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Disability Resources collaborates with faculty to achieve our shared goals of inclusion and full accessibility. Here are some resources for working with, and understanding, students with disabilities.
From Where I Sit, a video series produced by California State University, has information for working with and understanding students with disabilities.
Many students who access Disability Resources are referred by a faculty member.
If you think a student may have a disability, Disability Resources recommends these steps:
The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) Act guides RDC's confidentiality and consent policies. Faculty are reminded that the Disability Resources team cannot discuss a student's private or confidential information unless the student has given consent and the information is required to provide accommodations to that student.
Please note that all information contained in the Accommodation letter is confidential and is provided with the student’s permission. All discussions and dealings with the student should be conducted in a confidential manner. Please also refrain from discussing this information with, or in the presence of, other students and/or faculty, without the student’s consent.
Access+ is a multi-use online portal that combines many of the functions of Disability Resources and Testing Services into one easy-to-use tool. It streamlines the processes used by each department and serves as a central location for students and faculty to manage accommodations, testing, and other resources.
Navigate to Access+ here or paste this URL https://accommodations.rdc.ab.ca/clockwork2/user/instructor/default.aspx into a web browser. We recommend that you bookmark this page.
Step 1: View Accommodation letters
This letter summarizes recommendations for academic accommodations your students will need to meet the learning outcomes of your courses.
Step 2: Confirm receipt of Accommodation letters
This will allow students registered with Disability Resources to book accommodated tests/exams.
Note: This step must be completed for each student in order for test/exam bookings to be submitted.
Step 3: Collaborate with students and Disability Resources Coordinator regarding requested accommodations
Students are expected to meet with their instructors to discuss how their accommodations fit with the design of the course. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the recommended accommodations or need assistance with implementing them, please contact Disability Resources at 403.357.3629 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Step 4: Submit test/exam information and materials for accommodated test/exams
In addition to email, mail, and in-person options, instructors will now have the additional option of securely uploading Exam Information Forms and test/exam copies directly to Access+ using the Instructor Wizard.
Step 5: Student uses accommodations
Students will write approved tests/exams in Testing Services using their approved academic accommodations. Students will also use these accommodations in their courses throughout the term, as permitted.
Step 6: Exams returned to instructors, process complete
In addition to email, mail, and in-person options, instructors will now have the additional option of receiving completed tests/exams directly through Access+ using the Instructor Wizard.
Accommodation letters (formerly known as a Letter of Introduction or LOIs) summarize recommendations for reducing or eliminating barriers in the classroom environment. The provision of academic accommodations involves a collaborative process and is a shared responsibility among all stakeholders: students, faculty, Testing Services, and Disability Resources. We prepare an Accommodation letter after consultation with the student regarding the barriers experienced in the classroom or college environment.
Letters are addressed to teaching faculty and are sent by the Disability Resources Coordinator via email or through Access+.
If you have any questions or concerns about the recommended accommodations, contact Disability Resources.
Please do not deny an identified accommodation directly to the student.
Accommodation plans are reviewed annually, at a minimum, to ensure that they continue to be effective in mitigating identified barriers to full participation.
Classroom and exam accommodations are most likely to have an effect on teaching faculty. Find out more about accommodations.
Disability Resources encourages faculty to contact us to discuss any questions or concerns about policy, procedures, and/or supporting the learning experience of students with disabilities.
Red Deer College has a legal obligation to ensure that students with documented disabilities have equal access to post-secondary education through accommodations. Accommodation is the process of making alterations to the delivery of services so that those services become accessible to more people, including persons with disabilities.
Accommodations do not:
Read Red Deer College's policy on Academic Accommodations for students with disabilities.
Read the Alberta Human Rights Commission's bulletin on the Duty to Accommodate students with disabilities in post-secondary education institutions.
Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a set of principles for curriculum development and delivery that give all individuals equal opportunities to learn.
It provides a blueprint for creating instructional goals, methods, materials, and assessments that work for everyone; not a single, one-size-fits-all solution, but rather flexible approaches that can be customized and adjusted for individual needs. (CAST, 2014.)
The three primary principles of Universal Design are:
Access RDC's Centre for Teaching and Learning's webpage on Universal Design for Learning.
People with a disability can and should be described in words and expressions that portray them in an appropriate, positive and sensitive manner. The following guidelines are suggested/preferred by over 200 organization that represent/are associated with Canadians with disabilities.
Always remember to describe the person, not the disability. Only refer to a person's disability when it is relevant, and avoid words designed to evoke pity or guilt. If in doubt, ask! It is okay to make mistakes when you acknowledge the mistake was made and want to correct it for the future.
|Instead of ...||Use...|
|(the) disabled||People or person(s) with a disability|
|Crippled by, afflicted with, or suffers from||Person who has or person with|
|Physically challenged||Person with a disability|
|Victim, sufferer||Person with a disability|
|Cripple||Person with a disability|
|Confined, bound, restricted, or dependent on a wheelchair||Wheelchair user|
|Deaf and dumb, deaf mute||Person who is hard of hearing or deaf|
|Hearing impaired||Person who is hard of hearing or deaf|
|Retarded, mentally retarded, person with mental handicap||Person with an intellectual disability or person with a developmental disability|
|Spastic (as noun)||Person with Cerebral Palsy|
|Deformed, congenital defect||Person born with...|
|Visually impaired||Blind or partially sighted|
Compiled by Active Living Alliance for Canadians with a Disability. Supported by Fitness Canada, Government of Canada Fitness and Amateur Sport, and Government du Canada Condition physique et sport amateur.
These are excerpts from the following two sources: Ten Commandments for Communicating with People with Disabilities, The New York Times, June 7, 1993, and a pamphlet from the Regional Rehabilitation Research Institute on Attitudinal, Legal and Leisure Barriers, Washington, D.C. Additional observations have been added.
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Red Deer College recognizes that our campus is situated on Treaty 7 land, the traditional territory of the Blackfoot, Tsuu T’ina and Stoney Nakoda peoples, and that the central Alberta region we serve falls under Treaty 6, traditional Métis, Cree and Saulteaux territory. We honour the First Peoples who have lived here since time immemorial, and we give thanks for the land where RDC sits. This is where we will strive to honour and transform our relationships with one another.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0).