The following offers clarification on what "reasonable accommodations for disability" means.
By law, under the Americans with Disabilities Act, we have to offer reasonable accommodations for Apprentices with disabilities.
What does that actually mean?
As you're probably aware, there are many different types of disabilities. In mundane schools, accommodations for learning disabilities usually include the following options: extra time to complete assignments, extra time for reading class materials, private room for test taking, use of calculator on math tests, a reader for visually impaired Apprentices or severely dyslexic Apprentices, a scribe for those physically not capable of writing. Many of these options are inherently given in an online environment.
• Anyone needing extra time to complete assignments: they already have all the time they need as we don't offer timed assignments.
• Anyone needing extra reading time: again, nothing is timed, so they should not need any extra help.
• Anyone needing a reader: in an online environment, we can't provide one to them, but they can get a reader on their own or use the "narrator" function that Windows provides.
• Anyone needing a proofreader: we have volunteer tutors, to whom the Apprentice can be referred.
• Anyone needing a private, quiet room to complete assignments: they can just complete their assignments whenever their study area is quiet, whatever the time of day.
• Anyone needing a scribe: they can get one on their own or use a voice recognition program. Providing this to them would not be considered "reasonable" because of the long distances between Apprentice and faculty residences and is therefore not required of the school.
• Anyone with physical limitations: Most classes require no or very limited physical activity, but a few classes do. It is not "reasonable" for a kinesthetic class taught online to make separate arrangements for one Apprentice. It will be spelled out in the class description that Apprentices have to be able to perform certain activities. Apprentices should not sign up for the class unless they can - meet those specifications.
• Anyone needing a calculator is free to use the computer’s built-in calculator or any calculator of their choice.
• Short-term memory problems: Online tests are almost always considered to be open book, open notes, unless otherwise specified by the teacher. We have to take a Apprentice’s word that they complied with instructions given, as we have no way of offering proctored exams to verify any such limitation.
The following are not disabilities and no accommodations need to be made:
1. Inability to follow common courtesy.
• An Apprentice constantly nags a professor to speed up the grading process.
Reason: The faculty is given specific time frames within which they have to get their GSW work done. Apprentices are expected to afford faculty the courtesy to allow work to be done within these guidelines.
2. Inability to follow instructions.
• An Apprentice has been instructed to redo a certain homework assignment because of excessive spelling and grammar errors, as well as remaining html tags. The Apprentice resubmits the work after making only a couple of minor changes stating the he doesn’t know how to remove html tags.
• An Apprentice states (correctly or incorrectly) that other instructors have allowed him not to have to do any arts/ crafts types of assignments.
• An Apprentice e-mails the professor several times a day with questions that can be answered by reading the class material.
• A wortcunning assignment requires that an Apprentice go out and collect a certain number of leaves to be either sketched or described in detail for an assignment, but the Apprentice instead wants to submit images copied and pasted from the internet stating that she is not artistically inclined and the pictures will provide more detail than her poor quality drawings.
4. Lack of experience with technology.
• An Apprentice wants to submit all essays in handwritten form to be snail-mailed to the professor as she is an inexperienced typist and keyboarding the assignments takes too long.
• An Apprentice states that he is only barely familiar with the internet and asks that the professor snail-mail him all class texts and essay tests.
5. Lack of suitable work space, access to required materials, equipment, etc.
• An Apprentice states that he cannot do any wortcunning experiments needing access to a stove as he can only conduct experiments in his very small room.
• An Apprentice states that she cannot afford to purchase or cannot find a required book for a class.
• An Apprentice states that he cannot print out an assignment needing to be submitted in hard-copy format as his printer is broken.
• An Apprentice states that she cannot view a required video as she does not own a TV set.
Required textbooks are clearly identified in the class description and Apprentices should not sign up for a class if they cannot get the textbook. Public libraries offer computer access with printer capacities to help Apprentices with temporary technical difficulties. Apprentices should also consider other options, such as going to a friend’s house to conduct experiments requiring a stove, watching a video, etc. So, all told, in our online environment it will be quite rare to see cases where we need to make actual accommodations for disabilities.