Advice for Lecturers

 

At the Disability Unit we aim to support lecturers with accommodating students with disabilities in the teaching and learning environment while helping students with disabilities achieve the academic goals of your course. Regardless of the degree of impairment, students should be expected to participate fully in lecture room activities, such as discussions and group work. With planning and adaptive equipment,  barriers to the teaching and learning environment can be minimized.

Students of all abilities and backgrounds want classrooms that are inclusive and convey respect. For those students with disabilities, the classroom setting may present certain challenges that need accommodation and consideration.

 

The Disability Unit is able to assist lecturers by providing information on specific disabilities and the needs of students who have them. At your invitation, we can attend Faculty or Departmental  meetings to provide disability awareness training and advice on effective instructional methods for students with disabilities. You are also always welcome to visit the Disability Unit to have a better understanding of the processes involved in supporting students with disabilities or to have your queries answered.

 

Areas where we are able to provide guidance:

  • Early identification of required textbooks and reading assignments
    • Whenever possible, complete syllabi at least three weeks in advance of the beginning of the semester.
    • Early identification of textbooks and assignments allows the Disability Unit the lead time necessary to prepare academic materials in accessible formats. 
    • Furthermore, lecturers are advised to source learning material in electronic format and readable PDFs.
  • Statement for course syllabi
    • Include the following statement on the class syllabus and review it during the first class meeting: “Students with Documented Disabilities: Students who may need reasonable accommodation based on the impact of a disability must  contact the Disability Unit ([email protected]).
    • Class handouts and writing on the board with the visually impaired
  • Lectures and discussions with students with disabilities ( advice can be given per category of disability)
  • Note-takers and laboratory assistants
    • From time to time, you will be asked by the Disability Unit  to identify potential note takers or laboratory assistants to facilitate academic accommodations for a student with a disability.
  • Lecture room accessibility
  • Test and Examinations
    • Please note that students who receive extra-time only are required to write in the larger exam venue with the rest of module student cohort and not with the
    • DU. Only students who use assistive technology (e.g. students with visual disabilities) write  at the DU. These students are required to inform the DU of their concession.

We invite lecturers and professional support staff to enroll in the Digital Accessibility course. The link for enrollment is available on the UP Institution Page in ClickUp. The course aims to create awareness of the need for designing accessible digital materials and equip you with the skills to make your digital content more accessible.  Course attendees can also receive more information about Blackboard Ally in the course. The course is presented by Dr. Alecia Samuels (CAAC).  

- Author Disability Unit
Published by Maria Ramaahlo

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