Accessible Technology Initiative (ATI)

"From Where I Sit" Video Series


Lesson Plan for Use in a Faculty Development Setting

What do students most commonly ask their instructors to do to make their courses and course materials more accessible? In the video series "From Where I Sit", students with disabilities share their engaging stories and offer suggestions for making the classroom experience better for everyone.

Objectives

After this workshop, faculty and administrators will be able to:

  1. describe challenges faced by students with disabilities
  2. list strategies for working with students with disabilities
  3. describe how some of the suggested strategies may benefit other students
  4. share one or two strategies that they may wish to adopt in their particular setting

Time and Materials

  • Approximately 45-60 minutes
  • Handout A: Ten Most Common Student Suggestions
  • "From Where I Sit" DVD
  • DVD player, projector, speakers

These stories can also be accessed through the CSU Accessible Technology Website (http://www.calstate.edu/accessibility).

Context

Although the number of individuals with disabilities seeking postsecondary education has increased significantly in recent years, they are still underrepresented in many academic and career areas. Federal legislation mandates that, when needed, academic accommodations be made to ensure that otherwise qualified students with disabilities have educational opportunities equal to those of their non-disabled peers.

Studies show that faculty members, staff, and students who have had interactions with students with disabilities generally have more positive attitudes about working with these students. Further, those who are familiar with accommodation strategies are better prepared to make arrangements which will ensure that students with disabilities have an equal opportunity to participate in their programs.

Presentation Outline

  1. Distribute handouts
  2. Introductions
  3. Begin presentation
  4. Introduce and play one chapter from ATI DVD
  5. Hold discussion
  6. Discuss department/campus issues and campus resources
  7. Distribute and collect completed evaluation instruments

The Activity

The students in this film describe some of the problems and solutions that surfaced in their academic experiences. Some of the common solutions suggested by these students are included in the the handout which accompanies this film.

Discuss possible classroom strategies that may ensure that students with disabilities have an equal opportunity to participate. How can these practices benefit all students? Discuss particular campus issues and resources. How might solutions for issues be found? How might campus resources be made known to those in need?

Extending the Activity

  1. Ask presentation participants to try one or more of the classroom strategies listed on the handout and describe their experiences on the Merlot site (http://www.merlot.org).
  2. Ask presentation participants to add a question to standard end-of-course student evaluations: "In what ways did the instructor use teaching techniques that made it easier for you to learn?"
  3. Make a list of particular department or campus issues that surfaced during the discussion. Consider possible solutions.
  4. Make a list of campus resources related to equal academic opportunities. Consider possible publication and distribution of this information.