Clear Expectations and Equal Access for Qualified Individuals
It is vital that specific courses as well as whole programs have clearly articulated expectations for all students. This is especially true when there are technical standards. While accommodation is often thought of in terms of classroom adjustments, there are also programmatic accommodations that can be essential to ensuring equal access.
Technical Standards - Best Practices
1) The focus should be on WHAT must be accomplished (the goal of the activity) not on HOW it is accomplished (the conduct of the activity).
2) The requirements must focus on outcomes for the progam – not skills PRESUMED to be necessary in other circumstances such as potential employment sites.
3) Do not use EXIT criteria as ENTRY criteria. Make both sets of criteria clear to participants but do not limit participation based on assumptions of what you believe the student will or will not be able to accomplish at the end of the training.
4) If possible, assess applicants ability to perform essential activities in an Introductory Course that is a prerequisite for program admission.
5) Use a Technical Standards Review Committee to review program policies, but also to review individual accommodation requests. This committee would include faculty who know the discipline area as well as Disability Support Services.