Accommodating the needs of designated students


In order to dispel misinformation, a brief description of learning disabilities and federal law is provided. " is examined, and recommendations are provided for the informed and active participation of faculty in accommodating college students with learning disabilities.

A student approaches a faculty member after the first day of class and informs her that he has a learning disability and will need extended time on all exams.

Some faculty lament accommodation and access requirements as illustrated by such comments as "Why dilute a college education any more than it already has been by accepting less than capable students?

The researchers noted, "It seemed clear that they [faculty members] wanted to treat the learning disabled as much like non-handicapped students as possible.

They would accommodate to a point, but not to the extent of lowering certain course standards" (p.49).

Similarly, in another faculty survey Nelson, Dodd, & Smith (1990) noted that faculty were generally willing to accommodate students with learning disabilities but "only if they could be assured that it would not lower academic standards" (p. Faculty surveys consistently note similar concerns for maintaining standards, yet fail to describe how faculty actually make the distinction as to how much is enough in accommodating students with learning disabilities.

Comments provided by respondents on various faculty surveys provide insight on more specific areas of faculty interest and concern.

Learning disabilities are found in individuals with average of above average intelligence but who, because of presumed central nervous system dysfunction, have significant difficulties in any of a variety of achievement areas such as reading, mathematics, spelling, written expression, and oral language.