Faculty Resources

Disclaimer: These are not meant to be universally applicable rules, only vague guidelines addressing common points of tension we see between faculty and students with disabilities.

  • General Tips for Interacting with People with Disabilities
    Here you will find a few tips for interacting with people with disabilities:
    • ALWAYS ask before you help. People with disabilities may not need or want your assistance, but if you suspect it might be welcomed don’t be afraid to ask!
    • Don’t ask what disability they “have”. Any question pertaining to their disability should be aimed at the type of assistance or accommodation the student requires. They are NOT required to disclose their disability.
    • Don’t stand over and look down at people during conversations, especially people using chairs. During longer conversations make an effort to sit down and engage the student on eye level.
    • Speak to the student directly. If they have an aid or translator your attention should be directed at the student.

    Visit the website.

  • Classroom Accommodations and Universal Design

    Here you will find a few tips/suggestions regarding best practice for classroom accommodations and Universal Design:

    • You are not required to provide individual accommodations to students until they present their Letter of Accommodation.
    • >To streamline the accommodation process and to best serve the student, clearly state learning objectives in the syllabus. This allows the case manager to better judge what may or may not be reasonable in the context of your course.
    • Just because it has not been done before, does not mean it cannot be! We are accommodating individuals, which means that each accommodation may look slightly different.
    • Think Universal Design
      1. Universal Design is the practice of modifying structures, context, and practices to better serve EVERYONE. Think of the amount of people who benefit from buttons that open doors! That is Universal Design.
      2. In your classroom consider analyzing the spacing of your assignments, your attendance policy, and late-assignment protocol through this lens.
      3. Also consider presenting information in multiple formats (video, audio, and text) to accommodate different learning preferences/needs.

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  • Working with Neurodivergent Students



    • “Neurodivergent” students are students who contain neurological variations that are generally considered not to be typical
    • Neurodivergent students may have specific mental health needs, be on the autism spectrum, and/or may process information and communicate in a different manner than their peers
    • When working with these students please consider the following…
      • Noise does not automatically mean disruption. Some students process information and self-soothe by talking to themselves, tapping on their desk, or using a fidget. If the sound is too distracting please make every effort to address the student privately, or do so in a respectful, dignified manner.
      • Allow space for questions. Whether this is in class, after class, or during office hours make it known to the students that you are available for questions.
      • Alternatively, you do not have to let a student dominate the classroom conversation. If a student has difficulty reading social cues and recognizing norms they may have a tendency to “over participate” and not allow room for anyone else to speak. Again, address this student after class and respectfully inform them of what you expect from them in terms of participation.
        • NOTE: Consider formalizing your participation points for this particular student, so they know EXACTLY what is expected of them and what they need to do.
      • This is not a comprehensive list by any means. If you have any questions about how to address a specific situation please contact the Disability Resource Center (drc@emich.edu)

    For more information, please see the interview with Peter Eden, President of Landmark College. Landmark is an institution that specifically serves students on the autism spectrum and students with dyslexia.

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