This Student Info resources information page is offered to give you some basic information that you should know about with any school you apply to. Part of the resources you should be able to get while attending school is some kind of academic advising, support for different needs, student privacy, respect for identity, and a sanse of safety for learning and asking questions.
AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT
Students who have accommodation needs based on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)– particularly for matriculating / grade-oriented courses – are required to establish their eligibility for accommodation through the college/school they attend. To receive accommodations, students need to register with college’s Student Accessibility Services department, which helps a student work out the needed waccommodations and which notifies faculty of students in their classes who are allowed specific required accommodations.
What this means is that it is up to a student with unique learning needs to personally inform and work with their school to access the most useful learning need, supplies, alternate forms of testing and materials, etc.
- Note that instructors will not usually be able to significantly change a course’s content, assessments, or resource requirements. Courses, especially vocational skills ones, are set up with specific learning and performance objectives in place so students can advance in and be recognized as having learned/completed specific core requirements.
Students who are taking courses for Continuing Education and who need accommodations are not required to seek assistance with a school’s Student Accessibility Services department to have required accommodations – but they DO need to contact the instructor before a course begins so they can be prepared and ready. Contact your instructor early if you do require additional accommodations so they can help.
Here are a few additional things to consider for personal accommocations before you take courses of any kind. for your own comprehension, you can:
- Check the Microsoft Office Accessibility link for information on how to make Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus / Office 2019 easier to see, hear, and use.
- Use speech recognition software; Windows 8/10 comes with speech recognition built-in
- Have your computer read information aloud with the Windows Speak text-to-speech tool (if you don’t already have a favored screen reader)
- Find/use a free screen reader if you do not already have a favored one.
- Zoom the computer screen in Web Pages/Browsers and in PDFs by pressing the Control key and clicking the + (plus) key.
- Use the slider at the lower right corner of the Microsoft 2019 programs’ User Interfaces so that you can zoom in on the program screen.
- Use a Braille Overlay for computer keyboard to help with typing.
Your instructor may share “Demo” videos in courses to demonstrate visually what you should see when attempting various tasks. Some will be video demonstrations, and others will be PowerPoint presentation videos with text and sound. The instructor should do what they can so that videos are captioned. You can also:
- Ask a sign language interpreter to assist you.
- Use text or visual alternatives for sounds in the Microsoft Windows Ease of Access Center.
- Find and use a free voice-to-text tool to grab general text from audio, like VoiceNote II.
- Find and use a free transcription tool that plays audio (with speed setting changes) and have a friend type it for you. Examples include Transcribe and oTranscribe.
MY courses are all taught in United States (US) English – in the US, this is the case with many instructors. European and Canadian English users will likely have few translation issues. However, if you have another language as your primary language, please note that ALL assignments, emails/communications, quizzes, and work for courses usually must be completed in accurate US English.
- CANVAS supports Arabic, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Danish, Dutch, English (US, UK, and Australia), French, German, Japanese, Maori, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, Spanish, and Swedish. Korean, Persian, and Turkish are also available as crowd-sourced languages. You can edit the Language Settings in your CANVAS Account Preferences. OTHER online classroom LMS systems should have similar options.
- Use a keyboard with keys that use your native language
- Hear non-English text read aloud with the Microsoft Office Mini Translator
- Change browser language settings (Google to learn how)
- Use a browser Translate option by adding a plug-in to your browser, if available (Google to learn how)
- Work with another student who does have strong US English skills to help you translate
- Use U.S. English as much as possible to get practice. You can send extra US English emails to your classroom email buddies to get practice.
- Use an app like Phonetics Focus or Supiki English Conversation Speaking Practice for your SmartPhones.
FERPA stands for the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. Basically, it means that your student records, class grades, and personal identity are safe with the school you attend and the teachers you work with. In my classes, I respect your privacy of information, do not share grades or other sensitive details about you with anyone, or intend to ask questions of you about things that do not seem to directly impact your experience and participation in my classes. All of your instructors should behave the same way in this. More FERPA information.
Other Student Concerns
I am aware that students can be experiencing changes in their lives in the area of gender association (or have already made changes are are reconnecting.
- I want to share that I have no personal control over a college’s roster and how your name is assigned in the college resources – it will be based on the legal name youuse when you enroll at a college or education service.
- However, IF you use a different first name / nickname, please note that in your Exercises / Assessments assignment documents to help me.
- Also, I will tend toward using s/he/they gender language in my examples and writing, since at this time, this is the norm for professional communications in school and the workplace. If I am unsure, I will use “they”. I know there are additional references; I will try to be respectful of your needs.
Under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972:
No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. More. . .
There have been recent changes in how Title IX will have to be managed at schools. Here is more that you need to know.
SAFE SPACES / TRIGGER ISSUE
Colleges/schools and instructors do our best to consider our classrooms (in-person, online) as safe places – for students AND instructors – for exploring educational ideas and concepts. We get students from around the world, and we all have different educational pasts, different viewpoints and experiences, and even different ideas of what respect and free speech mean. However, as an instructor, MY assumption is that everyone comes to learn (not be limited by others), so keep the following in mind – in person, in online meetings, and on discussion boards:
- College is a place for learning, becoming empowered, encountering new and more detailed content of ideas and knowledge, exploring challenging and often uncomfortable / controversial issues and information. It is this way for everyone.
- Please recognize that the education experience is for everyone in the class, not just something tailored to one’s own personal choices and limitations. It is not always comfortable, and some students might feel triggered or confused. The goal in education is exposure to ideas and learning for all – not for taking things personally or reshape education to personal worldviews. It is to add to and broaden worldviews and experience.
- Respect is expected from and by all students for all students, and for ME / the insgtructor, regardless of ethnicity, gender identification, belief systems, past educational exposure, etc.
- Demanding instructors’ or other students’ speech to be overtly politically correct, claiming that anything is a microaggression requiring apologies, or pushing overt disrespect to others for any reason, is not considered a free speech experience in education. It can be considered bullying and won’t be tolerated.
- Understand that free speech is free, thought-out and respectful speech for all people, part of the give-and-take education process of learning and exploring unfamiliar and challenging ideas, and that the disagreement with the content and/or details is not a limitation on free speech.
- Always focus on looking for common values, ways to consider ideas without taking them personally. Add productive details to ideas to help clarify and better communicate the learning-oriented spirit of the discussion, and treat others with the best of intentions rather than out of mistrust.
- Hate speech, harassment, racism, and bullying-oriented behaviors are not excusable as “free speech”, as “jokes”, or as “I didn’t mean to’s”. They are an infringement on the actual security of and respect for others, and will not be accepted in any of my courses.