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Shevawn,

The situation you describe sounds like it boils down to a few very simple questions: 

* Who is responsible for ensuring that all instructional materials are ADA compliant?

* What actions should the university take to provide access to appropriate instructional materials to all students?

* When is the appropriate assistance for students a reader, and when is it a tutor?

I will not attempt to answer the first two questions, but there should be a process in place at your institution to verify that all hardware, software, and instructional materials are ADA compliant. Similarly, the institution should have a process for either obtaining a commitment from vendors to achieve full compliance within an established timeline or replacing the product or services offered by the vendor.

As to the third question, if the on-line interaction provided by vendor only requires someone to read the material for the students who are visually impaired so that they can appropriately interact with the product, that does not require the services of a tutor. On the other hand, if the students need guidance on how to appropriately engage with the product or they require assistance with the material supported by the product, that seems like the responsibility of a tutor.

I should add that I am generally opposed to trying to draw clear lines or create silos. My staff frequently hears me talk about blurring the lines. I tell them that we should provide enough overlap between services that no student ever falls through the cracks. I also say that we should always err on the side of the student.

Have a great day.


Martin Golson
Director, Academic Support
Certified Learning Center Professional - Level 4
Austin Peay State University

(931) 221-6553

"Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity." - Seneca




-----Original Message-----
From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Shevawn Eaton
Sent: Tuesday, December 15, 2015 4:10 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Tutoring with accommodations for students with disabilities

Hi All.
For many years, we have worked independently if disability resource services in providing tutoring to students with disabilities.  All of our tutors are peers, so there has been no special accommodation on our end beyond that which the student brings with them.

Apparently one of our courses that many students must take provides on-line interaction that is not accessible.  So we are now looking at who is responsible for assisting students while they use this.

There is a new director in disability services here who expects far more from us than what we are used to doing when tutoring with these students.  We are now facing some new issues with regard to tutoring with accommodations, specifically for students with vision disabilities.

How do you all deal with the fine line between tutoring students with disabilities and tutoring and accommodating students with disabilities within the tutoring program?

Any suggestions on how to move forward as I discuss this with the dean would be appreciated.

Thanks you for your thoughts.

Shevawn Eaton, Ph.D.
Director, ACCESS
Northern Illinois University
815 753 0581
www.tutoring.niu.edu


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