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Seeking Feedback: Faculty Collaboration Challenges

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Member Moderator
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 22
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Please share any challenges or pain points you've faced when working with faculty to accommodate deaf students, and how you have resolved them.

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Member Moderator
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 9

When a deaf student enrolls in a class, we send the instructor an email with a one-page FAQ sheet and a brief email that explains how to work with an interpreter, real-time writer, or adding captions to media. We have had some instructors respond to this and ask that the student switches sections. This response is always challenging! We typically share this information with the student, but I often struggle with how to relay the info. We don't want the student to feel pressured to make a schedule change, but we also want them to be aware of the instructor's potential bias or assumptions. We can forward the email directly to the student, but sometimes the information is best shared in a meeting using ASL. And sometimes, the issue is simply the instructor's lack of awareness and fear which we can typically dispel with a one-on-one meeting to answer questions they have (and then one more hearing person has a better understanding and attitude towards working with deaf students!). 

Other challenges are typically logistics such as chairs or PPE for labs, login and access to virtual events/classes, captioned media, and scheduling of exams. Our approach to resolving such logistics is to have staff interpreters! It may seem silly, but these logistic concerns are often expressed prior to term start and can be addressed with someone who has regular boots on the ground. Our coordinator has been granted several permissions from IT to have the access needed to create usernames and add/remove individuals to our LMS and virtual events. With the help of NDC, we created a captioned media procedure. And finally, we approach scheduling as a team... the student, the instructor, the interpreter/writer, and the coordinator. It isn't perfect, or anywhere close to it, but this general approach seems to serve our students the best. We may not be saving tons of money by knowing of every cancellation far enough in advance to avoid service charges, but we also have a good relationship with service providers and students who feel comfortable communicating their needs. As a result, daily scheduling prioritizes the student experience rather than cost-savings. 


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