Tips for Advising Students with Disabilities

Students with disabilities may face a set of challenges when developing a course of study to complete their chosen program. Course planning and scheduling can have a dramatic impact on a students’ ability to have a successful semester. Students with disabilities are encouraged to discuss their accommodations with their advisors. Below is a list of common advising considerations students with disabilities face.

  • “Back to back” classes may need to be avoided when possible. This is especially true if a student requires extended time on exams.
  • Students need to consider the length of the course and frequency of meetings. A three-hour class can be onerous for a student with a disability, for various reasons, including attention span, processing large amounts of information, or sitting for extended period of time.
  • Time of day classes are held need to be considered. Students may take medication that work for a certain period of time.
  • Number of credits should also be considered. It may be more manageable for a student to take a reduced course load.
  • Create a balanced course load. Does the student need to devote more time to writing, reading, or math? If so, try to avoiding taking multiple classes that emphasizes the area of difficulty in one semester.
  • Students requiring accessible books should take in to consideration the reading load of each class.
  • Encourage students needing accessible materials to contact their professors before courses to ensure materials are available when the course starts.
  • Accessibility of field placements, internships, or practicum sites should be discussed.
  • Students considering study abroad programs should be encouraged to meet with Disability Support Services staff. We can help students plan to make accommodation requests from their chosen program.
  • If you need an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter for a meeting with a student, please complete the ASL Request Form two weeks prior to the meeting.