185

I have responsibility for students with alternate needs within a Computer Science department and thus have professional experience of the situation you describe. It is not uncommon in our subject. Our experience is that computing attracts a higher proportion of students on the Autistic Spectrum than do other disciplines. We are operating with about (my ...


114

You would handle this the same way you would handle anything in class that impacts your ability to learn. You contact the instructor, and suggest that there is something disruptive going on.


97

As a fellow TA, I would definitely recommend that you discuss this issue with the professor in charge of the course as taking matters into your own hands without his knowledge (especially with special cases like these) could cause problems. When discussing the issue with the professor, I would refrain from using the phrase "mental condition".


97

You already gave the actual reason: to hide it from employers. Why? Because it is irrelevant. Diplomas/grades from university are the same, for all students. Period. It does not matter how you acquired it, the university recognised you meet the criteria (skills, know-how, ...) for having this diploma. That's all the employer needs to know. Edit from ...


96

Disability conditions are applicable when there is an uncontrollable disadvantage that prevents the person fairly demonstrating their knowledge, skill and ability in the same timeframe. This is not the case for a person who has and takes the option of moving to a country or region where their language proficiency is not sufficient to demonstrate knowledge ...


79

Yes, this is all possible, but I recommend seeking specialist advice. Blind support organisations often have technical advisors who are aware of the latest software and hardware adaptions that are available. I taught a totally blind student through a whole computer science degree, including 3d computer graphics. The student had a box which was connected to ...


76

I've unfortunately been on the other end of this as a lecturer in a very similar situation. In that case, I had a perception that it might be creating problems for the other students, but couldn't really do much about it since no students actively said it was an issue. If they had, I could have likely then sat down with the disabilities service coordinators ...


70

A professor in this situation should consult with the university office that is responsible for students with disabilities, let them handle the situation, and follow their recommendations regarding what to do if it happens again. Anything else is beyond the scope of the professor's role. Professors are not qualified to "counsel" students with disabilities, ...


66

College degrees are not a tool for evaluating employment eligibility. Despite the way it has been used in recent times, college diplomas are a certification of higher education in a particular field - they were not designed to be a measure for employers to look at and evaluate for hiring employees, and they still aren't designed that way. There is a ...


65

I think what I said are largely "abstract nonsense" everyone knows. I'd bet that's part of the issue here. When people ask a question, the general assumption is that the answer will try to maximize usefulness. When this doesn't seem to be happening, it's viewed as a very strong signal. For example, suppose I ask you "Are you having lunch with John ...


61

Absolutely not. If you meet the full requirements set up by your University, it is perfectly ethical to use all of the resources made available to you. ADHD is a real medical condition and medical experts and policy makers have decided that special test accommodations are the fairest solution. Accommodations like this are based on medical decisions, not ...


61

Unless it is too embarrassing to you, you might actually consider simply telling your students about your facial aphasia at the beginning of the semester. You can explain that even though you care about them and know who they are as people and students, you won't be able to recognize them by appearance. A more familiar condition you might make an analogy ...


61

If the test isn't about language skills, design it such that people with weaker language skills still can complete it. In most but not all cases tests should test knowledge and understanding, not speed. So if you're worried that people with weaker language skills can't complete in time, just allow more time for all students and allow students who finish ...


47

No. Such action should be the very, very last resort, and only undertaken if you have taken legal advice on whether it is advisable to do so. As a UK student, you should have support available to you from the Student Union, which will almost certainly include disability representation. The Student Union will be able to advise you on how to proceed on this ...


47

(I will answer in the context of the U.S., but I hope others will answer for other parts of the world.) How is this perceived by professors? Might some of them think that these students get an edge or advantage over other students unfairly? The US Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has stated, "A test should ultimately measure a ...


47

Equality of access for disabled people is a legal requirement for public services such as transport and buildings in many jurisdictions, particularly in the EU and North America. There are many disabled academics and researchers who teach, research and publish. One only has to look at examples like the late Stephen Hawking to see how it is possible.


46

Note: This started out as a comment to vonbrand's answer, but grew a bit too long, so I turned it into a separate answer of its own. While asking students to defer any distracting (irrelevant, too advanced, based on a quirky misunderstanding, etc.) questions until after class can indeed be a good way to deal with such interruptions in general, it may not ...


41

I don't want to turn this into an answer about how universities or society in general should deal with disabilities. I will offer what I have witnessed first hand through a good friend. Can you work in Academia? Yes. Will people make fun of you? Probably but who cares. People make fun of others for everything. But... don't try to hide your ...


39

I am absolutely terrible with names and faces. I simply can't remember them. I will forget the name of my next door neighbor of eight years. I have a friend who has facial blindness and I know that there is a difference with what she has. My own version is closer to facial aphasia (recognizes face but cannot recall name) rather than blindness (cannot ...


38

Since nobody seems to have mentioned it yet, it is very likely illegal In the US, at least, several laws (including the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act) prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act also prohibits unauthorized disclosure of a disability or presumption of ...


37

From conversations with my wife, who is blind, you don't want to overthink this too much. Most of the things you can do to help the visually impaired will help everyone in the audience. For starters, I'd suggest sending out the slide deck beforehand if at all possible, since this helps everyone be prepared. You should also make sure any figures have some ...


36

I think, as educators, it is not our place to judge whether this extra time granted to students according to disability services is an "unfair advantage" or not. I am a mathematician, not a psychologist, so it's not my place to diagnose them or argue with someone else's diagnosis. There is obviously considerable research done by people who focus on these ...


36

It would mark people as having some type of disability, which the university may not be allowed to disclose. Noting on the transcript that the student used extra time is equivalent to disclosing that the student has some form of disability that allowed them to receive this extra time. It is tedious to keep track of which students are allowed extra time and ...


36

Revealing Disability Accommodations Is Against University Interests Disability accommodations serve the interests of the University in a variety of ways, and anything that penalizes, prevents, or causes students not to seek appropriate accommodations (such as fear of forced or unauthorized disclosure, or an "asterisk" on their grades) is harmful to these ...


35

It would not consider the request rude, as long as you have a reasonable justification for needing to wear headphones during class (which you do). How you might approach your professor and whether he'll accommodate your request may depend on where you're located and whether your jurisdiction provides protections for individuals with disabilities. In the ...


35

I have no problem disclosing specific situations I sruggle with (e.g. that I can be distracted easily, that I often misunderstand people etc), but do not want to put a label on the actual diagnoses as it does not describe how these disabilities affect me specifically and there can be a lot of misunderstanding around these diagnoses. This is key. It sounds ...


32

There are several options, applied as they wish by the institutions. These include (not an exhaustive list as based on experience from places I have been): 1) extra time ie 20% or more longer. 2) separate room - fewer people ie quieter. 3) a « coach » does not provide answers but helps student « think » and structure response. 4) a scribe, who writes ...


29

First, social phobia is not a character defect. It is a recognized medical condition. You are not worth less as a human being if you suffer from a phobia. Next, depending on your school, you may be able to get a medical exemption from certain requirements. You may want to discuss this with your local student services. (By email if meeting people in person ...


28

In the United States there's what is known as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which prohibits discrimination based on disabilities and mandates reasonable accomodations. Full or partial blindness will definitely fall under that category, and so they are legally prohibited from discriminating against you and if hired will work with you to help out. ...


27

From experience with someone who is visually impaired (but not blind): don't worry and go ahead as usual. Ask the visually impaired person what works best for them, if that is feasible. The person might want to use his/her own computer to look at your presentation, sit aside with at a special screen, or whatever works for them. One thing that would help in ...


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