Please remember that it is up to the student to disclose his or her
disability. Avoid calling any special attention to the student or mentioning
the fact that he/she is receiving accommodations in front of others. For more
information, refer to Confidentiality of
Disability Related Records.
When speaking about a student with a disability, use language that refers to
the person first and foremost, and the disability second. Referring to or
defining the student in terms of his or her disability, (e.g., "a blind
student" rather than "a student with a visual impairment") can
limit him/her. Avoid referring to the student as the condition itself, such as
"an epileptic" or "a paraplegic."
Students know what accommodations are needed to assist him/her to succeed in
your class or program. Disabilities Services encourages the student to discuss
his/her accommodations with faculty and staff members. Ask the student in a
private conversation how best to provide support.
The use of everyday language like, "I see," "Did you hear
about" or "running/walking," etc. when talking with a student
with a physical disability is completely acceptable.
Designing instruction and activities appropriate for diverse learning modes
improves access for students with disabilities. More information about this
concept of "Universal Design of Instruction" is available from DO-IT.