Links Module 7

SECTION 2: Strategies for Customization

Adapting and Making Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

The following resources provide guidance on working with students with a variety of disabilities. The resources provide information about adaptations that can be made to instructional techniques and accommodations that can be provided to increase inclusion in the classroom.

Teaching Students with Disabilities
Source: Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching
Link: cft.vanderbilt.edu/guides-sub-pages/disabilities/

Successful Strategies for Teaching Students with Learning Disabilities
Source: Learning Disabilities Association of America
Link: ldaamerica.org/successful-strategies-for-teaching-students-with-learning-disabilities/

Teaching Students with Disabilities
Source: Center for Teaching and Learning, University of Washington
Link: www.washington.edu/teaching/topics/inclusive-teaching/teaching-students-with-disabilities/

Teaching Students with Disabilities
Source: University of Rochester
Link: www.rochester.edu/college/teaching/teaching-guidance/students-with-disabilities.html

Etiquette for Working with Students with Disabilities
Source: Best Colleges
Link: www.bestcolleges.com/resources/disability-etiquette/

Students with Disabilities in the College Classroom
Source: HEATH Resource Center at the National Youth Transitions Center
Link: www.heath.gwu.edu/students-disabilities-college-classroom

College for Students with Disabilities: A Guide for Students, Families, and Educators
Source: Maryville University
Link: online.maryville.edu/disabilities-guide/

Tips for Teaching Students with Disabilities
Source: The University of Wyoming — University Disability Support Services
Link: www.uwyo.edu/wind/echo OR www.uwyo.edu/wind/index.html

Invisible Disabilities and Postsecondary Education
Source: DO IT Center, University of Washington
Link: www.washington.edu/doit/invisible-disabilities-and-postsecondary-education
Related Video – Captioned and Audio Described (18:44 minutes)
Link: www.washington.edu/doit/videos/index.php?vid=36

How to Teach and Accommodate
Source: University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
Link: www.umassd.edu/dss/resources/faculty-staff/how-to-teach-and-accommodate/

23 Ways to Communicate with a Non-Verbal Child
Source: Special Needs Resources
Link: www.friendshipcircle.org/blog/2013/04/16/23-ways-to-communicate-with-a-non-verbal-child/

Instructional Strategies
Source: Understood: for Learning & Attention Issues
Link: www.understood.org/en/school-learning/partnering-with-childs-school/instructional-strategies

At a Glance: Classroom Accommodations for Nonverbal Learning Disabilities
Source: Understood: for Learning & Attention Issues
Link: www.understood.org/en/school-learning/partnering-with-childs-school/instructional-strategies/at-a-glance-classroom-accommodations-for-nonverbal-learning-disabilities

Customizing the Lesson Using Presentation Material and Interactive Exercises

There are three sets of resources provided that can be woven together to customize the learning experience, depending on your goals as a facilitator for this lesson on the ADA and Reasonable Accommodations on the Job (e.g., providing a very simple introduction versus teaching the basics as a platform for having students engage in deeper learning about complex examples). These include: (1) advance preparation material that students can review; (2) a set of PowerPoint slides that can be used in a presentation and discussion format; and (3) a set of interactive exercises to stimulate applied learning, creativity, and deeper thinking about the concepts.

1.             Advance Preparation Material for Students

This lesson provides a very simple, high-level overview of The ADA and Reasonable Accommodations on the Job. The goal is to introduce students to the idea of requesting accommodations in the work setting. Suggested resources for advance preparation include readings and videos about post-secondary education and the ADA and requesting accommodations.

As noted, these materials can be provided in advance to students, or if the class session is long enough, they may be used in class prior to presenting the PowerPoint slides and getting into a specific discussion of the ADA. Alternatively, they could be used as both advance preparation (pre-homework) and repeated in class to reinforce the learning.

2.            PowerPoint Slides

The PowerPoint slides can be used in class to provide an overview of The ADA and Reasonable Accommodations on the Job. Combined with the interactive exercises, the presentation can be extended to cover a long class session or multiple smaller class sessions. The slides can also be presented on their own as part of a short lesson on “The ADA and Reasonable Accommodations on the Job.”

3.            Interactive Exercises

Several interactive exercises are provided to engage the students in considering specific examples that relate to the material in “The ADA and Reasonable Accommodations on the Job.” For example, while the presentation material explains the ADA and discusses the accommodation process, an interactive exercise leads the students to practice how to request an accommodation. Therefore, the exercise provides a concrete lesson on the accommodation process and explains how the ADA is a law that applies to colleges and universities.

 

 

SECTION 3: Suggested Advance Preparation for Facilitators

Readings

ADA and Employment Rights Resource List (PDF)
Source: Southeast ADA Center
Link: adalive.org/resources/episode-110-resources/

Employers’ Practical Guide to Reasonable Accommodation Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
(SOAR) system is designed to let users explore various accommodation options for people with disabilities in work and educational settings. These accommodation ideas are not all inclusive. If you do not find answers to your questions, please contact JAN directly. The staff of experienced consultants is happy to discuss specific accommodation needs in a confidential manner.
Source:
Job Accommodation Network (JAN)
Link: askjan.org/Erguide/

JAN’s Searchable Online Accommodation Resource
Source: Job Accommodation Network (JAN)
Link: https://askjan.org/soar.cfm

JAN List of Publications and Resources on Reasonable Accommodation
Source: Job Accommodation Network (JAN)
Link: askjan.org/topics/reasacc.htm

EARN Information on Reasonable Accommodation
Source: Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN)
Link: askearn.org/page/reasonable-accommodations

Employment (ADA Title I) Topic Search on ADA National Network Website
Source: ADA National Network
Link: adata.org/topic/employment-ada-title-i

The Americans with Disabilities Act: Applying Performance and Conduct Standards to Employees with Disabilities
Source: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
Link: www.eeoc.gov/facts/performance-conduct.html

Revised Enforcement Guidance: Reasonable Accommodation and Undue Hardship under the Americans with Disabilities Act
Source: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
Link: www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/accommodation.html

Key ADA and GINA [Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act] (PDF)
Documents available from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Source:
Mid-Atlantic ADA Center
Link: www.adainfo.org/sites/default/files/EEOC%20ADA%20and%20GINA%20Publications%20_July%202016__1_0.pdf (PDF 7 pages)

Webinar: Hot Topics in Reasonable Accommodation (10-27-16)
This webinar, presented by Jeanne Goldberg, Senior Attorney Advisor in the Office of Legal Counsel at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) reviewed court decisions issued in 2015-16 raising new reasonable accommodation issues, highlighting examples of employer pitfalls and best practices for ADA compliance.
Source:
Mid-Atlantic ADA Center
Link: www.adainfo.org/trainings/?_sft_training_type=archived-webinars&_sft_topic=reasonable-accommodation

USDOL Information on Tax Incentives for Businesses
Provides information on the three tax incentives that are available to help employers cover the cost of accommodations for employees with disabilities and to make their places of business accessible for employees and/or customers with disabilities.
Source:
U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL)
Link: dol.gov/odep/topics/FinancialEducationAssetDevelopment.htm

ADA Quick Tips – Tax Incentives
Source: ADA National Network
Link: adata.org/factsheet/quicktips-tax

Web Courses

Foundations of the Americans with Disabilities Act Web Course (Southeast ADA Center)

Source: Southeast ADA Center
Link:
bit.ly/foundations-ada-course

The ADA Foundations (bit.ly/foundations-ada-course) is a comprehensive web course designed to increase your knowledge and understanding of the core concepts about the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA). The web course has been developed to help you learn about the important concepts of the ADA and to think about inclusive solutions for people with disabilities in the workplace, state and local government programs, and private businesses.

Learning Objectives
Upon completion of this web course, you will be able to:

  • Discuss the purpose of the ADA using a civil rights framework.
  • Identify the five titles of the ADA.
  • Provide a basic overview of each title of the ADA.
  • Define the general nondiscrimination requirements of the ADA.
  • Explain each nondiscrimination requirement using 1-2 real-life examples.
  • Identify the defenses or limitations of each nondiscrimination requirement.
  • Identify the federal agencies responsible for enforcing each title of the ADA.
  • Locate and use resources for information on the ADA.

SECTION 4: Suggested Advance Preparation for Students

The following advanced reading assignments and video excerpts can be assigned to students to prepare them for learning about The ADA and Reasonable Accommodations on the Job.

Readings

The ADA: Your Employment Rights as an Individual with a Disability
Source: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
Link: www.eeoc.gov/facts/ada18.html

The ADA: Your Responsibilities as an Employer
Source: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
Link: www.eeoc.gov/facts/ada17.html

Fact Sheet: Reasonable Accommodations in the Workplace
Source: Northwest ADA Center
Link: nwadacenter.org/factsheet/reasonable-accommodations-workplace

ADA Live Episode 27: Employment and Reasonable Accommodations
Source: Southeast ADA Center
Link: adalive.org/episodes/episode-27/

Websites

National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability – Youth
NCWD/Youth is a source for information about employment and youth with disabilities. Partners — experts in disability, education, employment, and workforce development — provide high quality, relevant information.
Source:
National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability (NCWD)
Link: www.ncwd-youth.info

SECTION 5: Presentation

Pre-Module for the Training Facilitator:

Facilitator Note: You may have (or have had) an accommodation that helped you in school so far. If so, the same accommodation might help you at work and on the job. In grades kindergarten – 12, many people can help you when you are having problems in school, including parents, family members, and teachers. At a job, you are the one who decides whether or not to disclose your disability. This means that you are the only one who can ask for help. When you have problems and you need an accommodation, you have to use your self-advocacy skills to get the accommodation you need. You already know which accommodations helped you in K – 12, and the same accommodations might help you at your job.

Let’s make a list of the accommodations you can think of that have helped you in school. List responses to the questions as you proceed with this activity and save these responses for use at the end of the module.

Questions:

  • What does “reasonable accommodation” mean to you?
  • When would you ask for a reasonable accommodation?
  • What do you think the word “reasonable” means when we talk about “reasonable accommodations?”

Today we are going to learn about the Americans with Disabilities Act and reasonable accommodations at work.

Facilitator Note: Use the Module 7 PowerPoint slides, Pathways to Careers… Skills for Successful Employment.

 

 

Module 7 PowerPoint slides, Pathways to Careers… The ADA and Reasonable Accommodations on the Job

Slide 1 – Pathways to Careers…. Skills for Successful Employment

Slide 1 Notes — Pathways to Careers…. The ADA and Reasonable Accommodations on the Job

Objective: The student will learn about reasonable accommodations at work.

Facilitator Talking Points:
Today we are going to learn about Reasonable Accommodations at Work.

 

 

Slide 2 – What is a Reasonable Accommodation?

Slide 2 Notes – What is a Reasonable Accommodation?

Objective: The student will be introduced to the idea of reasonable accommodation to give you an equal chance to do your job.

Facilitator Talking Points:
We all have things that we do well. Some people like and do well with jobs that require a lot of detail. Other people do not like the details. Some people are good at repairing cars. Other people have no idea how to fix a car. Even though we have skills that are unique to us, having a disability may make it more difficult to do the job. Sometimes, for you to have an equal opportunity, an employer may need to give you a reasonable accommodation.

Any time an employer changes something about your job so you can do it better, that is called an accommodation. Accommodations must be considered reasonable. This means the change must be fair. This means that an accommodation cannot be so expensive that it causes a big problem for your employer.

This also means that the accommodation cannot change the “essential functions” of your job, which are the reasons why your job exists. You will still have to do the job you were hired to do. It also means your accommodation does not change how a co-worker does his or her job., The accommodation can help you do your job better.

Let’s think about this a little more. You are hired to set up surgical trays at a hospital. The essential functions of the job are to get supplies from a storeroom, follow cleanliness procedures, and arrange the instruments on a tray for the doctors. The hospital performs 50 surgeries a day. You cannot ask your boss to reduce the number of trays you have to set up from 50 to 30. Setting up 50 trays is part of the essential function of your job. To fix 50 trays – and not 30 – is a reason why your job exists. To change this requirement of your job would not be fair to your boss and co-workers, so it would not be a reasonable accommodation.

What is an example of a reasonable accommodation that you could ask for? Because you have a disability, you can’t climb up to reach the surgical supplies that are stored on shelves above your head. You could ask that the boxes of supplies be moved and stored in a place where you can reach them. This means you will be able to do your job better. It will be easier for you, but the actual job you were hired to do is the same.

Let’s think about another example. You work as a clerk at a grocery store. You are required to work full time and the store always has two clerks on duty. Due to your disability, you ask to work part-time. If your hours were reduced then the second clerk would have to do twice the work and could not get her own work done. In this case, your employer would not have to reduce your hours as an accommodation. Because you are required to work full time, just like your co-worker, you are being treated equally. The ADA requires that workers with disabilities are treated equally and have the same opportunities as workers without disabilities. Workers with disabilities do not get special treatment. Any reasonable accommodation you get must be equal and fair to you, to your boss and to your co-workers.

 

 

Slide 3 – When Can I Get a Reasonable Accommodation?

Slide 3 Notes – When Can I Get a Reasonable Accommodation?

Objective: The student will learn that accommodations can be requested at any time.

Facilitator Talking Points:

  • You can ask for a reasonable accommodation at any time during the job process. You do not even have to be an employee yet.
  • If you are D/deaf, you might ask a future employer to provide a sign language interpreter so you can participate in the interview.
  • If it is hard for you to understand written directions for pre-employment testing, you can ask someone read the instructions to you.
  • After you start work you may find you are having problems remembering the order you do your job in. You could ask your employer to give you written instructions you can follow so each step is broken down.
  • Let’s say you have been on your job for years and have never requested an accommodation because you could do your job without it. Then, your disability gets worse. You find it hard to stand for long periods of time. You could request that your employer allow you to do your work sitting down sometimes.

Slide 4 – Making the Decision to talk about my Disability

Slide 4 Notes – Making the Decision to talk about my Disability

Objective: The student will be introduced to disclosure of disability and the student’s rights when disclosing.

Facilitator Talking Points:

  • Your employer needs to know you are having a problem at work in order to give you an accommodation.
  • You will need to tell your employer that you have a disability to request an accommodation. This is called disclosing your disability. To disclose means to reveal something.
  • Disclosing your disability is a very personal decision that you should think about very carefully.
  • You should ask yourself:
  • What do I gain if I tell my employer about my disability?
  • How much should I tell my employer? You need to think about what words to use when you tell your employer.
  • If you use general terms like mental illness, or blindness, that really does not say how your disability has made it a problem for you to do your job. If you say, “because I don’t see well, I am having trouble reading labels on boxes. I need something to make the words larger.” You have now told your boss what the problem is and what you may need.
  • You may have used something at school or home that helped you with schoolwork or housework. You can mention this to your employer as an example of something that works for you. It’s important for you to remember that if you disclose your disability to an employer (whenever you do it), you have the right to be treated with respect by your employer.
  • Finally, sometimes out of pride or fear, we wait to tell someone we need help. Do not wait too long to disclose and ask for a reasonable accommodation. Waiting too long could mean you will lose your job.

Slide 5 – How Do I Ask for Reasonable Accommodation?

Slide 5 Notes — How Do I Ask for Reasonable Accommodation?

Objective: The student will learn strategies for requesting an accommodation.

Facilitator Talking Points:

  • The Americans with Disabilities Act does not tell us one specific way to ask for a reasonable accommodation. In fact, you do not even have to use words like reasonable accommodation when you request help.
  • You can talk to your boss directly. If you prefer, you can write a note asking for help. You can even ask a co-worker, a friend, a family member, or your vocational rehabilitation counselor to make the request for you. Of course, this training is about learning to advocate for yourself. If possible, you should ask for the accommodation yourself. Nobody knows what you need better than you. For additional information on having someone else ask for an accommodation on your behalf, here is information from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission [www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/accommodation.html]
  • Keep in mind, your employer may have a policy that you should follow. Your boss cannot punish you for asking for an accommodation. It is your right to ask for a reasonable accommodation. Your employer must work with you to find a reasonable accommodation that works for you.

Slide 6 – Does My Boss Have to Give Me a Reasonable Accommodation?

Slide 6 Notes – Does My Boss Have to Give Me a Reasonable Accommodation?

Objective: The student will learn what rights an employer has in granting an accommodation.

Facilitator Talking Points:

  • When you ask for an accommodation, your employer is required to have conversations with you about the problem you are having and what accommodation might work best. This means that you and your employer should work together to come up with a solution.
  • Your employer is required to find an accommodation for you, even if it means changing the job you do, provided it is equal to the job you have.
  • There are sometimes when an employer does not have to give you an accommodation.
  • If the accommodation is going to cost a lot of money and your employer can prove they cannot afford it, then the employer may not be able to give you an accommodation.
  • If the accommodation you need is very complicated, difficult to operate at the workplace, is very large or, for some reason, very elaborate, then an employer may say the accommodation cannot be done.
  • If the accommodation changes how things are done at the business or it changes the reason why your job exists (these are called essential functions), then an accommodation can be denied.
  • Your employer also cannot change the production rate for you. If you are supposed to produce so many products an hour, you cannot ask to do less work.
  • An employer gets to choose the accommodation you can have as long as it works for you.

Slide 7 – What Happens if I Don’t Get a Reasonable Accommodation?

Slide 7 Notes — What happens if I don’t get a reasonable accommodation?

Objective: The student will learn where to seek help if they are unsure if their rights have been violated.

Facilitator Talking Points:

There are times when an employer will deny an accommodation.  Perhaps the accommodation is too expensive, sometimes the accommodation is very elaborate.  If the accommodation changes the essential functions of the job, that is, changes the reason your job exists, then you may be denied an accommodation.  Sometimes you might not be sure if your rights under the ADA were violated.  Staff from the Southeast ADA Center can listen to your concern and give you advice.  You can either call 1-800-949-4232 or you can send an email to adasoutheast@syr.edu.  If your rights may have been violated, they can tell you what you should do next.

 

 

Slide 8 — Reasonable Accommodation — Traci (slide 1 of 2)

Slide 8 Notes — Reasonable Accommodation — Traci (slide 1 of 2)

Objective: The student will learn about sample reasonable accommodations for a range of disabilities.

Facilitator Talking Points:

Read the scenario about Traci. Students may not be familiar with a particular disability and will require additional information from the facilitator. There are many reasonable accommodations for someone who is blind or has low vision. Examples include: an oversized keyboard that would help someone with low vision see the keyboard better, a screen magnifier, or a screen reader (a software application that converts text into synthesized speech allowing user to listen to the content).
Slide 9 – Reasonable Accommodation – Traci (slide 2 of 2)

Slide 9 Notes — Reasonable Accommodation — Traci (slide 2 of 2)

Objective: The student will learn about sample reasonable accommodations for a range of disabilities.

Facilitator Talking Points:

These are several reasonable accommodations for someone who has low vision. Read the scenario about Traci. Students may not be familiar with a particular disability and will require additional information from the facilitator. Examples of reasonable accommodations include an oversized keyboard that would help someone with low vision see the keyboard better, a screen magnifier, or a screen reader: (a software application that converts text into synthesized speech allowing the user to listen to the content).

Slide 10 – Reasonable Accommodation – Armando (slide 1 of 2)

Slide 10 Notes – Reasonable Accommodation – Armando (slide 1 of 2)

Objective: The student will learn about sample reasonable accommodations for a range of disabilities.

Facilitator Talking Points:

There are many reasonable accommodations for someone who has hearing loss. Read the scenario about Armando. One example of an accommodation is a captioned phone. Captioned phones display captioned text during phone calls for those individuals who are hard of hearing or have some degree of hearing loss. Another accommodation is termed Communication Access Real Time Translation or CART. CART is a system that transcribes spoken speech into written text via a trained CART operator. And another accommodation is a sign language interpreter. Sign language interpreters are trained professionals who translate the spoken word into American Sign Language or another preferred sign language identified by the consumer.

Slide 11 – Reasonable Accommodation – Armando (slide 2 of 2)

Slide 11 Notes – Reasonable Accommodation – Armando (slide 2 of 2)

Objective: The student will learn about sample reasonable accommodations for a range of disabilities.

Facilitator Talking Points:

There are many reasonable accommodations for someone who has hearing loss. Read the scenario about Armando. One example of an accommodation is a captioned phone. Captioned phones display captioned text during phone calls for those individuals who are hard of hearing or have some degree of hearing loss. Another accommodation is termed Communication Access Real Time Translation or CART. CART is a system that transcribes spoken speech into written text via a trained CART operator. And another accommodation is a sign language interpreter. Sign language interpreters are trained professionals who translate the spoken word into American Sign Language or another preferred sign language identified by the consumer.

 

Slide 12 – Reasonable Accommodation – Mary (slide 1 of 2)

Slide 12 Notes – Reasonable Accommodation – Mary (slide 1 of 2)

Objective: The student will learn about sample reasonable accommodations for a range of disabilities.

Facilitator Talking Points:

There are a number of reasonable accommodations for someone with a physical disability. Read the scenario about Mary. This scenario is specific to flexible work scheduling as an accommodation.

 

Slide 13 – Reasonable Accommodation – Mary (slide 2 of 2)

Slide 13 Notes – Reasonable Accommodation – Mary (slide 2 of 2)

Objective: The student will learn about sample reasonable accommodations for a range of disabilities.

Facilitator Talking Points:

There are several reasonable accommodations for someone with a physical disability. Read the scenario about Mary. This scenario is specific to flexible work scheduling as an accommodation.

 

Slide 14 – Reasonable Accommodation – Damarcus (slide 1 of 2)

Slide 14 Notes – Reasonable Accommodation – Damarcus (slide 1 of 2)

Objective: The student will learn about sample reasonable accommodations for a range of disabilities.

Facilitator Talking Points:

There are many reasonable accommodations for someone who has an intellectual disability. Read the scenario about Damarcus. Accommodations for Damarcus can include having a vocational rehabilitation counselor, employment professional, or other trusted friend help him understand what is being said in the interview. This can be done by reframing questions or breaking information down into smaller bits of information. This is an example of a person — not a piece of equipment or a policy change — being utilized as an accommodation.

 

Slide 15 – Reasonable Accommodation – Damarcus (slide 2 of 2)

Slide 15 Notes – Reasonable Accommodation – Damarcus (slide 2 of 2)

Objective: The student will learn about sample reasonable accommodations for a range of disabilities.

Facilitator Talking Points:

There are many reasonable accommodations for someone who has an intellectual disability. Read the scenario about Damarcus. Accommodations for Damarcus can include having a vocational rehabilitation counselor, employment professional, or other trusted friend help him understand what is being said in the interview. This can be done by reframing questions or breaking information down into smaller bits of information. This is an example of a person — not a piece of equipment or a policy change — being utilized as an accommodation.

Slide 16 – Reasonable Accommodation – Ahmed (slide 1 of 2)

Slide 16 Notes – Reasonable Accommodation – Ahmed (slide 1 of 2)

Objective: The student will learn about sample reasonable accommodations for a range of disabilities.

Facilitator Talking Points:

This is an example of someone who chose not to disclose a disability to an employer. Read the scenario about Ahmed. Although Ahmed has a disability that impacts a major life area, his disability has not interfered with his ability to perform the essential functions of his job. Therefore, Ahmed chose not to disclose his disability to his employer.

 

Slide 17 – Reasonable Accommodation – Ahmed (slide 2 of 2)

Slide 17 Notes – Reasonable Accommodation – Ahmed (slide 2 of 2)

Objective: The student will learn about sample reasonable accommodations for a range of disabilities.

Facilitator Talking Points:

This is an example of someone who chose not to disclose a disability to an employer. Read the scenario about Ahmed. Although Ahmed has a disability that impacts a major life area, his disability has not interfered with his ability to perform the essential functions of his job. Therefore, Ahmed chose not to disclose his disability to his employer.

Post Module for the Training Facilitator:

Facilitator Note: After you have completed the PowerPoint and learning activities, summarize the session(s) with the group. From the Pre-Module activity, review the lists of places in the community that people with disabilities would have problems going and doing things to do in the community in which people with disabilities might not be able to participate or enjoy.

“Now that we have finished this module on the ADA and access to the community, are there places or things on these lists that we want to cross off since we now know that people with disabilities have a right to advocate for accessibility and inclusion in the community?” (Make a strike through any item on the list that the group agrees does not belong there. For any items that remain, ask if anyone can think of a way that this could be made accessible to, or inclusive of, people with disabilities.)

 

 

SECTION 6: Learning Activities

For the Training Facilitator:

Facilitator Note: Learning activities have been designed to reinforce the content from the PowerPoint presentation. A menu of activities has been provided. You may choose one or more activities based upon the time that you have to present the material and upon the needs of the students. For each interactive activity designed to reinforce the content from the PowerPoint presentation, suggested time frames are included below. Please keep in mind the age of your youth as well as the individual skill levels and specific disabilities to allow time frames that are appropriate for your group.

Activity #1 Group Discussion

Facilitator Note: Please allow time frames for these discussions and activities that are appropriate for the size of the group and the makeup of the group. Please be flexible if the discussion or the sharing is productive, and the participants are actively engaged.

Activity: “An Inclusive Community”

Time: 15 minutes or more
Facilitator Script: “An inclusive community respects and values all of the people who live, work, and play in that community. In an inclusive community, people have access to the goods, services, and resources that the community provides. That means the inclusive community has eliminated as many problems, barriers, and obstacles as possible so that everyone has the opportunity to participate in everything in the community.”

“What does an inclusive community look like? Let’s think about the grocery store in the community.”

  • What does the entrance to your local grocery store look like?” (No-step entrance, doors that open for you, etc.)
  • Can anyone think of another place in the community that has an entrance that is also easy for everyone and inclusive?

“Now let’s think of an intersection and safely crossing the street. In an inclusive community, what are some things that would help everyone in the community to be safe while crossing the street?”

Examples:

  • Curb cuts to eliminate stepping down or stepping up when crossing the street to assist people with mobility limitations, balance problems, and everyone who can easily miss a step! Curb cuts can also assist people with wheeled luggage, briefcases, baby strollers, grocery carts, delivery hand trucks, etc.
  • Detectable warnings (the bumps that are on the curb cut) to alert everyone that you are walking into the street—anyone can get distracted!
  • Audible signals for anyone who cannot clearly see the traffic lights—sometimes the sun is in our eyes —or a person cannot see the lights at all.
  • Visible countdown signals or other “Don’t Walk” warnings that alert anyone who cannot hear the traffic and may not know if it is safe to cross.

“Now let’s think about public transportation and getting around in an inclusive community. On the public bus or light-rail system, what features would make the public transportation system inclusive and easier for everyone to use?”

Examples:

  • Kneeling buses to create a no-step entrance so that everyone can board easily and not miss a step.
  • An exterior button on the light-rail car so that anyone can independently request the ramp when entering, and an interior button to request the ramp for exiting.
  • Automated announcements that alert everyone about where the public transit is on its route, and what the upcoming stops will be. (Anyone can get involved in conversation and miss a stop!)
  • Overhead scrolling announcements to provide visible information for anyone who cannot hear the audible announcements, or when it is just too loud on the crowded public transit.

Facilitator Note: If public transportation is not available in your community, this example would not be applicable.

“What about restaurants in an inclusive community? What would you find there to make it easier for everyone in the community to enjoy that restaurant?”

Examples:

  • No-step entrances, wide aisles to get around the tables, etc.
  • Signage indicating accessible features.
  • Accessible restrooms.
  • Menus in alternate formats, such as large print or Braille.
  • Wait staff who are trained to provide sighted-guide assistance, if requested.
  • Wait staff who are trained to read the menu, if requested.
  • Wait staff who are trained to communicate with anyone who cannot hear or speak clearly. (Pointing to menu items, writing short notes, and showing patience!)
  • Staff who are trained to use relay telephone communications.
  • Staff who are trained about service animals.

“What about going to the movies in an inclusive community? What features would allow everyone to enjoy the movies together?”

Examples:

  • No-step entrances, no-step paths of travel, accessible seating, etc.
  • Signage indicating accessible features.
  • Accessible restrooms.
  • Equipment to provide captioning for anyone who has trouble hearing the conversation in the movie.
  • Audio description for anyone who has trouble seeing the actions and visual parts of the movie, and anyone who finds it difficult to catch details in the plot or actions of the movie.
  • Warnings about loud noise levels for people who have service animals or people who are sensitive to high noise levels.

“What about voting in an inclusive community? In any community, it is important to include all of the people who can vote in the decision-making processes that affect their lives. What are some ways that voting can be inclusive of everyone who can vote?”

Examples:

  • No-step entrances, no-step paths of travel, accessible seating, etc.
  • Accessible voting machines for anyone who would like to have the ballot read to them and marked for them.
  • Lowered voting booths for anyone who is seated or needs to be seated while voting, or anyone short of stature.
  • Poll workers who are trained to provide sighted-guide assistance, if requested.
  • Poll workers who are trained to communicate with anyone who cannot hear or speak clearly. (Pointing or gesturing, writing short notes, pictures, or ballot examples, and showing patience!)
  • Poll workers who are trained to understand service animals.

Activity #2 Art Projects & Musical Expression

Art Projects

Facilitator Note: If your group is engaged by art activities, such as drawing, painting, collages, murals, etc., you might use art materials to do the following. Please keep in mind the age of your students as well as the individual skill levels and specific disabilities to allow time frames that are appropriate for your group. If members of your group have difficulty manipulating art materials, such as students who have difficulty using scissors due to limited hand dexterity, consider working in partners or small groups.

If your group is made up of students with varying levels of vision loss, consider having students with low vision work as partners or in small groups with students with total vision loss.  Using materials such as magazines, advertising flyers, brochures, pamphlets, etc., have the students with low vision audio describe the pictures and words that the partners or small groups might decide to use in a collage or mural.  If your group is made up of students with total vision loss, consider using the Musical Expression activity with your group.

Activity: “My Inclusive Community”

Time: 15 minutes or more
Facilitator Note: If your group is especially engaged by art activities, such as drawing, painting, collages, murals, etc., you might use art materials to do the following. Please keep in mind the age of your youth as well as the individual skill levels and specific disabilities to allow time frames that are appropriate for your group. If you have members of your group who will have difficulty manipulating art materials, such as youth who have difficulty using scissors due to limited hand dexterity, consider working in partners or small groups.

Facilitator Note: Using any art materials and a large piece of paper (drawing paper, flip-chart pages, etc.), have each person create a picture as follows.

“What do you think of when you hear the words ‘My Inclusive Community’? Do you think of something you want to have in your inclusive community because it is important to you? On the other hand, do you think of something you want to have in your inclusive community because it is important for a family member or friend or someone else in your community?

Using these art materials, create a picture that shows one or more things that are very important to you in order to have an inclusive community. When I call time, we will get back together to share our pictures, and to share what we chose as the important things that we want for our inclusive community.”

Facilitator Note: If you have members of your group who will have difficulty creating artwork by themselves, consider having the group work in pairs or small groups of 3 to 4 members. You may change the assignment to “Our Inclusive Community” so that each person can contribute ideas to the final picture.

Musical Expression

Facilitator Note: If your group is engaged by musical expression, you might want to use activities such as singing, simple musical instruments, percussion instruments, drumming, etc.  The activity of drumming can be done using plastic buckets or containers or using hands on tabletops.  Please keep in mind the age of your students as well as the individual skill levels and specific disabilities to allow time frames that are appropriate for your group.

Activity: “My Inclusive Community”

Time: 15 minutes or more
Facilitator Note:  This musical expression activity follows a “Call and Response” format.  Using any object as the “Musical Wand,” each person in the circle or group can only “perform” when that person has possession of the Musical Wand.

The first person who is given the Musical Wand has to call out in song a place to go in the community in the following format:

  • “I want to go to the grocery store. What do I need?”

Then the Musical Wand is immediately passed to anyone else in the group, and the person who receives the Musical Wand has to sing out a feature that would give someone access and inclusion at that place using the following format:

  • “I need automatic doors.” or
  • “I need no steps to get inside.” or
  • “I need someone to reach the high shelves.” or
  • “I need someone to be my sighted guide.” or
  • “I need someone to load my car.”

The members of the group continue to pass the Musical Wand around as long as someone has a response to add that names a new feature that a person might need for access and inclusion at that place.

Then the activity starts all over, and another person is given the Musical Wand and has to call out in song a place to go in the community in the same format.

Facilitator Note: If your group needs prompts for places to go in the community, you might use any of the following as the “Call” for prompting responses from your group:

  • “I want to go to my favorite restaurant. What do I need?”
  • “I want to go to the movies. What do I need?”
  • “I want to go to the City Park. What do I need?”
  • “I want to go on the public bus. What do I need?”
  • “I want to go to the polls to vote. What do I need?”
  • “I want to go to my neighborhood library. What do I need?”

Think about places in your community that the members of your group might be familiar with and include those places in this activity.

Activity #3 Dramatic Arts

Facilitator Note: If your group is especially engaged by dramatic arts, such as role plays, skits, improvisation, etc., you might use dramatic arts activities.

Activity: “Advocacy in the Community”
Time: 15 minutes or more

Facilitator Note: Using partners or small groups, have each pair or each small group create a skit about one of the following scenarios, and act out the skit in front of the group. Following each dramatic arts performance, ask for feedback from the group about the advocacy techniques shown in the skit. Ask the group if they have any suggestions for the situation shown in the skit.

Scenario #1: Your small group is planning a trip to the public library to do research on a project and to find resources. Everyone in the group is responsible for a different section of the project. Since one of your group members has low vision and uses a screen reader on the computer and audio materials, you decide to visit the public library ahead of time to talk to a staff member and find out if these will be available. When you find out that these features are not available at this public library location, what do you do to advocate for yourself and your group? Remember, you will have to get your own work done when your group visits the public library.

Scenario #2: You and three of your friends want to get tickets at the local sports arena for an upcoming big concert. Your friends have given you the money for their tickets. You volunteered to go to the box office to get the tickets. Since one of your friends uses a manual wheelchair and all of you want to sit together to enjoy the concert, you ask the box office person for 4 tickets in the accessible seating section. The person in the box office glares at you, and says you do not look like you need a ticket for the accessible seating area. As you try to explain, the box office person continues to give you a hard time and is very impatient with you. What will you do to advocate on behalf of yourself and your group so your entire group can be seated together for the concert?

Scenario #3: A group of friends in your neighborhood would like to meet in a nearby park for a picnic. The park has an accessible table in the picnic area of the park, so it would be an ideal place for your group since several of your neighborhood friends use a manual or a power wheelchair. In addition, two of your friends have low vision and travel with canes. The problem is that there is a very busy intersection that your group will have to cross to get from your neighborhood to the park. There are also missing curb cuts and no detectable warnings at that intersection. Both of these will be important for your group to cross the intersection safely. You decide to meet with a person in the City Streets Department to explain what your group needs, but the person is dismissive and immediately say “No, we can’t do that!” What do you do now to advocate for yourself and your neighborhood group?

Scenario #4: You and two of your friends want to go to a popular restaurant. You have heard really good things about it. All of you have trouble reading because of autism or learning disabilities, but you all decide to ask the wait staff person to read the menu for you. When your wait staff person arrives at your table and you make the request to read the menu for your group, the wait staff person replies, “Oh, come on! I saw you guys come in, and you didn’t have any problems finding your way to your table—you can all see the menu!” How do you explain your need for assistance without having to disclose personal information that will make you and your friends feel uneasy? Also, how do you win this person over so that you can get the help you and your friends need to enjoy dining at this restaurant?

Scenario #5: You want to go with your friends to see a play at a local community theater, but you know you will need a sign language interpreter to be able to enjoy the play. You do not want to be left out and tell your friends that you have other plans for that evening as you have done so often in the past. How will you approach this community theater and ask for a sign language interpreter? What if you ask, but the theater person says, “We can’t do that—sign language interpreters cost a lot of money, and you are only paying for one ticket!”

Scenario #6: You are voting for the first time and have just been given your ballot. Because you have a visual processing disability, you planned to use the accessible voting machine so it will read the ballot to you and mark the ballot correctly for you. When you tell the poll worker that you want to use the accessible voting machine, the poll worker tells you, “No, that voting machine is reserved for people who cannot see to vote. Let me show you to one of the regular voting booths.” Since you know that this will not work for you, what do you say to the poll worker?

Scenario #7: Your best friend is a person who is Deaf and travels with a service animal to alert her/him to things s/he does not hear. You want to go with your friend to try out a brand-new Mexican restaurant. You decide to visit the restaurant first to make sure the staff understands about service animals. When you try to explain to the staff member that you will be coming back with your friend and a service dog, the staff member replies, “Oh, no—we don’t allow dogs in the restaurant. You will have to sit outside in the patio area!” Knowing that it may be rainy or windy and that the service dog is allowed in the restaurant because of the ADA, you do not want to agree to this. What do you do?

Scenario #8: You and your group of friends all have low vision or total vision loss. There is no option for attending first-run movies with audio description in your community. You and your friends feel left out when everyone is talking about the latest big blockbuster movie. You decide to make a plan to approach one of the many large movie theaters with multiple screens to request the addition of equipment to show movies with audio description. When you meet with the theater manager, that person has no idea about what you are requesting. What does your group do now?

Scenario #9: You have a favorite store where you like to shop. One thing that really bothers you is that the store staff routinely set up displays in the aisles. You know that this will be a problem for your friends who use mobility devices or who have vision loss and may trip over unexpected obstacles in the aisles. Today, you have decided to talk to a store manager about this problem. What do you plan to say? What if the store manager simply shrugs you off and says, “We have to set up displays somewhere!” Now, what do you do?

Scenario #10: You really like meeting your friends at an arcade at a shopping center in your community. Your Mom drives an accessible van and she does not want to go there since there is never an accessible parking space for her to drop you off or to wait for you when picking you up. You and your group of friends decide to go to the shopping center one weekend and to count all the parking spaces to see if the shopping center has enough accessible parking spaces. After your group does the research, you discover that the shopping center needs to add 6 more accessible spaces. What do you plan to do with this information? Who do you plan to talk to? What will you and your group say?

Activity#4 Role Models

Facilitator Note: For young people with disabilities, it is very important to identify with role models who are people with disabilities living independently in the community. Sources for finding role models that may serve as guest speakers in class include:

Activity 4A: “And Now, A Word from the Real World”

Time: 5–15 minutes
Facilitator Note
: Invite a speaker or a small panel of 2 to 4 people with disabilities to briefly share about a time when they had to advocate for something they needed in the community. Then allow time for the group to ask questions and dialogue with the role model(s).

Activity 4B: Virtual Reality—”A Word from the Real World”

Time: 5 – 15 minutes

Facilitator Note: Using Zoom or a similar platform, invite a speaker or a small panel of 2 to 4 people with disabilities to briefly share about a time when they had to advocate for something they needed in the community. Then allow time for the group to ask questions and dialogue with the role model(s).

SECTION 7: Handouts or Materials Needed

  • Audiovisual equipment for PowerPoint presentation and/or videos.
  • Art materials, blank paper, colored pencils or markers, rubber ball, and a bottle of liquid bubbles (Activity 1).
  • Photocopies of PowerPoint slides, including alternate formats such as large print, Braille, and electronic formats, such as a USB drive for students with visual or print disabilities.

SECTION 8: After Class

Homework Possibilities

Visit one place in the community (examples: restaurant, store, park, bank, library, movie theater, etc.). Choose one of the following activities:

  1. Identify one barrier or obstacle to accessibility at the place you visited, or;
  2. Identify one problem that will prevent people with disabilities from being included or being able to participate fully in the things that happen at the place you visited.

During the next session, we will share the barriers and problems we identified in the community.

Possible Group Activity

Facilitator Note: You may wish to provide a self-advocacy experience for students that would allow them to follow up on the barriers and problems that the group has identified in the community.

If you would like to provide a self-advocacy experience your students, consider using the guide, ADA: Starting the Conversation with a Business.
Link: adata.org/americans-disabilities-act-starting-conversation-business

The ADA: Starting the Conversation with a Business, is a guide that people with disabilities can use to give a business feedback about their accessibility. This is not an assessment of ADA compliance. It is a tool to start a conversation about 1-2 steps a business could take to make their business more accessible to and usable by their customers with disabilities.

Using this guide, a team of people with disabilities can offer a business:

  • Specific information on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA);
  • Feedback on making their business more accessible; and
  • Follow-up to track changes and improvements.

 

Quiz Questions

Use these quiz questions to reinforce learning by giving this pop quiz at the end of class, as a homework assignment, or at the beginning of the next class session. Correct answers are noted with an asterisk (*).

  1. The ADA only applies to employment.
  • Yes
  • No*
  1. Audible crosswalk signs help all people to cross streets safely.
  • Yes*
  • No
  1. Public transportation systems must be accessible to people with disabilities.
  • Yes*
  • No
  1. Paratransit systems are for people who cannot ride public transportation due to a disability.
  • Yes*
  • No
  1. The ADA ensures that people with disabilities have equal access to voting locations.
  • Yes*
  • No
  1. Business and governments must make every effort to communicate with people in the way the person with a disability chooses.
  • Yes*
  • No
  1. Restaurants and stores must allow service dogs into their stores.
  • Yes*
  • No
  1. Audio description allows people who are blind to enjoy a movie or show.
  • Yes*
  • No
  1. Arenas, stadiums and theaters must provide accessible seating for wheelchair users.
  • Yes*
  • No
  1. Governments must allow equal access for you to enjoy programs and services.
  • Yes*
  • No

SECTION 9: Resources for Students

Additional Reading and Videos

Community Life Resources
(Located under Topics/Categories tab on the website)

Topics that address the various needs of individuals with disabilities across the lifespan as they pertain to living in the community. Browse full site to search for information on related topics.
Source:
Institute on Community Integration, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
Link: rtc.umn.edu/valuinglives/resources.html

Disability Is Natural Website
The mission of Disability is Natural is to encourage new ways of thinking about developmental disabilities, in the belief that our attitudes drive our actions, and changes in our attitudes and actions can help create a society where all children and adults with developmental disabilities have opportunities to live the lives of their dreams, included in all areas of life.
Link: www.disabilityisnatural.com

ADA Live! (WADA) Podcasts
ADA Live! (WADA) is a free monthly show broadcast nationally on the Internet. Learn about your rights and responsibilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Leaders in the field will share their knowledge, experience, and successful strategies that increase the participation of persons with disabilities in communities and businesses. Listen to the archived podcasts or read the episode transcripts. Most episodes include a list of useful of Resources. ADA Live! is produced by the Southeast ADA Center, a member of the ADA National Network and a project of the Burton Blatt Institute (BBI) at Syracuse University.
Source:
Southeast ADA National Center
Link: adalive.org

Accessible Voting Resource List (PDF)
Source: Southeast ADA Center
Link: adalive.org/resources/episode-77-resources/

State and Local Government ADA Resources (PDF)
Source: Southeast ADA Center
Link: adaselfadvocacy.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/state_local_government_ada_resources.pdf

Courtroom Accessibility Resources (PDF)
Source: Southeast ADA Center
Link: adaselfadvocacy.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/courtroom_accessibility_resources.pdf

Effective Communication Fact Sheet
Source: ADA National Network
Link: adata.org/factsheet/communication

Service Animals Fact Sheet
Source: ADA National Network
Link: adata.org/factsheet/service-animals

Accessible Parking Fact Sheet
Source: ADA National Network
Link: adata.org/factsheet/parking

ADA Quick Tips – Sign Language Interpreters
Source: ADA National Network
Link: adata.org/factsheet/sign-language-interpreters

Food Service: Accommodating Diners with Disabilities
Source: ADA National Network
Link: http://adata.org/factsheet/food-service

Employment (ADA Title I) Search on ADA National Network Website
Source: ADA National Network
Link: adata.org/topic/employment-ada-title-i

Americans with Disabilities Act Information Center

ADA National Network

Phone: 1-800-949-4232 (toll free)

Website: adata.org

Facebook: facebook.com/adanetwork

Twitter: twitter.com/ADANational

National Resources

Community Organizations

The Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL)
Link: www.april-rural.

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