Important Points to Remember

As an independent adult learner, you have greater responsibilities for managing your academic accommodations. Part of your responsibility is to communicate regularly with your service providers, access advisors, instructors and other services you choose to use. Of course, they also have responsibilities for communicating about supporting your academic needs.

Here are a few points about communication to keep in mind:

  • The service provider is not your advocate. 
    • You can communicate with the instructor about what is working or not in the classroom for your full access and participation.
  • It is helpful for you and your service provider to arrive early to class the first day   **(and throughout the term) to allow time to discuss plans or changes in how they can support your access needs (e.g. where to sit in the classroom, level of details you would like to include or omit).
  • Accessibility advisors may arrange textbooks for the service providers, and communicate about the need for instructors to granting the service providers  access to the course site. This is especially important for online classes!
    • You and/ or the service provider may wish to follow up the instructor about arranging access to the service provider (Check with your service provider and/ or your accessibility advisor about who will do this) Remember – you are a team!
    • The instructor may email the lecture notes and handouts to the service provider in advance according to agreements made (at least 24 hours before the session). You may wish to also talk with the service provider about the content and other materials you are accessing to be sure they are prepared.

The more information that you can ask for about the course – especially if it is online, the better. Will there be captioned videos? Are you expected to participate in live classes, or learn on your own time – or both? It is also important that the service provider knows about the course content and your communication preferences or needs. This will ensure that they are able to prepare, and provide the most effective services to everyone in this educational process.