Helping Students With a Mobility Impairment

Marshall students with mobility impairments make up about 7% of the total student body population.  A person with impaired mobility may have difficulty moving from place to place and/or managing personal needs.  Some people use crutches, braces, or wheelchairs; however, many mobility disabilities are invisible such as lower back injuries and chronic orthopedic pain.

  1. It is very important NOT to present key material in the first few minutes of the class meeting.  Students with a mobility disability may not be able to avoid being late due to transportation problems, inclement weather, or lift or wheelchair breakdown. It is often helpful to arrange that an easily accessible seat or space is left for the student.
  2. If the students has difficulty taking notes or lecture outlines then notes on a web site would be useful (not just for that person but for all students.)  ODS may assign a notetaker to attend class with the student.  The notetaker should sit next to the student in class.  The student may choose to tape record the class lecture.
  3. Give thought to structuring lab experiences for students in wheel chairs.  If the student’s arm/hand mobility is limited, could she/he participate in such an experience on a “buddy system” with another student doing the active experience portion of the exercise?
  4. It may be necessary to make arrangements for tests to be taken in some alternative manner.  Could they be taken orally?  Could they be taken with a Graduate Assistant (GA), Teaching Assistant (TA), or someone from the ODS Office doing the writing under dictation from the student?  Could the student take the test in the normal manner if given more time for writing and/or use of a computer?