply with the state and local requirements.Moreover, they are dedicated to providing education to the qualifiedcandidates for whom the accommodation does not change the selectedprogram, or generate an unwarranted burden through the provision ofrelevant support services. The students are required to obtaininformation from the Offices of the Deans regarding disabilityaccommodation after submitting their admission applications. Afteracceptance, it is for the disabled students to inform the universityabout their need for disability accommodation if they want to benefitfrom the university’s programs. The request for accommodation hasto be tendered in writing on the designated application form as perthe requirements of ADA. The needed supporting documentation and thecompleted form by the student will be examined by the appropriateentities of the University to ascertain if the applicant needs theessential program functions as required by the ADA. The universitywill then coordinate the necessary services and accommodations basedon the documents that have been provided by the student.Additionally, it will have to consult with other professionals andthe student as it deems appropriate.
Theuniversities provide accommodation to its disabled students who areundertaking a doctoral degree in psychology because the accommodationdoes not compromise the significant elements of a curriculum orcourse. Conversely, it does not weaken the integrity or academicstandards of a course. Accommodation to the disabled students givesalternative methods to finish the requirements of the course byreducing or eliminating barriers that relate to disability.Therefore, accommodations provide a fair playing ground to all thestudents.
Limitationson the Requirements of ADA
TheADA does not stipulate that every request must be approved. However,exam accommodations must be offered only for the students who areeligible as having disabilities under the ADA (Ferrar-Riedl, Dennis,& Kilbert, 2013). For instance, a university does not considerthe physical conditions that are temporary, exam anxiety, and Englishas a second language as disabilities because they do not fall underthe ADA stipulations. There are extra limitations on the requirementsof ADA. For instance, the ADA does not demand that the visuallyimpaired learners be given the exact accommodation they request. Assuch, a university has an alternative of adjusting the accommodationor offering an alternative accommodation to ensure that the solutionit provides is a suitable match to the functional limitation of thevisually impaired students. Furthermore, the ADA and the regulationsby Section 504 of the 1973’s Rehabilitation Act concerningaccommodations do not require the accommodation that results in thechanging of the fundamental skills or knowledge that the testmeasures. It means that the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 donot necessitate accommodations that will influence the examconstruct. For instance, universities in California do not administeran exam that involves the reading of a comprehension with anaccommodation whereby, the exam is read loudly to the visuallyimpaired examinee. Also, the universities, just like the ADA and theRehabilitation Act of 1973, do not require accommodation thatdisadvantages the visually impaired examinees unfairly. Theinstitutions do not offer accommodations that compromise the securityof the exams or one that imposes an unwarranted administrative orfinancial burden on the institution.
Theuniversities keep the documentation in files in the Offices of theDeans of Students, and the documentation is expected to remainconfidential as required by the law. The relevant contents of theinformation will be released for discussion to determine the academicaccommodations that suit the student. Additionally, the deans willrequest the student to pen his signature that permits the disclosureof the information for the discussion to occur.
LogicalAccommodation Discussion (Interactive Method)
Oncethe Office of the Dean determines that the student is a qualifieddisabled person under ADA or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of1973, the dean will discuss the reasonable accommodation method thatthe university may communicate with the necessary offices and personsbefore determining the full implementation of a reasonableaccommodation (Ferrar-Riedl, Dennis, & Kilbert, 2012). Theuniversities’ compliance officers who ensure that the execution ofADA or Section 504 is done or the students’ representatives willdiscuss the likely reasonable accommodations with the institutions’administrators. The universities’ representatives will also discussthe probable reasonable accommodations with the course instructors ofthe students or, if possible, the program administrators or theChairs of the Departments. Other experts such as the universities’ADA Coordinators may be consulted if possible to determine if theproposed accommodation suits the visually impaired students.
Determinationof Reasonable Accommodations
Thereasonable accommodation determination will be made the sooner itbecomes feasible after the students apply for the accommodations andsubmit the suitable disability documentation to the Offices of theDeans and reviewed by the appropriate officers, and the personsidentified.
Theuniversities consider accommodations as reasonable and appropriate ifthey are reasonable and feasible in their alternative formats ormethods, and do not impose hardship or unwarranted burden on theuniversities. The reasonable accommodations are not designed tomodify the requirements of academics that are important to theacademic practice, program, or the instruction standard.
Astudent may submit a written request to the Office of the Dean ofStudents to request an alternative accommodation or adjust theearlier Reasonable Accommodation. The student’s request will beconsidered through the processes that have been described above.
Accordingto the process of appeal that is discussed below, a student canappeal the determination by Dean’s office that he is not eligibleas a qualified student with a disability on the following basis:
1.There was a considerable failure by Dean’s office or therepresentative of the student to conform to the laws so as to refusea fair evaluation of the request, or
2.The verification did not sustain the dean`s office or therepresentative`s decision.
TheProcess of Appeal
Astudent who is dissatisfied with the determination of the dean’sdecision that he/she is not suitable as a qualified disabled studentis allowed to appeal in writing before five working days of notice ofdetermination from the Office of the Dean elapses. The ADAcoordinators in the universities will review the disabilitydocumentations and applications submitted by the students, andinterview the students and the deans’ offices and make an eligibledetermination within the five working days after the submission ofthe documentation and application. If the universities’ ADAcoordinators confirm the eligibility of the students as an otherwiseeligible visually impaired person, the case will be referred back tothe dean’s office to commence the interactive procedure. Theprocedure must be conducted within the five working days after thedetermination notice is received by the responsible officers in thedean’s office. If the deans’ offices determine that the studentsis not qualified to be listed as a disabled student, there will be nomore appeal from such a determination and the dean’srepresentative’s decision will be final.
StepI Process of Appealing Reasonable Accommodations
Ifan agreement concerning a reasonable accommodation cannot be attainedbetween the program administrators or the course instructors, and thestudents, ADA allows the students to appeal the case. The studentscan appeal either in writing or verbally in the deans’ officeswithin five working days of notification that an agreement was notreached regarding accommodations. The deans’ offices will act asmediators between the students and the units/courses/programadministrators. In the case of the failure of the mediation, thestudents can appeal the case either in writing or verbally with theADA coordinators in a period of five working days after notificationthat there was no accommodations agreement.
StepII Process of Appealing Reasonable Accommodations
TheADA coordinators will assess the application for the disabilitydocumentation and services that the students provided, and interviewthe universities’ ADA compliance officers, as well as the studentsand try to reach an agreement regarding accommodation. Talks betweenthe two parties must be conducted in a period of five working days.If the ADA Coordinators will be incapable of reaching an agreementwithin the stipulated time then the student will have a third optionto appeal in writing to the chairperson of the ADA Appeals Committee.The appeal must be done before the stipulated time elapses afterreceiving a notification from the ADA Coordinator.
StepIII Process of Appealing Reasonable Accommodations
Afterreceiving the student’s appeal, the chairperson of the ADA AppealsCommittee analyzes the requests and arranges to hear with the ADAAppeals Committee. The case will then be heard by the committee in aperiod of five working days after the written request is received bythe chair (United States & United States, 2012). The ADACompliance officers of the universities have to present their reasonsfor refusal to the ADA Appeals Committee. Additionally, the programadministrators and students will also present their facts asappropriate to the ADA’s Appeals Committee chairpersons. Thecommittees will decide on the matter and the students will beprovided with the information concerning their decision within aperiod of five working days after the committee having concluded itshearing. The ADA’s Appeals Committee decision is final. It isimportant to note that the ADA Coordinators evaluate the appeals andcases of determination of eligibility, as well as the determinationsof Reasonable Accommodation for students.
TheOffice of Services for Individuals with Disabilities (OSID)
OSIDhas the responsibility to review, determine, and evaluate eligibilityfor the student’s requests concerning accommodations and services.The OSID issues secret referrals for appraisal for the disabilitiesthat are undiagnosed, as well as other information that relates todisability. Additionally, the OSID helps the University’s educationand legal obligation to give equal access to the university’sactivities, programs, coursework, and resources through serving thequalified students. It also advocates for the equal chance for allthe disabled students who are eligible. The student must also beinformed that the institution’s program administrator encompassesthe program coordinators, the department chair, assistant deans,associate deans, and deans.
Accordingto the ADA stipulations, Reasonable Accommodations means themodification of a learning environment to make it possible for thequalified disabled students to carry out the critical functions orfully take part in an educational program, event, coursework, oractivity.
A-Accessibility:Members of the faculty play a critical role in ensuring thatclassrooms are accessible to every student.
C-Communication:It is essential that students, who suffer from any disabilities, aswell as the members of the faculty, communicate regularly.
C-Confidentiality:All lecturers and the staff of the office that handles the matters ofdisabilities must respect the rights of a student to confidentiality.
E-Eligibilityfor Accommodations: It is upon the staff of the office that handlesthe matters of disabilities to determine the eligibility for theacademic services and accommodations that are federally mandated.
StudentResponsibility: It is the responsibility of a student with adisability to make sure that they get the services that they needfrom the university.
S-Support:The faculty and the staff of the office that handles the matters ofdisabilities to support students in their lawful right to access aneducation.
Responsibilityof the Faculty
AccommodationServices and Programs
Theuniversity’s faculty has the responsibility to identify and set upthe critical functions, knowledge, skills, and abilities of theircourses, and assess students on such a starting point. Students withdisabilities are under obligation to meet similar course prospects astheir peers without disabilities. The faculty can offer accommodationonly to the students who are registered with the office that offersdisability services (Stretch & Osborne, 2015). Therefore,students who are not registered should not expect accommodations. Thefaculty can also apply the use of class announcements and syllabusstatement to invite students to reveal their needs. A fact sheet forthe disclosure of such information can be found on the university’swebsite. It also has to act instantly after receiving requests fromstudents concerning accommodations by contacting the staff of theoffice that handles the matters of disabilities if it is not sure ofthe request. It can do so by meeting the students to fill a proctorsheet or through the provision of services. A proctor sheet is adocument that facilitates examination accommodations. It has to befilled by the member of the faculty and student collaboratively. Thestudent must fill the sheet and return it to the relevant office.
Avisually impaired student who is in need of alternative media has toprovide the office that handles disability issues with coursepackets, textbooks, and syllabi before the commencement of theclasses in order for the students who have disabilities to make useof the alternative media. The alternative media replaces the coursematerials. The students who submit their requests to the officewithin a reasonable time frame and acquire the instructional accessand the alternative media needs for accommodations will be served totheir satisfaction. Converting the materials of print is both timeand labor intensive. The alternative media can be the materials thatare printed in Braille, scanned onto discs, audio recordings, orenlarged print. The faculty also works to make sure that all thematerials that are audio-visual that are used in class areaccessible. For instance, the videos that are shown should becaptioned for the students who are visually impaired. The equipmentof VCR should also have captioning abilities that ensure that thevideos that are shown will be produced with the auditory descriptionor that there will be the provision of the written transcripts. Thefaculty must also consider the incorporation of the universal designprinciples for learning in classrooms.
Moreover,the universities provide academic accommodations that arecourse-based that include, but not restricted to, note taking oroverheads assistance, extra time to complete assignments that shouldbe finished in classrooms, consent to audio recorded lectures, andpermission to use FM systems. Additionally, the institutions providean environment that have reduced distraction, rest breaks that areunder supervision, as well as the copies of the notes of theinstructors as appropriate.
Theuniversities have the obligation to protect and treat all theinformation that is related to disability as medical information thatis confidential. For instance, keep the items that are printed likethe emails or the proctor sheets regarding the information thatrelates to students with a disability in a place that is safe.
TheUniversities’ faculties have the responsibility to relay theinformation about the procedures of testing with the students and theoffice that handles disability issues by filling a Proctor Sheet whenrequested. They also discuss with their staff members and thestudents in providing suitable accommodations. It should be notedthat the faculties are not responsible for asking students of theirdisabilities. Moreover, the faculties have no rights to ask studentsabout their disabilities’ nature. Conversely, if students decide toreveal the nature of their disabilities then faculties have to treatthe information as confidential.
DeterminingProgram Requirements and Essential Course
TheAcademic Units of universities are responsible for evaluating andidentifying the requirements of the program that it considersimportant such as attitudes, knowledge, and skills. Learning outcomesand course objectives are included in this procedure as theinstitution focuses on meeting the requirements of a particularprogram or course.
Statementof Accessibility for Course Syllabus
Universitiesrecommend that their instructors include a statement in the syllabusthat indicates they are willing to assist in providing academicaccommodations, as well as relaying information to students about theresponsibilities of the universities to provide the critical academicaccommodations. Students can get the current statement from theTeaching and Learning Center of the universities.
AccommodationRegistration that Needs Extra Time to Implement
Someof the academic accommodation examples that the universitieshighlight as highly in need of developed planning and earlyregistration of courses include, but are not restricted to laboratorywork that requires a schedule adaptation or an assistant, and coursepacks and texts in alternative forms
Requestsfor early alternative materials or texts, early registration, orinterpretation of visual language should be made by the student whenhe gets enrolled at the universities. While some course materials andtexts may be available at the institution in the format that isrequired, the students are required to be patient as they await thedelivery of the materials that are not available even if it takesseveral weeks.
Requestsby Students for Condensed Course Loads
Theuniversities allow students with disabilities with tangible reasonsto take condensed course loads to request for the approval from theirrespective academic or faculty departments. Students who study parttime due to the problems of disability can access the universities’work-study, scholarships, student loans, and campus accommodationthat require full-time registration. The minimum registration ofcourse load by students must not be less than forty percent.
Advisorson academics are available in every faculty within the universitieswith the aim of giving decisions regarding the courses and programs.Information about the centers that provide advice can be found on thecampuses’ website.
Path-Findingin the Universities
Studentswho have visual disabilities and need help with finding classrooms orbuildings have to make the request to the universities at least twoweeks in prior to get the assistance. In the case of a need formobility training, the universities will direct the students tocontact their rehabilitation counselors for a wide-rangingnavigational training.
Interpretationof the Visual Language
Asa requirement of the ADA, the universities contract captionists andinterpret to work with the visually impaired students based on thecourse timetable that the universities provide. The institutions hireinterpreters on a contract based on their availability, suitability,education, and experience.
Participationof Students in the Process of Academic Accommodation
Theuniversities require students to participate in the developmentprocess of a plan about academic accommodation. They are required towork with faculties, Deans, Directors, Chairpersons, and instructorsto come up with academic accommodations that suit the requirements oftheir course as they utilize the existing resources and supportservices. It is important to note that the availability of academicaccommodation offers students who have disability problems with analternative way of realizing the critical program or courserequirements. It is the responsibility of the student to fulfill thesignificant program or course requirements.
Toconclude, Section 504 of the 1973’s Rehabilitation Act and theAmericans with Disabilities Act provide that the students withdisabilities must be provided with accommodations. Accommodations areways of giving the eligible students with disabilities an equalopportunity to benefit from their experiences in education as theircounterparts who are non-disabled. As more disabled students enrollin universities, there is an increased need for accommodations.Universities in California offer varieties of assistance and servicesto meet the needs of the visually impaired students as alreadydiscussed in the paragraphs above. However, such students have tosubmit an official request to the universities’ academic supportcenters to receive the services. However, not all students who havedisabilities will be qualified for accommodations.
Aquino,K., C. (2016). The Disability Diversity Disconnect: Redefining theRole of Student Disability within the Postsecondary Environment.SectionHall University Dissertations and Thesis. Retrievedfromhttp://scholarship.shu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3278&context=dissertations
Ferrar-Riedl,C., Dennis, R., B., & Kilbert, D., C. (2013). Section504 Handbook. Retrievedfromhttp://opsb.us/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Handbook-Section-504.pdf
Heffron,T. (2013). Accommodationsfor Students with Disabilities Guidelines: InstructionalAccommodations for Classroom Activities and Student Learning.Retrievedfromhttp://www.witc.edu/stusvcscontent/docs/accommodations/2013-Disability-Accommodations-Guide.pdf
Stretch,L-A, & Osborne, J., W. (2015). Extended Time Test Accommodation:Directions for Future Research and Practice. PracticalAssessment Research & Evaluation,10(8). Retrieved from http://pareonline.net/pdf/v10n8.pdf
UnitedStates., & United States. (2012). Americanswith Disabilities Act: ADA title III technical assistance manual,covering public accommodations and commercial facilities.
UnitedStates., United States., United States., United States., & UnitedStates. (1998). TheRehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.Washington, D.C: Rehabilitation Services Administration, U.S. Dept.of Education.
Wadleigh,S., & Peters, P., L., L., C. (2013). Learningfrom the Successes and Failures of Others.Retrieved fromhttp://www.wadleighlaw.com/wp-content/uploads/dlm_uploads/2015/02/Section-504-and-IDEA-recent-case-law-February-2013.pdf
WestVirginia Department of Education. (2012). Regulationsfor the Education of Students with Exceptionalities.Retrieved fromhttps://wvde.state.wv.us/spl/Documents/Policy2419Effective7-1-12.pdf
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