Easing Tensions
Faculty can do several things to ease tensions around learning disabilities in the classroom.

Join the discussion

Demystifying Learning Disabilities
Equity and accommodation in the classroom

"I worry that there's an entire industry out there
of gurus who are basically getting paid nicely to create these diagnoses, which may be built on sand."

--Darryl Neill, Professor and Chair of Psychology

"We need to find the common ground between
teaching style and the characteristics of the learner."

--Wendy Newby, Director of Faculty Resources for Disabilities

Determining Accommodations

Academic Exchange October/November 2000 Contents Page

Make a syllabus statement. Students will be more comfortable approaching professors if they perceive the instructor is open to accommodating learning disabilities. One way to set the tone is to include a statement in the course syllabus that encourages students registered with ODS to discuss their accommodation requests with the instructor.

Invite the student in. Have a conversation with a student who has self-identified as learning disabled to discuss the accommodations and ensure that they are working well.

Respect confidentiality. According to Gloria McCord of ODS, a student's specific learning disability diagnosis is part of his or her confidential medical record. The law prohibits ODS from disclosing that information to faculty members. Professors should not disclose to anyone else that a student has registered with ODS without the student's permission.

Learn about other resources. Wendy Newby came to Emory in September to provide faculty resources for teaching students with disabilities. She can be reached at 727-6766 or Also contact the Office of Disability Services at 727-6016.