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The Advisor

Students with Disabilities

Dianne Bouvier, a student and Yegan Pillay in front of Crewson House sign.

Students with disabilities face many challenges in their academic careers that can be alleviated with the guidance of their academic advisor. A key to success for advisees is to discuss with their advisor how their disability may affect their academic life and to schedule classes carefully.

The manner in which an advisor initiates a conversation about a student’s disability may determine the willingness of the student to discuss his/her condition. Many students fear that faculty will underestimate their academic ability or willingness to put in maximum effort upon learning they are disabled. Advisors who ask general questions to students during advising sessions, such as "Do you have any special circumstances that should be considered when arranging a schedule?" signal to the student an interest in discussing their individual needs. This may also assist you in referring students to the Office for Institutional Equity (OIE) who may be eligible for disability services but are unaware that services are available.

Disability services and accommodations are intended to eliminate the barriers caused by the disability in order for students to have an equal opportunity in educational programs. Assistance is determined by the individual nature of the condition, but there are some general services available to all students. Many of these services are in place because having a disability results in spending additional time for reading, studying or caring for oneself.

With the cooperation of Student Financial Aid, students who are scholarship recipients may request a reduction in the credit hour requirement from 16 to 12. Priority registration gives students the flexibility to arrange a schedule that will accommodate the need for testing accommodations, enable the OIE to schedule interpreters or real-time captioners in advance, and put course materials in alternate formats. Advisors who know about a student’s learning style can help guide a student’s choice of taking a class in the evening, in a two-hour block, or an 8:00 am class. Students taking medications or with health conditions may have specific concerns that must be considered when arranging a schedule.

Students with disabilities are eligible for 4 hours per course/per week of free peer tutoring through the Academic Advancement Center. This service and testing accommodations are extremely helpful to most students.

If you have questions about advising students with disabilities, please call Yegan Pillay and Dianne Bouvier in the Office for Institutional Equity at 593-2620.

University College
Chubb Hall 140
Athens, Ohio 45701
T: 740.593.1935
F: 740.593.0206
university.college@ohio.edu

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