Like many others who have responded, I am concerned about Joe's lack of
motivation and unwillingness to help himself, but I also realize that these
attitudes may be the result of his previous failures, so I will still suggest a

Last year I reported to this list Pam Thomas' efforts to work with one of my
students with multiple disabilities, including neurological damage.  When Pam
began teaching developmental algebra on television, it was broadcast several
times per day and on weekends on local cable access.  My student videotaped the
lectures so that she could still participate when she could not attend class.
Also, she could rewind and watch the parts she needed over and over.  Even when
she mastered the material, there was no guarantee that it would still be with her
a day, or even an hour later.  She was able to go to the Learning Center any time
it was open to take her tests, so that she could demonsstrate her knowledge when
she was "on top of it."

None of us ever thought that this student would be able to complete developmental
math.  We were particularly worried about the state-mandated exit exam.  But it
was amazing how much a few successes did for this student's attitude toward math
and motivation to complete the course.  Despite her multiple disabilities, this
student is continuing to take courses, particularly in the social sciences, and
maintains an A- average.  She also married last year, not long after completing
her math requirement.

I should mention that Pam devoted numerous hours to working with this student
over the years, as did other faculty members in the University of Georgia's
Division of Academic Assistance, but isn't individualized learning support what
we are all about?

I am currently a part of a U.S. Dep't of Ed. grant involved in training faculty
in Universal Instructional Design (UID).  What is so wonderful about Pam Thomas'
approach is that her TV broadcasts and the tapes available in the Learning Center
were not designed as an accomodation for students with disabilities, but as an
instructional strategy that could benefit all students.  As I have mentioned
before, Pam is now known in Athens, GA as the "TV Math Lady."  People stop her on
the street to ask Qs re: math or tell her that they "enjoy her show."  It's

Jeanne Higbe

Lisa Kramme wrote:

> Joe should be working with your institution's office for students with
> disabilities.  They will most likely ask for documentation of his disability
> and any  modifications/accomodations that are appropriate.  If Joe would give
> permission for this office to share information with you and vice versa, that
> may be helpful for all involved.  Good luck!
> Lisa Kramme
> "d'Anjou, Sara" wrote:
> > I am seeking the collective wisdom of LRNASST to find a solution for a
> > thorny dilema:
> >
> > We have a full-time day student whom I will call Joe; he is around 30
> > years old. He started about 6 years ago in our Associate's program in
> > Hotel & Restaruant Mgt. and then continued on for his Bachelor's in
> > Business Management. He is scheduled to graduate this May, if he passes
> > his currrent courses. Joe has epilepsy and other seizure disorders and
> > has been on and off various medications for years. His illness often
> > impacts his academic performance (in terms of attendance, meeting
> > deadlines, understanding criteria for assignments) but many of our
> > faculty know him quite well and tend to accommodate his situation. His
> > overall GPA is a 2.3 with grades ranging from D's to A's and B's. The
> > current problem relates to what seems to be a deterioration in his
> > overall cognitive functioning which is most evident in his performance in
> > math.
> >
> > Math has always been a problem for Joe, although ed plans from his high
> > school years merely indicate minor problems with arithmetic and do not
> > mention any type of learning disability. Although he is under a neurologist
> > 's care, he has not had any recent psychoeducational evaluations. For the
> > Associate's degree, Business Math was the only math requirement, and he
> > passed that on the first try. The Bachelor degree requires algebra which
> > has become the bane of Joe's existence. He finally passed Algebra I with
> > a C- several semesters ago after having withdrawn during previous
> > semesters. (We suspect that the instructor took pity on him.) He has
> > failed Algebra II once and is now about to fail again. I must add that
> > Joe is resistant to any type of suggestions that could possibly help him
> > with math - he did not take Algebra II directly following Algebra I,
> > comes sporadically for tutoring, does not do homework on his own, does
> > not follow up on study skills suggestions, etc.
> >
> > I have been tutoring him for the last few weeks (I've known him for his
> > entire time here) and he has not been making progress. There are problems
> > with short and long term memory, visual perception, motor skills,
> > linguistic processing, lack of Algebra I background information, you name
> > it! I don't see any way that he can pass the course, even in an
> > individual format, now or at a future time. Last year, Joe had an
> > experimental procedure (some type of electrode and drug delivery implant)
> > that according to him "removed part of his brain."
> >
> > I definitely feel that his level of functioning (which was never that
> > strong) has seriously deteriorated even compared to last year, and that
> > the algebra is pure torture for him. We do have a waiver/substitution
> > policy but that comes into play only after Albegra II. (Algebra II is not
> > a difficult course; many students have covered this material in high
> > school.) A former VP of Academic Affairs (who has since left the college)
> > had already waived the next course, College Algebra, for Joe (bypassing a
> > number of procedures and policies in the process.)
> >
> > Joe desperately wants to graduate and get on with his life, and we would
> > like to see him walk across that stage as well. Do any of you have any
> > suggestions? Sorry for the long post but I had to provide the background.
> >
> > Thanks,
> >
> > Sara d'Anjou
> > Director of Academic Support Services
> > [log in to unmask]

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