Working with Students with Disabilities

  • Respect Confidentiality: Many students with disabilities are hesitant to let others know about their disability.  Faculty members need to respect the student’s privacy when providing accommodations.  This means that faculty members should not discuss disability-related matters with the student when other students are present, unless the student approves. 
  • Work Collaboratively with the Student: The faculty member and the student have the same end goal; to provide the student with a sound learning experience as a part of their graduate study.   Additionally, the student would be the expert on how he/she best learns and works with their disability.  Therefore, it is advised to speak openly about how you can best accommodate the student and work collaboratively to come up with alternative when needed.
  • Refer student for Coaching if needed: If you think a student is struggling academically or feeling overwhelmed, they may benefit from academic coaching offered by ESDS.  You may suggest to the student to make an appointment with ESDS to discuss his/her challenges and work with a coach to create a strategy to achieve their goals.
  • Faculty Training and Consultation: For specific assistance with working with students with disabilities, faculty members are encouraged to contact ESDS for training or consultation.  Please contact Deborah Levi at dlevi@umaryland.edu.

Students with Learning Disabilities

Did you know 25% of students registered at ESDS have a learning disability?  Here are some techniques faculty can utilize to help their students learn the content and concepts in their courses:

  • Provide advance information about course expectations and requirements - this includes early distribution of syllabi, assignments, and readings
  • Provide structure that more clearly distinguishes main and supporting ideas and shows the relationship of parts of a whole
  • It is helpful to outline the class sessions and have recordings and notes available on the web
  • Provide students with feedback on their performance so that they can modify their learning strategies