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Bev --
 
I conferred with a colleague regarding your question about your student
who is blind and the requirements for the biology course.
 
We have dealt with similar situations in the past and on one occasion,
the lab was waived for a student who is totally blind.  Another time,
a substitution course was approved.  In still yet another case, an
instructor allowed one of our test monitors to sit with the student and
verbally describe the slide for the student who is visually impaired; the
instructor was present and approved of the process.
 
As you are no doubt quite aware, the situation becomes much more complex,
and the need to determine a mutually acceptable accomodation becomes more
acute, when the lab is in a course which is in the student's major field
of study.
 
If it is a required course, but not in the student's major field, the
College may be required to offer a subsitute course to the student.  Just
as schools may have to offer a substitute course for a foreign lanquage
requirement for a student with a documented learning disability, you
probably would have to do it in this instance.
 
You may want to contact AHEAD for a list of schools that enroll a
significant number of blind and visually impaired students and speak with
someone who has more experience with compensatory strategies and
techniques.
 
You no doubt noticed that I did not say that ADA says THIS or THAT.  I'm
just offering a few suggestions and not advising you as to what to do
according to ADA.  If that sounds like a disclaimer, it is.  Best of
luck.  If we come up with any other ideas, we'll send them your way.  I'd
be interested in knowing what strategy you use.
 
Pat Schutz
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